The apartment complex of 199 units being constructed for rehabilitating slum dwellers in the city is now estimated to cost Rs 21 crore more.
The original cost of the project, being implemented under Raji Awas Yojana (RAY), was Rs 14.73 crore. The work was awarded to a contractor in 2018 for Rs 18.6 crore.
With the latest revision the project cost has been pegged at Rs 39 crore. Now, the cost of an individual apartment with 300sq.ft built-up area would be around Rs 19.5 lakh. “We have revised the estimate to Rs 39 crore. We have sent the revised estimate to the government for its approval. The administrative sanction is also awiated,” an official with Kochi corporation said.
At the same time, works standing committee chairman P M Harris said officials with the local body are revising the estimates. “No project of the corporation has been initiated without a revised estimate. Officials keep revising estimates. We are laymen as far as the engineering side is concerned,” Harris said. “We designed the project so that many homeless families will have a roof over their heads. Kochi corporation authorities have approached Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML), the agency which is implementing the Smart City project in Kochi, for providing the additional funding of Rs 21 crore. But, CSML authorities said that they would allot the funds only if the state government approves the revised estimate.
The land where the project is coming up is owned by the corporation. “Average cost of construction excluding cost of land is around Rs 2,500 per sqft. Add to this Rs 500 per sqft for promotion,” an office-bearer of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai) said. Even then, the cost of 300sq.ft apartments comes to just Rs 7.5 lakh. When asked about the break-up, the official said, “The cost includes facilities like sewage treatment plant, escalator etc.”
Corporation authorities have already identified 194 families living in the slums of Thuruthi colony in Mattancherry as beneficiaries. There is also a plan for constructing another apartment complex with 199 units at Mehboob colony in Mattancherry. Cochin Smart Mission Ltd is expected to fund construction of the second complex from its slum alleviation scheme.