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Small aberrations can't mar good work

india Updated: Mar 27, 2011 23:06 IST

Hindustan Times
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Delhi Development Authority — the Capital's largest land development agency — has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons, notwithstanding some of the world-class facilities developed by the agency. However, this has not fazed the 1980-batch IAS officer GS Patnaik who took over as DDA vice-chairman in January this year. He spoke to Moushumi Das Gupta about his roadmap for making DDA more efficient and people friendly.

What will be your main priorities as DDA vice chairman?
To upgrade DDA's systems and processes and make them transparent so that people do not have to make trips to get their work done. All land records, which are at present divided between DDA, Land & Development Office and Delhi government, will be brought on a unified platform and there will be comprehensive digitisation of records like entitlements, land titles, among others. My priority will also be to ensure increased housing facilities especially for the economically weaker sections. Besides, to ensure that there are sufficient facilities for social activities in the city, we have planned four cultural centres on the lines of India Habitat Centre and India International Centre in various city zones.

DDA has failed miserably to meet the housing needs of the Capital. At present, there is a huge gap between demand and supply of housing stock in the city. What steps are being taken by DDA to address this?
At present, 30,687 houses comprising of 3,387 HIG, 743 MIG, 3,165 LIG and 23,392 EWS are being constructed in various zones such as east zone, Dwarka, Kalyan Vihar, Narela, Sirsapur, Rohini, Vasant Kunj. All these houses are at various stages of construction and will be completed over the next few years. Planning for about 21,614 houses comprising of HIG, MIG, LIG on private participation mode in east and south zone has also been started.

When is DDA conducting draw of lots to 2010 housing scheme?
Draw for the 2010 housing scheme will be held in April 2011. There has been no delay as at the time of floating the scheme itself it had been made clear that the draw will be held within a period of four months.

One of DDA's ambitious projects was in-situ developments of slum clusters and constructing houses for the EWS/low-income group. What is the status of this project?
There are 291 JJ clusters existing on DDA's land. Out of these, 21 clusters have been shortlisted for taking up rehabilitation work on priority.

DDA has been embroiled in controversy over the construction of Commonwealth Games village. CAG has in its audit observations said that inferior material was used by the private developer Emaar-MGF for constructing the Games village. Do you think this has marred DDA's reputation?
The construction of the Games village within the shortest possible time — considering the constraints of litigation, objections from certain environmentalists, etc — has been exemplary. Small aberrations here and there cannot mar the good work done by DDA. It is only because of the efforts of DDA in the city that Delhi has been able to showcase itself to the world during the Games.