New Airport In Kerala To Bring In Good Times For NRIs, Businesses & Realty
Despite the fact that the southern state of Kerala had four airports, pilgrims who came to visit Sabrimala still had to travel several miles to reach their destination; this included walking on foot, too. This is going to change after the state gets its fifth international airport near the pilgrimage site. However, it is not only the pilgrims who would be benefiting from this new airport in the state.
The Union Cabinet has given an approval to build the Cheruvally Estates Airport in Kottayam. Spread over 2,263 acres, the new airport is supposed to come up 48 km from Sabrimala and near two national highways.
Who will benefit?
As per the The Kerala Migration Survey 2014, the total number of emigrants from Kerala stood at 23.63 lakh. In 2011, the number stood at 22.81 lakh. Even in 1998, 13.62 lakh people had gone abroad for work and settlement. The emigrating populace consists of people across income segments with family and relatives in different pockets of Kerala. While the existing Cochin International Airport and the Trivandrum Airport did bring in respite for many who had homes near these places, the new airport will provide connectivity to farther off areas such as Pathanamthitta.
Take the case of Victor Idiculla, who lives in Ranny. To fly from the Cochin airport or the Trivandrum airport, he would first need to use road transport. To travel the 120-km journey to both the airports, over three hours would be spend in a bus. For emigrants or those visiting family on a vacation, taking public transport is not an option since it becomes inconvenient to travel with heavy luggage. On the other hand, in the absence of standardised public conveniences (Uber does not ply across all towns in Kerala), cab drivers charge exorbitantly. The upcoming airport will likely change all that.
Impact on property
Many areas in Pathanamthitta boast beautiful and luxurious homes but property values have remained stagnant. Rental values are mostly a dismal number. For example, a 4BHK may just fetch you Rs 4,000 per month if you are lucky. This was mostly because of lack of easy accessibility and the low level of job creation. Most residents found it way too lucrative to fly out of the state.
K Mathew Itty narrates his story.
“As an NRI, I had issues travelling from Konni to Cochin just to catch the flight. So, in 2005, I bought a house in Cochin so that I could spend my time with parents in Konni. By the end of the vacation, I would go stay closer to the airport. Property rates had sprung up in Cochin back then, especially after the airport opened up, a blessing for so many who were working abroad. Now, the game is different. Students, single and married professionals fly in and out because transport is easy. At the same time, the prospect of such locations also improved manifold after these developments.”
Thiruvalla-based broker Shyam Das of SD Property Management says: “The real estate potential of remote locations is going to be visible now. Many areas in localities such as Ranny, Erumely, Konni, etc., are very scenic. The airport in this area would also open up many other avenues of work – hospitality, travel and tourism, etc. The concept of homestays and short-stay homes would also garner popularity. This is also because most of these areas have aged residents with large homes who would love to rent it out to genuine people.”
Also read: An Inside Story Of Housing In Kerala