Dwarka Expressway, the much awaited project has got some forward movement recently. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has identified alternative land for people whose plots were on the Dwarka Expressway. Land is being acquired in Gurgaon’s Sectors 37C and 110 A for rehabilitating the people who will be uprooted after the construction of this expressway.
Developers like ATS, Puri Constructions, Sobha, and Ramprastha, who have significant land banks on the expressway, have formed an informal consortium and are visiting the area regularly to track its progress; they have also been lobbying with the government for expediting the construction of the expressway.
Puri Constructions, which launched Diplomatic Greens at Rs 6,500 per sq ft (now quoting at Rs 10,000 per sq ft) and is launching newer projects like Emerald Bay in Sector 104, has a lot of stake in the expressway. Arjun Puri, director of Puri Constructions, says: “Look at how National Highway 8 has become the nerve centre of growth. Once the 150 metre wide Dwarka Expressway comes up, which is exactly double the width of NH- 8, you have to just wait and watch to see the way the area takes off.” On the status update of the Dwarka Expressway, Puri says that out of the 18km of the expressway, work is going on at good speed on 14km. Of the remaining 4km, 1.2km has been earmarked for a railway overbridge, which leaves only 2.8km in litigation. “The case pertains to 222 plot owners who bought land at the rate of Rs 15,000 per sq yard here and whose plots are coming in the way of the expressway; they have to be given alternative location and that land acquisition is now being done,” Puri says.
Currently, nearly 19,000 units are in various stages of construction on the expressway and these projects are by reputed developers like Raheja, Mahindra Life Space, Sobha, Indiabulls, BPTP, Puri Construction, M3M, Emaar MGF, CHD Developers, etc. Shveta Jain, executive director (residential services) of Cushman & Wakefield, says: “Most of the projects are expected to be completed in phases by 2015-16, in line with the completion of the expressway, which will give proper connectivity and access to residents. Currently, not a single project has been completed along this stretch, but there is still substantial buyer interest with very healthy transaction rate. Last year saw an increase in the number of new launches, especially in the second half with most projects catering to high-income buyers. As per the past market trends, Dwarka Expressway is expected to register the same growth trajectory that Golf Course Road and Golf Course Extension Road have witnessed.”
Dwarka Expressway stands between Dwarka and Gurgaon, in profile as well as literally! A majority of these developments on the expressway can be classified as good-quality mid-end housing for middle and upper-middle class with 10% being high-end housing for high-income buyers.
The amenities provided by most developers are better than those in ready-to-move-in apartments in Dwarka and are quoting 30-40% lower than comparable housing units in the prominent locations of Gurgaon.
Shveta Jain of Cushman says: “The emergence of new micro markets like Dwarka Expressway presents opportunities for both middle-class and uppermiddle class buyers, with budget in the range of Rs 3,500-7,500 per sq ft, to invest in residential real estate for end use and capital gain in Gurgaon.”
The problem that plagues this area is the delay in completion of the very backbone of this place, the Dwarka Expressway. “It is true that issues like land acquisition have become a hindrance in the growth potential of the real estate market on both sides of Dwarka Expressway,” says Ajay Aggarwal, MD of Microtek Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. The firm has a project, Microtek Greenburg, in Sector 86, and has land banks in Sector 103 (for a group-housing project) and in Sectors 81, 95A, and 104 (for commercial development).
Aggarwal vouches for the potential of this area: “The property market on this stretch has seen phenomenal price appreciation, about 206% in the last five years – it was quoting at Rs 2,329 per sq ft at the end of March 2009 and is now selling at Rs 7,121 per sq ft by the end of March 2013. Furthermore, the industry expects 25-30% annual growth over the next few years and this itself speaks for the potential of this area.”
“The completion of Dwarka Expressway has been delayed due to court process on some parcels of land,” Nikhil Jain, CEO of Ramprastha Group, says. “As of now, the 6-8 lane black-top road has been built on the ground.” The forthcoming expressway will resolve many hurdles. Dwarka Expressway will help decongest NH-8, particularly near Delhi-Gurgaon border toll plaza, which has seen unprecedented traffic growth.
It will connect the western parts of Delhi to Gurgaon and, perhaps, reduce travel time from Delhi to Gurgaon. The place is also expected to have a Metro line, which would run parallel to it. Also, the expressway will pass through Palam Vihar and the planned special economic zones, thereby enhancing the connectivity of the residential and commercial projects to other prominent nodes of the NCR. Given the increase in the number of companies operating out of Gurgaon and the limited availability of mid-segment residences in Gurgaon and Delhi, Dwarka Expressway will emerge as an attractive alternative location for end users. The other obvious advantages of this area are proximity to the IGI airport, Delhi Aerocity, and the forthcoming Diplomatic Enclave in Sectors 26, 27, 28, and 29, which will house various embassies.
But disgruntled end users who have invested with the hope of staying here, say that the whole thing seems like a distant dream. The expressway is much behind schedule. Even after it comes up, which will take a minimum of two-three years, it will take another few years for supporting physical and social infrastructure to come up in the area. As an end user, one is interested to know when he can start staying there and still its out of question that the area will become livable in the next five years at least.
The only silver lining to the cloud is that the land acquisition and rehabilitation process has been kick started. One can hope to see the Dwarka Expressway in the medium term.
Alok Kumar Upadhayay