Delhi may lose Rs 600 crore in squabble over prime land
Between 2012 and 2013, the DTIDC had given the plots on a temporary basis to the DMRC for construction of Metro corridors in its Phase-III project.delhi Updated: Jan 20, 2018 09:12 IST
Two prime properties in the heart of Delhi can no longer be used for large commercial projects due to a lack of coordination between government agencies, resulting in a loss of at least ₹600 crore to the state exchequer, according to senior government officials and documents seen by Hindustan Times.
The plots, measuring 11,785 square metres near the Kashmere Gate ISBT and 11,300 square metres next to the Sarai Kale Khan ISBT, are together worth an estimated Rs 250 crore as per the circle rates. They were set aside for redeveloping the inter-state bus terminals and for the state government’s Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DTIDC) to build two six-floor hotels.
The proposed hotels were to be major sources of revenue for the DTIDC, which is responsible for building and maintaining all bus stops and terminals across the Capital. A senior official of the Delhi Integrated MultiModal Transit System (DIMTS) Ltd, which is calculating the losses incurred by DTIDC, said an estimated Rs 600 crore had already been lost due to non-utilisation of plots, revenue from a proposed private partnership for the construction of hotels, and cost escalation. He said that the amount could be higher once the final estimate is ready.
A lack of coordination between the Delhi government and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has led to the plan to build hotels being shelved because new Metro stations directly under the plots have made it unsafe to carry out any major construction activity at the ground level.
Between 2012 and 2013, the DTIDC had given the plots on a temporary basis to the DMRC for construction of Metro corridors in its Phase-III project.
While these plots are yet to be returned – more than 18 months after the leases have expired -the DMRC has constructed its underground station at a depth of 1.522 metres under the Kashmere Gate plot, making it impossible to lay the foundation for a hotel on top.
The Sarai Kale Khan plot suffers a similar fate. Parts of the Nizamuddin Metro station, which is in the final stages of completion, will fall directly under it. “We had informed the DMRC about our hotel project while handing over the Kashmere Gate plot. But now that the underground Metro station is ready, we have found that the foundation of the proposed building cannot be built. We will write to DMRC for recovery of our losses,” said KK Dahiya, managing director, DTIDC.
“Instead of hotels, we can only use the prime land for parking bays for buses and opening a food court,” he added.
A May 15, 2015 letter from DMRC to DTIDC, however, suggested it was the latter that had failed to submit any building plan for the property. “For last three years, we have not received any proposed plan of these structures. The DMRC design was finalised and construction started. In the absence of any information from DTIDC, DMRC has not considered any super-imposed load of these structures over the underground metro station,” the letter read. A DTIDC official admitted they had received the letter, but said it was an “eyewash”.
“The communication from our end at the beginning that a multi-storey hotel will be built was enough. The DMRC sent the letter after it had already begun construction,” said an official handling the case for DTIDC.
The DMRC’s executive director (corporate communications) Anuj Dayal said the Delhi metro had shared its underground station plans with the DTIDC before commencing work on the Kashmere Gate station in 2012. “For the plot at Sarai Kale Khan, the DMRC has already conveyed ‘No objection’ to DTIDC for their planned development of a new ISBT complex vide letter dated 24.02.16,” he said.The two bodies held a meeting on Wednesday, when the DMRC agreed to return the land at Kashmere Gate by building basic infrastructure like bus stops, toilets, benches and lanes. The DTIDC said this was not adequate, an official said.