Metro and monorail: A boon for Mumbai suburbs
Dec 06, 2013
Source : The Times of India


MUMBAI: P Nagarajan, a resident of Andheri, is upbeat about both, the monorail and the metro project, even though the projects have been delayed. For many like him residing in the suburbs, these projects are going to make life much easier. According to property analysts, these projects are being envisaged as game-changers in terms of connectivity and will reduce both, traffic congestion and commuting time.

Once the metro and monorail projects are implemented, it will ease the traffic problems in the city and will come as a major relief for residents, especially those residing in the eastern suburbs, who spend half their time travelling to and from the railway station.

The Chembur-Wadala monorail section, which is India’s first, is set to be operational in the coming months. The travel time between Wadala and Chembur will reduce by 21 minutes after the monorail is complete. The 19.54-kms monorail corridor is the world’s second longest after Japan’s Osaka corridor, which is 23.8 kms. Six rakes will be pressed into service for Phase I. Once they are operational, the trains will run every nine minutes between Wadala and Chembur.

There are seven stations in the first phase – Wadala, Bhakti Park, Mysore Colony, Bharat Petroleum, Fertiliser Township, VN Purav-RC Marg and Chembur. According to Manju Yagnik, vicechairperson, Nahar Group, “Today, the local trains are the lifeline of Mumbai. However, they are burdened too much due to huge traffic and passengers. The arrival of the metro and monorail is going to make life hassle-free for the residents. The Versova-Ghatkopar line of the metro rail will provide a vital east-west link and will reduce travel time from 90 minutes to just 20 minutes. With India’s first monorail route, the Chembur-Wadala route is expected to be operational soon. A huge amount of real estate development is likely to take place along this corridor.”

Even Dilip Kawathkar, public relation officer, the MMRDA, shares similar views, as he says, “In the case of the metro project, which is going to connect Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri in the first phase of the 11.4-kms elevated track, the connectivity between the eastern and western suburbs will provide much-needed relief to commuters. Currently, the journey on clogged roads is made tedious by the numerous traffic jams.” Also, a consultant has been appointed to study the corridor of the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd metro, which is going to be constructed underground, instead of an elevated one and be extended to Dahisar.

Surendra Dewan, a property consultant in Chembur, explains, “If you are an investor, it makes sense to keep track of these plans and act in time, before property prices in areas that the project will connect rise. Locations that will gain from it are, Andheri, Ghatkopar, Chembur and Wadala, which have already seen a decent jump in property prices.”

Talking about the metro project, Ashutosh Limaye, head-research and real estate intelligence service, Jones Lang LaSalle India, informs, “The first phase of the Ghatkopar-Versova link is supposed to become operational this year. In the eight years since the project was announced, prices in many areas that will benefit from the link have risen by as much as 400 per cent.”

Expectedly, the monorail project has already driven up the real estate values.Property analysts anticipate that after the monorail gets operational, prices in these localities and in areas falling on the Chembur-Wadala stretch, such as Tilak Nagar, Kurla, Chunabhatti, JTB Nagar and Wadala Junction, will appreciate by a minimum of 20 per cent.

“We believe that both, the metro rail and monorail will have a great impact on the infrastructure development of the area. They will reduce traffic congestion and make the city smaller,” states Shailesh Puranik, managing director, Puranik Builders Pvt Ltd.

“The government is also supporting the efforts with higher Floor Space Index (FSI), increasing the value of land parcels and built-up spaces. Prices in these locations have risen more than in others. The demand, too, is healthy,” an official of the MMRDA says.

Kawathkar states, “The Mumbai transformation support unit has also come up with a suggestion to give higher FSI around the area of the upcoming metro stations. This should make those who wish to opt for redevelopment happy.” He concludes, “With the monorail coming up from Chembur to Jacob Circle via Wadala, many residents have been approached by private developers, seeking redevelopment. The number is as high as 60. Residents must understand that their property value is most likely to jump substantially, once the metro or monorail run through their area.”

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