The state government has been dilly-dallying on the issue of appointment of the Chief Officer (CO) for the crucial Mumbai board of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) for seven months now.
The housing board appointed six senior officials as the CO for varying periods on a temporary basis, from three days to three months. As these officials were given an additional charge, they mostly refrained from taking crucial decisions.
The chief officer is a head of the region, who executes works related to Mhada colonies such as expediting redevelopment proposals, improving the infrastructure, speeding up conveyance deeds as well as deciding on lease deeds.
Mubarak Khan, NCP leader and a member of the Mumbai Board, said the board urgently needs a permanent CO. "There is delay in passage of proposals and the development work is suffering," said Khan.
After the resignation of Satish Bhide in November 2010, Subhash Hazare, head of the housing board's repair department took over as Mumbai CO first for a month and then for three days. Annasaheb Misal, who heads the Mumbai Slum Improvement Board, has once again been appointed its temporary CO on Tuesday. He had earlier served in the same capacity for about three months, from March 20 till June 8.
More than 200 redevelopment proposals are awaiting Mhada's nod and delays are causing problems both for the developers as well as residents.
Virendra Upadhyaya, Congress leader and Mhada board member, said, "At the time when lakhs of people depend on Mhada to provide affordable houses, we must explore various options on an urgent basis. But to do this, we need a serious man to head the board."