Waiting for the Metro and miracles
The first impression is the worst impression when it comes to Dashrathpuri (in southwest Delhi) as you take the road to enter this area from the main Palam-Dabri Road. A stagnant nallah (drain) with pigs rooting about is not a pleasant sight, though, to be fair, things improve after you move further. Independent houses and builder floors are crammed up alongside tiny ‘multicuisine restaurants’ and stores selling everything f rom candies t o f ur niture. The streets branch off at right angles, with Dashrathpuri on one side and Vaishali Colony on the other.
The infrastructure in the area is nothing much to write home about. As Suraj Sharma, a shop owner i n t he l ocality, points out, “The roads here have only been relaid twice or thrice in the last 20 years. They are in a miserable condition now, as you can see.” We have to agree. The roads – or whatever is left of them – are damaged and pitted with potholes and pools of stagnant water. Sharma, who has been living here for the last 20 years, feels that Dashrathpuri has been neglected as far as infrastructure development is concerned.
However, the prices here do not reflect these ground realities. A local real estate broker says that one can buy a plot of land measuring 100 sq yards for ` 1 crore. The average size of units is between 50 and 150 sq yard and rentals are in the range of ` 80 to ` 90 per sq ft per month. A 100 sq yard unit will fetch a rent of about ` 8,000 to ` 9,000. Builder floors are available in the form of 2BHK, 3BHK and 4BHK units. While 2BHK units are priced from ` 35 lakh to ` 40 lakh, 3BHK units are available at ` 50 lakh to ` 55 lakh, and 4BHK units for about ` 80 lakh.
The catch here, though, is that a large part of the area does not have the requisite building clearance and most transactions are carried out through general power of attorney (GPoA), says the broker.
Locals are not happy with the quality of life at Dashrathpuri. Safety is a major issue and as Rakesh, a shop owner says, “We have had i ncidents of chain snatching and burglary and need more frequent police patrolling to ensure law and order.” In addition, he says that the drain is in a very bad condition and gas and pollutants resulting from it was making people living close by very sick. “It needs immediate attention as it is highly unhygienic to have something like that in a residential area,” he adds.
Dashrathpuri has a small local market – a street lined with shops that cater to the daily needs of residents. The nearest malls are Janakpuri District Centre and a few in Dwarka. There are some branded stores and hospitals on the main road and in neighbouring areas such as Janakpuri, etc, and some schools and colleges in the areas around it.
However, there is no green space here - not a single park or a community centre, complain residents.
Connectivity seems to be one of the few plus points of Dashrathpuri. Buses ply on this route frequently, and it is also serviced by three Metro stations (in a radius of about 5km) – Janakpuri, Uttam Nagar east and west.
The Metro station under construction in Dashrathpuri is set to turn things around in the area and give its real estate potential a much-needed fillip. Construction work is underway for an underground Metro station here, as part of Phase 3 of Delhi Metro linking Janakpuri (west) with Botanical Garden in Noida.
Real estate agents believe that the Metro will push housing prices up in the area by about 20% to 30%. “Property prices here have already gone up by 8% over the last few months,” says a real estate agent. “In fact, there is hope that the property registration work may also start with the arrival of the Metro.” This station is expected to be functional by 2016. Residents also hope that once the Metro is operational, steps will be taken to improve the infrastructure.
“The roads here are very narrow and once the Metro takes off, there is bound to be more traffic here. Right now, the area is not equipped to handle such traffic snarls. Although the Metro will definitely help, the need of the hour is better infrastructure and safety,” says Prakash Mehta, who lives near Palam-Dabri Road.
The underground Metro station in Dashrathpuri is expected to push property prices in the area by 20% to 30% in the future