Prime Minister Modi wants housing target met

New Delhi,SMRITI KAK RAMACHANDRAN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not want one of his pet projects — “Housing for All by 2022” — to miss its target.

'Housing for All by 2022' is among Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet projects. Photo shows flats built by the Delhi Urban Shelter Development Board for the economically weaker sections.
‘Housing for All by 2022’ is among Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects. Photo shows flats built by the Delhi Urban Shelter Development Board for the economically weaker sections.

Mr. Modi has asked for a fresh survey to ascertain the exact housing shortfall in urban areas.

The government has announced construction of two crore houses annually to meet the target, but Mr. Modi, who is monitoring the scheme, has instructed the Urban Development and the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministries to verify if more houses should be built.

An official told The Hindu that Mr. Modi does not want the government to be embarrassed on this count, as housing and urban renewal were among the planks that the BJP fought the elections on.

“The Prime Minister has been taking a keen interest in the schemes related to urban development and renewal, housing and construction of smart cities. He has chaired review meetings and given suggestions,” the official said.

‘Affordable housing a priority for Modi’

In February, Mr. Modi put on hold the “Housing for All” scheme and asked officials to merge it with the rural housing component being carried out by the Rural Development Ministry. “Affordable housing has been listed as a priority by Mr. Modi,” an official told The Hindu.

Mr. Modi wants the schemes to take off before May when the NDA government completes a year in office. While the projects for smart cities and urban renewal of 500 cities are expected to be sent to the Cabinet for approval next week, the Ministries have been instructed to step up preparations for naming and drafting the blueprint for the housing schemes.

Officials have been asked to ensure that the schemes draw private investment. “Public-private partnership does not inspire confidence, but since the government has announced that these projects will be executed through PPP, officials have been asked to make the scheme lucrative to the private sector,” the official said.