Residents looking to own a house in the city every year dream of winning the MHADA lottery, and this year a retired Air Force warrant officer not only beat the odds, but continued his lucky streak, winning two flats in the draw held for 1,244 homes. At the lottery result ceremony held at Rangsharda auditorium in Bandra yesterday, Kiran Nikam (65), who resides in a rented flat at JB Nagar in Andheri (E), won flats at Gorai and Powai from the High Income Group (HIG) category.
And this isn’t the first time lightning has struck twice for Nikam. Earlier in 2003, Nikam had also won two plots a residential plot measuring 1,800 sq-ft and an agricultural land at Malegaon in a government lottery scheme for ex-servicemen. Eyes brimming with tears of joy, Nikam said, “Winning this lottery is a dream come true for me. I can’t believe that I have won two flats. This is the result of my service to the country.” However, Nikam has to surrender one flat to the authorities under the rules, and has not decided which one he will let go of.
Peon gets lucky
Another person for whom winning the MHADA lottery is nothing less than a lifetime achievement is 37-year-old Deepak Mahajan. Working as a peon in the Transport Commissioner’s Office, Mahajan was over the moon and was falling short of words to express his happiness after winning a home in Malwani under the Lower Income Group (LIG) category.
Residing with his wife at a rented house in Vikhroli, Mahajan said, “This is completely unexpected, as it was the first time I had applied for the lottery. I never had the courage earlier to apply for a MHADA home. But, this time I did and by God’s grace I got lucky by winning a flat in Malwani, Malad. I really needed a home, since the burden of rent was adding to my problems. My sister is mentally challenged and is admitted at Thane Mental Hospital. She is my responsibility and it is difficult since we are we are very low on finance.”
Dancing with joy
The lottery also brought relief and delight to 46-year-old dance choreographer Mahesh Jain, who has been applying in the lottery for the last six years. Jain, who is single, is a resident of Worli and resides with his uncle. He won a flat in Malwani, Malad after applying under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category. “I am happy that after 25 years I will have my own residence in Mumbai soon. I thank MHADA for fulfilling my dreams,” said Jain. He had arrived in the city two decades ago to pursue his career in dance and presently conducts classes.
The lottery also brought happiness to MHADA’s former joint-chief engineer D K Jagdale, who has been trying his luck since four years. He said, “I am happy that I have finally won a flat six years before my retirement. MHADA flats are reasonable in comparison to the market, but the fact is that the winning flats are expensive too. I hope, I am able to arrange the amount.”
Satish Gavai, MHADA vice- president said, “Our endeavour is to provide housing to most people. I want private builders to come under pressure after people win MHADA flats and reduce prices and make them affordable for people.”