The scheme, approved by the Union Cabinet in July, aims to cover around 300,000 beneficiaries with an expected expenditure of Rs 600 crore.
The first batch of houses for migrant labourers in cities who have returned to their native places following the COVID-19 induced lockdown may be readied by April 2021 while construction of new units will take another two years, Hindustan Times reported.
According to the report, nearly 75,000 vacant, government-funded complexes would be converted into affordable rental housing complexes (ARHCs) in the first phase of the scheme. These units have been built under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The first two schemes were conceptualised by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
States which have the most number of unoccupied houses built under JNNURM and RAY include Maharashtra (32,202); Delhi (29,245), Gujarat (8,654), Rajasthan (7,045), Uttar Pradesh (5,923) and Haryana (2,545), it said.
The AHCR scheme, approved by the Union Cabinet in July, aims to cover around 300,000 beneficiaries with an expected expenditure of Rs 600 crore.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"It (ARHCs) focuses on providing comfort and utilising government’s unutilised stock. These vacant government accommodations, built at an investment of nearly Rs 2,000 crore, were lying useless. Hence, it is an important utilisation of the nation’s resources. We have also decided that these houses, given to the migrants, will not be affected by existing rental laws," the report quotes Amrit Abhijat, Joint Secretary, Housing For All, as saying.
Another official said that under model one of the scheme, the government will lease out existing houses and over 1.8 lakh such houses have been identified. Since they may be in poor condition, it will take another six to seven months to get them ready, the official added.
"They will be the first ones to be ready and should be taken up by March to April 2021. We have identified 75,000 beneficiaries," the official said."Under model two we will look at construction of new complexes, but that would take another two years depending on the funding available, land availability, local surveys, etc. The construction time should be around 12-14 months. To begin with 2.25 lakh houses have been planned," the official said.