LAHORE (HANDOUT) - The Minister for Housing, Urban Development & Public Health of the Government of Punjab, Tanveer Aslam Malik, leading a high-level delegation of officials and private sector executives, met with the President of Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) Mehmet Ergun Turan.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of TOKI as well as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood. In his remarks after detailed presentations by TOKI, Minister Tanveer Malik described Turkey as a good example to emulate in terms of provision of low-cost housing in Pakistan.

He appreciated the progress made by TO KI over the past several years in provision of housing to deserving households. He particularly mentioned urban regeneration and transformation projects under which shanty houses and slums were transformed into model housing projects, which ensured better living conditions and also eliminated the risks posed by natural disasters.

Minister Malik noted the shortage of housing units in Pakistan and highlighted vast opportunities for the private construction sector of Pakistan as well as foreign investors to tap into this market. He hoped that the shortage would be overcome to a good extent through the completion of 50,000 housing units with the technical help of TOKI.

Briefing the Pakistan delegation, TOKI President explained the financial, technical, managerial and business models that his organisation followed under which nearly 700,000 housing units were provided to deserving families over the last 12 years.

He informed that TOKI and partner private sector companies had the capacity to add 60,000 housing units annually. Turan suggested that the use of tunnel-formwork technology was the best response to construct houses at a fast pace and at a low cost.

The Punjab delegation’s visit is aimed at learning from Turkish experience in provision of low-cost housing. It is in follow-up of the recent agreement reached between the Government of Punjab and TOKI under which TOKI will provide technical consultancy support to the Punjab Government in its endeavours to provide 50,000 housing units.

The Punjab delegation also made field visits to TOKI’s North Ankara Entrance Urban Renewal Development Projects and Mamak Mass Housing Project. The delegation will continue its deliberations with TOKJ officials and experts and site visits in Istanbul until the end of this week.