Heavily cross-subsidized for a section of the population

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Heavily cross-subsidized for a section of the population

Post by Sicily on Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:41 am

The development of Apartments in Cochin is mainly done to reduce the urban slums and congested living conditions of a major section of the population.  The final cost of an apartment is determined after allowing for various grants and heavy subsidization.  Even after such heavy cross-subsidization through very liberal economic approaches and selling the tenements at much lower rates than that prevailing in the market in respective areas in Cochin, the whole scheme will create an additional saving of about Rs.125 crore per year, even after heavy cross-subsidization up to 50 to 75 percent of the total cost of an apartment. 
Market rates for land are assumed and all the probable expenditures on respective infrastructures are also taken into consideration.  Planning very much in advance to start the actual construction at sites has helped to keep the cost overruns.  The fast pace of construction being undertaken after adhering to the quality controls prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) or the Indian Standards Institute (ISI) norms has helped in the fast construction of more than 1000 housing units per year.  Selling the same through the housing bodies or housing finance banks are the only practical solutions for mitigating the housing and slum problems in Cochin and that too without further strain on public funds.
The heavy cross-subsidy has been criticized since it became a heavy burden on the state exchequer, which is already languishing for funds to meet the immediate day-to-day needs of the various development projects.  But the truth is that a majority of the population does not have the purchasing power nor the financial back up from other sources to invest money in such apartments.  To adhere to the quality norms prescribed by the BIS even after lowering the final cost of the built up spaces is no mean feat.  It is worth emulating in other future projects in the city of Cochin. 


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