Odisha launches urban housing project

ABAAS -- the Odisha Urban Housing Mission – that envisages at providing all residents of urban areas access to range of housing options in the State was launched here on Sunday.

The mission will supplement the central scheme Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) that proposes to make houses available to all urban poor. For its part, the State government will contribute land free of cost and grant permission at no cost as well as on war footing.

Of total cost of Rs.6.5 lakh to Rs.7 lakh to be spent for construction of every housing unit, Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1.5 lakh will be availed from PMAY, the beneficiary will contribute up to Rs.1.5 lakh and the rest will come from the State government’s coffer. Further, housing stock for economically weaker section (EWS) people will be created through cross subsidisation in big projects to be developed by private developers.

The State government is looking at creating one lakh dwelling units for urban poor in different cities and towns of Odisha over next five years. To start with, 10,000 houses for EWS and Low Income Groups will be constructed in Bhubaneswar. It is expected that construction of houses will be quicker this time around as the government has decided to use pre-cast and pre-fabrication technology under the mission.

Launching the scheme, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “ABAAS Mission will also serve to fulfil the promise of protection and welfare of slum dwellers by providing affordable houses along with basic amenities such as piped water supply, electricity, concrete roads, drainage and community centres.”

“The State government has also decided to provide land free of cost for the purpose of construction of houses for EWS, LIG and slum dwellers to make the houses affordable to them,” Mr. Patnaik informed.

To ensure time-bound construction of large number of housing projects in various urban areas, a dedicated Mission Directorate for implementation of this policy will be set up by the government.

According to Policy for Housing for All in Urban Areas, Odisha-2015, in 2007, a housing shortfall of about 1.50 lakh units were estimated in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack region alone. A recent State-wide estimate by the technical group on urban housing shortage states that there is a shortfall of about 4.10 lakh housing units in Odisha. It is further estimated that approximately 3.60 lakh affordable dwelling units would have to be added in Bhubaneswar-Cuttack region, exclusively, to accommodate the growth during next 10 years.

The police admitted that no house for EWS and LIG category people has been constructed in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in last 10 years.