The prospect of having a roof over your head in Delhi can be a near impossible dream for the region’s poor. But with the state Assembly elections barely six months away, the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress Government in the state has given its nod for the allotment of about 14,000 flats over the next few months to the economically weaker sections.
And the Congress believes that the decision will help to generate a tremendous amount of goodwill among the electorate, while the main BJP said the voters are being taken for a ride by the state government.
The Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) has built flats in Bawana (1,888), Bhorgarh (1,272), Narela (1,412), Ghoga (3,680) and Baprola (5,700) areas. And the flats have been built as part of the Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) component of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme and have been named ‘Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana’.
The much-touted BSUP scheme plans to rehabilitate people staying in the 44 slum clusters of Delhi. And the beneficiaries would be allotted 270 sq feet flats, with the cost of each unit put at `3.34 lakh. However, the beneficiaries would have to pay only `60,000. The rest of the money would be paid by the Centre(`1.19 lakh) and the Delhi state government (`62,000), while the land-owning agency would chip in `93,000.
People belonging to the SC/ST categories will get the flats almost for free as the Delhi government has announced that they would waive the beneficiaries’ burden. “The allotment process would begin in a month or two. Currently, a state government committee is looking into the modalities of allotment. Our party has proved that we are pro-poor and pro-middle class,” said Mukesh Sharma, Parliamentary secretary to Dikshit.
However, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, V K Malhotra rubbished it saying that the government was fooling the people.
In 2008, the Chief Minister had promised to construct 60,000 houses for the poor and following the announcement,as many as 2.77 lakh applications were sold by the state government at a cost of `100 each. But only 14,844 flats could be constructed in the past five years.