Friday, 8 July 2016

Redevelopment in Delhi: Time to rope in private players; It will benefit the end users immensely

In the heartening to know that the Union Government is realizing the need for Redevelopment in Delhi. As a baby step towards this end, the cabinet has recently approved redevelopment of various colonies which houses close to 13,000 government employees at an estimated cost of approx Rs 33,000 crore.

With the redevelopment of colonies including Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur, the number of housing units will increase to close to 26,000. It is also expected that with redevelopment, the amenities and facilities will also get a much needed facelift.

However, arbitrary allotment of the entire works of redevelopment either to Public Sector Company or to government department – in this case - National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) and Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is disappointing to say the least.

For no strong rational, the private builders, many of whom enjoy good credibility and track record were not considered for the job. Participation of the private sector ushers in more competition, the beneficiaries of which are ultimately the end users. As a matter of fact many of private players are considered much more efficient compared to government peers, thus, providing the work to government agencies without even considering private sector is bizarre and is an injustice to the enterprising private sector. In fact, such decisions create impediment in the growth of the sector, which is the largest employer after the agriculture sector in the country. It is therefore necessary that for any such work in the future, government should definitely consider the private sector and must not limit the exercise to government agencies only.

Also, considering the rising aspiration of citizens of Delhi, it is paramount that government should allow redevelopment of not just of government colonies but that of entire Delhi. Redevelopment will ensure robust infrastructure, world class sports and recreational facilities, proper sanitation, ample parking, green and open spaces as well as security and safety of citizens of Delhi.

The time is ripe and government must bite the bullet!

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