The DDA SFS Flats located in Sector – 3, Pocket 1& 2, Dwarka have turned into swimming pools and have become unsafe and dangerous for the residents. The flats which were constructed in 1997 were handed over to the residents from 1998 onwards. The extremely poor quality of construction by the DDA resulted in severe structural distress in several flats in the colony within five years of construction. The external grit wash was so weak that huge chunks started falling from various flats. Lt Col (Retd) Sanjay Sehgal, resident of Flat No. 12, was one of the first sufferers of this poor quality of work as a huge chunk of grit wash fell on his car in 2003 damaging the entire roof of the car. Several other residents faced a similar problem and suffered losses. The entire chajja, spanning about 12 ft, over the balcony of flat No. 28 fell down from the 4th floor a few years back and resulted in the severe loss to the residents who decided to sell out the flat and shifted elsewhere keeping in view the unsafe nature of the building.

Several complaints to the DDA authorities by the residents and the RWA were not enough for the DDA to realise the gravity of the situation. The residents continued to live in a constant fear – fear for their lives and fear for the vehicles parked in the colony. The sorry state of affairs continued till January 2013 when the DDA authorities decided to award the work for rehabilitation/ restoration of the external grit wash of the flats. The work was awarded to M/s Wisden Technologies who have ensured that the residents’ life turns into a further big nightmare. The firm commenced the work but is so short of resources that the rehabilitation work of even the first block of eight (08) flats which was started in February 2013 has not been completed till date. Meanwhile, the firm ripped open the gritwash of the next block of flats (Flat Nos. 9-16) leaving all the walls fully exposed to the vagaries of weather. The firm executing the work is highly ill equipped and has deployed an untrained & inexperienced mason under a supervisor who seldom visits the site. The firm has not taken any protective measures before commencing the work leading to several glass panes and rainwater pipes being broken and the plaster on the internal walls falling off. A huge mound of debris has been created in the colony creating a hazard for the children and elderly people.

With the commencement of the monsoon season, and the external plaster not being repaired coupled with the broken glass panes, the entire rain water gets inside the flats whenever it rains. The walls have become totally wet and current is flowing in the walls at many places. Says, Lt Col (Retd) Sanjay Sehgal, “In today’s rain, the rain water entered my flat from the exposed balconies of the bedrooms and the flow was so heavy that the water reached upto the drawing room. During half an hour of rainfall, almost one inch water collected in the bedrooms causing damage to the furniture and other items.” Since the contractor’s supervisor is not available at the site, he requested the lone worker present today morning to at least close the gap between the wall and the window – a request which the worker did not respond to leading to the water entering the flat thus turning it into a swimming pool. This apathy of the contractor’s firm and the inaction of the DDA authorities have made living in this colony a big nightmare for the residents. The moot question is that when will the authorities alleviate the residents suffering – probably they are waiting for a precious life to be lost!

Citizen’s reporter
Lt Col (Retd) Sanjay Sehgal