Winning your dream home at half the market rate in one of the lotteries of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) is one thing, but statistics show that getting possession of it is quite another.
The authority is yet to give possession of 5,505 flats, of the 11,267 that it sold through lotteries in the last three years, which is almost 49% of the winners.
But that does not seem to have deterred Mhada from putting out more houses on sale — it held another lottery last month even though none of the winners of the 2011 lottery have managed to get the keys to their new apartments. Similarly, 1,292 winners of the 3,449 flats sold in the 2010 lottery are still waiting for the day they can move into their new houses. Mhada’s former Mumbai board chairman Amarjit Singh Manhas said the housing board has done its best. “People have got flats at extremely low cost in Mumbai, and are happy. They are sure that they will occupy them shortly. I tried to expedite the possession process, but other government agencies are also involved, which is delaying the process,” he said. However, he admitted the delays are giving the housing body a bad name. In the 2010 lottery, a huge chunk of 1,033 houses in Mankhurd are ready, but the civic body is still to issue an occupation certificate (OC), which has prevented Mhada from handing them to the owners.
Flat winners, meanwhile, are anguished by the wait. “I have paid the entire amount and still have to wait. My loan installments have started, while I am living in a rented flat,” said Pratap Sankhe, who has won a flat in Sion.
Housing activists have also slammed the delay. “These people cannot afford flats sold by private builders, and are desperate for accommodation. The state should ease matters for them,” said Mohammad Arshad, a housing activist.