Editorial: 8 crore houses constructed during 2001-2011; 11 cr during 2012-2021

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By Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, PhD

Final Figures of House listing & Housing Census, 2011 Released

The final figures of the first phase of Census 2011 known as House listing and Housing Census was released by Union Home Secretary, Shri R.K. Singh in New Delhi today. As per the House listing and Housing Census 2011, the census houses increased from 25 cr to 33cr. There is an increase of 6 cr census houses for residential and partly residential purposes. The data indicates that the housing gap has reduced. There is an improvement in the construction material used for roof, wall and floor. Thus there is a substantial improvement in the quality of housing both in rural and urban areas.

As regards amenities available with the households, 87% of households are using Tap, Tube well, Hand pump and Covered well as the main source of drinking water while 43.5 percent use tap water. Only 47% of households have source of water within the premises while 36% of households have to fetch water from a source located within 500 m in rural areas/100 m in urban areas and 17% still fetch drinking water from a source located more than 500 m away in rural areas or 100 m in urban area.

As far as Main source of lighting is concerned, 67% households use electricity which shows an increase of 11pt over 2001. The rural-urban gap has reduced by 7 percentage points from 44% in 2001 to 37%.

Other major highlights of House listing & Housing Census 2011 are:

– 58% of the households have bathing facility within the premises, showing an Increase of 22 pts over 2001.

– Around half of the households have drainage connectivity with two-third have the open drainage and one-third has the closed drainage.

– 47% of the households have latrine facility within premises with 36% households have water closet and 9% households have pit latrine. There is 11 pt decline in households having no latrine from 64% to 53% in 2011.

– 61% households have Kitchen facility with 55% within premises and 6% outside premises. Two-third of the households are using firewood/crop residue, cow dung cake/coal etc. and 3% households use Kerosene. There is an increase of 11 pts in use of LPG from 18% in 2001 to 29% in 2011.

– As regards mode of communication, there is an increase of 16% in television and a corresponding decline of about 15 pt in use of radios/transistors. Less than 1 out of 10 households have Computer/laptop with only 3% having internet facility. The penetration of internet is 8% in urban as compared to less than 1% in rural area. 63% households have Telephone/mobile facility with 82% in urban and 54% in rural area. The penetration of mobile phone is 59% and landline is 10%.

– In the modes of transport 45% of the household are having bicycle, 21% two wheelers and 5% four wheelers. There is an increase of 9 pt in two wheeler and 2 pt in four wheelers, with bicycle showing increase of 1 pt only. 59% of the households are availing banking facilities with 68% in urban and 54% in rural areas. The rural urban difference has reduced from 19 to 13 pt.

– 18% of the household do not have any of the specified assets.

Census of India 2011 was conducted in two phases. The first phase, called the “Houselisting and Housing Census” was undertaken a few months prior to the second phase termed as “Population Enumeration”. The objective of the House listing and Housing Census Operations is to identify each building/census house and also to ascertain the quality of the census house, amenities accessible to it and assets available to the households living in those census houses. The fundamental principle is to cover the entire country in a systematic manner without omission or duplication. The enumerator collects the required information by visiting each and every household and canvassing a written questionnaire called the Houselist and Housing Schedule. In Census 2011, a period of 45 days was given for this purpose. Every State/Union Territory chose this period in a time window starting April 2010 to September 2010 depending upon their convenience. Approximately twenty five lakh (or 2.5 million) enumerators and 2lakh supervisors were engaged for this operation. The households were visited across the length and breadth of this vast country. What made the exercise even more challenging was the fact that the information was collected on 35 items and 1.5 crore Census Schedules were canvassed in 16 Indian languages. A truly gigantic exercise was accomplished with clock-work precision!

Each Census in India since the first one in 1872, has attempted to capture the socio-economic, demographic and cultural diversity of this vast country and present it through measurable indices. In this attempt, each succeeding Census has attempted an improvement over the previous one.

The Census 2021 shall start, but “Housing For All” and PMAY have already issued data. The PMAY started in 2015 and shall end by 2022 if not renewed. The renewal is most likely as the government have lost two years in COVID and Lockdown. Approximately 11 cr dwelling units are been constructed by various housing boards , affordable housing under PMAY and by Private sector in Real Estate. After RERA have implemented, there are approximately 1 lakh residential projects in offing in the country.

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