Real estate firm Raheja Developers has bagged the contract to rehabilitate in-situ or at the same place slums at Kathputli Colony in Shadipur.
This Rs 6.11-crore contract kickstarts an ambitious plan announced in August last year,when it was decided that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) would partner private players to develop in-situ 21 slum clusters in the Capital. In return,the builders will get a cut of the land for commercial use and for high-end residential units.
Under the contract,Raheja Developers will first have to develop a transit camp where slumdwellers will stay till the construction is over. The transit camp,sources confirmed,is likely to be set up at the Swatantra Bharat Mills compound – about 2 kilometres from the 5.22-hectare Kathputli Colony.
Once the transit camps are ready,Raheja will construct 2,800 flats for the economically weaker section (EWS),each measuring 30 square metres. As per the agreement,these 2,800 units will be built vertically in 10-storey buildings. In return,Raheja developers will get 10 per cent of the land for commercial use where they can build offices and shops. The developer will also get space,approximately a hectare,to construct a high-end residential complex. With the cost of land at just over Rs 6 crore,the project is likely to prove beneficial for the developers.
The groups general manager,strategic planning,Manoj Goel said: The total cost is working out to Rs 500 crore. This includes the transit camp,the EWS flats and the commercial component. After putting together the figures,this is working out as a no-profit,no-loss venture for us. We are very excited since this is the first time that such a project is being implemented in northern India. We are looking at this as an opportunity to promote a social cause, he added.
Goel confirmed the developers would take two years to complete the project once slumdwellers have been moved to the transit camp. We will develop the camp and DDA will facilitate the shift, he explained.
Meanwhile,at Ground Zero,most residents are unaware about the scheme or how it would benefit them. Many fear they may be forcibly moved to areas on the outskirts of Delhi. Some people conducted a survey recently. They took photographs of our houses. I dont know what is happening. Will we have to move to far away places? asked Bela Kumari,a resident of Kathputli Colony.
Some fear that 2,800 units will not be enough to accommodate all in the area. A senior DDA official said: There are certain rules for allotment. Those who have moved to the area in the last few months will not be given flats. We have,however,made arrangements for all eligible residents. Another confirmed the Authority is in the process of awarding contracts for the 20 other colonies under the in-site slum rehabilitation scheme.
First attempt failed
This is not the DDAs first attempt to establish a public-private partnership for slum rehabilitation. In 2006,it earmarked 14.3 acres of land in Tehkhand,near Tughlaqabad,for a similar project. The plot was auctioned and bought by DLF. Indiabulls later purchased DLFs stake in the project. The project,however,is stuck since it has failed to get environment clearance.