Tribune News Service | Tikri (Udhampur), Sept 24
The four-laning of the 65-km Jammu-Udhampur highway has led to a big boom in real estate along the stretch. The prices of land are spiralling due to the opening of big commercial complexes and government institutions.However, the highway widening has affected the livelihood of hundreds of small shopkeepers and vendors, who lost their source of livelihood due to their land holding coming in the way of the projects.With the projects such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jammu; Rs 120-crore Jambu Zoo project on 5,000 kanals of Wildlife Department’s land at Khanpur and commercial houses like Barkada County and Punjabi Haveli coming up, the prices of land on the stretch have sky-rocketed.Influential people have managed to buy large chunks of land along the highway in Jagti. Some of them have even set up their commercial establishments, slowly leading to a hustle-bustle in the area.Once a sleepy village, the biggest boom in real estate has been witnessed in the Jagti area due to coming up of two major projects — IIT and Jambu Zoo — and its easy accessibility to Jammu city. Locals are either not selling their land or demanding anything between Rs 4 lakh to Rs 7 lakh per marla (one marla is equal to 270 sq feet).“No doubt, the four-laning has made travelling on the highway easier and smooth but it has cast a shadow over the livelihood of small shopkeepers and vendors as they lost their land to the projects for a meagre compensation. Now, the rates along the highway have zoomed and they are unable to set up new ventures,” Madan Mohan, former sarpanch of the Jajjar Kotli panchayat, said.He said local residents were paid a compensation at the rate of Rs 2.5 lakh per kanal (one kanal equals to 5,440 sq feet) at the time of land acquisition in 2013-14 but the rates have increased several times and the people are not ready to sell their land even at Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per marla now.The former sarpanch said not only commercial land seemed to be out of bound for many but the upper the middle class was also finding it difficult to cope with the increasing prices for residential land in the interior areas.Yash Paul Sharma, former sarpanch of the Tikri panchayat, also flagged the same concerns, saying “the business activity of small shopkeepers has come down drastically. Now, they are struggling to revive their shops. Earlier, the people used to sell their land holdings in kanals but it is difficult to get even a single marla land on the highway. The per marla rate is anything between Rs 4 lakh and 4.5 lakh, that too, is not easily available.”The former head of the Mand (West) panchayat, Surjeet Singh, said since the completion of the Jammu-Udhampur four-laning project in March 2015, a sudden jump had been witnessed in land prices. “Though no major commercial house has set up its venture in our area, a good number of shops and dhabas are coming up along the highway,” he said.
Jagti area wakes up to realty surge
- Once a sleepy village, the boom in the real estate sector has been witnessed in the Jagti area due to coming up of two major projects — IIT and Jambu Zoo
- Locals are either not selling their land or demanding anything between Rs 4 lakh to Rs 7 lakh per marla
- Local residents were paid a compensation at the rate of Rs 2.5 lakh per kanal at the time of land acquisition in 2013-14 but the rates have increased several times now and the people are not ready to sell their land even at Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per marla