MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) has identified land parcels spread over 1,100 acres across Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) for developing affordable housing projects.
"We have identified these land parcels based on connectivity and infrastructure including water supply among other facilities that are needed for setting up affordable housing projects there," said SS Zende, vice president and chief executive officer of Mhada.
The land parcels are in Thane, Raigad and the newly formed district Palghar, which includes Vasai and Virar. Mumbai Metropolitan Region includes cities of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
"In terms of process, we will now find out reservations, if any, on these land parcels. Following that, we will send our request for these plots to revenue and forest department, all of this is expected to get over in the next two months," said Zende.
The land cost, the bulk of expenditure for any real estate project, will be minimum in this case as these land parcels will be allotted by the government to the state housing authority. The process of planning and drawing of a roadmap for these projects will be initiated after the land allotment.
The state minister of housing, labour and mines Prakash Mehta had last month announced that Maharashtra was considering opening up land parcels under the no-development zones as well as plots belonging to Indian defence personnel in an effort to build affordable houses in Mumbai.
While stressing on the need for affordable housing in the country's commercial capital, Mehta said that if needed the government will even look at the salt pan land, defence land, airports authority and BPT (Bombay Port Trust) for these projects.
The Maharashtra government has already entered into an agreement with the defence ministry that will allow land under its control in Mumbai to be used for mass housing.
The minister had nudged real estate developers, who drew his attention to high taxes and development levies, to develop more affordable housing projects in the city.
Cities across the country have been falling short of planned housing for low income and economically weaker households, resulting in an ever worsening housing shortage. Mhada's exer cise to identify land parcels for afforda ble housing projects assumes importance in the backdrop of the gov ernment's vision of achieving Housing for All by 2022, and the state government's emphasis on bringing efficiency into various government schemes related to housing.