Housing Minister Shilpa Mohan Reddy’s announcement in Hyderabad early this month hinting at a reduction in the cost of flats and individual houses has revived the sagging spirits of Rajiv Swagruha applicants. Their joy, however, didn’t last long as Swagruha officials say they have not received any communication to that effect.
Meanwhile, the officials have managed to rope in 100 new applicants with their marketing strategies during the last two months. Project Coordinator Panduranga Reddy is, however, optimistic that the demand would pick up once the construction of model flats, for which markings are already being done, is completed in the next couple of months.
Officials attribute the poor response from the initial applicants to the wrong notion that the cost of flats under Swagruha would be comparable to low-cost houses under other government schemes. They are now targeting corporate sector officials and employees, software professionals and bank officials.
The officials are playing down the claims of private builders, who are promising to offer similar flats at Yendada at a much lower cost. “Private players will only give the base cost. They will charge extra for provision of parking and add other costs like VAT tax and service tax at the time of handing over of the flat,” they say.
“On the contrary, there would be no hidden charges for Swagruha flats. The flat owners needn’t pay anything extra for facilities like clubhouse, underground drains, solar systems and internal BT roads, as all these are already included in the cost. There will be no compromise on quality. A number of clearances and permissions have to be obtained as the project is located close to the seashore. Construction on hillocks has also necessitated approval of the Department of Mines and Geology and multi-storeyed constructions also require several clearances. Ninety per cent of the earth work has been completed and construction will start in two months and completed in two years,” Mr. Panduranga Reddy said when his attention was drawn to the undue delay in the start of construction. The officials are, however, tight-lipped on the possible cost reduction on the plea that they are yet to receive any instructions from the corporate office.