Mumbai: Redevelopment of old buildings slowed down amid the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown has largely affected the realty sector. Not just new launches but even old buildings redevelopment projects have been hampered.

Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson, Nahar Group and Senior VP, NAREDCO Maharashtra said that with land constraints redevelopment is the only way to add more housing stock to fulfill the dream of many to make Mumbai their home. "Today there are approx. 40,000 such buildings which are beyond repair and redevelopment would surely increase the supply of new homes to fulfill the demand. However, pandemic-induced delay in execution of redevelopment projects is giving residents a second thought and rethinking their move for now," she said.

Meanwhile Yagnik asserted that Mumbai’s makeover with the redevelopment of all its old buildings will have to wait till the pandemic ends, affecting the further supply of new homes in the city.

Factors such as constant fear of third wave leading to the migration of laborers, slow vaccination drive due to shortage of doses are cause of concern for the industry. However, developers believe that slew of measures by government can only bring some respite to the shattered industry.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandan National, President NAREDCO said, "Redevelopment in Mumbai has not been able to reach its potential for a variety of reasons over the past few years. The pandemic has served to further impact the already challenged scenario. Hopefully, the positive moves by the state govt will result in some redevelopment projects reaching completion, and we should see some housing stock being created as a result."

In South Mumbai there are around 14,000 cess buildings which are more than 70 yrs old. The Mumbai Repairs and Redevelopment Board (MBRRB) is responsible to collect cess and repair these buildings through the cess collection. Arun Dongare, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MBRRB agreed that there has been an impact of covid-19 on redevelopment projects.

"Last year 39 proposals have been approved and offered NOC for undertaking redevelopment. Obviously the prevailing Covid-19 situation was the major cause of slow down in number of proposals put by the developers, but the 2019 GR was also acting as roadblock for small developers due to stringent conditions. Therefore the current government revoked the said GR. On March 5, 2021 again a new GR was issued on the lines of previous GR but with some relaxations to small developers. Therefore more 10 proposals of redevelopment have been cleared from March till date. Despite Covid-19 situation we are slowly coming back to the business," he asserted.

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