grabbed the attention of investors,” adds Sharma.
The approximate average range of residential flats today across the city is at Rs 2,600 to Rs 6,000 per sq ft. There are high-end options available in different pockets of the city starting from Rs 8,000 per sq ft.
Land is rarely available within the city are available aplenty outside the city. The land in some areas is as low as Rs 500 to Rs 600 per sq ft. The average land cost in the city is in the range of Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,000 per sq ft. In several high demand and fast developing areas the asking rate has shot up in the range of Rs 2, 500-Rs3,000 a sq ft.
A Ray of Hope
With the primary focus on cleaning the Ganga, residents can hope to have piped supply from the holy river into their homes.”Cleaning of the Ganga will get pure drinking water in the houses, which are currently getting it through private bore wells dug in a most haphazard manner across the city,” says Vijay Kumar Singh, another Varanasi resident who is now employed with a nationalised bank in Mumbai.
“Electricity is another issue. One gets it for an average of 4-6 hours daily. How can one expect to grow with that? The Ghats need repairing and beautification, which in turn will get more tourists and pilgrims bringing more revenue for the city,” says Yadav.
Lack of roads and bridges, adequate sanitation, mushrooming of houses and industrial units without any plan, pollution are the other problems.
“If the proposed ring road is developed, then Varanasi will expand. There are also 60 flyovers planned within the city, connecting the banks of the Ganga, which will also impact the real estate market,” says Ram Raheja, Director, S Raheja Realty, whose project is slated for completion next year.
There are three reasons for Varanasi to be on the path of the overall development fuelling real estate momentum as well. One, the pro-development and pro-infrastructure-growth tilt of the new regime, secondly, the BJP, with its sights set on the UP state election must prove their commitment for development.
With Varanasi being the Prime Minister’s constituency, expectations are high that development plans that are currently stuck would get going with an emphasis on speeding essential infrastructure development.