Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said he is confident his government will be able to achieve the goal of ensuring housing for all. Laying the foundation stone of Light House Projects (LHPs) under Global Housing Technology Challenge-India in six states, the residences under LHPs will take less time to construct, will be more resilient, affordable and comfortable. “Two crore houses have been constructed in villages and we will construct more at a faster speed. I am confident we will achieve the goal of ensuring housing for all,” he said.
LHPs will be constructed at Indore, Rajkot, Chennai, Ranchi, Agartala and Lucknow, comprising about 1,000 houses at each location along with allied infrastructure facilities.
Criticising previous governments, he said at one time housing plans were not the priority of the government, “The government did not care about the details and quality of construction. If the changes were not made, it would have been very difficult. Today, the country has chosen a different approach.”
He added the country has got new technologies for constructing houses for the poor and middle classes, and such projects are hence bound to stand out. “Why can’t we construct better houses, lasting houses, and that too, faster? This is the reason we took the housing technology challenge and I’m happy that 50 global players participated in it. And today, six projects are being launched,” he said. “These technologies will reduce construction time and make available to the poor affordable and resilient houses. Today, these technologies are being deployed in a few cities. Tomorrow, they can be replicated in other cities of the country.”
He stated that investment in infrastructure, especially in housing, acts as force-multiplier. “Government is constantly giving a push to this sector,” he added.
With house prices skyrocketing in recent days, people’s dreams of buying their houses have been shattered, he said. “Their confidence was shaken whether they will be protected in case of dispute. Then interest on bank loans would make people develop cold feet.”
However, lakhs of houses have been constructed under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), he said. “Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators -India (ASHA-India) programme is being run in the country to promote research and startups in modern housing technology,” he added. Listing out the features of the houses, he said, “Now you will see innovation in housing construction. It is now ensured that these houses for the poor have basic amenities like electricity, water and gas connection. To ensure transparency, these houses are being geo-tagged.”
He also underlined that the key to one’s own house is also his or her key to a respectful life. “When one gets the key of home, it doesn’t open the door to just four walls but to a respectful life. It makes one self-confident and opens the door to his/her progress. The key also unlocks the door to one’s brain. So powerful is that key,” he said.
He also touched upon the crisis the migrant labours faced during the pandemic-induced lockdown and said, “Covid-19 pandemic made us realise how important is the role of the migrant labourers for our nation. We have observed that they do not get accommodation at affordable rent in cities. Hence, we have launched an affordable rental housing project.”