Updated: September 6, 2021 3:18:15 pm
Two kilometres from the Jasola-Shaheen Bagh Metro station is Jasola Pocket 9B, one of the localities part of DDA’s 2021 housing scheme. On sale were 14-floor HIG (high-income group) flats, each costing between Rs 1.97 crore to Rs 2.14 crore.
The DDA pitched this as one of its most sought-after projects in terms of connectivity as well as infrastructure: the 3BHK flats, measuring 170 square metres, boast of facilities such as multi-level parking and a three-tier in-house water management model. The area is well connected to key junctions in the NCR — Okhla barrage is 3 km away and connects to Noida; Okhla road connects to South Delhi; while Faridabad is half an hour away.
However, when The Indian Express visited these flats on Friday, six months after the draw of lots was held on March 10, only security guards were at the site. More than 80% of the HIG flats in Jasola and MIG (middle income group) flats in Dwarka under this year’s housing scheme have been surrendered — the units now lie empty as residents are yet to move in.
Almost half of the flats at locations such as Dwarka, Jasola, Manglapuri, Vasant Kunj, and Rohini have been surrendered by allottees, forcing the landowning agency to conduct a fresh draw of lots last week.
As per data accessed by The Indian Express, 175 out of 215 HIG flats in Jasola and 295 out of 352 in Dwarka Sector 19 were surrendered. These were put up for sale for the second time last week but most remained unsold — only 79 waitlisted applicants were allotted units.
At Dwarka Sector19 B, the 11-floor MIG flats — in shades of green and yellow — have vacant spaces for parking as well as shops on the ground floor, and a big driveway that leads to an underground parking lot. Each block has three lifts. The sample flat has two rooms and a hall, a kitchen, and bathroom, spread in around 125 square metre. These flats were priced between Rs 1.1 crore to Rs 1.2 crore. Here too, several people are yet to move in.
Said a supervisor at the flat, “Covid has affected people’s income. This could be why many did not take up these flats, even though they are built well. There is a big park right in front and abundant parking for over 900 vehicles. There is a drain nearby, but we don’t get the smell till here.”
A little distance away are 348 flats in Dwarka Sector 16, where around 70 have been surrendered. A supervisor at the site said, “These are better ones as the Metro station is nearby. There is also a big open area in the premises. The roads in front too are wider unlike those at Sector 19.”
Explaining the current conundrum, DDA commissioner (housing) VS Yadav said, “It takes time for people to deposit money, but the agency is ready to give possession.” The landowning agency had recently extended the payment date to August 31 due to the pandemic.
On why so many flats were surrendered, he said the reasons could vary from Covid to serious buyers not getting their choice of location: “Someone has an office near Jasola and would have applied but their name didn’t come in the draw. Another person would have just invested for resale purpose…”
Senior DDA officials said that during meetings, those who surrendered flats raised concerns of prices of these flats being higher even as real estate costs have dipped post Covid. Sources in DDA also said many cited private builders offering cheaper flats.
The rejections in Jasola were also due to unauthorised colonies in the vicinity while in Dwarka, it may be due to a big drain in the area which merges with Najafgarh drain, said a senior official. “In the case of Jasola, even though the price was competitive, the view that people get from one side is of an unauthorised colony. We saw so many surrenders even though the area has good connectivity,” he said.
Once coveted and much sought after, DDA flats are losing out to private developers, who provide flats at lower rates in the NCR. In previous schemes too, there have been rejections due to water, transport, and last-mile connectivity issues.
“Unlike private builders who make adjustments by compromising with quality of materials, DDA has a tendering process before construction. Prices are decided based on floor area and other factors,” said a senior DDA official.
The flats in Jasola were priced between Rs 1.97 crore to Rs 2.14 crore. MIG category flats located in Dwarka were priced between Rs 1.1 crore to Rs 1.2 crore. LIG flats are priced between Rs 17 lakh to Rs 35 lakh in areas like Dwarka, Rohini and Narela, and Janta flats are priced between Rs 8 lakh to 30 lakh in Manglapuri and Narela.
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