Growth Corridors to Boost the Realty Market

Apr 25 2015 : The Times of India (Mumbai)

Various growth corridors planned along the MMR, would boost the property market in nearby areas
To boost employment opportunities around Mumbai, the Maharashtra government has planned several growth centres in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which will be smaller versions of the Bandra-Kurla Complex, along the alignment of the project. The plan is now ready for the first such growth centre in Kalyan. Sanjay Sethi, additional commissioner, MMRDA, said, “Many people travel long distances to work in Mumbai. When these business hubs are developed in the MMR, the far-flung distances between workplaces and homes, will be reduced significantly. At present, we are ready with the plan for Kalyan. Subsequently, other areas will be taken up.“

These centres will have a combination of business centres as well as residential areas.

The growth centres which would be developed as a business hub, will have a well-developed transport system, smart city facilities and necessary infrastructure for housing, to attract investors.

Ramesh Nair, COO business and international director, JLL India, said, “This is a good step in this regard and it follows in line with the principle of de-centralisation of economic activities and creating alternate work centres for Mumbai locations that are facing infrastructure issues.

It can help thousands of res idents of suburbs and ex tended suburbs, to shorten their commuting distance and time and can help the city in dealing with the pressure on its infrastructure. However, care should be taken that this new growth centre acts in a complementary and not conflicting manner like was happening with Mumbai's erstwhile DP's proposal of higher FSI in transit corridors, facilitating further densification of Mumbai city.“

Brotin Banerjee, MD and CEO, Tata Housing Development Company, said, “Mumbai will always remain the most favourable real estate destination, with a large annual inward migration of job aspirants into the city. This has created a huge demand for residential properties, resulting in an exponential increase in land prices. With improving connectivity, homebuyers are increasingly looking at Mumbai's suburbs and peripheries for living options.“

The plans are to develop these growth centres with a specialised function such as the Pen-Alibaug region, which is planned to be a logistics hub connected to the Jawaharlal Nerhu Port Trust. The Greater Panvel area would be home to research and development, aviation logistics and could be used for meetings, conferences and exhibitions due to its proximity to the new airport.

It further proposes that the Greater Kalyan area can be a centre for information technology, biotech, chemical industry and a business hub linked to Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Bhiwandi will emerge as a complex of the clothing and textile industry, while Vasai-Virar is suggested to be developed as a tourism hub and a quality residential area with the belt currently having a negligible developable land size.It is however, the Pen-Alibaug area which has the biggest developable land size, available at 62.4 sq kms. Bhiwandi, according to the report, has 32.7 sq kms, Kalyan has 28.1 sq kms, and Panvel has 15.2 sq kms.

According to Hariprakash Pandey, vice-president, finance & investor relations, HDIL, “Development of growth centres among various points on the Virar-Alibaug Multimodal Corridor (VAMC) such as Kalyan, Vasai-Virar, Bhiwandi-Panvel and Alibaug-Pen, will give a major boost to the development of these regions. The VAMC and regional centres are going to complement each other. The regional centres are going to power the VAMC and convert it into a strategic trade and commerce hub of the country that is well-connected to the Navi Mumbai International Airport and JNPT.Every growth centre is proposed to include a business hub and a smart city with improved infrastructure and transport network.“

To woo investors, the MMRDA plans to incorporate smart city features such as public WiFi networks, an integrated CCTV camera network, smartparking system, and solar lighting applications. The MMRDA has also started working on a plan to develop a stretch in Kalwa as a business hub and connect it to other hubs in the MMR. The growth centres are expected to bring in new investments and job opportunities. As people working in a growth centre will prefer to stay nearby, it will reduce the distance between home and office and will help in the decongestion of the city. It will give an enriched lifestyle to people living there. Commercial development and smart cities, will evince a lot of demand for quality property. The development will have a huge influence on the development of property and property valuation in these places. Prabhat Ranjan, CMD Olympeo Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, averred that the “Creation of new business districts in a planned manner, in large areas, will have a far-reaching consequences on the manner in which the city would grow. The development of BKC by the MMRDA has resulted in the shifting of the CBD to the heart of Mumbai “
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