MUMBAI : A video is doing the rounds on social media where agents of the powerful chawl mafia,are  inviting buyers, mostly migrants, to purchase  illegal chawl rooms in the twin cities of Vasai and Virar. So much so, an offer is also made to sell a chawl room for Rs 4 lakh each! This is the new marketing strategy adopted by the chawl mafia using social media as a tool.

As per the video, the agent is seen showing around a chawl room constructed on government land in Kopri in Virar. He is inviting bids for Rs 4 lakh to sell the room, and has promised the buyer, water, electricity connections and also house tax to be issued by the Vasai civic body coupled with pucca roads! Majority of the buyers are migrant workers and fall easily to the fraud.  More than 90,000 persons have visited the site where the illegal chawl room is on sale! 

According to a Vasai based NGO, Harit Vasai Saurakshan Samiti, which have filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the illegal construction in 2007, there are thousands of illegal structures in the twin cities of Vasai and Virar. The Bombay High Court has come down heavily on the illegal structures and ordered the Vasai civic body to demolish the same.

Satish Lokhande, Commissioner, Vasai civic body said we are conducting demolitions of illegal structures daily. The areas of Pelhar, Waliv, Nalla Sopara and Virar have the maximum number of illegal structures, and we are using excavators to demolish the illegal structures,he said. Illegal chawls are constructed over the weekends and are sold for lakhs to gullible buyers and we are demolishing them as well,said Lokhande. A special demolition department have been formed to keep tabs on illegal structures, he said. Besides the Vasai civic body have started an awareness drive  to prevent people from buying illegal rooms,he said.On our official website ( we have listed approved constructions and have advised people to be alert on illegal constructions, he said and encouraged them to visit our head office and personally see the building plans before buying the flats,said Lokhande.