When it was established under a special act, MHADA was to focus on affordable housing for the lower and middle classes. But a section of builders engaged in developing houses in cities like Mumbai, Thane and Pune looked at MHADA as a challenge since its focus was on the needy class of house buyers.
As expected, the lobby of unscrupulous elements joined hands with people from political parties to take control of the housing authority, weakening it.
Allegations were made that a lobby of builders and politicians interested in real estate dictated terms to the housing authority.
So what is the situation at MHADA now?
It is alleged that the housing body does not even announce new projects on time, at a time when buying a home in Mumbai is out of the common man’s reach.
Nor does it announce completion of homes in time; delays haunt the process for months.
The large pool of land given to MHADA is not safe now. As reported by us a few months ago, MHADA lost 178 acres of land to encroachers.
And now, it comes to light that the authority does not know the status of 27.5 acres of premium realty given to influential people for various purposes over the last 20 years. Attempts have been made to create third-party rights for these prime plots and MHADA may not get them back.
Ultimately the question will arise as to who is responsible for all this. People who have milked the cow have been transferred, or are retired or no more.
For now, there is hope that a chief minister such as Prithviraj Chavan, who has almost no vested interest, can stop this and keep hopes of genuine house buyers afloat.