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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Affordable plotted housing scheme suspended in Gurugram & Faridabad over high land cost

More than six years on, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar ordered the suspension of the scheme in the two neighbouring cities, during a recent meeting with senior officials of the department of town and country planning (DTCP).

The state government has put on hold its ambitious affordable plotted housing scheme —Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojna (DDJAY) — in Gurgaon and Faridabad, citing high cost of land and its failure to benefit the lower- and middle- income families, TOI has learnt.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched DDJAY in the state in November 2016, with an aim to put a check on the development of unauthorised colonies apart from providing affordable housing units to the lower- and middle-income families.

More than six years on, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar ordered the suspension of the scheme in the two neighbouring cities, during a recent meeting with senior officials of the department of town and country planning (DTCP).

In the meeting, sources said, Khattar expressed his concern over the high prices of these affordable units in Gurgaon and Faridabad. He told the officials concerned that the key objective of the policy was to provide affordable homes to the people but the high cost of land in these cities had defeated the entire purpose of DDJAY.

According to DTCP data, around 60 licences were issued under DDJAY in Gurgaon and adjoining areas for developing housing units across 600 acres of land and around 40 licences for 400 acres of land in Faridabad since the launch of the scheme. Around 60 licences are currently under process in these two cities for the same scheme.

Confirming the development, a senior official of DTCP said that due to the high cost of land in Gurgaon and Faridabad, the affordable plotted housing scheme “has turned unaffordable for the homebuyers of the said segment”. “So, the scheme has been put on hold in the two cities.”

A city-based real estate expert said that apart from the cost of land, another loophole in the policy is the absence of a cap on the rates unlike highrise affordable projects, where the per square feet rate is fixed by the state government.

“Even the developers are helpless as they purchase the land at high cost and so the project is sold at higher cost keeping margins,” he said.

Developers also said that the affordable plotted housing scheme in Gurgaon and Faridabad is unsuccessful due to the high cost of land. “DDJAY is more beneficial for realtors as the profit margins are high as compared to highrise affordable housing projects,” said a developer.

“Also highrise projects require construction cost, which is not the case in the plotted housing scheme. But then the plots are costing in crores unlike the fixed price of affordable flats which are under Rs 26 lakh, thus making them unaffordable for the common man.”

In August last year, the state government, in order to promote the scheme, announced that the developers who had launched projects under DDJAY would no longer be required to freeze 50% of the plots. They would just require to mortgage only 10% of the project land to the DTCP as security for external or internal development charges.

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