In run-up to polls, government lines up urban renewal projects

parliamentary elections

begins, the Centre has lined up mega urban renewal initiatives over the next three months. A beginning would be made next week with the

ministry of housing and urban affairs

unveiling an international technology challenge to give a boost to the housing sector and would be followed by inaugurations of four


lines across India

The ministry would unveil the technology challenge on Monday. It will see international real estate players liasoning with Indian firms to showcase emerging technologies to build houses at lower costs and improved speed. This would be done through regional technological challenges which would see state governments proposing projects and private real estate players and construction majors bidding for these lighthouse projects. The challenge would be like a competition where the best technology and proposal would be selected by the government to implement a project. A senior official said, “We would choose projects representative of each geographical region and then choose the bext proposals through a clearly specified weightage system. It is like an international competition which would help us in identifying best technologies in terms of speed of implementation and cost effectiveness.” The ministry had proposed the global challenge in 2017 when it sought to invite international construction majors at an expo and build linkages with home-grown construction firms.

The ministry was expected to announce the challenge in December 2018 but the guidelines could not be finalised. According to sources, there was a view within the government to postpone the initiative till after the elections. However, this was seen as a major initiative which would put the ministry’s housing initiatives in the limelight.

After the challenge, metro connectivity, which has a direct people connect, would be high on the agenda of the ministry. Over the next three months, the government is likely to inaugurate new stretches in four cities. The inaugurations would be done before the model code of conduct would be clamped down by Election Commission of India.

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