Uttrakhand, located in the geologically young Himalayan belt is an active seismic zone -5 (highest degree of danger), prone to earthquakes, landslides, avalanches and hailstorms. Given its riverine topography extremely vulnerable to flash flood, state had witnessed man-made disasters and natural calamities in four of the past seven years. Yet there is no effective disaster risk management plans put in place.
Himalaya one of the youngest fold mountain systems in the world is known for its poor soil stability in its steep slopes braided with gigantic rivers of high sediment carrying capacity, often plays havoc in its course. So Government can’t stop Ganga from flooding, but it can effectively prevent people getting washed away by the flood by putting effective mechanisms in place. Apart from the stability of soil in the region, other reasons the experts quote are – the unbridled expansion of the hydro-power projects and myopic construction of roads in the Himalayan region, to match up with the demands of ever increasing traffic in the area.
The tourist influx multiplied to 5.4million from 2.1 million in 2002- led to sudden mushrooming of large number of resorts and guest house, some of them were dangerously constructed on the banks of the river disturbing the river ecology. To attract more and more tourists the ecologically fragile and religiously sacred sites in the state began to empower it with every kind of luxury which ultimately clogged the ecosystem.
The uphill areas have virtually been dazed and any thought of real estate activity would be stretching things a little too far. The impact has been negative even in the mid level areas where people are now keeping their hands of any real estate activity fearing for the worse.
While such a negative impact on the real estate market in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand is quite natural, real estate experts believe that the negative sentiment would be short lived as the area still offers a very good long term growth prospects. The state capital of Dehradun on the other hand has thankfully not been adversely affected by the rains or floods and the market sentiments remain strong. Dehradun is witnessing a good growth period in the residential real estate segment. Since the city has limited open space due to the forest reserves, property prices in Dehradun are likely to increase in the near future. Also since more and more people are investing in Dehradun as a holiday destination close to the hills, investing in Dehradun is bound to give you substantial returns in the long term. The average property prices in Dehradun for residential apartments are in the range of Rs. 2500 to Rs. 3000 per square feet.
The flash floods and the massive large scale destruction have made people aware of encroaching natural landscapes. The forest cover in Dehradun is unlikely to be altered that may trigger a good upside for the existing land and real estate projects. Dehradun is well connected to all parts of the country and is considered to be one of the safest cities due to its location at the foothills of the Himalayas.