Monday, 29 April 2024 11:25

Houses for All – Claims and Reality

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“By the 75th year of India’s Independence – that is, by 2022 – all Indians will have houses of their own” - NarendraModi in 2014


As per a report published by the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN)in 2023,“A large section of the population in urban and rural India continues to live in inadequate housing without access to essential services; this includes over 40 lakh people living in complete homelessness and at least 7.5 crore people living in informal settlements without any house in urban areas.”

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY): Modi government renamed the old Indira Awas Yojana as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)with two parts, Gramin (rural) and Urban. Under PMAY, 40% of the money has to be paid by the state government.

The Modi government announced that all citizens will be provided with houses by 2022. But as targets remained distant, the scheme was extended up to 2024. However, up to March 2024, only 32 lakh houses have been completed in urban areas out of the adopted target of 1.12 crore. Around 60 lakh houses are in primary stages of construction. Though the target under the scheme was increased, the PMAY-Urban budget estimate for 2023-24 declined by 10% from 2022-23.

Of the 2.94 croretarget in rural areas, construction work has not started till nowfor 36 lakh houses. 

Highly Inadequate Allocation: The need for housing was assessed on the basis of housing deprivation data from the 2011 Socio-Economic & Caste Census. The situation has worsened since then. In 2018, urban housing shortage was 2.9 crore, 159 per cent higher than 2012 demand.

Considering homeless households, non-slum households living in inadequate houses and slum households, the estimated number of demand in 2020 works out to around 5 crore. It shows that around 50% per cent of urban people don’t have houses.

According to a survey conducted during 2016 to 2020, the total demand for residential housing among the low income group in the eight biggest cities of India was 19.8 lakh units. But the supply was only 25,000 units. This is the huge gap that exists between demand and supply of houses. The Modi government’s budget allocations are highly inadequate to meet this demand calling a bluff to his much propagated announcements.

Corruption: The Standing Committee on Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, 2021-22 highlighted the corruption and political considerations in allotment of houses under the programme.

Bad Quality: The per capita floor area for nearly half of the BPL houses is less than 60 square feet. Only 50% of households built for the economically weaker sections (EWS) during 2012-17are permanent structures. 20% of such EWS households have at least one married couple who do not have a separate room. People are compelled to take more loans and get indebted to make these houses liveable.

No Houses for Migrants: As per the Census, India had 45.6 crore migrants in 2011 (38% of the population). The plight of the migrant workers was exposed during the Covid lockdown. Most of them do not possess house sites registered in their names and hence are not eligible for the Awas Yojana. Thus more than one third of our populationis deprived of the right to have their ‘own homes’

The Modi Bulldozer Raaj: Eviction is the new-normal!

Our dream to have our own house has been shattered…when I came to the city I lived in a room on rent and when I got married, I moved to a rented place; I only wanted to give my children a roof over their heads before I died.

~ A woman whose self-built home was destroyed as part of the demolition drive in Tughlaqabad, New Delhi in April 2023

Data collected by Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) and its partner organisations reveals that between 2022 and 2023, the government has demolished over 1,53,820 homes, thereby forcefully evicting over 7,38,438 people from their homes, across rural and urban India.Evictions increased exponentially in the year 2023to reach the highest recorded figures over the last seven years. Over 1,07,449 houses were demolished and at least 5,15,752 people forcibly evicted in 2023. That is, at least 294 houses were destroyed daily and 58 people evicted every hour.

It is reported that more than 16.8 lakh people were evicted from their homes between 2017 and 2023. Nearly 1.7 crore people live under the severe threat of eviction and displacement.Majority of evictions (58.7%) were conducted under the pretext of 'slum' clearance, 'encroachment' removal, or 'city beautification' initiatives! Therecent demolition of house of Wakeel Hassan, the brave team leader of Rat Miners, who rescued the 41 workers trapped in Silkyara Tunnel. The HLRN report itself says that these alarming figures are very small estimates, the reality is much precarious.

The use of bulldozer to ‘punish’ has become the hall mark of BJP governments in several states. Such seemingly ‘punitive measures’, have been reported in Khargone (Madhya Pradesh), Prayagraj and Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Nuh (Haryana) and Jahangirpuri (Delhi). In 72% of instances, where information is available, the state failed to resettle or rehabilitate affected persons.

Modi Raj is Bulldozer Raj! It is demolition Raj, attacking the Right to Live with Dignity.

Use Your Vote! Defeat Modi led BJP! Fight for the Right to Housing

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