MHADA justifies house allotments to MLAs

Says can’t verify every affidavit, but will respond to complaints

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | May 21, 2010



Countering the allegation that it has been illegally favouring some powerful politicians, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has defended the rules that allow allotment of flats in Mumbai to MLAs and MLCs.

“Some MLAs have not taken their salaries and pensions in the last 10-15 years, which makes them eligible for allotment. Those who do not qualify in this category will be declared ineligible. The categories, under which MLAs are applying, were established under MHADA rules long back,” Amarjeet Singh Manhas, Chairman, MHADA, Mumbai Board, said on the occasion of ‘lottery’ (draw of lots) for 3,449 flats on Tuesday.

Responding to the allegation that MHADA has turned a blind eye to some MLAs’ and MLCs’ attempts to bag flats by filing false affidavits, Manhas said, “They are sworn affidavits. MHADA cannot verify each and every application. Complaints will be definitely investigated by MHADA. As on today, the documents submitted by them are in order.”

Satish Bhide, Chief Officer, MHADA, Mumbai Board, said the system was “completely fool-proof” and did not allow any rigging.
“Over the years the system has stabilized. The houses on offer as well as the number of applicants have been increasing. In 2002-2003 the lottery did not attract many people and houses at Powai remained unsold. Now, each house attracts 100 applications,” said Bhide, noting that MHADA had been conducting one lottery every year.

For this year’s allotment, the housing board received a total of 3,28,483 applications for 3,449 tenements and apartments in various categories in  Versova, Dahisar, Powai, Ghatkopar, Malwani, Mankhud and Turbhe. Out of 3449 houses, 2762 were reserved for economically weaker sections.
The valid applications numbered 3,17,706. The data was kept open to public viewing and suggestions from 23rd April to 30 April.
There was less-than-expected attendance at Tuesday’s draw of lots at Rangsharda auditorium mainly because of MHADA’s efforts to provide better online access.
After glitches last year, this year a committee consisting of retired judge KK Bam, secretary of the state’s information technology cell Ajay Pande, and IIT professor G. Sivakumar oversaw the lottery. The technology was certified by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and the software was tested by National Institute for Industrial Engineering.

For next year’s lottery which will have 4000 houses on offer, Mhada has revised the household income brackets in line with the recommendations of a committee headed by Deepak Parekh.

The new income slabs will be categorized as under.

CATEGORY                                          PREVIOUS                    REVISED                          
Economic Weaker Section             up to Rs 8,000          up to Rs 12,000
LIG                                            Rs 8,000- RS 12,000      Rs 12,000- RS 20,000
MIG                                           Rs 12,000- Rs 20,000      Rs 20,000- Rs 25,000
HIG                                           Above Rs 20,000        Above Rs 25,000
 

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