Ram Kumar Garg (56), a resident of Nehru Apartment in Kalkaji, wouldn’t have to worry about the gruelling exercise of climbing to his fourth floor flat every day.
Garg, who stays in a flat developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) with his 80-year-old mother, has been making rounds of the land development agency for a few years to get permission to install a lift in his block. Most housing blocks built by DDA in the last 40 years are four storey tall and don’t have elevators.
To install a lift on their own, flat owners needed to get a ‘no objection certificate’ from all the flat owners in the block. A few of Garg’s neighbours objected to the lift and the proposal got scrapped.
DDA has now changed the norms and lifts can now be installed in its flats if the majority of flat owners want one. The consent of ground floor owners is now not at all required as they are not beneficiaries of a lift. The relaxed norms mean thousands of DDA flat owners who are senior citizens wouldn’t have to worry about climbing stairs now.
Flat owners will have to apply for a NOC to DDA and to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in areas where services have been transferred from DDA to the civic agency.
Many DDA flat owners, who have been trying hard for many years to get the norms changed are now happy but want DDA to make the process of applying smoother and hassle free.
“We had already applied to DDA long ago and provided all the required technical and safety documents,” said RK Sarin, another resident of Nehru Apartment. “If we have to apply again to MCD now, which has taken over the jurisdiction of the colony, we would have to start again from the scratch. Ideally, DDA should just move the applications to MCD,” Sarin added.
“Applications can be sent directly to MCD by us if flat owners request so but that would happen on a case-to-case basis,” said a senior DDA official requesting anonymity.
Some flat owners feel that instead of residents themselves engaging lift manufacturing companies, DDA should undertake lift installations itself.