No bidders for Aarey housing project: MHADA seeks UDD’s direction

Mumbai : After receiving zero response from the developers, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has written to the state Urban Development Department (UDD) seeking direction on the proposed housing project to construct nearly 27,000 housing units in Aarey Milk Colony for tribals and slum dwellers. The project was handed over to MHADA in December 2018, following which tender was issued and re-issued several times for appointment of contractors (developers).

However, a MHADA official, who did not wish to be named, said, "We have received zero response from the developers so far. Therefore, now we have asked UD department to issue directions on whether to extend the existing tender deadline or issue a fresh tender with any new amendments."

Meanwhile, he cleared that MHADA has not received any information on the discontinuation of the proposed housing project. The state government led by the Mahavikas Aghadi in September proposed to declare the 800 acres of land in Aarey milk colony as reserve forest.

The first tender for construction of houses for tribals and slum dwellers in Aarey milk colony was issued in December 2018.

"Though a pre-bid meeting was held and a few developers participated, no one submitted their bids," he added. When questioned why the project could not take off as it's almost two years now, the official replied, "As per the tender condition, the developer will not be paid instead they will be given TDR (transfer of development rights) in exchange. To carry out the project, the said developer requires to pour in huge funds while, in exchange, MHADA is offering TDR, so no one is interested."

The project involves rehabilitation of nearly 2,000 tribal families living in Sanjay Gandhi National Park and 25,000 tenements for the slum dwellers from within Aarey and surrounding areas on 90 acres of land parcel inside Aarey milk colony. MHADA had estimated the project cost amounting to Rs 3,500 crore. As per the plan, of 90 acres land inside Aarey milk colony, 43-acre land will be used for tribal housing, which will have 300 sq. ft. space for each unit with an open courtyard and individual terrace. The multi-storeyed structures planned for slum dwellers will come up on 47-acre of land, with each tenement admeasuring 300 sq. ft. Reportedly, SRA was supposed to carry out the project, however, it was transferred to MHADA.

The Bombay High Court in 2009 ordered the removal of encroachers from the National Park and their resettlement following which the housing project was proposed.

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