In its unfailing quest to provide housing for all especially in the rural heartland of the country, the government is all set to revamp its 30-year old rural housing scheme by re-launching it with a target to build 3.2cr "pucca" houses for the downtrodden in the next eight years. For the ambitious scheme it has targeted to invest a staggering sum worth Rs. 27,300cr per annum and the scheme is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of housing with water, electricity and toilets for all Indians by 2022. In this connection, the rural development ministry is busy in giving new identity to its flagship program by launching it as National Gramin Awaas Mission or Gram with an annual target of 25 lakh houses by investing the targeted funds. The key proposals include doubling the per unit assistance to Rs 150,000 in plains and a little more in hilly or difficult areas with toilet being an integral part of the house and enhancing the area of each unit to 30 square meters from 20 sqm currently, said official sources.
They added that though construction of toilets has been mandatory since April 2013, barely 38% houses reported construction of toilets in the last fiscal because of insufficient funds and lack of coordination while provision for water and electricity, through convergence, is still optional. In view of the new finding of the ministry, it has proposed to set up Gram in the form of an autonomous registered society to implement and monitor the scheme at the national levels. While at the state level, it could be monitored by empowered project approval and management committee with members from related ministries to ensure convergence. This will also help in mobilizing additional resources for the scheme as the institutional finances can be leveraged through existing institutions like HUDCO and NHB.