New Delhi: As many as 5.3 lakh families in the country are homeless, Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ajay Maken told Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said since no data on homeless households (or families) has been released by 2011 Census, an internal committee of the ministry has calculated that there is a shortage of 18.78 million houses in the country.
Of these, 14.99 million are due to congestion and the remaining 0.53 million (5.3 lakh) due to homeless families, he said.
Maken said as per 2001 Census, total homeless households in both urban and rural areas stood at 0.45 million and total houseless population was 1.94 million.
"The census figures of 2011 show that in total we have 78.87 million households in the country against which we have 78.48 million houses which means there is a shortage of just 0.39 million houses in the entire urban area, which is just 0.5 per cent," he said.
In 2001, this shortage was 3 per cent. The shortage has come down "because of the policies of the government both at the Central and State levels," he said.
Total number of houses has increased from 52.06 million as per 2011 census, to 78.48 million. The rise, he said, has "happened because of the liberal loan given by the banks also. The gross credit deployment of the Reserve Bank of India in the housing sector has been USD 67 billion in 2011 as compared to USD 1.7 billion in 1997."
He said households with toilets has jumped from 39.6 million in 2001 Census to 64.2 million -- from 74 per cent of the total households to 81.04 pr cent in 2011. "We are going to achieve our 100 per cent target (soon)," he said.
Houses with tap or drinking water facilities has increased
from 35.11 million to 56.16 million.
The Minister said Rs 41,000 crore worth projects have been sanctioned under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Of this, about Rs 23,000 crore has been provided by the Centre.