Of shel­ter and san­i­ta­tion

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - HT Es­tates Cor­re­spon­dent

Close on the heels of the gover nment iden­ti­fy­ing 305 cities and towns across nine states to build houses for the poor in ur­ban ar­eas this week, in­dus­try ex­perts de­lib­er­ated on ways and means to pro­vide af­ford­able shel­ter and san­i­ta­tion and called for Hous­ing for All by 2022 and Open Defe­ca­tion Free In­dia by 2019.

Un­der the Hous­ing for All by 2022 scheme, the gov­ern­ment has set the tar­get to pro­vide houses to about two crore f am­i­lies be­long­ing to the eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tion in ur­ban ar­eas by that year.

At the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the 5th Asia-Pa­cific Hous­ing Fo­rum this week, Bol­ly­wood ac­tor, Vivek Oberoi pledged his sup­port in build­ing one lakh san­i­ta­tion units in In­dia by 2016.

“Even to­day, both ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas in In­dia do not have enough san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties. Con­sis­tent ef­forts have been put in by so­cial play­ers to im­prove san­i­ta­tion, yet the need is still largely un­met,” Oberoi said, adding “ac­cess to san­i­ta­tion should be seen as a ba­sic hu­man right and treated as a bench­mark of so­ci­etal progress.”

Oberoi was re­cently made am­bas­sador for Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity’s cam­paign ti­tled Sen­si­tize to San­i­tize. Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity is an NGO that fa­cil­i­tates shel­ter and san­i­ta­tion in In­dia.

“The Hous­ing Fo­rum aims to stir the de­bate on re­gional poverty hous­ing and san­i­ta­tion in In­dia,” says Ra­jan Sa­muel, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity In­dia.“Through this fo­rum, we are reach­ing out to pol­i­cy­mak­ers and reg­u­la­tors who can bring about changes in public poli­cies that are linked to poverty hous­ing and san­i­ta­tion,” he says.

The bi­en­nial Asia- Pa­cific Hous­ing Fo­rum was also held si­mul­ta­ne­ously i n Manila, Philip­pines and Hong Kong.

Kul­want Singh, ad­vi­sor, Ur­ban Ba­sic Ser­vices ( Asia) (UN-HABI­TAT) said, “Un­der the Prad­han Mantri Awas Yo­jana, two crore houses will be built for the poor in ur­ban ar­eas by 2022. UN-Habi­tat has ex­tended its full sup­port to this cam­paign.”

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