OVER THREE months after formally adopting the Centre’s ‘housing for all’ initiative, the Maharashtra government cleared proposals for the first 1.8 lakh affordable houses that will now be submitted for approval to the Union government.
A committee led by Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya has approved the proposals, a majority of them from areas such as Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and towns part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in the Raigad district, said a housing department official, who did not wish to be named.
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The chief secretary haw now directed that all proposals be submitted to the Union government for approval by April 2016, and speeding up of implementation by local bodies. Kshatriya was speaking at a seminar for the implementation of the ‘housing for all initiative.’ The seminar was attended by representatives of four western states, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Goa, and the Union territories of Dadra Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu besides Union government representatives.
A state housing department official said, “We are vetting the proposals at our level. The actual number of proposals to be sent to the Union government by April might be lower as we still need more information and work on certain proposals.”
The ‘housing for all’ initiative, formulated under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, is to be implemented in 51 cities of Maharashtra. As part of the initiative, the government has charted out four approaches to provide low-cost housing – slum redevelopment on the existing plot, an interest subsidy scheme, creation of housing stock on a public-private participation model, and beneficiary-led individual houses. Using these approaches, the government can create houses of up to 30 sqm for the economically weaker sections and 60 sqm for the lower-income groups. The Union government is to provide funding of Rs 1.5 lakh per tenement for the scheme, while the state will top it up with Rs 1 lakh more.
“Most of the proposals that we have received till now are through the third approach, which is creating housing stock on a public private partnership model,” the housing department official said.