Though the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA) is confident of releasing 2,000 housing units in Virar via the Konkan Board for its annual housing lottery in May, the ground reality appears to be a contradiction of the claims made by its officials.
Work in progress at the MHADA township in Virar
A visit to the site of the housing project and conversation with the engineers made it clear that the project would not be completed before December 2015. Moreover, this deadline might be extended if MHADA fails to get all the necessary approvals. This in turn would delay the handing over of flats to the lottery winners.
Secondly, MHADA claims that they are dependent on water from Surya Dam to take care of the daily water requirements of those residing in the township. But sources claimed the dam is in its nascent stage and would be functional only by 2020.
MHADA executive engineer Pushkar Saxena said, “We will be able to give possession of the homes by December 2015, which is subject to conditions.” A senior MHADA official claimed that besides water woes, high cost of the houses is going to be a damp squib for the lottery winners.
MHADA is expecting the Urban Development Department to pass its proposal of constructing 24-storeyed high-rises against the existing norm of 14 floors in Virar. The development body wants to build 50 buildings of 22, 23 and 24 floors, through which it expects 5,399 housing units. But, with general elections around the corner, getting permission seems unlikely.
Rs 25 lakh
Minimum cost of a 330 sq ft flat in the Lower Income Group
Rs 45 lakh
Minimum cost of a 653 sq ft flat in the Middle Income Group