15 per cent allocation for poor in apartment complexes irks the Mangalore branch of CREDAI.

While the government hopes to increase the number of housing units for the economically backward sections (EWS) by making it mandatory to allocate 15 per cent of the houses in sites developed by private builders, the Mangalore Branch of CREDAI has called the decision “unscientific and unpractical”.

The difference in opinion – between Minister of Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader and president of Mangalore unit of CREDAI Pushparaj Jain – came out during the inauguration of the two-day Mangalore Realty Buildcon Expo 2014 here on Saturday.

“Housing is a basic amenity, and the government can’t provide a roof over everyone’s heads. The private sector should also do their bid. For the first time, the State cabinet has approved allocation of 15 per cent in apartment complexes. At least 5,000 houses will be available to the poor in the district through this,” said Mr. Khader, adding that in return, the buildings will be given a higher Floor Area Ratio (FAR, which translates to taller buildings).

He urged private companies to come forward to aid the government with the scheme that aims to give subsidised, high-quality houses to the weaker sections.

‘Need discussion’

However, expressing “shock” at the approval of the scheme, Mr. Jain lambasted it as being unpractical.

“Builders sell houses for Rs. 90 lakh and more. How can they just give this away for free? And how can the poor stay in this? There needs to be a discussion about this,” he said.

Instead, he suggested the government hand over land to the private builders where they can build alternative accommodation for the economically backward.

The realty expo houses nearly 70 stalls of builders, banks and housing financing companies, and building material companies from Mangalore and Udupi cities.

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