MHADA set to re­vive anti-en­croach­ment cell

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI - SWEETY ADIMULAM

The anti-en­croach­ment cell of the Mum­bai Hous­ing Board of the Ma­ha­rash­tra Hous­ing and Area De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (MHADA), which has been dor­mant since its in­cep­tion in 2014, will soon be roused into ac­tion. A meet­ing was held by MHADA of­fi­cials at the cham­ber of the newly ap­pointed pres­i­dent, Uday Sa­mant.

Sa­mant told The Free Press Jour­nal that a deputy col­lec­tor, one tehsil­dar and five Naik tehsil­dars will be ap­pointed shortly. Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis has as­sured him th­ese hith­erto va­cant posts will be filled. Not only will the anti-en­croach­ment cell get of­fi­cials but will also get the nec­es­sary man­power along with the re­quired ma­chines to ini­ti­ate ac­tion.

As the anti-en­croach­ment cell is not func­tional, the hous­ing author­ity has to seek help from the city mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion in or­der to act against en­croach­ers on MHADA lay­outs. A se­nior civic of­fi­cial told The Free Press Jour­nal, "Since MHADA has been given the sta­tus of a plan­ning author­ity by the state gov­ern­ment in May 2018, so as to fa­cil­i­tate the speedy im­ple­men­ta­tion of af­ford­able hous­ing schemes, the cell will play a piv­otal

As the antien­croach­ment cell is not func­tional, the hous­ing author­ity has to seek help from the city mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion in or­der to act against en­croach­ers on MHADA lay­outs

role." The MHADA has lay­outs across Mum­bai in Kala­chowkie, Gore­gaon, Ban­dra, San­tacruz, Malad, and Dahisar. As many of th­ese lay­outs have been en­croached, ac­tion by this cell will help speed up re­de­vel­op­ment projects.

He fur­ther stated the cell may also be tasked with act­ing against il­le­gal oc­cu­pants of MHADA's tran­sit camps. As per data from MHADA, ap­prox­i­mately 8,600 oc­cu­pants re­side in its 56 tran­sit camps in Mum­bai. Il­le­gal oc­cu­pants are those who have been shifted to tran­sit camps af­ter their cessed build­ings de­clared dan­ger­ous and given al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion. How­ever, even af­ter be­ing pro­vided new houses, many con­tinue to live in th­ese tran­sit build­ings, a sur­vey con­ducted by MHADA in 2013 re­vealed, said the of­fi­cial.

Sur­pris­ingly, the author­ity had also sub­mit­ted a pro­posal to reg­u­larise th­ese il­le­gal oc­cu­pants, which is pend­ing be­fore the state gov­ern­ment.

Ini­tially, the anti-en­croach­ment cell had five to six work­ers but they were later shifted to other de­part­ments and the cell was left in the lurch.

MHADA is con­sid­er­ing to re­vive the cell on pri­or­ity since the Bri­hamum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) is al­ready over­bur­dened with en­croach­ment com­plaints in its own ju­ris­dic­tion.

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