Five heads the state’s housing boards, who enjoy the rank of minister of state, are continuing in their posts although their tenure ended six months ago.
These heads of regional boards of the Maharashtra Area and Housing Development Authority (MHADA) claim the state government has not appointed replacements.
The tenure of six housing board chairmen — Sachin Ahir (Mumbai Repair board), Ramesh Keer (Konkan), Kiran Shinde (Nashik), Kalyan Kale (Aurangabad), Vasudha Deshmukh (Amravati) and Naresh Maheshwari (Nagpur)- — expired on September 2, 2009.
Only Ahir, who was elevated as state minister for housing, gave up his post. The others continued and even presented their boards’ budgets.
Keer, a Congressman who is the chairman of MHADA’s Konkan board, said the state had not relieved him of his duties. “How will the board function without a chairman?” he asked.
Rule 7 of the MHADA Act, which states that the president [of a board] will hold office for three years from the date of his appointment mentioned in the official Gazette. It adds that the state may extend the tenure to a maximum period of one year by issuing a notification in the official Gazette.
MHADA officials say the state has not issued a circular extending the tenure of these chairmen and it is illegal if they continue in office.
A senior MHADA official, requesting anonymity, said the authority cannot do much because the appointments are done by the political establishment. “We had brought this to the notice of the state government in December but have received no reply.”
There are nine regional boards under MHADA’s jurisdiction. The chairman heading each board is responsible for housing, development of land, allotments of plots and tenements, and transfer of tenancies.
Housing board chairmen get only Rs 3,000 as honorarium, but the designation wields strong influence.