Affordable but crowded
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.