Union Minister for Housing Ajay Maken stressed on the need to revise the floor surface index and land use norms in large cities, which do not have adequate open land for housing needs.
He pointed that the centre cannot give any directive to the state governments in the matter of FSI and land use norms, but in the New Delhi master plan, which is under the centre’s purview, a number of FSI relaxations have been provided for low cost housing.
He remarked that low cost housing for slum dwellers in large cities is not possible without revision of these norms. He said this while addressing a Confederation of Indian Industry workshop on governance of megacity regions.
He said that on one hand urban poor, who are major service providers, don’t have proper houses, while on the other, houses of the High Income Group (HIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG) are lying vacant.
He stressed on the need to rehabilitate slum dwellers in low cost housing schemes in the same areas. He also criticised the existing polices as being more in favour of HIG and MIG housing colonies.
He said Indian policy makers took a long time to understand the challenges thrown up by urbanisation. In the early years after independence, the thrust of the planners was to stop the people from coming to the cities. It took two decades to understand that urbanisation was inevitable and it took even longer to realise that it is desirable.