About 11,000 1BHK and Janta flats from a 2014 Delhi Development Authority (DDA) lottery which were ‘rejected’ or surrendered by the winners because they were too small will now be included in the 13,000 houses in DDA’s much-awaited 2017 housing scheme being launched around January 26. Some of the flats were also returned because of restrictions on execution of conveyance deed, which introduced a five year lock-in period during which the flat could not be sold by the allottee. It has now been removed.
Located across Delhi in Sarita Vihar, Jasola, Dwarka, Pitampura, Sukhdev Vihar, Narela, Rohini, Jehangirpuri, Loknayakpuram, Dilshad Garden, Paschim Vihar, Bindapur and Mukherjee Nagar, the properties cost anything between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 19 lakh with an application fee of Rs 1 lakh. About 1000 flats are in the HIG category and are priced between Rs 77 lakh and Rs 1.52 crore.
Winners of the 2014 housing lottery had felt they were fortune’s favoured children when, from among lakhs of applicants, their names were picked out in a draw of lots in 2014. Within months, however, they were queuing up at the DDA offices to surrender their apartments. An allottee said his house was smaller than the store room of his rented flat in Rohini and he was finding it difficult to fit his bed or furniture in it.
When this reporter visited some DDA apartments in Dwarka, Sector 23 B and Rohini, Sector 34, she found they barely covered 33 sq m (about 355 sq ft). A miniature toilet, a bath (just big enough for a person standing straight and still) and a kitchen – all in a row – led to a tiny bedroom with a small balcony.
Some buyers said they were forced to move into the units because of the high rent they had been paying for flats in south and west Delhi. “This is our house, no matter how small,” say Nirmala Devi and Sarika Rani.
While a few shops offer daily provisions in the locality, there is absolutely to public means of transport to commute to the centre or to the nearby Rithala Metro station, they say, adding they have to rely on auto rickshaws or call a cab.
Real estate agents in the area say that while filling the form for the 2014 scheme, prospective buyers had to give three preferences. If their first preference was Mukherjee Nagar, the other two would have in all probability been Rohini and Narela. So, while the buyer would know everything about his first priority choice, he might not know much about the other two choices. “Buyers should first visit the site before they decide to fill their preferences,” say the homeowners.
DDA’s 2014 scheme also had restrictions on execution of conveyance deed, which introduced a five year lock-in period during which the flat could not be sold by the allottee. Buyers had to hold the property for five years which meant that it did not provide for immediate liquidity nor any decent rental income, says a broker active in Dwarka. The leasehold status was one of the reasons why people returned these properties.
“DDA has decided to do away with the lock-in period in the 2017 scheme. We may consider giving existing buyers an option to pay up the remaining 10% installment and opt for freehold flats. We will, however, think of this option only after we receive such a request from buyers,” says a DDA official.