Homeless people and slums increasing alarmingly across the nation

By Murari Chaturvedi, Editor -in-Chief

In India, over 17% of world’s slum dwellers live in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. Over 3 million urban homeless in India live in most unhygienic conditions as per the census 2011. This pitiable condition which prevails in most of our cities slums is created by the wrong policies of the government. Slums are rightly at the head of the list of controversial housing. A middle class and poor citizen of India, which forms the core workforce of the country, are deprived of a simple 300 sq feet tenement to live. It seems that the conspiracy is hatched by the govt. officials, developers and money bags. The political class is also indifferent to pass legislations which can provide the mass housing to the houseless persons. The policies of the government have no scope or vision to construct more houses for the people. Housing boards which were created to construct houses for the middle and lower middle class are now constructing houses on ownership basis and that too for the upper class persons who can afford the whooping cast of their flats. Why they have stopped to construct 300 sq ft small flats can rental basis? In all major cities in the country, slums have taken gigantic propositions the root cause of spreading slums is that the citizens can’t find affordable houses and hence are forced to live in miserable condition. Singapore is the example, where majority of people were living in pathetic conditions, the government of Singapore devised a master plan to construct affordable housing on large scale and the result is there for all to see. For housing the masses we need pragmatic approach by the government.  The private developers may not do the job, where profit is the motto. Also mass housing on rental or live purchase basis is the need of the hour. Housing boards if motivated to do this national job. We do not wish to lament the follies of the rules and profiteers but, want to provide houses. The taxation on raw materials, stamp duty and VAT must be removed for the construction of affordable housing. In Mumbai where a small flat in suburbs is costing above Rs. 70lakhs is not affordable. So the solution to housing is in the reducing cost of small affordable units in all cities.

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