Fund crunch slows down 2BHK work in GHMC jurisdiction

‘Close to ₹200 crore is yet to be released to contractors’

Construction of double bedroom housing units for the urban poor in and around the city is proceeding at a very sluggish pace reportedly owing to paucity of funds.

GHMC could not release even a fraction of the number of units planned to be completed and delivered by the end of 2020.

As per the action plan prepared before GHMC elections, the corporation was to allot and hand over more than 73,000 dwelling units by December 2020. However, the total number of units released does not exceed 3,000 so far.

Although about 50,000 units are close to completion as of now, work is proceeding at a snail’s pace owing to pending bills for contractors, officials said.

“Close to ₹200 crore is yet to be released to the contractors for the work completed. Though each of them is capable of completing work worth ₹500-600 crore per month, hardly more than ₹100 crore work is being done, that too to protect the already finished portions from vandalism,” shared an official. GHMC’s share of work has been completed for over 30,000 units, where distribution has not been taken up yet owing to lack of infrastructural facilities such as water connections, power connections and approach roads. About 20,000 units need mere finishing touches.

Beneficiary list

“Other agencies entrusted with infrastructural works are taking it easy as allotments have not been made. There is also the question of funding, which has to be released to them from the government,” the official said. While beneficiary lists are ready in case of in situ housing complexes in the city’s slums, their identification is long pending with regard to other sites.

Of the total one lakh double bedroom units being constructed in the city, only about 9,000 are in-situ. Cost escalation of about ₹500-600 crore in view of rise in the prices of steel and cement is set to become another sticking point.

The government has reportedly refused to part with funds and asked for the additional expenditure to be met from GHMC’s General Fund. Meanwhile, security for the finished units is proving to be an additional burden. Wherever the units are completed, contractors are forcing GHMC to take possession, to save on security expenditure. GHMC has taken possession of about 10,000 units so far and handed them over to the Enforcement, Vigilance and Disaster Management wing for protection.

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