Home-buyer's dream is now a nightmare

Yesterday, this paper ran a front page story on how the MHADA was pegging flat prices in Powai on the basis of built-up area, which violated the state government’s cardinal rule of basing prices on carpet area. The built-up area was a whopping 83 per cent more than the carpet area.

Where does the common man go for a home in this city? With even the far-flung suburbs now commanding prices in crores not lakhs, buying a home in Mumbai is no long a dream but a nightmare. The MHADA was one option for the salaried class that dreamt of having a roof over their heads in the commercial capital.

It is also shocking that nobody had a proper answer on this tendency to price homes on the basis of built-up area. When the MHADA itself flouts rules, what can one expect from private developers who are repeatedly told to price homes on carpet (usable) area but still continue to charge on built up and super built up with impunity?

Instead of accepting the problem and promising that it would be rectified, authorities are busy passing the buck. State Housing Minister Sachin Ahir said he was disappointed and has written a letter to the Chief Minister so that the image of MHADA does not get sullied. Nobody though expressed any sympathy for aspiring buyers or even expressed a shred of outrage that such a thing has been allowed to happen, let alone nip it in the bud right then.

One suspects that not much will come from this, given the laxity and complacence of the answers given by the authorities. Once again, it is the ordinary citizen who is going to bear the brunt of this, with even MHADA moving into the ‘unaffordable’ bracket.         

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