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Its strategic location and strong infrastructure development, are likely to be the biggest factors behind the growth of the Neral-Shelu belt in the extended Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). With the advent of the Virar-Alibaug Multi-modal Corridor that passes through Dombivali and Panvel, the importance of this belt as an affordable housing destination, will increase, maintains Shubhranshu Pani, managing director – strategic consulting, JLL India. “Several established developers have a presence in this micro-market. Currently, many view this belt as a destination for second homes, given its greenery, the scenic Matheran hills, Vangani waterfalls, etc., in the neighbourhood,” Pani explains.
Strategic importance of the Neral-Shelu belt
- The Neral-Shelu belt is connected to CST and Thane through the Central Line of Mumbai’s suburban railway network, with a local train frequency of one every half hour.
- To decongest CST, a railway terminal for long-distance trains, has been planned at Vangani (close to Shelu).
- The Panvel-Karjat local train network, will reduce the time required to travel from Navi Mumbai’s CBD and the international airport, to Neral.
- An existing four-lane Badlapur-Khopoli Highway connects it to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
- The Virar-Alibaug Multi-modal Corridor that passes through this area, will reduce traffic load on Ghodbunder Road. It is also a part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
- With the upcoming Panvel-Bhimashankar highway, the Neral-Shelu belt will be 40 minutes away from Navi Mumbai International Airport.
- There are two big MIDCs, within a 30-minute distance from the Neral-Shelu belt.
See also: Neral property market: An overview
Properties on offer, in the Neral-Shelu belt
As the Neral-Shelu belt has rich natural surroundings and pleasant climate for most of the year, it is an ideal location for leisure, points out Saurav Kumar, head – marketing and sales, Olympeo Infrastructure. “Around three to four years ago, this area was mainly attracting second home seekers, looking for farmhouses, individual houses and bungalows. Many people invested in small non-agricultural land parcels, as well. However, this trend has started to dip, in the last few years. The main reason, is that keeping an eye on a land or independent house, can be quite difficult and maintenance of property can become an expensive affair, in the long run. Consequently, now, investments in apartments and township development, where the society/developer can take care of the property more efficiently, are gaining preference. In such properties, the cost gets proportionately apportioned among the individual owners. Moreover, it doesn’t require recurring expenses for maintenance and keeping a watch over the investment,” Kumar elaborates.
Existing and upcoming infrastructure in the Neral-Shelu area
While infrastructure plays an important role in the development of any area, in the Neral-Shelu area, there is an attempt to preserve the natural beauty of the area. The development plan and development regulation for the region, have not allowed any polluting industry to come up in this belt. Nevertheless, the area is witnessing healthy development of residential, educational and entertainment centres, as well as connectivity.
The proposed Panvel-Bhimashankar Road that will pass by the foothills of Matheran, as mentioned in the regional plan of MMR for 2016-36, will significantly boost the growth prospects of the Neral-Shelu belt. Similarly, the Virar-Alibaug Multi-modal Corridor and the Badlapur-Khopoli Road, will help to connect this area to all major parts of Mumbai and Pune. The serene environment and easy accessibility from employment centres, make Neral-Shelu an ideal location for people searching for their first home. Affordability is also a big factor, when people decide to buy their home and expert points out that this micro-market still has some time left, before prices begin to spiral upwards.
A buyer’s choice for a home in Neral, should be dictated by the individual’s needs and long-term requirements, says Kumar. “Most importantly, the buyer and his family, should figure out what kind of life they want to lead, for the next 15-20 years,” Kumar concludes.