Housing and urban development secretary G Mathi Vathanan said if things move as planned, the tenders for some projects totalling 20,000 housing units, may be floated as early as April. “We will take project-specific approval from the government,” he added.
“As the city grows, one wants to buy space rather than land. Now our main focus will be on housing and capitalising on the vertical space. We have given top priority to vertical structures, especially in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. In the next one year, more than 25,000 houses may be rolled out in the two cities,” Vathanan said.
The bureaucrat further said the government intends to target the middle and lower-income groups (monthly income up to Rs 25,000) because this segment is not catered to by the private sector. The projects will be floated by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), the Cuttack Development Authority (CDA), the Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB), among other agencies, he added.
The government has identified around 200 acres of land in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar for the housing projects. “Part of the land will be monetized by involving private developers and money generated from that will be used in constructions. Since the constructions will come up on government land, the cost of housing units will be far less than the market price,” the housing and urban development secretary said.
Private builders will be involved in completing the housing projects, in exchange of which they will get land to develop high-end properties and sell them at market price. However, the prices of the stocks in individual projects for the middle and lower-income groups will be decided by the executing agencies such as BDA, CDA and the housing board.
Government sources said the houses for the economically weaker sections (monthly income below Rs 7,500) will automatically grow as every project with 2,000 square metre area has to compulsorily reserve 10% of the built-up space for the EWS category.