BOWING TO government wishes, the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) on Saturday decided to put off the scheduled lottery draw for its Vibhor and Vinayak Khand sectors of the Gomti Nagar Extension housing scheme.
In a communiqué, secretary LDA Ram Bilas Yadav said the decision to postpone the draw was being taken in compliance with the Housing Secretary’s letter number sa-7039/aath-1-06-13 budget/05tc, dated November 3.
“Through its letter sent on Friday, the LDA has requested the government to reconsider its order and provide necessary guidance. Fresh date would be announced when a detailed order from the government received in this context was notified,” said Yadav.
It is pertinent to mention here that a government order issued on October 6 made development of necessary civic infrastructure a mandatory prerequisite to allotment of plots in new housing schemes. But since the LDA had already announced the dates for carrying out allotment of plots through three successive lottery draws to be held on November 7, 8 and 9, it decided to stick to its schedule regardless of the government directive. HT Lucknow Live highlighted the inconsistency on November 2 following which the Housing Secretary shot off a missive to the LDA asking it not to go ahead with the allotment process if the sectors in question were undeveloped.
Needless to add, fresh guidelines have not gone down well with the LDA, which feels that they are in complete reversal of the housing policy and would virtually sound the death knell for development authorities.
“We are supposed to be a self-sustained organisation working on a no-loss-no-profit basis. We don’t get any funds from the government. Consequently, the development work on a housing scheme is undertaken with the help of money deposited with us by our customers,” pointed out an official, requesting anonymity.
The latest GO, he said, would put development authorities in a very precarious position, as they would then have to procure loan from a financial institution to fund their future ventures. “Apart from running the risk of landing into a debt trap, an immediate fallout of this arrangement would be cost escalation in the property prices,” he added.
Secretary Housing KL Meena, however, brushed aside all such apprehensions. “It is only LDA which is averse to this arrangement. No other development authority in the State has so far voiced objection to the issue. Moreover, the process mentioned has already been successfully adopted by the UP Housing and Development Board,” he pointed out.