INDIA’S URBAN HOUSING SCENARIO
According to a McKinsey report titled ‘Urban Awakening’ India fails to meet basic standards of quality living when judged by parameters such as available water supply, public transportation, open spaces, solid waste treatment, etc.
Rapid urbanisation has caused wide-spread environmental degradation in the country. Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy presented a study at Davos recently which stated that among 132 countries, India’s air quality is the world’s unhealthiest. India beat China, Nepal and Bangladesh.
India has failed to meet the housing needs of urban dwellers. In 2012, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA) stated that there is an under-supply of 18.78 million housing units in urban India, of which, nearly 95% affects the economically weaker sections (EWS) and low income group (LIG) of the urban population.
People who belong to the EWS and LIG sections have no access to formal housing finance. Several of them earn daily wages and live in slums. The 2011 Census stated that nearly 65.5 million people reside in slums in Indian cities (13.9 million households). Slums proliferate in almost all metropolitan cities in India.
As per 2011 Census, 70.6% of urban population is covered by individual water supply connections, compared with 91% in China, 86% in South Africa and 80% in Brazil. Duration of water supply in Indian cities ranges from one hour to six hours, com- pared to 24 hours in Brazil and China, and 22 hours in Vietnam.
There is a coping cost for inadequate infrastructure. For instance, due to inadequate supply of water, consumers often end up paying significantly more than the average price of water. In a MoUD (Ministry of Urban Development) study in 2010, none of the 483 cities studied had “healthy and clean” drinking water.
The MoUD study in 2010 stated that based on a sample of 87 cities, under business-as-usual circumstances, in 20 years, the expected average journey speeds would decrease from 17 to 26km/hr to 6 to 8km/hr.
Rapid population growth and urbanisation will also have a dramatic effect on our environment. In January 2014, the Yale Environmental Performance Index ranked India 174 out of 178 countries on air pollution.
According to India’s Central Pollution Control Board, in 2010, particulate matter in the air of 180 Indian cities was six times higher than World Health Organisation standards. More people die of asthma in India than anywhere else in the world.
A BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) report in 2012 said that air, noise and water pollution is at an all-time high in Mumbai.
By 2021, the urban population is expected to increase to nearly 500 million, totalling to about 35% of the population of India, and by 2017 , housing demandcould be 88.78 million units.