By Muhammad Naeem Khan Niazi

LAHORE, Apr 08 (APP): Punjab Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed Thursday announced that the ground-breaking of 4,000 LDA City Naya Pakistan apartments would be performed by Prime minister Imran Khan on Friday, April 9, 2021.

A total of 35,000 apartments would be constructed in the metropolis under the LDA City Naya Pakistan project, and the construction of 4,000 apartments would start on Friday after the ground-breaking ceremony, he added.

The provincial minister said the Punjab government had assigned all development authorities in Lahore and other big cities of the province to build housing units for the low-income people and 35,000 apartments would be constructed by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) in different parts of the metropolitan.

Mehmood-ur-Rasheed said the Punjab Housing and Town-planning Agency (PHATA) of the Punjab Housing Department had enacted affordable housing rules under which any developer in the private sector might apply for a housing scheme. The project would be approved within 60 days after submission of the application and the private developer would be provided relief in different services. In return, the developer would build 20 per cent low-cost housing units in the scheme, he added.

The housing minister said these plans were being replicated in Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi to provide homes to the low-income population of the country, as per vision of the prime minister.

PM Imran Khan, after assuming power in 2018, had promised to build 5 million housing units for the homeless in the country. He founded the Naya Pakistan Housing Development Authority (NPHDA) to make the dream of a house come true for the poor.

Pursuing the vision of the prime minister, all provinces started housing projects. Besides other projects, the Punjab government launched the LDA City Naya Pakistan apartments, under which 4,000 apartments would be built in the first phase, and another 31,000 apartments would be constructed later on.

LDA Vice Chairman SM Imran said that the Authority would build 4,000 apartments on 8,500-kanal land near Halloki to provide affordable homes to people under an easy installment plan.

He said the joint venture of the LDA and the NPHDA would be funded by banks as per the State Bank of Pakistan policy on Islamic banking, adding that the installment plan would be for 10-20 years duration.

He said an apartment would cost approximately Rs 2.7 million and an allottee would have to pay only Rs 270,000 initially. The government would give a subsidy of Rs 300,000 through the NAPHDA, thus making the initial payment of Rs 570,000. He said preference would be given to the applicants who had applied to the NPHDA for homes in the past months.

“A 650-square-foot apartment will have two rooms with an attached and a detached bathroom, kitchen, small lounge and a balcony, while the master plan would ensure that an apartment building should have its own park, walkways, sewerage, treatment plants and grid-stations to meet all requirements of a modern community,” he added.

The LDA vice chairman said that for the sake of transparency, the LDA has decided to open an escrow account for the project, adding that such an account is opened for a specific purpose and its funds cannot be used for any other purpose.

LDA Chief Engineer Abdul Razzaq said that tenders for the construction of 4,000 apartments had been opened and the contracts would be awarded to the lowest bidders, adding that the construction would start soon after ground-breaking ceremony on Friday.

He said the installments would start after the owner would be given possession of the apartment, which means the allottee would not pay anything during the first 18 months of the construction work.

The LDA chief engineer said the Authority would take care of cleanliness, water, sewerage and other amenities at the apartments and state-of-the-art facilities would be provided to the allottess. He said the LDA would also take care of roads, electricity and repair and maintenance of the apartments.