327 suspect applications delay flats for 4,000 MHADA lottery winners

After anonymous letter claims irregularities in forms submitted by 327 winners of May lottery, housing authority takes its time going over all applications with magnifying glass

AN anonymous letter has delayed possession of their dream homes for nearly 4,000 lucky winners of a lottery held in May by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).

Generally, MHADA sends out allotment letters to the winners of its lotteries for affordable housing schemes in the city within three months.

This time, though, the authority is taking its time going through each and every winner's application with a fine-tooth comb because of an anonymous letter it received alleging irregularities in a few hundred applications.

Dispatched to MHADA in August, the letter claims that in the case of 327 winners, the same mobile numbers or addresses appear in several bunches of application forms.

This has made MHADA scrutinise with a magnifying glass not only the 327 forms in question, but also all the other forms submitted by the winners at the time of applying for the various affordable housing schemes.

"The documents are being checked and the process is still on, but we will be done with it soon," said MHADA vice-chairman Satish Gavai. "We expect the allotment letters to be dispatched by the end of October."

Asked whether any modification would be made in the online system so that such issues do not arise again, Gavai said this was not required as the system was working well.

Careful scrutiny
"There is no problem with the system, all's fine with it. There is no criminal procedure too that has been initiated against anyone, as we are still checking the papers," said Gavai. "The only thing is that the 327 forms against which the letter has come are being scrutinised with more care."

Though Gavai claimed that the allotment letters would be out by the end of the month, MHADA sources said "anything positive is possible only by mid-November" as the scrutiny procedure was still nowhere near completion.

"We have been given strict instructions that all forms and their documents need to be checked properly, and if there is any mistake then the person concerned will be held responsible for it," said a senior MHADA official.

"Even senior authorities within MHADA are now taking charge of the form correction and document checking."

How duplication of details can occur
IN the system that MHADA follows, one person is allowed to apply for several flats, provided these are all in different schemes. Also, all adult members of a person's family can apply independently. Given this, it is possible for two or more application forms to have the same telephone number and address.

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