AHMEDABAD: A number of reports by the business bodies have suggested that there has been an increase of business and economic activity between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in the last few years. The reports, however, fail to acknowledge the fact that the pace of the real estate developments has been even faster in the two states.
Another set of economic theory suggests that within Gujarat also, there has been uneven economic growth with certain pockets having a much faster pace of development than others. Is there a contradiction in the two different schools of economic theory? Definitely not, there is rather a correlation between these findings. After all, these are the locations that have been benefitted by one common factor which has brought a major change in the region and the realty analysts in these locations understand the strategic positioning and importance of this common link.
The growth along these regions has also speeded up the pace of urbanisation and more and more new locations are flourishing. This common link is the National Highway 59 or in popular parlance NH 59. A closer look, however, also suggests that the pace of development for quite some time defied the potential that these locations had but the highway of prosperity seems to have turned the dynamics of economics of the region and property market of the locations in and around the highway.
NH 59 is one such national highway that connects Ahmedabad in Gujarat to Indore in Madhya Pradesh. This route is further stretched from Indore to Raipur in Chhattisgarh and to the last end Gopalpur in Odisha. It covers a distance of 1,735.5 km (1,078.4 miles) of which 221 km (137 miles) is in Gujarat, 129 km (80 miles) is in Madhya Pradesh and 438 km (272 miles) is in Odisha. It has eased the difficult journey from Ahmedabad to Indore to a large extent. However, more than that, it has created many new markets which have benefitted due to this highway.
In Gujarat alone, there are nine zones which have benefitted by NH 59, both in terms of thriving economic activity as well as the real estate developments. These are- Ahmedabad, Kapadganj, Sewalia, Tuwa, Godhra, Sant Road, Piplod, Limkheda and Dahod. Before the completion of NH 59, some of these markets were not high on the radar of real estate developers because the travelling was a nightmare. Even though, being strategically located, many of these areas could not evolve as real estate investment magnet. However, the scenario has completely changed in the last few years and it seems NH 59 has been a catalytic force to ignite the economy of the region in general, and the real estate developments in particular.
Stressing over the strategic importance of NH 59, Manan Choksi, regional director, RE/MAX MGM, says, “This route connects Gujarat with Madhya Pradesh and is very much useful for all the import and export business between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, as the nearest port is Kandla and Mundra which are accessible through this route. However, I feel more efforts should be taken for the fast track growth of property market along NH 59 in Gujarat. The quality of road is very bad and safety is also an issue. So, quality should be improved.
There are not enough opportunities along NH 59 in Gujarat for the growth of realty market as of now. The prospects for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are also not very high with the present infrastructure.”
Sachin Nigam, president and business head, CRISIL Real Estate Ratings, maintains, “NH 59 is of great significance for Gujarat. The development of Pithampur-Dhar- Mhow investment region of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) will provide much needed economic impetus to region and it is expected to positively impact the demand for real estate in Gujarat as well in the medium to long term.”
“Additionally, NH 59 in Gujarat passes through Naroda GIDC which is an industrial park having national and multinational corporations in the field of petrochemicals, FMCG, textiles and engineering. Due to the large industrial base in Naroda, New Naroda is being developed along the NH 59 where numerous residential development schemes have already been announced by various real estate developers. Also, the BRTS route stretching up to Naroda is expected to further improve the connectivity to this region and increase the demand,” adds Nigam.
The analysts assert that the prospects of the real estate market are more than what has been explored till now. According to them, concerted efforts should be made for the fast track growth of property market along NH 59 in Gujarat. The industrial development could be given further impetus on this stretch and development of more clusters on lines of Naroda GIDC should be facilitated. The stretch could get additional fillip through increased investment and focus on developments through public private participation (PPP) model across various spectrums of projects like transit oriented development, creation of tourism nodes along the stretch, affordable housing and so on.
The land prices in the region along the stretch of this highway have naturally gone up substantially in the last five years, as the potential of the region and pipeline visibility are driving the real estate developers to this part of the world. If that sounds like a clichéd glory of land value in and around any other highway, it would be easy to vouchsafe that probably no other highway is as much higher on the wish list of the developers from the two states. Analysts still maintain that due to poor maintenance of the roads, the real potential of the region has not been explored as yet. There is a general consensus that once the pressing infrastructure issues are addressed and the macro economy improves a bit, the bullish sentiments will make the region in and around NH 59, a gold mine for the real estate activities.