The government's proposal to tax residents to arrange funds for expansion of the Delhi metro hasn't gone down well with the people.
Residents said the argument that the value of a property goes up and quality of life improves in areas with metro connectivity is highly misplaced and does not hold true in most areas. More often than not, residents added, proximity to metro stations leads to nuisance and chaos.
"Thanks to the metro station next door, there is lot of nuisance around my house all the time. Rickshaws and autos cause traffic snarls and there are unknown people moving around all the time making us feel insecure," said Sudhir Kakkar, a resident of Rohini Sector 13.
While the government is working on a plan to levy additional property tax and betterment tax on properties along the proposed metro corridors in phase 3, the municipal valuation committee has also prepared a report on re-categorisation of residential colonies and upgrade those that fall within half-a-kilometre of a metro line.
"If increased property tax is the price we will have to pay for a metro line near our houses then we don't want metro corridors anywhere near our house," said RK Jain, a resident of Krishna Nagar, which is likely to be connected by metro in phase 3."The concept that value of properties increase due to metro is just notional. My salary is not going to increase if metro comes to my house and why would I sell the house where I live with my children?" Jain added.
The value of properties has eased exorbitantly in areas connected by metro. A two bedroom flat in Mayur Vihar Phase 1, which cost about R30 lakh till 2006, is priced no less than R70-80 lakh at present, thanks to the metro station close by.
Builders and real estate developers in Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad have also reaped the benefits of metro corridor close by and sold properties at exorbitant prices. Dwarka, a sub-city in southwest Delhi, started witnessing development only after the metro line connected it with the rest of the city in 2006.
"We appreciate that the government is developing infrastructure but is it not the duty of the government? Why should we pay more for services that the government has to provide us?" asked Pawan Arora, president of Lajpat Nagar Residents' United Society.
Delhi Metro's proposed Mukundpur - Yamuna Vihar line will run along the Ring Road and would benefit Lajpat Nagar.