Anopheles larvae breeding in underground parking
plaints about quality of construction. Grit wash on the apartments has been falling on passersby and cars since the last six to seven months.
“We have all paid ₹ 6.5 lakh as common area maintenance for the 30 years which amounts to
14.5 crore for 224 flats that are currently habited. Though DDA officials have come and collected samples, nothing has been done in this regard,” residents of the complex say.
The samples have been sent to the National Council for Cement and Building Material, Ballabhgarh, and results are still awaited.
The maintenance clause in the 2010 housing scheme brochure states that the services DDA will provide as part of the maintenance scheme includes “grit wash of the building exterior once in 10 years, stairwell (plaster and whitewash) once in three years, the painting or repair of railings (staircase and common landings) once in three years and the repair of chhajjas (overhanging eaves) and balconies once in 10 years, among other things.”
Residents ask if they are expected to wait for another six years for this fault to be rectified. “What are we expected to do if grit wash starts falling within four years?”
A resident filed an Right to Information (RTI) with the Delhi Fire Service in 2013 enquiring about the status of the fire safety certificate for Signature View Apartments and was informed that though the premises were inspected by the officers, certain shortcomings were observed. The width of the internal road was less than the required 06 metres, the width of the staircase varied in all the blocks and was less than the required width of 1350 mm and 1250 mm. The hose reel was not functional, exit signs were not provided, and internal hydrants were not in order.
The RTI report concluded: “Keeping in view the above the fire safety certificate cannot be considered at this stage.”
The going rate for a 3BHK unit in the area is ₹ 1.8 crore and the rent is around ₹ 30,000. DDA’s asking price in 2010 was ₹ 90 lakh.
The Vasant Kunj complex comprising 2,709 apartments was allotted to residents under the 2010 scheme. As an alternative, another site was chosen as these apartments, initially meant to host visitors and tourists during the Commonwealth Games held the same year, were not completed on time.
Even though four years have passed, many of these apartments, especially in the Ganga, and Yamuna blocks, seem to be in the ‘work-in-progress’ stages even though possession has been handed over. Narmada and Saraswati are complete and many people have moved in.
Residents of the area allege that poor construction material has been used for building the structures. Other problems that they face include illegal construction of additional rooms and floors, extension of balconies, encroachment of common areas etc. Underground parking lots that were the USP of the 2010 housing draw are yet to be allotted and rain water has collected in the area, making it a breeding ground for mosquitoes (anopheles larvae).
As one goes around t he Yamuna complex, one finds debris from the construction work dumped near the structure and on terraces, open manholes, broken tiles, mosquitoes in the underground parking where rainwater has collected and malba has been dumped. Since the boundary wall is not complete, people from the nearby slums get access to the complex. This is a big nuisance and has led to several robberies within the complex.
“DDA had taken full payment for our units but when possession was given in 2011, it was simply impossible to reside here,” says a resident who claims to have used his own funds to get the lift in his building up and running.
The underground parking is still not operational and is completely waterlogged. Fire clearance is still awaited. “It can accommodate 220 cars. How these will be allocated for 475 apartments for each of the four blocks remains a mystert” says a resident.
DDA sources claim that work on parking lots is currently on. Pumps have been installed to siphon off the water and slots will be allocated once repair work is over.
Illegal construction is another issue. A walk through Yamuna Block revealed that the fourth floor residents of the G+3 block have constructed a fourth floor and residents of the multi-storey or G+8 floor have built rooms on the terrace. In some MIG flats, the design is such that lifts start from the third floor.
Costs have been escalating. An HIG apartment that cost ₹ 1 crore in the scheme costs ₹ 2 crore now. An LIG that cost ₹ 35 lakh in the scheme, is now priced at ₹ 80 lakh and 2BHK units that cost around ₹ 50 lakh, now cost ₹ 1.20 crore. Rents start at ₹ 15000.
“There is water logging in the lift.We have paid ₹ 3.5 lakh as maintenance for common areas, and the interest would easily have been ₹ 4500 per month had we kept the money in our accounts,” says a resident.
Another issue is that of the investor and end- user ratio. Out of the 474 flats, only 100 are inhabited of which 80 tenants and only 20 original allottees. In the 2014 scheme, DDA is planning to include a new clause that will permit allottees to sell the unit only after five years. This will ensure that only actual users inhabit the complex.
Where llegal constructions were concerned, several demolition drives had been conducted and notices issued to the offenders. Police had also been informed, DDA sources said.
In the 2010 DDA housing scheme, 475 units each were allotted in Narmada, Saraswati, Ganga and Yamuna complexes in Vasant Kunj.
The shaking bannister with a wide uncemented portion can be seen as the team heads to one of the terraces.
Rain water has collected in the underground parking lots, making it a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The going rate for these Signature Bridge facing apartments is crore and the rent is around 30,000.