Eye on urban voters, Cong vows hike in FSI, slum-free cities

Party announces 10th point of its Gujarat Praja Vikas Darshan-2012.

In a bid to woo urban voters that constitute over 40% of electorate in Gujarat, the Congress on Thursday announced it would take a number of measures concerning urban development, town planning, slum-free cities, mega townships and an autonomous traffic authority for better movement of vehicular traffic if the party is voted to power.

Announcing the 10th point of party's "Gujarat Praja Vikas Darshan-2012" at a press conference, state party president Arjun Modhwadia, Congress Legislature Party Leader leader Shaktisinh Gohil and chairman of party's election campaign committee Shankersinh Vaghela said their party would amend laws to increase the floor space index (FSI) on the lines of Maharashtra and allow sale and purchase of FSI in Gujarat as well to ensure affordable housing.

An interesting promise is that of eradicating slums from cities by building homes for its dwellers within five years if voted to power. Congress leaders said developers would be encouraged to build low-cost homes for slum-dwellers and an "autonomous authority" will be constituted for expediting these decisions.

They also declared to amend the town planning act to make it mandatory to finalise town planning (TP) schemes within 12 months to check corruption and make housing available at cheaper prices. Currently, it takes 10 to 12 years to get a TP scheme finalised.

The party also promised to slash "impact fees" to regularise unauthorised constructions.

The party leaders also announced to impose high rate of taxes on open plots in towns kept by rich people as an investment.

Big promises

"Illogical" jantri rates (govt rates) of land in urban and rural areas to be simplified and brought to "affordable" level to check corruption.

Policy of zero slum to be implemented within five years of Congress coming to power by allotting constructed houses to slum-dwellers.

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