While the 135 km long Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway coming up may spell good news for those travelling from Kundli and Sonepat to the international airport, it also spells money for investors, as the area is slated to become one of the most popular locations after Noida and Gurgaon.
Constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1800 crore, the KMP Expressway will have facilities like a trauma centre, helipad, parking lots, refilling stations, refreshment centres, police stations, a car wash and the usual recreational facilities. And what with the government laying emphasis on developing the region as an education hub, interest has also been evinced by a number of multinationals from the IT, ITES and education sectors.
The plan is to set up top-class universities in the 2,000 acre Rajiv Gandhi Education University with an emphasis on IT, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology.
Says Ravinder Taneja, MD, TDI, "All the leading developers are excited about KMP project. Ever since the Expressway project was announced, a major boost was provided to the real estate sector in the area and we are particularly impressed by the pace at which the development is happening. Now with a cloverleaf interchange at the intersection of the Expressway and NH1 at Kundli being approved, all residential and commercial construction activities in the area will happen at a fast pace.
The development of 1,200 acres for a residential project: TDI City in Kundli is also getting off the ground and we plan to further speed up the process as habitation is expected in the area by the end of 2008."
In the meantime proposals have also been made to take the Metro Rail to Faridabad, Bahadurgarh and Kundli covering all the border links with Delhi. The Government of Haryana intends to set up a Rajiv Gandhi Education City - the Knowledge City - on an area of approximately 1500 acres in the Sonepat-Kundli Multi Functional Urban Complex along the National Highway No. 1. The site almost touches the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Western Expressway.
The project, expected to be complete by June 2009, is witnessing construction at a tremendous speed. According to a recent report, the HSIIDC has acquired more than 99 per cent of the land so far and transferred it to KMP Expressway Limited, the company that is constructing the Expressway. The development of this Global Urban Corridor will not only give real estate an impetus, but it will also see the growth of Special Economic Zones (SEZ), independent townships/cities, Industrial Model Townships (IMT), food processing units, financial hubs, tourist resorts etc. The government and private players hope that this will not only boost investor confidence globally but will also provide a world-class living and commuting experience.
Navin M Raheja, Managing Director, Raheja Developers Pvt. Ltd says, "This Global Corridor will be a link between western and northern India. All manufacturing goods from north India will be transported via the Expressway.
Being close to Delhi, it will be a hub of business activity particularly because many large format multi-product SEZs are planned here. Hence property prices near the Expressway will increase tremendously over the coming years.
"However, we also wish to inform readers that a one-km belt on either side of the KMP is an HSIDC controlled zone, so if you are planning to buy any land there kindly take an No Objection Certificate from HSIDC before finalising any deal."
Unlike the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, which does not have any pedestrian crossings so far, 62 pedestrian crossings have been proposed during the initial stage for the Kundli-Manesar- Palwal Expressway. Keeping the villages along the Expressway in mind, 32 agricultural vehicular underpasses and 31 cattle crossings have also been planned in addition to 27 underpasses proposed at the village cross. An approval for two truck parking lots and four bus bays and four railway over-bridges for hassle free traffic movement is being sought from the Ministry of Railways.
"This Expressway will touch the National Highways at four points ensuring the best connectivity. It will throw open unprecedented opportunities to develop economic hubs at strategic locations along the way. As it passes through areas of the NCR that are currently developing, it will serve as a catalyst for growth and will lead to greater development in Sonepat, Jhajjar, Gurgaon, Mewat and Faridabad districts through dynamic connectivity with Delhi and the NCR," says Amit Khaneja, Vice Chairman, Collage Group.
"After the success of "Dabchick" by Haryana Tourism, more such projects will be built near the Expressway. Farm tourism will have scope for development and will definitely be explored by governments.
The KMP Expressway will benefit tourists being close to the Golden Quadrilateral," feels Avneesh Sood, Director, Eros Group.
There is no doubt that opportunities for the development of commerce in areas like Bahadurgarh and Badli. Kundli, a major business hub, will see major developers like TDI, Ansals, Parsvnath, Omaxe come up with mega residential and commercial projects.
The story has a familiar ring when one looks at the Rai-Kundli Multi-Functional Complex, which has an Export Promotion Industrial Park and a Food Park. Likewise a town called the Ch. Devi Lal Industrial Model Township in Manesar near Gurgaon is being developed over an area of about 5000 acres. This has already become the destination of many MNCs like Denso, Honda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Duracell.
Besides the proposed SEZs to be set up along the Expressway, three new industrial model townships (IMT), apart from the one at Manesar, are to be developed during the next five years.
The real dampener right now is the movement of actual users to these places on the KMP Expressway. Though a lot of infrastructure is proposed, all of it will take time. The problem is that homeowners are yet to start construction and apartments are also in the early stages of construction in almost all projects.
However, the construction of the Expressway has sent property prices northwards. A couple of years ago land rates in Kundli were Rs. 25-40 lakh per acre, today they stand at Rs. 2-3 crore per acre. In Bahadurgarh, the rates were Rs. l3-18 lakh per acre, now they are Rs. 50-90 lakh per acre. In Manesar, prices have shot up from Rs. 20-25 lakh per acre to Rs 1.10-1.40 crore. The story is the same in Palwal, where land rates have risen from Rs 14 lakh per acre to Rs 45-80 lakh per acre. And once the Expressway becomes functional, these rates are expected to double!
So even while developers wait for tenders and anti-SEZ protests take place the future for the investor and the end-user still seems bright!