Kharghar: Smart city in the making

We cannot raise our kids in the city! Ross said it to Rachel and Monica and Chandler too, abode by the rule. Mumbai, the New York of India, will come across to many as claustrophobic. Kharghar, new, young and fresh inclusion to the city-scape, provides a wonderful option for those looking for a break from the crowds. A weekend, a month, a year or shift base completely, look at why Kharghar is a valid investment option and a great alternative for those who, inspite of Mumbais addictive vibe, really want to get away. But not quite.

Image by Abhijitsathe/CC BY-SA 3.0

Location

Located in the Raigad district on the Sion-Panvel highway, Kharghar is a nodal district literally an offshoot from Mumbai! It has been developed and maintained by CIDCO or the City and Industrial Development Corporation, an initiative of the Maharashtra Government. Against the backdrop of the beautiful Kharghar hills and with around 66 percent of its area as an open space, it is, quite literally, a breath of fresh air for those too used to having a new building at every footstep. Although a residential township, it houses a part of Navi Mumbais Central Business District.

The Kharghar Railway station is on the harbour line and is just over an hour from CST.

By road, its an hour drive from the Eastern Freeway. The great thing about Kharghar is that its close to places like Thane, Neral, Mumbai and quite in the middle of the outskirts, so to speak.

Image by Dhavalbhatt16/CC BY-SA 3.0

What it includes

Kharghar has started with its basics right. A place to shop, places to eat and party, a park to stroll around, movie theatres, hospitals, pathology labs and lots of clean air what else does a citizen need? The only thing it perhaps lacks is its connectivity to the mainland, which will improve in the near future. Read on to know more.

The Little World Mall

A small but functional mall, Little World houses primarily the BIG cinemas, Kharghars go to destination for movies. It also has popular brands like Max, Reliance trends, Vijay Sales, the electronics store among others.

Image by Bhaveshjain/CC BY-SA 3.0

Central Park

A 85 ha. space, dedicated to play time! It is the dream, if you are used to buildings which have barely any parking. Central Park is the largest park in the country, and while it blends natural landscape with infrastructural design seamlessly. It is divided into a lot of interesting sections like the Musical Instrument Park, an amphitheatre for a scenic performance space, and one of the largest available spaces for children. It also has a water park, a club-house, a botanical garden, and a nursery. If you have gone there for just a day, it is nearly impossible to cover the whole place in a day! Keep some time in hand.

Image by Deepak Bansi/CC BY-SA 3.0

NIFT

Yes, the famed National Institute of Fashion Technology is located here. A prestigious educational institute, with surroundings that inspire and bring out the innate creativity NIFT was shifted to Kharghar way back in 2003. Some foresight, we must say!

Kharghar Golf Course

CIDCO has also built an 18-hole golf course opposite Central Park in Kharghar, which currently operates on a play and pay basis. Its a wonderful addition to the list of facilities CIDCO provides

Kharghar Medicity Hospital

It is a premier 50 bedded hospital, located at Sector 7. It offers a wide range of medical & super specialties including intervention & diagnostics.

Padavkada Falls

Among the scenic highlights of the township, are the Pandavkada falls, 107 metres in height. It also has a myth attached to it, saying that that the Pandavas had once visited the place, and taken a bath below the gushing water. That is also how they derive their name. For those living there, it acts as a beautiful picnic spot.
PS: Try and look for the Pandavkada Ankit, the tunnel where the Pandavas are believed to have come from.

The D.A.V International School

Affiliated to the CBSE, it is situated in sector 15 of the township.

What is yet to come

ISCKON

The famed ISCKON temple has begun its construction near Central Park, and is rumoured to be the biggest ISCKON temple in India, at the time of completion. Located in sector 12 will also be the Krantiveer Phadke Garden, catering to the residents of sector 12.

Metro

The proposed Navi Mumbai Metro, phase 1 will be from Belapur to Pendhar via Kharhar, making it an important junction going forward. It will include 19 stations, that will conclude at the proposed Navi Mumbai Airport. While the timeline is long-ish, its a long term investment worth making.

Investment

While currently, staying at Kharghar might be too much of a change, given that it has not developed fully, it serves as an excellent opportunity for investors, with property rates anywhere between Rs 4,000 and Rs 10,000 per sq. ft.

CIDCOs board has also proposed an industrial district in Kharghar, and plans to make it a smart city, are also underway. In 2015, CIDCO announced its plans, along with seven other nodes. This would have free broadband services, computers to schools, over 50,000 homes for the weaker sections among other things.

Places to eat

While still a long way to go, Kharghar already has some great cafe and restaurants. Among these are Cafe Monza, Desi Curry for some great seafood and authentic Malwani dishes, Hugs and Mugs (a quaint cafe perfect for an evening coffee), Khubuzz, Bombay Bread House and Hot Wok, and some fast food joints like Dominos.

Kharghar, simply put, is the future hope for residents who are satiated with the ever growing city of Mumbai, within Mumbai. Time to space out a bit, we say!

The main image for this article was sourced from Wikimedia. Image by Deepak Bansi/CC BY-SA 3.0

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