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MMRDA may sell houses to poor instead of renting

Rahul Asthana, the newly-appointed metropolitan commissioner has hinted that the authority may sell the houses instead of giving them away on rent.

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Rental Housing, one of the biggest projects launched during the tenure of Ratnakar Gaikwad, the present chief secretary and ex-metropolitan commissioner of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is likely to undergo a major change.

Rahul Asthana, the newly-appointed metropolitan commissioner has hinted that the authority may sell the houses instead of giving them away on rent.

Speaking about the possibility of a change of plan, Asthana said that the entire process of giving away houses on rent was somewhat complicated to execute.

"Although, initially it was felt that a lot of participation from Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), would make the project easy to execute, now it is observed that the entire process may involve a lot of complications," said Asthana.

Interestingly, a similar thought was expressed at a recent review meeting of MMRDA's projects in Thane district. Thane guardian minister Ganesh Naik had also opined that the renting process will be time consuming and it will also give an opportunity to fraudsters to manipulate the possession of the houses.

At present, the authority has given a Letter Of Intent (LoI) to as many as 43 proposals involving the construction of 2.72 lakh houses.

However, in the past few years, the authority has managed to give a building permission to only five developers in Thane and Raigad districts. Construction of 40,000 houses is in progress at the moment.

The basic concept of rental housing was brought about on the board room of MMRDA when a delegation of officials visited Shanghai.

As per the original plan, MMRDA was to outsource construction of five lakh self-contained houses of an area of 160 sq feet each.

The developers will get a Floor Space Index of 4 (FSI) for the project. While one third of the total FSI utilised by the developers has to be reserved for a rental house, the rest can be utilised by the developer for open sale.

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