The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has issued the Model Retirement Homes Guidelines to lay down the requirements for safety, physical infrastructure and running of private real-estate projects developed specifically for those over 60 years of age.
The guidelines will be reportedly issued to all Indian states and union territories to incorporate the necessary changes. They espouse building design that is barrier-free and accessible for the elderly, including complete wheelchair accessibility, lifts with audio and visual signalling systems, anti-skid tiles in bathrooms and stairs, kitchens with gas leak detection systems, and power backup facilities in apartments and common areas. Besides, builders will be given additional construction rights (floor-area ratio) to take up such projects as per the norms.
According to Shrikant Paranjape, Chairman, Paranjape Schemes Construction, “Although the guidelines are broad, they are good. We have been doing retirement housing for the past 20 years and it is a welcome move for us. The guideline focuses on the aspect of entrusting the caretaker with some responsibility and covers residents too, so they are more organised and regulated.”
Further, the guidelines provide provision for medical facilities like on-site ambulance service, recreation, security and housekeeping, transportation assistance, yoga and fitness facilities.
Reportedly, the Ministry quoted from the India Ageing Report 2017 of the UN Population Fund to state that from 76 million in 2001, the population of senior citizens in India has increased to 104 million in 2011 and is expected to grow to 240 million by 2050.