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PACS peer learning workshop concludes

india Updated: Sep 15, 2006 15:09 IST

HABITAT POLICY and housing for poor were the main issues discussed during the third and concluding day of the Poorest Areas Civil Societies (PACS) seventh peer-learning workshop on Thursday.

As part of the workshop, a State-level consultation on National Housing and Habitat Policy for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh was held by NGO – BASIN.

It was informed during this consultation that banks and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) were of view that collateral free housing schemes are being mooted to benefit the people.

It was also felt that separate allocations should be made in the Panchayati Raj budget for rural housing. It was mentioned that with the government promoting special economic zones in big way, people living in these areas are vulnerable to eviction and thus housing for poor should be kept in mind while setting up SEZs.

Pradipta Sundaray of Sutra Consulting presented his findings from the cluster village development process. The second half of workshop has group work and group presentations on the draft Rural Habitat Policy.

Wasim Akhtar, principal secretary Panchayats, Government of Madhya Pradesh was attended the presentations. He said that 38 lakh houses were needed in state while only 44,000 houses are being allowed by the Planning Commission.

At this rate, people would continue to remain houseless for a long time to come he said. Sanjeev Ranjan, state anchor for Poorest Areas Civil Societies  MP and Chhattisgarh proposed vote of thanks.