The government should sell land to citizens’ groups and help them in getting clearances for construction from various government departments. Citizens should be educated on how to procure various government permissions for building houses.
We should remember the 1960s and 1970s when a group of salaried people would approach the collector to obtain land and hire a contractor to construct buildings, thus saving 50 per cent of the cost if they were to buy flats from builders.
Even NGOs can play a vital role on educating people on how to construct buildings on their own and maintain them, eliminating the need for builders.
Buyers should unite, get discounts
When realty rates in Mumbai are rapidly escalating, with hardly any new housing projects offering apartments for less than Rs 1 crore, which is out of bounds for most of the people who need homes, it is expected of a good government to construct affordable houses through the various agencies under its control.
But with the existing nexus between builders and politicians, affordable houses are a distant dream for home seekers. However, without waiting for the government to take action, those who wish to buy homes should come together and obtain discounts up to 25-30 per cent by directly negotiating with builders for bulk purchases.
Self-help is the best policy.
Sudhakar G Shenoy
Govt should tie up with builders
Realty rates in Mumbai are rocketing after the slow down last year. People with property are making money while the sun shines. Apartments in areas such as Lower Parel, Bandra and Vile Pale are being sold at exorbitant rates. Over and above, buyers will have to pay high maintenance costs.
Such rates are not affordable and people would be forced to tier-2 cities. It is the government’s duty to build affordable homes with help of private builders and give middle-class and lower middle-class buyers a chance to live in their own homes.
Make Mhada build more homes
For those with a fixed income, Rs1 crore is a very large amount and they are the ones who need their own homes. The government should ask housing agencies like Mhada to build more of 1BHK and 2BHK apartments within Rs 20 lakh and Rs 30 lakh. The government should also stipulate that in every high-cost housing project builders will have to construct a minimum number of affordable flats.
Dr V Subramanyan
State should take over vacant land
With prices of all the housing projects increasing at the alarming rate, it is impossible for the middle class to buy homes in Mumbai. The government must take over illegally-occupied plots that should be under their control and construct homes at reasonable rates, with easy installment schemes.
Since the task is tough, the government will have to show serious interest to solve this problem over the coming years.
There is little the govt can do
Real estate has been the single largest cause for the rise of corruption and the underworld. There is little that the government can do to stem the escalating prices. What the government can and must do is to ensure the quality and legal validity of the constructions. Who will take responsibility for the structural stability of the building, as builders, politicians and the land mafia have formed a nexus that is impossible to break?
A regulator should monitor rates
Realty prices are artificially inflated in Mumbai. In the absence of a regulator, the builders are charging prices that are disproportionate to their costs.
There is an immediate need for government intervention. A regulator should be set up for the real estate business. Land should be provided to builders only if they agree to sell part of developed property to the lower income group at reasonable rates.
Additionally, Mhada and Cidco should step in to provide low-cost housing. Long-term projects should be initiated in areas such as Virar, Panvel, Karjat and Kasara to reduce the pressure on available land.
State must check realty rates
As soon as the economic slowdown was over, those who had put off buying homes jumped into the fray and the demand shot up. This pushed up prices sharply. It is the duty of the state government to stabilise realty prices and keep a check. Whether it is good time to buy property is a debate that will continue with regard to both home loans and realty prices.