BY January, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has plans to start a massive demolition drive against 2,500 encroached structures spread across a 21,000 sq ft plot. The said structures have come up on MHADA land near Link Road, Goregaon (West). The authority plans to start the drive after conducting a survey. Around 5,000 affordable houses are expected to be ready on this land.
“While checking our land records we came to know that we have a big plot in Pahadi area,” a MHADA official said. “On visiting the site, we found the land encroached upon by over 2,500 illegal structures. When they are removed, around 5,000 affordable houses can be constructed and released in the market through lottery,” he added.
However, removing the encroachments will not be a cakewalk. The authority will have to face opposition from the public. To combat that, MHADA plans to conduct a survey of the people staying on the plot prior to the demolition. By rule, only those staying there prior to 1995 will be eligible for Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R). A notice will be sent to all encroachers 15 days before the demolition drive.
“In order to conduct the demolition process smoothly, a survey will be carried out. Structures that have come up after 1995 will be demolished first,” added the official.
Sources from the housing authority told MiD DAY that there are over 65 such plots in Mumbai. MHADA plans to do a survey and then carry out more demolitions so that more affordable housing is available in the market soon.