Housing needs cannot be ignored
The ever expanding and growing population in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has given rise to many issues that are very basic to the survival of the society. One such need is the providing and arranging for the shelter for the growing population.
The state has been witnessing an outward growth in terms of housing. Numerous unplanned and unorganized housing colonies have come up at all the peripheries in cities and towns in the twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar.
This unplanned growth is playing havoc with our limited land resources besides environment and other related issues. The unplanned growth has led to violations of all the basics of town planning leading to a crisis like situation.
Most of the new housing belts that have sprung up have been organized in an unprofessional way with least concerns being addressed by the developers, which unfortunately include the government as well. The needs-like providing ample open space, organized roads and sanitation and other parameters that are required have been ignored to the hilt creating a mess all around.
And to cap it all, the unplanned growth is stopping nowhere and new belts are being planned and executed with ease and the government as always is playing deaf and dumb to this critical issue.
The state government has a full-fledged department called the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board, but unfortunately the department has become defunct and it has become a liability with the government as the officials posted here are doing nothing but thriving on the tax payer’s money.
The Housing Board has failed miserably to execute even a single project that would have fit the criteria set for establishing a modern day housing society or a similar kind of a project.
The department has not adopted any scientific methodology to provide an answer to the growing housing needs of the people in the state. The officers of the department have failed to come up with a comprehensive policy to meet the housing and other basic needs of the large chunk of population living in the urban areas of the State.
Besides, no effort has been initiated to synergize the activities of the department in order to take necessary steps for planning housing colonies and other related amenities to the people within the shortest possible time-frame.
Ironically, the state government has not bothered to come up with a viable Housing Policy with perspective planning to deal with the burgeoning population and their housing needs.
Worse enough, the housing board is also not undertaking any comprehensive exercise for identifying the areas which would be having all the requisite parameters. All the proposals are forwarded without undertaking a proper consultancy which would have otherwise ensured that proposals would have come up with all the requisite amenities and also with the new interventions and innovations in the housing sector.
All this needs to be changed as the growing housing needs of the people cannot be ignored for long.