New Delhi: Going strictly by the number of billboards of property agents and contractors, East Delhi’s Kondli Gharoli could be the hottest destination for people seeking flats on rent.
This is one place where mostly single-bedroom flats have been allotted under the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) 2010 housing scheme. But these houses, approximately 450 square feet, have already been refitted with additional wings and rooms, while many of them are rented out.
But the DDA said no case of property agents working out of the housing complex has come to its notice. “They may be owners or allottees of the flats,” DDA spokesperson Neemo Dhar said.
This is one of the few housing complexes from the 2010 scheme where people have taken possession of flats. At present, around 70 families are living in this complex, which has 1,830 flats.
Besides unauthorised commercial activities, people have made illegal additions and alterations to the houses. A flat owner clarified why he needed to do some “extra construction”. “There was no kitchen when I got the house. Where do I cook?” he said.
“The DDA says this is a low-income group (LIG) flat, but the size is much smaller than it was mentioned in the brochure. Many people have made additions and alterations to their flats,” the owner said.
Other than the kitchen, he has put up an iron gate and other structures outside his flat. This clearly amounts to encroachment but he has no answer to this.
The entire complex is abuzz with the sound of hammer and drill. Contractors and labourers working there say most people have “changed the original design of the flats”. “If somebody has added an extra room, others have covered windows to create more space,” a worker said.
DDA officials said certain additions and alterations were allowed in accordance with rules. They did not elaborate if “large-sale changes” were permitted.
One of the tenants who moved in recently said the house-owner had made changes to the flat before renting it out. “We pay Rs 5,000 per month. Most of my neighbours are tenants,” she said.
A similar situation prevails in Rohini Sector 28, where flats are “almost ready”. A board declares that the housing project started in 2007.
Property agents have been doing brisk business even before owners have taken possession of the flats. “The flats are ready, except for some electrical work,” an agent said.
Several flat-owners complained that they have not been able to move in, despite getting possession letters, as water and power connections were not installed.
“Many people have been made to sign affidavits mentioning that they have taken possession with functioning water and power connections. The DDA said these connections shouldn’t be expected before four to five months,” an allottee said.