An overview of Howrah’s Real Estate Market
Dec 30, 2019
Howrah is popularly known as the city of bridges - as many as four bridges connect it across the Ganges to Kolkata, including the architectural marvel - Howrah Bridge. Howrah has for long been in the shadow of its more popular sister-city across the Ganges - Kolkata. As the capital of West Bengal, that is expected. However, Howrah is finally emerging from the shadows and growing into its own identity. A few initiatives - both public and private - are enabling the city to embrace bigger goals and become an alternate city to Kolkata.
Howrah’s connectivity to Kolkata has largely depended on the numerous ferry services and the four river bridges - Howrah Bridge, Vidyasagar Setu, Vivekananda Setu and the newest bridge called Nivedita Setu - which connect the two cities. This commute across the river is set to receive a boost with the upcoming East-West Metro Line which will augment the existing connectivity and transform the way people commute. Connecting Howrah all the way up to Salt Lake City via Esplanade and Sealdah, the new metro line will give residents of Howrah unparalleled access to Kolkata. It has the distinction of being the first metro in the country to traverse via an underwater tunnel passing under the Hooghly river. Howrah station, a major stop on this metro line, is being designed to absorb heavy passenger traffic which is expected to grow exponentially over the next 5 years.
Howrah station is a major railway terminal which provides connectivity to all Eastern India. It serves Howrah as well as Kolkata and the neighbouring districts. It serves as a terminal for Eastern and South Eastern Railway services. Thus, Howrah is connected to most major cities of the country. The Howrah Bridge located right next to the terminal supports the transit of people across the river to Kolkata.
With the new focus on developing Howrah as a mega city with better infrastructure facilities, more residents from different parts of Kolkata have been attracted to move to Howrah. Santragachi, a suburb in Howrah is being developed in a big way. The Santragachi station, an important railway junction on the South Eastern Railway, is being developed into a full-fledged terminal which will have the capability to absorb additional passenger traffic from the Howrah station. A major bus terminal coming up outside the station would provide various transit services and options. Additionally, an elevated corridor and a metro station for Santragachi will augment connectivity.
Recently, connectivity between Santragachi and Howrah-Kolkata has improved considerably. Taxi stands and bus stands have been set up. Moreover, a dedicated Volvo bus service has been started to take passengers Netaji Subhash Chandra International Airport in Kolkata. All these factors have contributed to the development of Santragachi as an important railway station.
Howrah benefits from good road connectivity as well. The Kona Expressway also known as the Kolkata-Mumbai Highway passes through Howrah. A 5 km elevated, signal-free corridor has been planned from the city to Kona Expressway which will decongest traffic. Furthermore, three lanes on the elevated corridor will lead traffic straight from Vidyasagar Setu to NH6. Another proposed flyover is expected to cut travel time to Kolkata by half. The famous Grand Trunk Road starts from the Indian Botanical Garden in South Howrah. These major road and rail routes put Howrah at the center of trade and commerce and makes it an integral transit terminal as well as a gateway to Kolkata and North East India.
The 300-acre Kolkata West International City (KWIC) project was among the first of many ambitious residential township projects aimed at boosting Howrah’s growth. Numerous other residential projects are being developed across various neighbourhoods of Howrah to match the growing demand for homes. Taken together, these advancements are transforming Howrah into a coveted residential destination. People working in the Central Business Districts of Kolkata prefer this location because, they can reach the CBD much faster than the outskirts of Kolkata. Since the location is close to Railway station, Airport, upcoming metro, water way and better road connectivity, real-estate buyers are eyeing this location as a good area to live in. In fact the pollution level is also much lesser in the area. Road connectivity to Burdwan, Durgapur, Asansol, Haldia and Jhargram have improved a lot and easily accessible in the past which wasn’t possible.
A number of positive steps have been taken by the state government to improve quality of life in Howrah. Moreover, ongoing infrastructure developments have contributed to the overall development of Howrah as an attractive real estate market. The market has also witnessed the demand for quality residential projects with modern amenities. Over the last five years. the real estate price has seen a growth of around 20-25%. Not many locations have seen such price rise in and around Kolkata.
Shapoorji Pallonji, one of the reputed real estate brands in India has launched an aspirational residential project called Joyville Howrah. The project is spread across 30 acres and offers spacious 1, 2 and 3 BHK homes with modern amenities. The first phase will be handed over soon.