The real estate industry in Navi Mumbai could be in for a major boost this year. The City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), which developers have often accused of rationing land through tenders to hike prices, is planning to auction a whopping 100 plots this financial year.
The de facto owner of all land in Navi Mumbai, CIDCO conducted its first auction of the year late last month; it involved six plots and fetched Rs 294 crore. Five of these plots, located in Nerul, were for both residential and commercial use and the sixth was a commercial plot at CBD. CIDCO received 82 bids, the highest of which was Rs 2.82 lakh for a plot in Nerul’s Sector 44A.
Developers have long complained that as CIDCO auctions very few plots, there is intense competition for them, which leads to higher bids. Only around 20 plots were auctioned last year, through two schemes.
Asked why CIDCO auctions very few plots, Mohan Ninawe, its senior public relations officer, said, “There is a lot of administrative work involved in ensuring that the land is free of any encumbrances. It is only after stringent checks and process that plots are offered on tender basis and hence the delays.” He added, “Besides, we were concentrating on mass housing schemes last year.”
On CIDCO’s plans for this year, Ninawe said, “We have set the marketing department a target of Rs 3,000 crore for the current financial year. Accordingly, 80 to 100 plots will be put on sale.”
He added, “There will be at least one scheme on offer every month, involving eight to nine plots each. There will be no more complaints of rationing from anyone. Ample land will be available to developers.”
Welcoming the decision, Mohan Gurnani, managing director of Moraj Building Concepts Pvt Ltd, said, “This is a welcome decision for both developers and flat buyers. This has never happened in the history of CIDCO and it is very hard to believe.”
He added, “If so many plots are indeed offered, it will help bring down prices and affordable housing will become a reality once again.”