The Skyline of Gurgaon has undergone a transformation at an unprecedented scale
Today when I climb on to the fourteenth floor of a pent-house in an area that used to be nothing but scrubland or even farmland that could be accessed only on foot or the tractor, I can’t help but muse about how this once sleepy town has undergone a rapid transformation! And if I said all that in one breath, then it is as an expression of wonder and amazement for this town said to have been once upon a time the home of Guru Dronacharya!
These Nilgais were seen in the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. Unfortunately their habitat is threatened by the development taking place in Gurgaon!
Gurgaon is about 22 kilometres from Dhaula Kuan in Delhi. It is forty-two kilometres from the North Campus of the Delhi University, and about 26 kilometres from the New Delhi railway Station. Gurgaon is placed strategically on the way to Jaipur. Jaipur incidentally is about 200 kilometres from Jaipur and another 200 kilometres from Agra, the town that has the famous Taj Mahal. Gurgaon is also home to the famous Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. Another place 22 kilometres from Gurgaon worth visiting is the Damdama Lake.
Today, Gurgaon continues to be the most sought after destination for those who want to invest in real estate, whether it is plots, bungalows, villas, flats and penthouses. A decent three bedroom flat that would have cost Rs 20/-. Lakhs in the 1990s. today costs a good Rs. 1 crore! Similarly a basement with a gym, a swimming pool, a home movie theatre and a ground floor with three bedrooms would cost Rs.3 to 4 crores in the newly built form in some of the posh localities. An entire bungalow including the basement, ground floor, first floor, and second floor would cost you a good Rs. 13/- Crores. Thrown into the bargain is the home theatre seating eight, the swimming pool, terrace gardens, burglar alarms with sensors attached to the plate glass windows, a dedicated server room which operates the the Diesel Generator Set the C.C.T.V cameras, cooling and the main gate which is electronically, and remotely operated. All this in a plot measuring 360 square yards. A six bedroom flat with large bedrooms and equally large bathrooms an Jacuzzis would cost you an upward of Rs.12 Crores!
Looking at the price of some of the residential properties in Gurgaon, it seems as if recession has beaten a hasty retreat from Gurgaon. Apparently, some of the reasons why Gurgaon continues to be an important real estate investment destination is its proximity to the Airport in Delhi, its good connectivity in terms of roads, railways, and of course the metro. With the coming of the Rapid Metro, the proposed Pod-Taxi service, and the Dwarka Express way, property prices are bound to leap sky-wards! Gurgaon fairs better than the other satellite cities in the National Capital Region because of its better infrastructure, better security, and yes the crowd is better too! A large number of Multinational Companies have shifted base to Gurgaon, and it is also fast becoming an IT hub in the region.Gurgaon is today home to a large number of Malls including one which has one which has more than one kilometre of shopping space on each of many floors!
In many cases, the boom in the construction industry has given employment to a large number of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled work force. The need for construction materials like cement, torsion bars,tiles, bathroom fittings, kitchen fitments for modular kitchens, security systems, diesel generators…etc has lead to a correspondingly favourable market for raw materials. However, this boom in the Real Estate sector has also lead to a few problems like vanishing forests and green areas, drying up of water body systems, increasing pressure on infrastructure, pressure on natural resources, and an increasing migratory or in-transit population. While the building societies on the outskirts of Gurgaon get what is seemingly preferential treatment, old Gurgaon however languishes! Congested roads, power-cuts, and sewage getting mixed in the water supplied by the Municipality are just a few of the woes faced by the residents of old Gurgaon. The victims of this rapid phase of the urbanisation of Gurgaon have been the good old Sparrows, Vultures, Eagles and Turtle Doves. Guess the birds shown below are on their way out, looking for greener pastures!
Sights of this kind will soon be forgotten, camels have been replaced by Jaguars!
This little bird is one of the victims of development in Gurgaon. Photographed in Jajhar a few kilometres away, one wonders whether it might not have been driven away from Gurgaon!
It seems surprising how fast the sleepy town of Gurgaon has transformed itself into one of the modern towns of India. labelled as the Millennium city of Haryana, and therefore India, it commands more importance than Sonipat, Kundli, Faridabad and other towns of Haryana. One can only wait and see how the Government is able to maintain a proper balance between development and the need to conserve nature. It is important today to see that Nature is not harmed by the development taking place in this city! It is important to ensure that greed doesn’t surpass our responsibility of preserving the sanctity of the ecosystem of the region. Skylines may change, but then we need developers who care for the Environment of the City and take pro-active steps to protect the flora and fauna of the region!
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