To a new urban sprawl — Dwarka expressway | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

To a new urban sprawl — Dwarka expressway

Mar 04, 2024 05:46 AM IST

The Dwarka expressway, a central government initiative in Gurugram, has transformed into a microcity with rising property rates and luxury housing segments.

On a cold, windy afternoon, a frigid draught buffets Vijender Singh’s face as he stands on the balcony of his flat on the 14th floor of a high-rise in Gurugram’s Sector 102. The retired Delhi government official spends a lot of time here with his wife, soaking in the weak winter sun, but today, he is looking at the Dwarka expressway — a mammoth central government initiative that dominates the horizon.

The Dwarka Expressway in Gurugram’s Sector 102 in February 2024. (Vipin Kumar/HT photo)
The Dwarka Expressway in Gurugram’s Sector 102 in February 2024. (Vipin Kumar/HT photo)

“It’s much more of a magical sight at night, when the entire expressway and the urban sprawl around it is lit up. We moved here from Rohini four years ago, and we have not regretted our decision,” he said.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

“It’s is more than just a highway — it has spawned a whole new microcity.”

The 29-km Dwarka expressway will connect Dwarka in Delhi to Kherki Daula in Gurugram. The Gurugram section is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 11. The 9,000 crore project is being built in four packages —two in Delhi, and two in Gurugram.

According to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials, around 99% of the work in the Gurugram leg of the expressway has been completed, while around 90% of the work in the Delhi segment is complete.

The area around the expressway is lined with high-rise apartments, gated communities, and plush condominiums, and many like Singh perceive this self-contained urban sprawl to be one of the most desirable housing destinations in Delhi-NCR.

Real estate prices along the Dwarka Expressway have doubled
Over the last five years, property rates along the expressway have almost doubled — Singh’s 2,800 sqft apartment, which he bought for 2.5 crore in 2017, is now valued at over 4.5 crore.

“Roads are today the lifelines of human settlements, much like rivers were in the past. They spur commercial and residential development because they provide connectivity, accessibility, and visibility,” said Akash Hingorani, a Delhi-based urban designer.

Sectors around the expressway have emerged as the biggest micro market for the luxury housing segment in Delhi-NCR thanks to a demand from the people who seek an updated lifestyle, said Ashish Rai, senior vice president at Square Yards, a real estate marketplace that also provides data intelligence.

“Over the last 10 years, about 45,000 units have been launched along the Dwarka expressway between sectors 99 and 115, with close to 20,000-22,000 units already delivered. The current average property prices are about 15,000 to 17,000 per sq ft in the luxury segment. We anticipate a further appreciation of 10-15%, when the expressway is fully operational,” he said.

“Soon, the expressway will witness the launch of branded residences in the uber-luxury segment.”

A road long delayed

In 2006, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (since renamed as the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran or HSVP) planned an 18-km long stretch between Kherki Dhaula and Najafgarh Road as an alternative to NH-48.

Then known as the Northern Peripheral Road (NPR), the project spawned numerous real estate ventures by the early 2010s. By 2014, however, only 16.6km of the project was constructed, with work on key stretches at Kherki Dhaula and Bajghera halted due to litigation.

Subsequently, the Haryana government in 2016 requested Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari to take over the project and execute it through NHAI. The project was then transferred to the central agency in 2017, which decided to extend the Dwarka expressway to the Shiv Murti near Mahipalpur in Delhi.

Challenges going forward
However, the project saw further hurdles, including issues related to tree transplantation and coordination problems between the Haryana and Delhi governments regarding land acquisition. Finally, the Prime Minister’s Office intervened in November 2018, leading to the eventual handover of land by both states for the pending 10-km section.

Property rates along the expressway, meanwhile, fluctuated in tandem with the status of the expressway. For example, software engineer Rakesh Kapur in 2012 bought a flat in Sector 109 at a price of 8,000 per square foot, but by 2017, the price plummeted to 5,000 per square foot.

The tide once again turned around 2019, when construction work on the expressway resumed in earnest, leading to a resurgence in property prices. “I thought I had made a huge mistake by buying a home near the expressway, but thankfully, the prices have increased remarkably in the past four years,” he said.

A new suburb rising

As one drives along the yet-to-be-completed expressway, one sees new shopping complexes, malls, hospitals, and schools, along with new billboards that proclaims that “A new Gurgaon is rising.”

Around 15 years ago, when the expressway took shape as the NPR, only a limited number of real estate firms began housing project along its periphery — DLF, Ramprastha, and Vatika were among the first. Today, however, almost all major real estate developers in the country, such as Sobha, Tata Housing, Godrej Properties, and Shapoorji Pallonji, among others, have projects along the expressway.

“The demand for housing in areas close to the expressway far outstrips the supply, driven by its strategic location, connectivity, and emerging state-of-the-art infrastructure. The expressway has become a magnet for those seeking a modern, luxurious, integrated lifestyle. Out of the 10,000 flats delivered in Gurgaon in 2023, about 6,000 are along the expressway,” said Pradeep Aggarwal, founder and chairman of Signature Global (India).

Signature Global launched its first project along the Dwarka expressway in 2014, and has since delivered several housing projects across various categories. “We are currently focused on the mid-segment; most of our buyers are salaried first-time buyers,” Aggarwal said.

Also Read: Delhi-NCR's real estate market: Here's why rich Indians are lapping up luxury properties

Unlike about four years ago, when the lands on both sides of the expressway were vast construction sites, today many apartment buildings are occupied. These residents comprise individuals from Delhi seeking respite from the growing congestion in the Capital, as well as young professionals from Gurugram aspiring for upgraded lifestyles.

“Many societies are 80% occupied in sectors such as 102, 108, and 109,” said Praveen Malik, the vice-president of United Association of New Gurugram, a confederation of housing societies.

What authorities have planned

The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is working to upgrade master roads in sectors adjoining the expressway to ensure a smooth commute for residents.

The body’s chief engineer, Arun Dhankhar, said GMDA has already started work on upgrading the Sector 114 A outer road, master sector road between sectors 102 and 102A, the road between sectors 106 and 103, and the master road between sectors 106 and 109.

Also Read: EaseMyTrip co-founder buys commercial property in Gurgaon worth 100 crore

“We will also soon take up the construction of service roads on both sides of the expressway, along with other amenities, and an approval for the same is expected soon from the state government,” he said, adding that around 80 crore is being spent on master sector roads, and an additional 95 crore will be spent on service roads along the expressway.

Dubai dreams

The Haryana government is also developing Global City along the expressway — a massive business district that state officials say is the “largest and most advanced” in NCR.

Also Read: Gurugram Metro: Here are the sectors which may see the maximum price impact

Spanning approximately 12 million square metres of built-up area, the project will encompass offices, residential towers, retail spaces, hospitals, schools, centres for innovation, spaces for start-ups and incubation, as well as hospitality and cultural zones.

It will feature a 6-km contiguous green corridor, and a large water body acting as both a lake and a water conservation structure. A multimodal transport system, including a dedicated Metro line interconnected with the Gurugram Metro system, will ensure seamless connectivity.

Also Read: DLF flat in Gurugram sold for 95 crore. Here are the details

According to officials, the roads, electricity, and sewage systems have been designed to meet world-class standards, with a single utility duct housing the entire infrastructure, akin to Gift City in Gujarat.

“The work on the project site for development of phase one trunk infrastructure has already started, and we expect it to be completed by the end of 2026, but it might take six more months as it is a large and complex project,” said Yash Garg, managing director of Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC), which is the nodal agency for the project.

Benchmarked against similar international developments in Dubai and Singapore, the city will offer a live, work, and play ecosystem with balanced residential, commercial, and social facilities, said Garg. It will feature a centralised surveillance system with intelligent traffic management and monitoring systems, alongside a centralized command and control centre, ensuring sustainability.

“There is also no bar on high-rise buildings, and developers can build a Burj Khalifa-like structure, but they will have to take necessary clearances from the authorities concerned. The floor area ratio (FAR) being offered on plots is around five to six, which gives enough leeway to the developers to construct what they want,” he said.

Public vs private transport

Amid these massive projects, however, transportation remains a sticking point.

“There is no public transport to speak of, and most people are forced to use their own vehicles, which could, in the years to come, lead to massive traffic congestion,” said Malik.

Hingorani agreed, saying, “In most Indian cities, public transit corridors are an afterthought, though they should be considered first. We need to understand that urban expressways promote car use and get choked over the years in the absence of mass transit systems.”

RD Singhal, general manager of the mobility division at GMDA, said that enhancing transportation facilities along developing sectors and the expressway is a key priority for the authority.

“We are soon going to get 100 electric buses from the central government, and some of these will be deployed in the developing sectors along Dwarka expressway, and also between Gurugram and Delhi. We have finalised the routes, but we need adequate number of commuters in these areas to make the bus service viable. All these issues are being looked into,” he said.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Delhi. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and more across India. Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Manoj Sharma is Metro Features Editor at Hindustan Times. He likes to pursue stories that otherwise fall through the cracks.

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Abhishek Behl is principal correspondent, Hindustan Times in Gurgaon Bureau. He covers infrastructure, planning and civic agencies in the city. He has been covering Gurgaon as correspondent for the last 10 years, and has written extensively on the city.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 30, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On