State looks at global models for its mega housing project

The state government is studying affordable housing models from South America to Asia as part of its ambitious Mukhya Mantri Gruh Samrudhi Yojana announced by the BJP in its poll manifesto that promised 50 lakh houses in urban and rural areas across the state in the next five years.

While a new department to be headed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, as promised in the manifesto, is likely to come up, the urban department has begun exploring options on the model and technology to be adopted for housing schemes on a large scale.

Congress had promised Ghar Nu Ghar (own your own house) in its poll manifesto last year, exposing the need of affordable housing. BJP was prompt to followed suit and made affordable housing one of its most important pre-poll promises.

Around 15 lakh houses to be constructed in Ahmedabad under the recently released new development plan (DP) by the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority will be part of MMGSY, as will be similar plans for various urban pockets across the state.

The release of DP by AUDA, which means new land pockets will be available for development, is being seen as a major catalyst for MMGSY.

Officials say the aim is not only to achieve the target of 50 lakh houses, but to also provide quality housing within a reasonable timeframe.

The scheme will be executed on Public-Private Partnership basis, but the studies are going on to find the most suitable model and technologies.

"We have been studying models in several countries that have successfully undertaken affordable housing projects on a large scale. From Mexico to Singapore and Thailand, many case studies are being considered," a top official said. "Models in states in India, including Maharashtra, are also being considered," he added.

The state government is primarily aiming at rehabilitation of slum-dwellers and housing for lower income groups by integrating it with the urban transport system, affordability and quality.

Various Memorandum of Understandings signed by foreign countries have proposed newer technologies for large-scale construction. Technology of pre-cast houses, where various units can be assembled, is also being explored as one of the options. This technology promises faster and better results. If the Gujarat government goes for it, it will be for the first time that the state will see houses built on pre-cast format.

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