Little activity on the urban housing front in Ranga Reddy district
People knocking on the doors of Ranga Reddy district collectorate for affordable housing invariably face a brusque rebuff these days. Officials in charge of housing projects curtly tell the applicants, without as much glancing at the piece of paper, that the applications for urban housing are not being accepted anymore.
A notice is pasted at all the strategic locations in the collectorate building saying housing applications are not accepted.
“We are accepting only the applications of the physically challenged persons as of now. The demand for housing in the urban areas is far greater than the supply. Already, more than 30,000 applications are pending with us. With the JNNURM scheme set for closure from coming March, we are clueless about how to go further with housing,” says the District Project Officer of Rajiv Gruha Kalpa scheme J. Srinivas Reddy.
A total of 53,693 applications were received for housing under the JNNURM during 2005-06, of which only 20,608 applicants have been allotted houses. Under the Rajiv Gruha Kalpa scheme, 50,967 applicants were registered, and 28,752 have been allotted flats.
While applications have been constantly pouring in even after 2005, no fresh sanctions have been made since January 2009. Over four lakh applications are lying in the collectorate, received over the years from across the district, by way of mass contact programmes such as ‘Rachchabanda’ and ‘Praja Darbar’.
While such is the situation on the housing front, the GHMC has apparently written to the Ranga Reddy District Collector about its intentions to drop 3,294 dwelling units from the JNNURM project. Reason? Of the already constructed lots, many have no takers.
However, sources inform that it is due to various problems such as lack of water supply lines, road connectivity and unwieldy distance coupled with lack of transport that the allottees are not immediately shifting to their new dwellings. Some others have dropped their claims after the price escalation. However, no rules are spelt out in JNNURM guidelines for cancellation and re-allotment of flats in case the allottee defaults in payment, Mr. Reddy informs.
“Recently, we found vacant government lands to the extent of over 17 acres in two chunks at Gandhamguda and Nizampet respectively. We are pursuing with the GHMC for construction of over 3,000 dwelling units in these lands for beneficiaries,” Mr. Reddy said.