It has been estimated that the urban population in India is likely to witness a 25 percent increase out of the country’s total population, as per the 1981 Census. It is likely to reach about 40 percent by the year 2001 AD. That estimate has been greatly surpassed as per the 2001 census. Thus it is likely to bring further pressure on existing housing amenities, which has already assumed a crisis situation. It is incumbent therefore to accord a high priority to the improvement of the urban housing conditions by evolving appropriate policies, innovative approaches and result oriented urban development programmes.
Owning an apartment in Kochi is not as easy thing today. The main prerogative of the middle class people migrating to the urban centers of this financial nerve center is to find affordable living spaces on rent or houses that are being put up for outright sale. Due to the continuous appreciation in land values, the only way out for a majority of the middle class people is to move into an apartment, even though it is easier said than done.
If the private sector were not given the freedom to innovate with better building construction designs and methodologies, the housing situation in Kochi would have reached crisis proportions. None of the government and semi-government institutions could ever meet the housing needs of the middle class people so far in spite of sinking huge sums of money for housing development. After the liberalization of the Indian economy, many of such government housing development agencies were totally disbanded.
In the near future, greater progress is likely to be achieved if the laws and regulations governing housing development are liberalized further. In Kochi, the urban development authorities have already relaxed the rules and regulations governing housing development that are strictly enforced in other parts of Kerala. Due to the acute shortage of open spaces, such a decision has become inevitable. Not only that, for buildings to be located at close proximity to one another, such an approach is the only way out. Even the leading builders have benefited much due to the liberalized approach.