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Heading north

The Virar-Dahanu suburban rail link, which will open by June 2010, will help the city expand further north. The long-promised Churchgate-Dahanu service will become a reality, putting on the fast track residential real estate and commercial development in Palghar and Dahanu talukas.

mumbai Updated: Dec 16, 2009 01:17 IST
Rajendra Aklekar

The Virar-Dahanu suburban rail link, which will open by June 2010, will help the city expand further north.

The long-promised Churchgate-Dahanu service will become a reality, putting on the fast track residential real estate and commercial development in Palghar and Dahanu talukas.

With direct trains between Churchgate and Dahanu, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region will get better connectivity and eliminate the need to change trains, which is necessary now if you travel beyond Virar.

Several builders have lined up projects already and much of the land along the highway has been booked by construction groups and government organisations. The price of land between Virar and Dahanu ranges between Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,700 per square foot — a rise of 20 to 30 per cent from before the announcement of the project.

However, there is land still available between stations.

The Rs 55-crore project will also expedite development of the rural belt. Within five years, predict railway officials, the Virar-Dahanu belt will resemble the Vasai-Virar stretch in terms of development.

“Improved connectivity is always good. The project will decongest the Borivli-Virar stretch, which is getting densely populated. There have been projects along the periphery of the city; the rail link will boost the entire process,” said Pranay Vakil, chairman, Knight Frank India, a real estate consultancy.

Among those setting up projects in the area is Tata Housing, which launched a low-cost housing project near Boisar, offering 1,000 homes priced between Rs 3.9 lakh and Rs 6.7 lakh.

Railway officials are confident that the technical work will end this month, while the trial runs will take some more time. The 60-km Virar-Dahanu stretch has seven stations between the two junctions — Vaitarna, Saphale, Kelve Road, Palghar, Umroli, Boisar and Vangaon.

However, Ajay Chaturvedi, CEO of Accommodation Times, a realty trade magazine, felt the rail link won’t have much of an impact. “It should have been done five years ago. Local infrastructure is not developed. Just because a train is going there doesn’t mean there will be an immediate difference.”

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