Pay for 625-sq ft MHADA flat, get only 330-sq ft
Housing authority's 'cheap home' farce continues, as they calculate rates for its Virar flats on built-up area in clear violation of state's rule of basing prices on carpet area
After quoting rates for its flats in Tunga, Powai on built-up area earlier this year, which is a whopping 83 per cent more than the carpet area, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has done it again. The Konkan Board of MHADA is putting 5,451 flats for sale at Virar in December. But, in contravention of state policy, the housing body is again quoting rates based on the built-up area instead of the mandatory carpet area.
Of the over five thousand homes up for grabs, 3,596 homes are reserved for the Lower Income Group (LIG) category. The area of each flat here is 330-sq ft (carpet), but the buyer will have to pay for 625 sq-ft, which is the built-up area. The loading comes to 89 per cent, which even builders claim is too high. The remaining 1,855 homes are meant for the Middle Income Group (MIG) category, and here again the carpet area of the flat is a mere 640-sq ft, but MHADA will charge for 1,050 sq-ft.
The state government categorically mentions that no one is allowed to sell on built-up area. When asked why MHADA is quoting the built-up area and not carpet area, Bhausaheb Dangde, chief officer of Konkan Board, said, “We are providing stair cases and other amenities too. We are charging as per the regular MHADA norm.” The authority has not yet decided on the sale price of the flats, but Dangde claims that they are incurring a cost of Rs 2,600 per sq-ft.
Chaubey Realties’ Akhilesh Chaubey, who has a project in Virar, claims that if he had to sell the flat, his super built-up would have not crossed 525 sq-ft for a 330-sq-ft carpet area flat. “The government’s double standards has come to the fore and it should make sure that its rules are implemented every where. Why blame only builders, if government agencies are selling on built-up and super built-up area,” said Chaubey.
Prakkash Rohera, of Kkarma realtors, said, “Built-up area consists of the carpet area, the four walls, the stair case, elevator and lobby area. MHADA has almost doubled the built-up area in comparison to the carpet area,” said Rohira. Housing experts claim that with nearly 100 per cent loading, MHADA has gone one step ahead of the builders.
“They are shielded by the government and with such high loading on the homes, MHADA is competing with private developers. Their rates are now more or less at par with the builders’ rates. If MHADA is indulging in something like this, then private builders should not be blamed,” said Sanjay Chaturvedi, executive editor, Accommodation Times.
On May 9, MiD DAY had laid bare MHADA’s notoriety for basing their flats rates in Tunga, Powai on built-up area rather the carpet area. The matter came to light when MHADA, in an attempt to establish that its flats were indeed ‘reasonable,’ uploaded a notification on its website, breaking down the mode of calculation. The maths on display, however, backfired, as it unambiguously mentioned that the rates are being calculated on built-up area (loading) and not carpet area. In fact, the percentage of loading against carpet was as high as 83 per cent for flats allotted for MIG and 60 per cent for HIG.
Number of MHADA flats up for sale in Virar
The percentage of loading on the carpet area for MHADA’s flats in Virar