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Landing in a soup

Shilpa Suresh points out that real estate in the city is boom time for some and doom for many



'What will happen to the poor and middle class?' - Photo: Murali Kumar K.

"SOME WEEKS ago, my father had been to the real estate show. The next day, the two of us set out to visit a few plots on sale. The trip in itself was fun, as we visited quite a few picturesque locations, full of greenery. Yes, greenery! Vegetation all around because the sites were about 20 kms from Bangalore! With the real estate prices soaring to the peaks, all that anybody can think of are sites not even in the suburbs!

"About a month back my dad and I excitedly went on another trip to look at some farm house land quoted at Rs. 60 per sq. feet. Believe it or not, we kept driving as per the directions in the newspaper and landed up in Tamil Nadu!

"The prices too are like the stock market rates! "Saar, today the land here costs Rs. 450 per sq. feet and next week it will be Rs. 500, saar."— These are lines we commonly hear. Go apartment hunting and it's worse: "Saar, only three more flats on sale, saar. I will block it for you right now. Who knows... if you come in the evening, all three may be sold!" In this mad rush to buy land and apartments, and with their prices increasing every day, I wonder where the poor man and the middle class will live? The real estate situation is a boom for some and doom for many.

"Suppose a poor man sells his land in a suburban place to one of the land sharks. Later, he lives in a rented place till his finances last him. After that, he takes to the streets. People already living on the streets will continue living on the streets since they cannot even dream of buying a plot — either in the city or away from it.

"At the risk of sounding alarmist, I must say that the population of the people on the streets will slowly increase due to this real estate boom. It's not an extreme situation or anything either. Soon our city will probably look like Mumbai or Kolkata."

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