The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has issued a November 30 deadline for the residents of the Signature View Apartment housing complex in North Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar to vacate the premises. This decision comes after the 12-story towers were declared “structurally unsafe” by IIT Delhi last year, prompting the DDA to request that the 1,200-1,300 residents evacuate the area.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the DDA has recently provided the residents with a final agreement outlining the terms for rent payment, evacuation procedures, and flat reconstruction. Once all the flats are vacated, the DDA will commence preparations for the demolition of these structures, although the specific method for demolition is yet to be determined.
Currently, nearly 1,200-1,300 people still reside in these buildings, which have displayed signs of substandard construction since their inception. They are reluctant to vacate until they receive assurances from the DDA regarding evacuation procedures, rent payment for alternative accommodations, flat reconstruction, and a handover timeline within three years.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena had previously ordered the evacuation and redevelopment of the “structurally damaged” Signature View Apartment housing complex on January 24. He also recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into construction lapses.
A source stated, “The final agreement, which outlines the terms for rent payment, evacuation, and flat reconstruction, has been sent to the residents. They are required to sign and accept it by October 15. Following October 15, they will be given 45 days to vacate the premises. The deadline for vacating the premises and handing them over to the DDA is November 30, 2023.”
The source also noted that preparations for demolishing the structures can only begin after the flats are handed over to the authority. The Signature View Apartment housing complex comprises 12 towers and 336 flats.
Residents have expressed concerns regarding the agreement. Amrendra Jha, president of the Signature View Apartment Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA), pointed out that the DDA has stipulated that rent will only be paid to residents after all 336 flats are vacated. This condition, according to Jha, is unrealistic as many families cannot afford to pay rent and their EMIs simultaneously for an extended period.
Jha stated, “We will respond to the agreement within the given timeframe. We are requesting the DDA to amend this condition and begin releasing rent payments as soon as 70 percent of the premises are vacated. Due to this particular condition, residents are hesitant to vacate their flats. We have recently submitted a representation to the lieutenant governor on this matter and plan to meet with him again in the coming days.” as per Moneycontrol.
In June 2023, the DDA had presented two options to the residents: a direct buyback of the flats or flat reconstruction, where the DDA would provide newly built flats at the same location with the same specifications. Additionally, a facilitation amount toward rent would be provided during the construction period.