It seems that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) is finding it difficult to find an agency that is willing to survey all MHADA plots that have been encroached upon in and around Mumbai. The housing authority is yet to receive any response to the bids they had announced for listing encroached upon MHADA plots.
According to a MHADA official, “We want to survey MHADA plots that have been encroached after which we will develop these lands on the lines of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). Sadly we have not received any response to the bids inviting firms to do the initial survey. We have now extended the deadline and expect a few firms to come forward.”
A MHADA official, on condition of anonymity, said that there are at least 90 plots that have been encroached upon. In fact 82 of these have been unofficially identified. But many more remain unidentified.
In June this year, MiD DAY had reported that MHADA was keen to develop or build structures on encroached land to generate housing stock. At present, the SRA has the powers to carry out redevelopment of slums even on encroached MHADA land. MHADA is now seeking similar powers.
In the past, it has been observed that many of the SRA schemes have overshot their deadlines. So MHADA is keen to start an independent cell to carry out redevelopment of slums on MHADA land. This will not only help MHADA in the resettlement and rehabilitation of people staying illegally on MHADA land, but will also be able to generate housing stock that can be released in the market through a lottery system.
It was for this purpose that the housing authority had invited tenders in the second week of October. “The last date of submission of the bids had to be extended as the bidders must have been busy during Diwali. Now that we have extended the date we expect a positive response soon,” said a MHADA official.