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MHADA eyes biometric system to crack down on lottery winners

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) is mulling introducing biometric retina and finger scan systems to curb fraudulent activities post its annual lottery scheme for homes in the city. With the biometric system, lottery winners’ fingerprints would be scanned and the data collected to prevent illegal selling of flats won in the lottery post-purchase.

Biometric machines
Representation pic

According to senior MHADA officials, the vigilance department has been seeking out options to curb the menace of people who fraudulently buy and sell MHADA flats. During a brainstorming session, one of the proposals that came up was that after the lottery was done and dusted in May, they would record the imprint of fingers of the winners.

“We are considering this option and may soon bring this to the table for further discussions with senior MHADA officials. This would help in curbing the menace of the agents who illegally sell MHADA flats to buyers,” said a senior vigilance officer, on condition of anonymity.

Once MHADA sells a flat, owners cannot sell it for the next 10 years and neither can they rent it out. However, there have been several instances where agents, under the guise of genuine buyers, apply for flats and after winning sell them to others at a profit. In most cases, the agents are adept at forging documents, which makes it difficult for MHADA to detect any wrongdoings.

The biometric scan system would help contain this racket. Sachin Ahir, state housing minister, claims that MHADA for a long time has been trying to implement this process into action. “This initiative will help us in future. We are hoping to put into operation the biometric machines from the next lottery so that records and transfers can be verified,” said Ahir.

Earlier, MHADA had also initiated online applications for the lottery scheme, after which they made it mandatory for an applicant to submit an email id and online banking details. From this year, the Aadhaar card or the receipt of the application is also being made compulsory. MHADA is planning to put nearly 3,500 homes on the market through its lottery in May. 

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