Want to book a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) community hall or park for a wedding? You won’t have to depend on the mercy of tentwallahs anymore.
Booking of any DDA community hall, park or open space for weddings or religious events can be done online from Wednesday. You will be able to book any of the 154 halls, grounds or parks that DDA offers after providing the necessary documents such as address proofs and identificaty cards. The New Delhi Municipal Council already has an online system for booking its community halls.
This move, the DDA believes, will bring in much-needed transparency to the process of booking of grounds and remove the stranglehold of tentwallahs.
DDA community halls or grounds are available to anyone for a payment of an amount between Rs. 17,000 and Rs. 50,000. But the tentwallahs are known to book the facilities in advance under different names and erect pandals on them. This forces those who need the grounds to approach the tentwallahs to book the same facility for a price of a few lakhs.
A nexus between DDA’s own officials and the tentwallahs could also be spawning the racket. The DDA has, therefore, constituted a committee to find out ways to ensure that only genuine users book the grounds. The replacing of manual booking by an online process is one of such measures.
The DDA, however, is tightlipped on how exactly the online process is going to work. “We have gone through a lot of deliberation before coming up with this system and everything will be taken care of,” said a senior DDA official who didn’t wish to be named. “Though we are expecting teething troubles as people start using the system, the process of improving the system will continue,” he said.
“The online system will allow others to track availability of the facilities as well as show details of each booking. This will bring in transparency to the system and remove the hold of tentwallahs on the grounds,” he said.