BHOPAL: Now land owned by universities and colleges across the state will be opened for PM Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Affordable Rental Housing Complex’ (ARHC) scheme formed after outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme has been started under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan where people from low income group will be given dwellings on rent under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna. The scheme includes private investors to build residential units on government land and rent it out to the needy.
The Urban Development Department-nodal agency for the scheme- has written a letter to the higher education department informing them of the scheme and to come forward for participation. Projects under ARHC will be applicable for consideration and funding till PMAY mission period March 2022.
The higher education department in return has written to registrar of all universities and principals of all government colleges. They have been advised to identify land for the project meant for affordable rental housing scheme and send it to the higher authorities for approval.
Colleges and universities could become important stakeholders in the scheme as it includes students and research scholars as beneficiaries besides others like migrant labourers, urban poor like rickshaw pullers, people from service sectors and tourists on long visits.
Earlier state government had also made a plan for unused land belonging to colleges across the state. According to that plan, unused land of colleges located in important locations in cities and towns could be used to develop commercial complexes and sports facilities etc.
Now after the central scheme, college and universities could make projects with students, research scholars and tourists on long visits as their prospective clients. Moreover, there is also an option for staffers from class four category. Other service providers like canteen and catering, sanitation workers and transport drivers could also be accommodated in such a project, said a retired professor.
However, a section of academicians oppose the idea saying that this could disturb the otherwise peaceful atmosphere of learning centres. Moreover, it may also impose a threat to existing hostel facility for the students that is provided by the government on subsidized rates.
If private builders are entrusted with such projects they will not provide any sort of concession to students which they prevail at present.
Presence of tenants on campus of educational institutes will add to the nuisance that might disturb peace and studies of the students.