Plan to raise govt flats as highrises gets Cabinet okay

A year after it was first proposed,the Union Cabinet on Wednesday finally passed the Urban Development Ministry’s pitch to turn government colonies in the Capital into highrises to meet the increasing shortage in government housing.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2009 1:30:07 am

A year after it was first proposed,the Union Cabinet on Wednesday finally passed the Urban Development Ministry’s pitch to turn government colonies in the Capital into highrises to meet the increasing shortage in government housing.

The Cabinet today approved the redevelopment project for construction of 492 units. These units will be built in Netaji Nagar and Moti Bagh. The National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) will be in charge of the redevelopment project,set at an estimated cost of Rs 433.67 crore.

The Urban Development Ministry had floated a proposal last March — as part of its old buildings in government colonies like RK Puram,Sarojini Nagar and Kidwai Nagar are set to give way to highrises.

“We don’t have enough accommodation to meet the increasing requirement for government housing,” a senior official said. “We plan to redevelop all government colonies in Delhi.” The UD ministry,through the Central Public Works Department,provides and maintains 64,208 government flats in its ‘general pool residential accommodation’ at present.

This is besides accommodation provided to VVIPs,VIPs and other ministers.

As per the plan,in the first phase Netaji Nagar will get 102 Type-VII,14 Type-VIII and 376 Type-VI accommodations. The colony will also have a provision of 500 flats for the economically weaker section. The complex will span over 120 acres,the official said.

East Kidwai Nagar will get a total of 4,500 houses,including Types V,IV,III,and II. “The idea is that all shortages in the general pool government housing is to be met through redevelopment,” the official said.

According to officials,construction of East Kidwai Nagar is to be completed within 30 months of the Cabinet’s approval.

DDA okay in pocket
Last year,the DDA had relaxed land and building norms in areas where these colonies are located. “We were told that there is an urgent need for redevelopment in these areas due to the shortage of government accommodation and also because the two-storey buildings in these colonies are very old,” a senior planning department official in DDA said.

The official said DDA has allowed these buildings to grow vertically: “They can go as high as they want.” The agency has also relaxed land-use norms so that these areas can also be used for commercial purposes.

A ministry official said the provision for change in land-use has been kept because the ministry is considering reserving a part of every government colony in the city for commercial use,or which can be auctioned to private players. For instance in Netaji Nagar,NBCC which is undertaking the project has reserved five acres for non-residential use and auctioned it to the Leela group. As per plans,a five-star hotel will come up on the earmarked land,and the money received in the auction would finance the area’s housing redevelopment.

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