January 27, 2014
WB Govt makes homes affordable for the economically challenged section
To make homes affordable to the economically challenged, the state government has decided to bring townships back into the expanded category of projects for which the administration can waive the threshold on land ownership, Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said.
“However, we are going to make it mandatory for builders acquiring land in excess of the land ceiling to reserve a portion of their projects for people from the economically weaker sections,” Hakim said. Real estate developers could be asked to put aside 15-25% of residential projects built with exemption from the ceiling on land ownership for affordable housing, he added.
The state does not allow private ownership of more than 24 acres except for pre-approved commercial projects and infrastructure development for which waivers can be secured under section 14Y of the Land Reforms Act. This, in West Bengal, is popularly known as `14Y clearance`.
Several townships are in the pipeline – the most notable among them being the Shapoorji Pallonji Group project at Rajarhat on the outskirts of Kolkata.
A recent study by consulting and audit firm KPMG showed that the cumulative demand for new homes in the state is expected to go up to 2.68 million till 2030, and that 99% of this will come from economically weaker people. The study was commissioned by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers` Association of India, or CREDAI.