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Affordable housing: Mhada fails to meet target in Mumbai, builds 2,500 houses in 3 years

Uday Samant, the president of Mhada, said the major roadblocks for them include large-scale encroachments on Mhada land, as well as legal issues pertaining to their land.

mumbai Updated: Sep 12, 2018 15:14 IST
mumbai,mhada,low cost housing in mumbai
Houses constructed under MHADA housing scheme at Pratiksha Nagar. The authority constructed around 2,500 houses against its set target of 10,576 houses between the years 2015 and 2018.(Kunal Patil / HT File Photo )

In a major setback to the affordable housing scheme, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) has achieved only 25% of its estimated target to construct low-cost houses in Mumbai.

Mhada constructed around 2,500 houses against its set target of 10,576 houses between the years 2015 and 2018.

Uday Samant, the president of Mhada, said the major roadblocks for them include large-scale encroachments on Mhada land, as well as legal issues pertaining to their land.

He added that considering Mhada acquired the status of a planning authority, it no longer needs to take the help of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for demolition and clearance of the land.

“Best of the lawyers would be appointed to plead Mhada’s cases in the courts.

I instructed Mhada officials to clear all the encroached land at the earliest and begin with the construction,” said Samant.

Since Mhada has the mandate to construct affordable houses, it had prepared a roadmap to construct 15,229 houses in Mumbai in the period of 2015-2020. Of these, 10,576 were to be constructed in the first three years.

According to Samant, it is impossible to reach the target. “I plan to speed the work so that we can reach at least 50% of the target,” he added.

Mhada constructed 3,701 buildings across the city, which houses more than 1.10 lakh residents. However, in the last two decades, the planning authority has been doling out land to various trusts, which often misuse the land use, depriving citizens of low-cost houses.

Housing expert Vinod Sampat said that Mhada officials suffer from lack of accountability.

“The targets are set without any planning. The officials need to have a monthly review of their targets. It is only then that people would get affordable houses,” said Sampat.

Mhada houses are popular among those who aspire for a house, as can be seen that from the last ten draws. 14.13 lakh applicants applied for the 23,742 houses which were on sale, owing to the exorbitant prices of realty.

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 15:14 IST