Farm Land For Affordable Housing : Maharashtra Government
Maharashtra government has decided to allow residential constructions on farm land in municipal corporations and councils with the conditions that the housing will be only for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of society and have a maximum Floor Space Index (FSI) of 1. Owners of farm plots agreeable to the conditions will be able to sidestep the process of getting their land converted from “agricultural” to “non-agricultural” (NA).
The government’s move is aimed at promoting affordable housing for the EWS under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). However, urban planners and environmentalists have raised serious concerns over the decision, which they feel paves the way for “concreting no-development zones”. The move will not only endanger “food security” in the long run but also put enormous pressure on infrastructure, civic services and the environment, they say.
They also feel that the regional plan of districts will be rendered useless as it had not provided for roads and other services in farm lands, thus leading to haphazard development.
Officials from the state housing department, which issued a government resolution (GR) on Thursday, said the decision opens up vast tracks of land for promoting affordable housing in Maharashtra.
The officer said that allowing affordable housing schemes on farm land was just a small part of the GR. GR also spells out rules and regulations for six modules aimed at promoting EWS housing under PMAY, including offering 2.5 FSI for such schemes on existing residential lands which are owned either by the government or by private parties.
Noted urban planner told, the officials are looking at the issue only from a housing perspective. They are creating heat islands through such policies. Farm lands mitigate carbon footprints and help reduce pollution. Our food security is already stressed and threatened.
Source Link- https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/