LUCKNOW: Builders who had proposed hi-tech residential projects in Uttar Pradesh but have not yet began construction will find themselves in the crosshairs of the state government. The housing department has decided to critically review such projects, including those in NCR, and convert them into affordable housing townships if a builder has not made any progress so far. The department will meet on Monday to review all such projects.
Officials said many builders, who have already taken money from buyers, promised a grand township project to the government and acquired land from farmers. However, they didn't start construction on time, with many such projects languishing in Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad among others.
About 13 builders were given licences and perks of building hi-tech townships in the state in 2006. However, barring two or three, the others have not begun construction till date. As soon as their licence gets cancelled, all facilities extended to them by the government, such as rebate on stamp duty, support in acquiring lands and tax exemptions would be stopped.
"The government feels it is high time the progress of builders is evaluated as licences were handed over to them long ago. Besides, the government also extended a lot of facilities to them but they haven't utilised them optimally. A firm decision will be taken within a month," said housing department principal secretary Sadakant.
The housing department, which will meet on Monday, has also asked Awas Bandhu to help in reviewing the pace of projects and ascertain the real cause of delay. If a builder is facing genuine problems, his case might be considered.
"We have decided to convert these hi-tech townships into smaller projects offering affordable houses to people if the builder is unable to start a project of such a large scale," Sadakant said.
"Land acquisition is a major challenge for these builders. If they are unable to purchase lands from farmers, they shouldn't have taken up projects of such a large size", said an official.
Instead of making HIG and MIG houses, these builders will be asked to make affordable flats worth Rs 20-25 lakh to cater to housing needs of the majority. In Lucknow, two hi-tech townships were proposed but only one developer has managed considerable construction. For a hi-tech project, a builder has to have a minimum of 1,500 acres of land. Almost 75% of land has to be acquired by the developer the rest 25% is provided to him by the government.