Towards a different form of development
Perhaps in no other district in Kerala can you see so much luxury apartments and villas. Due to the demand for luxury Villas Ernakulam district is now redrawing its urban limits continuously outwards. Even when such developments are taking place, urban development experts are now increasingly demanding the government agencies to do something to improve the living conditions of people with marginal incomes and living in the city centers. Due to the rising cost of building construction people are unable to do improve their living conditions on their own.
The tasks, which the public sector can be expected to engage, are as follows:
1.Stepping up of various programmes of the slum dwellers and squatter settlers such as environmental improvement, provision of tenurial rights and non-formal training for maintenance and improvement of dwellings, removing obstacles in women’s access to credit and title to land, etc.
2.Encouraging financial institutions to promote innovative schemes to achieve a manifold increase in the resources mobilized from the household sector. Further, efforts should be made gradually to totally replace the subsidy programmes with loan-cum-subsidy schemes. The subsidy programmes usually go to non-target groups and such schemes also have limited scope and coverage in the low-income housing programmes.
3.Developing information system for maintaining land records and assessing housing needs and preparing perspective plans that are in tune with the available resources.
4.Disseminating information regarding low-cost building materials and construction materials. Arrangements should also be made to provide non-formal training for better maintenance and improvement of dwelling units on self-help basis.
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