When Ramesh Tyagi, employed with an MNC, was transferred to Noida recently, he was excited and hopeful of getting a nice accommodation on rent in Asia's biggest planned township with top-class infrastructure. He then had little idea of what the fate had in store for him.
The Facts and figures
Types of Housing and costs
Developed residential sectors with nearby shopping and transportation facilities are from sectors 15 to 48, barring industrial sectors from 1 to9.
In the mid-80s, Noida built LIG (low-income group), MIG (medium-income group) and Janata apartments, apart from providing plots for independent houses.
Janata flats and LIG: One to two rooms, plus a kitchen and a toilet. Rent ranges from R6,000 to R8,500.
MIG flats: Two-bedrooms, plus drawing and dining room, besides a kitchen and a toilet are available for rent for R11,000 to R12,000. Rent for similar accommodations with one more toilet is R13,000 to R14,000.
Independent limited-storey houses
112 to 162 sqm plot 2 BHK: R14,000 to 15,000
180 to 250 sqm plot 3 BHK, plus 2/3 toilets: R18,000 to R20,000
250 to 350 sqm plot 3 BHK plus 3 toilets and a servant quarter: R25,000 to R30,000 and, in some cases, R50,000
300 to 450 sqm plot 3 BHK plus 3 toilets and a servant quarter: R30,000
Independent but "no-storey" houses are more expensive. A 300 to 450 sqm plot 3 BHK accommodation, which is not extendable, can be taken on rent for R1.2 lakh or more.
Earning R45,000 a month, Tyagi (28), after weeks of frantic search, zeroed in on a 2-BHK accommodation in Sector 39, paid R36,000 as advance rent and one month's security deposit. He also had to shell out Rs 12,000 to the broker who led him to the property.
But in two days he vacated the house, seething in anger, as flush in the toilet was not and there was seepage all over the walls. With the broker missing then on, Tyagi has renewed his search, while simultaneously making efforts to get his money back and move his goods from one place to another.
The case of the young executive is not an isolated one. A vast number of people relocating to Noida, or even locals, find it difficult to strike a balance between cost and quality in one of the fastest developing cities of India with landmarks such as the software technology park, Film City, malls, and a golf course spread around.
Developed residential areas with nearby shopping and transportation facilities are in sectors 15 to 48, barring industrial sectors from 1 to 9. Riding the Metro and expressway wave, Noida has become a major destination for those looking to relocate. And with rentals ranging from R8,000 to more than a lakh, getting a good accommodation “within budget” continues to be quite a task.
And the rentals are quite deceptive too. Supporting costs, incurred on water and electricity, often do the tenants in once they have moved in. It effectively means when you get a modest house, you also pay about R5,000 as ‘fringe rentals'. In society accommodations, the average R3,000 maintenance takes the figure to R8,000.
Water in Noida is generally not fit for human consumption. To install an RO system, one may have to cough up anything between R5,000 and R50,000, depending upon the product he is going for. And if you go for packaged RO water (R30 per bottle), it's an additional expenditure of R1,000 per month.
"Bottled mineral water costs as double. Usage of water other than for drinking purpose means the landlord will take additional R100 per month,” said Rakesh Shukla, a student.
Despite Metro coming in as a big relief, poor connectivity in Noida is still a big concern.
"Just imagine, there are no buses taking you directly to the RTO in Sector 33 or the railway reservation centre in Sector 29," said Sumeet Singh, a local journalist. There are a number of sectors in Noida which are not linked through any kind of transportation. Plus, auto-rickshaws are not metred or regulated and, thus, they charge at will. Several sectors such as 62, 63, 64 and 65, which house MNCs, offer only rickshaws for transportation.
Electricity charges also add at least another R1,000 to your expenditure. No wonder, the cost of living is always on the rise. Virender Singh, PRO of Metro Hospital, says in the last three years, his monthly cost of living has gone up by 80 per cent.
"Higher rentals characterise Noida. It has a whole range of villas, flats, individual plots and modish apartments. Youth, especially MNC executives are ready to splurge on luxury," says S.K. Okha, a senior government official.