Past glory gives way to congestion
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.”