Work on more than 700 flats in 20 acres of land taken up in the first phase has come to a grinding halt

Delay-dogged ‘Harita’ housing project of the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) at Endada now may turn costlier to those who have been allotted flats. Since the cost of material, among others, has gone up and VUDA needs money to get the work going, increase in the cost has become inevitable, highly placed sources have told The Hindu.

Row with agency

Ironically, it is the increase of cost sought by Jurong India Private Limited, executing the Harita project, that led to a stand-off between VUDA and the agency with Vice-Chairman Kona Sasidhar terminating its contract.

The decision was challenged but the court order came in VUDA’s favour. It was expected that it would pave the way for resumption of work. But the State government’s decision on appointing another agency has taken considerably long.

Now the wheel has come full circle leading to increase. “However, the increase in cost will be marginal,” say the sources.

The work on more than 700 flats in 20 acres of land taken up in the first phase came to a grinding halt nearly one-and-a-half years ago. The work started in November 2009 and was originally scheduled for completion in two years.

The flats were allotted in draw of lots at the cost ranging from Rs.22 lakh to Rs.32 lakh. Many of the allottees have paid three-fourth of the cost.

Instalments

The penultimate instalment is scheduled for payment this month and the last instalment in March 2013.

Future course

Mr. Sasidhar returned from Hyderabad after a review of the progress by the Municipal Administration Minister. A decision on the future course is expected soon.

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