The BDA is now forced to go vertical to meet housing needs, as it has not been able to form new layouts and the grant of sites is caught up in litigation.
This year, the BDA will bring up 5,000 flats across five areas in the City where the demand is high. Will there be takers for the flats considering the poor response in the past? BDA flats also have the image that they are meant only for the lower middle-class.
The new blocks of flats will come up at Kanminike, Kommaghatta, Malagala, Vollegarahalli Phase 5 and Alur. The flats will be allocated based on the number of attempts made by an individual in the past. Almost 8,000 applications are pending with the BDA for two and three BHK flats. Fresh notifications for allotment of the new flats have to be issued. The allotment of flats will take over 10 months as people will have to mobilise financial resources within that time to purchase flats.
The BDA is constructing one, two and three BHK homes. They are offered at Rs 12.5 lakh for 1BHK, Rs 18-20 lakh for 2BHK and Rs 27-30 lakh for 3BHK. BDA officials claim that demand for housing is high and that the number of applications are higher than the supply. The BDA commissioner Shyam Bhatt had earlier told Deccan Herald that because of delays, litigations and lack of physical space, the BDA would be forced to go vertical. With land in short supply and layouts not coming easy, the BDA is coming up with flats in multiple areas of the City, he said.
But how good is the response? According to sources, the BDA is struggling to sell flats that it had constructed in the past. It has had to face four rounds of under-subscription. The number of applicants eligible to participate in a lottery was said to be lower than the 800 2BHK flats it had put up for sale last year. This is not the first time that the BDA is facing poor response. In November 2014, the authority’s allotment of one-bedroom flats exhibited poor response and of the 1,400 flats notified, only around 900 were allotted. The rest were waiting for bids that didn’t come. One reason given for the poor response is that software engineers are able to afford better apartments with more facilities, and the issue was that when people could afford better equipped flats, why would they go in for budget homes? This is particularly true for techies who are paid fairly well – for instance the BDA flats in Whitefield area where the tech population is high did not see full occupation.
Officials, however, feel that the demand actually goes up during the final stage of construction compared to the initial stages. Applicants feel confident when they see the completion of the flat and just like it happens with other builders for whom demand goes up closer to completion, the same is expected to happen here, BDA officials claim. But what is the guarantee that people would wait for BDA flats when they can afford flats built by private builders is an issue the BDA has to face.