In the stodgy DUSIB building, next to Raja Garden bus terminal, deputy director Abdul Dayyan sits behind his table stacked with brown files. Each file contains a set of documents including the voter list, authentic identity documents, a survey check-list, pictures of the applicants and an allotment slip. In the 32 JJ clusters across Delhi that are slated to be rehabilitated by the DUSIB, every applicant comes to this centre to determine eligibility for alternative accommodation.
Dayyan explained the rigour that goes into determining the eligibility of slum-dwellers entitled to housing under ‘Delhi Slum and JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy, 2015’ that holds every slum-dweller living in the slum prior to January 1, 2015 eligible. The survey of eligibility is to ensure those found eligible in 2013, based on a 2009 cut-off, continue to live in the premises and that nobody fraudulently claims a house on their behalf.
Slums are randomly numbered, said Dayyan. “There could be many houses with the same number.” Representatives of the DUSIB and the land-owning agency, therefore, map the slums giving them numbers, with permanent red markers, that are reflected on the eligibility forms of the applicants.
Each applicant’s name is then verified with the area’s voter list and the authenticity of their identity documents is verified with websites of departments that issue ration cards, Aadhar cards and other papers. Surveyors also take pictures of families residing in slum tenements and these are reflected on their form.
At the eligibility centre, three committees sit each day to check documents. Each committee clears about 30 cases in a day, said Dayyan. “We plan to increase our strength to five committees so that the process can be expedited for the 23 JJ clusters in which eligibility of applicants needs to be confirmed.”
Once all documents are verified, an applicant is issued an allocation slip with a scan code. The last step is to pay the cost.
“The cost of building each flat is about Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Of this Rs 1.19 lakh is paid by the Government of India, Rs 1.5 lakh is paid by the land-owning agency and Rs 1.12 lakh is paid by the applicants. Those found eligible in 2013 have had to pay Rs 68,000. The cost includes maintenance for five years. The rest is paid by the Delhi government,” said a DUSIB official.
Parvati Das from Punjabi Bagh was seen waiting outside Dayyan’s room with her family members. There was a minor discrepancy in her name on the form. Her surname was not mentioned at one place, but was there elsewhere. After verifying her documents and those of her family members, her case was cleared and she was issued an allocation slip. Both Parvati and her husband then pressed their inked thumbs on the form. Minor discrepancies can be easily resolved, but sometimes forms and documents bear different names altogether, said officials.
Also from Punjabi Bagh, Raju Paswan, a mason, approached Dayyan’s office with a set of documents. His wife’s name in one document was Dharmibai and in another, Motibai. He said his wife’s actual name was Motibai and was asked to produce documents with the correct name. DUSIB officials said the eligibility centre is full every day and since most people are not very educated, they get aggressive when they find it hard to understand procedures. “Sometimes they barge into the office and start shouting expletives. We just have to be patient with them,” said an official.