The government is on track to provide housing for all by 2020, said housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri in an interview with CNBC-TV18's Sanjay Suri in London. He added that 50 of the targeted smart cities will be ready by December.
“We have to build 10 million homes by 2022 for the poorer section of our society; economically weaker section, lower income groups etc.,” said Puri.
“As of last month out of the 10 million to be granted, we have already sanctioned 9.1 million and out of which 3 million have been handed over; about 6 million have been grounded and we are using technology today; if you ground a home here, in 18 months it's ready,” he added.
Talking about the government's initiative to provide housing for all by 2022, Puri said that construction is well ahead of schedule and on track to reach the target before the stipulated time. “Three years before that, I am making a different point, not only will that be in 2022, I am saying that well before 2022 you will have this target completed.”
On smart cities, one of the initiatives of the Narendra Modi government, he said: “I would advise to understand the challenge in India. When in the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] manifesto we announced in 2014 that we will build 100 new smart cities, when we got down to the task, it’s a bottoms up process which comes through a process of citizenship consultation.
"We discovered that the existing cities were in such a mess that we needed to first deal with them. So in the competition 90 of the cities which won inclusion were brownfield cities.
“A brownfield city is where you can do area based development like in New Delhi is part of Delhi — that is becoming a smart city. Ten of them are green field where you can build an entirely new city using conceptology from science fiction.”
Puri added that 50 of the targeted 100 smart cities will be ready by December this year.