Bathinda Airport To Give Fillip To Model Town, Panchavati Nagar
Just a few months ago, the Bathinda airport looked like a distant dream. Despite its completion three years back, few would have expected it to become operational anytime soon. Come December 11, 2016, and we know that it wasn't a seasonal croak of politicians.
However, the larger question is whether this airport will add to the popularity and likeability of Bathinda especially when it doesn't boast the success story of other cities, such as Mohali and Mullanpur. Trend watchers say that India's most recent and 32nd domestic airport in Bathinda will boost Malwa industrial region, driving jobs and giving a fillip to real estate in the city.
Karamvir Singh, sales manager at Indira Infratech, says, “The new airport will be a big boost to business here. There are many people who frequent adjoining areas such as Delhi for business purposes and since train timings weren't convenient, flights would prove to be a very effective alternative. Trains to Delhi usually were either early in the morning or late at night. The airport will impact investment patterns as this development makes it easier for prospective buyers to consider Bathinda.”
A series of developments
Coupled by other developments, Bathinda has all the chance to go down well among investors. For example, PM Modi laid the foundation stone of a 750-bed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the city in November this year. Expected to be built on a budget of Rs 925 crore and spread across 177 acres, this is expected to up the livability quotient and at the same time boost realty along the Bathinda-Dabwali Road. If sources are to be believed, Sukhbir Badal, deputy chief minister, has also hinted at the commencement of a factory that would make oil from the residue of crops. The foundation stone for the same project would be laid shortly and is expected to cost Rs 500 crore. This would also address one of the recent complaints that every Delhiite face to face with hazardous smog just days after Diwali would have wanted- reduce instances of burning crop residues. Moreover, the factory is expected to be monetarily beneficial for farmers by Rs 5,000 per acre.
A city that largely depends on agriculture, petrochemicals, foodgrains and the like for employment, the recent news that a Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham flight has been sanctioned accord ensures that there is more in store for Bathinda. Smooth connectivity will go a long way to shape the city on the same lines as Mohali. Reports also suggest that very soon a new special economic zone for the textile industry is also on the radar.
Real estate scenario
An industrial, agricultural backdrop of Bathinda may have led you to believe that real estate herein might not be quite matured. However, developers in the city are launching projects and townships that are quite advanced in terms of amenities. Security cameras, LED street lights, landscaped jogging tracks, canal water quality supply, sports courts, clubhouses and swimming pools, spa and sauna facilities as well as qualified architects to design your lifestyle are some of the popular features of the modern day housing units. That is not all. There is no dearth of real estate developers coming out with innovative and green technologies.
Popular residential locations include Model Town Phase III, Panchavati Nagar, Vishal Nagar, New Shakti Nagar are popular localities still garnering traction. As for the rest of the town, it looks saturated. Other key localities also include Goniana Road, Mansa Road and 100 ft Road where prices are in the range of Rs 10,000-26,000 per sq yd depending upon the exact location and amenities.
It is interesting to note that unlike cities like Delhi, Mumbai or even Bengaluru and Pune that are going vertical, Bathinda prefers plots and villas. “Pura Punjab mitti se juda hua hain,” says Singh. “Flats are not very popular in this market as home buyers prefer open spaces, terraces and flexibility to construct their homes in a way they like. Independent villas may be costlier but are preferred over group housing,” he adds.
Singh says that apartment units make for a comfortable lifestyle and if you have good neighbours there's nothing like it. However, most such takers are usually those with transferable jobs or with budget constraints.
It only helps realty in Bathinda that the airport has become operational. Industry insiders say that more and more prospective buyers are outsiders from Abohar, Kotkapura and adjacent villages. Simply put, Bathinda's market calls in buyers from a 60-km radius and demand for plots, villas priced anywhere between Rs 20-30 lakh is very high. Singh says, “Villa that commands more than Rs 50 lakh is slow to move in the market and sale is low but the lower budget properties are doing considerably well. More and more buyers from outside Bathinda are making the town their home and not just as a second home destination or a holiday home but as a permanent residence, thanks to the thriving businesses.”
However, Bathinda is no stranger to the real estate slump that has engulfed almost all the active markets across the country over the last two years. Developers are leaving no stone unturned to woo buyers with deals and discounts and freebies such as free furniture, reductions in selling prices etc. “The construction costs do not go down but our customers expect us to give them a price cut and we do it as much as we can,” explains Singh.
“A number of educational institutions have mushroomed so as to cater to the residents so that they needn't travel from one place to another just for education. New infrastructure such as the airport may not have an immediate effect on the real estate here but it boosts the confidence of people who acknowledge that their city is being focussed upon. We could expect home buyers to get active in the market,” says Bishan Saina, a broker in the city.
In the absence of the Bathinda airport, the closest airport to the city would have been the Chandigarh airport or the one at Amritsar. With the coming of the new airport, the city can boast robust connectivity as also through national highways NH 15, NH-64 and SH-17. Together, these could be the game-changer for the property market in Bathinda.