The Delhi Development Authority is known for constructing affordable flats that have dreary facades and ill-maintained interiors. The DDA’s new chief wanted to change this image and he began by putting his house in order first.
The new vice-chairman of the DDA, Sanjay Srivastava, inspected the land development agency’s headquarter Vikas Sadan just a day after he joined and was appalled by what he saw. Paan-stained corners and staircases, cigarette and bidi stubs strewn on floors, employees throwing tea bags and other litter out of windows, the buildings sewer lines choked with gutkha packets, corridors lined with dusty racks bursting with files and DDA babus coming to work and leaving for home as per their convenience.
Srivastava started to crack the whip and, for the first time, biometric system was being used at Vikas Sadan to mark attendance. Babus punching in late or leaving early are expected to have a valid reason to do so.
Security guards were instructed to catch hold of employees throwing litter or splattering betel nut juice on the walls. A circular was issued that warned of strict action against those found ‘indulging in such activity’. The civil and electrical maintenance wings of the headquarters was also instructed to properly maintain the building and keep it clean.
“The vice-chairman has taken note of the poor maintenance of Vikas Sadan. Instructions have been issued to civil and electrical maintenance wings for follow-up action for proper maintenance and cleanliness,” the circular says.
The corridors joining the different wings of the headquarters now look clean and spacious with the cabinets and racks holding thousands of dusty files, a permanent feature for many years, suddenly removed. A cleanliness drive was launched to cleanse the buildings walls and corners of paan stains.
“The new vice-chairman is a strict disciplinarian, and for the first time, all employees are in office from 9.30am to 6pm,” said a DDA official who didn’t wish to be named.
According to sources, DDA is also planning to completely refurbish Vikas Sadan, which gets up to 7,000 visitors on public hearing days.