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Babus' gift to babus: Cheap MHADA flats

Housing is a scarce and highly priced commodity in the city, with affordable homes created by MHADA being the only hope for the common man who wants to buy a flat. Now even the number of MHADA homes available for the common man may decrease, to the advantage of the bureaucrats sitting in Mantralaya and various government organisations within the state.

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MHADA has sent a proposal to higher-ups in the administration seeking approval for the reservation of a certain percentage of its flats for the IAS, IPS, IFS and other civil services cadres.

MHADA house
A DREAM HOME: If the new proposal sent to the government is approved then the number of homes in the MHADA lottery for the common man will decrease as part of the houses will go to IAS, IPS, IFS and other civil service cadres. representation pic

The proposal was sent to the state government for approval by the Mumbai Board of MHADA.

The proposal stated that a chunk of affordable homes which MHADA is going to get in three-four years at Patra Chawl in Goregaon through redevelopment should be given to IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS and other civil services cadres. According to insiders, MHADA may ask for this reservation to be applicable for all its future schemes.

“The Mumbai Board of MHADA has sent a proposal to the state government for approval in which it has been stated that the government should allow us to release a small chunk of the houses for government servants which we will be getting from the redevelopment at Patra Chawl in Goregaon,” MHADA secretary Shivaji Diwekar said.

In next two-three years, MHADA will be getting its share of 2,400 houses through the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl in Goregaon. According to the previous MHADA plan, these affordable homes were to be allotted to the general public after a lottery.

Now, if the new proposal sent to the government is approved, a chunk of flats there will go to IAS, IPS, IFS officers and MHADA employees, decreasing the chances of an applicant from the general public in the lottery since the number of flats meant for the common man will be lower than previously planned.

A senior MHADA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “Yes, it is true that the number of homes in the lottery for the common man will decrease as a part of the houses which we will be getting from the redevelopment at Patra Chawl will go to IAS, IPS, IFS and other civil service cadres.”

At a programme that took place at the MHADA headquarters on Thursday, MHADA vice-president Satish Gavai said that there were many government officials who did not own a home in the city and so MHADA had sent a proposal to the government to allow it to conduct a separate lottery for the IAS, IPS, IFS and other services cadres.

Officials from MHADA also said that if the government approved the proposal, then MHADA would conduct a separate lottery for the IAS, IPS, IFS and other services cadres.

Officials said only those government officials who did not own a home in the city would be eligible for the lottery and that preference would be given to those on the verge of retirement.

It should be noted that there already is a reservation for state government and central government employees in the MHADA lottery conducted every year. For MHADA employees, this reservation is 2 per cent, for government employees — past and present — it is 5 per cent, and for government employees living in government quarters and those retiring in three years, the quota is 2 per cent.

Activist opposes move
Housing activist Simpreet Singh from Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao said: “When there is already reservation for the government employees in MHADA lottery, then I don’t know why there is a need to send a proposal to the government saying that a lottery of the houses should be conducted for IAS, IPS and IFS workers. This will only reduce the chances of the common man who dreams of winning a flat in the lottery. There already exist societies where the IAS and the IPS have got homes but where they don’t live, instead renting out these homes. Then why now should they be given specific consideration again?”

Malad resident Jeevan Golambde said: “For the past five years, I have been applying in the lottery, but till date I have not been successful in winning a house. I will keep trying in the lottery, as looking at the property prices in the present market I don’t think I will be able to buy a house. I personally feel that the plan to give reservation or come out with a new lottery for IAS, IPS, and IFS is wrong as already there is reservation for government employees in the MHADA lottery.”

The market rate today in Goregaon (West) is about Rs 11,500 per square foot. A flat with two bedrooms, a hall and a kitchen in Goregaon with super built-up area of 1,000 sq ft costs no less than Rs 1.25 crore.

MHADA charges its lottery winners on the basis of carpet area and follows the Ready Reckoner rate instead of the market rate. The MHADA formula is to charge buyers on the basis of construction cost and the land cost, which works out to way below the market rate.

2,400
Number of flats that will be available to MHADA through redevelopment of Patra Chawl in Goregaon in the next 3 years  

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