By Accommodation Times News Services
‘Government’s urban development and housing initiatives will aim at social inclusion so as to benefit all sections of urban residents including slum dwellers,’ asserted the Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today. He was speaking at the ‘World Habitat Day –Voices from Slums’ programme, organized by the Ministry of HUPA.
Shri Venkaiah Naidu emphasized the need for proper urban planning to ensure ‘slum free India’ in the long run. He said, the government is focusing on ‘in-situ’ development of slums by encouraging vertical construction. The Minister stressed that slum dwellers are entitled to ‘not only a roof over their heads but also, a safe and healthy environment, affordable transport and energy, safe and clean drinking water, employment and empowerment.’
Shri Venkaiah Naidu informed that ‘Sardar Patel Urban Housing Mission’ will soon be launched to ensure housing for all by 2022. He said, this Mission is in pursuit of Prime Minister’s call of ‘Har Parivar ko Ghar’ and 30 million houses would be built by 2022, mostly for the economically weaker sections and low income groups, through public-private-partnership, interest subsidy and increased flow of resources to housing sector.
The Minister informed that an investment of about Rs. 50 lakh crores would be required over the next few years for various initiatives like Housing for All (Rs.22.50 lakh cr), urban infrastructure development (Rs.16.50 lakh cr), urban sanitation (Rs.62,000 cr) and building smart cities.
In her thematic address, Founder Director of NGO, SPARC (Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres) Ms.Sheela Patel stressed that ‘the poor shall be made part of the solution by making them partners in project formulation and execution’ for effective results. A ‘Padma Sri’ Awardee, Ms.Patel noted that ‘benefactor-consumer’ approach to address problems of the poor will not yield desired results. Calling for ‘effective governance solutions’ to enable the poor make their choices, Ms. Patel complimented the central government’s emphasis on effective governance and people’s participation.
Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation Shri Ban Ki Moon, in his message read out on the occasion called for a ‘new urban agenda that leaves no one behind.’ He expressed concern over growing slums and the attendant endemic crime, under employment and unemployment.
Shri Venkaiah Naidu felicitated the winners of various competitions held for the differently abled children on the occasion of ‘World Habitat Day’.
Smt.Anita Agnihotri, Secretary(HUPA), Shri K.B.S.Sidhu, Joint Secretary(Housing) and diplomats from several countries participated in the programme.