The L Zone could be an attractive investment hotspot, but putting in infrastructure could be a big challenge, says Vandana Ramnani

They see it as a gold mine. Investors and buyers desperate to buy plotted units in posh south Delhi localities, which come for about R15crore to R20crore per acre, are now looking for alternative and very attractive options in Zone L (in south west Delhi, close to Dwarka and New Gurgaon) after the policy on farmhouses/country homes was passed recently by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Yet to be notified, it allows for construction of country homes on a minimum plot area of one acre as against farmhouses, which can be built currently on 2.5 acres. As of now, land in this area, which is as close to south Delhi as you can get, costs about R1.25 crore to R5crore per acre.

 While private developers active in Gurgaon have bought land parcels of around 100 acres in the urbanised areas, investors so far active in posh south Delhi localities have put in money in the green belt area, which will allow construction of country homes in the future.

But what remains to be seen is whether this unquenchable thirst to buy acres of land in the hope of making huge returns once the policy is notified makes for an intelligent investment. The point here is that the area may look attractive at face value, but everything will depend on how infrastructure eventually develops in the area. “Since the country homes policy is yet to be notified, one can safely assume that it will take at least three to five years for infrastructure to develop in the area,” say Ajay Dabas of Delhi Farms, an expert body on farmhouses in Delhi.

The L Zone comprises of the last peripheral villages abutting Delhi and Haryana. There are 21 villages in the green belt area and 37 villages in Zone R. This means that this is also the last area to get connected with infrastructure. This zone encompasses 21933 hectares, out of which the green belt covers 10322 hectares and 11611 hectares is available for urbanised development.

The R Zone comprises of about 50% to 55% of the total land available. Private developers active in Gurgaon area have so far acquired almost 5000 acres. “A developer needs to acquire at least 25 acres to develop a project in this area. Prices here range from around R3 crore to R6 crore per acre,” says Ram Avtar Tyagi of Shokeen Buildwell Farms (P) Ltd. Well known developers have acquired large land parcels in Paprawat, Pindawalan Kalan, Jhuljuli villages etc, he adds.

The residential zone has not witnessed much activity since last year, as the policy rollout is yet to take place.

Some parts of the L Zone are to be developed for public, semi public, services and other use zones as per the zonal development plans. Once the local plans are notified and the developers apply for conversion as residential or commercial as per zoning, units in this area can be sold for anything between R3000 and R5000 per sq ft. The L Zone is expected to contribute around five to six lakh dwelling units that will include both group housing and townhouses.

In the green belt area, some 20 to 80% land has already been acquired. Some areas have already seen 100% appreciation, claims Raghuraj Dayal, a land aggregator in the area. Many investors have bought land parcels, some as much as 200 acres, in Jhatikara, Dhansa, Ghumenhera, Kanganheri, Raghopur, Nanakher etc for R60 lakh per acre to R80 lakh per acre a year ago. The current price in these areas is anything between R1.3 crore to R5 crore.

There is huge advantage to be gained if you invest in Zone L. Many villages earmarked as green belt are close to Gurgaon’s sectors 104, 107, 108, 110 and 111 and are located left of the Najafgarh drain that runs along the green belt villages, says Pankaj Dayal of Tattva Infraprojects Pvt Ltd. The Delhi government is developing the Haritima Tourist Complex in Kanganheri for setting up an adventure sports complex and an eco park. DDA is coming up with a state-of-the-art 18-hole golf course spread over 173 acres in Dwarka, a second diplomatic enclave is to be developed as part of Dwarka Phase 2, the Indira Gandhi International Airport is close by, two roads UER1 and UER2 have been proposed to run along this zone.

A four-lane road from Dwarka to Dhansa-BadliJhajjar has been proposed. The project will cost R230 crore. This 43 km road will start from Jhajjar in Haryana, pass through Badli, the Dhansa regulator towards Najafgarh and Dwarka Mor. At present, this road is a 19 km, two-lane stretch from Jhajjar to Dhansa regulator and a 25 km single stretch from Dhansa regulator to Dwarka Mor. Both Delhi and Haryana governments have given approval to the project.

Under the zonal plan of Zone L, almost 900 acres have been earmarked for a water reservoir. Buyers desirous of buying land in the area ought to seek advice and make sure that the land they are planning to buy will not get acquired or submerged. They also need to keep in mind that about 15% of the area in this zone is earmarked for public and semi public facilities.

Also, the water in the area is brackish and the water table is around 80-150 ft deep. The zone is expected to accommodate two to five million people, something that may put enormous pressure on infrastructure in the future. The current population in the area is 7,50,000.


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