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Assocham moots focus on affordable housing

Industry body Assocham has mooted the coming together of the government and realty players to tackle the demand for an estimated 47.43 million low-cost homes in rural areas by 2012.

Citing the growing gap between supply and demand, Assocham president Sajjan Jindal has also voiced the need for restructuring the Indira Awaas Yojana scheme under the aegis of the Bharat Nirman programme. He further added that there was a strong need for the private sector to pitch in with the right technology to ensure timely completion of such projects.  
 
According to data from the Ministry of Rural Development, approximately 171 lakh homes have been constructed at a cost of Rs1,89,898.56 crore since the inception of the scheme. However most of the homes remain abandoned in view of serious problems like land availability, forest department clearances, lack of basic amenities and a delay in the release of funds. 

Among the states which face the maximum shortage of houses in rural areas are Bihar (4.21 million), Assam (2.24 million), Andhra Pradesh (1.35 million) and Uttar Pradesh (1.32 million), the study said. According to Assocham, while the government was able to achieve 99% of the construction target in the hinterland between 2000-2007, the achievement rate fell to 51 per cent in 2007-08. The body further added that beneficiaries to the scheme were often not selected in a fair manner and the practise lacked the required transparency at the ground level.
 

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