Greater Mohali Area Development Authority new chief administrator Varun Roozam tells Indian Express about the new projects, controversy about allotment of flats to applicants in the EWS category and how the GMADA will handle the problem if there is a slump in the real estate market
After taking over the charge, what will be your first step to expedite the stalled development works?
There are some projects where the development works are slow. My priority will be to expedite the development works in Eco City II, Sector 76 to 80 and Sector 88-89. We will ensure the timely completion of these projects. I also held review meetings with the officials concerned to know about the status of the projects. My special emphasis will be on the development of new sectors.
There are talks about a slump in the real estate market after demonitisation. Since GMADA is related to major development projects and residential projects, will it face some problems?
Our rates are fixed by the government, so we do not feel that there will be much effect on our projects. We fix the rates after keeping many parameters in mind and we are reliable and we have to live up to our reputation.
GMADA is always criticised for high reserve prices of properties. Will you review it?
I shall discuss it with my officers, but as I said that the rates are fixed by the government. So, we have to go by them. We have genuine buyers and therefore, we will not face any problem.
Kajauli water works project is also stalled for the past many years. It is one of the biggest demands of the residents. Have you chalked out a plan to complete this project?
This project is one of my priorities. We have visited the project site and I have asked the officials to give me the update on the project. There were some technical hiccups, but we are hopeful that the project would be completed next year.
There was a controversy over the allotment of flats to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category. Have you initiated any inquiry in the issue?
The GMADA conducted the draw of lot. The verification of the forms and other related work was done by the municipal corporation and the local bodies department. I conducted an inquiry and found that there was nothing wrong at our end. We were responsible for conducting the draw only.
Many people alleged that GMADA has done something wrong in the allotment.
There were some people who alleged irregularities. Some people also met our officials, but I want to clear that GMADA has nothing to do with the verification of forms and other documents. The MC sent us all the documents and we only conducted the draw. After the allegations, I immediately ordered an inquiry into the issue.
Will you ask the MC about the issue?
I will. We have checked from our side and now it is up to the MC. I have earlier said there is nothing wrong on our side.
There were delays in handing over the possession of the Purab Premium Apartments. Allotees even carried out protests outside GMADA. How you will solve this problem?
Well, there were delays. But we have started giving possession to all the allotees and constituted a committee to look after all the allotments. In future, we will ensure timely possession. It was the first housing project, so it took some time. It was sort of experiment and we have learnt many technicalities that we shall take care in future.
The GMADA could not start the city bus service in the past five years. People need it badly. What are your plans to start it?
The bus service is the need of the hour. I have talked to the MC about it and we are going to find a solution. We want to provide the bus service to the residents as soon as possible. The MC has done some work on the project and they have also finalised the possible routes. So we shall see what we can do about it.
The condition of some inner roads is not good, there were talks that GMADA will transfer some sectors to the MC. Who will take care of these routes then?
The agreement with the MC is at a very advanced stage and we will hand over 13 sectors to the MC. The MC will be responsible for the development of these sectors. We have completed the work of re-carpeting work of the inner roads.
You were the deputy commissioner of the district. What remained undone during your last stint in the city that you want to complete now?
There is difference in the working of a DC and a GMADA CA. My aim is only development of the district. Since GMADA is looking after all the major projects, it will be a big challenge for me to cope up with the expectations. Development means a direct link with the people, so I have to come up with some new ideas.