Listing housing, power and water as the major problems facing Delhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said the Centre would give Rs 1,500 crore towards making cheap houses available to the poorer sections in the capital.
"Delhi is one of the fastest growing metropolises of the world and everyday there are droves of people coming to the city looking for work. Thus there is an urgent need for low-cost affordable houses for the poor," Gandhi said inaugurating the low-cost 'Rajiv Ratna Awas Yojna' housing scheme in New Delhi.
The Delhi Government has vowed to resolve the housing crisis before the Commonwealth Games in 2010, Gandhi said.
Despite a lot of development work being undertaken by the Government, water and power remain major problems, she said.
The UPA Government at the Centre has already given Rs 265 crore to the capital to give houses to the poor and would give a further Rs 1,500 crore for development of the housing sector specially for the poor, she added.
Asserting that the capital witnessed development by leaps and bounds during the Congress regime, Gandhi said "From flyovers to the Metro, the city has got everything under the Congress Government".
"But all these successes will be criticised by the opposition parties. So I urge my supporters not to pay heed to them. It is ultimately the people who will decide what is right and what is wrong," she added.
Gandhi said "since the UPA Government came to power at the Centre, we have been trying to develop both rural and urban areas".
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the Government would build 11 such low-cost housing schemes across the capital.
"Out of four lakh such houses to be constructed, one lakh would be completed by next year," she added.
"The houses being made with pre-fabricated material will be completed within five-six months. Those being constructed from the scratch will be completed in 17-18 months," she said.
Observing that the Centre had generously contributed towards making the houses available to the poor, the Chief Minister said while the Central Government would contribute Rs 1,00,000 towards each house, the Ministry of Urban Poverty Alleviation would give Rs 1,00,000 and the slum dwellers would have to pay just Rs 57,000.
Commenting on the court-ordered sealing and demolition drive in the capital, Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy said "the Central Government has suffered as much as the people during these drives".