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Realty bites

The skyrocketing realty rates in Mumbai can be dominated only by the rich and wealthy. Even in areas such as Thane and Navi Mumbai — which are still under development — most of the flats cost more than a crore. Our cover story yesterday talked about a Bandra apartment being sold for a whopping Rs 97,000 per square foot and this phenomenon highlights that buying a dream home in Mumbai is an unattainable pursuit.

The government says that it wants to tame the rising prices by building affordable homes. Builders in turn blame the government for the escalating prices. To add insult to injury, the recently concluded MHADA lottery, which is supposed to help the middle class buy that elusive dream home, saw houses going for the same rate as market price.

The government also plans to regularise the realty sector in order to keep the misdeeds of these builders in check, however the draft plan of the regulatory authority is full of loopholes that has crippled the process. Even the builders’ community had initiated a code of conduct that remained on paper. For example, builders promised that they would sell houses based on carpet area, but hardly anyone follows that policy anymore. Thus the regulatory authority has already been declared dead even before it could breathe.

All we know is that rates are reaching skyscraper heights but no one knows the reason behind it. However, what we do know is the ground reality that these prices are certainly unaffordable even for a person who earns about Rs 1.5 lakh a month. In a city where 60 per cent of the population lives in slums and half of the remaining 40 per cent in dilapidated chawls, earning two square meals a day is also doubtful. As the cliché goes, owning a home in maximum city is indeed a dream, but with such trends, it is turning into a nightmare. 

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