Ease of Living Index: Satellite cities do better than Greater Mumbai
With 45.7% of its population living in slums, Greater Mumbai has scored below national average in the housing and shelter category in the Ease of Living Index 2020 released by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs on Thursday. Greater Mumbai scored little above 60 while the national average is 79 out 100; 59 cities, including Delhi and Bhopal have scored above the national average. Satellite cities like Thane, Vasai-Virar and Navi Mumbai performed better than Greater Mumbai in this index.
The pillar of housing and shelter, one of four in the report, covers three indicators: households with electrical connections, slum population and how many are beneficiaries of the Central government’s affordable housing scheme, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
“Four cities emerge as perfect positive outliers in this housing and shelter category, namely Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, Puducherry, and Bhopal. Also, a significant section of the urban population ranging from 10-20%, reside in slums in these cities. On the other hand, in Mumbai around 45.7% of their populations are residing in slums,” the report stated.
More than 50% of the participating cities have less than 20% of identified beneficiaries covered under PMAY, including Shillong, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Greater Mumbai, and Chennai.
“We are taking all steps to facilitate supply of affordable housing for all in Maharashtra and in Mumbai. However, when it comes to PMAY, there is land crunch in Mumbai for us to undertake construction of houses under PMAY (Since it is a government scheme, the houses are built on government owned land which is scarce in Mumbai). However, we are doing good when it comes to Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and nearby areas like Thane, Vasai and Virar when it comes to giving benefit of PMAY to the citizens,” Anil Diggikar, vice-president and chief executive officer of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), said.
“The government is keen to commercialize its own land like BPT land. Affordable or free housing for slum dwellers and redevelopment of cooperative housing societies can be made possible if such schemes are conceived,” said architect and housing expert Chandrashekhar Prabhu.