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Rising prices, no facilities

india Updated: Oct 17, 2011 01:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), which claims to have pumped in R300 crore to upgrade the city’s civic amenities in the past two years, has spent only R6 lakh in ward No. 34, comprising DLF City Phase 1, 2 and 4.

DLF City is one of the most expensive localities in Gurgaon. Rama Rani Rathi, councillor of the ward, said, “In the past two years, R6 lakh have been spent to install benches in parks.”

The city is a home to professionals from across the country, working with various IT and multi-national companies. And, almost all of them want to own a dream house here. But the escalating property prices have shattered their hopes.

Murli Nair, 34, a manager with an export firm who moved to the city a decade ago, plans to return to his hometown in Kerala – courtesy the rise in realty rates. “I am going back to Kerala as I can’t own a house here,” he said.

Nair, who has found a good job in Kochi, is excited, as properties are available at much cheaper prices. “Moreover, Kochi offers better infrastructure than Gurgaon,” he added.

But everyone is not as lucky as Nair. Many are compelled to stick to their jobs. “I don’t own a house here as they are too expensive, but I can’t even quit my job and return to Jamshedpur,” laments Dhiraj Singh, a finance professional who came to the city seven years ago.

“Besides, the condition of public transport is grim in the city. The autorickshaws are overcrowded and the roads are poor,” he added.

Even as civic amenities like poor drainage, parking, erratic power and water supply, etc, continue to affect residents, there still remains a huge demand for expensive properties. People, belonging to the upper middle-class and high-income group, buy homes in the Millennium City.

“Inflation, coupled with high home loan rates, cement prices and labour cost are reasons behind the soaring property prices,” said Anckur Srivastava, chairman, GenReal Property Advisers.

The city’s expensive high-rise complexes, which, on an average, have an entry-level price of Rs 45-50 lakh, can cost as much as Rs 25 crore.

Anshuman Magazine, managing director, CB Richard Ellis, a real estate consultant, attributes it to the demand-supply phenomenon. Both blame policy failure for the situation.

Builder-admin nexus?
Many areas, where costly projects such as the one in Sector 81 on Southern Peripheral Road are coming up, are still waiting to get the basic infrastructure like proper power supply and sewerage connection, among others. It’s the builders, who after obtaining the permission of policy-makers have constructed roads connecting to the highways, to impress prospective buyers.

Will prices Moderate?
Srivastava says Gurgaon could be the pilot case of real estate regulation in the country. However, Pankaj Bajaj, president of Credai, (Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India), NCR, rubbishes the contention. He says, “Its plain economics. Gurgaon’s price is backed by demand. The only way to moderate prices is to increase the supply.” Ironically, the last time the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) allotted plots to people was in 2004 in Sector 57.

Less Floor Area Ratio
The floor area ratio (FAR) in Gurgaon is 500 persons per hectare, whereas in Noida, it’s 1,600/ hectare. This means a major difference in the number of dwellings allowed to be constructed, which hampers the supply of houses in Gurgaon.