MHADA gives flats for MLAs,struggles to recover Rs 15 cr

More than three years after MHADA kept aside 225 apartments in upmarket Versova to form a housing society for legislators,it is yet to recover money for at least 25 of these flats.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Updated: April 16, 2014 11:06 am

More than three years after MHADA kept aside 225 apartments in upmarket Versova to form a housing society for legislators,it is yet to recover money for at least 25 of these flats.

The 900-square-foot apartments were sold to legislators in 2009 and 2010 at a heavily discounted rate of Rs 42 lakh each.

In a letter dated April 4,2013,a copy of which was marked to the housing department,the board asked Rajyog Cooperative Housing Society to pay Rs 15 crore.

“Of the 225 flats we handed over to the society,allotments were approved for 223. The society should pay MHADA and recover the amount from its members. For how long will MHADA wait?” a board official said.

He said full payment had been received for 198 flats and booking amount of 25 per cent for 12 with the condition that the remaining would be paid within three months.

However,recovering the remaining amount is proving tricky for MHADA as a majority of legislators have backed out after initially evincing interest in acquiring the flats.

Nineteen of the 25 former and serving legislators who were part of a government-approved list,including home minister R R Patil,Congress state president Manikrao Thakre,minister of state for tribal development and horticulture Rajendra Gavit,Pandurang Phundkar and Rajan Teli,decided midway to not apply for membership.

“I had a property in Mumbai and MHADA norms did not permit me to apply. So I did not submit the required documents,” Thakre said.

Gavit said,“With the controversies surrounding Adarsh,I decided to cancel the whole thing. I had filled the form to apply for a house there but didn’t make payment because I didn’t want to risk any controversy. I informed the society that I am no longer interested.”

Debashish Chakrabarty,principal secretary of the housing department,said: “All 225 flats have been given by MHADA to the housing society. If some members are no longer interested,a decision has to be taken by the society. We cannot allot the houses to someone else or put them on sale through lottery.”

Harshavardhan Patil,minister for parliamentary affairs and cooperation and chief promoter of Rajyog,was unavailable for comment. MHADA records show he is one of 11 who did not submit documents to take the proceedings forward.

The records show some legislators even wrote to the housing society that they did not wish to be members any longer.

The records further show Sanjay Deshmukh,Nitin Raut,Jayant Sasane and Chandrakant Chhajed surrendered houses after taking possession,while Congress MLC Subhash Chavan did not take possession. Another three resigned from the society in advance.

Allotment proceedings are on for former Congress MLA Amar Kale,NCP MLA Shashikant Shinde,Uttam Khandare of Shiv Sena and Kewalram Kale,Bhausaheb Kamble and Vijay Khadse of Congress.

Most claim the delay in payment is because neither MHADA nor the society was clear about the procedure. “I have written to the society at least 10 times but it has not said anything about the payment procedure. I have paid a little more than Rs 10 lakh. Now,the society has to give an NOC so that I can get a loan sanctioned,” Kamble said.

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