Af­ford­able but crowded

HT Estates - - Front Page - Proy­ashi Barua

The nar­row con­gested lanes of Govin­d­puri, choked with three and four-storeyed res­i­den­tial build­ings on both sides and a chaotic whole­sale mar­ket, are an ob­vi­ous con­trast to the peace­ful and or­gan­ised res­i­den­tial lanes and mar­ket ar­eas of neigh­bour­ing Chit­taran­jan Park. Govin­d­puri is de­void of res­i­den­tial blocks. Six­teen streets con­sti­tute the main Govin­d­puri area while Govin­d­puri ex­ten­sion has ap­prox­i­mately 13 streets. In­ci­den­tally it is one of the most densely pop­u­lated ar­eas of the city. Though just a strip nes­tled be­tween Chit­taran­jan Park and Kalkaji, cov­er­ing about seven square kilo­me­tres, the area has a pop­u­la­tion of nearly nine lakh. The ex­ten­sion is on the fringes of Chit­taran­jan Park while main Govin­d­puri is par­al­lel to Kalkaji. Greater Kailash and Alak­nanda are just a few kilo­me­tres away.

One won­ders if Govin­d­puri’s prox­im­ity to these up­mar­ket lo­cal­i­ties ac­counts for the teem­ing pop­u­la­tion. “Partly yes,” says Manoj Bisht a lo­cal shop owner. “But the big­gest draw of this lo­cal­ity is the rent, which is nearly one-third of al­most all other ar­eas of south Delhi. A 2BHK flat is avail­able for a monthly rental of around 8,000 while a 1BHK flat is avail­able for R6,000. In the ex­ten­sion area the same rates ap­ply for the same op­tions. Where else in south Delhi can you find a 2BHK at R8,000?”

This rea­son­ing holds true when the av­er­age pro­file of peo­ple re­sid­ing here is taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. “There is a size­able per­cent­age of young pro­fes­sion­als liv­ing here on rent. They have come from small towns and are

Rvery price sen­si­tive when it comes to ac­com­mo­da­tion,” says Gau­rav Bha­tia, a real es­tate agent who caters to this neigh­bour­hood. “Most peo­ple who own prop­erty here be­long to the low mid­dle class cat­e­gory,” he adds.

Many pock­ets in Govin­d­puri are unau­tho­rised but there are talks of these get­ting au­tho­rised soon. When that hap­pens, real es­tate prices will go up. “De­spite its sta­tus the real es­tate mar­ket here is buzzing with ac­tiv­ity. There is a lot of in­ter­est from prospec­tive buy­ers and the rate of con­ver­sion to ac­tual sales is fairly good. And this can be at­trib­uted equally to avail­abil­ity and af­ford­able pric­ing,” says Nitin Vaidya, another real es­tate agent who caters to this area.

A big plus point of this area is near-un­in­ter­rupted supply of elec­tric­ity and wa­ter and an af­ford­able whole­sale mar­ket that of­fers ev­ery imag­in­able com­mod­ity from gro­ceries and veg­eta­bles to watches and elec­tronic de­vices at com­pet­i­tive rates. It is also a very safe area.

But the dis­ad­van­tages far out­weigh the pos­i­tives. “The big­gest chal­lenge per­haps is that of park­ing space. The ve­hi­cles are parked on the main road in front of the mar­ket and there is no as­sur­ance of se­cu­rity from theft,” says Geeta Dayal, a res­i­dent. “Parks and open green spa­ces are alien to Govin­d­puri. Sweep­ers come here only oc­ca­sion­ally to sweep the streets and pick up house­hold garbage,” she adds. Also due to its unau­tho­rised tag, own­er­ship here is on the ba­sis of power of at­tor­ney and not free­hold. This trans­lates to “a big dis­ad­van­tage, es­pe­cially for the ed­u­cated of­fice-go­ing peo­ple, since they can­not avail bank loans against prop­erty,” says Bha­tia.

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