Affordable housing remains a dream for many in PUNE

Published: 17th April 2012
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One can't deny the fact that Pune is among the fastest growing cities in India. Over last few years the educated class and business people have made Pune their home. This is mainly due to the growth of education centers, manufacturing units, the Information Technology boom and the spurt in BPOs which have vastly opened up career opportunities for people in Pune. The escalation of population has led to a direct growth of the realty sector and property prices of the once pensioner's paradise have rocketed.
Close to the heels of the educated class of job seekers and businessmen came the worker class the migrants from the state and the rest of India. These people came looking for small time job and began to work at construction sites, as drivers, as cook... and the list is endless. Despite the fact is that they worked night and day to make other's lives easier, they did not have much of a choice for accommodation. The civic body remained mute on the subject.
Urban growth is an inevitable development and many perceive it as a stepping stone to prosperity thus boosting economic growth. However fall outs of this very development are poverty, unemployment, lack of housing and sanitation.

There are people forming a big chunk of the populace in Pune who do not want to live in slums, but cannot afford luxury residential property in Pune. The question posed to the PMC (Pune Municipal Corporation) remains where should these people go?

The Pune city has notched up some thought-provoking numbers in the last few years. Urbanization in Pune district is among the highest in the state with over 57.39 Lakh city-dwellers, the newly released provisional Census 2011 data shows.

A recent study on housing conducted by NGO Mashal for the PMC has highlighted the lack of affordable property in Pune. It says there is a shortfall of 2.5 to 3 Lakh affordable housing units which is likely to double in the next few years, considering the rate of migration. According to experts, ongoing efforts on housing for the economically weaker sections are piecemeal and a comprehensive policy is needed, if anything is to be achieved.
The most stark and visible sign of the severe shortage of affordable housing that afflicts Pune and other fast-growing cities across India, is the incessant growth in the number of slums. The housing stock periodically created over the years, by both the public and private sectors, under labels like Economically Weaker Section (EWS) or Low Income Group (LIG) have proved to be grossly inadequate to provide for the growing squatter settlements and slums in urban areas. The PMC remains unmoved.
According to the PMC and Mashal survey, affordable housing remains a distant dream for many in the city even though a sizable 18% vacancy exists in the housing sector. The PMC General Body in the last five years, hardly discussed and framed policies for affordable housing. City builders want that affordable residential property housing schemes should be introduced by the PMC, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and the Housing Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
In year 2008, the PMC has made a feeble effort to promote construction of affordable housing in Pune. Civic body decided to reduce the premium charges incurred from developers. In 2009 the state was declared as the year of 'housing for the common man'. The PMC has aped the effort and announced it would focus its attention on providing an affordable residential property housing. But yet again, the idea was limited to plan and its implementation never became reality.

In Pune now a days people are demanding for luxurious houses but there was a lack of supply. Today, as city builders who give the best of quality with transparency in dealings have brigdged that gap with providing them with luxurious houses and give you the best specifications, world class amenities but a-la carte homes are not much in trend but they have to work on such kind of options as it will attract customers as it gives them option of designing their flats as per their requirements.
The skyline of Pune saw a phenomenal change when buildings touched the 100 meter mark. People do not mind paying an extra amount in order to get flat on the top storey and for good infrastructure like healthcare facilities, roads, schools in the vicinity and so on. Most of thye upmarket customers prefer to have their interiors designed personally. In short if the Pune people get a value for money residential property then budget is not much of a constraint.

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