Prices of properties in Dehradun and Mussoorie in Uttaranchal have shot up with big players like Parsvnath, Ansals and DLF looking for land in these tourist attractions. Though the property rates in the twin towns had shot up soon after Dehradun was named the new capital of Uttaranchal in the year 2000, the increase in prices in recent months has been stunning.
According to Anil Pandi, who is in the real estate business for almost 30 years, cost escalation has been almost fifty times in some cases. "I have been dabbling in the property business for almost three decades but I do not remember having witnessed such a boom. A plot of land which was available for Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000) in Dehradun now costs Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million). This is the kind of price increase that we are seeing now," he told rediff.com.
Builders from Kaushambi and Vaishali in Uttar Pradesh who specialise in building malls have also jumped into the fray and the first such mall is coming up in Dehradun on Rajpur Road in the heart of the city.
"Prices of the land in the suburban areas of Dehradun too have jumped up at least ten times. It is difficult to buy a land here because 62 per cent of Uttaranchal is forest area," Pandi said.
The ban imposed by the Supreme Court two decades ago on any new construction in Mussoorie has saved the quaint tourist attraction from becoming a concrete jungle, but it has also added to the difficulties for the people who wanted to construct their houses for personal use.
"Because of the ban, over 3,000 persons like me are waiting for the Supreme Court to lift the ban so that we could construct a house for ourselves. I have been living in Mussoorie since childhood and I bought a piece of land when I could afford it. Before I could start the construction, the ban came into being. We have now moved the Supreme Court to lift the ban for construction of houses for personal use because our families have expanded in the last three decades," said Naresh Aggarwal, who is in the wholesale business.
But the ban has not prevented big real estate players from buying land in the region in the hope that the ban would be lifted sooner or later giving them the opportunity to cash in on the shortage of land and sell posh apartments to those who can afford them.