Investors Rush Towards Navi Mumbai

By: Propertiesmls

It's a veritable Gold Rush in Navi Mumbai with investors, speculators and eternal optimists rushing in to buy land.

With the Union Civil Aviation Ministry giving the green signal for a new airport measuring 3,000 acres in Mumbai's satellite town last month - the only planned township in Western India - a boom looms round the corner.

"Land prices across Navi Mumbai have doubled in the past one year," says Rajesh Doshi, a real estate agent in Vashi. Earlier this year, Mukesh Ambani announced plans for a SEZ measuring 38,000 acres complete with commercial and residential developments. The announcement of the long-awaited airport at Kharghar only adds to the bullish sentiment.
Hottest properties in Navi Mumbai include Panvel, the entry point into the township where the SEZ is to start, and Kharghar, where the airport is to be sited. Properties have nearly tripled and are slated to rise as the sharks move in.

The City Industrial Development Corporation, which owns most of the land in Navi Mumbai, is raking in the moolah selling land at Rs 70,000 per square metre now as against Rs 27,000 just a year ago.

"With the SEZ and airport, infrastructure in Navi Mumbai will improve in the next decade," says a tax and financial consultant who is advising people to invest in the township.

Incidentally, land prices in areas adjoining Navi Mumbai are also rising. Hinjewadi, in Pune's outskirts where a new IT city is coming up, will be just a 90 minute drive from the new airport - quicker than by road to Nariman Point in Mumbai. Pune's development authorities are hoping to rake in the moolah when more land is acquired from farmers at Hinjewadi.

Real estate observers say Navi Mumbai's boom time really came two years ago when Reliance Industries set up the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge Park at Koparkhairne in Navi Mumbai. The company also began to hoard residential properties in a big way to house its executives thereby causing a boom in the township.

The resulting boom has, however, hit the average buyer the most. "Prices in Navi Mumbai are as high as Mumbai now," says Anahita Grover, a marketing consultant. According to her the lack of quality power supply is a major hindrance for Mumbaiites moving in.

Navi Mumbai was originally planned as a satellite city to decongest Mumbai. Located on the mainland (Mumbai comprises a small strip of seven islands connected by reclamation), Navi Mumbai offered huge amounts of land. Even after Navi Mumbai was connected through road and rail links across the sea to Mumbai, there were few takers for the new city till the end of the last century.

Navi Mumbai is divided into 14 nodes. To keep the momentum of this township going, Cidco (City & Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd) is wooing top class educational institutions like the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and corporate houses.

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