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Chattarpur's real estate boom is now proving to be its biggest challenge
Millenniumpost.in  |  January 31, 2020

Piyush Ohrie New Delhi

No one understands the significance of real estate better than residents of Chattarpur. In an area which is the most preferred location in Delhi for farmhouses, an acre of land used to cost Rs 5 lakh per acre in the early ྌs, the prices today have increased exponentially and is valued at Rs 25 crore per acre. The trend of building in the farmhouses in the area began in the late 70's when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi built her farmhouse in the Andheria Modh area. The farmhouse was eventually sold-off. Not only Indira Gandhi but even her son Rajiv Gandhi also built his own farmhouse in Mandi village and still remains under the family's ownership.

 

A sudden spurt in villagers selling their land to farmhouse owners began in the year 1982 as most of them feared that their land would be acquired by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at much lower prices. Not only farmhouses but Chattarpur also had the largest temple complex in Delhi until 2003. The real estate boom in the area may be recent but Chattarpur area has a historical significance. Earlier a part of Mehrauli, Chattarpur became a separate constituency in 2008 under delimitation of constituencies. There are total of 1.84 lakh voters in which the male voters are 1.08 lakh and females at 76,388. With 42 percent vote share Gujjars remain the dominant vote base followed by Jats (17 percent), Muslim (8 percent). There is also a significant number of scheduled caste voters and refugees, especially from Sindh.

 

Twelve villages in the area namely Fatehpur Beri which is the largest village, Asola, Chandan Hulla, Dera, Bhati Kalan, Bhatti mines, Aya Nagar, Ghitorni, Mandi, Shahurpur, Jaunpur and Sultanpur.

 

Eight out of 12 villages is dominated by the Tanwar clan who have controlled the politics of the area and are followed by Lohia, Ambawatta and Khatana clans. The real estate of Chattarpur is now becoming one of its biggest challenges. In an area where once sugarcane used to be grown so that the jaggery can be produced today is facing the problem of depleting groundwater reserves.

 

A major reason for falling groundwater is the prevalence of tanker mafia who have dug up illegal borewells in the area so that the water can be sold to areas in South -West Delhi. It is also estimated that there are a total of 70 unauthorised colonies in Chattarpur. Not only does it also consist of financially weak but also financially well- off citizens. A large number of Sindhi refugees have been living in Bhatti Mines.

 

Over commercialisation of farmhouses have resulted in it being converted into lavish banquet halls and is a major source of noise pollution. With a large number of vehicles going to Delhi and Gurugram on a daily basis, there is also a problem with traffic congestion. What makes the matter worse for commuter is bad condition of roads, poor drainage systems.

 

In 2015 Kartar Singh Tanwar from AAP who began his professional stint as a junior engineer (JE) in Delhi Jal Board won with a huge margin by securing a voting percentage of 54 percent. He defeated Brahm Singh Tanwar from BJP who had secured 36 percent vote share. Despite the loss, BJP has again chosen the 67-year-old leader. Brahm Singh Tanwar began his political career in 1977 with Jana Sangha and has been in BJP through thick and thin. He was the MLA in 1993, 1998 and 2013. The Congress this time replaced the veteran leader Balram Singh Tanwar two times MLA (2003 and 2008) with Satish Lohia. Despite the presence of strong leaders voters of Chattarpur have not hesitated in the past to vote for the change.