In a a move that would substantially increase the social housing stock in Mumbai’s satellite town of Navi Mumbai, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) will now use the sprawling 100 hectare plot, that was previously allotted for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by Videocon group, to achieve its previously decided target of constructing 10,000 new low cost homes. This is in view of the high demand for such homes that sees more than 50 aspirants for every house that is released through CIDCO’s lottery system.
Around 60 hectares of this land lies in Dronagiri and the rest in Karanjade and Kamothe, all in close proximity of the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport making it a plum property today.
Sanjay Bhatia, Managing director, CIDCO, which is the planning agency for Navi Mumbai, said that the plot will now be used to construct residential colonies for those from low income groups (LIG) and economically weaker sections (EWS).
“We have seen that EWS and LIG homes generate more demand than the relatively higher priced middle (MIG) and high income group (HIG) housing. Part of the land would also be used for constructing homes for rehabilitating those affected by the Navi Mumbai airport and other allied activities, mainly to meet its logistic requirements,” he said.
The agency had recently released 3,154 one-bedroom LIG and EWS homes in its Swapnapurti project in Kharghar sector 36 for those with an income of less than Rs 40,000 per month.
While applications are expected to pour in until this Friday, about 1.50 lakh people have purchased the application forms for the 308 sq ft to 370 sq ft homes that are modestly priced at Rs 15 lakh to Rs 26 lakh.
The high demand is fuelled by the dearth of such housing in Mumbai, where land bank of the housing board, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, is fast shrinking while the average cost of apartments sold by private developers range anywhere between Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 crore.
CIDCO’s own social housing for the MIG and HIG segment in Kharghar under the name Valley Shilp offered 1000 sq ft to 1500 sq ft homes exhorbitantly priced at Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
Last week, the state cabinet cancelled the allotment of the plot in Navi Mumbai to Videocon after the latter failed to keep up its commitment to set up an LCD semi-conductor manufacturing SEZ plant, meant as a joint venture project with CIDCO.
Already the decision to allot the plot in 2008 at a measly price of Rs 300 crore had faced severe flak from CIDCO workers’ unions and politicians such as Narayan Rane who alleged that the land is worth ten times more.
CIDCO chairman, Pramod Hindurao, said that considering the vast expanse of the land, the agency can construct 10,000 homes in just about 10 per cent of the total land.
“CIDCO Board will soon decide on what to to be done with the remaining parcel,” he said. Since it was first formed in 1980, CIDCO is responsible for constructing half the housing stock in Navi Mumbai.
The residential projects constructed by private developers is also built on land that is auctioned by CIDCO which earns more than two-thirds of its total revenue from such land sale.