DDA to auction 25 sites for weddings and other functionsUpdated: Sep 15, 2020, 23:52 IST
With the festive and wedding seasons set to start from October onwards, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), for the first time, has decided to auction 25 of its sites for holding weddings and other functions. DDA officials said this move is aimed at protecting DDA land from encroachments, especially during the festive season.
The 25 sites, each measuring more than an acre, are located in Rohini, Dwarka, Shahdara, Kalkaji and Saket, among others.
Until recently, anyone could book these sites online by paying the booking amount, which varies as per the location of the site. But DDA officials say there were several problems with that. Often times, tent owners misused the online booking option and kept these spaces booked for a long period of time and also erected illegal semi-permanent tents on DDA lands.
To combat this, last year, the DDA decided to auction its sites in order to regulate the use of its site and also earn revenue. With no bookings happening due to the Covid-19 pandemic, auctioning will help the land owning agency earn revenue.
There are over 100 to 125 such sites of which DDA will only auction 25. The other sites can be booked online by residents.
R Subu, commissioner (land disposal), DDA, said, “This decision was taken before the pandemic, but we couldn’t implement it until now. It is aimed at streamlining the process so that common man can benefit from it. The site will be auctioned for a period of 10 months. When the site is auctioned, the cost of constructing temporary structures will get divided (between the wedding parties). This will benefit people.”
The festive season will start from October (Dussehra and Diwai being the main ones) followed by the wedding season of November and December. Although there are restrictions on the number of people at a gathering, banquet hall owners and tent houses are optimistic that the government will allow at least 50% of the venue capacity.
Tent house owners say DDA should auction the site for a longer period, but with restrictions and riders so that no other event can be held there. “Auctioning is a good move, as there are several problems with the DDA’s current policy allowing booking of open spaces. But the duration of the lease period should be at least three years. Also, the DDA must restrict the use of the site to wedding functions only; else any event management firm can book the site and block it for an entire year,” Pankaj Shokeen, general secretary, Delhi Tent Federations, said.
Purshotam Kalra, a resident of Paschim Vihar, who has been complaining against illegal tents being erected on government land, said, “Auctioning is not a good idea, as this will only lead to more harassment of the public by tent house owners.”