News Point: A stretch with immense potential yet not fully exploited in terms of real estate developments along it, National Highway 47 (NH47) is seen as the next growth corridor by the developers in Coimbatore.
At a time when a section of analysts are talking about saturation of property market in the established locations, the stretch of NH 47 assumes even greater significance as there are land parcels available in the region. This 620 kilometer (390 miles) highway that connects Salem and Kanyakumari in South India passes through major cities of Coimbatore, Kochi and Trivandrum has been included in the North-South Corridor of the Indian highway system due to its strategic positioning.
The potential of the region is such that developers are eyeing this as a potential goldmine. However, this anticipation of fast forward growth has its own share of waiting game before developers are putting their bet behind. Many believe the slow pace of development in the widening of NH 47 has been the reason why investors have so far not acquired land in this belt. There are others who believe the kind of opportunity cost that lies in this region, this is the time to enter the market for hitting the jack pot.
NH 47 is currently undergoing conversion from two lane to four lane, with some sections being converted to six lane. The stretch between Coimbatore and Trivandrum via Kochi is one of the busiest among the Indian highways, with most of the traffic in this stretch comprising of trucks carrying consumer goods, construction material, container lorries and passenger vehicles. A large number of industries and textile parks are located on the highway between Coimbatore, Erode and Tiruppur districts. This highway is often referred as the lifeline for the industries in the region.
Analysts believe the real estate market will get a major boost once the widening of NH 47 will be over. Widening of National Highways (NH) 47 from Chengapalli to Neelambur and from Madukkarai to Walayar is expected to be completed by July 2014. The NHAI started the works to six lane the road from Chengapalli to Neelambur and four lane it from Madukkarai to Walayar in 2010 at a total outlay of Rs. 850 crore. Though the work on the highway has been in the news for slow pace of developments, yet analysts have always put their bet on the markets along the stretch of NH 47.
It is believed that once widening of the stretch will be over, it will give a major boost to the industries, thus helping the economic activity of the region in general and real estate market in particular. This will also catalyse many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the area and export driven businesses will grow along NH 47. This highway has in recent times seen a large number of educational institutions, SMEs, factories, hotels & hospitals. Moreover, it is the main link connecting Coimbatore to main cities of neighbourhood state, Kerala
R.S.Â Krishnan, Head-Operations-Site, Rakindo Developers agrees that efforts are needed to ensure the fast track growth of property market along NH 47 in Coimbatore. He believes infrastructure facilities like drinking water, pipelines, proper roads, electricity needs to be provided to fast track growth.Â He though has a word of caution when he says that pollution along NH 47 should be monitored and kept under check so that the property market in the region becomes liveable.
â€śCompletion of the new upcoming bridge across Noyyal River near Sundakkamuthur and Kuniyamuthur will benefit road users from Kerala to reach Ukkadam junction to head towards the city which will reduce considerable travel time. Widening of NH 47 from Chengapalli to Walayar passing by Neelambur and Madukkarai should be done at a fast pace. Early completion of the Proposed 26 km Western by-pass road connecting Kuniyamuthur with Thudiyalur announced in 2012Â will ease congestion,â€ť says Krishnan.
A section of market watchers in this part of the world though blame that there are not enough big ticket corporate presence along NH 47 in Coimbatore for the growth of realty market. They maintain that the lack of economic opportunities can be attributed to improper & slow progress on road expansions and infrastructure development. Due to improper connectivity to the heart of the city, roads face heavy traffic especially during peak hours.
However, nearly all agree to the fact that there are boundless potential of economic activities along the stretch and if tapped well this will transform the region as one of the most thriving real estate market. Just the ongoing widening of the highway itself has led to renewed interest level of investors and the land cost along the stretch has appreciated in the range of 10-20 per cent depending upon the location. Moreover, some of the corporate sector are gradually shifting to this part of the region due to cheap rental values of the commercial property.
In terms of traditional strength of the local economy, since SMEs have always been one of the prime drivers of economy of the region analysts are confident that the prospects of SMEs along NH 47 in Coimbatore are pretty bright. With 85 per cent of SMEs functioning in the town and city, there is a growing demand and possibilities for Industrial estates along NH 47. Connectivity to the neighbouring state Kerala had encouraged NH 47 in developing many SMEs. There is also a considerable growth of frequent travellers from Kerala who are associated with SMEs across NH 47.
In a nutshell, everyone within the built environment agrees that the real estate along the stretch of NH 47 is poised for fast forward growth. It may have been delayed for long, but then the potential of the region can be assessed by the fact that all developers have either acquired the land in the region or are in the process of acquisition. Analysts believe in terms of pipeline visibility very few locations in South India can match NH 47. They feel a few big ticket projects and some public private partnership projects can completely change the urban landscape in this region.