Updated: November 17, 2020 12:02:15 pm
Three years after it was announced, the Delhi government has shelved a project to construct 3,780 flats to relocate over 3,000 families living in slums of Jahangirpuri and Wazirpur near their sources of livelihood. As per documents, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) took the decision in its 29th board meeting chaired by CM Arvind Kejriwal on September 26.
“It was decided that a huge inventory is already available with DUSIB and a large number of houses are lying vacant for a long time, inviting unruly elements, vandalism and wear and tear. At the same time, no concrete plan of action for relocation has been drawn. Accordingly, it was decided to drop and reject the tender case,” say the records of the meeting.
The estimated cost of the project was pegged at Rs 461 crore. Delhi government and DUSIB did not respond to requests for a comment on the decision to scrap the Jahangirpuri project.
While the government in this case said the flats were lying unused, earlier, when the Supreme Court ordered the demolition of 48,000 jhuggis along Delhi’s railway tracks, Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain had in a letter to Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal expressed the government’s unwillingness to use its inventory of unused flats, saying they are located in outer areas.
The plan, first approved in August 2017, was to shift 3,706 families from Jahangirpuri and Wazirpur, and around 800 from Wazirpur.
In October 2018, the government reiterated its commitment to build the project in 18 months. The plan also included construction of 582 flats at Sangam Park, 784 EWS flats at Dev Nagar, Karol Bagh and 448 flats at Kasturba Niketan, Lajpat Nagar.
Accordingly, tenders were floated for all projects. The Dev Nagar and Sangam Park projects did not make progress as they received only single bids, while the Jahangirpuri one received interests from multiple groups at the pre-bidding stage, records show.
The government has decided to float fresh tenders for the Dev Nagar project, where 203 families affected by the construction of the National War Museum at Princess Park near India Gate will be shifted.
On November 13, the government issued another statement saying it has decided to construct 89,400 flats for the economically weak and slum dwellers. The deadline for the project’s first phase has been set at 24 months.
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