by Anushree Ghosh,
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana was introduced by PM Narendra Modi on June 1, 2015. The scheme was meant to provide affordable housing to all the urban poor by 2022. The beneficiaries included Economically Weaker Section (EWS), Middle Income Group (MIG) and Low Income Group (LIG), with their respective income slots being— up to 3 Lakhs, 3-6 Lakhs and 6 – 18 Lakhs. The scheme catered to the selected cities and construction was meant to be as eco-friendly as possible. The other goal was to address the following demographics: widows, transgender, senior citizens, differently abled, and specifically lower income group who are greatly in need of houses.
Promises were made by the government regarding “Housing for all” till 2022.
- Houses up to 30 square meter carpet area were to be built with basic facilities. Urban local bodies were held responsible to looks after the accessibility of basic provisions like sanitation, electricity and sewerage near the housing.
- The size of the house should fall under the guidelines as per the National Building Code (NBC). Size could be minimised but with the consent of the beneficiary. The toilet facility was made mandatory in all kinds of houses.
- Houses were to be built to meet the guidelines for structural safety, in case of a natural calamity like earthquake, flood, cyclone or landslide, the house must be able to withstand it.
- The houses were to be named after the adult female member of the family, only in case of an absence of any female in the family, the ownership could be claimed by the male member.
- It was proposed that the affordable housing project would have an association of beneficiaries to look after the maintenance of the houses constructed under the scheme.
After almost four years of launching the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), about 20% of the houses have been constructed till Feb 2019 and 52% are ready to be constructed. Incidentally, 57% of the sanctioned houses are majorly in the 5 states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. Here, Madhya Pradesh winning the maximum number of houses constructed and Gujarat is the state that completed the construction of the maximum number of houses under the scheme.
The major hurdles faced by the housing scheme is the availability of land, inflation that affects the cost of construction, lack of proper agreement between the public-private sector, and non-availability of resources. These challenges have certainly affected the rate at which the government planned to complete the project. However, the growing housing project in different parts of the country had a cascading impact on the national economy, thereby encouraging the growth of GDP, by increasing the demand for raw materials and workforce.