January 21, 2021

Sambaad Patra

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PM unveils project for affordable housing – The Hindu

3 min read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid the foundation of six Light House Projects, as part of the Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC-India) initiative, in Indore, Rajkot, Chennai, Ranchi, Agartala and Lucknow via videoconference.

About 1,000 houses at each location are to be constructed in a year, using six distinct technologies from a basket of 54 such technologies shortlisted under the GHTC-India, 2019.

Addressing the respective Chief Ministers, Governors and other officials, the Prime Minister said the country was getting new technologies for providing resilient, affordable and comfortable houses to the poor and the middle class. The cooperation extended by the States in the projects was in a way strengthening cooperative federalism, he noted.

Call to planners, students

The GHTC provided the scope of incubating new technologies for construction and innovating, he pointed out and called upon planners, architects and students from various universities and institutions to visit sites, learn from the technologies and mould them for use in accordance with local requirements.

In Indore, prefabricated sandwich panel system technology would be used, while in Rajkot, through tunnelling, monolithic concrete construction system from France was being employed. Precast concrete technology from the U.S. and Finland would be used for the construction of affordable houses in Chennai, and in Ranchi, the project would be implemented through the 3-D technology from Germany, he said.

In Agartala, the steel-frame technology would be used for constructing earthquake resistant houses and pre-constructed wall technology from Canada would be used in Lucknow. Other governments schemes would also be linked to these projects to provide facilities such as water supply, electricity and LPG connection to the beneficiaries.

Benefit for middle class

Mr. Modi said the middle class was today getting benefited by the relaxed home loan interest rates. The new Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) had provided protection to them. About 60,000 projects were registered and a large number of grievances had been addressed under the law.

A series of measures were also taken to promote the real estate sector, which had now been given the “infrastructure” status for easy availability of credit facilities. Taxes on affordable and regular houses had been reduced significantly to encourage buyers.

During the COVID-19 outbreak last year, another major initiative — the Central rental housing complex project — was conceived, with the objective of addressing the issues faced by migrant labourers. The project was being implemented in coordination with industrialists and other investors.

Excellence awards

The Prime Minister gave away annual awards for excellence in six categories for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-Urban). A total of 88 beneficiaries from across the country were felicitated. A compendium of 54 innovative housing construction technologies identified through GHTC-India was also released.

Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said that under the PMAY-Urban scheme, 1.09 crore houses had been sanctioned against the demand of 1.12 crore houses, 40 lakh houses handed over to beneficiaries, and 70 lakh more houses were under construction.

Five incubation centres, set up under the Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators-India initiative, were launched during the event for identifying innovative materials, processes and technology for resource efficient, disaster resilient and sustainable construction. A certificate course named “Navaritih” on innovative construction technologies was also introduced.

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