The first day of filling online application forms for low-cost Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) houses was nearly lost as a technical glitch prevented prospective buyers from accessing the website.
Homebuyers eager to apply for the 2,593 low-cost flats were unable to access the website, https://lottery.mhada.gov.in, for hours on Thursday.
“It is disgusting that a premier agency like Mhada cannot beef up its website and we have to waste time in this process,” said Pritam Sharma, a media professional who wants to apply for a house at Mira Road.
Ragini Dave, who went to a cybercafe to log in, was also disappointed.
“If this is the case at the very first step, I dread to think of the various difficulties I would encounter if I do win a flat,” said Dave.
Mhada, however, has defended itself.
“Since it is the first day of applying, there is a lot of rush and the website may have not been able to take such a huge load,” said Vaishali Wagh, public relations officer, Mhada. She said situation would ease in the coming days.
With real estate rates reaching exorbitant levels, Mhada houses are in demand as they cost less than half of that charged by private builders.
This can be gauged from the fact that 12,216 houses put for sale in the last four years attracted more than nine lakh applicants.
To eliminate errors in filling of application forms experienced during the process in the previous lotteries, it was decided two years back to compulsorily ensure online filling.
However, a senior Mhada official said that the IT team has not been able to take corrective action in this regard.
“The webpage did not open and such excuses are simply not accepted,” said the official.
“It spoils the name of the organisation and some action should be have been taken to avoid such embarrassing situations,” he added.