Every village in the state will soon have housing projects under Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), announced housing minister Jitendra Awhad at a housing lottery event of Mhada homes held at Dr Kashinath Ghanekar auditorium in Thane on Thursday. The lottery was drawn for 8,984 houses in Kalyan, Mira Road, Thane, Virar, Navi Mumbai and Sindhudurg.
Nitin Mahajan, chief officer of the Konkan region of Mhada said, “We had received over 2.46 lakh applications in various categories including economically weaker section (EWS), low-income group (LIG), middle-income group (MIG) and higher income group (HIG). Out of the 8,984 homes, 812 homes were in Thane district, for which we received a whopping 2.07 lakh applications.”
Around 500 people were allowed to sit in the theatre while the lottery was screened online for the other applicants. The draw was flagged off by Awhad, along with the guardian minister of Thane Eknath Shinde. Awhad expressed that such a huge number of applications shows the trust people have in Mhada and also the increased requirement for affordable homes.
Awhad said, “The overwhelming response for the lottery makes the need for more affordable housing in state evident. In future, we will need to come up with more such housing projects. We are building 261 homes in Mahad villages which were destroyed due to the rains through Mhada. The redevelopment of BDD Chawl, stuck for over 25 years, will also be undertaken through Mhada.”
He added that Thane city will get 1,200 homes in Vartak Nagar through Mhada for the police officers. Homes will also be made available in Navi Mumbai, which is developing as an IT hub so that people can walk to work, he added.
Shinde appealed to Mhada to contribute to Thane city’s cluster development scheme just like the Cidco, which has agreed to develop few clusters. He added, “There are many dangerous structures in Mumbra and Diva where cluster scheme needs to be hastened, Mhada can contribute to the scheme with its experience in affordable housing. Despite the pandemic, the MVA (Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi) government has not stalled any developmental projects.”
Santosh Gaikwad, 41, a Thane police department employee said, “I am originally from Dhule and posted at the Kasarvadavli police station. I was overwhelmed by winning a house in this lottery. Thane city has given me a job earlier and now also a dwelling of my own. I stay at Kasheli near Bhiwandi at present, and will soon be able to take my family to our own house.”
Another winner Ravi Shinde, 38, added, “I had applied for the lottery along with 10-15 of my other friends and never thought I will be winning it. The house is merely five minutes away from the place I presently stay on rent.”
Union minister of state in the ministry of panchayati raj, Kapil Patil on the other hand, alleged that despite over 6,180 houses in the lottery being constructed under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana, the state did not mention the Centre at all in the event.