The Maharashtra government has reiterated its commitment to building low-cost houses for Adivasis and Dalits across the state on priority, and expects three lakh houses to be ready under its affordable housing plan this year.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who completed a year at the helm of the new government, said, “There are 2.30 lakh adivasis (tribals) who have no houses of their own. The state government has decided to provide them free or low cost land, and houses.”
Homeless Dalits would be accorded the highest priority, he said on Saturday adding that a scheme -Ramai Yojna – to provide houses for Dalits had not shown good results.
Under the existing schemes, funds are allocated to Dalit families to build houses but land is an issue. The government will ensure both land and cost of construction is taken into account while planning houses for poor Dalits and tribals.
Prime Minister Modi has launched a housing for all by 2022 project. Explaining the state’s delay in unveiling its new housing policy, Fadnavis said Maharashtra was preparing its own own policy.
“It was brought to my notice that even the centre is working on a comprehensive housing for all by 2022 policy. Therefore, we decided to wait for the centre’s policy, which would be applicable for all states.”
Fadnavis said he held meetings with developers and told them to promote affordable housing. “Often, it has come my notice that developers prefer premium houses, which are expensive and cater to limited sections. In the end, they complain that 50 per cent of their newly built homes are vacant.”
Unlike other sectors, housing is driven by demand and there is a market for affordable housing, he said. All that is required is to bridge the differences to make it more cost effective, he said.