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Distressed at DDA`s failure to meet housing needs: Parl panel

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 23:24

New Delhi: A parliamentary panel has asked Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to finalise its land pooling policy and involve the private sector and cooperative group housing societies in meeting housing needs in the national capital.

Expressing concern that DDA was struggling to meet housing needs in the national capital, the Standing Committee on Urban Development, in its 31st report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, also said that the agency should set year-wise targets for the construction of affordable houses.
In its report, the committee said that as per the Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) 2021 -- based on a projected population of 230 lakh by 2021 -- has estimated an additional housing stock requirement of about 24 lakh dwelling units.

"It has been emphasised that 40 per cent of housing needs can be potentially satisfied through redevelopment-upgrade of existing areas of Delhi. The remaining 60 per cent is to be met through 14.4 lakh dwelling units in new areas/urban extension as per zonal development plan- 2021.

"However, the committee is distressed to note that till date, DDA has been able to raise only 11.69 lakh dwelling units," the report said.
The committee further added that it is "distressed to note that DDA has failed miserably to play the role of facilitator/provider for meeting the housing needs after 56 years of its existence".

It recommended that DDA should set year-wise targets for construction of affordable houses and adopt a multi-pronged strategy to achieve the same.

It also said that DDA should finalise the land pooling policy at the earliest and involve the private sector and cooperative group housing societies that they may extend a helping hand to it.

The parliamentary panel also observed that the DDA vice chairman is under "dual control" of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the Urban Development ministry, which at times creates complex situations while taking vital decisions.

It asked the stakeholders to deliberate on the situation in detail and find a suitable solution.

It also recommended that a judicial and legal expert be inducted into DDA as its member. The Delhi Development Act could be amended to bring about these changes, the panel suggested.

It also said that there is a need for an integrated approach among the agencies for slum development.

Among other things, it also recommended fixing responsibility on officials whose negligence had led to encroachment.

The panel noted that DDA had taken several steps towards transparency, but added that there had also been reports in the media about incidence of fraud.

The panel said that with regard to fraud in the allotment of marriage venues through touts/mafias, DDA has admitted that such cases had come down.

"The committee is compelled to infer that fraud cases still persist and the so-called transparent system is only on paper, not in practice," it said, adding that officials are supposed to make field visits to marriage venues to verify facts.

It recommended that the responsibility of senior officials be fixed in case of violations and also urged that steps should be taken to eliminate the presence of touts. It recommended that corruption cases against erring officials should be expedited and called for a single-window clearance system to be introduced in all areas related to DDA`s work.

First Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 23:24
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