| A housing project in Chandrasekharpur area of Bhubaneswar. Telegraph picture |
Bhubaneswar, Oct. 12: The state government has decided that all the upcoming housing schemes in the capital will have to reserve a section of houses for people of low and middle income groups. With the increase in the cost of land prices, new houses in the city are becoming increasingly unaffordable for people of low and middle income group.
The housing and urban development department has decided that all housing schemes will have a minimum 10 per cent reservation for low income group (LIG) category and 10 to 15 per cent for the middle income group (MIG) category.
“This will be applicable even for the private builders who are availing land from the government and building houses and apartments in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and the Orissa State Housing Board (OSHB) are constructing houses in PPP mode. We hope to be able to create houses in the city for people of low and middle income groups. This would also help to keep the real estate prices in check,” said housing and urban development secretary Deoranjan Kumar Singh.
“The price of a property will vary according to the cost of the land. A property in the heart of the city may cost over Rs 1 crore. But the same property may cost half the price on the outskirts. We may not be able to do anything about the differences in the price due to the land price cost component, but with fixed quota of property for people of low and middle income groups, we can ensure their share of right to urban living,’’ he added.
“The housing projects, recently cleared by a high power committee headed by the chief secretary, will come up in Paikarapur, Gadakan, Sijua areas. All these projects will also have the prescribed reservation for LIG and MIG houses. These projects are being executed through PPP mode,” he added.
Since 1976, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has created 11,610 housing units. Of these, 2,788 belonged to people of economically weaker sections (EWS), while the numbers were 3,466, 3,086, 1,179, and 1,091 for people of LIG, MIG, HIG, and HIG duplex categories respectively.
“Equality in the distribution of lands was tried to maintain in the land schemes launched by the BDA since 1976. While a total of 5,888 plots were handed over to people, the share for people of EWS, LIG, MIG, and HIG categories were 79, 1,674, 2,296, and 1,060 respectively. Some plots were given to people of higher income category. Now, our focus is to ensure more houses in the capital are available to people of low and middle income groups,’’ he said.
Housing and urban development minister Badri Narayan Patro said: “The state government has always emphasised on the need for housing schemes for people of EWS and LIG categories. In fact, there is not a major difference between the core houses in the LIG and MIG categories.”
“Property prices can come down considerably if their engineering departments start building houses on their own. The PPP mode is unnecessarily escalating property price,” said Bhubaneswar district Congress committee president Pratap Jena.