Kerala: Flat construction delayed under LIFE Mission; only 4 out of 39 completed so far
The LIFE Mission project of the Kerala government is progressing at a slow pace and out of 39 flats announced, only 4 have been completed so far. The main problem is that the government does not accept the demand of the construction companies to renew the contract amount in case of the high price of construction materials.
Thiruvananthapuram: The construction of flats for families without land or housing under the state government's LIFE Mission is progressing at a slow pace. Though 39 flats were announced by the government, only four flats have been completed. The main problem is that the government does not accept the demand of the construction companies to renew the contract amount in case of the high price of construction materials. The initial plan was to build flats with the help of private entrepreneurs and corporate companies. However, the Wadakancherry flat controversy related to gold smuggling backfired on these moves.
Subsequently, all of the construction was financed by the government. 39 locations had flat announcements, but only 29 had contracts placed. The construction has been handled by Pennar, located in Hyderabad, Mitsumi, located in Ahmedabad, Suri, and Lakshmi, located in Delhi. However, the crisis worsened when the government did not take a decision on the demand of the companies to renew the contract amount in a situation where the price of construction materials containing steel has risen sharply compared to when the contract was signed in 2020.
The companies want a 40 percent increase in the contract sum. Additionally, Life Mission proposed raising the sum to a maximum of 22 percent. Following the appointment of an expert committee by the government to look into the issue, the committee recommended a course of action to the government. However, considering the ongoing financial crisis, the finance department has not granted authorization to increase the sum. Thousands of people are waiting for their dreams to come true in the interim.
For individuals without a home or property, local self-government bodies permit the purchase of land and construction of a house for a maximum of Rs 10 lakh. However, building and finishing a flat for a family without land can cost anywhere between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 17 lakh. The government reportedly lost interest in the first phase of the flat project due to the greater-than-anticipated cost.