KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Urban Development has introduced an action plan
to buy apartments and group housing projects for high ranking officials and judges. The work plan
has been formulated within Nepal government’s Immediate Action Plan for Governance and Economic Reform 2012, which has incorporated ‘management of residences for high rank officials and judges’ in Kathmandu valley.
The action plan could lift the stagnant real estate industry and encourage all developers to apply for the scheme with their of housing and apartment projects. “The initial notice that we published is to
record and study projects available in the market. If the projects match the criteria, we will further process according to Procurement Act,” informs Suroj Raj Rajkarnikar,
division chief and super-intendent engineer at Build-ing Construction Maintenance Division Office (BCMDO). He further adds that to encourage healthy competition among the developers, they invited all interested developers to take part in the process.
Developers too welcomed the government’s action plan and stated that it will bring
positive relief to the real estate sector. Minman Shrestha, general secretary of Nepal Land and Housing Developers’ Association (NLHDA), says, “The government’s decision to purchase products of the developers will help boost confidence of the general public, which has dipped significantly in the present scenario.”
Narendra Bajracharya, director at The Comfort Housing Pvt Ltd, however, points out that the criteria set by the government to submit an app-lication is hard to match up with the general products that most of the developers have. He wonders whether it is a step by the government to assist certain groups or the whole sector. He says, “Normally, the housing and apartment projects comprise of three bedrooms along with living, kitchen and bathrooms to make them sellable in the market. The government’s terms of reference stated there should be minimum of four bedrooms, a puja room along with maid and guard’s room.”
Bajracharya states that the government should have first conducted a market survey
to gather more information about the sector. He further says, “If the government is trying to revive the sector, it should come up with a flexible plan that would match the existing completed and ongoing projects.”
Shrestha denies the charge that the government is showing partiality and says, “It’s pointless to doubt the government’s decision simply because the products of certain developers don’t fit the set criteria and portfolio. In fact, to ensure the competition is fair and square, all developers have seen encouraged to apply.” Rajkarnikar says that the government will certainly show flexibility towards projects that can meet the criteria with some minor adjustments. According to NLHDA, there are around 1,000 completed and uncompleted unsold units in the market.
According to Shrestha, the government plans to purchase around 70 units. BCMDO states that they are still in the process to determine the number of units of apartments and housaing projects.
Rajkarnikar explains, “The ministry is working to identify high rank officials and judges to provide residence. Once the number is finalised, we will estimate the budget.” Reportedly, security, proximity to Singha Durbar, access to transportation along with minimum criteria will be examined to shortlist the projects.
If the existing projects cannot meet the requirement, the government has set two other alternatives — construction of needed units of housing and apartments by the private sector or acqiring land and constructing by the government itself.
In terms of reference for apartment, it should be three bedrooms residential flat along with living area and maid room, and spread over an area up to 2,000 sq ft. A tower should consist at least eight flats and other basic infrastructures such as lift, telephone, power supply and should not be higher than 10 floors. The housing colony should have at least six units. Each house should have four bedrooms along with puja room and separate maid and guard’s room, and spread over a minimum area of four
aanas. The projects must acquire planning permit from Kathmandu Valley Development Authority.