Nepali Times
Special
"We need a single window approval system"



MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
Nepali Times: Would you say that people have begun to accept the concept of apartment living?
Ichchha Raj Tamang:
Change in lifestyle and exposure to apartment living during their international travels have opened people up to this concept. During the three-day expo, there more than 50,000 visitors despite bandas. It clearly shows the interest to acquire an apartment.

Why should apartment living be encouraged?
Kathmandu has become a concrete jungle because of unplanned development. There is limited space but the population is growing. Individual houses often lack fundamentals like water supply, drainage and electricity. Apartments offer a solution. In addition, the government will also earn revenue from apartment complexes.

Apartment complexes may be planned inside the gate, but the locations of some projects appear to be unplanned, disturbing a settled residential area. Why is that so?
In developed countries, the majority of the living spaces in core city are constructed by developers or the government. Personal homes are constructed only beyond the city limits. However, here, there is no such policy for planned urbanisation of the city. The government needs to specify boundaries for personal, commercial and apartment buildings.

But why are they so expensive?
We are unable to offer low prices because various factors almost double the original cost of a project. First, a project needs to be approved by three departments, which takes a minimum of three years. The environment assessment alone takes two years. Secondly, the land prices are high. In addition, there are other unwanted costs in commissions, power shortage, strikes and labour problems. All this, coupled with interest rates high as
16 per cent, push up costs.

How can these problems be solved?
We have been lobbying for a single window approval system for our projects. The developers are also investing in cost-friendly construction technologies and designs. The government has to do its part in creating a business friendly environment.

Read also:
Falling for flats

The state of real estate, PAAVAN MATHEMA
The highs and lows of high-rise living



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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