The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Housing boom by the Bypass
- Bengal Peerless twin projects offer 1,600 flats in three phases

South Calcutta will witness a construction boom of joint-sector housing, along the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, over the next five years. On Thursday, Bengal Peerless Housing Development Company unveiled its plans to construct nearly 1,600 flats in three phases, beginning December-end.

K.S. Bagchi, managing director, Bengal Peerless, said the foundation stone of its twin projects, Avishikta, a cluster of over a dozen towers containing 358 flats, and Avishar, a commercial complex, would be laid on September 4. The projects will stand on nearly four acres. “The focus of the project, in conformity to the philosophy guiding joint-sector housing, is a balanced creation of flats for low, middle and high-income groups,” Bagchi said.

State housing minister Gautam Deb said the government was going to push the joint-sector housing companies to address the plight of the economically challenged. “As desired by the Supreme Court, none of us in the joint sector can ignore the cross-subsidisation factor. It plays an important role in our projects,” Bagchi said. “Otherwise, we would not have been able to undertake construction of housing for low and middle-income groups in the city proper.”

In Avishikta, 174 flats would be offered to the high-income group in three categories, against a total 184 to be set aside for the low and middle-income groups. Sale of flats will be on the basis of floor area, as defined by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. The Avishikta flats will be sold by lottery on an affordable price band.

The Bengal Peerless housing project, to be implemented in phases across 27 acres on the Bypass, will flag off the individual construction programmes being put in place by the state housing board, and other two joint-sector companies, Bengal Ambuja and Bengal Shrachi, officials said. By a reliable estimate, if all the upcoming projects are put together, approximately 7,000 flats will be built along the Bypass at the end of the fifth year.

“None of our projects are strictly commercial. For us, developing housing projects is more of a social commitment,” Bagchi said, adding that a recent Supreme Court ruling, pertaining to the acquisition of land for a project on VIP Road, had made it imperative for joint-sector companies to make a “pronounced commitment” on this. Bagchi said that 64 per cent of the 3.8-acre plot would be kept open to facilitate the construction of parks and a jogging track. Moreover, the project layout and its multi-storeyed towers have been planned strategically around a central park to allow maximum windflow within the complex.

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