Centre Pushes for Launch of New Affordable Houses Despite Owners Surrendering Thousands of Flats
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the applicants of DDA's housing scheme surrendered their flats after allotment issues over the size and location of their homes.
Image for representation.
New Delhi: The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) as part of its scheme to provide affordable housing to all is planning to launch 5,000 new houses in 2020. However, the move comes at a time when more than 20,000 owners have surrendered their flats over size and location within a span of six years.
“By June this year, DDA will launch 5,000 new flats. We are planning to get this done by June,” said an official from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, on conditions of anonymity.
Officials, who did not want to be identified, said that most of these flats are 2 BHK or less.
But, there is an anomaly. Out of the approximately 8,000 flats allotted by DDA in 2019, 4,000 were surrendered. At least 7,000 allottees of the DDA’s 2017 scheme had returned flats within 45 days of the draw of lot. In 2014, more than 12,000 such applications were received by the DDA.
Replying to a question in Lok Sabha in July last year, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the applicants of DDA's housing scheme surrendered their flats after allotment issues over the size and location of their homes.
Most of these flats are in areas such as Narela, Siraspur and Sector 4 in Rohini.
Ashutosh Kumar, a resident of South Delhi’s Vasant Kunj said, “I had surrendered my flat last year. It was in Narela. The location was an issue more than the size. It is made in an area that has no proper connectivity, hardly any public transport. Schools are also far from there.”
After a pre-decided time, DDA withdraws these flats from the umbrella of the housing scheme. Post this, the flats are marked under four categories, high-income group (HIG) flats, with three bedrooms, medium-income group (MIG) flats with two bedrooms and lower-income group (LIG) flats, with one bedroom. There are also flats for the economically weaker section (EWS).
Aniket Suman, who spent a year in a LIG flat said, “There was no drinking water facility. We had to buy mineral water bottles. Also, the condition of the house and the construction quality was really bad. We had seepage issues and walls were wearing off within a year. Local brokers told me that the flat was worth much less than what I paid for. We shifted out.”
The Centre’s focus towards housing can be gauged from the fact that Union Budget 2020 saw the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry outlay touch Rs 50,039.90 crore, a nearly 18.39 percent increase from the revised estimate of Rs 42,266.72 crore for 2019-2020.
Affordable housing has also been accorded infrastructure status, ensuring that developers in this segment have access to cheaper loans.
“Housing for All by 2022 has been one of the key objectives and long-cherished dream of the Modi Government right since its first tenure. Housing, which is not only one of the very basic requirements of the human beings, but is also one of the largest employment generating sectors of the economy, be it labor-intensive construction industry, cement, steel, timber and many other ancillary industries that support the housing/ real estate development sector,” said Anil Bansal, Director, Urban & Reforms Infrastructure, IPE Global.
In order to make use of the surrendered and vacant flats, DDA has written to CISF, BSF, SSB, CRPF for the accommodation of their personnel deployed in various parts of Delhi. As of now, only CRPF has shown interest in the offer, informed an official in the ministry.
Emailed queries sent to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs did not elicit a response by the time this story was published.
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