New Delhi: Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi is on a mission to give homes to 500,000 people by the end of this year with his real estate project and says he was impressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Housing for All by 2022' vision.
"Well, I think the roots of the venture and vision is taken from two places. One, I think my personal experience during the (Indian Ocean) tsunami in 2004. I reached there in a few hours after the incident happened," Vivek told IANS in an interview.
"I was in Kurnool district of Devanampattinam village, where we started rehabilitation work. There, I realised that you can add so much quality to people's lives by just planning a little better and giving them good facilities. That project taught me a lot."
"With Prime Minister's 'Housing for All' vision, where he envisioned a house for every Indian by 2022... That inspired us in very big way. Also, the Maharashtra government has been extremely supportive with this vision, so we decided to plunge into it in a big way," Vivek added.
The "Saathiya" actor says his idea is to give facilities to low income people and thereby contribute to Modi's vision in the best way possible.
"Karrm Infrastructure has already created a big mark by developing more than 15,000 apartments. So, at a time when people generally feel that infrastructure, especially construction and real estate, is not doing well and companies are shutting down, we had an absolute reversal of fortune.
"We are launching Mission 360, under which 360 locations across Maharashtra will have our project. We want to change low income people's lives. Why shouldn't the child of a rickshaw driver have access to a swimming pool? That's the vision.
"We are doing it at a truly affordable price, which is Rs 790,000 only," said the son of veteran actor Suresh Oberoi.
Vivek, who is married to late Karnataka leader Jeevaraj Alva's daughter Priyanka, also shared that profit-earning is not the motive behind this project.
"Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, there is a prescribed norm of 30 sq metres, so we are providing them everything in this affordable project. This means we have to lower our margins and reduce our profits, but I think the volume makes it viable because of the kind of tight discipline that we keep," he said.
Is there any support from the government?
"Yes, of course. We have approached the National Skill Development Corporation as it is doing some great work under the stewardship of Rajiv Pratap Rudy. It is very positive in terms of helping us. The MSME ministry under Kalraj Mishra is also very proactive," Vivek said.
Is he planning to take the project to other states as well?
"The current aim is Maharashtra, but we are getting queries from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat... First we want to execute 500,000 homes in Maharashtra and we are not taking government land... Only support," he said.