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Mhada will shop for land to build affordable houses

Mhada The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) plans to acquire over 102 hectares of land from the market in 2011-12 for con structing affordable houses.

The state government has set aside Rs 8.55 crore for this purpose in its budgetary estimates for the current fiscal. Only 16.02 hectare of land was acquired in 2010-11. Officials said that the move is influenced by an acute shortage of developable land at its disposal Officials said that there was virtually no land available for development with Mhada in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which extends up to Virar and Raigad. The availability of land in and around other cities in the state was also scarce.

According to a disclosure made in a budget document related to the housing department , the Mumbai board of Mhada has no land remaining for development, while only 86.30 hectares could be used for mass-housing projects in Pune.

Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority Minister of state for housing Sachin Ahir said that the new land could either be purchased from the market from private owners or acquired at reasonable rates from other government agencies. For the Mumbai and Thane belt, Mhada is also trying out a third option, which entails entering into a joint venture with private land owners. Ahir felt that this was a more feasible option. He said applications from three private owners in Thane had been processed and were pending with the urban development department.

ven as its eyes to create a land bank, Mhada has plans to churn out 3,255 new affordable houses in Mumbai in 2011-12. These would include 92 houses for the high income group, 753 for the middle income category, 467 for the low income group and 1,943 for economically weaker sections. Besides this, another 1,943 houses, readied under various composite housing schemes by the slum redevelopment wing under the Mumbai board, are also expected to be ready by the year-end.

Source: April 18, 2011, TNN