MHADA's 'lofty' proposal angers builders

Long-standing plans to buy an affordable dream home in the city may have hit just another hurdle, with the MHADA Mumbai Repair and Reconstruction Board submitting a plan seeking to legalise lofts that tenants have made in their old homes, but builders are not very happy with the proposal. If the board get its way, then a tenant would not only be entitled to the 300 sq ft area flat under the redevelopment scheme, but will also get the equivalent of the loft area.

elevated floor space
Higher ground: An elevated floor space created by a tenant at Sewa Sadan building in Ganeshgalli, Lalbaug. Pic/Shadab Khan

So if the current home is 100 sq ft and the loft measures 75 sq ft, then the tenant will get a flat of 375 sq ft. (300 sq ft is what tenants currently get under the redevelopment scheme).

Builders believe that it will hit them hard and also affect redevelopment of MHADA properties adversely.

“Redevelopment of MHADA buildings has already come to a halt over the past few years and future projects will not happen,” said Anand Gupta, honorary treasurer, Builders Association of India.

There are more than 16,000 buildings that are cessed and dilapidated and most of these old structures have lofts made by tenants. Prasad Lad, chairman for MHADA’s Mumbai Repair and Reconstruction Board confirmed the development.

He said, “We are sending the proposal for final approval. The proposal suggests that all lofts that have been constructed before the year 1996 be regularised. This way the tenant would get 300 sq ft area and the equivalent of current loft in his tenement.”

Builders are unhappy over the proposal and allege that the plan is politically motivated.

“This is merely vote bank politics. Only in this state and country, would such a decision be taken to please a specific vote bank. Also, if the proposal is passed by one party, no other party will oppose it. Do things illegally and you won’t get into trouble, but do things legally you will be damned,” Gupta said. Builders do not see the possibility of profits if they have to hand over extra space or give away homes to the MHADA.

“Already, in the redevelopment sector there’s hardly any profit these days as tenants ask for extra space.

Now with this proposal, it will be almost impossible to make a profit. We will have to stop redeveloping such buildings that come with so many hassles,” said a builder.

Meanwhile, MHADA officials are hopeful that the proposal will be passed soon.  

Number of buildings that are cessed and dilapidated

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