February 8, 2021 2:11:17 am
Allowing more people to own a home in Gujarat International Finance Tech-City, popularly known as GIFT City at Gandhinagar, the Gujarat government has tweaked rules related to “occupancy” and allowed people not employed in GIFT City to live within the campus.
“Earlier, only an individual working in GIFT City could buy a house within the campus. This rule was changed around three years ago, allowing people not employed in GIFT to buy a house. But such people could not live there. Now this occupancy rule has been changed again, allowing people not employed in GIFT City to both own a house and reside within the campus. The decision was taken at a recent cabinet meeting held at Gandhinagar,” said a state government official.
“However, this relaxation has been capped to the first 5,000 residential units. This has been done to encourage more investments in the residential side of the project. A person will buy a house only if he or she can easily sell it. So this relaxation will help attract investors. It will also ensure that there are enough dwelling units ready for occupancy and could be offered to any corporate on rental basis,” the official added.
A government resolution in this regard is yet to be issued. After the exit of IL&FS, GIFT City is fully managed by the Gujarat government. The GIFT City is built on “walk-to-work” concept and earlier restrictions were to prevent it from turning into a real estate project.
“The entry barrier (on who will own a house and reside in GIFT City) was hindering the supply of residential units. Banks were also reluctant to offer home loans. With these changes, GIFT City can also get an outsider to stay within the campus. The number of those employed in GIFT is small and their market is not enough to justify investment here,” the official said. Currently over 10000 people work in 220 units in GIFT City.
Over 25,000 smart homes are expected to be built in GIFT City spread over 833 acres on the banks of the Sabarmati river that remains dry for major part of the year. These will be vertical development with one, two, three and four BHK houses measuring 800 to 2,000 square feet.
These homes will be first-of-its-kind that will eliminate the use of air conditioners with chilled water from the District Cooling system already functional. These homes will also be connected to the automated waste collection centre which is also functional.
At present, Bengaluru-based Jannadhar Pvt Ltd is the only existing residential scheme at GIFT City where about 300 odd families reside. This scheme with about 330 units is part of the affordable housing segment and is occupied by employees who fall in the low income groups.
The residential projects that are currently under construction include 1,000 apartments by Sobha Ltd and 150 apartments by Ahmedabad-based Sangath Group. Besides, the State Bank of India has proposed to build a residential tower for its employees.
“Earlier the situation was different. There was a private partner (IL&FS) in the project. Now the Gujarat government is monitoring it. So there will be no issue regarding compliance. Secondly, how can one disallow the owner of a house from residing in it. It is always difficult for a new employee to immediately purchase a house. It won’t be financially possible for everyone,” Sanjay Jain of Sangath Group told The Indian Express.
Jain said the Group has already completed 35 per cent of the bookings for Phase-1 of the residential project where it is building 168 smart homes at prices between Rs 56-75 lakh. “We are building as per the smart features of GIFT City. These are buildings of high quality and are earthquake resistant. The quality that we are offering through these homes makes it incomparable with similar residential schemes in Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar,” he added.
Of the proposed 62 million square feet of development in GIFT City, the commercial development includes offices and facilities for conferences and exhibition that will account to 67 per cent (42 million square feet). Residential area of 14 million square feet is planned and will occupy 22 per cent of the total vertical development. About 6 million square feet will be used for social facilities such as retail, restaurant and other entertainment facilities.
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