Mhada gets 16 new plots to build 2,500 low-cost houses

HT Correspondent

Mumbai, Aug. 2 -- There is good news in store for those planning to buy a low-cost home in the city. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) will get 16 plots from the state government, on which an estimated 2,500 low-cost houses can be constructed. Admeasuring 42,000 square metres, the plots are in Charkop, Malad, Vikhroli, Andheri, Borivli, Santacruz and Dindoshi,

Their fate has been in limbo since 2007. The plots fall under the chief minister's discretionary quota and the then CM, Vilasrao Deshmukh, had released advertisements in 2007 seeking applications, more than 2,200 of which were received.

However, since then, successive CMs - Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan - have ignored the issue.

Recently, the state government wrote to Mhada asking it to devise a scheme to utilise the plots. Mhada, however, decided to take them over for its affordable housing schemes.

Housing activists have welcomed the move. "We need more initiatives to boost the construction of Mhada houses as they are the only ones affordable in this city," said activist Vinod Sampat.

With realty rates hitting the roof, Mhada houses attract lakhs of applicants for the few thousand units. However, the housing board is now left with approximately two hectares of land, which is affecting its construction activity.

It has mooted various schemes such as purchase of land from private parties, joint ventures with builders and tapping redevelopment schemes in its colonies.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.