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RTI Activist Reveals Army Welfare Housing Organization( AWHO )Has Betrayed “By Approving Selling Of Flats To Civilians”!!

17 May 2011 9 Comments

RTI Activist team has accessed documents which reveal that Houses meant for  Ex-Defence Personnel are sold out to civilians and are causing major problems for residents, mostly senior citizens / war widows belonging to armed forces  residing in Army Officers colony and represent interests of the majority of the ex-Defence residents of the Society built on MHADA leased land at concessional rates as a welfare measure of Defence personnel.

The housing was provided through Army Welfare Housing Organization whose aim is to provide “quality housing at affordable cost at no loss no profit basis” exclusively to serving / retired defence personnel and their widows. Now that 15 years have passed since construction and due to relaxation in rules by AWHO few flats have been bought / sold to civilians who have also become members of the society. Some civilian members have elected themselves to the management committee and are routinely threatening members who are wives / widows of serving / retired defence personnel and few decorated soldiers through questionable means.

Committee members have been harassing the members which mostly are defence personnel and families by constantly demanding exorbitant amounts from members for works which are not necessary. It may not be out of context to quote the instances where the committee has collected funds from some members and failed to deliver the results. It would be pertinent to mention the current situation where under the pretext of major repairs for which Rs 3.52 Crores plus taxes are now being collected from members through heavy individual installments in a very short period (individual members being asked to pay initial installment of Rs 36000/- in ten days from demand date which is not even their monthly pension).Incidentally an SGM in 2010 had pegged the cost for these major repairs at 2.58 Crores which now are inflated to 3.82 Crores. How and why does a very prestigious only 15 year old project of AWHO requires such extensive repairs so soon is a point worth pondering over by the constructing agency and concerned authorities.

The committee members have neither displayed any transparency nor followed the correct procedure for executing these unwanted major repairs. Few of the member residents complained about the state of affairs, the exorbitant financial demands and requested for transparency in dealings for which they have been humiliated by the committee members along with one of the brokers through various means as well as threatened with dire consequences by them.

The residents who are mainly defence pensioners or their widows and war widows are not in a position to meet the constant unwarranted financial demands. They are being constantly humiliated by the committee members and the broker as mentioned above propagating that in case they are not in a position to arrange funds they were not worthy of staying in the said society and should sell off their houses. What can be more humiliating than being asked to leave a house which was constructed for them in recognition of the selfless service and sacrifice their Family Members had rendered for the country and that too by a set of civilians who have no love and affinity for the armed forces but at enjoying at their expense.  A very good reason indeed why current generation and future generation are dissuaded from joining the armed forces.

  1. Proper procedure not followed for Major expenditure of Rs 3.52 crores+ Taxes(Approx 3.80 Crores)
  2. Complaint to Deputy Registrar and the various circulars issued by Management Committee to all members as a result of this complaint. The Dy Registrar is continuously giving dates after dates for hearing without giving any decision.
  3. A resolution was passed in SGM, the SGM was held but following needs to be noted

a)     The SGM was held at a very short notice, with circular on 12 Jan 11 for SGM on 30 Jan 11

b)     Out of 269 members, 52 were present. Tarapore Towers, is a typical society where lot of members are outstation members having rented their flats and stay out of Mumbai. They were not sent any letter.

c)     Amongst the present members majority were civilian members who take decisions amongst themselves and carry it out by virtue of their majority.

d)     Others are not allowed to speak through sheer pressure by these other members either by shouting at other members or not allowing them to speak.

4      The Buildings were constructed for members of Armed Forces only by Army Welfare Housing Organization only. The ” Allotment letter” which includes details on subparas

a)        The extract of AWHO  brochure outlining the terms and conditions –Attached as “Original rules”

b)        Extract of allotment Letter from AWHO  which also states these conditions

c)        Letter from Army Head Quarter which prohibits sale to other than to those entitled. This was in view of some members trying to sale their flats at higher prices as the Ex-Defence Personnel got it at no profit no loss bases

d)        Later AWHO permitted sale to civilians, by this the AWHO Contradicts there own rules, which is incorrect. As a result there were a lot of sale / purchase deeds with civilians. Lot of Army officers had purchased the houses as investment or found the offer of making exorbitant amount very lucrative

5      There is one ex-Defense officer in the management committee. Unfortunately he is the chairman. But he is least bothered as he has three flats in the Society between him and his sons. It was his dream to be the Chairman and he has extra money. He is therefore least bothered and only wants the status as a Chairman. The society MC is controlled by a broker staying in Society who also has now cornered 3 to 4 flats. Being the broker since inception, he controls majority of the rented houses in excess of 70 to 80 in number. Most of the sales / purchases are through him. As such he also controls all these members and their votes.

It  can be imagined what is his financial clout with everyone including the officials and authority. He is the one behind the “Major Repairs” project as once these are undertaken the rates of this property will further appreciate increasing his business and earnings for him.

The above facts point out two things :

  • Why did Army Welfare Housing Organization relax norms or guidelines which were laid down by them, who authorized such changes and why ? when Tarapore Towers were specifically made for serving / retired defence personnel and their widows exclusively .
  • Isn’t it a disgrace to the Army Welfare Housing Organization when issues like these come out in the open and reveal that just becaue of relaxing such specific norms  problems like above occur and tarnish the image and very purpose of the making such housing. Isnt it the responsibility of the AWHO to look in to these grave concerns and order out that any major repairs being carried out to such housing schemes be specifically brought to the notice of the AWHO and be carried out only after receiving approval from them, when the AWHO can arrange for the welfare of the Ex or servicing defence personnel on a subsidised rate, why cant it look in to matters of Major repairs ? Is it a  policy of the AWHO to give it and forget it ? If the pension of the Ex-Defence Personnel cannot make them meet, the requirements of their families, it is indeed  a painful moment not only for the families of the Ex-Defence Personnel but also a stigma on the AWHO.

9 Comments »

  • nitesh kumar said:

    its heartening to read about awho getting into not so required
    matters & forgetting the basic purpose for which it was created

  • vijaylaxmi singh said:

    The above article highlights the plight of Retired Army personnel who have to go through utter humiliation and indignity after serving the nation faithfully.
    Somehow most of the Army Societies suffer this fate. Being fooled by unscrupulous people( in this case the broker) who eye the property from the moment the Army personnel get allotments.
    As a result many officers sell the flats, but the problem arises for the people who actually bought the flats to live. These are literally hounded out of their rights to live with dignity.

  • sushilgothane said:

    sir, adarsh ghotaleke baad chairman named ghotala,will the awho look into filthy buisness of no profit no loss.

  • Venkey said:

    Defence personnel who were given original allottment have raked in huge profits and gone away. They decided to convert the low cost housing into a highly profitable proposition. AWHO should not give any NOC for sale to civilians.

    It is not the fault of the incoming civilians who have purchased these flats and want to run the place through a majority voting. The MC is afterall chosen by the majority and resolutions of all major expendiure as passed in the AGM. There is no point blaming them.

    The biggest culprit is AWHO, is are very opaque in their working and only work for meeting their ulterior objective of maximising their profit under the garb of a no profit organisation.

  • editor (author) said:

    Mr.Venkat,

    Do send in your details and also if you have taken up this issue with the AWHO, and what issues you are facing with them, kindly send copies of correspondence done on the above issue and we will revert back to you shortly.

    Kind Regards

  • navhya said:

    Hi this is URGENT
    can u please email that army headquarter letter my dad would be grateful our court date is on 21st n hes fighting this war….
    no time to divulge the details but please respond

  • editor (author) said:

    Navhya,

    Please refer the News article it has a link of the letter, you can download the same from there.
    Regards

  • Nishat said:

    Hi,

    I am already working on such expose , Shall be very thankful if i find the documents related to these irregularities ,

    regards

    Nishat

  • Raghuu Varmah said:

    Sir i also need the link u msd to miss navya but i cant find it canu pls email or msg it
    Thankyou n regards