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At a snail’s pace? In five decades, DDA flats almost match people Delhi adds in a year

The DDA defends its performance saying that it’s unfair to look at the its role as a developer alone.

delhi Updated: Sep 03, 2017 00:02 IST
Jeevan Prakash Sharma
Jeevan Prakash Sharma
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
DDA,Delhi Development Authority,RTI Act
A view of an upcoming DDA project in Jasola Vihar in south Delhi.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

The Delhi Development Authority built 4.13 lakh homes in the last 48 years, a little more than the number of people added to Delhi’s population each year, suggesting that its pace of work is not adequate to meet the capital’s housing needs.

According to a reply to a Right to Information request from HT, the DDA – which has the responsibility for real estate in the capital — said it constructed 4,13,883 flats in 38 housing schemes, building an average of 8,622 homes every year since 1969.

In contrast, Delhi’s population has increased by 1.56 crore with an average annual rate of 3.26 lakh people in the same period.

The figures underscore a problem of real estate development in the national capital where hundreds of thousands live in slums and millions more are moving into an ever-expanding periphery that is the National Capital Region.

The DDA took one year to provide this data under the RTI Act, which requires government authorities to provide information in 30 days.

An analysis from the reply shows that DDA’s initial three schemes — General Housing Scheme (1969-70), Self Financial Scheme I,II,III,IV (1978) and New Pattern Registration Scheme (1979) offered 2,30,000 flats to homebuyers.

The rest of the 35 schemes produced a dismal 1,18,000 flats in the past 38 years.

Sanjiv Kumar, the president of Delhi Residents’ Front, a federation of RWAs and apartment owners’ association in Delhi, said, “I remember I had paid Rs 1,500 booking amount in New Pattern Registration Scheme in 1979, the possession of which, DDA offered in 1994.”

“In later years, DDA started allotment after constructing flats.”

Urban development experts and town planners expressed surprise at the figures that they said indicated a ‘terrible performance’.

Ashok Goel, senior architect and expert of urban planning from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, said, “DDA’s role in the development of Delhi has been worse than one can expect, however, this figure is awful.”

Goel says that the data answers why 75% people of Delhi lives in slums. “The organisation has completely failed to live up to the expectations of the people of Delhi,” said Goel.

Balvinder Kumar, former vice chairman, DDA said that the authority should get out of the business of construction of flats and concentrate on land development and allotment.

“There is no denying the fact that DDA has never been an efficient organisation. However, it’s also true that the Authority was always under pressure to provide land to other government agencies and co-operative societies for construction of flats and that hampered its own activities as developers,” said Kumar.

Another senior DDA official, US Jolly, a former commissioner (land), blamed the lack of continuity in the vision of the organisation. “The lack of a fixed term of a vice chairman impedes the vision of the organisation. I don’t vouch for a fixed term of the DDA VC but I do believe that if the vision of DDA would have been followed by every VC, the progress report would have been entirely different,” said Jolly.

However, the DDA defends its performance saying that it’s unfair to look at the its role as a developer alone.

Udai Pratap Singh, VC, DDA, said, “Besides constructing flats, DDA has provided plots to individuals to build houses and land to co-operative societies to build apartments.”

Singh said that if the authority takes into account all these activities, the number of housing units is more than 14 lakh.

“In the total area of 1,480 sq km of Delhi, how many flats will be constructed? There are constraints of land in Delhi and hence the 2021 Master Plan of Delhi gives emphasis on the development of NCR region,” said Singh.

First Published: Sep 02, 2017 23:40 IST