Friday, September 19, 2014

Ajit Singh eviction from 12 tughlak road in Lutyens Delhi – A Question of 100s of Crores of Rupees.

According to an article published in Economic Times dated April, 2013, Property prices in Delhi's leafy Lutyens Bungalow Zone have increased 8-folds in the past decade on the back of rising demand for the area where homes are always in short supply.

While the value of the private portion of the Lutyens Bungalow Zone - around 254.5 acres, where industrialists Sunil Mittal, KP Singh, Naveen Jindal, LN Mittal and others stay - has gone up from around Rs 6,100 crore to Rs 49,000 crore in the past 10 years, the value of the 995 acres occupied by government bungalows has grown from Rs 24,000 crore to Rs 1,92,000 crore, albeit notionally, based on current market rates derived from recent transactions in the area.

Witnessing the rise in property prices, a number of old families that have been living in the area for over four decades are now ready to sell these British colonial bungalows. Some are even asking for astronomical sums of money - the owner of an 8,000-sq yards plot on Tughlaq Road is asking for Rs 700 crore. A similar-sized plot on Prithvi Raj Road has a tag of over Rs 600 crore while another 1 acre property on the same road could be bought for Rs 480 crore.

Some of the recent transactions at Lutyens Delhi:

And the asking rates are:

In this backdrop, it is fairly easy to understand why Ajit Singh of some political party in western UP has resisted vacating the bungalow ’12, Tughlak Road’. His party suffered a massive rout in the Lok Sabha election 2014 in western UP. This humiliation had probably infuriated Ajit Singh who defied the law and continued living in the residence which is specifically meant for the elected members of the Parliament. He should have vacated the house by June 26, 2014.

He and his minuscule supporters claim that the house should be converted into a memorial for Charan Singh as he stayed there for 36 years. Oh my gosh….this is similar to a situation when a tenant would rent a property and after staying there for 4-5 years, the tenant would take control of the property with the help of his goons and not vacate the property. Ajit Singh and his supporters are in the same mood.

"It is the wish of the people that 12 Tuglak Road be converted into a memorial. After all, Chaudhury sahib lived here for 36 years," he said.

At least 18 persons were injured as police fired rubber bullets and tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse activists of Bhartiya Kisan Union and Rashtriya Lok Dal supporters, who turned violent as the cops thwarted their attempt to cut-off water supply to Delhi from Gangnahar Muradnagar regulator.

So what if number of people are injured, so what if they bring the traffic to halt on major highways, so what if they cut down the water supply to 10 million residents of Delhi, after all, it’s a question of 100s of Crores. How can Ajit Singh who had the control over the bungalow for so many years let it go so easily? Some lives here and there, some disturbances here and there. It happens. It is part of the democracy.


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