They will be told to part with 10 p.c. of developed land in residential layouts
Under pressure from the Union Government to meet the conditions stipulated for release of funds for Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) projects in Bangalore and Mysore, the State Government has decided to make it mandatory for all private developers to set aside 10 per cent of the developed land in residential layouts for urban poor.
Though government agencies engaged in housing projects are already reserving sites for the poor, the Government's step is aimed at making even private layout developers part with 10 per cent of the developed land to the Government for distribution among economically weaker sections (EWS) and lower income group families in the jurisdiction of all urban local bodies.
Sources in the Department of Urban Development told The Hindu that a draft notification inviting objections for the Government's proposal has already been issued. Simultaneously, the Law Department is finalising amendments to the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act and thereafter in the rules.
Though the modalities of the allocation of housing to the poor are still being worked out, reliable sources in the Government said the proposed changes would apply to all private builders taking up residential projects on plots measuring two hectares (20,000 sq. m) or more.
In case the developed area is between half hectare (5,000 sq. m) and less than two hectares, the developer has to pay a shelter fee to the urban local body.
“The fee is yet to be determined,” sources said. However, private developers are exempted from paying a shelter fee and surrendering land to the urban poor if the housing projects are on less than half hectare land. The Government's move has come as a shock to private developers who have barely recovered from the dip in real estate transactions owing to recession.
“It will hit us hard. As it is 50 per cent of land has to be set aside for roads, park, civic amenities, etc. If we have to surrender a further 10 per cent, our margins will be hit. We are already paying about Rs. 300 a sq. yard for developing land as various government fees. We will oppose the move unless the Government makes up for it by either reducing the development fee or tank development fee,” said Siddaraju, a private land developer.
The major objective of this proposal is to ensure equitable supply of land, shelter and services at affordable prices to all sections of society, and thereby prevent the growth of slums in urban areas. The paucity of land for housing is driving unplanned growth and increasing the prices of houses and rentals to unsustainable levels in cities, officials maintained.
Housing for the poor has been a major issue for the State Government as the demand for land has outstripped the supply.
The non-availability of land is major issue in all urban local bodies in the State.
For instance, under the Vajpayee Housing Scheme for Urban Areas, the Government requires 1,767.50 acres while the available land is only 883.60 acres. Only 35,344 housing sites would be formed in the available land as against the targeted 70,700 sties, officials in the Housing Department said.