The petroleum ministry has asked oil PSUs such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to build 50,000 houses for renting to migrant workers. It is a part of a government's plan to develop affordable rental housing for migrants or labourers who lost their jobs and migrated to their villages with the harsh circumstances faced by them in lockdown.
The ministry wants IOC as well as other public sector undertakings (PSUs) that fall under its administrative control such as Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), GAIL India Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to build the housing units on the land they have. It is confirmed by three officials who attended a meeting.
The meeting was chaired by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who asked the PSUs to come up with plans to build the housing units at the earliest.
A sub-scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the Affordable Rental Housing Complexes aims at providing ease-of-living to urban poor and migrant workers. This is for all those who require affordable housing near their work or construction sites as a result of the #Covid19 induced reverse migration.
The PSUs have now started looking for scarce land within or near their installations for the housing project, the officials said, as reported The Economic Times.
They also said that operating units such as refineries rarely have spare land and they struggle to house new units or staff. Also, the new projects such as pipelines are in remote areas where migrant workers may not be willing to go, rent and stay.
All those workers employed on oil and gas projects stay in temporary housing units near the project sites and it is not easy to get them into rented units.