AHMEDABAD: At a time when developers across the major property markets of India, such as Delhi and Mumbai, are complaining about poor infrastructure, Ahmedabad is probably the only major city where developers are not. With the government focusing on investment and improving infrastructure, Ahmedabad and other cities in Gujarat, like Vadodara, are poised to grow vertically, as well as horizontally.
Large projects, including the proposed Special Investment Region (SIR) at Dholera, the Petroleum, Chemical & Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) at Dahej, the Gujarat International Finance-Tec City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar, the Metro-link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) are poised to transform Gujarat’s industrial scenario. These developments are expected to have a positive effect on the real estate sector, as well.
The state has also approached the Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) for urgent intervention to expedite projects worth Rs 1.1 lakh crore, promoted by top Indian and global companies, such as Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Shell, Essar Group and Adani Ports. These projects have been awaiting environmental clearances from the centre for over three years.
The expansion plan for RIL’s marine operations at Jamnagar (worth Rs 8,800 crore), the Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway (worth Rs 19,000 crore) and investments in the DMIC (worth Rs 43,000 crore) are among the projects waiting for a green signal from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). These are some of the initial list of 17 projects for which the state is seeking a fast-track resolution with the MoEF.
From a real estate point of view, the importance given to roadways in Gujarat is noteworthy. The state has completed 18 road projects worth Rs 2,081 crore and six projects amounting to Rs 2,925 crore are under implementation. It has four projects in its pipeline and an equal number in a bidding stage. On the urban development front, as many as ten projects worth Rs 3,600 crore in various sectors are under bidding stages. The state has completed six projects worth Rs 1,408 crore and the government is also likely to undertake 20 projects at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore in the coming years. In the aviation sector, the state has envisaged six projects worth Rs 2,500 crore.
Dhaval Ajmera, director of Ajmera Realty & Infra, maintains that real estate growth and infrastructure development are two sides of the same coin. “The realty market in Ahmedabad is witnessing change. From apartments and townships, the focus and demand has slowly shifted to villas, second homes and rowhouses. This inevitable change has given the city a feel of luxury living,” says Ajmera.
Sam Chopra, chairman of RE/MAX India opines that Ahmedabad has planned development, unlike other cities in India.Ahmedabad has very good storm water drainage, future-ready ring road system, award-winning bus rapid transport system (BRTS) and stable power supply, among a host of other things that provide a solid foundation for growth. “Ahmedabad will need investments in public transport. It is on track to get MEGA-the metro train, which will link BRTS and the regional rail network. Apart from infrastructure, Ahmedabad needs a good IT industry, to make it a truly metropolitan city,” explains Chopra.
Government data shows that 13 projects are waiting for clearance under the coastal regulation zone norms. These include Adani Ports and SEZ Limited’s Rs 9,000-crore project to construct a crane roll-on jetty at Mundra, a Rs 2,800-crore project to double the capacity for importing liquefied natural gas at the Hazira LNG terminal owned by Shell and Total and similar port expansion plans of Reliance and Essar worth over Rs 16,000 crore. The pace of development is likely to receive a major fillip, once all the infrastructure projects are cleared on a fast-track basis. The real estate markets in Ahmedabad and Vadodara have not reached a peak where saturation is imminent. Analysts, therefore, are bullish on these property markets.