The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mammoth scheme for home
- Trillion-rupee project in six sites in Bengal, 217 across India

Sahara India Pariwar is investing Rs 400-450 crore in a housing project in Calcutta. Sahara says it has acquired a 150-acre plot in Rajarhat, where construction will begin early next year.

Calcutta is among six cities in Bengal and 217 nationally where Sahara will be building housing complexes over the next four years, at an investment approaching “a trillion” rupees. “Durgapur and Burdwan are amongst the other cities in Bengal where Sahara will be investing, but we can’t name the others till we have obtained clearances from the local authorities,” said I. Ahmed, executive director worker of Sahara Infrastructure and Housing Projects.

Sahara envisages an investment of Rs 1,500-1,800 crore on these six projects in the state. The size of these complexes will range between 100 and 150 acres. Each of them will have 3,000 to 3,500 flats. “We have applied for clearances from the local authorities for all our proposed projects in Bengal. We should be able to announce the three other cities within a month,” said a spokesperson.

Called Sahara City Homes, this mammoth project was kicked off on Friday with bhoomipujan at the Indore Township. “We intend to start work in all the 217 cities within the next six to seven months. Construction at each of these sites will take three-and-a-half to four years,” Ahmed added.

Real-estate players would rather wait for the Sahara plans to take concrete shape. “Developing a 150-acre plot in four years is too optimistic,” said Jitendra Khaitan of Pioneer Properties.

Up to 60 per cent of these sprawling complexes will remain uncovered. “Each of them will have a school, recreation facilities, a multiplex and all amenities you could think of in a modern housing complex,” said a spokesperson.

Most of these flats have been priced between Rs 12-20 lakh. “Though prices would vary from city to city, the range broadly is Rs 4.5-40 lakh. But about 40 per cent of the flats have been priced between Rs 12-20 lakh,” said Ahmed. The size of each flat would range between 400 and 3,000 sq ft.

Sahara claims the project will be funded out of its internal resources. “We are not borrowing from banks or raising cash from public. Of course, some of the cash comes from our para-banking operations,” Ahmed said.

One in four flats has already been booked, Sahara officials claimed. This, too, is questioned by the real-estate lobby in the city. “These bookings have come from our para-banking customers,” affirms Ahmed.

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