Activists are irked with the fact that the state’s proposed housing regulator cannot regulate housing prices. The regulatory body is expected to be tabled in this year’s monsoon session.
“Prices are a major factor,” said former Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (Mhada) chairman, Mumbai board, Chandrashekhar Prabhu. “Housing has gone beyond the reach of people and serious steps need to be taken,” he added.
A protest against the rising property prices was organised on December 11, 2010 by three employees of a private consumer service firm. “There should be a cap on the property prices according to the area and amenities,” Sailaja Mannava, one of the activists, said.
However, developers are against pricing regulations. “The property owner has the right to sell the property at the price he desires. Land prices are exorbitant. The clearance process takes nearly two years. Prices are going to be high,” said Sunil Mantri, Chairman, Sunil Mantri Realty Ltd and former president of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing and Industry.
He also added the government could help reduce the price with the increase in FSI. “We want to ensure single window clearance so that it doesn’t become one more forum for approval,” said Babulal Verma of Omkar Realty Pvt Ltd.
Nikunj Bubna, another activist, agreed with securing single window clearance, observing that developers often had to bribe several bureaucrats to get their projects approved.