Accommodation Times News Services
By Murari Chaturvedi, Editor-in-Chief
Not enough attention is given to rural housing so far. Rural Housing is an underserved segment with about only 10% of the housing finance from banks for rural housing. It was proposed to create a dedicated fund of Rs. 1200 crore in National Housing Bank (NHB) to enhance it’s refinance operations in the rural housing sector. Accordingly NHB has formulated a scheme called, Rural Housing Fund (RHF) in 2008 for lending towards rural housing undertaken by people falling under the weaker section “Rural Area” for the purpose of the scheme is the area comprised in any village including the area comprised in any town, the population of which does not exceed 50,000. For individuals housing loans upto Rs. 15 lakh was proposed. But first of all, where are the rural housing being constructed. In rural areas roads, water and sanitation are most important and require infrastructure to support the rural houses. Unfortunately no infrastructure exists in rural areas for these most important factors as it would take more than the fund allowed for the housing unit. The infrastructure development in rural housing is much more than that of city where water supply pipe lines and sewage system are already laid. Even the connecting roads are non-existent in villages. So the cost of creating the basic infrastructure is much more than the cost of the housing unit in rural area. The NHB and the government has no definite plans and allocations of funds for these basic infrastructure projects for rural areas. The scene is changing fast in all the rural areas in the country. Small villages are growing at fast pace but the infrastructure requirements remain utterly neglected. Apart from the basic infrastructure, where are the serviced plots. In rural areas, small farmers are having very small piece of land. Then there are no builders who venture in rural areas to construct buildings. Taking N. A. Permission and getting the plans passed in rural areas is most difficult and less rewarding to builders so who will construct rural houses. In fact “Rural Housing” body must be created by the government to look after all these hurdles and promote rural houses in the areas.