Great commuting infrastructure is a boost for real estate as has been proved all over the world. For Gurgaon, however, the story is different with the mismanaged Delhi-Gurgaon expressway and its toll plazas dampening the region’s realty growth.
In the National Capital Region (NCR), it is quite clear that people do not mind living on the city’s periphery and the far-off suburbs if given an effective and fast commuting option like the Delhi Metro.
Likewise, the 27.5-kilometre-long Delhi-Gurgaon expressway ideally would have been the lifeline of the area. But, five years since it became operational in January, 2008, the ill-conceived expressway toll plazas — at Sirhaul near Ambience Mall and Kherki Daula near Haldiram — have become major hurdles on the way of rapid urbanisation and realty boom.
“We have three properties along National Highway-8. The Delhi-Gurgaon expressway can turn out to be a new growth engine for realty if the two toll plazas, which unfortunately are not managed well, can be done away with,” said Harinder Dhillon, senior vice-president, Raheja Developers.
Access to a slew of residential and commercial properties coming up in and around Manesar — on the upcoming Northern Peripheral Road, also known as the Dwarka expressway, and the Southern Peripheral Road — is greatly hindered by the Kherki Daula toll plaza.
“The tolls act as a great practical as well as mental blockage for people to buy property as these have become commuting barriers. It will help if the toll plazas are moved out of the city,” said Brigadier (retired) RR Singh, director general, National Real Estate Development Council.
The traffic scene on the expressway is apparently putting off long-time residents as well. Alok Darshan, associate vice-president with a prominent IT firm, has recently bought a property at Bhiwadi in Rajasthan, some 40 kilometres from Gurgaon.
“While zeroing in on properties, I realised that the Kherki Daula toll plaza was a big impediment for commuting. I have pinned my hope on the upcoming Pink City flyover to give respite to my commuting woes,” said Darshan who presently resides in Gurgaon and drives down to his Noida office braving the toll plaza jams at Sirhaul every day.