MHADA to purchase plots at market rate to overcome shortage of land

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) will now directly approach private landowners to buy land at market rates to overcome the current shortage of land. The authority wants to increase its ownership of land in the wake of rising prices, time-consuming land acquisition procedures and people's unwillingness to sell land to the government.

Talking at a press conference, City Chief Officer of MHADA Board Rajendra Nimbalkar said that the authority would use the lucrative 2.5 Floor Space Index (FSI) government scheme to lure sellers. "Anyone interested in selling land, can leave their contact details with us, and we will revert to him/her," he said.

The authority will also tie up with new builders if they meet the eligible criteria. Most importantly, all future MHADA projects would be implemented on a 'turnkey' basis with all modern amenities, said Nimbalkar. The land belonging to the seller would reportedly have to meet important criteria such as developed access to the roads, transparent and unambiguous ownership and the land should not be involved in any other government land acquisition programmes.

Nimbalkar said that the plan to build flats for high, middle or low income groups will depend on the size of the land purchased. "We will officially purchase land from our own office staff who want to sell their properties. According to a new Government Resolution, the government land can also be purchased as per the ready reckoner rates registered with the state. We do not need No Objection Certificates (NOCs) while buying rural land from the Gram Panchayats," Nimbalkar added. 

A special committee comprising the Chief Officer and the Additional District Collector will determine the market rates and supervise the deal along with the owner. The total amount will then be paid by cheque within 60 days. MHADA has allocated Rs 450 crore for acquiring these lands, out of which Rs 150 crore has been spent this year and the remaining Rs 300 crore is for 2012-13.  

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