Of the 12,000 people who won the lottery for Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) houses in 2009, 6,000 are still awaiting their dream homes. Moreover, Mhada has not been clear about when these not-so-lucky winners will get possession of the houses.
“This has seriously affected the lives of the lottery winners. Some have been forced to postpone their wedding plans and others’ plans of expanding or splitting their family were put on hold for an uncertain period,” a lottery winner said, adding that only about 50% of the people got their houses in the last three years. “We have not been given a definite answer. Each time, they give us a date but then nothing happens.”
The delay in possession is mostly in Mankhurd-Mandale, Bimbisar Nagar at Ghatkopar and Pratiksha Nagar at Sion.
A lottery winner, who won a house in the Makhurd-Mandale belt, said. “Three years ago, I thought I would get the Mhada house and then tie the knot. But as I still don’t have the house, I have no choice now but to postpone any wedding plans. Mhada is worse than any private developer.”
He added that they are supposed to be given the houses within six months of the lottery, but that Mhada does not believe in the rule book. “Because of the apathy of Mhada officials, I am going through the difficult situation,” he said.
Housing experts said that people apply for the Mhada lottery as they cannot afford houses made by private developers.
“But it seems as though Mhada doesn’t have any way address the issue. People are suffering for no fault of theirs,” an expert said.
The expert further said that the government is coming up with a housing regulatory bill where the private developers will be punished if they delay projects, but that government agencies like Mhada are excluded from this.
A Mhada spokesperson said some technical issues delayed the winners from being given the houses.
“Mhada is trying to resolve these and hand over possession of the flats,” the spokesperson said.