By Muhammad Naeem Khan Niazi
Food, shelter and clothing have been described as basic human needs since early times and these are vital to the self-esteem, security, belonging, actualization and contentedness of man.
Modern psychologists, neuroscientists and sociologists define food, water, home, sleep, social connection and novelty as the fundamental human needs while a home is the basic element which provides sense of security and protection to man. A home is regarded as a sign of accomplishment in life. With rising inflation and financial incapacity, construction of a home has become a distant dream for many people.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, after assuming power in 2018, promised to build 5 million homes for the homeless in the country. He founded Naya Pakistan Housing Development Authority (NPHDA) to make the dream of a house possible for the poor.
Pursuing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to provide home to the poor, different provinces have started various housing projects to provide homes to the less-privileged. Besides other projects, Punjab government has launched LDA City Naya Pakistan Apartments under which 4000 apartments will be built in the first phase while another 31000 apartments will be constructed as well.
Provincial Minister Housing, Urban Development and Public Health (HUD&PH) Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed said the Punjab government has assigned all development authorities in Lahore and other big cities of the province to build homes for the low-income public.
He said 35000 apartments will be constructed by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) in different and the ground-breaking of the 4000 apartments will be performed by Prime minister Imran Khan on April 9.
Mehmood ur Rasheed said Punjab Housing and Town planning Agency (PHATA) of the Punjab Housing Department has passed Affordable Housing Rules under which any developer in the private sector may apply for a housing scheme and it will be approved within 60 days and the private developer will be provided relief in different services while, in return for these favors, the developer will build 20 percent low-cost houses in the scheme.
The Housing Minister said these plans are being replicated in Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi to provide homes to the low-income population of the country as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Vice Chairman (VC) Lahore Development Authority (LDA) S M Imran has said that the LDA will build 4000 apartments on a 8500 kanal land near Halloki to provide affordable homes to the people with meagre resources under an easy installment plan.
The Vice Chairman LDA said the joint venture of LDA and Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NPHDA) will be funded by the banks as per the State Bank of Pakistan policy on Islamic banking, adding that the installment plan will consist of 10-20 years installment plan.
He said an apartment will cost approximately 2.7 million rupees and an allottee will have to pay mere 270,000 rupees initially. The government will give a subsidy of rupees 300,000 through NAPHDA, thus making the initial payment 570,000 rupees. He said preference will be given to the applicants who applied with NPHDA for homes some months ago.
“A 650 square feet apartment will have 2 rooms with an attached and a detached bathroom, kitchen, small lounge and a balcony while the master plan will ensure that an apartment building its own park, walkways, sewerage, treatment plants and grid-stations to meet all features of a modern community”, he elaborated.
Vice Chairman LDA S M Imran said, for the sake of transparency, the LDA has decided to open an escrow account for the project, adding that an escrow accounts is opened for a specific purpose and its funds cannot be used for any other purpose.
Chief Engineer LDA Abdul Razzaq said that the tenders for the construction of 4000 apartments under the Naya Pakistan Housing Project have been opened and these will be awarded to lowest bidders, adding that the construction will start soon after ground-breaking ceremony by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday (tomorrow).
He said the project is meant to provide a home to the common man and it will cost very less, adding that the installment will start after the owner is given possession of the apartment which means the allottee will not pay anything during the first 18 months of the construction work.
The Chief Engineer LDA said the LDA will take care of the cleanliness, water, sewerage and other amenities at the apartments and state of the art facilities will be provided to the allottess. He said LDA will also take care of the road, electricity and repair and maintenance of the apartments.