Aim is provide shelter to all at affordable prices
BANGALORE: The Union Government will come out with a new policy for urban housing, with focus on the twin problems of providing shelter to all at affordable prices and improve the standard of living of the urban poor, H.S. Anand, Secretary, Housing and Poverty Alleviation, said here on Wednesday.
Delivering the keynote address at the international workshop on `Emerging Trends in Cost-effective Housing Technologies' organised by Urban Development Ministry, the Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council and United Nations Industrial, Development Organisation (UNIDO) here, he said that more than 24 million people living in urban areas were facing housing shortage at the end of 10th Plan and the number was growing. Dr. Anand said providing shelter to the urban population posed a phenomenal challenge, and the need was to develop eco-friendly habitat, promote low-cost building and energy-saving technologies.
Developing countries were dogged by problems like sustainable livelihoods and urban migration, apart from preserving the environment. Agro-industrial wastes and their management through proper utilisation remained a difficult target to achieve.
He said in view of this, it was heartening to seen initiatives such as this workshop to highlight energy efficient and environment friendly technologies which convert waste into value-added composite materials for cost-effective housing, but generate employment as well.
The new and innovative technologies also play a major role by saving the valuable natural resources which were being used extensively for production of traditional building materials over the years.
The proposed new policy would accommodate these technologies, and address the problem of low productivity in the housing industry which contributed over five per cent to the national GDP.
Dr. Anand said over 61 million people were living in urban slums while another 20 million were without shelter.
He said many countries had shown keen interest in getting the innovative technologies jointly developed by BMTPC and UNIDO.
Joint Secretary (Housing) S.K. Singh said the workshop, being attended by delegates from countries like Bhutan, China, Nepal, Maldives, United Kingdom and Russia besides India, was intended to provide a platform for discussions on emerging trends in housing technologies. It also provided a chance to the participants from the Asia-African region to discuss about the emerging building materials and opportunities for adoption of these products and technologies in their respective countries, he said.
BMTPC Executive Director R.K. Celly in his address said BMTPC, as a multi-disciplinary interface organisation, was striving to put in place mechanisms for sustainable, disaster resistant housing concepts through innovations in materials and technologies.
The BMTPC, through one of the latest initiatives of BMTPC like Green Habitat, aimed at major policy support for encouraging green construction in housing and habitat sectors, he added.