ISLAMABAD: Under government’s Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, about 600 out of 4,000 apartments will be given to slum dwellers as Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground-breaking of the low-cost housing units in the capital’s Farash Town on Thursday.
Other 2,000 flats will be allotted to those who had registered themselves under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, while 1,600 flats will be sold out on an open market basis by Capital Development Authority.
Prime Minister Imran Khan witnessed the Memorandum of Understanding signed among the Naya Pakistan Housing Development Authority (NPHDA), Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO), which will jointly carry out the project.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the project aimed at providing shelter to the underprivileged segment of society, particularly the working class and labourers.
Imran Khan said within a time frame of two years, people would be able to move into the houses with ownership rights.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that regular negotiations of the government with private banks, the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) and relevant bodies resulted in an agreement on mortgage financing as the key factor in materialization of the project. He said existing impediments in acquiring bank loans would be sorted out and the procedure would be simplified in consultation with banks.
The prime minister said in near future, CDA would be working on a plan for the development of all slum areas in the capital with the provision of modern amenities.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government was focusing on projects with a target of wealth creation to pay off heavy debt borrowed by the previous rulers. He mentioned that the government’s incentives for the construction industry would not only ensure economic activity with the running of 30 affiliated industries but also generate employment opportunities.
He expressed confidence that the development of Lahore’s Ravi Urban Project and Central Business District and Sindh’s Bundal Island would attract foreign investment. Also, the textile industry witnessed a boom with operationalization of power looms, leading to an increase in demand for workers, he added. He said the construction of two big dams after five decades would ensure cheap electricity and contribute to enhanced productivity of industries.
Imran Khan said completion of Main Line-1 rail track would reduce the Lahore to Karachi travel time to eight hours, and also benefit the freight movement as a factor of ease of business.
In a briefing, the Prime Minister was apprised that the total Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) cost of the project was Rs 15.184 billion.
The entire complex would have apartments of two different sizes built on 99 blocks. Each block would have 40 apartments. Each block ground plus four floors, will have eight apartments on each floor. The apartments of 650 sq feet would cost Rs 2.423 million, while a 760 sq ft unit would cost Rs 2.985 million.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the occasion was food for thought for the ‘inhabitants of Surrey Palace and Park Lane Apartments’, who never considered the fact that poor people also needed shelter.
He announced that in the upcoming Media City, 600 flats would be provided to the journalists of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, for which he said, he had convinced Chief Commissioner of Islamabad Amer Ahmed Ali and Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat.
However, he made it clear that the flats for journalists “would not be free-of-cost and the required instalments would have to be paid”.
Under the Safe City project, he said, 1,822 surveillance cameras had made operational compared to the 500 during the tenure of the previous government. Also, 1,200 more CCTV cameras will be purchased to make the city secure.