The state’s primary housing agency has told the government it can build about 1 lakh affordable houses in Mumbai, if allowed to redevelop buildings in the city’s coastal areas.
With the Ministry of Environment and Forests saying it will only allow government-funded mass-housing projects in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has asked the state government permission to redevelop buildings in this zone.
The agency said this could generate additional stock of around 1 lakh low-cost houses, besides offering larger houses for existing tenants.
Real estate experts say this will make housing accessible to buyers who are put off by current prices. “This will improve the supply situation in the city and control prices,” said Pranay Vakil, chairman, Knight Frank India, a real estate consultancy.
For years, redevelopment of these areas – including Colaba, Fort, Girgaum, Worli, Bandra and Versova – suffered because of stringent CRZ rules. On March 13, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, in an interview with the Hindustan Times, said he was ready to ease CRZ guidelines if the state played a pivotal role in the redevelopment of these areas.
Following this, MHADA said it was willing to undertake such a project and has requested the state to take up the matter with the Union government.
In a letter addressed to the Housing Department, MHADA CEO, Gautam Chatterjee, said redevelopment of these coastal areas – which occupy at least 40 per cent of the island city (Colaba to Sion and Mahim) – has been affected due to CRZ restrictions. He added that at least 6,500 of the 16,378 buildings in this stretch are constrained due to the restricted Floor Space Index (FSI) because of CRZ rules.
The letter also focused on dilapidated buildings, whose occupants have been languishing in transit camps for years.
It expressed a willingness to redevelop 10 large colonies — in Adarsh Nagar (Worli), Machchimar Nagar (Mahim), Kannamwar Nagar (Vikhroli), Tagore Nagar (Vikhroli), D N Nagar (Andheri) and Aram Nagar (Versova) — located in the CRZ zone.