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PM Narendra Modi failed to fulfil his promise to provide housing for all even to the poorest of the poor

About 10 lakh housing units are yet to be constructed in Maharashtra to achieve the target. Actual requirement for housing is more than what has been estimated under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)or the Housing for All scheme.


Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed to fulfil his promise to provide ‘Housing to All’ under his flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Launched in June 2015, the scheme aimed at providing 1.2 crore housing to the poor by the year 2022 when the country will be completing 75 years of its independence.  There is an approximately 99 % deficit of housing for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the country. 

This was alleged in a statement issued here on Monday by Bilal Khan of Kamgar Sanrakshan Sammaan Sangh and Shweta Damle of Habitat and Livelihood Welfare Association.

For the state of Maharashtra 16,345,53 houses were sanctioned under 1,556 projects. As of today, 61 % is yet to be achieved from the sanctioned numbers as projected on the PMAY website updated on 1st August 2022. As per this there is still a deficit of 9,99,948 houses. There are talks of extension of the scheme till 2024 however the past performance given no indication of the performance in the coming years. Moreover, of the 83,534 vacant housing notified under Affordable Rental Complexes from 13 states, announced in May 2021 as a relief measure for migrant workers. Maharashtra has notified 32,345 vacant houses but none of them have been floated. Migrant workers form a substantial chunk for EWS housing in every city.

Under-estimation of housing in Mumbai

The data requirement in the EWS and Low-Income Group (LIG) category is grossly under represented. It does not account for not notified slums, the homeless population and the ones that are evicted on a daily basis on one pretext or the other. Sighting an example for just one city, Mumbai – as per modest figures on population growth Mumbai slum population stands at 85 lakhs as in 2022 (considering the slum population to be 41% of the total population of 20,961,472) slum household figure stands at 17 lakhs. The figure of sanctioned houses for Maharashtra is deficient by a lakh for just one city, Mumbai. 

Moreover, there have been rampant evictions and more evictions awaiting post monsoon in the city. In the last month itself more than 500 households were demolished in Jogeshwari and Bandra. Every single day the figure increases by a few hundred. 

Mumbai houses a very large (more than 50,000) homeless population (people living under flyover/overbridge/footpaths), there has been addition to this population during Covid-19 as many new homeless households have got added. They are not counted as a population in need of housing. The shelters required to house them as per the Supreme Court directions falls short in all cities in India. 

Housing solutions to achieve ‘Housing for All’ target

Even if the government is able to construct the total sanctioned number of housing units under the PMAY scheme, it is possible that the poorest of the poor who are in need of the housing, will still remain homeless. This is due to the problem in how the policy is looking at the housing crisis. The PMAY needs to take into account the ground reality, understand the actual housing need and issues, define affordability then only it will be able fulfil its objective.

Following recommendations can be considered to address the housing crisis in the city as well in the country – (1). Recognise and upgrade the existing slum housing. (2). Implement the ‘Affordable Rental Housing Scheme’. (3). Complete and allocate the affordable housing unit in s time bound manner under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).


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