Dwarka: Dwarka, along with hosting big markets serving several sectors, is also home to local shopping complexes with few kiosks which serve as neighborhood shopping sites. Build by Delhi Development Authority, today these kiosks present a sorry picture. Crumbling shops, broken down sitting areas, common areas overgrown with wild vegetation, dumped garbage and construction debris, these kiosks look like DDA's dream gone sour.
Such kiosks can be seen in Sectors such as 6, 12, 22. However, these kiosks still await allotment as there are no takers for them. As gathered from the residents, these kiosks have been standing for more than a decade and are still unused, reflecting the wastage of public money and effort that went into building them.
According to sources, about 30-40 kiosks were constructed by DDA long back in Plaza Park in Sector 6, the park behind Nav Sansad Vihar at Sector 22 and in the park in Sector 12 behind DDA pocket 4 Subham Apartments. These kiosks were supposedly to be allotted to be used as ice cream parlour, fruit corner, book and magazine shops, flower shops among others.
These vacant and unused kiosks today offer safe havens for anti-social elements, stray cattle and dogs. Residents of the area say these abandoned shops pose a security threat, especially during night. R K Singh, a resident of Sector 6, says,“Even during the day, one can see school boys and other youth drinking openly at these spots or consuming drugs. It has become common in Sector 6.”
One of the engineers of DDA, on the condition of anonymity, says, “The construction of the kiosks was an innovative step of DDA. Sector 22, 6 and 12 are model sectors. DDA developed these kiosks to provide facilities to the visitors to the parks who come for jogging, walking, or cycling. In this way, the kiosks could have not only provided facilities to the visitors but also added to the beauty of the parks and the sectors. But the DDA could never find any takers for these kiosks."
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Officials, while accepting the failure of the project, informed that letters had been written to the concerned higher officials and the departments but nothing happened. According to sources, in 2016, for the first time, about 10 shops in Sector 6 and Sector 22 were rented out to a businessman of Dwarka but they too were closed within a year.
A resident of Nav Sansad Vihar, Sector 22, Rejimon CK says, “These shops are a big failure of DDA. This is sheer wastage of public money. Surprisingly they are not even in position to say anything clearly on the subject. This is really disappointing. The DDA has failed to get any takers for its own planned project.”
On the subject, DDA was mum and no officials were ready to say anything concrete on the allotment of the shops. They only said that these shops were never allotted owing to high costs.
“DDA has included the cost of the land and the premises with the kiosks. So the price goes higher and it is not feasible for anyone to afford them. This is a challenge in front of DDA and a matter of policy. Now, it has been more than 10 years that these shops have been abandoned and we have wasted huge revenue,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.