Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS/KPSC Exams – 11th Dec 2017

Govt. shelves plan to involve private developers in housing project

  • The State government, which plans to construct one lakh houses for the poor in Bengaluru, has decided to drop the revenue-sharing model involving private developer and instead take up the project with internal funding.
  • The change of plan for funding, a senior official in the government said, came after the Chief Minister’s office developed cold feet over involving private developers to construct houses, which could put the project on a sticky wicket if deadlines are not met.
  • However, instead of going back to the Cabinet to modify the proposal, it is going ahead with the Rs. 5,500-crore to Rs. 6,000-crore project without the involvement of private developers
  • The online application process for the houses started last week.
  • The project is being subsidised through three existing housing schemes — Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana of the Union government, and Ambedkar and Vajapayee schemes of State government — that would cover more than 50% of the house cost for SC/ST applicants and more than 25% of the cost for general category applicants.
  • While a small portion of the cost would be borne by the beneficiary, the revenue-sharing model was meant to bridge the funding gap.

The plan

  • As per the plan, the government was to auction 40% of the land to raise money to fund the revenue gap if construction is taken up by the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation.
  • In case where development of houses is taken up by a private developer under the PPP model, 40% of the land could be used by the developer.

‘Kept in abeyance’

  • This funding pattern has been “kept in abeyance”, as an official put it, and the project will be restricted to construction of apartments only. The project involves construction of two BHK units in 30 sq. m area that would cost the government between Rs. 5.5 lakh and Rs. 6 lakh. About 1,200 acres of land in several locations across the city has been earmarked for construction.
  • Sources said the with dropping of the revenue-sharing model, increased cost to the exchequer is expected to be Rs. 1,500 crore.
  • Sources in the government told that not involving private developers in the project was a “good move” since there were more likely chances of delay in project execution by the private partner.

Govt. to urge Centre to confer Bharat Ratna on Nijalingappa

  • The State government will urge the Centre to confer Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the country, on the former Chief Minister S. Nijalingappa.
  • The State government will also urge the Union government to install his statue on Parliament House premises.
  • “We will send a proposal in this connection to the Union government,” said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after offering floral tribute to Nijalingappa on the Vidhana Soudha premises on the occasion of his 115th birth anniversary. “Nijalingappa was a towering leader. He contributed for the development of not only the State but also the nation. He needs to be acknowledged nationally.”
  • His response came in connection with a memorandum submitted by the former legislator Vatal Nagaraj.
  • He also said efforts would be made to change the statue of Nijalingappa on the Vidhana Soudha premises after Mr. Nagaraj pointed out that the statue does not resemble the late leader.
  • Mr. Nagaraj’s contention is that the late leader wore dhoti most of the times, while the statue depicts him in trousers.
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