The need for housing is growing with every passing day. And with this increased need the stress on the already squeezing land resources across Jammu and Kashmir is increasing manifold.
Jammu and Kashmir 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. This needs-like providing ample open space, organized roads, sanitation, drainage 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 government has a full-fledged department called the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board, but unfortunately the department has become defunct and has not taken up a single project that would have justified its very being.
The 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 board officials should have got themselves engaged in activities 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 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.
Jammu and Kashmir needs a comprehensive plan for vertical growth. This means that colonies need to come up on small land holdings restricting the misuse of land. This can be achieved by resorting to construction of multistoried buildings that can come in handy to provide the answers to our housing needs.