The Government of Rajasthan is actively putting its best foot forward to take the Government of India’s ‘Housing For All’ mission to greater heights. And, Rajasthan Housing Board, under the Rajasthan Housing Board Scheme 2020, is implementing its plans for ensuring housing for all, especially for the economically weaker sects of the society, writes Adarsh Som of Elets News Network (ENN).
With the vision to ensure affordable housing with inclusive facilities especially for the economically weaker section, low and middle-income groups, Rajasthan Housing Board (RHB) is taking strides to accomplish the mission of ‘Housing For All’. Under its ambitious scheme of 2020, the Board aims to develop state-of-the-art townships to offer an abode at an affordable price fulfilling the dreams of millions.
As per the mission statement of RHB, the townships being developed will host various facilities including modern amenities like community services, hospitals, educational institutes, parking spaces, neighbourhood parks and playgrounds for children. The Board is planning to adopt new technologies in construction works to ensure the product is high on quality and low on cost. Moreover, to cater to the growing needs in an effective manner, RHB is working on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. Grounding houses and delivering it to the people for possession is not the only goal that RHB is heading to but also it is working to maintain and sustain a user-friendly dedicated website with online facilities for the intended services. In addition, an effective public grievance redressal mechanism will also be established for providing people with a hassle-free life.
HOUSING FOR ALL IN RAJASTHAN
Earlier the Rajasthan Housing Board was considered quite a white elephant in the house. However, with the recurring efforts from the state government, the Board has grounded a total of 2,49,187 housing units in all four categories in the past 50 years, as per the data on the RHB’s official portal. Moreover, of the total houses constructed by RHB, more units account for 2,30,933 that have been given physical possession.
In all the schemes developed by the Board, necessary infrastructure facilities like pucca, roads, electricity, water and sewer lines, street lighting, parks etc. had been developed and reserved for commercial centres, schools, hospitals, community centres etc. Some of these schemes include commercial, shops, primary schools, dispensaries, community centres constructed at their own level and the land is allocated to various institutions for the construction of large-scale schools, hospitals and community facilities.
The Rajasthan Housing Board has ventured into various projects to make the Board’s operations multidimensional. The Board is working on a Coaching Hub that is expected to be a place where as many as 60,000 students can study in a day in two-shifts. The work on the project has already started and all the clearances and administrative formalities have been completed. For this, the board aims to build a university-like complex on 6500 sqm of land area in Pratapnagar. The complex will house eight towers. The towers will not only have classrooms for tuitions but will also have a health and wellness centre for students, a library, recreational space. Besides, consultants will be hired to ensure mental wellness and a stress-free environment for students. Also, the Hub will feature sports facilities for students.
Another such project is ‘Fountain Square’. RHB had planned to convert its land in Mansarovar into an open public space with a large fountain in the middle. The open space will house food outlets, space for cultural programmes, street entertainers, and enough open space for people to hang out with friends, spend quality time with their families, and more. This concept is similar to large cities like London, Singapore, Dubai, etc.
Furthermore, RHB is working to build Chaupatis or Food Courts near all its residential societies to get more footfall at their sites. These spaces will serve almost every kind of food, it will have areas for photography, street food, and all essential components for people to enjoy their day out.
The ventures of RHB also include All India Service Residency in Pratapnagar. A residential society especially being developed for government officers of Rajasthan cadre or those from Rajasthan but serving in other cadres. The Board’s move for developing a residential society for the government officials was well-appreciated not only in the state but all across the country. However, as per Pawan Arora, Commissioner, RHB, the properties in the Residency, earlier, were for Rajasthan cadre officers only, however, after getting huge demands from across India, the Board decided to open it for all the officers in the state of Rajasthan.
Another similar and prestigious project was for building around 160 houses for Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) was given to RHB. The project war earlier with som other organisation but looking at commendable works by the Bord, the project was handed over to RHB. The Board has already commenced work on the project.
SCHEMES OFFERED BY RAJASTHAN HOUSING BOARD
Rajasthan Housing Board offers various scheme to make it convenient for the buyers to own their abode at affordable prices. To help the cause, RHB is also offering housing units in instalments that has helped the people to pay in easy EMIs. Moreover, many schemes are offered by the board and a few of the major ones launched in 2020 include:
- Chief Minister Janavas Yojana 2020
- Chief Minister of State Employee Housing Scheme 2020
- In Jaipur, RHB has introduced Independent Housing Scheme 2020 in Mahala and Vatika and the “Weekend Home” Residential Scheme Nyala.
- In Jodhpur, the board has introduced Independent Housing Scheme 2020, and Mahatma Gandhi Sambal Residential Scheme, Badii, Jodhpur Unique Registration Scheme 2020.
- Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Residential Scheme, Nasirabad.
- Besides this, more Independent Housing Schemes have been launched in 2020 in various parts of the state including Kishangarh, Bhilwara, Niwai, Bhinder, Banswara, Udaipur and Abu road.
RAJASTHAN HOUSING BOARD LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY
In the past few years, it was being observed that many housing units developed by the Rajasthan Housing Board were left unsold. To overcome this challenge and to break the fallacy around the use of technology and e-services for selling houses, RHB adopted the e-auction model. The Government of Rajasthan developed an online portal that not only enabled the RHB to auction the units digitally but also allowed buyers to apply online. As per the state government, the new digital method is convenient and saves time, energy and efforts. According to RHB, the e-auction portal made auctioning the housing units easy and fast and online payment gateways added on to streamlining the entire procedure which earlier had taken days.
Moreover, to make it a sure success, the Board ran advertising campaigns, announced on television and radio shows, placed banners, etc. Further, a new marketing cell was created and was given the task to market the housing units available at television talk shows, radio shows, conferences, and other modes through which mass audience can be intimated about the e-auctions and more bids can be placed. Also, the Board stationed a couple of its employees at the sites of unsold houses to set up helpdesks. These were meant to make the bidding process easier for interested buyers.
Taking its e-auction model to step ahead, the Rajasthan Housing Board (RHB) took another innovative initiative “Budhwar Nilami Utsav”. The ‘Budhwar Nilami Utsav’ was a beneficial move that helped the Board in selling over 4500 houses. With this, we targetted the Indian sentiments as Wednesday or ‘Budhwar’ is considered a providential day in most parts of north India. So, it was advertised that people in Rajasthan can bid on the available housing units from Monday to Wednesday and after four in the evening on Wednesdays the bids were enlisted.
Considering announcements from the authorities, there were nearly 24,000 housing units available for the auction and efficiency in the real estate sector, Rajasthan Housing Board (RHB) had launched the first-of-its-kind mobile application ‘RHB Sajag’. Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot launched the Sajag mobile application on August 25, 2020, amidst the COVID-induced nationwide lockdown. The RHB had partnered with Lockated, an Indian startup that specialises in providing PropTech solutions, for designing the Sajag app.
The app has been designed with an aim to digitise the real estate sector and bring in transparency of the projects that are executed and overviewed by RHB. Moreover, the application is meant to aid RHB to track and monitor the real-time progress of the ongoing projects. Besides this, the app also offers many robust solutions including Quality Control Monitoring, Physical Progress Monitoring (Time Overrun & Project Completion), Cost Overrun Monitoring (Reporting project budget and the actual spending), RealTime Information (with attached project images), Inspection Visit Report, Construction Standards & SOP – BIS, Alerts/ Red Flags Reporting.
Making Breathing Spaces Amid Cities – RHB Green
As cities need housing units, commercial units, and other infrastructure to aid the livelihood of the citizens similarly it needs green and open space to breathe and for improving liveability in the cities. In a noteworthy move to ensure living spaces in residential societies and housing complexes, the RHB has launched the ‘RHB Green’ mobile app. The move marked the Board’s commitment towards the environment, beautification of the city and green development. The app aided the Rajasthan Housing Board in launching a plantation drive seeking support from the citizens. The plantation drive has been planned as a weekly affair wherein, through the app, as many as 50 people will be invited every Saturday and Sunday to plant saplings.