Tag Archives: Housing and Real Estate

Strengthening Financial Resources of Urban Local Bodies








Quote of the Day:

Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.

–Napoleon Hill

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Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) was launched during 1985-86 as a sub-scheme of Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) and continued as a sub-scheme of Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) since its launching from April, 1989. It has been delinked from the JRY and has been made an independent scheme with effect from January 1, 1996. 


The objective of IAY is primarily to provide grant for construction of houses to members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, freed bonded labourers and also to non-SC/ST rural poor below the poverty line.


The target group for houses under IAY will be people below poverty line living in rural areas belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, freed bonded labourers and non-SC/ST subject to the condition that the benefits to non-SC/ST should not exceed 40% of total IAY allocation during a financial year. From 1995-96, the IAY benefits have been extended to ex-servicemen, widows or next-ofkin of defence personnel and para military forces killed in action irrespective of the income criteria subject to the condition that (i) they reside in rural areas; (ii) they have not been covered under any other scheme of shelter rehabilitation; and (iii) they are houseless or in need of shelter or shelter upgradation. Priority be given to other ex-servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces as long as they fulfill the normal eligibility conditions of the Indira Awaas Yojana and have not been covered under any other shelter rehabilitation scheme. The priority in the matter of allotment of houses to the ex-servicemen and paramilitary forces and their dependents will be out of 40% of the houses set apart for allotment among the non-SC/ST categories of beneficiaries. 3% of the funds have been earmarked for the benefit of disabled persons below poverty line. This reservation of 3% under IAY for disabled persons below the poverty line would be horizontal reservation i.e., disabled persons belonging to sections like SCs, STs and Others would fall in their respective categories.


District Rural Development Agencies DRDAs) / Zilla Parishads on the basis of allocations made and targets fixed shall decide Panchayat-wise number of houses to be constructed under IAY, during a particular financial year and intimate the same to the Gram Panchayat. Thereafter, the Gram Sabha will select the beneficiaries restricting its number to the target allotted, from the list of eligible households, according to IAY guidelines and as per priorities fixed. No approval of the Panchayat Samiti will be required. The Panchayat Samiti should however, be sent a list of selected beneficiaries for their information. This amendment in the IAY guidelines shall come into force with effect from 1-4-1998. 


The order of priority for selection of beneficiaries amongst target group below poverty line is

as follows:

(i) Freed bonded labourers

(ii) SC/ST households who are victims of atrocities

(iii) SC/ST households, headed by widows and unmarried women.

(iv) SC/ST households affected by flood, fire, earthquake, cyclone and similar

natural calamities.

(v) Other SC/ST households.

(vi) Non- SC/ST households.

(vii) Physically handicapped.

(viii) Families/widows of personnel of defence services / para-military forces, killed

in action.

(ix) Displaced persons on account of developmental projects, nomadic seminomadic

and de-notified tribals, families with disabled members and internal

refugees, subject to the households being below poverty line.




(Rs. In Crores)    

Number of

houses built





















































Under IAY, during 2005-06, 15.52 lakh houses were constructed against a target of 14.41 lakh houses and during 2006-07, against the target of 15.33 lakh houses, 14.98 lakh houses were constructed. In the financial year 2007-08, 19.92 lakh houses were constructed against the target of 21.27 lakh houses. Again for 2008-09, 18.04 houses have been constructed as on date. Thus over last four years 68.46 lakh houses have been constructed which is more than the target set under Bharat Nirman.

Problems of Slum in India…

The condition of slum is not unknown to anybody. The problem lies in the implementation of plan and policies for eradication and improvement of the slum. The problem of slum is not going to end until and unless we are able to provide the requisite number of houses for the increasing population and meeting the housing demand of of the floating population and the migrants to the big urban centres. The large backlogs of the affordable housing and housing for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Group(LIG) negates all the efforts of the Central and State government policies and efforts of the urban local bodies to the extent that such programmes seems to be of no use. The pace of supply of housing in general is not upto mark and fails to meet the demand whatever may be the categories of income groups. This causes usurpation of even EWS and LIG housing by the upper income strata. You go to any of the EWS or LIG colonies of Delhi and you will be amazed to find the number of cars. Why I am saying to look at the number of cars as I think that that is a good indicator to show the income level of people.

Planners and policy makers can only initiate the process of eradication of slums and making cities and towns slum free. If you look at the factual data of various slum improvement and slum eradication programmes you will find that in the name of making cities slum free they are just making plans and schemes to delineate the location of slums in the towns and cities. The slum free plan is just a new way of making mockery of the ground realities. There are many plans and schemes already made and wrapped in the papers of reports and maps. The politics of planning is one of the reason why the problem of the slum in India is still the grim and in near future it will torment the mind and thinking of planners and policy makers of India.

We must be optimistic and hope for the better future for all but at the same that we must keep our base of thinking and vision on the ground of realities. Development of all regions of the nation must be made more balanced and the fruits of prosperity should be distributed among all rural and urban centres so that the migration is minimized. Economic development and planning must go hand in hand for better result.

Unauthorised and Unregularised Colonies

The regularization of Unauthorised colonies has become a vote bank strategy for the political parties but my concern is that why so many new unauthorized colonies are cropping up, isn’t it the failure of planning and development monitoring at city level. My opinion to solve such issues lies in making plan approval and service delivery speedier than it is today. In this age of advance satellite technology and GIS technology development and urban sprawl can be easily monitored and checked. I don’t know the exact data but can say from recent news and discussions that DDA has notified  a large chunk of land for development in Delhi and whether for profit making or lack of resources DDA has been unable to provide developed land at the required pace of development taking place in Delhi and NCR. I can’t suggest drastic measures like denotifying all such land suitable for development but I would rather like DDA and MCD to work out some plan for engaging the private developers for developing the existing land before they get developed by the people the way they like and mess up the whole fabric of Delhi which has many heritages to boast of and most rapid growing urban centre in the world. Sometimes action taken in haste goes waste but inaction lead to reaction which is evident in the mushrooming of unauthorised colonies in Delhi or better say the NCR.

All human settlements whether urban or rural have a major chunk of land use as residential. Land Use Planning, a planning technique tries to create a balance between different land uses and conflicting land uses. Unauthorised and unregularised colonies constitute a reasonable part of residential land use which must be dealt with to improve the overall condition of an area. Read more about Land use planning in India

Mall Culture in Delhi-NCR

Mall Culture in Delhi-NCR

Mall Culture in Delhi-NCR

With the upbeat of malls in the market these days, generation next has found a new excuse to hangout. This increase in the so called, mall culture to our country about a decade ago and since then the capital has no corner left for any more malls. This also has fascinated as well as invited the architects to participate in the hullabaloo, and rightly so, as there are so many functions associated with it.

Overall all these malls have no relationship with the environment outside as they work on the principal with creating a micro-climate inside those gigantic boxes of steel and concrete. We hardly get to see the treatment given to the exterior of these malls as compared to the interiors. But still very little but pleasantly these portions of buildings are given a little thought as they really do attract the masses.

The `metropolitan mall’ at Gurgaon near Delhi. The external façade of this mall is totally covered with huge glow-sign boards of various products. This is just a part of their strategy to attract the consumers through these medium. Also, various kinds of lighting fixtures along the pavement to compliment the building. Although the building is quite transparent as far as the visual connection from the road is concerned as there are no boundary walls present. Still the low height foliage and the pavement separated it from the road. Also, there is no segregation of pedestrian and vehicular pathways.Only, locally available Delhi quartzite stone are laid in a radial pattern.




In Delhi, the technological, economic, socio-cultural and post-industrial consumption has transformed the city almost as much as industrial production did .While a huge retail demand still exists for commercial space of yesteryears, there is a huge call for modern serviced facilities, especially in the new sub-urban areas, such as Noida, Gurgaon, Rohini, etc. In the view of the above, morphogenesis architecture studios, entrusted with the design of the first large format shopping mall in northern India.

clip_image004 In the words of architect, “…..It was very important to design it as a family destination point. Enough value addition had to be done for it to offer more than addition had to be done for it to offer more than existing in terms of retail design and entertainment.


clip_image006clip_image008 While it was functional necessity to design a hermetically sealed box, Morphogenesis also did not wish to establish the typical American Typology, American Malls are almost mini cities. As the 450,000 sq ft hermitically sealed is not designed as short term, pedestrian access space automatically subverts the high street design where retail space overlaps a transition space, it automatically subverts the high streets.

To introduce complexity two strategies are employed, one was creating a system of programmatic overlapping and intersection versus typical clusters resulting out of bubble diagram architecture. Second was designing a mall which was just not the stack of shops fitted in the building, but more like an enclosed Indian street system .It was seen as a space where in a climate of retail strategy, along with methodological creation of ideal, a setting of opportunistic exploitation of fluke accident and transformation must be credited -The hang out space.




4.5 Parking

 It has now been established that the real challenge for the designer lies in handling the two most important ingredients of a marketplace – the shopper and the vehicle. The movement of both can be cannot be separated or mixed before solving the aspect of parking.

With the people came their automobiles. As the area was not designed to handle such a large number of shoppers, the problem of providing space to these vehicles arose. This problem has not been solved till date. Parking is one of the significant factors that deter shoppers from going to main markets and favors suburban shopping places. Another aspect is the level of interaction of people in the market.

Parking space needs to be as close as possible to the pavement on the main approach road otherwise people tend to park elsewhere leaving the parking vacant.. Provision of adequate parking space is another is another important issue otherwise people tend to park haphazardly in any space, thus, making the environment chaotic. E.g. Lajpat Nagar An excellent example of a well designed hierarchy of pedestrian and parking is Shoppers Stop where the shopping complex, pedestrian street & parking form separate zones and the main road is beyond all these thus isolating the shopper from the road traffic.

A very common flaw in design is to be greeted by a sea of cars. Further, in a country like India any amount of parking space will fall short in a period of time so it is very important to improve and encourage public transport to the shopping centres.

Regulation of Real Estate Develoment in India

Indian towns and cities are witnessing unprecedented urban growth and to a large extent the real estate development taking place in the peripheral and suburban areas are contributing to the efforts of the development authorities and urban local bodies. But have you ever thought whether the large scale residential and commercial development under the umbrella of real estate development is properly and timely regulated through the various development controls and norms prepared by the urban local bodies. There are many towns in India where there is no such regulatory and guiding document like master plan for such purposes and hence arises the need for having a comprehensive national real estate development control and regulation.

This can be entrusted to the ministry of urban development of the Government of India and various states who are capable enough to devise such comprehensive document to guide the real estate development. Devising a comprehensive guiding and regulatory document is not enough but there is a need for capable urban and rural local bodies who are empowered to act in the matters of urban development taking place in areas under their jurisdiction.

It has been often in news that many developers do not provide the services as mentioned in the document alluding the purchasers. Thus, there is need for such a monitoring and regulatory bodies in each state and their subordinate offices in the urban local bodies.

The real estate development should be channelised in such a way that they contribute to a healthy growth and development of the urban fabric. And this can be done by proper and timely regulation like compulsory development charges to the Urban Local Bodies for extension and augmentation of the social and physical infrastructure.

Signal for Regularisation of Unauthorised Colonies in Delhi

The recent announcement by the Chief Minister for regulariation of 917 unauthorised colonies of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is a serious blow to the planning and development control prevailing in the capital. This will have serious impacts on the working of the Delhi Development Authorities and other Urban Local Bodies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi which are engaged in ensuring planned

development of Delhi.

Delhi is fortunate enough to have a series of Master Plan to guide and control the development of the city. But it is also evident that the local bodies has grossly failed in controllling the unauthorised development in the notified areas lying on the fringes of the city.

The alarming number of the unauthorised colonies is a clear indication of the failure of development controlling and monitoring authorities.

The planning and development agencies failed to predict the inflow of the people in the national capital and failed to prepare itself for providing the housing in a planned way which resulted in the mushrooming of so many unauthorised and unregularised colonies. There are many ghost colonies in the capital which have got sactioned.

The time has come to respond to the need for regularising them but not in the manner as suggested by Chief Minister but in a more regulated and phased manner. This can be done through charging development charged from the residents of the ‘to be regularised colonies’ and also keeping in view the minimum requrement of proper land records and legal documents.

These unauthorised colonies grossly lack many social and physical infrastructure for healthy living conditions. Indiscriminated regularisation will lead to sluming of whole town as new unauthorised colonies will find a safer way out of the planning and development controls of the developing agencies.

Politicians should sit with policy planners and urban planners and decide the right course of action and avoid playing politics of vote bank and endengering the planning and development of the city. The planners can help in sorting out deficiency of social infrastructure through planning measures like cross subsidisation of the development and FAR accomodation to use the vacant plots for developing social infrastructures for the residents.

Jai Hind..!

Shashikant Nishant Sharma