The Delhi government has reiterated its demand for transferring rehabilitation work of JJ clusters under its jurisdiction, this time focusing on the Kathputli Colony. On Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, asking him to “transfer all the JJ bastis on DDA land parcels” at Kathputli Colony to DUSIB for rehabilitation.
He had noted that as per DUSIB records, there are 675 JJ Bastis in Delhi, of which 33 are on DDA land. As per the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the “mandate” of these slums is with the DDA. Kejriwal asked the L-G to transfer these to the government, on the same “terms and conditions” that it offered a private player in 2009.
On Friday, the government continued stressing on the issue and said the transfer should begin from Kathuputli Colony, which was selected for Delhi’s first in-situ redevelopment project and an agreement was signed between DDA and Raheja Developers in September 2009.
A government official said, “The land there was allotted at throwaway prices. Land across 13 acres in a prime location in Delhi was given to the company at just Rs 6.11 crore. Even if you are to take market rates from 2009, approximately Rs 80 crore, the total comes to Rs 1,040 crore. Even if the cost of construction was Rs 300 crore, the company still has a profit of Rs 700 crore.”
The government is making a bid that DUSIB, created as a special purpose vehicle for the rehabilitation for JJ bastis, be given the task of redeveloping the land, at the same “terms and conditions”.
A spokesperson for Raheja Developers refuted the allegations. “This was a very transparent process. There were eight developers and we had the lowest bid, so we got the contract. The price being quoted is this bid price.” The spokesperson added that the work is likely to be completed in 2 years. “The delay is for a number of reasons. Initially people, MLAs and political parties created hurdles in fixing of the transit camp. Then residents said they wouldn’t go…”