Prodded by the State Agriculture department,builders are now exploring the option of setting up centres selling vegetables at subsidised rates in their housing projects. Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI-CREDAI),the umbrella organisation of 1,500-plus builders spread across Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR),will consider setting up these markets in housing colonies,complexes and residential ventures to expand the governments initiative of selling vegetables.
The state government intends to create these markets in housing societies to lower retail prices. Builders have ready as well as established projects where such centres can be set up, said Mayur Shah,managing director,Marathon Group and vice-president of MCHI-CREDAI. We are willing to partner with the government as it ultimately benefits citizens, he said.
The MCHI-CREDAI builders account for over 80 per cent of new residential and commercial properties in Mumbai and MMR. Following a steep rise in the retail vegetable markets,the state government had planned to set up 106 fair price shops across the city.
At these shops,vegetables are available at rates almost 30-40 per cent lower than the retail price. The vegetables are directly sourced from the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). Of these centres,15 were commissioned in the past,and four have been added recently.
We are in talks with volunteers from housing projects to help set up these fair price shops,which will be managed by residents or their representatives, said a builder. There are around 12,000-plus new properties across Mumbai and MMR. A majority of them are housing projects of prominent builders including Ajmera Realty,Nahar Group,RNA Corp,Ekta World,Indiabulls Real Estate,Hiranandani Construction,Hubtown,Kalpataru,Kanakia Spaces,Lodha Group,Nirmal Lifestyle and Rustomjee.
The logistics behind the initiative are being worked out, said Shah,adding that the modalities need to be worked out by the government,developers and housing societies. The government ultimately hopes to eliminate middlemen and protect the farmers interest while providing citizens access to cheaper vegetables.