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Growing skywards with unplugged enthusiasm

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Today, in Kerala there is no marked difference between a city and its suburb. All those amenities that are available within the city limits are also made available in lesser known towns in Kerala.Gated colonies that are located far away from the hustle and bustle of city life are perhaps the latest fad among the builders.

There was a time when industrialists would put their thumbs down listening to the name Kerala. It had ample scope and highly skilled human resources but still lagged behind in industrial growth. Something was terribly wrong somewhere. And as there was some hidden reason for such a vehement reaction from the business circle, Kerala and its people really had to suffer in silence for long. But with the economic reforms that began to touch down in the country in the early nineties, the fortunes of Kerala, from the point view of business growth, took off with a remarkable success. Today, with huge potential growth in its cards, Kerala is increasingly being referred to as a destination with a positive attitude. And believably, the State is enjoying all the attention coming its way.

Over the past few years Kerala has been consistently registering good growth in spheres like information technology, housing, tourism, healthcare and education. And moving with the times, Kerala is working hard to establish and maintain an image of being one of the most congenial hubs for newly emerging sectors like IT, ITES, tourism and telecom. It is true that mega projects like International Container Transhipment Terminal and LNG terminal, the work of which has already begun, has immensely enhanced the face value of the State. Taking a definite cue from the situation, many more business houses are considering Kerala as one of their future destinations for large scale operations.

With the fortunes of the State having undergone a total transformation, the housing sector is witnessing an unprecedented growth in Kerala. The in-flow of corporate clientele is growing by the day and as a result, the demand for housing is on the rise not only in commercial hubs like Kochi but also all across the State. Resultantly, over the past few years, as far as the housing sector is concerned, the borderline between the city and its suburb has blurred to a great extent. Today, in Kerala there is no marked difference between a city and its suburb.

All those amenities that are available within the city limits are also made available in lesser known towns in Kerala. And such, these days, more and more people prefer to settle down in suburbs rather than living in a prime location within a city. Says a leading Kochi based builder; "There was a time when places like Panampilly Nagar were considered to be a prestige address by many. But it has become a thing of past and now it’s the satellite destinations like Aluva and Tripunithura that are in huge demand". And, as such not only the cities like Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode that are witnessing hectic activities in the field of construction but also most other district and taluk headquarters like Kannur, Thrissur and Kottayam.

Finding a very prospective market, several nationally renowned realtors have already come up with housing projects in the State and they too are branching out fast beyond the city limits. In the wake of several industrial projects being announced, in rather quick succession, the future requirement in the housing sector is all likely to be quite huge in recent future.

"From the investment angle, it is always great value for money for the customer who opts for a property in the suburbs," endorses P.V.Nidhish, partner of PVS Apartments. PVS Apartments, with a number of projects in and around Kozhikode is all set to come up with a mega project in an upcoming location in the city.

"To keep the business ticking and also in order to achieve a steady progress, the builders in Kerala will have to think of growing beyond the city skylines. And this is bound to happen as the availability of land in cities like Kochi have become scarce and prohibitively expensive", observes Anil Zacharias of Miczak Builders. Since the construction industry in the country is in an upbeat mood, it is left for the builders to venture out and develop areas that are still underdeveloped and people are bound to opt for such locations as they are more pollution free and less congested, adds he. With umpteen numbers of changes taking places in the real estate segment in Kerala, the builders are after new trends and world class standards. Gated colonies that are located far away from the hustle and bustle of city life are perhaps the latest fad among the builders. Finding a very potential market, several renowned builders have started brisk operations beyond the periphery of Kerala’s major cities and all of them are quite satisfied with the customer response to the projects that are located in the suburbs. With more and more apartment and villa projects coming up, the customers are left with multiple options to choose from. The pleasures of community living and easy maintenance are just some of the several reasons for growing popularity of apartments among the younger generation. Since there is a huge demand for projects coming up in the suburbs, the builders are working overtime to meet the ever spiraling demand and in the process the skyline of Kerala is fast expanding towards its peripheral regions. To cater to the huge housing needs, affluent apartments and luxury villas in huge numbers are already under way in most of the lesser known towns in Kerala. "The outskirts will have to be developed on a war footing as that will ensure better growth prospects for all as the land prices in such areas are still affordable for many", remarks Mujeeb of Heavenly Homes. With a view to expanding their business towards the suburbs Heavenly Homes is all set to develop and build a township near Kakkanad in Kochi.

"The trend has already set in and more number of people is moving out of the city to settle down in suburbs. This is happening more in places like Kochi due to poor infrastructure within the city and also because Kochi’s suburbs are poised for good value appreciation in the days to come", declares Anumod Menon of Manjooran Housing. The cities are fast expanding to towns which are already a reality in places like Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. And now it’s the turn of Kerala to follow suit. With an upbeat mood all around, the builders are taking it seriously to step out of the city limits to more open and greener pastures and Kerala’s lush green landscape is all set to roll out a red carpet for them.

SUNIL NALIYATH

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