House-hunters built up an overwhelming response on the first day of the housing projects introduced across Mumbai by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
They showed that slump or no slump,there still exists a huge demand for houses if the price is right. MHADA sold in a day 88,222 forms,over 20 times the 3,863 flats available. The flats will be sold through lottery among various economic categories.
So enthused was MHADA that officials restricted themselves to giving only one form to each applicant. People had queued up from 7 am,much before banks opened. Serpentine queues formed across branches and minor skirmishes were reported from a few.
The longest queues formed at HDFC Banks Matunga branch,from where about 5,600 forms were sold out. The queue at the Goregaon branch stretched up to Jogeswari. Seeing the long queue I decided to go back home and return another day, said Prashant Ashar,who hopes to try his luck with flats for the middle-income and high-income groups in Goregaon.
We had kept 5000 forms at each branch. However,looking at the response we will now stock about 10,000 at each, said HK Javale,chief officer of MHADAs Mumbai Board.
The distribution of flats took a political turn with the Shiv Sena picking it up. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna,the party said the flats should be allotted to the Marathi manoos,who is being forced out of the city as housing has become unaffordable.
UP FOR GRABS
Flats: Canara Engineering in Ghatkopar ,Shailendra Nagar in Dahisar,Bimbisar Nagar and Siddharth Nagar in Goregaon,Pratiksha Nagar in Sion,Sahakar Nagar in Chembur,Chandivli,Tagore Nagar and Kannamwar Nagar in Vikroli,Versova in Andheri
Forms: Rs 100 each,at 21 HDFC Bank branches
Last date: January 30
Economically weaker section: Rs 10,000
Low-income group: Rs 15,000
Middle-income group: Rs 25,000
High-income group: Rs 50,000
High-income,Versova: Rs 1 lakh