MHADA no refuge for the common man?

MHADA accused of charging rates higher than private builders, and the flats they constructed in 2001 at Pimpri have leaking floors and toilets

Owning a home in a cosmopolitan city like Pune is the dream of the common man, who invests his life savings on buying his home. Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), with its affordable pricing and reliable reputation is the organisation the common man prefers to deal with in his quest for a home. MHADA recently placed an advertisement for residential flat schemes in Pune city. Online registration for lottery opened on September 6 and will remain open till October 5. But there has been a lukewarm response for MHADA flats in the city, due its high rates compared to private builders, and inferior construction quality.

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MHADA constructed the buildings in Pimpri in 2001, but now the flats and buildings are in a bad state, what with leaking floors and toilets. The flats are on the verge of collapsing just 15 years after they were purchased.
 MHADA recently placed advertisement for its schemes at Morwadi, Pimpri, Mhalunge, Wanowrie, Dive (Purandar) and Saswad. Registration for the lottery started on September 6 and will remain open till October 5. But the MHADA flats rates are higher than those of private builders, people complain. The price of an 1 BHK flat in Morwadi, Pimpri is Rs 34 lakh, Rs 53 lakh for 2 BHK flats, which is way beyond the common man’s budget.

Seema Savale

Seema Savale

MHADA is considered to be one of the most affordable housing platforms for the common man. MHADA’s Pimpri schemes are now under construction. People living near the MHADA flats construction site complain that their floors and toilets are leaking.

Pimpri MHADA flat resident Gorakh Navghare said, “I am the chairman of this MHADA society. We purchased these MHADA scheme flats in the year 2001. Now the situation is that if water gets spilled on the floor it leaks through to the flat underneath. Floors are leaking because the builder used precast floor slab and just installed cement columns, and the gaps between the floor and column were filled with poor quality cement, which is why the floors are leaking. The builder told us that they used precast cement floor and column for speedy construction work of buildings. B G Shirke constructed our MHADA buildings and the same builder has now got the contract of our adjacent MHADA buildings construction. In the same way they are now using precast cement floors and columns for speedy construction work. They bring precast cement floors and columns from their factory and just assemble them here at the construction site. Latter they fill the gaps between floor and column with cement but it leaks. Our buildings are four-storey and toilets on all floors are leaking. We complained many times to MHADA regarding the leakage but they are neglecting it. It is economically possible for us to repair leaking floors and toilets. MHADA, after giving possession of flats to us, is not giving any post repair service.”

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Local Pimpri corporator Seema Savale said, “MHADA’s motto is to provide affordable housing to the common people. But in the recent MHADA advertisement for flats in Pimpri, their rate is Rs 4,600 per square foot, which is higher than that of private builders, which is Rs 4,000 per square foot. How can common people purchase MHADA flats at such high rates? MHADA seems to have forgotten its motto of affordable housing and house for all policy. If MHADA officialls decide rates after their market survey, how can they charge such high rates which are beyond the reach of the common people? I personally wrote a letter to the chief minister to bring down the rates of MHADA homes, which are now higher than those of private builders. MHADA has not followed the standard procedure of giving tender of construction for the Pimpri site. Builder B G Shirke only approached to MHADA and got the contract. The Shirke builders’ track record is bad. MHADA flats which Shirke constructed in Pimpri are now leaking, as they used precast cement floors and columns for construction, and filled the gaps with cement.”

B G Shirke Construction Pvt Ltd Managing Director Pratap Shirke said, “We use precast cement floors and columns for the construction at MHADA. But we maintain the quality of cement at our factory in Mundhwa. We keep regular checks of strength of cement in our factory. After assembling the floor we give a layer of 40 mm so that it has more strength. Our rates are lower than the market rates, which is why MHADA has given us the tender of construction of MHADA schemes in Pimpri and Morwadi.”

MHADA Pune division CEO Ashok Kakade said, “Builders everywhere are now using precast cement floors and columns for speedy construction work. This time MHADA is constructing 2500 flats in Pune, so it is necessary to use modern construction techniques like precast cement floors and columns for speedy construction work. We will inspect the MHADA flats built in 2001 for leaking floors and toilets and then take further steps. We have given tender of constructing MHADA sites in Pimpri to B G Shirke Construction Company as their rates are lower than other builders as our market survey revealed. Shirke has huge experience of MHADA scheme constructions in Mumbai, and therefore we have given them a contract once again. We did our best to keep rates of MHADA flats in Pimpri lower compared to private builders.”

tushar.rupanavar@goldensparrow.com

Originally published on The Golden Sparrow

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