Tuesday, February 26, 2008

End of the dream for Devenhalli real estate

Without water, electricity and roads all dreams can turn into nightmares. It will be interesting to see what the farmers do with the crores they have raked in from the sale of their "hot property". I know a friends domestic help who owned 1 acre of barren farmland in Devanhalli and they sold out in mid 2007, only to buy a site in RT nagar. Talk about jackpot.

TROUBLE AHEAD: Without guaranteed water and electricity supply, builders and developers in Devanahalli are in a fix

Builders have bought acres and acres around the new airport, but aren’t building.

Gated communities, integrated townships, villas and high-end-apartments are all on the cards, but are unlikely to see the light of day in the near future.

Developers bought agricultural land paying fancy prices up to Rs 1,300 a square foot hoping to cash in on the demand once the airport came up. But the harsh reality is that their hands are tied by many factors.

No clearances

The government has yet to release a development plan for the Devanahalli area. Without such a plan, approvals are impossible to come by.

Government agencies such as the pollution control, water and electricity boards are not ready to clear projects as they are in no position to provide service. Farmers no longer own land in the neighbourhood, and housing layouts can’t come up because of a lack of basic amenities.

Water woes

“Water is a major problem,” said Capt Raja Rao, former chief engineer and water resources expert. “The water board can’t supply much, and ground water in the region is already overexploited.”

A developer said the situation had pushed him to pessimism. “Even if the government allows us to dig borewells, where is the water? We have dug up to 900 feet, but it’s no use. We are in a real crisis.”

Premium builders like Shobha, Mantri, and Prestige have lined up mega projects, but nothing is moving. Only GMR has made a leap of faith and built its corporate office in Devanahalli.

Re-cycling of drainage water is one remedy, according to the BWSSB. But experts such as Raja Rao and A N Yellappa Reddy say it is contaminated beyond permissible limits.

Pay up for power

The power situation isn’t much better. A Bescom source said, “It is not as critical as the water problem, but we can’t assure uninterrupted power supply as the IT and BT industries demand. We can try to provide power at high rates, but industrial and domestic consumers may not be able to afford it.”

No IT hub

The software industry is reluctant to go to Devanahalli. No IT company is building an office in the region. Some plan townships for their employees but are demanding a satellite town ring road (STRR) that connects Dodballapur, Devanahalli, Hoskote, Ramanagar, and Magadi. But that is a costly wish.

“STRR calls for massive investment,” said Sudhir Krishna, BMRDA commissioner. “It is estimated to cost a whopping Rs 3,000 crore, or Rs 10 crore a km.”

Though the project has been planned as a public-private venture, no investor has come forward with the money. “With no IT company in the vicinity, our hope for real estate growth is receding. I am afraid we are heading for big trouble,” a developer said.

Some hope

However, the larger developer community is not so despairing. “With older airports running out of space, Bangalore is going to be a major aviation hub. And that will kick-start growth,” said K Sriram, chairman, Builders Association of India, Karnataka chapter.


Anonymous said...

Is this the real reason behind builders not starting the projects? i am afraid becauze i have invested during last year on a flat where-in the builder promised that the land prices will be appreciating?


Venky said...

promises can be lies too. Land prices appreciate due to narrow trading between few hundred interested parties. On the other hand, apartment prices are dependent of many things falling into place. If you think living 30 kms away without proper infrastructure is possible for a family with kids, then you can hold on to the promise. If not there is a problem. A huge problem !!!

Anonymous said...

This looks like just another story of greedy builders and investors. The city cannot provide proper water and power to the main city, this place will have no power for 18 hours a day even if it is connected to the main grid. Just a bunch of jokers trying to erect buildings to cash in on consumer sentiment of buying apartments. Wait till it starts dropping, even good areas in and around Bangalore would see a 50% drop in prices. And wait for the layoffs in all major IT/Financial services. I think a lot of Indian people who have been buying in the past 3- years are very stupid by not recognising what is coming and just feeding to their own greeds without looking at the fundamental issue. Just wait wait and watch. 50% housing and stock market wealth is going to erode from people's hand.

Anonymous said...

it looks like a very similar situation to the issues facing the us with everyone flocking to buy on speculation with easy credit availability