Signature View: DDA, residents discuss evacuation plan
Lieutenant governor VK Saxena had in January asked DDA to vacate and dismantle the apartment after an IIT-Delhi report found it unsafe for habitation
Delhi Development Authority (DDA) officials on Thursday met residents of the Signature View Apartment in Mukherjee Nagar to discuss what steps can be taken to safely bring down the structurally weak complex, days after the Delhi high court put a stay on the evacuation process.
Lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena had in January asked DDA to vacate and dismantle the apartment after an IIT-Delhi report found it unsafe for habitation. After several rounds of meetings with residents, DDA offered to pay rentals for three years, or to buy back the flats from the owners while it would dismantle and reconstruct the society with some additional EWS flats, as per current norms.
As part of the agreement, DDA gave the residents time till November 30 to evacuate the premises. However, a group of nine residents approached the high court against the timeline, and the court on Tuesday ordered that no coercive action will be taken against residents till the next hearing, on February 14.
The Signature View Apartment resident welfare association (RWA) is now worried the next date of hearing is too far away, while around 1,000 residents are living in buildings that have been declared unsafe to live in.
“We met DDA officials and have spoken to multiple residents in the last two days. Everyone is worried that the next hearing is too far away, and that staying in these towers till then is dangerous,” said Shweta Verma, the RWA vice president.
“A true picture was not produced by neither the petitioners nor by DDA’s counsel before the high court... We will now seek legal opinion on what can be done immediately,” said Gaurav Pandey, secretary of the RWA.
Sanjeev Singh, one of the petitioners who moved court, however, said DDA is giving them a raw deal. “Even we don’t want this whole process to be delayed but we are being given a raw deal by DDA. The building is in a bad shape because of corruption within DDA, but they want to build 100 more flats here. This will only put additional pressure on existing resources...,” he said.
DDA officials refused to comment as the matter is subjudice. However, three weeks ago, officials had said that over 200 families have formally given their consent to shift out.