Urban Slum Setttlers
In an attempt to check the growing menace of slums in cities, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has recently inaugurated Rs. 2,400cr housing project in Chandigarh for slum dwellers announced the construction of over 15 lakh houses for the urban slum settlers involving an investment of Rs. 41,000cr.

Rapid increase in urban population would put immense pressure on urban infrastructure in next couple of years and urban population in the country was going to increase by 22cr in next 20 years as the pace of urbanization in India is going very fast. The building of big projects will give a new dimension to the country in its journey for becoming a developed nation.

The targeted amount will be invested under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme. The Centre has floated Rajiv Awaas Yojna scheme for making the country slum free. Under this scheme, the Centre will construct up 10 lakh houses for urban poor in next four years. The government is providing a loan of Rs 5 lakh to urban poor with interest subsidy of 5% on bank loan.

A Credit Risk Guarantee Fund of Rs 1000cr has also been set up for the purpose whereby urban poor will get collateral free bank loan for the houses. He said that a scheme to involve the private sector in creating housing facilities for the urban poor has already been started.

Under the scheme, private sector companies will be given financial support for the construction of houses for the weaker sections and those in the LIG categories, he added.