In an attempt to make Delhi slum-free, the Delhi government is considering a plan to not construct any more flats for economically weaker section (EWS) and sell off those which are lying vacant. According to Delhi Urban Improvement Shelter Board (DUSIB), EWS flats in Dwarka and outer Delhi have almost zero occupancy.
“Of the 27,000 flats that are coming up in Savda Ghevra and Bhalaswa, 10,000 are supposed to be EWS flats. Over 50,000 flats are constructed in other parts of Delhi and lying vacant. A EWS flat in Dwarka can even fetch Rs 30 lakh and we have suggested the government to sell them off. The government can earn at least Rs 8,000 crore from it,” said a Delhi government official.
If approved, the government may not construct anymore EWS flats and will sell existing ones through lottery. “The rehabilitation policy is a failure as flats are constructed in far off areas and slum dwellers refuse to shift there. The money which will be earned from selling EWS flats, can be used to construct houses for slum dwellers in the same areas where they are living,” the official added.
“The reason why previous attempts failed is slum dwellers are asked to shift far away from their existing location. Now the government has ordered a survey, where land should be identified in 70 assembly constituencies and the residents should be rehabilitated in the same constituency. This will delay the process but we will have to do that since the government has asked us not to shift slum dwellers in outer Delhi, where 57,000 flats are ready,” the official added.
According to officials, there are around 70,000 jhuggis on Delhi government’s land and 57,000 houses are ready in outer Delhi to rehabilitate them. As per DUSIB’s plan about 500 acre of encroached land could be used for development but if Delhi government decided to go with only Delhi government’s land, they will have to prepare the action plan again.
Government official said that even if the average price per flat is Rs 15 lakh, the amount earned from selling 57,000 flats would easily cross Rs 8,000 crore.