Thursday, October 23, 2008

Death by real estate

The real estate feeding frenzy has reached a crescendo ...

The area behind Yogi Ramsuratkumar's ashram has been turned into a neo-Disneyland of garish, psychedelic houses (extreme pink and purple seem to be the colours of choice!) Plots of land in the outlying areas around Ramana Nagar are being sold at virtually New York rates ... How long will this sustain before the bubble bursts and the whole things implodes into a bad acid wasteland populated by sadhus from hell! Unlike the housing boom in the West which was fuelled by credit from the banks, Tiruvannamalai seems to be a vortex of black market monies. But this house of cards is dependent on more and more tourists renting property yearly - and with recession in the West and more visa restrictions will it continue?

The basic facts are that as more and more houses are built with bore wells as the only source of water, the water table drops to unsustainable levels. Local farmers have stopped growing rice and other produce and now just sell plots of land for development. But what happens when there is no more land left to sell and all the money has been spent on consumer goodies? We are looking at an ecological and social collapse of unprecedented proportions! ... And while all of this madness is going on we have Radha Ma devotees building pseudo-Egyptian temples which cost vast sums of money, all in the pursuit of self-indulgent vanity and ostentation.

There must be a parable in this because it's all going to come on top big time ...

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