Will Metro Drive Real Estate Demand In Nagpur?
Rates of property in several of India’s Tier-II cities moved upwards in the past half a decade even as prices remained unchanged or even declined in some major cities of the country after reaching a peak during the same period. Consequently, property in cities such as Lucknow and Patna stopped being as affordable as they used to be for the middle class. This, however, is not true of Maharashtra’s Nagpur, the third-largest city in the state after Mumbai and Pune. Between January 2016 and January 2019, in fact, rates of property in the city, considered among the greenest cities in Maharashtra, saw a slight decline to reach Rs 1,900 per square foot (psf) from Rs 2,800 psf, data available with PropTiger.com show.
This, however, may change soon enough with the city getting a Metro connectivity — Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 7 opened for public a 13.5-km stretch of the north-south corridor of the Nagpur Metro, comprising five stations from Khapri to Sitabuldi, through video conferencing. The stretch is part of Phase-I of the Metro project. This stretch will be open for public use starting March 8.
Road connectivity in the city is also set to improve significantly with the completion of the Outer Ring Road (ORR) project in the near future. Better utilisation of the MIHAN SEZ may also improve Nagpur’s chances as a real estate hub for investors.
Let us see how these major infra projects would change Nagpur’s position as a real estate hub.
The Nagpur Metro project, work on which started in June 2015, would be developed in two phases.
Phase-I: Under Phase-I, two corridors, the north-south corridor and the east-west corridor, would connect the four corners of Nagpur. Running a total length of 41.700 km, the two corridors will together have 40 stations and two depot stations.
The north-south corridor will run between Automative Square and Metro City while the east-west corridor will run from Prajapati Nagar to Lokmanya Nagar. To improve accessibility, feeder services have been included as part of the project.
Phase-II: Only last month, the Maharashtra government approved Phase-II of the Nagpur Metro project, and asked authorities to prepare a detailed project report. To be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 11,240 crore, Phase-II would further improve the Metro connectivity within the city, including the rural parts.
In this phase, five new stretches, comprising of a total of 35 stops and 48.3-km length, will be built in an expected time span of four years.
The stretches to be developed in Phase-II include Automative Square-Kanhan, MIHAN-Butibori, Prajapati Nagar-Transport Nagar, Lokmanya Nagar-Hingna and Vasudev Nagar Dattawadi.
Even though there has been a delay in work completion, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is well on its way to open certain stretches of the ORR for public use.
Running a total length of 119 km connecting the National Highway-7 (NH-7) (Nagpur-Jabalpur), the NH-6 (Nagpur-Raipur) and the NH-7 (Nagpur-Hyderabad), the proposed 84-km ORR will join close Kalmeshwar, Hingna and Butibori MIDCs upon completion. There is also a proposal to connect the ORR with the Amravati Road (NH-6), the Saoner Road (NH-69) and the Jabalpur Road (NH-7).
Apart from decongesting the city, the ORR would also improve the chances of the pockets that get a Metro connect.
MIHAN Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
Spread over an area of 4,354 hectare, the MIHAN project (multi-modal international cargo hub and airport at Nagpur) aims to convert the Nagpur International Airport into a major cargo hub, with an integrated road and rail connectivity.
Response by corporations to the zone that was formed in 2002 has, however, been lukewarm. Private estimates show only five companies were allotted 77 acres of land in the zone between 2017 and 2018 which amounted to an investment of Rs 53 crore only. By making investment in the zone more lucrative, authorities could make SEZ more profitable. The upcoming Metro connectivity will also be helpful towards achieving that goal.