Thursday, August 07, 2008

DDA flats: Delhi's Disaster Analysis

5,010 flats of one to three bedrooms spread across Delhi whose plinth area range from 39.39 Sq meters (393 sq feet approximately) to 158.00 Sq meters (1,580 sq feet) with a price band ranging from Rs 7.20 – 77.80 lakhs plus extra for freehold property registration, and of course additional other expenses that will be incurred before taking possession of the flat.

Besides, out of these 5,010 flats:
17.5% (877) flats are reserved for Schedule caste
7.5% (376) flats are reserved for Scheduled tribes
1% (50) for war widows
1% (50) for physically handicapped persons
1% (50) for ex-servicemen.
10%(501) of these flats 5010 in number will go to DDA officials which is never publicised

Total: 1,904 flats reserved for different categories. The rest, 3,106 flats available for others.
There is no mention of single women, divorced/separated women, or women who are living in Hostels or as paying guests/on rented premises, who desperately require accommodation of their own, living in a dreadful, dangerous, and aggressive city like Delhi.

Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) magnanimous offer will be gulped up by thousands of Real Estate Agents, booking in different names and selling it to desperate-for-housing public at a huge premium. DDA knows that. But if you are lucky, even 1% you will land a flat, which will be in shoddy state, and if you want to occupy the flat, then you will have to spend an additional 5 – 10 lakhs on the flat, before it is livable in. After all DDA has warned buyers that it is in As-Is-where-is-Basis. So be ready to face the perennial problems that will surface after possession until you have breathed your last.

Yet, thousands will flock to buy these flats on grounds that it is the best possible offer, in comparison to private builders whose constructions may be better (or at least there is a show of it), but are beyond the capacity of the common man. Please note, as of today, the common man is not to be mixed up with the middle class of yesteryears, who are now burgeoning into the opulent category.

Therefore, even if you get lucky, and you have scraped the last pai from your Bank Account to have a roof above your head, be prepared to live with people from the above categories who will be your neighbours. And you had better shut up, because for every little reason, you will be reminded that you are from the Braminical caste, or the elite classes, who have been looking down and oppressing them for centuries. You may then, raise a polite hand and whisper gently, “When is it that I oppressed you?” and pat will come the answer, “Your forefathers did! And for that you have to pay”!

The story is the same everywhere. There is a surge of the then downtrodden in every sphere of our lives. Say education, say, work, or even in the day to day life of a common man, who eyes are inundated by likes of Mayawati, whose status has begun to dot every square inch of Lucknow, I am told to. In Institutes considered prestigious in the country, like Indian Institute of Advance Studies in Shimla, the Dalits are pushing for dominant position, just by virtue of their caste.

But the purpose of this post is not about crying foul about the then downtrodden masses. I have a serious question, grimmer than the highest metaphysical query – should I, join the aspiring millions who will be handing over their application to DDA latest by 16th September 2008 in the hope of being doled out a roof over one’s head?

I used to have two flats, but now I only have one in Kolkata. I bought this three years ago, from my brother at a rather competitive rate. I work in Delhi, but have no desire to make this city my home after my working life. I am dreadfully distrustful of medical professionals here and know for sure that in the event of any major sickness, I will go to Kolkata where my family is and where my youngest brother’s wife is a doctor. And albeit Kolkata’s medical facilities and professionals may well reverberate what we see in Delhi, but I believe that I will not become a guinea pig in the hands of the doctors, as my sister-in-law is a doctor! Besides, despite having my own flat there, my brother has reserved a flat for me, right under his, in case I want to stay close to them in future.

This brings me to the next point – what about my partnership then? It continues, even if we are in two different places, as it is now. In fact, the separation has accelerated me onto the area I love most in my life – the spiritual path.

So, in the context of the above, should I join the hundreds of DDA flat aspirants? Or shall I fall back on another job I know so well – join the unscrupulous businessmen, and apply nevertheless. And if I get lucky, I know, I will be rich!

Which then is the better of the two devils that plague me at the moment, one, the extreme danger of being clubbed with Brahmins and get spat upon with vile attitude of being oppressor, or the never ending greed for more money?

Of course I forgot to say, in so far as the mind is concerned, it is Never enough, whether it is for more money or more curses from the surroundings.

The seeker of suffering the curses as well as the suffering that comes from wealth management, and fear psychosis that follows from either state, begins and ends with me. There cannot be anyone else to suffer the consequences. Including the loss of interest on the Rs 1,50,000 deposit money I have to pay, and which if I don’t get lucky will have to wait for six months to return from DDA. And if I lose it in the post, then I have had it!

It will be like looking for a needle in a haystack! Or in the 5,000 flats, even one of which did not come to me, due to the misfortune of my not being born to the then downtrodden, but now elite class.

Besides, all these flats are basically defaulters flats, I will have to hire my own Lawyer to check that the papers DDA is doling out is authentic and this is not a double sale and if I know Delhi right, I can't be sure about either, neither DDA nor the Lawyers! They are all hand-in-glove.

Therefore, if I must, it will be only at my own risk!

Rs 7 lakh to Rs 77 lakh, DDA’s housing scheme from Aug 6


Kanchana Natarajan said...

well written julia, interesting analysis, whether to run for wealth or for a status! hmmm,
thank god i do not feel the need for both, i am reminded of the great Tamil mystic poet Tayumanavar who said Oh i need no house so long as i have a stone for a pillow and sky for the roof, and at least one compassionate woman to offer me one fistful of rice/(a chapati In North India, i suppose with dal pani )soaked in water and salt and a piece of cloth in a dustbin to serve me as a loincloth, Paraparame!
the same saint also said oh ye stupid and foolish men/women not even broken useless needle will accompany you after your death, be careful,
oh i feel happy thinking of fakiri! this is a land where you have had the greatest mendicants, fakirs and saints, i take refuge in their words and not the sweet tongued DDA Charuvakas!

Julia Dutta said...

Dear Kanchana,
Your wisdom is final I think. It is a bad deal, unless you must go for one or are greedy for more money or for that matter wish to try your luck in getting rich! Thanks for your comment,

Kanchana Natarajan said...

julia, i am reminded yet of another legendary incident, a great mystic probably Tayumanavar himself was lying with a single cod string as cloth in a forest with a stone for a pillow, a group of young naughty women passed that way, one woman said to the other "hey look! look! a great renunciate is lying down there!imagine sleeping on this hard ground with just a stone for a pillow, how great!"
the other woman said in a scornful tone, "you silly girl, how is he a renunciate when he still feels the need for a pillow?"
thus talking the girls went to the fields to work,
when they came back the same way after a while they noticed that the saint had discarded the stone and instead had used his folded arms as pillow, seeing this one girl said" see he has given up even that stone pillow hearing you, how great!"
to this the other woman replied 'what kind of a saint/renuinciate is this man, he reacts and responds to what we are saying, a saint should be above praise and censure"
the saint heard this and learnt his lesson, do you see the kind of renunciation we are talking about, so whether your neighbor says you are a Brahmin or whatever, why should you listen to that, well we are not anyway close to renunciation, i suppose!

Julia Dutta said...

Dear Kanchana,
Let us not compare ourselves with renunciates. I am way behind. For me to be compared to and so called superior or inferior caste is intolerable. Not because I identify with any, but in fact, because I don't and so it becomes a vexation to come across such debate, presence, reservations in all walks of life, even in the so called, housing sector. I am only putting the human point of view. I cannot manage it. Also, I need to be in the "right" environment, by which I mean an environment free of competition, seperation etc...DDA will provide only the opposite. You belch what you eat! Thanks for your comment,

flygye12 said...

with the kind of interest rates the banks are providing now a days i don't think u have much to loose by investing in the flat

i guess what u mean wen talk about buyin that flat is security after retirement (unless u want to live on jhaal moodi with the compassionate daaktarni sis-in-law to look after u after leavin delhi, heh heh heh)

if u have some male assistant who can tear through that mob to submit ur application (i would if i had one) then u should apply for one. no harm there.

moreover if u will be in delhi till the time the flats are actually allotted, u can sell it the next day, make a nice profit, move to a hermitage and then seek spiritual bliss....

after all bhookhey pet bhajan na hoye

ps: seriously if u do have someone to do this for u then u must do it

Julia Dutta said...

hahaha! bhookhey pet bhajan na hoye! Point taken. A good advice really. Thank you very much and frankly, I love those men, but I am a strong woman and can do that application myself, if I really want to. I like your pragmatic stand. Thank you!

Kanchana Natarajan said...

actual bhajan can happen only in bhooka pet, if the stomach is full it is delusion to believe that one will turn to spirituality, amazing how these ideas get circulated to suit one's mind set! how many full stomachs have reached the goal i wonder?

Ash said...

I enjoyed reading the comments as much as the article!

Stimulating posts, Julia.

Julia Dutta said...

Thanks AsH!

Realty Rider said...

After a gap of two years, Delhi Development Authority will not only give a chance to own a house but will also provide an excellent investment opportunity to prospective buyers. DDA is coming up with 5, 020 flats out of which there are 350 three-bedroom flats, 890 two-bedroom flats, 3, 500 one-bedroom flats and 280 flats that can be expanded. Realty experts said that because of the affordable rates, many people who will apply under the scheme would look at it as a form of investment. The fact that all the flats are freehold (one has ownership rights) is also an added boon. Also, it is for the first time that DDA has not categorized the flats as low, medium or high-income group. "This was a conscious decision to not link income to the category of house so that more people get an opportunity to apply under the scheme. Earlier if you had to apply for a LIG house, you had to submit an income certificate," said a DDA spokesperson.For more view-

Julia Dutta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia Dutta said...

Realty Rider,
I might differ with you. These flats advertised now found no takers earlier for various reasons including poor construction, proximity to jhuggi jhopri , and water problems. These are not new flats, just flats being offered for ready possession. Any support of these flats as even good investment, is counter-productive and anti-public interest.

Anonymous said...

What truck loads of bull!

You have had two flats out of which you sold one. Your bro has the luxury to "reserve" a flat for you, near his. You sometimes seem to flirt with the idea of going ahead with putting in the 150 grands for the DDA deposit as if it was just popping out of your bank account. And you think you have the right to make fun of the common man who would like to have a roof above his head. Now if you are a typical profile of the single female in a dreadful city, then these people have every right to decry you, not just based on the actions of your forefathers, but the mentality you inherited from them.

And goodness gracious, just because you have a sister-in-law who is a doctor in Calcutta and that you can get precious little medical favors from her, you think Delhi's doctors are a one big bad farting lot bacause they dare charge money from you. My sister and my brother in law are doctors in Delhi, so I should think the doctors in the rest of the country are big selfish greedy money hoarders.

Anonymous said...

& I heard that few property dealers in north delhi are assuring to get your name in those lucky 3109 people by taking inr 600,000.00. They will take the money after allotment

Anonymous said...

hi julia.

I completely agree with you.Delhi is one of the places where you do get the best of faciities but they all come at a price. Of course, there will be few "Dumbo's" like saurav who will sing tune in praises of this city.Let them crib as much as they care to,you cant help these losers.Anyways you have hit the nail right on its head. Thanks a tonne for this wonderful and well written article. Get a life, loser saurav!!

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