The 2017 housing scheme, recently announced by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), has over 12,000 flats on offer, but most of these flats had been returned by the allottees of the 2014 draw, citing small size, lack of infrastructure and pathetic conditions of the flats, sources said. Out of the over 12,000 flats on offer by DDA this year, most of the flats are old that were rejected and returned by the 2014 allottees.

A senior DDA official told The Sunday Guardian that as on 27 November 2015, nearly 11,000 allottees, who were allotted flats under the Housing Scheme 2014, had surrendered their flats. The flats were rejected by the allottees, citing lack of infrastructure, small size, high price and pathetic conditions.

Geetam Negi, a 40-year-old school teacher from Delhi’s Najfgarh area, was one of the allottees who had returned her house in 2015. Negi was allotted a Low Income Group (LIG) flat at Narela under the housing scheme of 2014, but returned it due the tiny size of the flat. “I was happy when I got a DDA flat allotted in my name, as I wouldn’t have to live in a rented house, but when I visited my flat, the size of the flat was shocking. Therefore, I decided to return the allotted flat,” Negi said.

Anil Kumar Bisht, another allottee, returned his flat allotted in the Narela area due to the pathetic condition of the sector in which the flat was built and the small size of the offered flat.

Bijendra Jha, a resident of Bihar who works as an assistant scholar, told The Sunday Guardian: “I was enthusiastic when I heard back in 2014 that the DDA had offered flats at a concessional price. Like many other applicants, I had also applied for a flat. When I saw my name in the final list of allottees, my whole family was happy, but once I visited Rohini, where I got a flat allotted in my name, I was shocked.” 

Jha said: “A pigeon box like structure was in front of me. I entered a flat that had no windows, water connection or any other such necessary facilities for living. Anyhow, I decided to retain the flat, hoping that in the near future, the DDA will equip these flats with proper infrastructure. But unfortunately, till date, that has not happened.”

Jha added: “Now I tell many prospective applicants not to apply as better flats than the ones offered by the DDA are already available in the market.”

Another applicant, Rajesh Yadav, a vegetable vendor from Rohini, said: “We were happy when we received an allotment letter for a flat and came to live in Rohini. However, no road, electricity or water facilities are available till date.”

“The DDA fooled me by selling a pathetic property in the name of fulfilling the dream of having one’s own home,” Yadav added. 

In the 2017 housing scheme, the DDA is offering 4,349 LIG flats in Rohini Sectors 34-35; the rest of the flats are located in Dwarka, Jasola and Dwarka’s outer fringes. 

During a reality check by this reporter at Rohini’s Sector 35, the claims of the old allottees were found to be true, as most of the flats in the sector did not have any roads. The rains made it almost impossible to walk between the flats due to waterlogging. Women were seen collecting water from tankers for drinking purpose as the flats did not have water supply. The “main road” approaching Sector 35, where the flats are located, was  also in a bad shape.

Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Sector 35, said that the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had “promised us that it would provide its water supply pipeline, but the pipeline has not been laid and water is provided by the DDA through tankers”.

“This is a very secluded area and with no street lights, it is prone to witness crimes. Around 200 families in over 6,000 flats are finding it difficult to live here,” Sharma said.

Meanwhile, the DDA has said that it will ensure better transport and civic amenities in the areas where the flats are on offer this year. “We assure people that we will hand over the keys only after all work is completed. The draw of lots will take place in November and after that it takes at least a couple of months to complete the work. We assure that all civic works, which have already been started, will be completed by then. Also, the laying of pipelines by DJB will also be done by then,” J.P. Agarwal, Principal Commissioner (housing), DDA, told The Sunday Guardian.

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