7:42 am - Wednesday December 19, 2018

Slum-free action plan need of the hour: Venkaiah Naidu

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Asserting that a slum-free plan of action is the need of the hour, Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said urban governance and housing for all are a challenge, and states and union territories need to work together to achieve this goal.

Addressing the Conclave of Ministers of Urban Development and Housing of Central and State/UT governments here, Naidu said: “About 18 per cent of urban population is living in slums and about 22 per cent do not have access to bathrooms.”

“Only 44.5 percent Urban HHs have closed drainage. 18.6 percent of the Urban households do not have latrine facility within premises. These are all worrisome and challenges before us,” he added.

Naidu further suggested measures like GIS-based regional urban planning, satellite-based mapping for cities, solid waste management, and water recycling.

Emphasizing that affordable Housing is the need of hour which cannot be overlooked now, Naidu said: ” Housing growth is a parameter of Health of economy of the country. “Housing for All” by 2022 is one of the top most priority of our Government It is also a dream project of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

“This needs large scale intervention and commitment of resources in terms of finances, land, and technical manpower alongside construction material. Considering the scale and complexity of this issue it is imperative that all important stakeholders come together and brainstorm for identifying approaches and strategies to achieve this goal in a holistic and comprehensive manner,” he added.

Stating that “Housing for all” will not only provide houses but it will create huge employment opportunities also, Naidu further said: ” A new idea of having the ESCROW Account by which revenue generated by enhanced housing activity can be invested back in the same sector. Other ideas were interest subvention, PPP etc.”

“We have success stories in States like Gujarat and Maharashtra in affordable housing. Learning’s from these success stories can be scaled up at National level,” he added.

Naidu further said: ” Our aim is to collaborate with multiple stakeholders including urban local bodies, private sector, corporate houses under CSR activities, civil societies, community and financial institutions towards reaching our goals of Housing for all and effective urban governance.

” I would like to request all of you to deliberate and arrive at a broad consensus on the road map to develop policy and support frameworks for encouraging and ensuring good urban governance and housing for all, he added.

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