PM Flags Off Phase-I Of Ahmedabad Metro, Lays Foundation Stone Of Phase-II
Linking all the prominent areas, Phase-I of the Ahmedabad Metro was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 4. The new route will open for public use on March 6, running between Vastral and Apparel Park.
Additionally, Modi also laid the foundation stone for Phase-II of the Metro that will link Gandhinagar with the main city. The Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro Link, once completed, will be the second-most costly infrastructure project that would boost the city's prospects for commercial development. The entire Ahmedabad Metro project is scheduled for completion by 2020.
SPV: The project is operated under the special purpose vehicle, known as the Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA).
The phases: There are four phases planned under the MEGA. Of these, Phase-I will consist of two routes. The North–South Line, which will connect Motera Stadium with Gyaspur, and the East-West Line connecting Thaltej with Vastral Gam. Other phases will connect Gandhinagar, the airport and the GIFT City with the main city. The connectivity will become operational in a phased manner, starting with 6.5-km long stretch connecting Vastral area with Apparel Park.
The timeline: The Metro route is partially funded by Japanese agency and the Central government. The Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro will be up and running by 2020. Till December 2017, Rs 3,058.35 crore have been spent on the Metro rail project. According to the statement released by the Gujarat state government, the construction of six stations as well as laying of tracks and installation of signalling system is already underway on the 'priority reach'.
The connect: The 37-kilometre Phase-I Metro route would cover all the important hubs of the city along with some tourist hotspots such as Sabarmati Ashram, Motera Stadium, etc. A part of the route which will pass through old areas and will be constructed underground, while the rest of the path would be elevated.
The skywalks: The MEGA is also planning skywalks in different parts of the city to help commuters reach the Metro rail facilities with ease. These skywalks are planned at Ashram Road, Jalaram Mandir Crossroads, Sabarmati Raillway Station and Vadraj.
Understanding Ahmedabad real estate
Ahmedabad is one of the affordable cities for housing, comparable to Hyderabad. Owing to its growth to the buzzing IT and manufacturing sector in the western part of city and education sector to the north, Ahmedabad real estate market has a very active rental market as well where investors are earning attractive monthly rentals from the migrant population working in the city. In fact, the popularity of areas such as SG Highway, Satellite, Bopal grew when some of the multi-national companies come up to set up their base in these areas. Today is the time, when these areas are considered to be some of the posh pockets of Ahmedabad where average property price in Rs 8,000 per sq ft. Going further West is Tata's manufacturing plant which gives employment to the semi-skilled workforce, a potential segment for affordable housing projects.
The presence of some of the reputed colleges in the North Ahmedabad, near Motera makes it a popular region for students. The city has a vast population of foreign students as well, making paying guest accommodation more popular in this part of the city. Several affordable housing projects from local but reputed developers have come up here. Since the infrastructure in this part of the city is still developing, there is a large scope of price appreciation as the amenities get in place.
Ahmedabad's Ring Road has been another corridor for real estate growth as it has connected all the leading hubs with each other. The smooth connectivity of other regions with the commercial hub in the West Ahmedabad has pushed affordable housing demand to the further areas lying across Ring Road such as Sarkhej, Thaltej etc. The cluster development model along the Ahmedabad ring road has also been adopted by other states.
Impact on real estate
The Ahmedabad Metro will connect all the prominent commercial areas with one other. With the arrival of the Metro, daily travellers on the otherwise-congested routes of the commercial city will benefit greatly.
The main business districts of Ahmedabad, including Manekchawk, Ashram Road and CG Road, would be connected to the housing hubs in the east, the west and the north part of the city via the Metro network. Currently, these routes are crowded during peak hours.
The main housing areas such as Paldi, Narayanpura, Vasna, which witnessed the highest number of new launches in past two years due to high demand, will expect price appreciation as the Metro infrastructure inches closer to operational date. Currently, the property prices in the area ranges from Rs 5,000-6,000 per sqft. There are over 25 projects near Paldi and 70 projects near Narayanpura that would be ready for possession in next 12-15 months.
Areas such as Naroda and Thaltej will also profit greatly from the arrival of the Metro. Rates of property in Naroda, an area lying towards the east of the Ahmedabad, would appreciation as the East-West Corridor would get operational. Several new projects are coming up in this area.
Currently, Thaltej has over 67 ready-to-move-in projects while more than 10 projects are currently under construction. Currently, property prices here ranges between Rs 4,000-5,000 sq ft which are likely to appreciate once the Metro gets operational.
Another area that is expected to benefit from this connectivity is Rabari Colony. There are 33 upcoming projects around the area, offering units starting Rs 14 lakh. Other areas such as Vastral, New Maninagar, Amralwadi are also witnessing new project launches due to availability of land and redevelopment of old homes.
As the old commercial areas are getting saturated, areas lying across SG Road are new CBD of Ahmedabad. With prime offices, hotels, retail malls and auto majors coming up in the close proximity, there would be multiple Metro stations in 5-km radius.
Another benefit that Ahmedabad would get from Metro connectivity would be ease of commute for students studying in the Gujarat University, the Gujarat Technical University near Motera and IIT-Gandhinagar in near future.
After demonetisation, the number of new project launches dropped while home sales took a hit in Ahmedabad. Profit margins of developers only thinned with the arrival of new regulations as confusion persisted. Now, with a Metro line, the real estate hub of Ahmedabad will get a new lease of life.