MUMBAI: For Somesh Vaidya, who shifted to Virar from Borivili, it was a decision he would not regret. The area has excellent connectivity, more open space and social infrastructure is no less compared to the other suburbs. Another added advantage of buying property here is its easy accessibility to Mumbai via the Western Express Highway, which is just five kms from the area and the Metro is only in three kms. The roads are also constructed well and are in good shape.
Being the first station on the western railway’s suburban line, people get the benefit of travelling through local trains. It is the only station, which isolates Mumbai from other locations like Vaitarna, Safale, Kelwe, Palghar and Boisar.
There are various housing and road transport development projects initiated by the corporation with the help of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The skywalk in Virar west was one of the first amongst the many skywalks that were built. The Virar east skywalk is uniquely built, as it goes right over the Totale lake, situated in the backdrop of the VVMC Corporation building.
Ashok Mohanani, chairman and managing director, Ekta World, shares, “What we have seen over the last few years, is that Virar has grown manifold. There is very good railway connectivity to and from Mumbai. Since 2007, the railway line has quadrupled in Virar. Travelling is just about one hour from the Bandra Terminus.”
Another important advantage of the area is that it is a major source of water. The three rivers – Tansa, Vaitarna and Surya, flow via Virar. Surya and Vaitarna’s catchment receives more than 100 inches of rainfall every monsoon. That is why, in the near future, the whole of Mumbai will get its water from the Thane district. The big Pinjal Dam Project, which is vital for Mumbai, is in close proximity to Virar. The second stage of the Surya River project is under implementation and will solve the water problem of the area.
Narayan Mankar, mayor, Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC), informs, “The sub river Susri has a project happening on it. So, within three-four years, 400-500 mld (million litres a day) of water will be available. The requirement for our 15 lakhs population, according to new rules, is approximately 200 mld. We get 130 mld currently and some have their own sources.” Also, for people there are a lot of employment opportunities, as many small-scale industries are being set up here. Currently, many people in Virar seek employment at Tarapore MIDC. Mankar states, “Our education facilities are good. We have seven senior colleges and 20 junior colleges.”
Despite the development process is still undergoing, the area is furnished with all the basic infrastructure facilities like schools, hospitals, supermarkets and banks. The city’s public school system is managed by the education ministry of the Government of Maharashtra. The city has Marathi as well as Hindi medium schools. There are also other private schools, which are offering syllabus under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), like Matrix Academy Schools at Kharodi. There are few schools which are providing Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) curriculum.
The Rustomjee Cambridge International School and Junior college have also come up near Global City, Virar. The late Shri Vishnu Waman Thakur Charitable Trust and the Agashi-Virar-Arnala Education Society are the two most prominent bodies, which have opened many institutes offering education, ranging from kindergarten to higher education in Virar.
The Municipal Council was upgraded to the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation in May 2009. The Virar-Alibaug Corridor Project, an ambitious project undertaken by the MMRDA, has given the area another push as it is looked upon as a major developmental milestone in the history of Virar. The Rs 10,000 crore project is expected to provide seamless connectivity by the Metro as well as by road from Alibaug to Virar. The corridor will bypass the western and eastern suburbs and also the routes, which will witness growth in the future.
Boman R Irani, president, the Vasai-Virar MCHI units, explains, “The area offers multi-dimensional benefits for middle-income and lower-middle-income groups. The infrastructure development projects are on takeoff mode in Virar. The property market here, is investor-cum-end-user driven and both these segments are benefiting well with the prevailing property trends.” “While the investors are expected to benefit with around 20 to 30 per cent appreciation, the endusers will be able to look up for affordable properties with ease. Affordable prices and easy-connectivity are driving the buyers to Virar’s property market in increasing numbers,” informs a marketing executive of Poonam Group, who wish not to be named.
Real estate has been booming because of players like Rustomjee, Ekta World, Bhoomi Group, Poonam Group, which have many good projects in the area. In the next two-three years, Virar is being considered as a major development city. Experts believe that if one is on a lookout for affordable housing projects, low- and high-yield investment near Mumbai, Virar is a good option. One room kitchen, one-BHK and two-BHK flats in Virar are come at a reasonable price bracket of Rs 15-30 lakhs, while the prevailing rates are Rs 3,250-5,500 per sq ft. The built-up area of a one room kitchen is about 350 to 450 sq ft and a one-BHK unit here is about 520 sq ft and two-BHK is 760 sq ft.
Virar east has developing locations like Manvelpada, Phulpada, Chandansar Road, Veer Savarkar Road with property rates around Rs 1,800-2,200 (approximate figures). The development between Virar and Nalasopara is picking up pace. Property rates are lower in that location because of the distance from station.
The west is more developed between Bhayander and Virar. Property rates are comparatively less at locations like, Gokul Township, Virar Gardens, Yashwant Nagar, even though they are just 10 minutes from the station by auto. Some upcoming locations are Gokul Township (Agarwal Group, Mehta, Vinay Unique, etc.), Virar Gardens (May Fair), Yashwant Nagar and Tirupati Nagar located on the developing Viva College Road connecting the highway.
Also, MHADA authorities of its Konkan Board would be coming up with a lottery for over 5,000 affordable housing units in Virar (east) in 2014. The important feature of this project is that all the units are being constructed on a 43-hectare plot.
Earlier, the MHADA had decided to release just 2,500 housing units for the lottery. Confirming the development, a MHADA official said, “The Konkan board of the MHADA has decided to come up with a lottery for over 5,000 affordable houses in Bolinj area in Virar (east) by mid-2014. This will be for the first time in the history of MHADA that houses released will be constructed at one place.”
Manik Patil local property consultant informs, “The only issue this area had was that there were cases of illegal construction, which mushroomed in the area. So, we advise buyers to check property papers properly before purchasing property in this area.”