DDA misses Monday date, again postpones draw

  • Sidhartha Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 18, 2014 10:26 IST

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has indefinitely postponed the date for a lucky draw of its much-sought-after housing scheme again.

It is learnt that the DDA was unable to wrap up the process in less than six hours during mock draws and hence postponed the actual draw.

The DDA wants the draw to be completed within 1-2 hours, but the huge data it has to process is resulting in the process taking 8-9 hours during trials.

“It is taking inordinately long time, and the process needs more time for optimization of data and process,” a DDA spokesperson said. “Some technical experts have been called to check the process and give their opinion so that during the final draw there are no technical problems."

“It was decided to give more time to the technical team which has been working nonstop on the draw for the last 72 hours,” she said. “We have decided to postpone the draw scheduled to be held on November 17. The next date of draw will be announced as soon as the technical team is ready for the draw."

According to DDA officials, they are grappling with a huge number of applications - more than 10 lakh, which is the cause behind the delay and failed deadlines again and again.

After missing many deadlines, the DDA had fixed Monday as the fresh date for the draw last week.

The draw of lots, which was initially scheduled to be held on November 5, was postponed to November 10 after delay in the processing of applications, which was again rescheduled for November 14 (which was also missed), according to DDA vice-chairman Balvinder Kumar.

The trial runs, or 'mock draw' are being jointly carried out by the Systems department of DDA and a team from C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) at the DDA headquarter Vikas Sadan.

C-DAC says it needs more time to streamline the process.

"The problem is the huge number of applications and the large number of errors that crept into the forms that were submitted by applicants with designated banks," a senior official had earlier told HT.

Whenever it takes place, the draw will be webcast and people can watch it live by going to this link - http://www.ddadrawlive.in/

The DDA's housing scheme is a lottery that most Delhiites warm up to. But, as is the norm with lotteries, only few win.

The 2014 edition is its biggest ever with 25,034 flats on offer, even though 95% of these are one-bedroom flats.

Prices for the flats range from Rs 6.10 lakh for a Janta flat to Rs 1.20 crore for a three-bedroom flat. Prices of two bedroom flats are in the Rs 70 lakh range, while the average price of one-bedroom flats range between Rs 14 and Rs 20 lakh.

The land development agency sold 17 lakh housing scheme forms.

The number of applications was low in the first month, but eventually a record 10,08,700 applications came in after the scheme was extended.

For every flat, there are approximately 40 applicants, which gives a buyer a 2.5% chance of landing that dream home.

Though better than the 2010 housing scheme, when there were 46 applicants for a flat, you still need to be very lucky when the DDA holds its draw of lots, which itself has been delayed several times.

The DDA's flats are not particularly known for their construction quality, space and designs, but the lure of a Delhi address triggers a mad rush every time the agency announces a scheme.

"The reason DDA flats are so popular is because there is a demand and supply mismatch of 90% in Delhi. The DDA is the only developer as no one else is allowed to build group housing projects," said Ramesh Menon, Director at Certes Realty, a real estate consultancy firm.

"The DDA sells a two-bedroom flat at Rs 70-80 lakh, a price for which you can only get a flat in an unauthorised colony in Delhi or in distant sectors of Gurgaon or Greater Noida."

According to Menon, DDA flats are usually shabby and most of the agency's housing projects do not provide proper amenities, but the location and affordable pricing clinch make it a winner.

A flat that the DDA sells for Rs 50 to Rs 70 lakh would be available for Rs 1-2 crore when bought at market prices, which attracts more investors than end users.

"Those working in or near Delhi find it easier to commute from a DDA flat because of the location and also because most of these areas are well connected by public transport," Menon said. "Also, schools and hospitals are present near these housing complexes along with other infrastructure."

Menon, however, said since DDA had a monopoly over housing in Delhi, it should also be accountable and offer better products. "It has only made 3.5 lakh residential units since its inception, while the demand has grown manifold."

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