Housing ministry plans to allow residential projects in villages: Official

NEW DELHI: The housing and urban affairs ministry plans to allow housing projects in villages close to mega cities, in a bid to give momentum to the Centre’s flagship housing programme, a senior official has said.

The housing ministry is in talks with the rural development ministry over the move and a decision on it was expected soon, the official said, on condition of anonymity.

The proposed plan is expected to give a momentum to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

The housing ministry aims to provide houses to all urban poor by 2022. The shortage of houses is pegged at around 1.2 crore in 4,041 statutory urban local bodies in the country.

The government is considering allowing urban housing projects in peripheral villages because of the unavailability of sufficient land in mega cities for construction of new housing projects, the official said.

Besides, the land price is very high in developed cities, leading to higher cost of projects which hits the affordability factor, the official added.

The initiative will also bring down the congestion level in the cities and make houses available for low-paid migrant workforce who look for rental accommodation in nearby villages of large urban centres, according to the official.

As the areas are in the outskirts of cities, it does not fall under the jurisdiction of urban local bodies and there has also been unregulated construction in such places, the official said, adding that the planned housing projects will provide people better living conditions.