Housing woes in Rourkela
The stagnation in private real estate sector in and around Rourkela seems to have aggravated under the impact of demonetisation. To make things worse, the city’s prevailing housing crisis continues as 16 months after announcement, the mega affordable housing plan of the Rourkela Development Authority (RDA) has failed to take off.
In the wake of the sponge-iron manufacturing boom in Sundaragrh district from 2000, the real estate value in Rourkela city and elsewhere skyrocketed by a staggering 10 to 13 times at different locations. While the rich people were affected, the poor and middle-class segments were the worst hit.While no new private housing project has started in the city in past two years, about 10 under-construction private housing projects are stuck in the recent developments.
Real estate developer Alok Bagaria said the real estate sector in and around the city is suffering from uncertainty due to ambiguity in policy. He said Rourkela’s private land holding is very scarce and legal restriction on transfer of tribal land is halting growth of new private housing projects. He denied of any drop in value of real estate assets after demonetisation.
However, another land dealer confided that land value in adjoining areas of the city has dipped by at least 20 per cent with substantial drop in transactions since November 8 as half of the land transactions are done in unaccounted cash. He felt that those holding multiple idle plots for higher gains would be forced to cut land values. Eventually, the buyers would be the gainers, he said.
Local industrialist Gouri Shankar Agarwal said as a natural impact of crackdown on black money, the prices of landed properties may come down and cut in housing loan interest would benefit the common man. The RDA has announced to construct 25,000 affordable residential apartments and 108.82 acres of land have been identified at Chhend Colony along with three smaller land patches at Chhend Colony and Civil Township.
RDA Chairman, Sarada Prasad Nayak said RDA’s apartment plan along with other housing projects of Government for urban poor would solve the city’s housing problem.