After nearly three decades, Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) is venturing back into affordable housing projects. As the first step, a twin tower apartment complex is planned to be constructed on the one-acre GCDA land at Gandhinagar after demolishing its old staff quarters situated there.
The GCDA executive committee meeting on July 3 decided to go forward with the project and send a report to the state government. Sources said that an architect has been identified to submit a feasible design for the project.
Moreover, since they are planning to sell the flats to the public, GCDA needs prior permission from the government as each customer will be entitled to a piece of land along with the flat they purchase on the plot. The government has to take a policy decision in the matter. A proposal for the same will be sent to the government at the earliest.
GCDA has carried out various housing projects in and around the city during 1980s and 90s and those included the row houses at Panampilly Nagar, Gandhinagar , Edathala , Rameswaram , etc. Those were constructed and sold to the public under the categories low-income group, middle-income group and high-income group. However, the proposed apartment complex will be targeted mainly at high and middle-income groups as the land value is very high in the area.
“Providing affordable housing has always been an area of interest for GCDA. However, for the last three decades, we have not done any such projects. The proposed apartment will have all the modern facilities and will be affordable for the public. Even though the design is not finalized, the rough plan is to construct twin towers with 12 floors each. There will be a total of 82 units in the configuration of both 2BHK and 3BHK. Our staff will be getting better living quarters,” said a GCDA official.
The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 60 crore. While GCDA will be investing in the project, they hope to collect money by selling the flats. The complex will have a large commercial space like a shopping complex and a supermarket.
“Constructing affordable projects without compromising on the quality is a challenging task now as the standards set by the government in such projects are high. So, affordability will be focused on in all stages, right from the design stage. If the demand for the flats is high, we will be resorting to a lotting system. The price of the flat unit cannot be confirmed now but it will be cheaper than the market rate and GCDA has no intention of making profits,” said the official.