Buddhadeb welcomes private investment in low-cost housing

November 3rd, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 3 (IANS) Welcoming more private investment in low-cost housing, West Bengal chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattcharjee here Monday exhorted everyone involved in the real estate business to ensure housing for the poor and middle-income groups.”In a country where one billion people live in substandard houses, one million stay in temporary or make-shift houses and 50 percent of the population does not have proper housing, our main concern should be how to provide housing for the poor,” Bhattacharjee said at the opening session of the World Congress on Housing Science here.

He said though the state has low cost technology to make low cost houses, every effort should be made to lower the costs further so that housing becomes affordable to the masses.

He welcomed more housing in the state through the public-private-partnership (PPP) model and cited the example of Shapoorji Pallonji and DLF, which has started a PPP project in the state.

“The government alone cannot solve this problem of housing. The government alone cannot provide housing for all,” Bhattacharjee added.

He expressed his concern for the rising land prices in the state and said sky-high land prices are a ‘major problem’. It is at times preventing many companies from setting up offices here, he said.

“Companies like Airtel, ICICI Bank, Jindal Group and L.N. Mittal are eager to set up offices here,” Bhattacharjee said.

Everybody should ponder on how to make land available at cheaper prices and also various easy banking finance schemes to facilitate eager land buyers, he said.

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