It seems CM Devendra Fadnavis is set to take a leaf out of the book of one of his predecessors, Ashok Chavan, to tie up with builders and provide affordable housing in the city. Chavan was, incidentally, forced to resign following an infamous housing scam.
On Monday, the CM also asked the Slum Rehabilitaton Authority to give Rs 500 crore to the Konkan board of MHADA to buy land in the MMR and construct affordable homes. Pic for representation
In 2010, the Chavan government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with private developers’ body, Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) for developing five lakh affordable homes in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in five years.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Chavan, Chhagan Bhujbal and others, and it was agreed that the builders’ proposals would get speedy clearances for the affordable housing project. The project, however, never took off, because Chavan had to resign in November the same year after his name surfaced in connection with the Adarsh Scam.
A senior officer from the housing department confirmed that, with that MoU coming to an end in February 2015, Fadnavis has decided to give the builders one more chance. “The MoU comes to an end in February next year and we will send a letter to MCHI reminding them about this and to find out whether the builders are interested in carrying out the five-lakh homes project,” he said.
The builders said they would be happy to work on the project if the government asks them to, and blamed the previous regime for its failure the last time around. “In the last three years, hardly any work happened on the real estate front.
If this (Fadnavis) government writes to us, we will surely be keen on taking up the project of constructing affordable homes,” said Parash Gundecha, former president of the MCHI, who had played a key role in getting the MoU signed in 2010. In an interaction with officers, Fadnavis reportedly said that roping in private developers was important to construct affordable homes.
He emphasised, however, that care needs to be taken to ensure that no untoward benefits accrue to builders. On Monday, the Fadnavis also asked the Slum Rehabil-itaton Authority to give Rs 500 crore to the Konkan board of MHADA to buy land in the MMR and construct affordable homes.