Thursday, April 23, 2009

Real Estate market on upswing in Laputta

Laputta (Mizzima) – In the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, a new satellite town is being built beside the Myaungmya-Latputta Highway, about three miles away from Latputta. Currently, the real estate business is on a upswing in this area.

Earlier, it was reported that these new plots would be distributed to victims of the Cyclone Nargis, who had lost their houses. However, the local authorities of the Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) are reportedly selling the plots to affluent people, and as a result the local real estate market is doing well.

"Previously we had heard that these new plots would be distributed to the cyclone victims. Now they have said that anyone can buy these newly developed plots,” a local resident from Laputta told Mizzima.

Accordign to him, each plot is worth about Kyat 1 million (USD 833) and in some key areas it could fetch up to Kyat 1.5 million (USD 1250). We have learnt that some plots have already been bought for Kyat 1.5 million from the local TPDC authorities, the local said.

The place, where the new town is being developed is about three miles from a former cyclone victims' relief camp. Only the main thoroughfares and side lanes have been built in the area.

The real estate market has been high in Laputta town after Cyclone Nargis lashed the area in early May 2008. The departmental offices and NGO offices from Rangoon are pouring into this area for relief work, causing the rent of office buildings and the prices of plots into a sharp rise.

A grocery store owner from Strand Road in Laputta town said, "I bought a 50'x60' plot on Strand Road for Kyat 2 million [USD 1,666], about four years ago. But after the Cyclone, the price has shoot up and some even offered Kyat 8 million [USD 6,666].”

“Recently, a person from Rangoon offered me Kyat 12 million. The plots at key locations are in high demand as many buyers from both local and other places are trying to buy them,” he added.

In order to please their bosses, the local authorities of Laputta TPDC have issued orders to the owners of cyclone-hit dilapidated houses, to renovate their houses with plank walls and zinc coated CI (corrugated iron) roofing, but most of the owners were unable to abide by their order, as they were odd job and menial job workers.

"How can we build these houses? We are mere daily wage earners and menial job workers. There were not many supporters of the people living in Laputta town area and low income earners like us after Cyclone Nargis hit our region,” a local resident living at No. 7 Ward at the entrance of Laputta town said.

“They regarded only rural people as the cyclone victims. We told the local TPDC office that we could not renovate our houses as they instructed and asked them to build new houses for us. Then this order ran out of steam," he added.

The Tripartite Core Group (TCG) has asked for funds for the reconstruction work in the cyclone-hit region, but the availability of the donation is delayed.

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