Now, pay to pick a DDA flat of your choice
To ensure a good response to its next housing scheme, which is likely to be announced by the end of this year, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Tuesday approved a proposal to allow applicants to select the location of a flat by paying a preferential location charge (PLC) -- a practice common in private residential projects in NCR cities.
For the first time, an applicant can choose the location of the flat (floor level, corner flat, facing the green area, etc) by paying between 1.5% and 3% of the total cost of the apartment, if they are successful in the draw of lots conducted by the DDA for the housing scheme.
The decision was taken at the authority’s meeting chaired by Delhi lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday, along with other important announcements regarding in-situ slum redevelopment, relaxation in parking norms for state bhawans and state guest houses, land use changes, etc.
The preferential location charges approved by the DDA are -- 3% of the total cost of the flat for the ground floor, 2.5% for flats facing green areas, 2.5% for flats on the first floor, 2% for corner flats and 1.5% for second-floor flats.
An applicant can opt for multiple preferences and will have to pay accordingly, said a DDA official aware of the development.
For instance, for a first-floor flat facing a green area, an allottee will have to pay 5% of the total cost of the house as PLC.
This is for the first time the land-owning agency has introduced such a provision, which till now was available only for projects offered by private developers and is quite common in NCR cities such as Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurugram.
“Till now, we used to allow applicants to give their location preference and we didn’t charge anything for it. But with this, applicants can choose better. The charges are not much. We are working out the details and necessary changes will be made in the draw of lots process. This will be done for the first time in the next housing scheme. No preferential location charges for the floor will be charged for allotment of ground or preferred floor to persons with a disability,” said the official.
The DDA has nearly 10,000-15,000 flats lying vacant and around 40,000 flats in various stages of construction. The land-owning agency has flats either ready or nearing completion in Dwarka, Jasola Vihar and Narela. In the next housing scheme, DDA plans to bring 400 MIG in Jasola Vihar and 200 HIG flats Dwarka.
The last housing scheme was announced in 2019 in which 18,000 flats were initially put on sale. But when it did not get the desired response, DDA reduced the number of flats on offer from 18,000 to 10, 294, of which only 8,438 were sold.
While DDA officials say this is being done to help applicants, Sabyasachi Das, former planning commissioner with the authority, said, “DDA’s mandate is not to make a profit but to provide affordable housing to people. By allowing people to select the location by paying PLC, they are denying an opportunity to those who don’t have money to pay such charges. Under the previous allotment, all applicants had equal opportunity to get a first or a ground floor.”
Urban planners are divided. While some say it is against the mandate of DDA, others say it necessary to change the norms to remain relevant. AK Jain, former planning commission with DDA, said, “It is a good move, as it will give people a choice to opt for a location, floor. etc., of their choice. It will also help DDA ensure better response to its housing scheme. This is a common practice by private developers.”
In another important decision, the land-owning agency on Tuesday allowed private developers involved in in-situ redevelopment projects under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to decide the type of development in the remunerative component and use floor area ratio up to 300.
It is through the remunerative component, which is on 40% of the total area, that developers recover the cost of the in-situ project and provide houses to slum dwellers at affordable rates.
“Currently, developers had to plan the remunerative project as per the prevailing land use. Due to this, some projects were not financially viable for the developer,” said an official.
A decision was also taken to amend the ‘Nazul rule’ to allow group housing plots to be auctioned to private developers and organisations to meet the city’s housing requirement. The DDA had advertised for the auction of nine group housing plots in January and May but had to withdraw due to technical reasons.