(TNN, Oct 15, 2010)
Nearly 1.5 lakh new low-cost houses will be built in Maharashtra with the state government finally clearing a floor space index (FSI) of 2.5 to any land owner who offers his property for affordable housing.
Of the total FSI available, .75 FSI will be used to set up houses for the economically weaker sections (EWS) and another .75 FSI will be used to house people from lower and middle income groups. The remaining FSI of 1 will be for the owner/developer to exploit and make profits.
“The houses for EWS will be allotted by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), while the LIG and MIG houses will be sold by the builders. Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Ulhasnagar and Cidco areas have been excluded from this scheme, but this is aimed to create a huge housing stock in other satellite townships and also smaller municipalities,” said an urban development department official.
“In most satellite towns of Mumbai, the FSI is 1. Even in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nagpur, which are developing rapidly, the FSI is not 2.5. “Under the scheme, we will generate enough houses for LIG and MIG too, which are in huge demand,” said the official.
The government will now wait and check the response of the builders. Housing expert Chandrashekhar Prabhu said, “In Mumbai, the FSI has been increased, but no one has been paying attention to the infrastructure. In case, the government is increasing FSI for other places, it should ensure that infrastructure keeps up with construction boom. Also if the schemes are implemented by unscrupulous developers, then people in economically weaker sections, lower and middle income groups may not get houses at all. Instead, flats will be amalgamated and sold to the rich as is happening in Mumbai.”
Sunil Mantri, president of MCHI, “It is a very positive step by the government. This is going to help in creation of stock of affordable housing. This decision is very important because Mhada has almost exhausted its land stock and they have a social commitment to create large number of affordable housing. I feel many developers will come forward under this scheme for development under the public private partnership model.”
Meanwhile, the government has made it mandatory to have 25% flats for EWS and LIG in all layouts. “This was one of the conditions when the state sought aid under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).