DDA to e-auc­tion 152 CWG units

Has tax­payer money used for the pur­chase of fur­ni­ture for the Com­mon­wealth Games project gone down the drain?

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Van­dana Ram­nani

It was a pres­ti­gious na­tional project, but when the Com­mon­wealth Games Vil­lage was be­ing read­ied for the games 2010, com­fort-lov­ing dogs – and not ath­letes – were found to be us­ing some of the beds. And now beds – with cup­boards and ta­bles too – are at the cen­tre of a con­tro­versy as res­i­dents, some of whom have paid huge sums to own apart­ments in the na­tional project built in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Delhi Devel­op­ment Author­ity (DDA) and de­vel­oper Emaar MGF, com­plain that fur­ni­ture worth crores from the project has been sim­ply dumped near their apart­ments.

“We’re now talk­ing about smart cities and we can’t even get a smart vil­lage ready. Five years have gone by and the com­plex is still a work in progress. We’ve all spent on an av­er­age ₹ 2 crore and this is what we get,” many of them fume, point­ing out to the huge dump­ing ground with fur­ni­ture piled up in lots, some un­der sheds and oth­ers cov­ered by tar­pau­lins and oth­ers left out in the open.

This is not only a breed­ing ground for mos­qui­toes but also a fire haz­ard. The tar­pau­lin sheets are ex­tremely ugly and un­ap­peal­ing near the high-end apart­ments. “It makes the place look like a re­set­tle­ment colony,” res­i­dents say.

Why the fur­ni­ture has been chucked out of the vil­lage re­mains a mys­tery. If one were to as­sume that it cost around ₹ 2 lakh to re­fur­bish an apart­ment dur­ing the Games, the en­tire lot of fur­ni­ture for 1,168 apart­ments, would have then cost around ₹ 23 crore, all of it tax­pay­ers’ money.

“All the money has gone down the drain. This is noth­ing but public loot. DDA could have at least asked the res­i­dents if they wanted to buy it in­stead of wast­ing money on re­mov­ing and dump­ing it. Oth­er­wise it should have been auc­tioned,” res­i­dents say.

Ac­cord­ing to Somit Makar, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Vil­lage, DDA had re­moved all the fur­ni­ture meant for the games ly­ing in the apart­ments till date. “This is be­ing kept in the ad­ja­cent plot and we have been told that it will be auc­tioned soon. The place where the fur­ni­ture has been stocked will be con­verted into a park and we have al­ready writ­ten to the gov­ern­ment about this is­sue,” he says.

When con­tacted, a se­nior DDA of­fi­cial ad­mit­ted it was their fur­ni­ture, but de­nied that it cost crores. “In­dia Tourism Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion bought the fur­ni­ture for the CWG Vil­lage for which it was paid ₹ 18 crore by DDA. While 50% of the fur­ni­ture was given by DDA to the Sports Author­ity of In­dia for its hos­tels across

Three years af­ter its first auc­tion for some of the Com­mon­wealth Games Vil­lage apart­ments to “test the wa­ters”, Delhi Devel­op­ment Author­ity is plan­ning to hold an e-auc­tion for its re­main­ing 152 units.

“Right now we have 152 apart­ments with us. Th­ese will be e- auc­tioned next month. The base price for th­ese is ₹ 3,15,320 per sq m,” says Balvin­der Ku­mar, vice chair­man, DDA.

Out of a to­tal of 1,168 units in the Vil­lage, Emaar, the de­vel­oper, sold 457 apart­ments. The re­main­ing 711 were in DDA’s kitty. DDA dis­posed of 74 units through a ten­der in 2012. There were two rea­sons for hold­ing the auc­tion then – one to test the mar­ket and see “if we can at­tract a good re­sponse, which we did. The sec­ond was to get rid of part of our in­ven- tory,” says a se­nior of­fi­cial of the author­ity.

DDA also re­served 45 flats for its own of­fi­cials. Com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cates of 62 flats have not been re­ceived be­cause of the FAR ( floor area ra­tio) is­sue (ex­cess FAR had been used to build some apart­ments in the project). The mat­ter has been re­ferred to the min­istry and is still pending.

The per-square-foot cost to DDA for CWG flats in 2009 was around ₹ 11,000, and the Author­ity sold it for ₹ 22,000 in 2012. The cur­rent value of the flats is be­tween ₹ 18,000 per sq ft and ₹ 23,000 per sq ft depend­ing on the lo­ca­tion.

DDA handed over 378 flats at the Games Com­plex to the ur­ban devel­op­ment min­istry to­wards the cost of land pro­vided by the min­istry for the CWG Vil­lage. This leaves 152 apart­ments in DDA’s cus­tody.

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