New Delhi: Providing housing for the entire population by 2022 is one of the government’s top priorities, and it is exploring all financial models to go ahead with the ambitious scheme, urban development and housing minister Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister is keen that states and Union Territories are proactive partners in this challenging task, Naidu added.

“In view of the huge resource requirement, government is exploring all models of financing," he said after inaugurating a two-day meet of urban development and housing ministers and secretaries of states and Union territories in the capital.

The meeting acknowledged the enormous challenges and opportunities provided by the Narendra Modi administration’s initiative to provide housing for all by 2022.

Referring to the issues of urban governance, Naidu noted that recent incidents of building collapse in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai are a serious matter of concern.

The minister also emphasized the need for GIS-based regional planning, development of adequate infrastructure including efficient public transport systems, provision of drinking water, solid waste management and sanitation, besides the conservation of energy and nature.

Naidu explained the need for transparency and accountability in urban planning and management, and called for people’s participation in the process. He added people are willing to pay for better and assured services and that this should be factored in urban planning in place of a populist subsidy approach.

Urban development and housing secretary Anita Agnihotri referred to a “failure" on the part of all concerned in the implementation of various urban renewal initiatives such as the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) and affordable housing for the poor.

She urged the states and Union territories to learn from these experiences and suggest better planning and management methods.

Former urban development secretary Sudhir Krishna said urban development and renewal have been neglected for too long and that the time has come to focus on urban development as an engine of economic growth. He said there is a direct relationship between urbanization and growth, development and per capita income.

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