Five years on, Katputli Colony residents in Delhi wait for promised homes
In 2016, the DDA started large-scale demolition at Kathputli Colony in a bid to implement its first in-situ redevelopment project on public private partnership (PPP) model
Five yearsafter their homes were demolished for the Capital’s first in-situ redevelopment project at Kathputli colony, close to 2,800 families are still waiting to move into their new houses. The Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) redevelopment project, which was to be completed by March 2019, has missed several deadlines and is slated for completion in 2022.
While the families were moved to a transit camp in west Delhi’s Anand Parbhat, a few kilometers away from where the new housing complex is being constructed, they are running out of patience due to the inordinate delay.
Patasi (65), a Rajasthani folk artist and local leader of Bhat community (one of the many communities at Kathputli colony), said, “We were to get our flats within two years after demolition of our houses. But it has been over five years and we have no idea when we will be able to finally have a house of our own.”
She said that each family has just one room and has to share the toilet at the camp. “Each family has 6-10 members. It is difficult to live in one room. We want to move into our own flats. We had a meeting with DDA officials last month and requested them to complete the work at the earliest,” she said.
Dilip Bhat, another resident, said, “No timeline has been given to us about the project. They (DDA officials) keep extending the deadline.”
While facilities are being provided at the transit camp, residents say they want to have a house of their own. “How long can one live here? There are around 500-odd families, which have been living here for the past eight years. DDA should give us a clear timeline,” said one of the beneficiaries, who didn’t wish to be named.
In 2016, the DDA started large-scale demolition at Kathputli Colony in a bid to implement its first in-situ redevelopment project on public private partnership (PPP) model. Under the project, the private developer is supposed to provide housing to 2,800 families and in exchange will be allowed to develop a commercial complex to recover the cost of construction and make the project financially viable. There are 16 15-storey towers proposed at the location to accommodate 2,800 families.
Though the project was conceived in 2008, it couldn’t be implemented due to stiff resistance from locals.
In December 2016, the DDA finally started the demolition exercise amid protests from locals and civil society members. It took DDA almost a year to clear the land parcel. The construction work started in April 2018 and the first batch of houses were to be given by March 2019.
“We got the permission to clear encroachments from a large piece of land at the site in April last year. Due to this, the work got delayed,” said a senior DDA official aware of the development.
The ban on construction activity followed by the Covid pandemic, DDA officials said, led to the inordinate delay. “The construction work was affected due to the ban. We are hopeful of completing a few towers by the end of this year. We will soon have a meeting with the developer and get a new timeline,” said a DDA official.