Santacruz Chembur Link will be a game changer for the suburbs

Worldwide, the trend has been observed that the effect of the development of road infrastructure in an area, affects its property values. According to infrastructure experts, "Roads that provide access to communities and businesses for 'smart' growth, will increase property values. Similar conditions are being predicted for the Santacruz Chembur Link Road (SCLR) - India's first doubledecker flyover, which is providing the much-needed east-west connectivity. As per estimates given by the MMRDA, 80,000 vehicles are going to use the SCLR daily. The travel time between Chembur and Santacruz is expected to drop from the current 90 minutes to 20 minutes. CST Road, Amar Mahal Junction, Nehru Nagar and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, are the four locations for access and entry points.

The top deck will cater to traffic between Amar Mahal junction and Vakola junction. The lower deck will provide connectivity between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Kurla Diary in Nehru Nagar from Kalina. The SCLR has significantly reduced commuting time to BKC from the eastern suburbs. The significant decongestion of the Western and Eastern Express Highway is turning out to be a game-changer for commercial projects around them. In fact, the reduced load on JVLR and Sion-Dharavi Link road, will have a positive impact for the property market in the western suburbs and BKC. As a result of these developments, experts predict that the real estate rates around the stretch, is most likely to go up, which is being seen as a good sign.

Lalitkumar Jain, CMD, Kumar Urban Development Ltd and chairman, CREDAI, says, "As intended, the SCLR needs to significantly reduce commuting time to BKC from the eastern suburbs. Only then, the overall development potential of areas near the access points of SCLR, in terms of residential, retail and commercial projects would shoot up."

Development increases alongside new routes that direct traffic into an area. Kurla, Sion, Vidyavihar and Chembur, are expected to see a significant surge in developer interest and there has already been a jump of close to 25 per cent in Chembur's property prices - an impact attributed to the cumulative effect of mega-projects like the Eastern Freeway, monorail, Metro and SCLR. Ram Raheja, director and head architect, S Raheja Realty elaborates that "Along with improved connectivity between eastern and western express highways, the SCLR will also impact property prices of adjoining areas. Speaking of near-term, there will be increased interest of developers in areas like Kurla, Sion, Chembur and Vidyavihar. In fact, prices and demand for properties in Chembur, Kalina and Bandra-Kurla Complex, are already increasing. The property market in the western suburbs and BKC will see an improvement, thanks to the reduced traffic. Buyers will now opt for areas like Santacruz, Chembur, Sion and Kurla, due to better connectivity and a smoother commute."

According to Ashok Mohanani, CMD, EKTA World, "Infrastructure in the blueprint stages itself, gives a tremendous boost to the real estate prices in the surrounding areas. Tilak Nagar is one of the localities around Chembur where an almost 20 per cent increase in demand for rental houses in Mumbai is being seen. Real estate markets in these areas, which see high residential property absorption, will also see a greater demand and consequently, an upward pricing momentum." Ramesh Nair, COO - business, JLL India explains, "The economics of transportation and infrastructure have always had a positive impact on real estate values." Gulam Zia, executive director, Knight Frank India, points out that the "SCLR and all other important projects have a connection with the eastern suburbs. Rental and capital values are expected to move up. The property markets for residential and commercial will show a positive movement as Chembur acts as a link between Navi Mumbai and the other markets in the adjoining areas of SCLR."