Ahead of this year’s local body elections, the Gujarat government has planned to build around 35,000 affordable houses in six major cities of the state. To facilitate this, the Revenue Department will pass on the 5.19 lakh square metres of land, rendered surplus under the Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) Act, to the Urban Development Department, top government officials said.
This will, according to the government, accelerate the process of building housing units for urban poor. The ruling BJP during the 2012 December assembly polls had promised to build around 50 lakh affordable units within five years. Under the Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana, the government has announced that 22 lakh housing units in urban areas and 28 lakh in rural areas would be built. While some plans have already began in rural areas, all six major cities — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Rajkot — will get the surplus lands to implement the scheme hassle-free before the polls.
The sources maintained that like last assembly polls, affordable housing for urban poor would be the poll plank of the BJP in local body polls.
The latest development is expected to simplify the procedure and save time in the process of transferring the land from the revenue department to urban development department. Till now, the land transfer was done only after local authorities had applied for the same. Now, the Urban Development Department will hand over the land on its own without any demand.
Among the six corporations Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will get the lion’s share of 82,623 sqm. Vadodara will get 76,311 sqm, Surat 37,711 sqm, Bhavnagar 55,215 sqm, Jamnagar 33,873 sqm and Rajkot City and Rural 2,33,423 sqm.