It was a dream come true for the families who won the 1,063 low-cost flats constructed by the Maharashtra state housing board on Sunday.
While the winners rejoiced at being able to buy a house in Mumbai, the ones who were not as lucky, said they were not giving up hope.
The Mhada put up houses for sale in areas such as Mulund, Sion, Mankhurd, Malad and Goregaon. And the cost ranged from Rs 18.14 lakh to Rs 46.61 lakh, which the housing body said is at least 40% cheaper than what private builders charge.
Yogesh Raibole, 35, won a house in Mulund. He was sitting at home, watching a webcast of the lottery at Bandra’s Rangsharda Hall. “I rushed to Bandra to check whether it was true,” said Raibole, who got a house in his fourth attempt.
Marathi actor Ajaykumar Gade, who is from Usmanabad, was ecstatic after being declared a winner. “I did not have a house in the city. Now, I am lucky to own a house at Malad,” he said.
But those who did not manage to make the cut have not given up hope.
Chandrashekhar Thorat, 47, a rickshaw driver living in a slum at Bandra, and his wife Hemlata have been applying for the low-cost house for the past two years. “We can’t afford to buy a house from private builders and Mhada is our only hope,” he said. “We will keep applying till we get a house.”
In a city where realty prices are always soaring, low-cost Mhada houses get many takers every year. In the last eight draws, more than 13.53 lakh people have applied for the 19,757 houses put on the block.
SS Zende, chief executive officer, Mhada, said the housing body will make all efforts to increase its quota of houses. “Our main target is those who can’t afford their dream house from private builders and hence we are making all efforts to increase the number of flats every year,” he said.