Battling land shortage, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) now plans to reclaim a one-hectare plot in Powai to construct 1,000 low-cost houses.
In 1998-99, the plot near the Powai lake was allotted to Jai Krishna Company, but the allotment was later cancelled. In 2004, Mhada allotted the land to a private company, Popcorn Properties, through the tendering process.
The company had paid Rs5.55 crore, around 25% of the total amount, after winning the bid worth Rs22.22 crore for the plot.
Stuck in a legal tangle, the firm was not able to carry out the work on the plot. So, the agency now wants the land back.
“We need the plot to build affordable houses. It can easily be used to construct at least 1,000 low-cost homes,” said an MMRDA official, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Housing activists said Mhada should now take up plots across the city to construct affordable houses.
“It is good to get back the land, instead of keeping it unoccupied,” said Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare
For years, Mhada doled out plots from its massive land bank to politicians, bureaucrats and other influential people.
Barely left with land to construct affordable houses, the agency is now forced to chalk out ways to create and use the land.