PMRDA to speed up projects
Pune’s urban agglomeration, also known as the Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR), is spread over 3,500 sq km and consists of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), Pune Cantonment and Kirkee (Khadki) Cantonment. Until last year, the absence of a single, unified planning authority for the metropolitan region has led to an inordinate delay in the execution of various infrastructure projects. However, last year, the Government of Maharashtra finally notified the formation of a regional development body, called the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA). PMRDA’s integrated development plan (DP) for the entire region will replace the individual development plans of the various local bodies, including the PMC and PCMC. The PMRDA may also be responsible for major infrastructure projects, such as the metro rail and outer ring roads; the benefit of which accrues beyond the conventional city limits.
REAL ESTATE DYNAMICS
The residential catchments of Pune are spread across the length and breadth of the city. We take a look at the major residential segments and also the office sectors to understand the need for urban transport that is affordable, convenient and contemporary. Central Pune, with residential localities such as Koregaon Park, Dhole Patil Road, Model Colony and Kothrud, is the commercial heart of the city, with numerous corporate offices located in the central business district (CBD) areas of Bund Garden Road, M. G. Road, Deccan, Senapati Bapat Road and Shivajinagar. Neighbourhoods such as Katraj, Kondhwa, NIBM Road and Warje in South Pune are affordable alternative to Central Pune for home buyers. However, they lack a strong employment appeal.
North Pune, with major residential localities such as Pimpri, Chinchwad, Nigdi and Moshi are primarily industrial areas with various automobile and auto ancillary as well as engineering industries located here.
The twin towns of Pimpri and Chinchwad host the manufacturing units of some of India’s leading automobile companies, such as Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Force Motors and Daimler Chrysler. On the other hand, East Pune, with anchor localities like Viman Nagar, Kharadi, Wagholi, Hadapsar and Dhanori, has been developed and much sought-after residential market on account of the presence of a large number of IT/ ITeS offices and social infrastructure. Similarly, the residential catchments of Aundh, Baner, Wakad, Hinjewadi and Bavdhan make up the action centre market of West Pune. This has been possible mainly on account of a robust presence of IT/ITeS companies in the vicinity.
Pune’s office market is distributed broadly across the east and west zones. Currently, more than 80% of the city’s office space stock is accounted for by these two zones, while the remaining is spread across the central, north and south zones.
This means that more than 80% of the city’s white collared workforce commutes to either the East or West of the city.
Unlike its cousin city Mumbai, Pune’s suburban train network is not the commuting option of choice. The city is also not equipped with metro rail or monorail connectivity. While there is a network of the bus rapid transit system (BRTS), the BRTS network does not do justice to this mass movement of the population. The biggest challenge that the city currently faces is the absence of a mass rapid transit system (MRTS) because of which a large section of the workforce either has to travel via private vehicles or employer-provided transportation to reach their workplaces. Metro rail as an MRTS has been a long pending demand of the city.
The upcoming metro rail plan is a push in this direction. The Phase 1 shall have a route of 31.2 km, out of which the first corridor will run from PCMC to Swargate, a distance of 16.5 km, and the subsequent corridor will run from Vanaz to Ramwadi, which is a length of 14.6 km. Spread across the limits of more than one civic body, this project will enhance the north-south connectivity through the PCMC-Swargate corridor and the east-west connectivity through Vanaz-Ramwadi corridor. Thus, the proposed metro rail network will come as a big relief to the commuters in the region. It is only in December 2016 that the state government gave its approval to the project, which is targeted to be completed in an ambitious timeframe by 2021. While this will set the ball rolling on the city’s most significant infrastructure parameter, the ultimate success will depend on how well and how fast the next phases of the metro rail become a reality.
Pune’s office market is distributed broadly across the east and west zones