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Monday, September 26, 2011

Omaxe Shelves Plan to Develop 10 Lakh Affordable Houses at an Investment of Rs 80,000cr

Realty firm Omaxe has shelved its Rs 80,000 crore investment plan aimed at developing 10 lakh affordable houses across the country over a period of five years. “The project could not take off after the slowdown impacted all the developers in 2008. We tried to develop some houses at some locations… The project is shelved now,” said Rohtas Goel, chairman and MD, Omaxe. In May, 2008, the company had announced an elaborate plan to build 10 lakh affordable houses for low-income consumers across tier II and III cities, at a price ranging between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 15 lakh, over a period of five years. The National Capital-based developer had tied-up with farmers in Gujarat and Maharashtra to acquire land for developing the affordable houses, he added.

“However, it did not finally materialise,” Goel said. He, however, declined to divulge if the company had put in any money in initiating the project. The 2008-09 global financial crisis had hit the realty sector hard and the same is expected again under the current economic environment. Omaxe had formed a subsidiary, National Affordable Housing and Infrastructure Ltd (NAFHIL), for the low-cost housing project and had also initiated an international design competition, besides publishing advertisements. Later, the company divested 51 per cent stake in NAFHIL to a promoter group firm. The company had initiated dialogues with the state governments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in February 2008, to implement the affordable housing project. It had also placed a concept plan for consideration before the Union State Minister for Urban Housing at that time.

Goel had said Omaxe would construct 800 million sq ft to develop 10 lakh housing units of size starting from 300 sq ft to up to 1,500 sq ft. About 20,000 acre of land would be required to develop the project. The company had planned to develop 5,000-10,000 housing units at every location over an area of about 100-200 acre. It had said it would sell these units through lottery system and would charge only Rs 100-150 per sq ft as profit. It had identified Indore as the first location for the proposed project with plans to develop 10,000 low-cost homes at a 200-acre township at an investment of about Rs 1,000 crore. It planned to offer the flats, sizes of which would have started from 350 sq ft, for Rs 4-10 lakh. Similar projects were also planned in other locations such as Raipur, Bhopal, Bareilly and Allahabad.


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