Theweekendleader

C'Wealth flats in Vasant Kunj: A tale of neglect

BY SFOORTI MISHRA   |  New Delhi

01-January-2020

 Known for its gentry and posh residential areas, the Commonwealth Games residential complex in Vasant Kunj here have the same issues as any other mid-level residential complexes.

The group housing societies -- Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati and Narmada -- in Vasant Kunj made headlines during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The houses, built in the societies, accommodated players and delegations during the Games, and were later allotted/sold by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for prices as high as Rs 1 crore. "The DDA also provided for 30-year maintenance, but today most properties tell a tale of shabbiness and neglect," said one resident of the Ganga Society.

"The basement in all the four societies, marked for parking, are non-operational even after 10 years of allotment of flats, causing heated arguments among residents as they have to park vehicles on roads outside the society," another resident told IANS.

During a reality check by IANS, the basement was looking spooky, dark and unused. It was full of sewage, making the place prone to mishaps and health hazards. Shafts and pits were open and lifts were not functioning.

"No one will believe that these buildings are just 10 years old. Our main issues are poor maintenance, no parking space, less water supply, badly maintained lifts and the menace of stray dogs," said N.S. Mor, chairman of the federation of DDA housing RWA (a joint RWA of Commonwealth housing societies in Delhi).

"Big amount of money accrued as interest on deposits for the 30-year maintenance scheme are with the DDA, and we have got extremely poor service in return," Mor said.

The question was also raised in the Rajya Sabha in this session by Rajkumar Dhoot, but to no avail.

"Ramesh Kumar, Chief Engineer of South Zone, DDA, who was in charge of the 30-year maintenance scheme completed his tenure on Tuesday. We don't know how the new official who has to take charge in January, will take up the work. We expect him to look into the issue. It's going to be a Herculean task for him," he said.

With 476 flats in one society, around 1,900 families reside in these complexes.

"There is no fire safety. The equipment installed for the certification is not functional. Stray dogs roam in the societies and bite children every other day. Most security guards are untrained and no documentation of visitors is done by them. Lifts mostly remain non-functional, making it difficult for residents, specially the elderly as the complex has eight floors.

"In other residential complexes, constructed by other developers, they offer many facilities at much lesser cost than what we have paid," said Babu Singh Bhati, general secretary, Ganga Society RWA.

"This colony was built for sportspersons taking part in the Commonwealth Games. But there is not a single place where we can encourage any sports activity," Bhati said.

"There are small parks and gym by the MCD, but not the DDA. Shafts and pits are open. In the absence of proper drainage, water collects in them and mosquitoes breed there. Sewage treatment plant is there, but non-functional," he said.

According to another resident, many people want to sell their flats but are not getting buyers due to poor maintenance.

"People want to sell their flats and move to a better place. Most people are stuck because they have exhausted their funds in buying the property. Around 20 per cent flats are up for sale, but without buyers. They are not getting good price against the investment they made," he said.

The DDA didn't respond to queries by IANS.

The residents are planning to make a common federation and protest against the DDA if their issues remain unheard. "We want the DDA to resolve the issue. If they don't listen, we would have no choice other than coming together and staging protests," said one RWA member.IANS