This might come as a shock to those who are eagerly looking forward to apply for flats of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada).
Mhada flats in Vasai-Virar’s Bolinj are nearly 40% costlier than houses being built by prominent private developers there.
The agency, which is responsible for planning and executing affordable housing projects, has planned about 5,400 flats in the lower income group (LIG) and middle income group (MIG) categories in 50 buildings spread over 47 hectares.
As per information from Mhada, MIG flats measuring 653 sq ft (carpet area) will cost the buyer about Rs46 lakh. This works out to more than Rs7,000 a sq ft.
The rate of LIG houses is higher. These flats measuring 330.24 sq ft (carpet area) are priced at about Rs26 lakh that works out to over Rs7,800 a sq ft.
Mhada has flaunted a fresh design and promised that the buildings will be ready in two years, if permissions are granted on time. But one will have to wait and see if the rates would keep away the people for whom the houses have been planned.
The rates for flats being constructed by private developers are significantly lower. One private builder said a 636 sq ft flat in a posh residential complex is quoting at about Rs30 lakh. The complex also provides facilities like gardens and swimming pools.
The rate for this flat calculated on the basis of super built-up area that is the norm for most private developers works out to about Rs4,700 a sq ft. If one were to calculate the rate on carpet area it would still work out to about Rs5,600 a sq ft, significantly cheaper than the Mhada rates.
“Not only are the Mhada prices high, but the rates for lower income flats are more than the rates for middle income flats. This is a farce,” said a private builder.
Rustomjee, Poonam, VIVA, Global City, HDIL are some of the developers who have projects in the area. Bolinj is about 2.5km from Virar railway station.
Another renowned developer in Virar appreciated the facilities planned by Mhada, but insisted that there was no explanation for the high rates.
“The facilities are good. But people buying flats in the lower income category would not be attracted by the prices as the rates of flats by private developers there are lower. The market rates could rise by about Rs300 a sq ft in the next couple of years, not more,” the developer said.
Pushkar Saxena, executive engineer, Mhada, said, “Though we have decided the prices of the flats, these are only approximate figures and could change later.”