DDA finds no takers for 6,000 flats, offers them to paramilitary forces
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has written to paramilitary forces to put to use the over 6,000 flats that have been rejected by allottees in its two previous housing schemes citing small size and alleged lack of basic amenities.
Officials said at least 6,000 allottees of DDA’s ambitious 2017 housing scheme have surrendered their houses within 45 days of the draw of lot held on November 30 last year. These flats are among 8,500 units that were returned by the allottees in the land owning agency’s 2014 housing scheme and were later refurbished before being included in the latest scheme. A large majority of these flats are the one-bedroom Lower Income Group (LIG) category units constructed on city outskirts in Rohini, Narela and Siraspur.
“We have written to paramilitary forces such as CISF, BSF, SSB and CRPF to accommodate their staff in the flats. At least 6,000 flats have been surrendered in the 2017 scheme so far,” said JP Agrawal, principal commissioner (housing), DDA.
The move is a departure from DDA’s priority of constructing houses for general public. But, after two failed attempts of selling the “wrongly designed” flats, the authority, it appears, realised there are no takers for the units and should therefore be put to use as quarters for the paramilitary staff.
“We have sought 750 flats from DDA in Rohini. The area suits our CISF personnel posted on Metro stations as the service is being expanded in the region,” said a CISF official.
As many as 1,500 flats in Delhi government in Narela were also accommodated as CISF quarters after no takers were found a few years ago.
“Agencies like the CISF have requested houses from us for their staff earlier as well. But we usually give preference to the general public over government quarters. But now it appears as if we do not have any other choice,” said an official. The “rejected” flats range from 33 sqm to 35 sqm in area.
The official added that if all the 6,000 “rejected” flats don’t find takers with the paramilitary forces, then the remaining flats would be refurbished or repurposed in order to be included in future DDA schemes.
Of the 46,000 applications received for the 2017 scheme, DDA allotted the flats to 12,617 applicants after the draw of lots. These 12,617 flats included 11,757 lower income group (LIG), 403 middle income group (MIG), 372 Janta and 85 higher income group units.
Priced between ₹7 lakh and ₹1.26 crore, the flats are located in Rohini, Dwarka, Narela, Vasant Kunj, Jasola, Pitam Pura, Paschim Vihar and Siraspur. There was a provision for surrendering the flats within 15 days after the demand-cum-allotment letters are issued.
In 2014, 50% flats in the 25,000 units were surrendered for similar reasons. Later, the authority clarified that the flats were included in the latest scheme after the problems had been addressed, according to DDA officials. In July 2016, the then minister of state for urban development, Rao Inderjit Singh, said in a written reply in Parliament that out of 25,039 flats for draw of lots in the 2014 housing scheme, 10,653 flats were surrendered or cancelled.
The once much sought-after DDA flats have, of late, been losing out to private housing projects which provide better amenities at lower rates in the National Capital Region. In fact, to counter the lure of the private builders, the new under-construction flats, which are part of the 2018 housing scheme of the DDA, have swanky multi-level underground parking and rainwater harvesting units.