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PM Modi to hand over part of India’s largest low-cost housing project in Solapur soon

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MUMBAI: In the largest-ever affordable and low-cost housing project in the country, the government is in the process of delivering over 15,024 homes in Maharashtra’s Solapur district to beneficiaries from economically weaker section.

These homes are part of over 30,000 residential units being constructed by the state government’s housing body Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) with the central government’s assistance on a 100-acre land parcel.

The union government is supporting the project through Its flagship housing program the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) Urban.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the the city near Pune to give possession of these apartments to the beneficiaries including unorganised workers, textile workers, beedi workers, construction workers, ragpickers and garment workers.
“The biggest economically weaker section housing scheme is now in the final stages of being built at a place called RAY Nagar in Solapur. Prime Minister is coming next month to inaugurate it,” said Valsa Nair Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Housing Department, Maharashtra government.The housing body has already built over 15,000 houses, and has started construction work on additional 15,000 units. Each of these houses will be spread over 300 sq ft and people with annual income of less than Rs 3 lakh will be eligible beneficiaries, Nair Singh said at a NAREDCO conference.The government had launched the PMAY mission in June 2015 with an objective to provide housing for all. This flagship program has proved to be a major game changer in the housing sector.Under this scheme, the government provides central assistance to the implementing agencies through states and Union Territories (UTs) and Central Nodal Agencies (CNAs) for providing houses to all eligible families and beneficiaries.

Over the last few years, the government has been focusing on affordable housing as the urbanisation and growing economic activities have led to the challenges associated with affordable housing in urban areas. However, the government has made consistent efforts in the form of monetary allocations, housing programs and policies to overcome the challenges associated with housing for economically weaker sections.

Meanwhile, Nair said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to kick start the multi-thousand crore Dharavi redevelopment will be signed very soon. The agreement will pave the way for similar projects to be carried out across the state, where a cluster gets developed.

The state government is working on a Cluster based development, and every project will entail signing of cluster and development agreement, she said.

By the end of the year, we will be “talking about” at least ten such cluster projects by the end of the year, Singh said, adding that a similar approach is being taken for the redevelopment of Kamathipura, the financial capital’s red light district.

For the past month, according to her, the housing department is working on a housing policy which will help address the challenges posed by changes like a shift to working from home and climate change.

The new policy will push on affordable housing, push for “walking to work”, bettering work-life balance, make home smarter and having the best of technology inputs, she said.

It will also incentivise homes for specific categories like ones for senior citizens and students, Singh said, stressing that the country is set to age going forward and the senior citizens have to be treated with respect and dignity.

The policy – a draft of which will be posted in public domain – will also seek to address the issue of skilled manpower, she said.

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