FPJ Exclusive: Bid to revive ailing housing sector

Mumbai: To lift market sentiment in Mumbai's ailing housing sector, the state government, through its undertaking, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), will identify two plots admeasuring up to 20 acres each in the city and suburbs for cluster development.

As the MHADA will be the nodal agency for the proposed cluster developments, the time taken in other cases for various processes, including finalising the plot and residents' approval will not be required.

These formalities will be completed by the MHADA, so that development can begin at the earliest.

The decision was taken at the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at Mantralaya. Thackeray has hinted, the government will remove procedural hurdles and provide a policy boost to revive Mumbai's housing sector, as it will help create jobs and also bring in revenue for the government.

Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, who was present at the meeting, told The Free Press Journal, ''Mumbai's realty sector is passing through a financial crisis.

The government will provide help for its revival. To begin with, two plots will be identified by MHADA for cluster development. Here, the developer will not have to spend time with various stakeholders, as MHADA being a planning authority, is expected to complete all procedures.

The developer will get higher floor space index. The two proposed projects will send out a clear signal to the realty sector that the government is pro-active and will bring out new policies for its growth.''

Further, the government proposes to fast-track slum redevelopment projects. ''Residents who live in the tenements will be entitled to a home after redevelopment. This will be the new norm,'' Awhad explained.

As far as the Dharavi redevelopment is concerned, Awhad said the government is serious about kick-starting the project. ''The housing department and MHADA have been asked to provide an action plan,'' he noted.

On the Patra Chawl redevelopment project in Goregaon, Awhad said 672 residents will get homes. Nearly 70% of the work is complete and the remainder too will be completed soon.

National Real Estate Development Council president Niranjan Hiranandani has welcomed the state government's positive attitude towards the housing sector, as the industry is going through "a very difficult period". ''A push in this sector will revive 250 industries.

As the housing sector is labour-intensive, it will generate more employment. It will also boost the development of Mumbai and Maharashtra,'' he noted.

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