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Better times ahead for Karnal

Comments Off on Better times ahead for Karnal   |   February 13, 2014    03:05pm   |Contributed by manoja

TNS

With the inclusion of Karnal and Jind districts of Haryana in the National Capital Region (NCR) recently, the region is about to witness an upsurge in its overall development. The pronouncement holds special significance for Karnal. The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) has taken the decision considering the need to progress beyond Delhi which is bound to open new possibilities for all 21 cities that are now a part of the NCR. Karnal, with its strategic location on the National Highway 1 (NH1) and huge socio-economic potential, can prove to be a perfect partner for Delhi’s plan for development.

For Karnal it means a chance to let its highly-educated workforce explore the facilities of a metropolis and a significant rise in the employment opportunities in the city itself. The development will catalyse a partnership between the cities of the NCR with the NCRPB providing the much-needed infrastructure and platform for development. The NCR cities could pool their resources for economic and social development of the region.

Currently, Karnal is home to national institutes for agricultural and dairy research like the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Directorate of Wheat Research (DWR) and National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI). Karnal is also known for its well-established rice processing industry. Being one of the agriculturally-rich districts growing foodgrains as well as horticultural crops, it has the potential of becoming the food processing hub of the region.

Positive points

Karnal has the ability to absorb the influx of population which will come along with the industrial growth in the region. On the other hand Delhi’s high population density at 11,297 people per sq km has an inverse relationship with the quality of life. While other NCR cities such as Panipat, Sonepat, Faridabad and Gurgaon are closer to the capital, Karnal offers a greater potential for growth. The city’s well-developed civil infrastructure, availability of developable land, natural resources such as air and water, open green spaces and cleaner surroundings add to its attractiveness for residents of the NCR.

The city offers housing facilities for all socio-economic classes with a current inventory of over 10,000 units available at relatively affordable prices. The lifecycle of real estate in Karnal is at a stage from where prices are bound to appreciate.

In the last six years, real estate prices in Karnal have seen a near four-fold increase from around Rs 6,000 per sq yd in 2008 to Rs 22,000 per sq yd at present. With the average year-on-year growth of 35-50 per cent and the creation of a seamless connectivity with Delhi, Karnal will experience a significant capital appreciation in the future as well. Already the city is expanding with addition of new sectors and it is this potential that has attracted many world-class developers to invest Karnal.

The pitfalls

In the current scenario, there is, however, an evident deficit in the political will to implement the Master Plan. If this continues, it could prove to be a dampener for the growth of real estate. For example, the delays caused by relocation of existing structures for the expansion of the NH1 and the regional road network have stalled real estate development in many pockets, affecting sentiments and the vitality of the market.

Located along the NH 1, almost equidistant from Delhi and Chandigarh, Karnal will soon reap the benefits of improvement in connectivity with Delhi; uninterrupted flow of traffic, Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) and the proposed domestic airport. Yet, the movement of jobs, industry and human resource from Delhi NCR towards Karnal will depend on how quickly commuting-time is reduced between the two. Fast tracking the implementation of the MRTS, a prominent feature of the Regional Plan 2021 for NCR, can eliminate connectivity- related problems. However, if the case of Gurgaon and other NCR cities is any indication, the implementation of the same is bound to take some time.

For plans to translate into reality for Karnal, a combination of persistent efforts and continuous supply of resources is required. Karnal’s substantial scope for expansion, excellent educational facilities, esteemed institutions of higher learning and healthcare such as the Kalpana Chawla Medical Institute – all make it an ideal inclusion into the NCR. The move will not only benefit Karnal but can lead to a formation of a successful microcosm with potential to contribute significantly to the region’s economy.

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