Along with food and clothes, housing or a shelter is one of the three most important requirements of Human Being. If the total population of about 1200 million population is divided by 5, the average number of members in a family, the country requires housing for 240 million families. Of this, 2.4 million around 30% are either house-less or live in thatched collage or houses made of tree and plant live in and bamboo and mud houses.
The requirement of house building is a massive program and the Indian Government is aware of it but cannot do much about it because of the following reasons:-
- Lack of investment and funds.
- Lack of building materials like red bricks, timber, steel sections, flats, angles, rods etc. as well as glass, tiles, sanitary-wares and cement and sand, as well as lime and plaster.
- Lack of a definite housing program.
- Non-availability of low cost housing ideas to be built for village and rural areas.
The problems of housing are most acute among the lower-middle class and the villages. The various housing estates made by private promoter, joint venture (PPP) and small private contractors are very few compared to the huge population particularly in rural areas where people require houses but they do not have either the finance or the other resources of materials.
The solution to housing problem is quite involved and difficult if not impossible. But however the following concepts can be attempted:
1. Large Brick Making Program: A large brick making program involving setting up of about 100 giant-size mechanized brick making plants each producing 100,000 to 200,000 bricks per day in various parts of the country, approximately 4 such plants in each state.
2. Low cost Cement Plants: The second program required is for cement making along with surkhi and lime are required for conventional construction of buildings as well as new type of brick or block making Blocks like lime-concrete, Aerated concrete, foam concrete are new concepts of brick making where clay is not available. Cement for low cost housing can be made in small plants using VSK (Vertical Shaft Kilns).
3. Set up Large Size Float Glass Plants: Glass sheets can be made in existing or new glass plants to be set up specifically for building and housing projects. Though there are automatic or semiautomatic glass plants in India both in container and tube and bulb making sectors, the number of sheet and plate glass plants are only a few. All efforts to set up large size Float glass plants have not yet been fully successful in India. More efforts should be made to either manufacture Float glass in India on a very large scale or partly substitute it with imported glass sheets at a cheaper rate from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and other South- East Asian countries.
4. Modernization of Mud Houses: For rural and cheap housing several authorities should be set up modernizing mud housing partly replacing with brick walls with roofs made of clay tiles, Asbestos and corrugated galvanized iron sheets.
Thus a huge and massive Housing program should be made by central Government along with all state Governments so that by 2050 all people can have some sort of housing and may not stay in dilapidated, thatched, straw made, bamboo made, made of leaves & bamboos.
The people in slum areas and foot paths should also be brought under some sort of housing schemes so that India can as a whole ensure that none of people is houseless in this country.