Mhada gets tough with builders | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Mhada gets tough with builders

mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2010 01:59 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority

With the depleting land bank of just 5 acres in its kitty, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) is exploring various ways to get low cost houses.

Their latest idea is to make it compulsory for builders to construct low cost houses for them when they carry out redevelopment of Mhada colonies.

The reason being that of the 409-redevelopment proposals received in the last two years, no developer has opted to construct low-cost houses for Mhada and has instead offered to pay a premium for the same.

"We desperately need to explore all ways to create a housing stock, as Mhada is the only hope for homebuyers in the current realty scenario," said Virendra Upadhyay, senior member, Mhada (Mumbai Board). If this does take place, Mhada can generate at least one lakh low cost houses in the city.

Mhada has lot of buildings in areas like Vikhroli, Goregoan, Ghatkopar, Gorai and Sion.

Mhada board members would now debate the issue in their Wednesday meeting and will demand flats from private parties.

Mhada has constructed 3,701 buildings across the city till date, which houses more than 1.1 lakh residents.

Most of the buildings get a Floor Space Index (FSI) of 1, but since Mhada is a government agency, under Development Control Rules 33 (5), their buildings get an incentive FSI of 2.5 making it a lucrative deal for developers.

This ensures that existing residents get bigger houses with improved amenities and even the developer gets to construct additional houses as his compensation.

However, when it comes to Mhada’s share, developers shy away from constructing low-cost flats and instead opt to pay the premium which is based on the ready reckoner rates of the area.

This works out much lower than the market rates and the developer makes a good profit even on this deal.

"We should insist on flats as Mhada is not a profit-making body out to make money," said Allwyn Das, NCP leader and member, Mhada (Mumbai Board).

Currently, the rule of compulsory houses exists for the island city and is optional in the suburbs. Members want this to be extended to the suburbs as well.

"Such houses in large numbers would stabilise prices and also act as competition to private builders," said Prakash Nicchani, CEO, Anchor Properties, a leading real estate brokerage firm.