The 128-acre Motilal Nagar colony in Goregaon, one of the largest colonies built by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) in Mumbai, is being considered for redevelopment.
The Mhada board on Tuesday, after receiving a revamp offer from the Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL), decided to call for tenders from other developers seeking a better deal.
“Our aim is to get the maximum number of affordable homes for citizens,” said Satish Bhide, chief officer, Mhada (Mumbai Board).
HDIL, apart from offering bigger houses to existing residents, has offered Mhada 16,541 low-cost apartments – 1,561 at Motilal Nagar and 14,980 at Virar.
Mhada still owns the land on which Motilal Nagar is built.
Constructed in 1960, Motilal Nagar houses 3,628 tenants belonging to economically weaker sections.
The majority of houses are 200 square feet in size but due to scarcity of space, many have extended their flats illegally. The revamp of this colony has been pending for years and more than 95% of the structures do not have conveyance deeds, which effectively means they do not own the land.
“We have the expertise to execute such a project as we are already undertaking the airport slum project,” said Hari Prakash Pande, deputy general manager (finance), HDIL.
HDIL submitted the proposal under the Swiss Challenge System, where private players put innovative ideas before the government. The government then scrutinises the same and this proposal is put to the test by inviting competitive proposals from other market players.
According to real estate experts, this provides an excellent opportunity to create a virtual modern township in the city.
“It should be planned well given the massive size, and the product offered should be good,” said Akshay Kulkarni, executive director (residential services), Cushman and Wakefield, a real estate consultancy firm.
According to Mhada officials, in the plot size of 128 acres, the builder is allowed to construct 1.30 crore square feet of real estate. After rehabilitating existing tenants in bigger houses and also offering houses to Mhada, the developer is still left with 1 crore square feet to sell in the open market.
“This is a virtual goldmine and the profits are phenomenal,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liasas Foras, a real estate research firm.
“Even if the builder makes a minimal profit of Rs 4,000 per square foot, he would still be richer by Rs 4,000 crore,” he added.