Mumbai: State government has asked the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA) to give Rs 800 crore for purchase of railway land for the Dharavi redevelopment project.
But this time it won’t be easy for state to remove the money unlike for other projects it did in the past, as different workers’ association have come forward and raised a strong objection over it. The unions have written to the Vice President of MHADA raising concern about prospects of MHADA and payment of workers’ salaries.
According to members of the union, “If it pays the state then payment of salaries to 2,500 MHADA workers will be become difficult. Moreover, MHADA has lost its case against the Income Tax department, and anytime it will need to clear the impending bills of Rs 1,800 crore.
Lending money to state will deplete the reserves and the risk of sustainability will increase eventually.” Madhu Chavan, the Mumbai Board Chairman of MHADA said, “Nothing to worry, state will return the money in a few months’ time.” Other MHADA officials allege its a ploy to disband the housing authority.
“The state has formed MahaHousing last year, aiming to achieve and speed up the construction of affordable houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). We are (MHADA) already constructing houses under affordable schemes and separate houses under the new PMAY scheme. Why there was a need of setting up another housing corporation by the state.
The Rs 250 crore for MahaHousing has been asked from us, of which Rs 50 crore has been paid so far,” the official said. In the entire nation, MHADA is ranked first in terms of providing affordable houses. It has come into existence from 1971 and till date it has provided seven lakh houses under various schemes.
As per the records with MHADA, the state has already taken Rs 1,595 crore from MHADA for different kinds of state run projects. Some of which includes — Samruddhi Mahamarg, for PMAY houses, for establishment of Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalp Ltd, for repairing of age-old cessed buildings, for Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Limited.