Ageing DDA flats in the Capital can now install lifts, following the efforts spearheaded by one society. Even as the convenience factor is helping esidents, the arrival of a lift has also led to appreciation in values
For middle class Delhiites, home meant a DDA flat. That ubiquitous box-like edifice dotting the various ‘colonies’ of the city, usually painted yellow, came in configurations that were reflected in its acronyms LIG, MIG and SFS. Although not regarded as an epitome of public housing architecture, this ‘home sweet home’ had certain distinguishable features: box-like balconies with a long grilles and steep staircases. All DDA developments have parks and communal areas — essential elements that have been adopted by private developers too.
The one drawback with DDA’s public housing project is that these flats do not have provisions keeping in mind future developments. There aren’t enough car parking spaces, indeed some localities have only provisions for scooters.
One adaptation that cannot be carried out it the installation of a lift. There are approximately 4,00,000 three-storey flats built in the 1980s, and lifts were not considered a necessity.
Three years of tireless efforts of residents of Block No. 1 at Deshbandu Apartments in Kalkaji yielded results on November 10, when a lift was inaugurated in their three-floor building. This was the first time in Delhi that a community lift was inaugurated in a DDA housing society and has opened doors for residents of the 3,50,000 flats who are perched on the first, second and third floors.
With an ageing resident profile, the need for a lift was felt as they faced difficulties in commuting downstairs for their basic needs and began to avoid the trip as much as possible. The initiative was met with resistance by the residents of the ground floor, who had to give into the majority voice that was in favour of lifts.
“After we allowed the installation of lifts, some ground floor residents wanted the lift installation plan to be scrapped on the grounds that it blocks their way, which is not the case because they have 4 feet space and that is enough,” said a senior DDA official dealing with the matter.
He added that residents who had issues with the proposal were asked to make a formal representation to the authority, which was never done as by then the number of opponents reduced.
INSTALLATION: THE PROCESS
Contrary to popular perception, there is no rule that