The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 26 , 2014
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Summit on realtors’ concerns

Guwahati, Aug. 25: A realtors’ summit, to be held in November, will look at possible solutions to flash floods and waterlogging in the city and throw light on urban core planning in Assam.

The four-day summit of the Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers Association (Areida) from November 21 will engage experts from across the country and captains of the industry to discuss issues plaguing the real estate sector and help devise ways to tackle them.

“We have organised four editions of our realty expo previously. This year, we have elevated the expo to a summit. Areida shall make a special endeavour to sensitise policy makers in the state regarding the opinions of experts so that decisions can be taken,” Areida president P.K. Sharma said here today.

Flash floods and waterlogging have been a perennial problem for Guwahati, where real estate has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade and a half.

Haphazard construction, including those on waterbodies, has compounded the problem, prompting the district administration to carry out a drive to evict encroachers on natural water channels.

“The summit will also talk of the impact of big dams on the environment,” he said.

The realtors’ summit will also have a grand display of the available properties and products of allied industries.

“Buyers and sellers will get to interact at the 130 stalls to be put up at the event. Prospective house buyers can also avail of bank finance at the summit and, more importantly, compare products. Besides, annual special discounts on all products will also be on offer,” Sharma said.

The real estate sector has borne the brunt of a severe recession in the past few years.

“The sector has been hit by recession over the past couple of years and Guwahati is no exception. But we are optimistic of better days as the new government at the Centre has laid special emphasis on the sector, particularly, affordable housing,” he said.

Currently, only 10 per cent of the population in the state can afford new homes, according to the realtors’ organisation. Sixty per cent of the demand for affordable homes comes from lower-income groups.

“Affordable housing is a need that the government cannot ignore. We have taken up the matter with the authorities at the Centre. A number of restrictions, regulations and taxation issues add to the high cost of homes. Thirty-five per cent of the cost of homes goes to the government’s coffers in the form of taxes,” Sharma said.

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