The crowd that gathered for the annual draw of lots for MHADAs affordable homes wasnt exactly swelling the way it does every year. However,regardless of the limited number of homes available this year and Thursdays bandh,which came as a dampener,the anxiety,joy and disappointment of the few hundreds who had made it for the lottery were all the same.
A total of 1.5 lakh people had applied for 867 houses in Mumbai and 1,726 houses in Mira Road. My husband has not won a single lottery his entire life,so it will take a while to sink in that we have won an affordable house in Mumbai, said Priyanka Prabhukhot,hardly able to contain herself even as her husband broke down on hearing his name being announced.
After all,her husband Ganesh,an accountant with a private firm,is now a proud owner of low-income group flat in Malad and can finally shift out of their small rented house. We have been looking for a house in Mumbai ever since we got married eight years ago and shifted base from our village in Kankavali in Sindhudurg, said Priyanka.
For Renuka Bhopale,it was first-time lucky. Her husband was transferred from Pune to Mumbai a year ago. Even with a budget of Rs 50 lakh,she couldnt afford a house anywhere in Mumbai or even in Panvel. On Thursday,Bhopale won a two-bedroom high-income group apartment at Magathane in Borivli for Rs 48 lakh.
Then there were those with a grouse that MHADA had hastily rejected their applications,not even giving them a chance to be a part of the draw. Ashok Sable and Ganesh Khandare were among the 11,000 applicants whose forms were rejected. Both were disqualified as they had applied under joint accounts. My wife and I applied to six different places and on the form each of us had mentioned our joint account. Last evening,I was informed that our forms have been rejected on the grounds of using the same bank details. I fail to understand how this can be a disqualifying factor, said Sable. Khandare,a postal department worker whose mothers and own application were rejected for similar reasons,said,From Colaba to Dahisar,all private projects offer luxury apartments; all I want is a roof over my head and MHADA is my only hope.
On the brighter side,those who have failed to get a house this time can try again next year as MHADA plans to release a total of 4,272 houses in Virar and Mumbai. Due to the housing boards depleting land bank in the city,next year too only about 1,786 houses will be released in Mumbai in areas such as Kalina,Charkop,Malvani,Powai,Mulund and Kurla. A majority of these houses will be for the economically weaker sections and low-income groups. MHADAs Konkan Board will release 2,486 low and middle income houses in Virar. There will be no apartments available in the high-income group category,which are mainly two bedroom modest houses,during the next lottery.