It will be a while before anyone can rent affordable homes in the city’s far-flung suburbs. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) rental housing scheme to build 5 lakh affordable homes, has hit a roadblock even before actual construction can take off.
The State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC), which approves medium-sized infrastructure projects, declined clearance to MMRDA’s very first rental township project to be developed in Thane district.
The project developer, DDPL Global Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, was refused approval because the proposed 78 hectares plot did not have a plan for a drainage system.
The 12-member SEAC told the developer that the project could be taken up in phases when ‘satisfactory arrangements for treatment of effluent became available’.
“We made it clear that such a huge project, which will generate a huge amount of effluent can not be considered in absence of a sewerage scheme in the area, to which this treated effluent can be connected,’’ said a SEAC member.
SEAC, the state appointed body gives environmental clearances for infrastructure and power projects after scrutinizing project plans, land use pattern, and infrastructure facilities.
DDPL planned to build 85 buildings at Tivri village in Vasai, a suburb far away from city. This included 9,856 tenements for rental housing and another 16,800 tenements for commercial sale.
In its proposal, DDPL said that MMRDA and the municipal corporation of the area would be responsible for infrastructure facilities including drainage work. But MMRDA officials say that such a commitment was not binding.
“The infrastructure facilities are to be build by the private developer and the municipal body of the area. We have not promised providing infrastructure on these plots,’’ said MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar.
“They are all in preliminary stages of construction. Other rental projects can also face a similar issue. We have given representation before the committee,” Kawathkar added.
Last year, MMRDA had flagged off this ambitious scheme claiming to complete 5 lakh rental homes in five years.
While MMRDA officials maintain that currently agreements for 50,000 tenements have been signed, not a single tenement is complete.