You will not have to wait for days to know if you have won the lottery for affordable houses, as the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) now plans to send you an SMS about the result within minutes of the draw.
Apart from this, flat applicants will get SMS informing them when their application gets accepted. The winners will also be informed through email.
After making online applications compulsory, the Mhada is planning a series of initiatives to make things smoother for applicants, and its IT cell is conducting trials so that they can be implemented for its next lottery, which is to be conducted this May when it puts up 4,200 houses on the block.
A senior Mhada official from the Mumbai board said the steps have become necessary as Mhada attracts lakhs of applicants. Over the past few years, as real estate prices have skyrocketed, more and more Mumbaiites have started applying for Mhada flats, which are sold at less than half the market price.
“Ever since the online method started working smoothly, we have been devising various steps to help applicants and make things easier,” said Niranjan Kumar Sudhanshu, chief officer, Mhada (Mumbai).
Sudhanshu said the recommendations made by the oversight committee, which conducted the lottery last time, are being implemented. “As Internet penetration has increased, it makes sense to use the technology,” he said.
Housing activist Mohammed Arshad said these are good moves as they will bring relief to applicants and prevent the Mhada website from crashing on the day of the lottery. “Applicants will not need to check the website or go to the lottery centre once they receive SMS on their mobile phones,” Arshad said.
Currently, after filling the online form, the applicant has to download the form, take a printout and submit it to the bank along with the earnest money deposit (EMD). Mhada is also working to allow EMD payment to be made online so that applicants need not queue up to submit it. “We will give that as an option,” Sudhanshu said.
Mhada is also trying to allow winners to scan their documents and submit them online.