It seems to be an easy way to a low-cost home. Form a cooperative society and apply to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) for land.
Seeing how the system has been benefiting politicians, judges and journalists, government employees and other groups have decided to form cooperative societies and have flooded the state with applications for land in Mumbai.
Mhada has only five acres left in its land bank.
Applicants include the societies proposed by the Doordarshan Kendra Employees’ Association, an association of retired police constables, employees of the judiciary and Mantralaya employees. Federations representing the Marathi film industry and doctors are also trying their luck.
These associations argue that their members cannot otherwise afford a home in Mumbai.
The Mhada Employees’ Association has asked for houses for 150 members. “We provide houses to the public while we have none,” said Pranali Patil, the promoter of the proposed employees’ society.
Prakash Sigwan, representing Mantralaya staff, argued that most employees lived far from their workplace.
The proposed Ichchapurti Shri Ganesh Cooperative Housing Society — a welfare organisation — has asked for land at Majas, Andheri, while Wadala-based Jagruk Seva Sangh wants 600 houses members who below poverty line.
The state constituted a five-member committee under the chief minister to decide on these allotments.
Every year, lakhs apply for a few thousand houses Mhada puts up for sale.
“Private builders make houses only for the super-rich. Only Mhada offers a ray of hope for the middle class,” said Shreedhar Sharma, president of Revathy Foundation, which works in the housing sector.