Shiv Sena legislator- Pratap Sarnaik has requested the state government authorities to bestow ownership rights to urban local bodies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on flats which are presently made available by private construction companies under Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's (MMRDA)- Rental Housing Scheme (RHS). In his letter to the urban development minister-Eknath Shinde, Sarnaik has stated that flats (admeasuring 160 square feet) under the RHS were getting a cold shoulder response from project affected people owing to their smaller sizes which fail to accommodate bigger families, moreover the rentals were comparatively higher and unaffordable for beneficiaries- who mostly belong to the lower economic strata of the society.
“Project affected people will not hesitate to come forward, if these flats are handed over to them free-of-cost by the concerned civic bodies, which in turn help clear obstacles for projects such as road widening and developmental work on plots tagged with reservations.” said Sarnaik. MBMC chief- Dilip Dhole is also communicating with the urban development department on the issue.
Aimed at increasing the housing stock by constructing or procuring maximum rental housing units in the MMR, the MMRDA started granting extra Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4 to private developers. Presently around 4,562 flats have been made available to the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) in 13 projects which have been sanctioned under the RHS. The civic administration in turn aims to utilize the flats as transit settlements for people belonging to dilapidated structures and for rehabilitating project-affected families in the twin-city on a rental basis.