Past glory gives way to con­ges­tion

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Rozelle Laha

Strad­dling both Old and New Delhi, Darya­ganj is among the ac­tively pop­u­lated ar­eas of cen­tral Delhi. Close to Delhi Gate, this place is popular for its com­mer­cial set-ups. An­sari Road, a part of Darya­ganj, is a more set­tled and quiet res­i­den­tial area.

With the ad­van­tage of be­ing lo­cated in the heart of Delhi, the price of prop­er­ties have spiked over the years, pri­mar­ily be­cause of the bus and metro rail con­nec­tiv­ity. In fact, with the New Delhi Metro sta­tion close by, peo­ple can reach the air­port in about 45 min­utes.

As per the cur­rent Delhi Metro Rail Cor­po­ra­tion (DMRC) plans, a Metro sta­tion will be set up at Delhi Gate too. The work for ex­ten­sion of the Metro route from Badarpur to the Cen­tral Sec­re­tariat cor­ri­dor to Kash­mere Gate is al­ready in progress and is likely to be op­er­a­tional in the com­ing months.

Fast and steady com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion with mas­sive con­struc­tion work has meant that Darya­ganj, once known as the river trad­ing post be­cause of its close­ness to the river Ya­muna, is los­ing its famed green­ery.

“As a re­sult, most res­i­dents in this area are sell­ing their prop­er­ties and mov­ing to lush green ar­eas in the NCR,” says Praveen Sharma, a res­i­dent.

The nar­row lanes of Darya­ganj are too con­geste d w i t h p a rke d ve h i c l e s . “Clean­li­ness, in ad­di­tion to park­ing, is an is­sue here,” says Sushil Kumar Ma­lik, a lo­cal shop­keeper. Whereas some lanes are well main­tained, the main roads are un­even with pot­holes in most parts of Darya­ganj.

Street dogs are a nui­sance too. “We are fed up with the stray dogs. “On re­peated re­quests, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had taken the dogs but only to free them after two days,” says Alka Gupta, who has been liv­ing here for 42 years now.

Be­cause of its com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion, Darya­ganj re­mains some­what safe for women as peo­ple of var­i­ous classes live here. “Most of the shop­keep­ers and other work­ers close their shops after 6 pm and move out of here, leav­ing only the res­i­dents, thus mak­ing it safe for women to walk,” says Sharma.

Res­i­dents have also ini­ti­ated a num­ber of safety mea­sures - a good num­ber of watch­men are spread across the area. Few lanes also have CCTV cam­eras.

Typ­i­cal plot ar­eas here start at 60 sq yard and go up to 400 sq yard. How­ever, smaller plots are dif­fi­cult to find th­ese days. Cur­rent land val­u­a­tion is ₹ 3 lakh per sq yard. Prices of plots have nearly dou­bled dur­ing the past five years, and what cost ₹ 10 lakh in 2010 is sell­ing for noth­ing less than ₹ 20 lakh now.

Apart­ments are avail­able for ₹ 75 lakh on­wards for 1BHK units, ₹ 1.15 crore for 2BHK and ₹ 2 crore for 3BHK units.

Around 95% res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties have been taken by pri­vate builders for con­struc­tion of res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial prop­er­ties. Con­struc­tion i s re­stricted beyond third floor in this area. The cost of ground floor is much higher than top floor apart­ments.

Rental prices range from ₹ 15,000 for 1BHK to ₹ 45,000 for 3BHK apart­ments. The 2BHK apart­ments are priced at around ₹ 20,000.

“The de­mand for res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties is con­sis­tently evap­o­rat­ing in this area. How­ever, the de­mand of com­mer­cial prop­er­ties is grow­ing,” says Viren­der Kumar Jain, a prop­erty dealer in this re­gion. “We are an­tic­i­pat­ing a steep rise in prop­erty prices any­time soon.”

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