Dr Krishan Kumar,Vice-Chairman-BDA & Commissioner BMC
Bhubaneswar: Odisha has a huge demand for Lower-end Affordable Housing and around 10 thousands houses are proposed to be built by Bhubaneswar Development Authority [BDA] in the coming years, says Vice-Chairman-BDA and Commissioner, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation [BMC], Dr Krishan Kumar. On the backdrop of myriad of controversies surrounding the real estate sector in Odisha, starting from plot/housing allotment under the discretionary quota [DQ] of BDA, to land encroachments, deceitful act by builders / developers and last but not the least, the Builder-Chit Fund nexus rocking the state, we have had an opportunity for a compressed (for a very short duration) face-to-face chat with the young, energetic and dynamic bureaucrat to gather some of his idea relating to the sector. Excerpts.
1. How do you see the housing demand here in Odisha? What is your suggestion to the developers?
A. Housing demand in Odisha now mostly caters to low-end housing like, EWS or LIG segment. There is huge requirement for ‘Affordable Housing’ [AH] in the state. No place for premium or high end segment exists in the current scenario. Developers should come forward to set up projects in the AH category. Also, the state government is providing benefits / concessions under various schemes to real estate developers those who aims to construct AH in the lower end segment.
2. Multiple plots/flats were allotted to heavyweights in the state from BDA under Discretionary Quota. Several politicians also have questioned the modus operandi of BDA of the allotment procedure. What is your reaction?
A. We haven’t got any report yet from the Government on the issue. Let the report come, then we will examine. We are in no way concerned with the political gimmicks.
3. There is enormous demand-supply gap for affordable housing. How BDA is moving in that direction?
A. We are about to build around 10,000 AH for EWS category people in coming days. Blue print for that is already in progress.
4. Instances of Land encroachment are on a rise. Also builders are executing projects without requisite clearances or approved building plan. What initiatives BDA is taking to curb these illegal activities?
A. A Central Enforcement Monitoring Committee [CEMC] constituted under VC, BDA is looking in to these issue, and, anti-encroachment drives are about to gather momentum for the BBSR city.
5. As Bhubaneswar might be part of the Union Govt’s smart city agenda, do you think any changes are required to be made in the existing Master Plan of the city?
A. Guidelines for ‘Smart City’ have not yet been released. I would be unable to comment on this aspect.
6. The Comprehensive development plan [CDP] for Bhubaneswar development plan area is alleged to be subject to loopholes. The plan by IIT Kharagpur is being prepared without due consultation with local bodies, causing hassles for the city denizens. Please comment.
A. CDP is being re-looked into with individual Zonal Development Plans [ZDPs] inside the overall plan under preparation.