Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised to build five million low-cost housing units after coming to power culminating in the Naya Pakistan Housing Project. Now the ambitious project to provide affordable and decent housing is finally heading towards realisation.
In order to gain funding for construction, the federal government has approved the establishment of another commercial area in Islamabad. The ‘New Blue Area’ project will encourage business activities and is expected to generate around Rs30 billion initially. It would double the size of commercial space in the federal capital, and the revenue in the form of taxes and rents would be used for the housing sector. It will also generate employment opportunities by establishing business opportunities.
For most people, the possession of their own home is a lifelong desire leading them to use valuable savings for this purpose. They get duped by investing in unregistered housing schemes receiving more applications than the land available or having at land at all. These corrupt practices lead to fraud, forgery, disputes, law and order issues, and lengthy court cases, while the dream of owning a house remains unfulfilled.
In such circumstances, the provision of affordable housing by the incumbent government is a welcome step. This received criticism as subsequent schemes have failed and local industries have been unable to meet the rising demand. Since the 1960s successive governments have failed to successfully implement low-cost housing schemes as the population grew exponentially.
The construction of houses under the prime minister’s low-cost housing has gradually started that will be handed over to deserving people on easy conditions and reasonable rates. The project was launched in July last year receiving an overwhelming response from the masses across the country. Many people hoped their dream to acquire their home might finally come true.
The government should invite foreign investment in the housing sector to bring positive results. The population increased manifold and new cities may be required to accommodate them. This requires the construction and materials industry to match the rising demand. Another solution would be to import pre-fabricated low-cost homes from China. This is a viable solution to expedite the project at the earliest.
Despite the adverse economic situation, the PTI government is taking steps to fulfill its promises. The new commercial space will boost business activity in the dull federal capital. The funds should be used for the purpose intended as the objectives are clear and the results should be seen soon.
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