With Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan approving the joint venture policy for the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) this week, the construction of at least a lakh affordable houses is expected to take off in the peripheral areas of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in the immediate future.
The projects are spread across Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli, Vasai-Virar, Panvel and Raigad. Officials said these projects were issued the letter of intent by MHADA almost a year ago but were stuck for lack of a formal approval from the state government.
The policy has been framed keeping in mind the urgency of generating public houses on land belonging to private landowners in view of the housing board’s own shrinking land bank.
The policy will be applicable not only in Mumbai, where the land scarcity is alarming, but also in regions such as Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad.
Accordingly, private landowners willing to transfer the ownership of their land to MHADA will be allowed a total FSI of 2.5. This land has to be of a minimum area of 2,000 sq m. Of the total FSI, the landowner or developer will get to carry out construction of 1.75 while the remaining 0.75 FSI will be used for constructing houses for MHADA.
While the higher FSI is meant to compensate the developer for his land cost, MHADA will pay the construction cost as well as 90 per cent of the infrastructure cost to the developer.
The entire project will have to be completed within two years.
“Of the houses that are handed over to MHADA, about 60 per cent will be reserved for the economically weaker sections, low and middle income groups while the rest could be for the high income category. A state-level project management committee will be appointed to oversee the construction so that the quality of the MHADA’s share of houses is not sub-standard,” said a MHADA official.
So far, the only ongoing joint venture schemes of MHADA are on its own land. The housing board is banking on the redevelopment of its three large colonies — Patra chawl in Goregaon, Aaram Nagar in Versova and PMGP colony in Mulund — where it has entered into a joint venture with private builders.
These three ventures are expected to fetch the housing board 3,000 apartments. Due to the shortage of land, the Mumbai Board of the MHADA has been able to put up only 867 houses for sale during its annual lottery this year as against 4,000 houses each year.
The houses, starting from 15 lakh to Rs 57 lakh are located in Kurla, Malad, Powai, Borivli, Sion and Kandivli.