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Friday, April 23, 2021

In Delhi, most live in homes that are too small, areas that are sub-standard

As per projections, Delhi needs 24 lakh new housing units by 2021; of these, 54% are required for EWS (economically weaker sections) and LIG (lower income group).

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
Updated: March 9, 2021 3:30:15 am
Many live in slums. Archive

More than 60% of households in Delhi are one- or two-room dwelling units, as per the Delhi economic survey released Monday. The United Nations describes the average household size in a city to be two and a half rooms to be above congestion level.

The survey also highlighted that about one-third of Delhi lives in substandard housing, which includes 675 slum and JJ clusters, 1,797 unauthorised colonies, old dilapidated areas and 362 villages. These areas often lack safe, adequate housing and basic services.

As per projections, Delhi needs 24 lakh new housing units by 2021; of these, 54% are required for EWS (economically weaker sections) and LIG (lower income group). About 42% housing units (about 10 lakh) are to be provided by densification and redevelopment of existing residential areas, covering in-situ slum rehabilitation, infill development and regularisation and redevelopment of unauthorised colonies.

The survey also states that to achieve housing for all by 2022, 4.8 million houses need to be built or upgraded. The component for EWS would be 54% of the total.

The Delhi government is one of several players in the housing sector since land development and public housing are under the jurisdiction of the Delhi Development Authority.

Balvinder Kumar, former DDA vice-chairperson, said, “Land in Delhi is limited and haphazard vertical development is also not the best solution as roads can take a limited load of parking. The solution is redevelopment of unauthorised areas or urban villages in a practical way. By this, I mean people should be incentivised by giving higher floor-area ratio and areas should be carved out for parks and open green spaces.”

DDA had recently announced that group housing societies can be formed in unauthorised colonies, after it relaxed norms in its master plan. Under this, people with vacant land have to come together or the second option is existing houses are razed and new societies are formed with better facilities and more space. The challenge here would be taking people into confidence so they agree to such redevelopment.

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