To rein in the
Cochin Real Estate
developments, analysts have stressed the need for state intervention
in housing in order to maintain equilibrium in the housing sector.
It will help to make housing affordable to the urban poor, while
simultaneously improving life in the slums. This requires total
political commitment by the central and state governments and a joint
effort by the public and private sector undertakings involved in
urban housing. Urban planners now advocate that housing should
be declared as an industry.
Recently an urban
planner pointed out that the role of the public sector in housing
seems to be significant when compared to the mammoth backlog of
housing needs. He suggested specific tasks for the public
sector to accomplish and has also suggested measures for encouraging
the involvement of the private sector.
Thus it is imperative
to have the joint participation of the public and private agencies in
housing and urban development. For this it is necessary to
identify private developers of repute and allow them to undertake
urban development projects with adequate safeguards against excessive
profiteering. The new policy of the government has made housing
as an economic activity rather than a social service. The role
of the erstwhile public housing agencies is now more commonly as a
promoter and a facilitator rather than a builder.
In the context of the
problems associated with housing in Cochin and surrounding areas, to
accelerate the role of the group housing societies, 40 percent of the
developed land should be allotted to them at a subsidized price.
The National Housing Bank should be made more responsible to the
people’s demands by providing an efficient and speedy delivery
system. A step in that direction can be expected in the future.