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5 Lakh Affordable Homes Plan Gathers Dust

Thursday, April 26, 2012
By Mayura Shanbaug

It is the same story again. The ambitious proposal to create at least 500,000 houses as part of a ‘Homes for All’ initiative between the real estate industry and the Maharashtra Government is gathering dust in the corridors of Mantralaya. The proposal, signed in the presence of then Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on April 28, 2010, between the industry body MCHI-CREDAI and the State Government has remained on paper since then.

 “The overall objective of the initiative was to go for construction so as to address the yawning housing demand-supply gap and to provide affordable homes to the EWS, LIG and MIG groups,” says Paras Gundecha, President of MCHI-CREDAI.

“The land parcels needed for this were to come from developers own properties. All that the government had to do was to ensure speedy clearances via a single window system,” he added.

As per the MoU a joint committee was set up, with the government being represented by  the Chief Secretary as the Chairman,  Principal Secretary -Urban Development, Principal Secretary Housing, the MMRDA Commissioner, CEO & Vice Chairman, MHADA and the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, Mumbai, as the authorized representatives.

The MoU included revamping of legislation, offering incentives to developers, and authorising the nodal agency to provide for a single window clearance to projects comprising affordable homes from the government side. The Government was to appoint a nodal agency to handle approvals though a single window clearance to all such projects and plan roll out was to begin in 60 days of signing of the agreement.

According to sources , MHADA has completed hearings on its proposal for affordable housing under a JV partnership with developers and the proposal is now pending with the government ever since. 

In the last two years, an Empowered committee, headed by Chief Secretary and other department secretaries along with MCHI members, met 12 times, real estate industry representatives met the Chief Minister five times. “We sincerely appeal to the government to look into on a priority basis and announce clear cut guidelines on affordable housing,” concluded Gundecha.

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