These 13,000 Flats Of DDA Were Returned By The Allottees Of 2014 Scheme. A New Housing Scheme Is Showcasing Them Once Again. A TOI Reality Check At Rohini And Narela Reveals Missing Roads, Markets And Dry Taps
Delhi Development Authority has aroused excitement among potential house buyers with the announcement of the 2016 housing scheme.However, the 13,000 flats on offer were actually returned by allottees of the 2014 scheme. Back then, many had cited the tiny dimensions of the mostly LIG flats allotted to them to return them to DDA. Among the handful who didn’t is Dineshwar Prasad Verma, a gardener at IGNOU in Maidangarhi. Considering himself lucky to have been picked from 7.5 lakh applicants, Verma moved into the house -an LIG flat in Narela’s G-2 Sector -last year.Verma today lives there with big regrets. The 2,156 flats there don’t have a proper approach road, no streetlights and Delhi Jal Board does not supply drinking water to the colony . “It is risky to step outside after dark,“ said Verma.“It took several complaints by residents to even have the main road recently constructed.“When TOI visited the complexes that had failed to find buyers in 2014, it be came evident that while the flats themselves were habitable, the infrastructure remained poor even today . In Pocket 3 of Rohini Sector 34, Renu, 30, had similar regrets about having taken possession of of a flat there. The approach road to the blocks is virtually non-existent. No wonder only 32-35 families have taken up residence despite the existence of 2,680 flats there. DDA hasn’t been able to construct the approach road because the land earmarked for it was under dispute till recently.The temporary road in the sector insults the idea of a thoroughfare. “You can’t call this a road, even villages have better ones,“ said an irked Renu, who has to pay extra for her child’s bus to reach there. “There are uncountable craters and the rains have washed away the bitumen layer.“ Renu is luckier, for other residents revealed that a few schools had refused to send their buses to the place due to the dilapidated road.
Water is another big problem. In six complexes in Rohini, water tankers are employed to fill the in-house tanks. In Narela, such tanks lie outside the houses because repair work on water lines has been going on for over a year. “People are forced to carry water to their apartments,“ complained Pratap Singh, president of Narela’s G-2 Sector RWA. Singh has installed a pulley in a balcony to take water from the ground floor to his fourth floor apartment. There is consternation now about DDA attempting to resell the unsold flats. “When there is no water even for us, how will DDA meet the water requirements if all the flats got occupied?“ asked Sanjay Kumar, a resident.
In both Rohini and Narela, residents have to travel long distances to find shops because the stalls allotted have not been made operational. “There are 150 families living here,“ said Vaibhav Duggal, president of the Rohini Sector 35 Pocket 5 RWA. “We have to walk for around 3 km to buy vegetables. We can’t set up shops here since this will violate property regulations. How are we then to meet our daily needs?“ Gaurav Aggarwal, president of Rohini Sector 34 Pocket 3 RWA, said people, having committed to big housing loans, cannot move out. He has been trying to get a Kendriya Bhandar opened in the pocket. “But,“ he disclosed, “the authorities say there have to be 500 families living in a locality for this.“
There are structural problems too.“The area often gets waterlogged,“ said Sanjay Kumar at Narela. “Also, the sewerage has problems.“ Rohini has similar problems. Given these, why would people want to purchase houses here, wondered Aggarwal.
When told about these problems, JP Aggarwal, DDA’s principal commissioner for land disposal and housing, reassured, “We will ensure the flats are habitable and also try our best to develop the infrastructure in a time-bound manner.“ Will DDA’s best be enough to attract home buyers?