Congress general secretary Nishit Vyas has alleged that the Gujarat Housing Board, by remaining completely inactive ever since the BJP acquired political power in the state a decade and a half ago, is directly promoting the private groups in the housing sector. In a statement issued on Monday, he said that GHB had not constructed even a single residential house in the last 15 years.
Vyas claimed that the GHB, under Congress governments, had constructed a total of 1,76,823 houses, most of them in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Gandhinagar. These houses, he said, were for economically weaker sections, middle and higher income groups.
GHB, he said, had almost become a ‘dead’ organisation with only 124 employees now, against 1267 employees during the Congress regime when it was a vibrant organisation taking care of the housing needs of the people.
Vyas said that GHB was currently having over 541 acres of land with it, most of it in Ahmedabad, but there were no signs of the board to launch any housing scheme.
He said that GHB having withdrawn itself from the field, had provided a free hand to private builders who were charging heavy prices for houses. He said that prices were under check when GHB was active and constructing residential houses and apartments.
He also accused the BJPgovernment of changing the land acquisition policy against the landowners.
According to him, the urban development agencies earlier took only 25 per cent of land from the landowners for development of the areas and allowed them to sell 75 per cent at market prices without the interference of the government. This gave a very high return to the landowners.
But the BJP government was now taking 40 per cent of the land from the owners to meet the cost of development like construction of roads, laying sewerage lines and erecting electric poles etc and gave them only 60 per cent to sell it at market prices. This, Vyas, worked against the interest of the landowners. He wanted the state government to review its land acquistion in urban areas.