In what signals a shift in gears, the Haryana Urban Development Authority has decided to construct 12,000 low-cost dwelling units for the economically weaker sections at Faridabad and Panchkula.
HUDA, which was only acquiring, developing and selling land in urban areas until now, will construct 8,000 of these dwelling units in nearby Panchkula. The first phase in which 2000 houses will be constructed in Sectors 20 and 26 of Panchkula is expected to start next month.
"These houses would be constructed in Panchkula in a year or so. The details have been worked out and the construction plan, drawings etc are ready,” HUDA Chief Administrator SS Dhillon told Hindustan Times.
The authority has decided to construct another 4,000 low-cost houses in the industrial township of Faridabad and identified 40 acres of land for the same. "Similar projects are being planned in Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh etc," according to officials.
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is also the chairman of HUDA, had two months ago directed HUDA to construct and provide 100,000 low-cost houses for the poor sections in the state, especially the National Capital Region (NCR).
Though the Chief Minister had asked the authority to keep the unit cost within Rs 1 lakh, the construction cost of a house with two rooms is working out to nearly Rs Two lakh.
Dhillon said these dwelling units would be allotted to applicants from the economically weaker sections on the basis of a draw of lots. The allotees would be given the option of making the payment in easy installments of roughly Rs 800 per month over a period of 16 years.
Besides, the government might impose a time cap on transfer of these houses to prevent speculators from using the scheme for financial gains. The low-cost housing is the first construction project being undertaken by the authority.
Hitherto, HUDA was acquiring and selling land for planned development of urban areas. It also allotted land to people of economically weaker sections at subsidized rates in the sectors developed by it besides making available land to the housing board and other bodies for providing houses to such people.