3rd Five Year Plan
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Chapter 33:
HOUSING AND URBAN AND RURAL PLANNING

The housing programme which had its beginning in the First Five Year Plan was directed mainly towards housing for industrial workers ynd low income groups. The programme was considerably expanded during the Second Five Year Plan with the introduction of schemes of slum clearance and slum improvement, plantation labour housing, village housing and land acquisition and development. The Table below shows the anticipated expenditure in the Second Plan:

Table 1 Anticipated expenditure in the Second Plan
(Rs. crores)

scheme anticipated expenditure
subsidised industrial housing 24-2
slum clearance 9.9
low income group housing 37-8
village housing 3-7
plantation labour housing 0-1
middle income-group housing in Union Territories 0.3
state housing schemes 1-2
land acquisition and development 2-0
town planning 1-1
total 81-3

2. Besides (he housing schemes mentioned above, a few other specific schemes designed to benefit sections of the community like scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes in rural areas, handloom weavers, displaced persons etc., were undertaken. The housing programme for workers in the coal and mica industries was implemented with resources provided by the labour welfare funds for these industries. During the Second Plan the Life Insurance Corporation began to provide funds for house building to middle income groups and to State Governments for undertaking rental housing for their low paid employees. Housing on a considerable scale was also undertaken by the Central Government Departments and public enterprises for their employees. The total outlay on public housing during the Second Plan was of the order of Rs. 250 crores and about 500,000 houses were constructed.

3. Although efforts on an increasing scale have been made in housing during the First and Second Plans, the problem of catching up with the arrears of housing and with the growth of population will continue to present serious difficulty for many years to come. Between 1951 and 1961 there was an increase in population of nearly 40 per cent in towns with a population of 20,000 or more. It was reckoned in the Second Plan that the shortage of houses in urban areas might increase by 1961 to about 5 million as comaared to 2.5 million houses in 1951.

4. The growth of population and, in particular, of the urban population suggest:, at Ieast three genera], considerations in relation to the directions in which housing programmes should be developed during the Third and subsequent Five Year Plans. Firstly, housing policies need to be set in the larger context of economic development and industrialisation, both large-scale and the problems likely to emerge over the next decade or two. Proposals relating to location and dispersal of industries will; therefore, be of increasing importance in the solution of the housing problem. In the second place, it is necessary to coordinate more closely the efforts of all the agencies concerned, whether public, cooperative or private. The need to undertake the preparation of master plans for urban areas becomes all the greater, for without these plans there is no means of bringing together and maximising the contribution of different agencies towards well-defined common objectives pursued systematically over a long period. In the third place, conditions have to be created in which the entire programme of housing construction, both public and private, must be so oriented that it serves specially the requirements of the low income groups within the community. In working out the housing programmes for the Third Plan an attempt has been made to bear these consideration? in mind.

5. The housing schemes, which have been operating in recent years, namely, those relating to subsidised industrial housing, low income group housing, slum clearance, plantation labour housing, land acquisition and development and village housing will be continued and expanded in the Third Plan. There will be special emphasis on land acquisition and development as this is basic to the success of all housing programmes. New programmes for housing economically weaker sections of the community, dock labour and pavement dwellers will also be taken up. Concerted efforts will be made to prepare master plans and regional development plans of metropolitan and industrial cities and resource regions. Provision has also been made in the Third Plan for undertaking experimental housing and research in bui'ding techniques and for collecting housing statistics, the absence of which has been a great handicap in the past.

OUTLAY AND TARGETS

6. For housing and urban development programmes, the Third Five Year Plan provides Rs. 142 crores as against the revised outlay of Rs. 84 crores in the Second Plan. In addition, funds for housing are also expected to be provided by the Life Insurance Corporation, whose contribution is estimated at about Rs. 60 orores. The distribution of the outlay for various schemes in the Third Plan is shown below :

Table 2: Outlay in Third Plan—1961-66
(Rs. crores)

scheme outlay
(0 Ministry of Works, Housing and Supply  
subsidised industrial housing 29-8
dock labour housing 2-0
slum clearance, slum improvement and cons  
truction of night shelters 28-6
low income group housing 35-2
middle income group housing in Union Territories 2-5
village housing 12-7
plantation labour housing 0-7
land acquisition and development 9-5
provision for experimental housing, reasearch and statistics 1-2
total 122-0
(;';') other schemes—  
States' housing schemes 2-3
town planning including preparation of master plans. 5-4
urban development schemes 12-3
total 20-0
programmes included in the Plan (i and ii) 142.0
(Hi) programmes to be financed from the f nds expected to be provided by the Life Insurance Corporation . 60-0
grand total 202-0

The following are the main targets proposed for the Third Plan:

Table 3: Targets in Third Plan

 

number of houses/tenaments

subsidised industrial housing 73000
low income group housing 75000
slum clearance 100000
Village housing 125000

7. Besides the provision for housing mentioned above, there are certain additional housing programmes financed from other sources. The coal and mica mine welfare funds are expected to provide in the Third Plan about Rs. 14 crores for the construction of 60,000 houses. The programme for the welfare of backward classet includes allotments for housing. Tentative estimates of the Ministries of Railways, Commerce and Industry, Communications and others suggest that over the plan period they may build about 300,000 houses for their employees at an approximate cost of Rs. 200 crores. Broadly, in ths course of the Third Plan, under various housing schemes and the construction programmes of Ministries, 900,000 houses might be constructed as compared to about 500,000 in the Second Plan.

8. In the private sector there has been an increasing amount of construction, but it is difficult to estimate its precise magnitude. The net investment on housing and other private construction, which was reckoned at Rs. 900 crores in the First Plan, is estimated at about Rs. 1000 crores in the Second Plan. In the Third Plan private investment on housing and other construction is placed at about Rs. 1125 crores.

Housing Boards

9. In the present stage of development, finance provided directly by Government can meet only a fraction of the demand for housing. Institutional arrangements are, therefore, required which will enable large numbers of persons, many of them with small incomes, to build for themselves. In this connection, the possibility of setting up a Central Housing Board is at present under study. Such an organisation could help to channel additional funds into housing, encourage the flow of credit on easy terms amongst other things by means of insured mortgages, improve lending practices and provide the machinery needed for the creation of a sound mortgage market in housing. It could, for instance, raise finance, directly to some extent and provide loan assistance to State Governments or State Housing Boards for purchase and development of land, construction of houses and acquisition and redevelopment of slum areas. Funds obtained from the Life Insurance Corporation and from the Central Government could be channelled through it. In States where Housing Boards already exist, they generally serve as construction agencies for implementing the State housing programmes. The existence of a Central Housing Board and of Housing Boards in the States could in due course, secure for the development of housing resources which might not be otherwise readily available. Together these institutions could assist in evolving housing policies which would facilitate construction of houses by persons of limited means for their own use and also enable banks and other financial institutions to undertake various services. It is proposed to consider these aspects further with a view to implementing the housing programmes of the Third Plan and laying the foundations for larger development in the future.

Land Acquisition And Development

10. Availability of building sites in sufficient numbers and at reasonable rates is essential for the successful implementation of the housing programme. During the Third Plan, therefore, a fair share of the resources available for housing is being devoted to land acquisition and development. A scheme was introduced in 1959 for giving financial assistance to Start Governments in the shape of loans repayable over a period of 10 years for acquiring and developing lands in selected places. The land acquired is to be utilised for house building under different schemes and for the provision of related community facilities like parks, playgrounds, schools, hospitals, shops, post offices etc. In the Third Plan a programme entailing an outlay of Rs. 26 crores (inclusive of the contributions to be made by the Life Insurance Corporation) is envisaged for land acquisition and development. The resources made available under this programme could serve as nuclei for 'revolving funds' in the States and be utilised for bulk acquisition and development of land.

Housing of Industrial Workers

11. Under the subsidised industrial housing scheme which was formulated in 1952 for providing housing to industrial workers employed in factories and mines, mainly in the private lector, the Central Government provides to State Governments, State Housing Boards and municipal bodies 50 per cent of the cost as loan and 50 per cent as subsidy. Industrial employers and cooperative societies of industrial workers are given financial assistance to the extent of 75 per cent and 90 per cent respectively, the extent of subsidy in both qases being 25 per cent. To enable industrial workers to provide the remaining 10 per cent of the cost, they have been allowed to draw non-refundable loans from their provident fund accounts. By the end of the Second Plan, the construction of about 140,000 tenements costing Rs. 45 crores had been approved. About 100,000 tenements had been completed and the rest were under different stages of construction.

12. The scheme should have made greater progress if even the subsidised rate of rent had not proved a comparatively high charge for workers, with the result that in some areas the tenements which have been constructed have not been occupied by industrial workers. The question of bringing down the rent so that jt should be within the paying capacity of workers needs further study. Along with it, arrangements should be made to provide cheap transport for taking workers to their places of work. Certain aspects of the scheme have been revised already. Workers have a larger measure of choice as between different types of accommodation. Open developed and demarcated plots of land along with some building and roofing materials can be taken up by workers, so that they may build huts of the prescribed pattern themselves. For those who do not wish to go in for 'self-built' huts on open developed plots, 'skeletal' housing with the necessary foundation, plinth and roof to form a stable structure is provided. The rent for open developed plots is about Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 per month, whereas for skeletal housing it is about Rs. 8 per month. For non-family workers hostel or dormitory accommodation is built. A few other modifications such as extension in the period of repayment of loan, increase in the ceilings of standard costs to fit in with the rise in prices of building materials and labour, liberalisation of allotment rules and provision of developed sites to employers and cooperatives have been introduced. Recently employers have been granted a concession in income-tax in the shape of an initial depreciation allowance of 20 per cent on the cost of construction of new houses for their low-paid employees, in addition to exemption. for three years from payment of income tax on the rental value of small houses.

13. Despite the steps which have been taken to make the industrial housing scheme more attractive to employers, much progress cannot be achieved without the employers generally accepting the housing of a substantial portion of workers as an essential obligation. It is necessary to remember that housing conditions for industrial workers have continued to deteriorate and that without improvements in this direction efforts to increase industrial efficiency and productivity will also be affected. The problem is, therefore, one of working out arrangements for new industries as well as for the established industries which might be feasible from the financial and other aspects and would also result in an effective contribution towards the solution of the housing problem. For instance, new establishments with a prescribed limit of paid-up capital (say, Rs. 20 lakhs or more) could be placed under the obligation of constructing one-half of the housing required by their labour over a period of perhaps 10 years. In the case of the older establishments, in any specific scheme that is worked out the contribution already made by an employer to provide housing for their workers should be taken into account. In these industries also, over a period, the aim might be to ensure that about 50 per cent of the housing required is made available directly by the industries and the rest as part of the general scheme of housing development. To the extent the employers are unable to construct directly the Government or the Housing Boards may take up construction. In such cases, the employers could contribute towards the cost of construction. These and other suggestions should be considered jointly in consultation with representatives of employers and workers with a view to evolving a satisfactory scheme.

Housing of Dock Workers

14. A provision of Rs. 2 crores has been made in the Third Plan for giving loan assistance to Dock Labour Boards at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras to enable them to build houses for workers registered with them. A suitable approach might be for Government to grant loans to the extent of 80 per cent of the cost of construction. With the provision made in the Plan, it should be possible to build about 5000 houses. In recent years port development has been undertaken on a large scale, and in cooperation with the port authorities a coordinated view of the housing problems in the ports should now be taken.

Holding For Low Income Groups

15. The low income group housing scheme provides for grant of loan assistance upto 80 per cent of the cost of the dwelling, subject to a maximum of Rs. 8000, to persons whose income does not exceed Rs. 6000 per annum. Assistance on this scale is also given to local bodies, public institutions run on no-profit-no-lo and s basis, recognised hem'.h, ctK;:Lab-c and educational in-ti-tutions and cooperative societies.

16. Since the scheme began in 1954, loans for about 85,000 houses have been sanctioned, and by the end of the Second Plan about 53,000 houses were completed. There is considerable demand for loans under this scheme. Progress has been gr:uter in towns where developed sites are available. It is felt that in the Third Plan special steps should be . taken to enable those sections of the community which are economically weak to obtain clue benefits from the scheme, such as those with an annual income of Rs. 1800 or less. Persons in this category are in a position to pay rent in the range of Rs. 10 to 12 or, at the most, Rs. 15 per mensem. The principal methods for providing housing for diem would appear to be either through construction of rental housing mainly by Housing Boards and local bodies or through housing cooperatives. As a basis for further consideration, it might be possible to provide local bodies with loans at a concessional rate of interest repayable over a long period. Apart from pucca houses, the question of providing open developed plots or skeletal housing on the lines of the industrial housing and slum clearance schemes could be considered. Housing cooperatives comprising economically weaker persons could also be given similar assistance. Roughly about a third of the provision under the low income group housing scheme could be earmarked for economically weak persons. Exemptions from State and local taxes would also need to be considered. As more institutional finance for the housing of low income groups generally becomes available, larger proportion of the funds provided by Government could be utilised for housing schemes for the economically weaker sections.

Plantation Labour Housing

17. The Plantation Labour Act, 1951, requires •very employer of plantation labour to prov-de and maintain for all workers and their families residing in plantations, necessary housing accommodation, at the rate of at least 8 per cent of tho workers every year, until all such workers hav been provided for. A number of planters, particularly the smaller ones, found it difficult to discharge this obligation due to inadequacy of financial resuorces. Accordingly the plantation labour housing scheme was introduced in 1956 for assisting such planters as needed financial help Under this scheme, loans are given to the extent of 80 per cent of the cost of construction of the dwelling, excluding the cost ot land and its development, subject to a maximum f Rs 2400 per house in North India and Rs.1920 per house in South India. The planters are required to contribute the balance of 20 per cent from their own resources.

18. By the end of the Second Plan only 700 houses costing Rs. 14 lakhs had been sanctioned and 300 houses completed. The main difficulty in the way of the scheme has been the inability of the planters to furnish adequate security for the loan. The scheme requires the planters to mortgage to the State Governments land and houses built on it as security for the loan. The planters are not in a position to comply because their land and other properties are usually mortgaged with banks as security for the loans advanced to them for the normal working expenses of the plantations.

19. To make it easier for planters to avail of the loans, some State Governments have relaxed the security conditions. A 'Pool Guarantee Fund" Is also proposed to be set up with an additional -z per cent interest charged on loans to the planters and the interest earned thereon' from year to year. This Fund will serve as collateral security for the grant of loans and the losses, if any, in excess of the assets in the Fund will be shared equally by the Central Government, the State Government and the Commodity Board concerned.

Middle Income Group Housing

20. A scheme for providing loans to middle income groups was introduced in February, 1959, with funds provided by the Life Insurance Corporation and is meant for persons whose income is between Rs. 6000 to Rs. 12,000 per annum. Loans to the extent or 80 per cent of the cost of the house subject to a maximum of Rs. 16,000 (Rs. 20,000 in the case of those who do not already possess a plot of land) are provided under the scheme. The loans are advanced to individual borrowers through the State Governments at the rate of 5i per cent per annum. By the end of the Second Plan a sum of Rs. 10.5 crores was disbursed to State Governments and Union Territories. Loans were sanctioned t 3600 applicants and about 500 houses were constructed. Progress was comparatively small in the initial stages as this was a new scheme for which rules for the grant of loans had to b drawn up and other arrangements made. Th Third Plan allocations do not provide finance for this scheme except in the Union Territories, but it is likely that from funds provided by the Lift Insurance Corporation about Rs. 20 crores might become available for the middle income group housing scheme and for the rental housing scheme for State Government employees mentioned below.

Rental Housing For State Government Employees

21. The object of the rental housing schcnr for State Government employees is to assist State Governments in providing housing accommodation to their low paid employees. Under the scheme, which was introduced in February1959 the Life Insurance Corporation grants loans carrying* an interest of 5 per cent per annum to State Governments, and the loans are repayable over a period of 20 years. A sum of about Rs. 7 crores was given to State Governments under the scheme during the Second Five Year Plan, and 2500 houses were sanctioned and 735 were comoieted.

Slum Clearance And Improvement

22. The Third Plan provides for a programme of about Rs. 29 crores for slum clearance and improvement. A scheme for giving financial assistance to State Governments and local bodies to enable them to clear some of the worst slums in big cities was initiated during the Second Plan. By the end of the Second Plan 208 projects costing about Rs. 19 crores and involving re-housing of 58,200 families living in slum conditions v/ere taken up in different towns and cities. About 18,000 units have been already completed. For such of the families as cannot afford to pay even the subsidised rent of a pucca tenement, the sqheme provides for skeletal housing and open developed plots with a separate washing platform and latrine for each family, leaving it to the slum dwellers to build huts of a prescribed pattern themselves on a self-help basis in accordance with the technical directions of the State Government.

23. Some of the difficulties which came in the way of implementation of the slum clearance and improvement programme were the lengthy and time-consuming procedures of acquisition of slum areas, non-availability and high costs of alternative sites near existing places of work, inability of the slum dwellers to pay even the subsidised rent and their reluctance to move from the areas selected for clearance. Some States like Mysore, Madras, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Punjab, West Bengal and Delhi Administration have enacted legislation for speedier acquisition of slum areas and for scaling down the rate of compensation. Similar legislation is also needed elsewhere. The scheme was reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Slum Clearance and by a Study Team set up by the Committee on Plan Projects. These Committees recommended that while long-term plans were required, it was even more essential to think of short-term measures to relieve acute distress in the slum areas and, as an immediate measure, minimum amenities like sanitary latrines, proper drainage, uncontamina-tcd water supply, moderately good approach roads, paved streets, and proper lighting should be provided. Following consideration of the reports of these two committees the scope of the slum clearance programme was extended to include slum imporvement. Larger resources were also provided as a matter of immediate priority for dealing with slum problems in six major cities, namely, Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Delhi. Kanpur and Ahmedabad. In these cities, the total subsidy for slum clearance was raised from 50 per cent to 62i per cent and the Central Government'* share in it from 25 per cent to 37 percent.

24. The maximum effort under this scheme should continue to be concentrated on the six cities mentioned above. However, it is proposed that in the Third Plan, in principle, slum clearance and improvement work could be taken up wherever State Governments consider that the slum problem exists in acute form. In view of limitations of resources, it is considered that ordinarily towns and cities with a population of 100,000 or more should receive priority. It is -suggested that State Governments may arrange for surveys of slum areas, classifying them in two categories—areas which may have to be cleared and re-developed completely, and those which can be made habitable through the improvement of environmental conditions. If the owners of slum properties falling within the second category fail to carry out the improvements, these should be carried out through local bodies and the cost recovered from the owners; where necessary, the properties could be acquired or requisitioned. Wherever improvements are carried out by local-bodies in slum areas on public lands or requisitioned lands, it may be necesary to give them grants for providing essential services. The cooperation of voluntary organisations and social workers should be fully enlisted in carrying out the programme of slum clearance.

25. While steps are being taken to clear or improve the existing slums, it is equally important that new-slums should not be allowed to grow up. This is by no means an easy object to achieve. Besides preparing and strictly implementing master plans for all growing towns and cities, it will be essential to enforce municipal bye-laws and building regulations, and at the same time, to expand housing facilities for low income groups and for economically weaker sections. As transitional measures, night shelters and dormitory accommodation for pavement dwellers and non-family workers have considerable urgency. Similarly, the housing of sweepers and scavengers must receive special attention. In selecting slum areas for clearance and improvement high priority should be given to areas predominantly inhabited by sweepers and scavengers.

Urban Planning and Land Policy

26. Urbanisation s an important aspect of the process of economic and social development and is closely connected with many other problems such as migration from villages to towns, levels of living in rural and urban areas, relative costs of providing economic and social services in towns of varying size, provision of housing for different sections of the population, provision of facilities like water supply, sanitation, transport and power, pattern of economic development, location and dispersal of industries, civic administration, fiscal policies, and the planning of land use. These aspects are of special importance in urban areas which are developing rapidly. The number of cities with a population of 100,000 or more has increased from 75 in 1951 to 115 in 1961, and their population now forms about

43 per 'cent of the total urban population. Of the aspects mentioned above, in the long run, the most decisive are the pattern of economic development and the general approach to industrial location. The broad objective must be to secure balanced development between large, medium-sized and small industries, and between rural and urban areas. While this is by no means easy to realise, the main ingredients of developmental policy are the following:

  1. As far as possible, new industries should be established away from large and congested cities.
  2. In the planning of large industries, the concept of region should be adopted. In each case, planning should extend beyond the immediate environs to a larger area for whose development the new industry would serve as a major focal point.
  3. In community development projects or other areas within a district the rural and urban components of development should be knit into a composite plan based in each case on schemes for strengthening economic inter-depen-dence between towns and the surrounding rural areas.
  4. Within each rural area the effort should be to secure a diversified occupational pattern in place of the present extreme dependence on agriculture.

In considering the nature of the urban problem to be phased over the next decade, it is necessary both to deal with the situation which exists now and to ensure action along the right lines for the future.

27. Costs of urban development.—Much of the deterioration which occurs in living conditions in rapidly growing urban areas is due to the high costs of urban development, in particular, the costs of providing housing, water supply, drainage, transport and other services. The situation is further accentuated by the existence of unemployment, overcrowding and the growth of slums and the fact that a significant proportion of the population in many cities is without shelter. The problems to be faced are formidable in size and complexity, and solutions for them can be found only if their nature is fully appreciated not only by the State Governments, but also by municipal administrations and by the public generally and if an increasing amount of community effort and citizenship participation can be called forth within each urban area. There are certain minimum directions in which action should be taken during the Third Plan so that, for the future, at any rate, a correct course is set. These are :

  1. control of urban land values through public acquisition of land and appropriate fiscal policies;
  2. physical planning of the use of land and the preparation of master plans;
  3. defining tolerable minimum standard* for housing and other services to be provided for towns according to their requirements and also prescribing maximum standards to the extent necessary;and
  4. strengthening of municipal administrations for undertaking new development responsibilities.

28. Control of urban land values.—The most important elemev.t in raising housing and other costs and in restricting the scale on which improvements can be undertaken in the interests of low income groups is high land prices. Apart from normal increases, a major factor in raising land prices is speculation. In some towns, there are powerful factors like the setting up of new industries and the establishment of new public and other offices which stimulate speculative activity. However, since the rapid economic development of the country as a whole is under way and exerts its influence in all directions, elements of rising land values are present in larger or smaller degree in almost every urban area. In several urban areas, there is need for drastic measures, legislative and others, for freezing land values and also for undertaking large scale public acquisition of land. According to the nature of the situation the need for adequate measures for taxation of urban land and property exists, without exception, in all towns.

29. Specific measures for checking rise in land values can become effective if there is strict regulation of the uses of land, especially in and around metropolitan cities, large and growing cities and new industrial towns. It is for such towns that the preparation of master plans referred to later is of special importance. The following are the principal steps to be taken for controlling land values:

  1. Issue of notifications for freezing land values with a view to early acquisition of land by public authorities.
  2. Acquisition and development of land by public authorities in accordance with the interim general plans is essential for preventing speculation. The land should bs acquired in bulk, although, depending upon local circumstances, the programme of acquisition would have to be suitably phased. Acquisition proceedings should be speedy and legal proceuures should be simplified as far as possible. It is important that development of the acquired lands should be expedited. The essential services have to be provided by public authorities. Besides development undertaken directly by them, under appropriate regulations, cooperative and private agencies should also be utilised
  3. Allotment of land on a lease-hold basis. As a rule, lands acquired by public authorities should be given out onl-f on a lease-hold basis so that, besides the recurring income secured on account of the ground rent, a fair share in the increase in the value of land continues to accrue to the community.
  4. Betterment levies and taxation of agricultural lands put to non-agricultural users. These are growing sources of revenue for States and local bodies, but in several States the existing provisions are inadequate.
  5. Capital tax on transfer of free-hold lands.
  6. Taxation of vacant plots in developed areas with power to acquire if they are not built upon within specified periods.
  7. Setting a ceiling on the size of individual plots and limiting the number of plots which a single party may be permitted to acquire.
  8. Determination of appropriate norms of rent and regulation and control over rents

These measures lie at the base of proposals for planned urbanisation and have therefore to be given concrete shape as a matter of high priority.

30. Preparation of master plans.—To secure orderly development of towns and cities, town planning is indispensable. The first step in this direction will be the preparation of interim general plans establishing the broad pattern of land use to which developments should conform. This should be followed by the preparation of detailed master plans for urban and regional development. Master plans should be drawn up in the first instance for metropolitan cities. State capitals, port towns, new industrial centres and other large and growng cities where, in the ordinary course, conditions are likely to deteriorate further. A tentative list* of such towns and cities has been drawn up for the Third Plan period. In redeveloping existing cities and building up new towns, it is of the utmost importance that the regional approach should be followed. This is necessary both for securing a proper balance between social and economic development and for achieving greater cultural unity and social integration in the life of developing urban communities. Greater attention to the environment and appreciation of the day to day needs of the people can go a long way to give to all citizen a sense of community in urban life.

31. The primary responsibility for the preparation of master plans lies with State Governments and the local administrations concerned. For the Third Plan, limited provision has been made at the Centre for assisting the State Governments in the preparation of master plans for these cities and towns. An essential preliminary is the enactment of suitable legislation on town and country planning. It is also necessary that State Governments establish Town Planning Organisations with adequate trained personnel. The Central Regional and Urban Planning Organisation can assist State Governments and organisations concerned with the establishment of new towns, in the preparation of master plans and informulating suitable urban and regional development policies.

32. Standards.—For the solution of the housing problem for the bulk of the population and for the elimination of slums and other evils, it is essential that certain minimum standards of residential and office accommodation and other services are set, keeping in view the requirements of the community as a whole and the limited resources available. It is also desirable that maximum standards should be prescribed. This will go some distance in making the investment on housing yield more socially desirable results. Luxury housing and waste of urban land should be prevented so that larger numbers of modest dwelling units can be constructed for the same investment. For achieving this objective, the principal methods are (a) adoption of fiscal measures including local taxation, aiming at discouraging diversion of funds for luxury housing, (b) advice on building designs, (c) modifications in existing building bye-laws of local bodies so as to facilitate construction of low cost housing in accordance with austere standards and specifications, (d) prefabrication of building components, and (e) greater use of locally available cheaper materials. The systematic study of standards and advice relating to them constitute important aspects of the work of the National Buildings Organisation.

33. Strengthening municipal administration.— At the local level, municipal administrations alone can undertake satisfactorily the task of providing the services needed for development in urban areas, expansion of housing and improvement of living conditions. Most municipal administrations are not strong enough to carry out these functions. They should be sufficiently strengthened by increasing their resources and personnel and by enlarging their jurisdiction and functions. Where the present limits of the selected urban areas are insufficient to cope with the problem, they should be extended. In the case of growing towns, it would be desirable from (he beginning to provide for larger rather than smaller municipal areas, so that these towns and the rural areas surrounding them can be developed together in a coordinated manner without having to face difficulties later on account of separate jurisdictions. Inevitably, municipal administrations have larger functions than in the past for providing civic services. It is envisaged that a large proportion of towns will in future have separate development plans of their own and these will be integrated with the plans of States. In this context, a careful review of the administrative and financial measures which should be taken in cities with a population of one lakh or more other than the metropolitan areas should be undertaken in each State.

Rural Housing And Plannlng

34. Improvement in housing conditions in the villages has a manifold significance. It raises the level of living, provides greater opportunities for work and is a vital element in the transformation of rural life. Yet, because of the magnitude of the problem and iis inherent difficulties the task of improving housing conditions in the villages has to be viewed, not as an isolated objective, but as a part of the larger scheme of rural development. Consequently, rural housing is intrinsically a part of community development and village planning. The specific programme for rural housing as such is intended to supplement the resources of the community development movement at the level of the block and the village by way of assistance in the form of technical advice, demonstration, provision of improved designs and lay-outs, better use of local materials and, to a limited extent, provision of finance. Its essential object is to help create healthy environmental conditions for all sections of the village population and for balanced development of rural life as a whole. It is against this background that the village housing scheme which was introduced in 1957 has to be considered and its working reviewed.

35. The village housing scheme provides for the selection of villages in groups of four to six and the preparation of lay-out plans for these villages after carrying out physical and socio-economic surveys. The implementation of lay-out plans and rebuilding of houses is taken up in stages so that the entire village is remodelled over a period of 8-10 years. Cooperatives for the manufacture of different building components are organised. Assistance in the shape of loans'up'o 662/3 percent of the cost of construction subject to a maximum of Rs. 2000 per house is given for building of houses. Loans are also given for carrying out improvements in existing houses in accordance with the standards prescribed by the State Governments. Provision has also been made in the scheme for acquisition of land required for streets, community buildings, new house sites and for thinning out densities etc. Research-cum-training centres have been established at six centres for promoting research in improving local building materials and construction techniques and for training personnel required for executing the scheme. The rural housing celis set up in the States for preparing lay-out plans and model designs etc. have been further strengthehed.

36. During the Second Five Year Plan about 3700 villages were selected and soc'o-economic and physical surveys of about 2000 villages. were completed. Lay-out plans of 1600 villages were drawn up and loans amounting to Rs. 3-6 crores were sanctioned for construction of about 15,400 houses. About 3000 houses were completed and the remaining houses were under different stages of construction.

37. In the working of the village housing scheme during the Second Plan it has been observed that as a rule the scheme has been taken up in isolated villages and not in groups of villages as was envisaged in the scheme. The latter aspect is important because it is only when a small' group of villages is taken up together that it is possible to arrange to set up a brick kiln or arrange for the supply of components on a cooperative basis to meet a continuing demand. The full impact of a housing programme in the rural area by way of increase in employment and improvement in environmental conditions cannot be obtained unless the programme is undertaken systematically in groups of adjoining villages. Lay-out plans are at present prepared generally for se'ected villages. They provide for the extension of the village site, improved village streets and drainage and land for such common amenities as the village school, the playground for school children and the panchayat bhavan. However, not enough is being done in these directions, and the available funds tend to be devoted mainly to the construction and improvement of a small number of houses. It is suggested that the first clain on the resources provided for the village housing scheme should be on account of the extension of the village site, improvement of roads and drainage and allotment of land for essential purposes of interest to the community as a whole. The key to improved housing is the availability of land for the extension of village site. To the greatest extent possible, the community itself, through mutual arrangement. should be expected to provide the additional land required. However, for assisting the community to acquire land for providing house sites for agricultural workers and Hariinns it may be useful, as suggested later, to provide for a limited measure of assistance. The first place in the programme for improving village housing should be given to housing for Harijans, agricultural workers and those sections of the community whose housing conditions are specially deplorable. For scheduled tribes and scheduled castes in particular, besides funds available under the village housing scheme, assistance by way of subsidy is also given under the programme for the welfare of backward classes. Provisions under the two programmes should be utilised in a coordinated manner.

38. Rural housing cells, which have been set up in the States, and research-cum-training centres are already engaged in designing, houses suited to different parts of the country, and involving the use of local materials. Work in these directions has to be intensified. There is frequently a temptation to resort to houses on urban patterns constructed in brick and cement without sufficient emphasis being placed on the use of local materials, economy of construction cost, cultural traditions and background of the locality and functional requirements of rural life. There is also inadequate stress on community effort in improving roads and drainage, contribution by way of land for the extension of the village site and mutual aid in constructing improved housing. The scale of the rural housing problem is so vast that provision of additional funds by itself, necessary as this may be, can produce only a small impact. In the main problem is one of creating a widespread desire for better living, evolving practical methods for improving the village environment and building better houses at relatively small cost based mainly on cooperative self-help, community effort and contribution and the use of local building materials.

39. In the Third Plan it will be essential to link up the programme more closely with different schemes of community development such as provision of water supply, roads, drainage, public health, education etc. It is also necessary that rural housing activities should be effectively coordinated with other connected programmes of rural development so as to ensure that the villages selected under the village housing scheme derive the maximum benefit from the limited resources which are available. For example, the subsidy admissible under the programme for ameliorating the living conditions of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes should be made available to members of these communities residing in the villages selected under the scheme. Village and small industries should also be set up to the extent possible in the selected villages. Special attention has to be given to the setting up of brick-kilns and local production of building components, such as doors, windows, etc. For this purpose, cooperatives should be organised, and they should be given technical assistance and materials such as wood and coal-dust. 47—170 Plan. Com./ND/91

40. A number of new villages are coming up on account of reclamation of large tracts of land and development of new areas for agriculture. It should be ensured that the lay-out plans of such villages are prepared in advance and they develop in a planned way. In the case of existing villages where the problem is, in part, one of redevelopment, the success of the programme will depend upon their proper selection. The scheme already lays down that amongst other considerations preference will be given to (a) villages which are situated in flood-affected areas, (b) villages which have substantial populations of backward classes and agricultural labourers, (c) villages in which consolidation of holdings has been completed or in which programmes for increasing agricultural production are being successfully implemented, and (d) villages whose inhabitants happen to be displaced because of major development projects or natural calamities. Villages which have concentrations of artisans should also be given preference. Evidence of cooperative self-help and willingness on the part of the village community to contribute land for the extension of the village site and to give priority to the housing of Harijans and other backward classes should be important considerations in the selection of villages suitable for a programme of village housing. In selected villages in which these conditions are fulfilled, with a view to facilitating the total effort that is called for, it may be necessary to give a limited amount of assistance by way of grant to the village panchayat for undertaking the improvement of village streets and drainage as an essential step in the programme for replanning the village as a whole.

41. House sites for agricultural workers.—In the land reform legislation enacted in some States provision has been made for conferring rights of occupancy or ownership on tenants of village house sites. In a few States there are provisions for transferring ownership on payment of compensation. It is essential that priority should be given to the provision of land for families of landless agricultural workers. Wastelands and bhoodan lands should be used for this purpose to the extent possible. In some congested villages, while emphasising the obligations of the village community, it may be necessary to supplement its contribution in providing the land needed for extension of the village site, through acquisition of additional land for house sites tor agricultural labourers. It is proposed to earmark Rs. 5 crores by way of grant under the village housing scheme for assisting States in securing house sites for landless agricultural workers in villages in which they form a fairly large part of the population and a comprehensive housing programme is taken in hand.

Housing Statistics

42. The present position of housing statistics is unsatisfactory in relation to the needs of planning. Except for data regarding the total number of houses and house-holds in the country thrown up by the decennial census there are no proper statistics on such aspects as current building activity, additions to houses made each year, quantity and cost of materials used, production and consumption of building materials and prices of building materials. Certain basic items of information on housing conditions have been collected in the population census 1961. These will facilitate compilation of an inventory of housing in the country and throw useful light on structural, functional, size and tenure characteristics.

43. The National Buildings Organisation is arranging for the collection of housing statistics in the public sector through various construction agencies such as the Central and State Public Works Departments and others. In other fields., the actual collection of statistics has to be undertaken by the appropriate agencies, while questions of method and approach have to be considered by the National Buildings Organisation and the Central Statistical Organisation. In view of the unsatisfactory state of statistics regarding building and construction, in November, 1960, the Central Council of Local Self-Government proposed that local bodies should modify their bye-laws so as to make it incumbent on applicants, both at the time of applying for building permits and for issue of completion certificates, to provide detailed information about investment and other aspects. In February 1961, the Central Statistical Organisation requested State Statistical Bureaus to initiate the collection of information from corporations and municipalities on a uniform pattern. The forms suggested by the Central Statistical Organisation provide for a common classification of buildings and seek information regarding the nature and type of construction, area, estimated cost, number of dwelling units in the case of residential construction, and materials used for walls, roof and floor. As the subject is one of considerable complexity and large numbers of cities and towns are involved, it would be desirable first to establish an adequate system of building statistics in a small number of cities and towns and to phase the programme for extending it to other centres. To be useful, it is important that the returns should flow at regular intervals and in the ordinary course of administration of building rules and bye-laws.

44. Statistics of production and consumption of building materials are also needed from time to time to survey the supply and demand position ol materials of building construction. While figures of production are already available in the case ot organised industries such as steel, cement, etc., no reliable estimates of materials such as bricks, lime etc. produced in the unorganised sector are available. These may be collected through periodic sample surveys. Statistics of consumption and requirements of building materials could, however, be developed through the use ot technological ratios related to value of construction on the basis of certain type studies. Some type studies have already been carried out in the country and there is need to increase their scope and coverage. Prices of selected building materials and wage rates at selected centres in the country should also be collected regularly and published by the National Buildings Organisation and State Statistical Bureaus.

Research And Training

45. A considerable volume of research in the field of housing and construction has been undertaken in recent years at the Central Bunding Research Institute and at other cenires. Since its establishment in 1954, the National Buildings Organisation has also sponsored a series of research projects and endeavoured to make the results of research more widely available. Thus, investigations have been carried out regarding techniques and materials for water proof renderings for mud walls, effect of wall thickness and ceding heights on thermal insulation, utilisation of low-grade gypsum tor light weight partitions, masonry mortars, hollow bricks and tiles, utilisation of waste products like blast furnace slag for the production of light weight aggregates and the influence of climatic and regional factors in relation to designs of houses and other aspects. Research in housing and construction is essential for reducing building costs and improving the quality of construction, and programmes now in hand should be further intensified. The training of different types of construction workers is an important factor in securing these objectives and has to be organised much more extensively and systematically than in the past. The work of research-cM/n-traming centres for rural housing has far-reaching interest, and the results achieved in evolving new designs of rural houses and fuller use of local building materials should be carried into the field through education and practical demonstration.

46. With the growth of population in towns and cities and the progress of the economy, problems of housing and urban and regional development will come to occupy an increasingly critical place in the successive Five Year Plans. The right solutions to these problems are of great consequence both for social stability and for general welfare. In varying degree, these problems are faced both by advanced and by less-developed countries, and over the years a considerable body of knowledge and experience has been built up by the United Nations and other international agencies as well as by research centres and institutions abroad. The National Buildings Organisation, which already serves as a Regional Housing Centre for research and study of the problems of hot and arid zones in the ECAFE region can make the results of studies and experiments undertaken by other countries and international organisations available to construction agencies and organisations in different parts of India.

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