Apna Ghar, a state-owned project planned in November 2013 to provide low-cost housing units, is once again being discussed by the authorities concerned.
According to news reports published in national dailies today, the finance ministry has instructed the Ministry of Housing and Works to prepare a plan for this project. Reportedly, a company titled “Apna Ghar” has already been registered with the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.
When launched in 2013, it was planned that low-cost housing schemes would be launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Punjab for those belonging to the low-income strata.
A few months ago, the Supreme Court of Pakistan also instructed the government to initiate low-cost housing schemes for homeless people in the country.
While many people are bound to live in shantytowns, the housing shortfall in the country is mounting continuously. Many shantytowns were also raised in the past and the actions taken to raise such slums located on the government’s land met with massive resistance from the dwellers. Such matters are often taken to mainstream media, arousing sympathy for the homeless.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan believes that the initiation of low-cost housing schemes by the government is the only solution to stop the development of shantytowns in the country. It is expected that the Apna Ghar scheme will help reduce the housing shortfall in the country.
Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Senior Joint Secretary Akhtar Jan Wazir told reporters that the governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan have agreed to provide free-of-cost land for the Apna Ghar scheme in various districts, while land will be purchased at economical rates in Gwadar, and several other districts of Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Reportedly, the Ministry of Housing and Works has sent a summary to the finance ministry, asking for PKR 500 million to purchase land in different parts of the country for initiating the Apna Ghar scheme. I have great hopes that this project, for all the right reasons, will progress at a rapid pace and provide people with an opportunity to buy a home of their own.