In Three Years Rent Has Tripled For Some Of The Poor

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   (2012-07-03 00:00:00)

If autorickshaw drivers and domestic help are demanding excess fare and salaries, it may not be entirely because of the rising fuel costs.

A survey conducted by The Hindu in five lower-income neighbourhoods has revealed that house rents in some cases have gone up by 300 per cent in just three years.

Five middleclass neighbourhoods too were surveyed and these areas have also seen a substantial rise in rents during the same period.

However, the blow appears to have been cushioned this class as people have also seen some increment in salaries in the last three years.
Income freeze

Respondents from the poorer neighbourhoods, employed in the unorganised sector, claimed that their incomes have remained largely unchanged.

Some in this income group claimed that they have actually suffered a fall in their income and lost jobs.

The middle-income neighbourhoods surveyed are V.R. Puram, G.M. Palya, Jayanagar, Ulsoor and Pillanna Gardens. Respondents in this category earn between Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 30,000 a month.

The lower-income neighbourhoods are Tilaknagar, G.M. Palya, V.R. Puram, Jayarajnagar and Tannery Road. Those surveyed earn less than Rs. 10,000 a month.
Steepest hike

Of the middleclass areas, Pillana Gardens, off Tannery Road, saw the steepest hike in rents.

The lowest hike here was 40 per cent and in several cases, rents have gone up by 118 per cent in three years.

Jayanagar too saw steep hikes in the same period with the rise ranging between 25 per cent and 60 per cent.

At V.R. Puram, the rents of a few houses doubled in this period.

Sangeetha Kukreja, a schoolteacher, was paying Rs. 5,000 as rent at Pillana Gardens for a two-bedroom house three years ago, a figure that has gone up to Rs. 7,500 now.

But she has seen a hike in her salary, which was Rs. 20,000 earlier and stands at Rs. 25,000 now.
Tilaknagar rents

With its narrow roads, overflowing drains and poor water supply, Tilaknagar saw the most shocking rise in rents of the lower income areas surveyed.

For instance, Ansar Khan, a porter, who used to pay Rs. 600 as rent for a 150-sq ft dwelling three years ago, pays Rs. 2,500 a month now.

He claimed that his income has actually gone down from Rs. 10,000 a month three years ago to Rs. 8,000 now.

In the same area, brothers Samiullah and Farooq Khan, who make plastic bindis, saw their income fall from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 8,000 a month.

But the rent of the house they share went up by over 200 per cent from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000 a month.