Land woes force 1-lakh housing scheme to be redone

Land woes force 1-lakh housing scheme to be redone

Picture for representation

Shortage of suitable land has forced the ambitious Chief Minister's 1-lakh Bengaluru Housing Scheme to go vertical. The affordable flats will now be constructed in ground floor+14 floors (G+14) buildings.

The decision to go vertical has meant a complete redo of the project, which it now seems was launched in a hurry by the previous government.

New designs of flats in the G+14 buildings have been prepared and whatever was done earlier based on the G+3 plan will be scrapped, Principal Secretary (Housing) Kapil Mohan said. 

"Of the 2.3 lakh homes we've built in other parts of the state, we followed the G+3 approach because availability of land wasn't an issue. But in Bengaluru, availability of land, and land that’s suitable, is an issue," Mohan told DH. "Going vertical is the logical thing to do since we're also subsidising the land cost."

The populist scheme, which former chief minister Siddaramaiah announced in his 2017-18 budget, is meant to provide one lakh flats for the urban poor in the Bengaluru Urban district. So far, about 50,000 beneficiaries have been selected through an online application process.

The project requires 1,130 acres of land. In March 2018, the revenue department sanctioned 582.39 acres of gomala and kharab lands to the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation for the project.

Mohan, however, said that 1,040 acres were available for the project across 43 locations in Bengaluru. "On one acre of land, we can construct 140 flats in G+3. In G+14, we can have 360-370 units. That way, we’ll need only about 400-500 acres for the project," he said. The rest of the land will be used to scale up the project, he added.

The officer also indicated that all of the land available for the project may not be free of encumbrance. "We cannot rule out instances of people coming with historical documents to claim the land," Mohan said, adding that locals were resisting the project in some locations.  

The department will also give developers full rights on 25% of the project land. "But the developer can sell his share only after developing and selling our share of 75%," Mohan said. The 'notional loss' of 25% land will be made up by going vertical, he pointed out.

Under the scheme, SC/ST beneficiaries have to deposit Rs 50,000 and those under the general quota Rs 1 lakh. A 1 BHK flat will cost about Rs 6 lakh. For each flat, the government will bear Rs 3.80 lakh for SC/ST and Rs 2.70 lakh for general beneficiaries. Mohan said buyers will have to pay Rs 3 lakh, inclusive of loan that banks have agreed to provide under the scheme.