For lakhs of people, whose only hope of owning a house in Mumbai rested on the few thousand affordable flats released by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), this may come as a bit of a dampener. The board’s annual lottery this year will not only be delayed but the number of houses available in Mumbai is almost a fifth of what is put up for sale every year.
This year, there are only 775 new MHADA houses in Mumbai as against the 3,000-4,000 that are available every year. On Monday, MHADA’s Mumbai board was to start the process of releasing the application forms in the run-up to its annual draw of lots, which usually takes place in May. However, following a hurried meeting, the Mumbai board decided to postpone the process.
“The state government’s data centre Maha online was to have everything in place by April 10. We were to start our online application process on April 23 after a trial run once the software was installed. However, they kept delaying work first due to some trouble in getting customs’ clearance for the new servers and then due to insufficient manpower,” said Bhausaheb Dangade, Chief Officer of MHADA’s Mumbai board.
Dangade added that on Monday in a last-minute review, it was decided that MHADA should revoke the purchase order given to the state government agency and entrust the task to the same private agency that hosted the server for last year’s lottery. Officials said the application process will most likely begin next week, which means for the first time the draw of lots will be held as late as June.
The 775 flats in Mumbai are spread across Powai, Malvani in Malad, Prateeksha Nagar in Sion, Vinobha Bhave Nagar in Kurla, Gorai Road and Magathane in Borivli and Charkop in Kandivli. Of the lot, merely 92 are two-bedroom apartments for the high-income category, while 234 and 449 houses are meant for middle and low-income groups respectively. Moreover, unlike the norm so far, where the ready-for-possession houses are sold by MHADA, several of these flats are still under construction and will be ready only a year later. In addition to these houses in Mumbai, the Konkan Board of MHADA will be holding sale of 2,500-odd houses on Mira Road for the economically weaker sections and low-income category.
In comparison to the handful of houses available this year, in 2011 around 4,034 houses were sold in Mumbai with over 1.30 lakh applicants. The year before, 3.28 lakh people had applied for 3,449 houses on sale. The overwhelming response for the annual draw of lots is due to the fact the MHADA’s modest homes are usually priced reasonably at almost a fourth of the cost charged by private developers in Mumbai. However with MHADA’s once abundant land bank of 1,700 hectares shrinking to merely two hectares in Mumbai, the numbers are expected to dwindle further in the coming years. Source>>>