Guwahati, Monday, June 4, 2018
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Shortage of construction materials pushes up housing prices
Staff Reporter

 GUWAHATI, June 3 - With shortage of sand and stone chips weighing heavily on the construction industry, prices of apartments in the city have shot up by around 30 per cent since last year, the Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers’ Association (AREIDA) has claimed.

 “Sand and chips which used to cost Rs 1,100 and Rs 1,500 per cm are now being sold at Rs 1,800 and Rs 2,800 respectively. The quantities available even at these inflated prices are grossly insufficient and a large number of projects have been stalled and workers are being laid off en masse,” Association president PK Sharma told a press conference here today

Such price escalation and project delay are ultimately adding a huge cost burden on the home buyers and also an adverse impact on the economy, Sharma said, seeking the Chief Minister’s intervention to tide over the crisis.

The crisis of construction materials first hit the industry in April 2017 and the real estate developers say there has been no respite since then. “Small quantities of chips and sand have been trickling in but at highly inflated prices,” he said.

AREIDA says the construction sector has otherwise received a boost in the country with as many as twenty different support initiatives were being notified by the Central government, including the flagship Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana and the endeavour of the government to provide ‘affordable housing to all by 2022’.

“Unfortunately, while other States have made significant progress taking advantage of the government’s liberal policies, Assam has languished. It is only recently (in 2018), a few affordable housing projects have been announced, and that too after years of relentless pursuit which led to notification of some concessions,” he further stated.

While the prices of apartments have shot up by 30 per cent over the last one year due to the crisis, many houses have remained unsold.

According to a recent government survey, there are around 71,000 homeless families in Guwahati. By the year 2025, the figure would go up to three lakh.

The AREIDA further claimed that in November 2015, the additional chief secretary (revenue) had issued a directive to all deputy commissioners laying down the procedures for according sale permission for ownership flats, but those have not been implemented yet.

The government had directed creation of a separate cell for sale permission for flats and proportionate share of land, in addition to the existing cell for sale permission for land. It had also directed creation of single master-file for each residential project instead of separate files for each individual purchaser requiring the mandals to report only once for the same plot and project.

“Unfortunately, the instructions have been blatantly violated. We have been pursuing the matter with the authorities concerned without any results,” Sharma added.

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