The proposed plan to extend the Metro rail network from the National Capital Region to tourist hub Agra has set the realty sector abuzz with all and sundry anticipating a win-win situation. Will it be so … ?
The famous Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin’s oftused phrase: “Hunooz dilli door ast” (Delhi is still far away) may no longer quite ring true for residents of Agra as the government is considering a proposal to start work soon to connect the fast and efficient Metro rail network from the National Capital Region (NCR) to Agra.
Already a standout target in the Master Plan 2031, the Metro extension from Greater Noida to Agra, besides being an upgrade in transport facilities for commuters, may prove a boon for the development authorities as well as realty developers- mainly in the Greater Noida-Agra region. Confirming the plan, PC Gupta, chief executive officer (CEO), Yamun Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) told Realty & More: “It is at the conceptualisation stage at the moment. The DPR has not been made. It will be ta ken up after the Metro rail work starts on the Greater Noida route till Jevar by the first quarter of the next calendar year.”
“We have kept a provision in the 2031 Master Plan that Metro Rail will be extended up to Jevar in Phase-I and then it will be taken forward. It will also be necessary to expand the Metro link to Jevar, because the population of the area is estimated to beat351akh by then.
” Apart from the Greater Noida-Agra link, the Agra Development Authority (ADA) already plans to run the Metro in three stretches – Sikandara to Trident Hotel via Raja Ki Mandi; Sikandara to Gautam Buddha Park and Gautam Buddha Park to Trident Hotel. “The total length of these stretches would be 45 kms and the project is estimated to cost ~1 00 crore per km,” Udayee Ram, secretary, ADA, had recently said.
The YEIDA CEO added that while the first step would be to extend the Metro network to Greater Noida and then to J eva r, a lot of changes may take place during this time as the direction and manner of Metro extension would also depend on the population scenario in Agra as well as neighbouring places like Aligarh and Mathura.
With the extension of the Metro, it can be well expected that the realty market in both Noida and the adjacent areas will improve to a considerable extent.
“Connectivity is a vital factor for real estate growth. There could be a complete transition in the lifestyle with the development of the Metro link. The demand of the project located near a Metro station has always remained high in the city. The Metro linewill continue to maintain the investors’ interest and confidence in the region. It has created further buzz for those who already own properties in this area. It is even expected to serve as a factor driving more people to the Noida realty. Also it will increase property prices in this area,” said Dhiraj Jain, director, Mahagun Group.
“Once the Metro extension project up to Agra is finalised, it will be a win-win scenario for both real estate developers and buyers. We can expect to see a multifold appreciation in the real estate pricing for this region,” added Jain.
Developers also expect that the realty market may see skyrocketing prices once the project is approved. “People are already buying a piece of land or booking their properties in the launched projects,” said Kunal Banerji, director, marketing, Shri Infratech.
“Prices will firm up as we had seen in the past. Wherever the Metro has reached, demand levels have gone up,” said Gaurav Gupta, director, SG Estates.
Of course, many apprehensions remain with the delivery period being a moot point.
“First, it is only at the thinking level. Second, given the lax environment of implementation of such gigantic infrastructure projects and rising land acquisitions issues, expect it to be completed not before 2041,” said Banerji.
But even Banerji cannot deny to the huge economic potential. “This will significantly boost economic activities on the stretch of some 200 km between Greater Noida and Agra and real estate sector will be the first beneficiary of this process.”
By 2030, urbanisation in India is expected to double from its current levels. To accommodate this, it is imperative that new cities based on proper planning which are not only self sufficient but also sustainable are developed.
“We have seen from past experiences that wherever connectivity is improved by way of multiple transport modes, it creates popular residential destinations for the masses. There are many examples to support this like Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad which have emerged as popular residential hubs due to good connectivity. Similarly, slightly far-off places like Meerut, Agra and Bhiwadi will get a leg-up when there is something beyond roads, like rapid train or Metro links,” he added.
According to the Master Plan 2031, it is expected that the Yamuna Expressway area will have more than 35 lakh population. Will developers gain buyers’ confidence in their respective projects?
“It’s there already. The developers have come up with some of the finest projects on the Expressway. I am sure the people who are buying a property there will be a happy lot in the nearfuture,” said Banerji.
Another link that can further add impetus is the Bodaki (near Greater Noida}-IGI Airport Metro link plan which is expected to have just five stations and where developers are already eyeing a piece of the huge pie for their investments.
“We are developing an integrated township namely ‘Vedic City’ right on the border of Greater Noida. We are open to investment in other areas too: added Banerji.
Side-by-side with the Metro, highway traffic would also undergo a changing pattern. Said PC Gupta, “The Taj Expressway is an axis-controlled expressway, the objective of which is through and through traffic, in which you go till Agra once you start from Point Zero, whereas Metro rail will halt at every kilometre. So till Jevar it will have more than 40 stoppages, while on the expressway, there are two cuts going down before Agra. So once you are up on the expressway, you will reach Agra. Metro will cater to the population that will come up along the expressway. So these two are two different classes we are talking about”.
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