After Noida land mess, Gurgaon tries to cash in

After Noida land mess, Gurgaon tries to cash in
Noida/ Gurgaon:  Planning to buy a house? Troubled by the land acquisition row in Noida? Don't worry because you haven't run out of options. In fact, property agents from Gurgaon, Faridabad and Dwarka expressway are flooding people's inboxes with promotional mails and SMSes, trying to cash in on the Noida property crisis. With several housing projects in Noida now hanging fire, most property dealers and agents in the National Capital Region (NCR) are now geared up with a different plan. They have started aggressive marketing and are attracting buyers to buy apartments in Gurgaon and Faridabad rather than going to Noida.

Going up!
Real estate brokers say enquiries for residential projects in Gurgaon and Faridabad have gained substantial spurt. They say the crisis in Noida Extension is beginning to mar consumer sentiment in the adjoining areas as well. Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Director of Bharti Investment Realty located at Bhikaji Cama Place said, "We have been closely following the updates on Noida extension as well as Noida sectors. The court has already demanded the return of over seventy per cent land to the farmers. Looking at the current scenario we have decided not to deal with Noida builders. We have totally changed our marketing activities."

"Now, we are tracking customers who have lost their money in Noida. They are the ones who could easily be persuaded to buy a flat in areas like Gurgaon and Faridabad as the investment is safe. Also, we are not dealing with any builders in Noida and Greater Noida for the time being. Incidents like these bring a bad name to our company. We are now entirely focusing in Haryana," added Sharma.

Cashing in
Even builders are admitting the stock of Gurgaon properties have gone up. "Yes we have seen a positive response to residential property in Gurgaon and Manesar area. This positive sentiment is going to remain till there is some relief for buyers in Noida. Though we are moving aggressively, at the same time we are cautious to avoid a Noida-like situation," said Amit Gupta, Managing Director, Oriss Infrastructure private limited.

"While in the month of May we had 125-150 queries for various projects in Haryana, enquiries in June and July got tripled. Till date we have had around 600 people showing interest. Most of them are those who once got flats booked in Greater Noida. Also, the first thing they want to know is the process by which land has been acquired from farmers," Gupta said.

Room service
The number of queries for Faridabad and Dwarka expressway real estate has also gone up. "We are getting more enquiries about residential apartments in Dwarka expressway, Faridabad and Gurgaon. Investors are looking for the safer option rather getting their hard earned money stuck into cheap property. There is also demand for ready to move in flats," said Badal Srivastava senior consultant with Bhasin Group.

Several projects of Emaar MGF, BPTP, Unitech, Vatika and M3M are scheduled to come up in different sectors of Gurgaon. "In the last couple of weeks, there hasn't been a single person who has come up asking for houses in Noida and Greater Noida. Most enquiries are coming up from Gurgaon followed by Faridabad. Also we have sold 9-10 newly launched flats from Vatika and M3M, and plots by DLF in the last one week or so," said Alok Nath of Imperial Infrastructure located in Dwarka.

Even though Gurgaon is an entirely different market as one has to shell out extra bucks to own a house, under the circumstances it is turning out to be a safer option. "One can get a 2 BHK in Gurgaon for less than Rs 40-50 lakh. Developers sold flats in Noida Extension for Rs 15 lakh (for a 1 BHK) to Rs 25 lakh (for a 2 BHK).

These prices are more comparable with prices in Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Faridabad. Builders have already started aggressive marketing by sending more SMSes and focusing on investors who were ready to invest in Noida. Agents have started targeting clients based in Noida and are offering attractive deals for them to shift to Haryana," said Ajay Agarwal, a real estate expert.

Action and demonstration
Meanwhile, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has issued notices to seven builders, asking them to return the land to the farmers in Shahberi village in line with the court orders. The seven builders are Supertech, Mahagun, Amrapali, Gulmohar, Inder Royal, Panchsheel and Shree G.

GNIDA had earlier issued notices to Shahberi farmers asking them to return the compensation amount so that the land could be given back to them.

Though Authority officials had started measurement of the land, but villagers had stopped them. Realty projects in Noida Extension which comes under GNIDA, including in Shahberi and Patwari villages, have come to a halt after the Allahabad high court quashed land acquisition there. The Authority is now facing a flood of litigation against land acquisition.

"On the high court order on Patwari village, the Authority has decided to move the Supreme Court," said Rama Raman, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Noida Authority.

In Noida Extension, contractors and labourers held protest demonstration at crossing near Gaur City just across the Hindon Bridge. Farmers too staged protests and burnt effigies as additional police force were deployed in the area. Rapid Response Force team was keeping a vigil in Gejha village where farmers from over a dozen villages participated in a panchayat. The panchayat decided to hold an awareness march in villages and motivate farmers to move the court if the GNIDA did not accept the demands of hike in land compensation, five per cent developed land and 'abadi' land regularisation by August 5.

House buyers assembled at several crossings in Noida and tried to take out marches leading to traffic snarls but were soon dispersed by the police.

"Nobody will be allowed to hold foot march and block the traffic flow," SP (City) Anant Dev said.

Promises
Giving in to demands of agitating farmers whose land has been acquired, Noida Authority on Monday promised to give them five per cent of the developed plots from next week and regularise 'abadi' or populated sections.

Announcing this, Noida chief executive officer Balwinder Kumar, however, said the issue of higher compensation sought by farmers has to be decided by the Uttar Pradesh Government Kumar, who visited Sorkha and Parthla villages, told the farmers that peripheral road will be constructed around the villages and all 'abadi' land as existing today would be regularised.

A mahapanchayat of villages along the Expressway had yesterday set August 5 as deadline for return of the five per cent land developed and threatened to stop construction work on housing projects if the authorities failed to meet their demands. The CEO promised to convey the farmers' demand for higher compensation to the state government.
Story First Published: July 26, 2011 11:41 IST

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