The Delhi Development Authority will not be able to provide nearly 2,000-odd flats for Commonwealth Games delegates as the flats meant to house them are not yet ready. These multi-storey flats are still under construction in pockets D6 and D7 of Vasant Kunj.
This is another blow to the government already mired in allegations of large-scale corruption, delay in execution of several Games-related projects and inferior quality of material used in construction.
The flats, which were to be converted into three-star accommodations for tourists, volunteers and delegates, are nowhere close to completion. The flats should have been ideally ready and handed over to Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) by March 2010 for furnishing. But senior DDA engineers now say it will take “at least four to six months” to complete the flats.
While the structures have been raised, the work on interiors seems to have started recently. In most structures, workers are busy laying the tile floorings and fixing tiles in bathrooms and kitchens. Though internal water and sewer lines have been laid, work is still on to connect them with the main lines in the complex. Basic masonry work like plastering is yet to begin both inside the raw flats and outside the structures.
In a letter to the ministry of urban development, the Lieutenant-Governor and the DDA chairman, the engineers have said they cannot get the flats ready in time for the Games.
The DDA engineers recently held a meeting and were of the opinion that it was not possible to complete the construction by August 31, the date by which they have to handover the buildings to the ITDC.
“If we try and complete the work, we will be putting engineering specifications and codes at bay,” said a senior DDA engineer, requesting anonymity.
The reasons, said engineers, are many. “A large volume of construction workers went back to Bihar for the rabi crop harvesting season in April. This was a major setback. The work at that point in time was at a crucial stage,” an engineer said. According to the officials, of about 8,000 construction workers, only 2500 are available.
Also, two contractors left the project midway in July expressing their inability to meet the August deadline, the officials said.