Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remote villages catching the fancy of real estate investors

Distance and lack of connectivity are not stumbling blocks

— PHOTO: A. MURALITHARAN

NEW LOCATIONS: Villages are beginning to attract real estate activity. A view of Oorapakkam village.

TAMBARAM: Far from the maddening crowd might be rephrased as “further away…” considering the long distances that people seeking land for building houses and for investment are willing to travel.

Real estate activity, which till a few years ago was restricted to places with good transport connectivity has now spread deep into remote locations and obscure villages.

Villages beyond the southern suburbs of Chennai are witnessing frequent visits by property buyers, apart from small-time and leading players in the business.

And making the most of it are owners of ancestral property who are willing to sell portions of it for princely sums, and the mediators who facilitate these deals.

For instance, villages around Guduvanchery, Urapakkam, Padappai and Maraimalai Nagar are witnessing real estate activity that was, till some years ago, seen only in urban pockets around Tambaram.

With the Grand Southern Trunk ensuring a round-the-clock road network, and adequate suburban electric train services between Tambaram and Chengalpattu, villages not far from railway stations on this sector have become ideal destinations for the middle class and salaried sections with restrictions on their budget to purchase a plot. And today, houses have begun to mushroom in Kayarambedu, Madambakkam and Petumaattunallur near Guduvanchery, Iyanchery and Adhanur near Urapakkam and also in some villages near Maraimalai Nagar and Singaperumal Koil.

Guduvanchery, Urapakkam, Maraimalai Nagar and Singaperumal Koil are well connected by Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses and suburban electric train services and the issue of transport is addressed to.But an important problem faced by new settlers in such villages is inadequate transport services to link their localities with the railway stations and bus stops.

“But it hardly matters to us as most of us have arranged our own mode of transport,” said C. Arumugham, 38, working in a private company and a resident of Madambakkam for about four years now.

But for those, especially, elders who depend on public transport, access is a crucial issue.

And nearly all the new settlers in these places come to work in Chennai and distance hardly counts as long as they have an independent house nestled amidst clean and neat environs.

For many families like Mr. Arumugham’s who have purchased plots in villages that are a few kilometres away from the nearest railway station, distance hardly matters.

Even in rural local bodies such as Mannivakkam and Urapakkam that has become one of the favourite destinations for home seekers, basic amenities are far from satisfactory.

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4 comments:

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