Boulevard of emptiness: Houses wait for occupants | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Boulevard of emptiness: Houses wait for occupants

delhi Updated: May 12, 2011 00:08 IST
HT Correspondent

With more than 450 housing societies in 29 sectors, Dwarka promised to be a home for more than 10 lakh people. However, a large part of Delhi’s largest sub-city is still deserted.

While the sectors closer to the airport and already developed residential colonies of Uttam Nagar are well-occupied, there are several sectors in the sub-city’s western part, which has poor occupancy and resemble a ghost town.

According to the residents, there are more than 8,000 flats lying vacant in 57 group housing societies for more than six years.

Thanks to the ongoing tussle between the group housing registrar and the managing committee members of these societies over the issue of forged membership, the owners are yet to get possession of their homes. The scam involved fraudulently reviving defunct housing societies to get land from the DDA at a concession.

Members of housing societies said the CBI has already completed its probe and cleared most societies. Even the high court has directed the agencies to allow allotment of flats, but things are not moving at all.

In the past few months, several group housing societies have resorted to self-draw. Many other societies are contemplating to do the same.

“I have been paying huge monthly instalments for the loan that I took to buy a flat in the housing society. I am forced to live in a rented house and spend about Rs 15,000 on rent despite having a house which is almost complete and ready to move in,” said SR Jain, a PSU officer.

Situated in the northernmost extreme of the Capital, Narela sub-city was expected to absorb the growing demand for affordable housing in Delhi and provide shelter to 12 lakh people. That was 20 years ago. Today, Narela is a ghost town with 8,000 ready-to- move-in flats in the middle of nowherewith just a handful of intrepid residents.

Along with Rohini and Dwarka, Narela is one of three sub-cities planned by the Delhi Development Authority in the 1990s to cater to Delhi’s housing needs. While Rohini and Dwarka have become prized addresses, Narela remains a snubbed city.

Though Narela offers everything a buyer looks for — affordable houses (Rs 3 to Rs 14 lakh) abundant power and water, well-planned roads, parks and other amenities — it’s biggest drawback is lack of connectivity. Narela is located next to NH-1 and is about 42 kms from Connaught Place.

And there is almost no transportation to bridge this distance. The only lifeline is a Delhi Transport Corporation bus route connecting Narela to the nearest human habitation in north Delhi and these buses too are few. “Apart from transportation, there is also lack of schools and markets in the area,” said Ajay Chaudhry, property dealer.