MHADA hunting for its own land

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) housing board, which has the largest land parcel in the city, is narrowing its eyes hard to unearth more land in the city to construct homes for its housing lotteries, since most of its once-open land has been crawling with encroachments.

MHADA officials claim there are more than 90 encroached plots, and of these, 82 have been identified. (Above) A MHADA encroached plot near Powai lake. File pic

In fact, the housing authority doesn’t know which plots of land in Mumbai belong to it. A committee has thus been appointed to survey land records to find out how much realty is parked in the MHADA cache.

According to top MHADA officials, during one of the authority’s meetings over locating more property to develop, it put together a proposal to carry out slum rehabilitation on slices of its land in the city that have been eaten into, or trespassed.

Authorities also wised up to the notion that there could be more property out there that has been encroached. “We want to redevelop our lands where slums have mushroomed, and to identify and locate these, we want to do a property survey. We have asked the surveyors to review all our lands and records. It may turn out that plots adjoining the encroached lands also belong to us,” said R Mitkar, chief engineer, MHADA.

MHADA officials claim that there are more than 90 encroached plots, and of these, 82 have been identified. The officers must now dig out whether there are more plots to be identified.

After that, the housing board hopes to carry out slum redevelopment in all these lands and generate affordable housing. “After we rehabilitate the people currently staying on encroached lands, we will use the remaining land to construct houses that would be affordable, and would be sold in the market via lottery,” said Mitkar.

“They will be looking into the 7/12 extracts of land records (which indicate property ownership) to find out whether the property belongs to MHADA. They will be preparing the list and submitting it to the authorities in the coming days,” an official said.

This is the first time that a government agency, and not private developers, would be carrying out slum redevelopment. MHADA will appoint the contractor, reclaim encroached plots, and put these plots into redevelopment for slum dwellers.  

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