Mumbai- Nearly 2.5 lakh applications have been received in the last five months for the affordable houses announced under the Prime Minister Housing Scheme by MHADA.
However, there appears to be another force at work here. A plethora of agents and middlemen have been offering application forms to hopeful citizens, for a fee that ranges between Rs 120 to Rs 200. Throngs of hopeful applicants, many among them women, have been spending hours shelling out money to get the forms filled by the agents, but the corresponding number of applications received officially by MHADA does not seem to be matching these figures.
The common application service center at MHADA charges Rs. 25 for the application form to be processed. The forms are also available online, where an OTP generated is sent to the applicant's mobile number for venrification and for the application to be processed. However, the agents merely ask for an Aadhar card copy from gullible applicants and affix their photograph onto the applications. There is no clarity on where these 'applications' are ending up.
MHADA officials acknowledge Mumbai Live’s coverage on the issue and say they have contacted the Mumbai police to ensure that frauds are minimised and have asked people to be wary of such fraudsters.
The Mumbai Live team checked with some agents and found out that the Aadhar card-photo routine is still being followed.
The ball is in the MHADA's court now.