Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is the nodal ministry in charge of various aspects of urban development including urban water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, housing and slum development. It is also the apex agency for administration of Real Estate Regulatory Authority Act 2016. The ministry was created in 2017 by merging the erstwhile Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and Ministry of Urban Poverty Alleviation.
Urban development, water supply and sanitation are state subjects. The central government provides guidance, expertise and financial resources to the states for development and implementation of their respective policies on these matters.
Associated Organisations of MoHUA
CPWD – Central Public Works Department, an attached office of the MoHUA, is a pan-India comprehensive construction management department that provides services from project conception to completion, consultancy and post-construction maintenance. It first came into existence in 1854 when Lord Dalhousie established a central agency for execution of public works, and since then it has undertaken construction of many projects, including complex projects in difficult terrain.
CPHEEO – Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation is the technical wing of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and advises/deals with matters related to urban water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management in the country. It provides technical assistance and guidance to the state governments for their policies and strategies on ‘water supply and sanitation’ (a subject in state list).
Public Sector Undertakings:
- NBCC – National Buildings Construction Corporation.
- HUDCO – Housing and Urban Development Corporation – HUDCO works with the objective of facilitating housing and infrastructure development through its financing operations, with special thrust on meeting the housing needs of the economically weaker sections (EWS) and low income groups (LIG). It finances and plays a key role in various housing and slum development schemes of the government.
- HPL – Hindustan Prefab Limited – It started in 1948 as Hindustan Housing Factory and was tasked with providing prefab houses to the people who were displaced from Pakistan during the partition.
National Urban Policy Framework 2018
National Urban Policy Framework (NUPF) outlines an integrated and coherent approach towards the future of urban planning in India. It takes urban planning as an opportunity rather than a challenge for sustainable development. Its Draft version has been prepared and the government has invited online comments/suggestions on the draft framework document on its website by May 31st 2019.
The key focus areas of the NUPF are:
- Inclusive growth and promotion of social justice.
- Housing and infrastructure finance system – self financing of cities.
- Robust urban information system – traffic, transportation, sanitation, air quality, etc.
- Other areas:
- Cooperative federalism (as urban development is a state subject). Empowering local-level institutions.
- Agglomeration economies (utilising production potential of dense cities).
- Harnessing rural-urban continuum (for different types of industries are suited to different areas) ,
- Sustainability (environment, green mobility).
The NUPF stands on ten sutras or guiding principles:
- Cities are clusters of human capital. This capital can fuel growth efficiently if well skilled and provided with quality work opportunities.
- Cities require a ‘sense of place’. Cities should not be just modern concrete jungles. Their heritage and culture should reflect in their planning and outlook.
- Not static Master Plans but evolving ecosystems.
- Build for density. To minimise conversion of agricultural land for infrastructure purposes and in our pursuit of environmental sustainability, cities need to be build for density. Dense cities usually have less per capita environmental impact due to their cheaper costs of transportation and other public amenities.
- Public spaces that encourage social interactions.
- Multi-modal public transport backbone.
- Environmental sustainability.
- Financially self-reliant.
- Cities require clear unified leadership.
- Cities as engines of regional growth.
Schemes and Initiatives of the MoHUA:
HRIDAY – Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana – aims to preserve the heritage character of each recognised heritage city by bringing together urban planning, economic development, and heritage conservation in an inclusive manner.
AMRUT – Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation is a scheme for creating robust sewerage networks and water supply networks by implementing urban revival projects, especially in the old city centres with overburdened and clogged infrastructure. It subsumed the erstwhile JNNURM.
PMAY(U) – PM Awas Yojana – Housing for all (Urban). PMAY(U) aims at providing housing for all by 2022. It has four components:
- In-situ rehabilitation of slum dwellers using land as a resource through private participation.
- Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme that provides subsidy on loans taken for purchasing a house.
- Affordable housing in partnership with urban local bodies and other organisations.
- Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.
More initiatives at a glance:
- National Urban Housing Fund (NUHF), a 60,000 crore rupees fund, has been set up and situated in the the Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council under the MoHUA.
- Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)
- National City Rating (Swachchh Sarvekshan) – a smart 7 star rating initiative for ranking cities. City rankings foster competition and serve as a yardstick of measuring relative progress.
- Liveability index of Indian cities on the lines of The Economist’s Global Liveability Ranking.
- 2019: Technology Challenge launched by MoHUA for identifying solutions for cleaning of Sewerage Systems and Septic Tanks. The move is a step towards reducing the social evil of manual scavenging and associated deaths of manual scavengers due to poisonous gases they are exposed to while working in severages.
The government has granted infrastructure status to Affordable Housing, enabling the sector to access easier financing from development banks such as National Housing Bank (NHB).
Housing Price Index is published by National Housing Bank (NHB). The index tracks the movement in prices of residential properties on a quarterly basis.
Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) is a report published by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy , a Bengaluru based NGO. It is India’s only independent benchmarking of cities using a systematic framework.
Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Development 2016 was held in New Delhi. It highlighted an Urban Plus Approach, that emphasises on planning urban and its peri-urban and rural areas in an integrated manner, for sustainable expansion.