Delhi LG orders DDA to redevelop structurally-damaged apartments as residents facing danger

Delhi Lt Governor V.K. Saxena has ordered the DDA to redevelop north Delhi's structurally damaged Signature View Apartments, whose residents have been facing grave danger to life and property and rehabilitate them in the interim.

Taking serious note of lapses that resulted in the building becoming structurally unsafe in a few years of its construction, he also ordered "immediate initiation of criminal proceedings under the relevant rules against the contractors and the agencies and a vigilance inquiry to identify all officials responsible for lapses in the construction of said buildings within 15 days and initiation of subsequent criminal action against the defaulting officials accordingly".
A LG House official said that this should serve as a message from LG to all officials and contractors that no laxity, misconduct, or collusion will be tolerated and that the residents of the city were supreme.
The Signature View Apartment Complex, built during 2007-2009, was allotted to the residents in 2011-2012. Soon thereafter the flats in the complex had started facing construction related issues, forcing the residents to complain about these to the DDA.
A 2021-2022 study, conducted by IIT Delhi at behest of the DDA, had found the building to be structurally unsafe, and recommended it be got vacated and dismantled.
The LG overruled the DDA, that was inter alia, shirking its responsibility by maintaining "that these allotments are not part of social welfare schemes; that there is no law which makes the DDA responsible for building in perpetuity, or even in the period in question or it is not the duty of the DDA to maintain the buildings".
Saxena said: "Apparently, there has been no application of mind on the part of Legal Department of the DDA and the position taken by the DDA, not only runs contrary to the very basic tenet of responsibility and empathy, essentially inherent in the functioning of any service provider – especially so, a government organisation, but also runs in contravention of principle of natural justice, since the DDA had charged the consumer in the name of 'Maintenance Charges' for 30 years."
Writing to the DDA on the related file, the LG Secretariat said: "Hon'ble Lt. Governor, after going through these contentions of the Legal Department, has disagreed with the position taken by the DDA. It is not right to state that the DDA has no responsibility in the instant matter. Viewing all the facts available in the matter, Hon'ble Lt. Governor has taken a considered view that DDA must step in in this case in larger public interest."20230124-225404

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