Mumbai: Govt proposes 75k PMAY houses to mill workers by 2024

The Maharashtra state housing department, led by Jitendra Awhad, has taken some positive steps

Sweety AdimulamUpdated: Saturday, May 21, 2022, 11:16 PM IST
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Here’s some good news for Mumbai mill workers who have been fighting for a long time for their rightful houses. The Maharashtra state housing department, led by Jitendra Awhad, has taken some positive steps. In a recently held meeting with the Mill Workers Union representatives, the housing department has proposed to allot 75,000 Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) houses in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

An official from Mantralaya on condition of anonymity said that PMAY houses, as per Centre’s guidelines, need to be given to only those who do not have a house anywhere in the country. Moreover, the applicants should come under the economically weaker section category, so the qualification for mill workers needs to be examined.

Meanwhile, Pravin Ghag, the president of Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti, confirmed the development and said that the proposal has been put forward by the minister and they are considering it positively. “In the last 22 years, only 18,000 houses have been allotted to mill workers by the MHADA. A total of 1.75 lakh workers and their descendants have applied for houses. Now, these proposed 75,000 houses under PMAY have been assured to be handed over in the next two years.”

The housing allotment in Mumbai is difficult as there is hardly any open land left for construction. Moreover, the city has expanded and one can travel easily within the MMR. “With new connectivity such as Metro coming up, there is no reason to deny PMAY houses available in the region,” Ghag said.

He added that the cost of PMAY houses built by private builders is in the price range of Rs 30-35 lakh. Therefore, they have asked the minister to offer houses to mill workers at the existing rates, even though these houses are bigger in size (300-400 sqft) than those built in Mumbai for mill workers (225 sqft).

Ghag said, “At present, if MHADA allots houses to mill workers in Mumbai, they have to pay Rs 9.5 lakh, and Rs 6 lakh outside the city.” The minister has assured them of taking some much needed steps in pricing of these houses.

The Maharashtra government had given 600 acres of land in the heart of the city – Sewri-Worli and Dadar to Lower Parel – to operate mills. Later, when the mills shut down, the land was turned around for commercial use. Ghag said, “In Mumbai, of the available land parcels with MHADA, only 25,800 houses can be built for mill workers. PMAY houses can fulfil the housing demand of the remaining applicants. In fact, despite giving 75,000 houses, there are 40,000 more applicants in the queue. We are hopeful that the government will give houses to all.”

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