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The lure of Sonepat land
Prakriti Prasad | May 27, 2006
Some time last month, Kamal Taneja, one of the youngest promoters of Taneja Developers & Infrastructure, launched his dream project Kingsbury luxury condominiums in Kundli, Sonepat. Today, or so he says, over 50 per cent of the township has already been booked.
A luxury apartment complex in a place like Kundli outside west Delhi selling like hot cakes? Realtors don't think Taneja is overstating figures to boost his bookings. On the contrary, Sonepat, just beyond the western border of the capital, is on its way to fast track development in terms of real estate.
"Sonepat is the emerging Gurgaon of the west," goes the refrain among realtors. As city limits are extending beyond west Delhi colonies like Pitampura, Rohini and Shalimar Bagh, to name some, there's a growing demand for housing solutions among the middle classes in that area.
And with real estate prices touching the roof at Rs 10,000 per sq ft within the city, Sonepat, which falls on one of the busiest national highways just 2.5 km from Delhi, is certainly the best option.
"This is what we call the ripple effect in management, when the growth of the capital in turn has led to the development of NCRs like Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Neemrana and now Sonepat," says Amitabh Bhattacharya, director, Omaxe. Add to that the impact of the Metro Rail and Sonepat will fast emerge as just an extension of Delhi, he adds.
Moreover, the Haryana government's upcoming Kundli-Manesar-Palwal corridor or the Western Express, according to realtors, certainly augurs well to boost the demand for luxury condominiums in the region. The 135 km business corridor with an investment of over Rs 65,000 crore (Rs 650 billion) is expected to drive investors as well as prosperity in the area.
If that's not enough, the upcoming Rajiv Gandhi Educational University at Kundli is expected to add another fillip to the development of the area. In addition, the Haryana government is coming up with a Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion) township dedicated to petroleum, chemical and petrochemical industries in the region.
That explains why the Tanejas (known for their Palm Court in Gurgaon and 3 Cs Mall in Lajpat Nagar) are not alone in stepping into Sonepat for real estate development. Noted realtors like Ansals, Omaxe and Parasvanath also have projects in Sonepat in various stages of development.
"The Ansals were, in fact, the pioneers of this trend," claims Rajesh Katyal, president, marketing, Ansal API. "We were the first to kick off our project Sushant City, Kundli, about two and a half years back. The project has been sold 100 per cent and is ready to be handed over," he informs.
While the Ansal township comprising 58 villas and 2,000 apartments with all modern facilities is ready, the Ansals Highway Plaza that will house brands like Big Bazaar, Bikanerwala and Pizza Hut, and its shopping complex Roman Court, is scheduled to be completed in 2007.
Meanwhile, TDI's Kingsbury, which Taneja claims will be ready for handing over within 18 months, promises to be the answer for luxurious living for the residents of north Delhi colonies like Pitampura, Rohini, Shalimar Bagh, Ashok Vihar, Model Town and neighbouring cities like Rohtak and Panipat.
Located on the main GT-Karnal Road on NH 1, just 2.5 km off the north Delhi border, Kingsbury will be part of the integrated township being set up by the group with houses, apartments, villas, schools, clubs, hospitals, shopping arcades and malls along with essential services like banking, couriers, convenience stores, fuel stations and taxi stands.
"While Gurgaon came up as an alternative for south Delhi and Noida was ideal for people living in east Delhi, there was nothing for those living in north and west Delhi," explains Taneja sitting in his plush office on K G Marg in central Delhi.
With the development of over 15 malls in its kitty, TDI is now focussed on developing townships in various parts of northern India.
Promising "luxury at an affordable price", Kingsbury, says Taneja, will have well lit roads, landscaped gardens, water features, round-the-clock medical aid and power back up, a multi-level security system through centralised control station, fire tenders and critical care ambulances.
Meanwhile, Omaxe City, Sonepat, yet another integrated township comprising plots, independent floors and villas in a sprawling expanse of 332 acres, claims to be just a 30-minute drive on the main GT-Karnal highway.
"With all the modern facilities of a self-contained township complete with state-of-the-art clubs, swimming pools, jacuzzis, shopping arcades and multiplexes, Omaxe City caters to people who have their businesses and professional interests in north Delhi and the adjoining industrial areas of Alipur, Azadpur, Narela, Kundli, Sonepat, Panipat and Karnal along the highway," says Bhattacharya.
Evidently, Sonepat is on a roll if real estate developers are to be believed. And property rates have been quick to register this buoyancy, they maintain. So plots that were available at Rs 4,750 per sq yard 15 months ago are now pegged at Rs 10,000 per sq yard.
Meanwhile, Rs 1,000 per sq ft apartments in Kingsbury, which came attached with a price tag of Rs 14.5 lakh (Rs 1.45 million) when bookings began now cost about Rs 19.5 lakh (Rs 1.95 million), according to Taneja.This certainly seems to be the best time to invest as property rates in Sonepat, which are still about 10-15 per cent of the going rates prevailing in Delhi are bound to go up geometrically in the coming years. Going by the examples of Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad, it would be prudent to believe the realtors - though with a pinch of salt.