Gujarat CM cancels GHB draw for affordable houses

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel cancelled the online draw for 8,000 affordable houses built by the Gujarat Housing Board after irregularities were alleged, a top official of the housing body said.

Patel, who was in Surat on Thursday, took up the issue after she returned to Gandhinagar and decided to cancel the draw, he said.

"After studying the technical report on what went wrong in the computerised draw, the Chief Minister decided to cancel the draw," an official said.

"The state government found that the agency Dev Informatics made faulty software to select applicants through a computerised draw. The agency also accepted its fault, which led to the decision to cancel the draw. Now, a fresh draw will be organised," said the official.

Many applicants complained that the draw picked up only those who had applied online, not those who had submitted the applications in physical form at the GHB office.

Many of the dissatisfied applicants on Thursday gave a memorandum to Ahmedabad Collector demanding a fresh draw.

Earlier, Secretary, Gujarat Urban Development Department, Mona Kandhar, had said the officials were conducting inqury into the matter for the last four days.

"We submitted the report to the government giving our recommendations earlier today," Principal Secretary of Urban Development Department G R Aloria said on Thursday.

Gujarat Congress also demanded a probe. "Thousands of needy applicants have become the victims of irregularities of GHB. We demand an inquiry commission headed by a sitting High Court judge to investigate the case. We also demand that the state government cancel the draw and conduct a fresh one," Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said earlier.

The draw had been held for 8,000 flats in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara.