THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The ambitious project of the state-owned Kerala State Housing Board (KSHB) to enter into the real estate business has received poor response. Reason: There is no scope to convert black money into white.
The first-of-its-kind project was started at Kowdiar here in May last year. Of the 36 apartments only 14 have found takers till now.
The Board was planning to start similar projects at Ambalamukku, Panampilli Nagar in Kochi and Kannur. But the future projects would take-off only after analysing the success of the first mega project here.
Board chairman Arakkal Balakrishna Pillai said that when other builders allow black money for investment and register the flats at lower prices, KSHB insists on completing the formalities at the rate fixed by the government.
At present these luxury apartments are sold at Rs 50 lakh to Rs 60 lakh but the prices are increasing due to the escalating cost of building materials. There are plans to entrust the marketing with some outside agencies by providing them a small percentage of the total cost of the apartment. This would help the Board in selling all the apartments and go for future projects.
KSHB executive engineer Sajeev said that 36 apartments are coming up in two blocks in the heart of the city at Kowdiar. The ninth floor of the first block and eighth floor of the second block have been completed.
“As this project is being undertaken by KSHB the deadline for completing it, March 2013, will be met. The prices of the apartments are fixed and there would be no scope for bargaining, as is done by private builders”, he said. The KSHB couldn’t spent much money on advertisements and marketing which has also contributed to the poor response. If there are no buyers for the apartments now, then the Board would have to invest money to complete the project on time.
Rs 5.5 crore has already been received from the customers and the project could be completed at a total cost of Rs 12 crore. The flat is coming up in 57 cents of prime land which costs around Rs 15 lakh a cent.
The common facilities include car parking, lifts, generator back-up, intercom, play space for children, gymnasium and club house.