NEW DELHI: As cities and towns are struggling to meet the growing need of housing, government has a series of prescriptions for municipal bodies and development authorities to augment land supply for this purpose, particularly for affordable housing. It has also recommended that authorities simplify the process of sanctioning land use change once the master plans are notified.
The housing and poverty alleviation ministry last week told the authorities that if a particular patch of land falls under "residential zone" in the master plan then it should be treated as deemed permission for "non-agricutural" use.
Permissions relating to change of land use from agriculture to non-agriculture delays project take-off by up to one-and-a-half years and the cost escalation could be as high as 40%.
Considering the fact that about 95% of the housing shortage exists in the category of economically weaker sections (EWS) and low income groups (LIG), the ministry has suggested city managers to introduce a "mandatory reform". The ministry has suggested development authorities make it compulsory to reserve 10-15% of land in new layout plans for EWS and LIG housing and to convert land in fringe areas of cities into urban land. It also suggested that the authorities should relax density norms for affordable housing and allow floor space index (FSI) and transferable development rights (TDR).
Stressing that reforms will be key to urban development and finding solutions to civic chaos, urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu told municipal commissioners on Friday, "While addressing the issue of geographical spread, only the deserving will be assisted." He had also referred to sub-optimal performance in respect of promoting reforms, physical targets and resource mobilization under the urban renewal mission.
He had blamed weak urban governance structures, uninspiring leadership of both selected and elected urban managers, poor inventory management and resource base as the reasons behind the urban chaos across the country.