The Delhi Development Authority (DDA)'s ambitious housing scheme to tap the affordable housing space does not seem to have found favour with many.
Out of the 25,000 flats auctioned in 2014, nearly 8,500 have surrendered their apartments, citing reasons such as small size and lack of infrastructure around the area where the apartments are located.
Of the total, 22,627 were one-bedroom apartments in an economic weaker section (EWS) format with size area of 25-40 sq m. The flats were located in Rohini, Narela and Dwarka Sector 23.
This is one of the highest ever surrendering rates in a housing scheme launched by the DDA. Even in the earlier schemes, 1,000-1,500 people have surrendered their flats but not in such a huge number, a DDA official said.
"This scheme was mainly launched to cater to the demand of affordable homes. However, many felt the built-up area of the flats was too small and unlivable . Besides, the infrastructure around the area is also yet to develop fully. We'll auction these returned flats next year in the new housing scheme, where about 40,000 flats will come up," another official from DDA said, on the condition of anonymity.
In the last housing scheme in 2010, DDA auctioned about 16,000 flats which were mainly 2BHK (bedroom, hall and kitchen) and 3BHK.
The lock-in period of five years - imposed for the first time in a DDA housing scheme in 2014, where allotees are not allowed to sell the apartment before five years - also proved to be a deterrent.
DDA is now planning to come up with another housing scheme next year.
"We will do away with the EWS format, but will focus on 1BHK units. Out of the 40,000 units to be launched in 2016, nearly 27,000 will be in the LIG (lower income group) category. We will also increase the size of these units to 64.4 sq m, which is double the size of the units launched last year," the official added.
A broker tracking the Delhi national capital region market said: "DDA housing schemes generate huge interest. Often, applicants are not aware of the terms and conditions and even the location of the flats, which is why we see return of flats."
However, this time, the main issue was of the size, which was too small for any family to stay in. "Even basic infrastructure such as water, electricity and roads were a problem," the broker added.