Anticipating a last-minute rush after a tepid response, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has extended its deadline to submit forms for its largest ever housing scheme till 5pm on October 15.
The scheme - with 25,034 flats on offer - was launched on September 1 and was to close on October 9. Hindustan Times was the first to report, on September 29, that DDA was likely to extend the deadline.
The draw of lots is tentatively fixed for November 5, supervised by a committee headed by a retired high court judge and two IT professionals, one from IIT-Delhi and the other from the National Informatics Centre.
The DDA sold 16 lakh applications for the scheme but got back just 3 lakh, partly due to a fortnight-long Shraddh period, considered 'inauspicious', followed by the festive season.
However, DDA officials said the real reason for the subdued response was a new lock-in clause under which allottees cannot sell their flats for five years. Also, with very few two and three-bedroom flats on offer, the middle class seems to have kept away.
The DDA had received some 7.4 lakh applications for a much smaller housing scheme (16,000 flats) in 2010.
The decision to extend the deadline was taken on Wednesday at a meeting with representatives of empanelled banks. "They insisted there was too much last-minute rush and the last date should be extended. Also, only about three lakh forms have been received so far and people need more time," DDA vice-chairman Balvinder Kumar told HT.
"The procedure for the draw of lots has been put on our website," he added.