Mega Mhada project scares builders 51 Towers With 20-Plus Floors In Virar To Lower Prices

                                                                                   

Mumbai: An upcoming project of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) in Virar has many private developers in the region on tenterhooks.
   
In perhaps one of its biggest public housing projects in recent years, the housing authority will flood the market with 5,399 apartments, threatening to undercut prices quoted by local builders.
   
Mhada sources said there have been attempts by the local politician-builder mafia to slow down the project or sabotage it. But the state government is keen to push the project through.

   
The Rs 700-crore project for middle and lower income families has rattled them because Mhada is expected to sell the flats at low rates. Current property prices in Virar are around Rs 5,000 per sq ft. Although the authority has not fixed prices, it plans to make only a 15% profit from the scheme.
   
The local civic administration, in an unusual move, has
left Mhada to build on only 25 of its 45-acre sprawl in Virar Bolinj, about one km from Virar station. The remaining area has been reserved for various public amenities. “In no other project, such reservations comprise half the total area of the plot,” said housing board officials.
   
Mhada has started work to build 51 towers, each with 22 to
24 floors with a floor-space index of 1.2. But Vasai-Virar municipal corporation rules mandate that no building should be over 14 floors. “The urban development department is expected to resolve the height issue soon,” said Bhausaheb Dangde, chief officer of Mhada’s Konkan board.
   
Flat sizes will range from 330 sq ft to 653 sq ft. Mhada will incur about Rs 2,300 per sq ft as the cost of construction. “The low-income tenements will be sold at cost price. Profit will come only from the middle-income category flats,” said Dangde.
   
Mhada has built around 18,000 tenements in Mumbai over the past six years. Despite a stagnant property market, Mhada flats have always seen a surge of potential home buyers. It receives several lakh applications for a couple of thousand flats. Experts said that this proves that there is always a demand for low-price flats. Since 1960, Mhada has built over two lakh houses in Mumbai, but has now run out of land to build affordable mass housing.

Source : Times Of India

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