who may stall the work at any stage.”
The second issue is that as the DDA and Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) are government agencies, they are slow in giving approvals. Residents of these societies have to be able to push their files through these authorities.
Third, Rastogi says, there is the issue of structural safety. As per the latest government rule passed last year, only those extensions would be given approvals which are “self supportive” and do not put any additional pressure on the existing structure. This is to prevent unsafe structures coming up given the fact that the city is earthquake-prone falling under Seismic Zone IV.
“Hence, a competent architect needs to be employed to correctly assess whether or not there is enough space available for a self-supportive structure to come up as an extension of the existing structure,” Rastogi says.
He gives the example of a housing society next-door that wanted to go for extension, but was unsuccessful in getting the requisite approvals as the structure was not self-supportive.
Sociologist Harshita Sinha is of the opinion that an urge to upgrade the two- or three-bedroom flats stems from the fact that a large section of residents who moved to Dwarka a decade ago from various other localities in Delhi belonged to the middle-income group who now like to see themselves bracketed in the upper income group living in large flats. However, Sinha adds, this may lead to some changes in the demographic details of the area, with some of those with an extra room taking in paying guests, particularly students enrolled in the three universities located in the area.
Finally, as Rastogi sums up, the reason for some housing societies proposing extension projects is more to do with economics. “After all, a four bedroom flat in Dwarka costs nothing below Rs 2 crore and if you can convert your three bedroom flat – which is currently valued at Rs 1.5 crore – to a four bedroom accommodation by paying around Rs 4 lakh for the extension, you are bound to see it as a good investment,” says Rastogi.
For such an extension project to be successful, the first requirement is a consensus among the residents of the housing society that they would bear the cost, time and other aspects in an amicable manner.
The second issue is the ability to convince the government agencies, in this case the DDA and DUAC,