In sync with the popular phrase "Home is where our story begins..," the big story for Odisha is that the State is going to certainly miss the 'Housing for all by 2022' dateline fixed by the Modi government.
The pace of construction of houses in urban areas in the State is slow enough to make Odisha wait for 32 long years to address the housing shortage in its urban areas.
As per the data available with Union Ministry For Housing, Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation (MOUHPA), during the last five years, Odisha could see the construction of mere 92,260 houses. The annual average rate of completion of houses in the State, thus, has been estimated at around 18,457.
In contrast, as per an assessment made by the Odisha Urban Housing Mission, the housing shortage in urban areas in the State has been estimated at a whopping 6.77 lakh.
Compared to the flop show in urban areas, the story in rural Odisha is not a hit either. The big takeaway of the rural story is the State has failed to meet the target of over 18.5 lakh rural houses under the two phases of the PMAY-G scheme.
Odisha could see the construction of over 16.5 lakh rural houses under the Central scheme to date. The annual average completion rate in the rural housing scheme stood at around 3.3 lakh. At this pace, the State can accomplish the housing for all in the rural areas after 2031 only.
As per the data available with the Union Rural Development Ministry, the ministry has given a target of building over 27.03 lakh houses in rural areas by the year 2022. And the target till 2020-21 was over 18.5 lakh. As of date, the State has completed only 16.5 lakh houses.
Though there has been no study on the housing shortage in rural areas in Odisha, as the 'Housing For All by 2022' plan includes the agenda of providing pucca houses to all citizens in the country, the housing shortage in Odisha can be ascertained from the Census 2011 data.
As per Census 2011, nearly 42 per cent of rural households (or 33.89 lakh) in Odisha dwell in one or two-room kachha houses. Therefore, Odisha needs at least 34 lakh pucca houses by 2022. At the current pace of construction under all housing schemes in the State, Odisha has to wait till 2031 to achieve the goal.
Housing Affordability Poor In Odisha
As per an RBI study on affordability to own a house across states in India, the lower-income group (LIG) and economically weaker sections (EWS) in Odisha have poor affordability to own a house, whereas the affordability is high in cases of MIG (middle income groups 1 and 2).
Among the neighbouring states, in the RBI's affordability index, the affordability to own a house by the EWS and LIGs in the neighbouring states - Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh - is very high.
'Tera Ghar, Mera Ghar' Flick In Odisha
When the affordability of EWS and LIG to own a house in Odisha is very poor, political parties here indulge in the wrangle over 'Yeh Tera Ghar, Mera Ghar'. When the ruling BJD claims that the State government has provided over 26 lakh pucca houses in the State, the main opposition party BJP reminds the ruling party here to tell how many houses have been built under the central flagship schemes (PMGY/IAY).
The Number Game
While the ruling BJD prior to the 2019 elections claimed that 18.9 lakh pucca houses had been built in the State between 2012-2019, the gap between reality and fiction had been really very huge.
As per the Awaas soft data, till 2019, the number of pucca houses built under all schemes (centre + state) in Odisha was around a mere 8.24 lakh.
Recently, CM Naveen Patnaik claimed that over 26 lakh kaccha houses in Odisha had been converted to pucca ones.
However, as of date, the Awaas soft data shows completion of only 21 lakh pucca houses in Odisha under all schemes.