Mumbai, Feb 4 (IANS) Union Housing and Poverty Alleviation Minister Ajay Maken Monday said mega-cities like Mumbai needed to review their FSI (floor space index) policy in order to encourage affordable mass housing.
He said that around 50 percent of Mumbai population lives in slums and in Delhi, almost 84 percent of the homeless people are self-employed and contribute towards the economic growth.
"Since they live close to their workplaces and are an integral part of India's urbanisation story, irrespective of the location categories, we need to create affordable housing even in the premium locations of the mega-cities. It is required to bring these service providers nearer to the service consumers," Maken said.
"There is a need to review the FSI policy and make appropriate changes to boost affordable housing in Mumbai. The state is the responsible authority to do so and in our opinion, it should consider this option," Maken said.
Maken's comments came during an address at the international meet on 'Governance of Mega City Regions' organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Centre for Policy Research (CPR) here Monday afternoon.
Discussing the central initiatives in this regard, the minister said that a policy of giving 'infrastructure status' to such affordable mass housing schemes is on the anvil to improve the urban housing scenario.
He said it could be treated as a 'sub-sector' of the realty sector and this 'sub-sector' could be granted 'infrastructure status'.
Inaugurating the international conference, CII president Adi Godrej said that India has witnessed rapid urbanisation in the past couple of decades and this will increase over a period of time.
"India would need $800 billion in the coming years towards the urban development, out of which $350 billion would go towards building urban roads. Administrative reforms, urban service delivery reforms and many more such initiatives are the need of the hour," Godrej said.
CPR chairman K.C. Sivaramakrishnan said that urbanisation has become "a social, political and economic reality."
"Mega-cities contribute around 14 to 36 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product) to their respective states, and the urban centres have become very critical in deciding the political leadership at the state and central levels," Sivaramakrishnan said.