Tossed-Out $20 Tenants Turn Millionaires in Mumbai

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Residential buildings sit at Napeansea road in Mumbai, India. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

By Pooja Thakur on June 25, 2012

 

Thousands of rent-controlled tenants in Mumbai paying $20 a month, and often less, are being turned into millionaires by developers tearing down crumbling colonial mansions to build luxury towers for the rich.

South Mumbai, including a stretch of prime land hugging the Arabian Sea, has about 500 dilapidated stone structures dating back to the early 1900s with a potential redeveloped value of about $40 billion, according to Pujit Agarwal, managing director at Orbit Corp. (ORB), a Mumbai-based developer that derives about 80 percent of its revenue from redeveloping old buildings.

“For generations, most tenants were living a hand-to-mouth existence, barely making two ends meet,” said Agarwal, whose firm is one of around 75 vying to oust Mumbai’s rent-controlled residents. “Now, with redevelopment, these tenants have become multimillionaires overnight as capital values of the properties they occupied soared.”

Home prices in Mumbai have climbed to a record 10,833 rupees ($200) per square foot, doubling in three years, according to Liases Foras Real Estate Rating & Research Pvt, a research company based in the city. Continue reading

India Weighs in on New York City’s Challenge to Rent Control Law

 

Opinion letter on theNew Delhirent control law, from Shobha Aggarwal of the

Public Interest Litigation Watch Group in New Dehli, India. Aggarwal believes that “One would endeavour to ensure that property owners of the world should unite because they have nothing to lose except their pittance-paying tenants.