After Aam Aadmi Party levelled serious corruption allegations against the Delhi Development Authority in a 2014 housing scheme for poor, the DDA responded by stating that the price of flats that was indicated in 2014 was "tentative" and the revised price set in 2019 was done after calculating other costs. AAP MP Sanjay Singh had alleged that the DDA had "tripled" the price of the flats for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category from its 2014 one which left 772 beneficiaries in trouble.
Singh had also alleged that the "scam" also included private developer DLF as it was contracted to build the apartments by DDA. The DDA comes under the Union Housing Ministry which is helmed by Hardeep Singh Puri. Sanjay Singh has sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) into the matter.
In a series of tweets, the DDA clarified that the price charged on the flats for EWS beneficiaries is based on the actual cost of development and the formula is approved by the Authority. It noted that DLF had developed the apartments for EWS category and as per rules had to set aside 50% of the flats for DDA at price linked with CPWD index. It asserted that costing was done in a transparent manner and the DDA accounts can be audited and verified.
The EWS flats being referred to by Aam Aadmi party MP Shri Sanjay Singh have been built by DLF. Private developers have to build EWS flats mandatorily whenever they develope a housing colony.— Delhi Development Authority (@official_dda) January 12, 2020
50% of EWS flats developed by private developers are transfered to DDA at price linked with CPWD index. Thereafter these flats are offered by DDA to eligible beneficiaries. The price charged by DDA is based on actual cost and the formula is approved by the authority.— Delhi Development Authority (@official_dda) January 12, 2020
The price indicated in the brochure in 2014 was tentative. Thereafter detailed calculation was done in 2019 and the cost worked out was communicated to the beneficiaries. Thereafter on request of beneficiaries DDA decided not to charge interest and therefore price was reduced.— Delhi Development Authority (@official_dda) January 12, 2020
The flats are of different sizes and parking is also included. It is multistorey construction, the costing has been done in transparent manner and shown to beneficiaries. Most of the beneficiaries have taken the flats. DDA accounts are subject to audit and can be verified.— Delhi Development Authority (@official_dda) January 12, 2020
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Sanjay Singh said the prices of houses for 772 EWS beneficiaries were inflated in 2019 from its original cost under a scheme of September 2014.
"A DDA housing scheme was launched in September 2014. Under this, the Authority had tied up with DLF to provide housing to those whose yearly income is one lakh rupees under the EWS category. Flats would have been provided at a cost of Rs 6.90 lakh to Rs 11 lakh in easy installments. It was also said that the construction of buildings was complete, which means there could not have been a rise in cost. The beneficiaries had submitted all documents by 2015. After years of wrangling, those beneficiaries are told to arrange Rs 19 lakh and Rs 24 lakh, which means three times more than they claimed and promised."
The Rajya Sabha MP added that the EWS category beneficiaries went to Delhi Lieutenant Governor and even wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Housing Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and DDA's vice-chairman. "I have all their letters," claimed Sanjay Singh and said that the DDA then marginally reduced the price to Rs 15 lakh after complaints. The AAP leader also placed direct allegations of corruption on DDA officials and "people holding senior positions" in the Central government.