MUMBAI: The government of Maharashtra is 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, said Prakash Mehta, minister of housing, labour & mines.
"The blueprint for affordable housing in Mumbai will be ready soon, and if needed, we will even look at the salt pan land, defence land, airports authority and BPT (Bombay Port Trust) for these projects," the minister said, while stressing on the need for affordable housing in the country's commercial capital.
A land spread of over around 350 acres, mainly on the eastern coast, under Bombay Port Trust's control, can also be used for mass housing projects, he explained. According to Mehta, Maharashtra government has entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Defence that will allow land under its control in Mumbai to be used for mass housing.
"For this purpose, we will be using the defense land that has been encroached upon by slum dwellers. In exchange of this, we will allot them land in other parts of Maharashtra," he said after inaugurating MCHI's property exhibition in Mumbai. He nudged realty developers, who drew his attention to high taxes and development levies, to develop more affordable housing projects in the city.
"We need 11 lakh affordable houses in Mumbai, and we would like to get your (builders') support on this. We need these houses within Mumbai and not in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. We will take care of MMR (for affordable housing), you focus on Mumbai," Mehta said. He was referring to developers' suggestion that they will be able to build affordable houses in Mumbai Metropolitan Region that includes areas such as extended suburbs of Vasai, Virar, Badlapur, Ambarnath. Mehta said he hoped to get a commitment within a month from developers to build affordable houses in Mumbai.
The minister, along with a core team of MCHI, will be meeting Union Minister Prakash Javdekar within a month regarding delays in environmental clearances for real estate projects