Minimising the housing divide (The
Mains Paper 1: Society
Prelims level: Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas
Mains level: Status of Housing in rural areas
- Housing in rural areas has consistently suffered from various factors.
Status of Housing in rural areas:
- Shortages in the supply of housing and a lack of redevelopment of
collapsible or dilapidated units.
- Dilapidated (in a state of disrepair or ruin as a result of age or
neglect) units have contributed towards a high level of housing amenities
deprivation, especially because they cannot safely be connected with
electricity or solar energy, latrines, and drinking water, owing to
associated structural risks.
- Lack of meaningful market interventions, including supply of developed
land and financing for housing.
- Due to incompatibilities in supply and demand, millions of Indians dwell
in unsecured housing.
- This doesn’t mean that India never pursued effective poverty alleviation
measures, but that the interventions it carried out have hardly worked in
minimising urban-rural divides.
- If India is to have a real chance to minimize the housing development
divide, it requires an integrated housing development strategy for the rural
context, to be implemented in “mission mode”. Such a mission should have,
- A definite time frame.
- Accountability in terms of implementing such a mission agenda on a
continuous basis, with social audits at multiple levels of governance.
- Realistic resource allocation is required given the cost of
redevelopment and new housing units besides other development costs of
drinking water supply, household latrines, energy, and drainage
- Penetration of the market, including the cooperative sector for the
supply of critical inputs such as land and finances, is the need of the
- Public-private-partnership projects should be encouraged on public or
government owned lands, with fiscal and other incentives.
- Land owners should be encouraged to develop incentive-based affordable
- The people facing housing poverty must be made partners with whom micro
finance and self-help groups could be tied in.
- Menial occupation workers and low income earners being the most
affected, development interventions must focus on rural and urban areas with
due consideration for new construction and redevelopment of existing,
- Former President APJ Abdul Kalam had proposed the concept of Provision
of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA), which is a framework to mitigate
the country’s socioeconomic problems and create a common development
platform for rural and urban areas.
- The objective of this goes beyond the mere creation of economic
infrastructure and employment opportunities in rural areas which includes
social infrastructure also.
- To further this paradigm, access to good housing, including housing
amenities, should become a priority.
Q1. With reference to the Kolkata port trust, consider the following
1. The Port of Kolkata is a riverine port.
2. It is the oldest operating port in India, and was constructed by the British
East India Company.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. All the above
Q1. India requires an integrated housing development strategy for the
rural context. Comment.