Retired mill workers have a reason to rejoice as the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) is constructing flats for them in the island city.
The 225-sq-ft homes with modern amenities will replace the shut mills such as New Hind Mills (Mazgaon), Swadeshi Mill (Kurla), Shree Ram Mill (Worli) and Swan Mill (Sewri). The flats will be handed over to the 6,900 workers by November.
“This is just our first step towards providing them with a house in the island city which they cannot afford considering the high realty prices,” said Sachin Ahir, minister of state, Housing. “These will be the low-cost houses and we will waive off the stamp duty fees for the flat owners.”
The 1982 mill strike was a death blow to the industry and within two decades, the textile industry was almost wiped out. The owners made a fortune by selling mill land at astronomical rates to developers. MHADA got a portion of the mill lands when the owners sold their lands.
The government has appointed a committee, headed by the chief secretary, to decide on the eligibility criteria and the cost of the flats. MHADA is also building transit camps to accommodate residents who are living in 16,000 dilapidated buildings.