Ending months of wait for thousands of applicants, Chief Minister Anandi Patel conducted a computerized draw of lots in Rajkot on Sunday to decide on the beneficiaries of the 8,000-odd proposed affordable houses being built by the Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) in major cities of the state.
At a packed Hemu Gadhvi Hall in the city, the CM clicked a mouse to draw the lots for the 8,040 houses of GHB to be built in Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat. GHB had received more than 55,000 applications. Patel also drew the lots for around 2,400 dwelling units being constructed by Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) under Mukhyamantri GRUH Yojna of the state government. The proceedings of the draw were telecast live in the other three cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat.
Among those for which the draw was conducted included proposed 1,272 houses in Rajkot for the economically weaker section (EWS) and the low income group (LIG). The board had received 8,752 applications for these houses to be built at a cost of approximately Rs 142 crore. Construction of these houses in Rajkot would be completed in the next 18 months, GHB officers said. Similarly, draw of lots was conducted for 1,568 houses, being built in Naranpura area of Ahmedabad for LIG, middle income group (MIG) and the high income group (HIG).
The beneficiaries for 472 units coming up in Chenpur, 541 in Hathijan, and 2,188 houses in Gota and Sola, all areas of Ahmedabad, were also decided on Sunday.
The GHB is also constructing 772 affordable houses in Gota area of Vadodara and 1,665 units in Jhangirabad of Surat, draws for which were conducted from Rajkot by the CM. The board is constructing the proposed 8,040 houses at an estimated cost of Rs 880 crore. The state government had launched the second phase of the affordable housing schemes in the run-up to the General Elections early this year. However, by the time the applications for these houses were received, the model code of conduct had already come into force, temporarily suspending the process.
“Since 2012, when the then Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, announced to build 50 lakh houses in the state for the urban and rural poor, the state government has already built 1.5 lakh houses and allotted them to their beneficiaries. Another 1.5 lakh houses are in various stages of construction,” Patel said, while addressing applicants on Sunday. She said the state government had adopted the system of computerised draws in view to blocking out the middlemen from the state government schemes.
“We are committed to providing the poor and the disadvantaged people a home of their own. This is the reason, we have approved more than 150 town planning schemes and development plans in the past one year,” said Patel. Urban Housing Development Minister, Shanker Chaudhary, said the prices of houses in the market has gone down by about Rs 5 lakh, after the state government launched its affordable housing schemes in July last year.