January 6, 2009 1:58:25 am
The Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) has come up with a project to provide low-cost housing to lower and middle income groups in the state. The project will be implemented in seven major cities of the state this year. It is worth mentioning here that the GHB has decided to construct low-cost houses after a gap of five years. .
Ahmedabad,Rajkot,Vadodara,Surat,Junagadh,Jamnagar and Bhavnagar are the cities where the project will begin in a phased manner. The first phase will cover Ahmedabad,Rajkot and Vadodara.
Manish Jivani,the Housing Commissioner of GHB said,”We are starting this project with a different perspective. The proposals are ready and we are awaiting the final letter of the RPF document. January will hopefully mark the start of the process.”
The GHB owns 500 acres of land in the state,out of which some land will be used in the project,depending on land parameters in the city. According to Jivani,the land will be given to developers through bidding. The land will be first used for LIG (low income group) housing and then for MIG (medium income group). The balancing land will be with the developer,who can put it to commercial,recreational or other use after procuring permission.
The cost of construction will be borne by the developer only. But the catch is that the GHB will be an equal partner in revenue from any construction done on the balancing land. Jivani added: “With the current economic slowdown and dipping construction costs,the developers will have a benefit. Since developers will take up the cost of construction,LIGs will be free for us. Moreover,we will fetch the revenue from the balancing land,which will be used for public property. The money coming from that land will be used for other housing projects. Therefore,this will lead to a cyclic development in Gujarat.”
The entire project will be funded by the GHB. The board has not applied for any funds from the government currently but is anticipating some subsidies from the state government.
“The GHB is ready for the change. We had fixed norms of constructing and selling houses earlier. All norms will be revised as soon as the construction starts. We will have a fixed allottee list. The houses will be allotted depending on their income groups. All quotas and allowances to any group will be decided during the final pricing of the houses,” Jivani added.
The LIG houses will be ground-plus-two constructions; the construction pattern of MIG houses will be decided after the initial phase of construction of LIG house gets over. The GHB will open the bidding this month. Construction is expected to begin by June. The GHB hopes to finish the project by 2010.
New developments in GHB
* A Project Cell with the position of a Cell Functional to be added soon
* There are only 20 engineers for GHB throughout Gujarat. The board has requested the government to recruit engineers for the low cost housing project.
* Discussions to introduce more cells and recruit more architects and staffers are on with the state government.
*The GHB website has been redesigned with its new activities.
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