Monday, January 2, 2012

AWHO sets standards of low transparency

Allotment of Army Flats in Panchkula
Consumer panel sees Adarsh-like scam
Vijay Mohan/TNS Monday, January 2, 2012, Chandigarh, India
Chandigarh, January 1

Holding that the allotment of some dwelling units made by the Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO) in its project at Sector 20, Panchkula, was in violation of rules, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has observed that the exercise was done “presumably with a view to accommodate favourites and everything does not appear to have been done in a transparent manner.”

Ruling that the system adopted to fix the seniority of applicants was arbitrary, the Commission held that if enquired into deeply “this may again turn out to be another scam like Adarsh Society at Mumbai.”

AWHO, the Commission observed, is an organisation created for the welfare of serving and retired defence personnel and expected to act in a transparent manner.

A resident of Sector 2, Panchkula, RK Dhingra had earlier moved the District Consumer Forum against the non-allotment of a flat in AWHO’s colony or failing which, in another similar project in Panchkula or Mohali. The forum had granted him relief following which the AWHO authorities appealed against the order before the commission, which dismissed the appeal.Dhingra’s prime grievance was that some senior officers who were much junior registrants in the scheme by virtue of their date of registration, were later placed higher in the waiting list. Dhingra, with registration number 98,248 was placed at serial number 15 in the waiting list, where as a Brigadier with registration number 1,04,727 was placed on top of the list.

The seniority in the list was to be determined on the basis of the date on the bank draft and allotment thereafter on the basis of a draw of lots.

The complainant, however, had been told by the AWHO authorities that he was the senior-most applicant on the waiting list. When he came to know that some allotments were made “illegally”, he approached the authorities and was told that his present position in the list was No. 1. He could either seek transfer or withdraw his registration as all dwelling units stood allotted and had been handed over.

On pointing out discrepancies, he was told that all but one unit had been handed over and formalities and paperwork were in process for the lone remaining unit.
AWHO: Consumer panel sees Adarsh-like scam

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