With few takers for flats reserved for former and current Members of the Parliament (MPs) and state legislature under the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (Mhada) housing lottery, activists have demanded that the quota for them be either scrapped or reduced.
Under the Mhada scheme, 2% of the total low-cost houses on offer are reserved for parliamentarians and legislators. In this year’s lottery, out of the total 4,034 flats put on the block, 78 flats were reserved for them. However, only 30 applications were received for 14 flats. The remaining 64 flats are unclaimed.
“Preferably, the quota should be scrapped and flats should be offered to the general public. If an official is offered a flat, it should be ensured that no kin of his is allotted one,” said social activist Medha Patkar.
Activist Krishnaraj Rao said, “Most MPs, MLAs and MLCs own flats but in the name of their kin. They don’t deserve a quota as they earn a lot during their tenure. A research I came across showed a rise of 400% in the assets of these officials when they contested for re-elections.”
Activists also allege that officials do not stay in Mhada flats. “They stay in luxurious flats but reserve Mhada flats. It should be checked whether they are staying in houses meant for them,” said activist GR Vora.
Amarjit Singh Manhas, chairman of the Mumbai board of Mhada said, “We will speak to our legal department and see what can be done to address the issue.”