Jittery officials from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) will scale up security at the Rangsharda auditorium, Bandra (W), in wake of perceived disruptions by some unions opposing the affordable housing lottery for mill workers scheduled for today.
The security concern loomed large, as some mill workers’ organisations threatened to interrupt proceedings. Fearing the disturbance, the housing agency has requested the government to deploy extra police force outside the venue.
“There are some organisations opposing the draw of lots, and we feel that workers of these organisations might interrupt the lottery process, which we don’t want. So we have requested the government to arrange more police force outside the venue,” said a senior MHADA official, who is a part of the lottery process.
Out of the nine mill workers’ organisations, three organisations have said that they support the lottery process and don’t have any objection against MHADA conducting the lottery. However, some of the members from the remaining organisations are opposing the lottery, asking how MHADA could conduct a lottery without fixing the criteria of who is an eligible mill worker to win a house in the lottery?
Speaking to MiD DAY, Minister of State for Housing Sachin Ahir said, “It has always been our priority that mill workers should get a house in Mumbai, and so we will be conducting the lottery of 6,948 houses today.”
‘Everything will be fine’
When he was informed that some mill workers’ organisations have stated that they will be protesting against the lottery, Ahir said, “I request all the mill workers’ organisations to not protest the lottery proceedings. I will try and convince the organisations that are opposing the lottery, and I am sure that everything will be fine. There will also be a police force outside the auditorium where the lottery is being conducted.”
A total of 50,322 mill workers have applied for the lottery for 6,948 houses, which have been priced at Rs 7.5 lakh each. The tenements are situated in central and western suburbs.