In a first, cost of MHADA flats to touch Rs 1 crore

In a first for the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), which was set up with the aim of providing affordable houses for the public, the cost of a few of its houses scheduled to be put on the block for the 2014 lottery is estimated to touch Rs 1 crore.

These are 250 houses that MHADA is constructing for the higher-income group (HIG) category in its complex in Tunga village, Powai. Currently, the HIG slab applies to all whose monthly income is above Rs 40,000.

MHADA is building these houses in the same complex in which it had sold 480 flats for the HIG category for Rs 75.22 lakh and 252 houses costing Rs 48.9 lakh each for the middle-income group during its lottery in May. The lottery drew fewer applicants than usual, with most staying away due to high prices.

Niranjankumar Sudhanshu, chief officer of MHADA's Mumbai board, said, "The reasons for the high preliminary cost estimate for the 250 houses are the same as those for the houses that were sold in the 2013 lottery in the same complex."

"We have to build a Municipal Training Institute there for the BMC and hand it over. Similarly, we had to cut rock at a few places. The cost of these factors is included in the overall price of the houses," he said.

However, the 250 under-construction houses will have a larger area than the flats that were sold in Tunga village in this year's lottery. While the 480 houses for HIG sold this year had an area of 476.74 sq ft, the under-construction houses will have an area of about 740 sq ft.

So effectively, even though the ticket size of the new houses will be much higher, they could be sold at a lower rate of about Rs 13,500 per sq ft as against the Rs 15,778 per sq ft that was applied to the 480 HIG houses in this year's lottery.

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