More than 3 lakh houses and 42 years later, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has finally woken up to its responsibility of maintaining the flats after their allotment. For the first time, DDA will now provide maintenance of the flats that are part of its latest housing scheme for the next 30 years.
DDA, the country's largest land developer, will maintain the usually neglected common areas like staircases and shafts of the flats that it will allot. A large number of the nearly 16,000 flats that are part of the new housing scheme will enjoy DDA's healing touch. The allottees, however, will have to pay a one-time lumpsum amount for the maintenance.
The cost of the houses in the new scheme will now include the cost of maintenance. Allottees of multi-storey flats with lifts will have to pay 15 per cent of the total amount as one-time maintenance amount and allottees of flats in up to five-storey buildings will pay 12 per cent. DDA will now plaster the façade of apartment blocks, repair staircases, railings, balconies and floors and also take care of the common drainage lines.
This benevolent gesture from DDA comes after Hindustan Times ran a five-part series on the condition of DDA flats in February this year. HT highlighted the fact that once it allots the flats, DDA washes its hands off them. While owners take care of their individual flats, the maintenance of common spaces remained a grey area.
After the series, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Tejendra Khanna, also the DDA chairman, directed DDA in March to form a corpus fund to take care of the common areas. In its new housing scheme, DDA is doing exactly that. In a resolution approved in the Authority's meeting on October 26, DDA finally decided to create a special maintenance fund.
"The flats constructed and allotted by DDA have started deteriorating at a number of locations, mainly due to poor maintenance and weathering action. The RWAs are either not formed or are not geared to take up such maintenance work," the resolution states.