Growth of OMR

OMR, or Rajiv Gandhi Salai as it is called today, had its origin during the British era, and was laid alongside the Buckingham Canal from Adyar to Muttukadu. The original OMR is still visible in parts as a panchayat road parallel to the existing one. Till 2005, the OMR extended only up to Sholinganallur, and primarily catered to the growth of the IT Sector in Chennai. Most IT Parks came to be developed on this stretch starting with the Tidel Park, and soon, companies like Ascendas, ETL, TEK, DLF, RMZ and others streamed into setting up similar IT Parks which led the road to be re-named IT Corridor stretching from Madhya Kailash up to Siruseri, at a distance of around 35 km. The growth also had its downside when the government and private sector woke up to the realities of the inadequacy of related social infrastructure in that area where the prices of land had skyrocketed, which meant that the whole area came to be developed in an haphazard manner, which continues even till today.

The IT Expressway, a 6-lane project stretching across the OMR is still in limbo, with only Phase I of the project from Madhya Kailash to Siruseri becoming operational. Phase II of the project extending up to Mahabalipuram near Potheri is yet to see daylight. The project has repeatedly been a victim of successive government apathy, cost escalation and land acquisition problems. Nearly 270 million sqft of IT space has been developed on the OMR IT Corridor so far, housing more than 1,20,000 IT/ITES employees at present. This number is set to quadruple to 200,000 with companies from the banking, finance and insurance industries likely to set up office on this stretch in the next 3-4 years.

“Till the beginning of 2005, OMR did not really boast of a plausible social infrastructure, as there was not much of an incentive for developers to pursue large-scale residential projects in that area,” says Muralikrishnan, a Chennai-based realtor. “The IT boom between 2001 and 2007 encouraged IT firms across the country and the globe to set up office on this belt,”he added. In addition, the Government of Tamil Nadu, in order to propel the growth of the IT Sector, has increased the Floor Space Index (FSI) to around 3.75, roughly 1.5 times the prevailing value, for IT-related development projects on certain portions of the belt. Therefore, the incentive to build commercial property augmented even further. This led to the growth of a residential segment beyond Sholinganallur, where the availability of land was adequate and prices reasonable. The slowdown in the IT industry also put a temporary growth in the development of IT parks on the stretch, and the focus shifted back to residential and commercial developments. While certain commercial developments like boutique hotels and shopping malls are expected to do well, the same cannot be said about IT & ITES developments, where there is still an over-supply of more than 4-5 million sqft of commercial IT space with no takers. The increase in residential development beyond Sholinganallur has helped in boosting the region’s social infrastructure. Three reputed schools, namely Hiranandani Upscale School, PSBB Millennium School and Bala Vidya Mandir are located in the area with another 6 schools to be made operational in the next 2-3 years. In the realm of health infrastructure, multiplexes like the Riverside Mall, for instance, are quickly sprouting, making it a more independent and significant entity on the city’s map.

There are currently about 1,20,000 people employed in the IT and BPO companies along this corridor alone. The impetus for real estate development has come from a projection that about an additional 2,00,000 people will be employed in the IT belt in the next 3-4 years. Property prices have risen by 50 percent in the whole belt in the last two years, and an unbelievable 80-100 times more in the last 10 years. In 2000, the cost of a plot in Thoraipakkam was र 15,000, and is र 100 lakh today!

Source :chennairealty


Marg Savithanjali

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