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Cheap housing no more in Huda scheme of things

Private realtors make hay while Huda fails to take up new projects in upcoming sectors.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2012 02:15 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Sanjeev K Ahuja
Hindustan Times

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) — which was set up to provide “affordable housing to all sections of society” — seems to be faltering from its avowed mission. According to observers, by not launching any project for long, Huda is playing into the hands of private developers.

Although Huda has the financial muscle to take up massive urban housing projects and give private realtors run for their money, it has been eight years since it floated a scheme.

Even the last time Huda floated a project in 2004, only 3,000 residential plots were up for grabs. The plots, which were sold at affordable rates of R3,000-R4,000 per sq yard, were allotted in Sector 57.

Private developers were offering plots here at the rate of Rs 30,000 per sq yard then.

Though 58 new sectors have been earmarked in Master Plan 2025, Huda has not acquired even a single acre to construct housing projects that would have benefited thousands of middle class homebuyers.

Though construction by private developers is on in full swing in the new sectors, the houses are out of reach for the common man. Their only ray of hope was Huda, if it would have launched a housing scheme, but that was not to be.

According to sources, in some of the newly earmarked sectors such as 58-67 and others, private developers have bought chunks in prime locations leaving no room for Huda to acquire land. Some land is still available but in far-off sectors, but Huda authorities are yet to make up their mind.

Though the cash-rich agency has thousands of crores in its kitty, officials cite high cost of land acquisition as the reason for not acquiring land from farmers. As a result, property buyers are forced to turn to private players who offer high-end options (at the rate of R50,000-R60,000 per sq yard).

Refuting claims of any pressure from the developers’ lobby, Huda administrator Praveen Kumar said it will take at least 2-3 years to come up with a housing scheme. “The cost of land in Gurgaon has gone up tremendously and if we float a township now, we may not be able to offer properties at affordable rates. We have plans and it might take a couple of years to come up with housing schemes,” he added.

Sources also said farmers prefer to sell land to developers than government agencies as they get a better deal.

First Published: Apr 18, 2012 02:13 IST