PMAY-U Awards 2021 – “100 Days Challenge” was also launched by the Housing Ministry Secretary (File).New Delhi: Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U), the government has approved 708 proposals for the construction of 3.61 lakh houses. The decision was taken at the 54th meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) under PMAY-U held in the national capital on Tuesday.According to the press statement by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the meeting was attended by 13 states/Union Territories. These houses are proposed to be constructed across “Beneficiary Led Construction and Affordable Housing in Partnership verticals”.In addition, “PMAY-U Awards 2021 – 100 Days Challenge” was also launched by Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).”The awards are given to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution and performances by states, Union Territories (UTs), urban local bodies (ULBs) and beneficiaries for successful implementation of the mission and create a healthy competition,” said the release.This was the first CSMC meeting during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.At the meeting, Durga Shanker Mishra said, “The demand for sanction has saturated in all states/UTs. Utilisation of unused funds and ensuring completion of the projects within the stipulated time is our prime focus now.”The states/UTs also put in their proposals for revision of projects due to various issues such as, of land, topographical hazards, inter-city migration, change of preferences of verticals and loss of lives.In its press release, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said, “With this, as on date, the total number of sanctioned houses under PMAY-U is now 112.4 lakh and so far, 82.5 lakh have been grounded for construction of which 48.31 lakh have been completed/delivered. Total investment under the mission is Rs 7.35 lakh crore, which has central assistance of Rs 1.81 lakh crore of which Rs 96,067 crore of funds have been released.”Addressing the participating states/UTs, secretary, MoHUA laid emphasis on six Light House Projects (LHPs), the foundation stones of which were laid by the prime minister in January 2021. The LHPs are being constructed at Agartala, Chennai, Lucknow, Ranchi, Rajkot and Indore.”These LHPs should galvanise all concerned departments involved in construction. Use of cutting-edge technology should be replicated and scaled up,” he said.