VIJAYAWADA: Realty business that rode on speculation over the location of AP's capital claimed its first victim in the city on Tuesday when a real estate agent, who made millions in a short time, hanged himself after he gambled away all the wealth in land deals.
Uppala Vijay Kumar, 38, had invested heavily in real estate around Nuzvidu town in Krishna district as the word spread soon after the assembly polls in May 2014 that the capital of the residuary Andhra Pradesh would come up in the vicinity. The incident created ripples in the real estate circles in the CRDA region where speculative realty has become the norm post state's bifurcation. Scores of realtors had suffered huge losses in the region even as some others made a fast buck.
Kumar, who began his career as an employee in a real estate firm, struck it rich thanks to the hefty commissions he used get in big land deals. With realty prices soaring in Krishna-Guntur region post division, Kumar started his own real estate company and invested his wealth in land around Nuzvidu. He also borrowed money on high interest rates and struck deals with local farmers.
Kumar's dreams were, however, short lived as the state government preferred to build the capital on Tulluru-Mangalagiri-Tadepalli belt abutting Vijayawada city. The real estate prices in and around Nuzvidu took a nosedive overnight pushing Kumar into a deep debt. With no sign of increase in realty prices, Kumar, who had been under tremendous pressure to repay loans, decided to take his life, the city police said.
Real estate sources said Kumar, who had 15 years of experience in the field, offered 'fancy prices' to farmers around Nuzvidu town with the hope of making a fast buck once the capital city comes up there. He paid huge advances to several farmers. As he could not pay the full money for registration within the promised three months, he reportedly lost about Rs 5 crore paid towards advances.
The police said Kumar had committed suicide when his wife and two children were away. He stayed in a flat at Ramavarappadu in the city. The deceased realtor was a native of K Kannapuram village near Eluru in West Godavari district, but shifted to the city 15 years ago to join a real estate firm at Gannavaram.
Police registered a case of death under suspicious circumstances after Kumar's financiers gathered at his house and vented their anger.