PANAJI: Goa’s population has been growing at 8.23%, but housing structures in the state have come up at more than three times the rate at 25%, between the 2001 and 2011 census. Individuals buying properties solely for investment purpose in Goa is creating an artificial demand for housing, officials of director of census operations warned Goa’s town planners on Saturday.
Percentage of unoccupied houses in Goa have grown at a rate of 62.39%, from 77,284 in 2001 to 1,25,503 in 2011, census officials pointed out. In contrast, occupied homes in Goa have gone up by only 18%. In an assessment of the housing situation in the state, Gaurav Pandey of directorate of census operations told officials of the town and country planning department that “construction of buildings is much more than the actual demand” in Goa.
“High growth in number of vacant houses (residential or non-residential) is a burden on natural resources. And it is creating an artificial demand,” Pandey said in his presentation at the seminar, ‘Future forms of housing’ organized by Institute of Town Planners, Goa regional chapter.
Pandey said that one in every five census houses in Goa is lying vacant. The data also shows that the number of vacant houses is more in North Goa at 72,527 as compared to South Goa, he said. Also, the percentage of unoccupied houses was higher in urban areas. “Reason for increase in the number of vacant houses could be the increasing trend of investment in property, as per the absence of the family members in the houses when the enumerators visited them,” he said.
A census house is described as a structure commercial/residential/social/religious having walls and roof, which may be a building, part of building or an independent unit having separate entrance. Goa has 5,76,582 total census houses, out of which around 4.58 lakh are occupied. This works out to 20% vacant houses in Goa as against just 7.5% nationally. As against Goa’s 62%, nationally, the percentage of vacant houses have grown by 56% between 2001 and 2011.
Census officials also pointed out that rapid urbanization, where villages are showing traits of urban areas may be another issue of concern in Goa and said that “it should be addressed with better planning”.
Credits ET Realty