PMO asks all govt depts to spot unused lands for Housing for All

After reaching the half-way mark of its term, Narendra Modi government is trying to give fillip to BJP’s poll promise of Housing for All. The Prime Minister’s Office has asked all government departments to identify unutilised land, especially in already developed government colonies, to plan affordable housing projects.

The government wants to build a land bank to give a push to the a land bank to give a push to the affordable housing initiative. The states are facing a problem in planning housing projects because of paucity of land. With this initiative, PMO is hoping to identify land packets and then urge state governments to send proposal wherever there is availability of land. A senior government official told ET, “PMO is monitoring the progress closely. Our experience is that some states are performing better than others because they already have their beneficiary lists ready and land availability is no problem there. So now directives have gone to all ministries to prepare a list of colonies where new houses can be built.“ The urban development ministry is trying to identify land within already developed government colonies as these already have basic amenities and approvals would not be a problem. So far, the Centre has approved housing projects worth `90,000 crore across 30 states and union territories. The government has approved construction of 16.42 lakh affordable houses with Tamil Nadu leading the initiative at 2.27 lakh houses, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 1.94 lakh houses and Madhya Pradesh with 1.81 lakh houses.