Housing for All: Singh says aim is to build durable dwellings

Housing for All: Singh says aim is to build durable dwellings

Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh today set the target of building durable and quality houses in rural areas under the NDA government's flagship 'Housing for All by 2022' scheme.

"Our target should not to build just three crore houses in the next seven years in rural areas. Good houses should be built which would last at least 40 or 50 years," Singh said at a workshop on 'Affordable Rural Housing Technology' here.

The NDA government's ambitious 'Housing for All by 2022' scheme aims to construct two crore affordable houses in urban areas and three crore in rural sector.
Singh also asked the participants of the workshop to come up with innovative ideas to make the scheme a success.

"The usual stereotype ideas or old methods will not do any good to the project. We must come out with out-of-the-box ideas to make this gigantic task possible," he told the participants comprising representatives from states, senior ministry officials and experts.

Singh suggested that coal should be provided at cheaper cost for production of cement and steel. "We must facilitate cheaper coal for manufacturers of steel, cement and bricks to lower the cost of these materials and it would result in cutting down housing cost by Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per unit," he said.

Singh was also critical of the Congress government's Indira Awas Yojana (IAY). Under IAY, 3.37 crore houses have been built, but these houses could not last more than 10 years as poor materials were used for construction, he claimed.

Earlier, the central grant under the IAY was very less but now it has been increased to Rs 70,000 per house. Pitching for considerable increase in the grant, Singh said a good quality and durable house cannot be built with this amount.

"Our government has enhanced the grant for urban areas. We also want that the grant should be increased for rural houses," he said. The affordable houses should last at least 30/40 years and at least two generations should use them.

He said the housing scheme should also be linked with MNREGA and sanitation programme so that "houses will have better quality like drainage service".
Under the 'Housing for All by 2022' scheme, about 40 lakh houses in rural areas will be built every year.

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