Low Cost Housing

Sindh govt to sign MoU with UNDP for low-cost housing next month

* 61 sites identified in 19 districts of Sindh

* Public-private partnership sought for two projects in Karachi


By Jamil Khan | KARACHIlow-coast-6


THE Sindh government is all set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) next month, seeking assistance in the construction of low-cost shelters, under the banner of the recently established Peoples Housing Cell (PHC), Daily Times learnt on Wednesday.

According to PHC sources, the provincial government has almost completed a batch of ten model houses in Keti Bander, Thatta. “The houses, which have been reinforced to make them, more or less, cyclone proof, have been completed at an estimated cost of Rs 2.3 million and will be sold out at nominal prices to the people of Keti Bunder,” the sources informed Daily Times.

The Sindh government established the PHC and approximately one million houses would be constructed under the project, as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) aims to fulfill its manifesto of ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makan’. The sources added that the Sindh government had allocated a total of Rs 2 billion for this purpose.

Special Assistant to the Sindh Chief Minister Zia-ul-Islam has been appointed as chairman of the PHC and the PHC office was first set up at the Tughlaq House but was later shifted to a separate office near PIDC. The cell, in collaboration with the Board of Revenue and the district co-ordination officers, had identified a total of 61 suitable sites in different parts of the province, earmarking 6,818 acres of land for the construction of these low-cost houses.

“A number of national and multi-national builders and developers have expressed an interest in the project, aimed at improving the living conditions of the poor people of the province,” said the sources. In Karachi, the PHC has identified two sites, measuring 200 acres each, with one being in Bin Qasim Town and the second located on the Northern Bypass.

While talking to Daily Times, Social Mobilisation Director PHC Aftab Ahmed Abro said that, so far, the Sindh Revenue Department had not handed over the proposed land to the PHC. “In our latest talks with the revenue department, we were informed that they have started ground levelling work at the site in Bin Qasim Town and that will be handed over to the PHC very soon,” he said.

Mr Abro further mentioned that the PHC is working hard to utilise a public-private partnership in Karachi. “Negotiations are underway with various developers but only after acquiring the land from the revenue department, can an agreement with the final bidders be inked for the construction of 500 units, as part of the first phase,” he said.

Mr Abro revealed that the houses to be built in Thatta and Badin for fisher folk will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 300,000 to Rs 350,000 per unit and the UNDP approved structure will be adopted. Various government agencies have been working to construct low-cost housing for poor people of Sindh but so far not a single such project has been completed.

– Published in Daily Times | Nov 6, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on November 11, 2008.

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