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Mumbai Realtors hope for sea-change with infra boost

MUMBAI: With the Supreme Court clearing the way for execution of Mumbai’s ambitious infrastructure projects – the Coastal Road and Bandra-Varsova Sea Link (BVSL) – the developer community feels that it will bring about a sea-change in the land-starved city’s skyline.

A slew of  infrastructure projects will improve connectivity and decongest the prime locations of the city, said Abhinav Joshi, Head of Research, CBRE India.

Responding to a survey on the impact of the infrastructure boost on the realty sector, Joshi said it will also significantly impact the property prices in the vicinity besides giving a fillip to the demand for commercial and office spaces in the area. “Thus, these infrastructural developments can be a game-changer for the realty industry,” he said.

Joshi explained that the new corridor is posed to disrupt the entire Mumbai real estate market as it would be a shot in the arm for connectivity between the suburbs and the main commercial business district. It will reduce travelling time to 12 minutes from 60 minutes. Due to improved connectivity from the farther suburb, the crowded areas of Andheri, Chembur, Ville Parle are expected to be decongested and the excessive pressure on the express highways would be relieved

The survey conducted by bizbuzzindia.com showed that the City’s real estate market is gung-go over the coastal road and the new sea link projects, said the website director and real estate analyst B N Kumar.

Ashwin Sheth, Chairman and Managing Director of Ashwin Sheth Group, said the Coastal road, which is a 29.2km long freeway along Mumbai’s

western coast will reduce the travel time by 20 minutes and a vehicle taking the highway would save a third of the fuel daily which will in turn reduce the carbon footprint by 1,826 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. “Homebuyers will have more options while house hunting and with the upcoming metro lines, they will have access to every corner of the city,” he said.

Another project, the proposed Goregaon-Mulund link road, will cut down peak hour travel from Goregaon and Mulund from over 2 hours to just 15 minutes. Similarly, there are various projects undertaken by the government to improve connectivity that will decongest the roads, save travel time and make travelling faster and easier, Sheth said.

With the population now standing at 22 million, there is a need for expansion and newer markets to be integrated into one large metropolis. Infrastructure projects will seamlessly connect the zones together and fuel growth, Om Ahuja- Chief Operating Officer- Residential Business at K Raheja Corp, pointed out.

Ahuja appreciated the Maharashtra Government for its bold steps to develop the city of dreams. “When the island city became starved of space, the development shifted towards the North which gave rise to Navi Mumbai. In the late 80s and early 90s, the railway bridge connecting Mumbai and Navi Mumbai with suburban local trains was completed. In the years that followed, the railways connected Airoli with Vashi and Panvel with Mumbai which almost completed the picture. The new airport and the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) are expected to be game changers with the latter reducing the commute time between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai to 25 minutes, merging the two suburban zones into one megapolis. This planned haven is already an attractive proposition, and the future infrastructure developments being planned only make it irresistible, Ahuja said.

Shailesh Puranik- Chairman and Managing Director, Puranik Builders Limited, opined the road projects such as the Mumbai metro lines and coastal

road will make commuting much more easier and provide easy and comfortable access to the island city from the suburban towns.

Buyers will have more options to choose from as they won’t be restricted to certain pockets. Also, when an area is environed by top notch infra, it also enhances the value proposition resulting in property appreciation in the long term. This has certainly created a positive and bullish sentiment in the industry, Puranik said.

The under construction, he said, will reduce travel time between North and South Mumbai locations and is also expected to reduce traffic congestion on western express highway and S.V. Road. This will also be complemented with the various metro corridors such as Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan, Wadala-Ghatkopar-Kasarvadavali among others. The metro projects are expected to solve commuting woes and increase value proposition of the areas they are situated in. Residents will have the option of exploring more areas to suit their needs and budget for their dream home, he added.