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2 Crore Rural houses built so far, efforts will be on to accelerate the speed of rural housing this year: PM
Key of the house opens doors of dignity, confidence, safe future, new identity and expanding possibilities : PM
Light House projects shows a new direction to the housing sector in the country : PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Light House projects (LHPs) under Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC)- at six sites across six States, today through video conference. He announced the winners under Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators - India (ASHA-India) and gave away annual awards for excellence in implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Urban (PMAY-U) Mission. He also released a certification course on innovative construction technologies named NAVARITIH (New, Affordable, Validated, Research Innovation Technologies for Indian Housing). Union Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said today is the day to move forward with new energy, to prove new resolutions and today the country is getting new technology to build houses for the poor, middle class. He said the houses are called light house projects in technical language but these 6 projects are really like lighthouses showing a new direction to the housing sector in the country.

The Prime Minister cited these light house projects as an example of the approach of the present Government. He said at one time housing schemes were not as much as the priority of the central government and did not go into the nuances and quality of home construction. Today, the country has chosen a different approach, adopting a different route and a better technology, to complete the projects faster. He stressed on the importance for the Government ministries not to have large and sluggish structures, but to be fit like startups. He expressed happiness on the active participation of more than 50 Innovative Construction Companies from around the world. He said this global challenge has given us a scope to innovate and incubate with new technology.

The Prime Minister said in the next phase of the same process, the work of 6 light house projects at different sites is starting from today. These light house projects will be made up of modern technology and innovative processes and reduce the construction time and make a more resilient, affordable and comfortable house for the poor. He further explained that these light houses have innovations in construction technology. For example the project in Indore will not have brick and mortar walls, instead they will use the prefabricated Sandwich Panel system. The light houses in Rajkot will be built using french technology and have monolithic concrete construction technology using tunnel and the house will be more capable of withstanding disasters. In Chennai, US and Finland technologies will use the Precast Concrete system, which will construct the house faster and cheaper. In Ranchi houses will be built using Germany's 3D construction system. Each room will be made separately and then the entire structure will be added in the same way as Lego Blocks toys. He said Houses are being built in Agartala with the steel frames using New Zealand's technology which can withstand major earthquake risk. Canada's technology is being used in Lucknow, which will not require plaster and paint and will use the entire walls already prepared to build houses faster. He further said that thousands of houses will be built in 12 months at every location which will act as incubation centers through which our planners, architects, engineers and students will be able to learn and experiment with new technology. He announced that along with this, a certificate course will be started to upgrade the skills related to new technology to the people in the construction sector, so that the people can get the best technology and material in the world in house construction.

The Prime Minister remarked that the ASHA-India program is being run to promote research and startups related to modern housing technology within the country. Through this, new and affordable technology for building 21st century houses will be developed in India itself. He said Five best techniques have also been selected under this campaign. He said that the biggest dream of poor or middle class people living in the city is owning their house. But over the years, people were losing their trust in their house. He said even after earning the trust, the demand has gone down due to high prices. People have lost trust whether they would have legal standing in case of any issue. High interest rates of the bank and the difficulties in getting loans, have further dampened the interest on owning a house. He expressed satisfaction on the efforts taken in the last 6 years to restore the confidence of a common man that he too can have his own house. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, lakhs of houses have been built in a very short time in cities.

The Prime Minister said that in PM Awas Yojna construction's focus is both on innovation and implementation as per the local needs and expectations of the home-owners. It is a complete package as every unit is equipped with electricity-water-gas connection. Transparency is being ensured through the technologies like geo-tagging and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to the beneficiaries.

Talking about the benefits for the middle classes, Shri Modi said they are getting rebates on home loan interest. A special fund of Rs 25 thousand crore, created for incomplete housing projects, will also help the middle class. Measures like RERA have brought back the trust of the home owners and given them confidence that they will not be cheated out of their hard earned money. There are 60 thousand projects registered under RERA and thousands of grievances have been redressed under the law.

The Prime Minister said that getting the key of a house is not just getting possession of a dwelling unit but it opens doors of dignity, confidence, safe future, new identity and expanding possibilities. All round work that is being done for ‘Housing for All’ is bringing positive change in the lives of crores of poor and middle class families.

The Prime Minister also mention new scheme that was taken up during the Corona pandemic i.e. Affordable Renting Housing Complex Schemes. Government is working with industry and other investors to provide housing with fair rents to the workers who come to work from various states to different states. Their housing conditions are often unhygienic and undignified. Effort is to provide them fair rent dwellings in the vicinity of their workplace. This is our responsibility that our worker friends should live with dignity, Shri Modi added.

The Prime Minister also recounted the measures taken recently to help the real estate sector. Measures like reduction of tax on cheap houses from 8 to 1 percent, GST reduction from 12 to 5 per cent, recognizing the sector as infrastructure for making it eligible for cheap loans have taken our ranking for construction permit from 185 to 27. Procedure for construction permissions have been taken online in more than 2000 towns, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister also informed that more than 2 crore housing units have been constructed in rural India. Effort will be on to accelerate the speed of rural housing this year.

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There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment: PM
All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients: PM
Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns: PM
PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines
Installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be accelerated: PM
Utilize the entire national capacity to ramp up vaccine production: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.