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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Delays, indecision have led to high prices, shortage

Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 02, 2013
First Published: 08:44 IST(2/7/2013) | Last Updated: 08:48 IST(2/7/2013)

With the state government dithering over several issues, the city has lost many opportunities to create a handsome stock of affordable houses.

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According to Sunil Mantri, chairman of Indian Merchants Chamber’s real estate committee and former president of MCHI, there is complete paralysis in the decision-making process with regards to the real estate sector.

“We were ready with our plan of five lakh houses, and all we asked for was a single-window approval process and some incentives. However, nothing was done,” he said.

Though a MoU was signed between MCHI and the state government three years ago, the scheme (see box) is yet to be launched. “We are now seeing reduced housing supply across the state,” Mantri said.

Take the case of the cluster redevelopment scheme, under which only five proposals have got a green light in as many year.

This scheme, which envisages holistic development of the area, has be a slow-starter, and only one project has actually taken off.

Similarly, the Dharavi revamp project, which started in 2004, has begun in only one sector, with the state yet to take a decision on the remaining four.

In case of the CRZ revamp schemes, then environment minister Jairam Ramesh in 2011 eased rules on the premise that the state would hold a majority stake in these projects. However, the state is yet to finalise the modalities.

According to Manohar Shroff MD, Shivam Builders Private Limited, delays are responsible for the exorbitant rates. “It takes years to get approvals, and in the meanwhile, the project cost increases exponentially,” he said

Sachin Ahir, state minister for housing, said: “There is definitely some delay, but such important matters take time.”


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