Thursday, December 20, 2012


Satellite towns are more expensive than metros!

The opportunities that the metropolises offer are often off set by the rising living expenses, which have a cooling effect on happiness level of the dwellers, in the long run. The exceeding household budgets often influence the middle class to head towards the satellite townships at the periphery of the metropolises as a destination for settling down. The entire concept of satellite was devised to reduce overcrowding of main metros and trim down migration to mega cities. However, the entire objective of city planning went down the drain, as government failed to provide a metro-like life style at an affordable price to the satellite towns’ dwellers. On the contrary, it’s the residents of metros who are finding it cheap to lead their lives in so-perceived expensive cities.

Gurgaon which was a barren wasteland till about 30 years ago and was developed to push corporate and executives out of the capital city, has surpassed Delhi in Consumer Price Index. According to Numbeo, consumer prices in Gurgaon are advanced by 12.52 per cent compared to Delhi. Consumer Prices including Rent is higher by 15.40 per cent, housing and commercial rent by 25.37 per cent and grocery prices by 13.35 per cent. The rent in Gurgaon is higher by miles. One BHK in the downtown that cost the buyer Rs.10,000 in Delhi would be Rs. 15,000 in Gurgaon, a gap of 50 per cent, while a same apartment in the interior is pegged around Rs.7,000 for Delhi and Rs. 9,500 for Gurgaon, the latter being up by almost 36 per cent. Even transportation costs more in Gurgaon with local transport being higher by 25 per cent and taxis by 42 per cent.

Delhi’s next neighbor, Noida, too is expensive on many criteria’s. The meals in a mid-range restaurant in Noida would cost about 30 per cent more than in Delhi. Some of the most important essential commodities in Noida exceed their cost in Delhi viz. rice (up by 33 per cent) and chicken (3 per cent). Thus the myth is busted that Delhi is costlier than its peripheral satellite towns, a major driver for migration into the dwelling units of those zones.

The picture in the greater Mumbai zone portrays a similar trend line. The Mumbai’s adjacent town Thane recorded an 11 per cent higher consumer prices than Mumbai, as well as higher grocery price by the same margin. The transportation cost difference is a massive 108 per cent in favour of Thane for local transports, 3 per cent for taxi fare, and 10 per cent for gasoline price. The higher Thane-Mumbai price ratio extends with higher electricity, cooking gas, water and garbage by considerable 59 per cent. These commodities are major differentiators in determining monthly household budgets. Navi Mumbai is even costlier than Thane. While the rate per square foot for 2 BHK flat in Thane costs up to Rs. 20,000 it is cut above in Navi Mumbai ranging up to Rs. 30,000. In Kolkata too, its Satellite town of Salt Lake is one of the most expensive localities and upcoming Rajarhat is the hottest real estate market with one of the highest appreciation of prices.

It can be ascertained that satellite towns, in no way, a cheaper sanctuary, rather a more costly prospect. This reason alone is silently casting a reversal of trend of what is called reverse migration. Disillusioned by the expansive budget that the middle-class households thought they would be able to curtail in outskirts of the metros – they are tiptoeing back to where they migrated from. As the goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. The government urgently needs to draft policies to reduce prices of basic commodities in all satellite towns or else damage would become irreparable!


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