I am in India for Christmas and New Year, till 12th of January 2008. I reached India on 20th of this month and I am enjoying my stay here. Unlike last year, when I spent my vacation in Chennai (since my family was in Chennai), this time around, I am in Mumbai â€“ Virar to be specific. And boy, Virar sure has changed a lot.
I still remember, three years ago, when I left for Dubai; I could see lot of plots vacant. Once I reached Virar last week, I was in for a surprise. The vacant plots have made way for new construction projects and apartments. New roads have been developed since, and the place is more like a developing city â€“ I am sure Virar can give a tough challenge to developed cities such as Goregaon or Borivali for that matter.
Three years ago, Virar had just one supermarket to boast about â€“ Hitendra Thakurâ€™s Viva Supermarket. Today, Virar has four supermarkets: three new supermarkets were introduced this year â€“ RPG Group’s “Spencer’s Daily”, Reliance Groupâ€™s â€œFreshâ€ and Aditya Birla Groupâ€™s â€œMoreâ€. And there are talks of a couple more to be introduced soon.
Virar is also fast becoming a centre for quality education in this part of Suburban Mumbai. The town currently boasts over 10 schools (such as John XXIII High School, St. Xavierâ€™s School, National High School, MGM (Minoanâ€™s Garden Montessori) School, Royal Academy, Mehta International School, and so on) and a couple of colleges.
Property rates have increased since, too. Three and a half years ago, when I bought my two bedroom apartment in Virar, the property rates were hovering around Rs. 800-950 per square feet. Today, the property rates have more than doubled â€“ they now fall somewhere between Rs. 1,950 to Rs. 2,200. The quality of construction has certainly improved a lot, too.
Transportation has improved tremendously. Virar is now a hub for people travelling to Gujarat and Mumbai alike. Two railway tracks towards Mumbai have increased to four, while frequency of EMUs (electric trains) has increased, too. In fact, major outstation Express trains today stop at Virar.
A good news is also in the pipeline â€“ the Maharashtra government has recently announced that it plans to develop a business district such as Bandra Kurla Complex in Vasai. I feel that the development of such a business district is important and will go a long way in increasing the importance of the Vasai-Virar region of Suburban Mumbai. Itâ€™s high time the people of this important part of Suburban Mumbai got their due!