Odisha govt scraps four housing projects for urban poor
The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA)’s plan to provide quality housing to the urban poor of the city has hit a roadblock.
The housing and urban development department has scrapped four affordable housing projects proposed by the authorities under the state government’s ‘Housing for All Scheme’. The projects were reportedly cancelled due to litigation.
The decision to cancel the projects was taken by the officials of the department during the 10th State-Level Sanction and Monitoring Committee meeting held on December 20 at the secretariat.
The four projects were sanctioned in 2015, but, due to litigation, they could not be executed on time. The loan sanctioned for the projects lapsed due to the delay, the members observed at the meeting.
“The project were therefore cancelled and the matter was communicated to the MoHUPA (ministry of housing and poverty alleviation),” reads the directive of the housing and urban development department.
The BDA had in 2015 proposed to develop the four housing projects at Chandrasekharpur, Ghatikia, Pandara and Nakhara.
Accordingly, tenders for the projects, to be executed in the public-private-partnership mode, were floated early in 2016. The BDA, however, failed to find any executors.
As per the plan, the housing project at Chandrasekharpur was to have 1,368 houses built at a cost of Rs 95.40 crore, while the one at Ghatikia proposed to have 1,280 houses to be constructed at the cost of Rs 89.60 crore.
Similarly, the complex at Nakhara was to have 1,540 houses and the one at Pandara, 1,360 houses.
The projects were to have been executed under Model IV of the Housing for All Scheme wherein the government would have roped in a private partner to take the land and develop the affordable housing projects on 35 per cent of it. The rest of the land would have been used by the private party to raise the project cost.
“We had some legal problems in the four projects and they got delayed. We have received the communication from the housing and urban development department and will withdraw from the projects. In the next set of projects, however, we will come up with more concrete plans so that they can be executed in a timely manner,” said BDA vice-chairman Krishan Kumar. He did not elaborate on the nature of the litigations surrounding the 2015 projects.
Officials said the projects encountered a number of hurdles including opposition from slum dwellers who were to be evicted to make away for them.