The not so Old Mahabalipuram Road and how Siruseri is the star of an ever-expanding South Chennai
Just take an evening drive down Old Mahabalipuram Road, and you’ll be wondering if this is not Bengaluru. OMR is a microcosm more so of Bengaluru than Chennai for that matter. For the kind of modern lifestyle options, glittering workplaces, high-end showrooms and malls, to skyscraping residential towers, OMR is a part of Chennai even Chennaiites look at in awe. What used to be a nondescript T-junction with a company called SRP Tools is now the beginning of the trailblazing OMR. That the SRP Tools landmark has been replaced by the swanky new Holiday Inn is just the trailer of what is a blockbuster movie that had made many a dream come true. Simply put, there is nothing “old” anymore about Old Mahabalipuram Road.
Until 1998, it was called the Mahabalipuram Road, beceause as the name suggests, it was the best way to reach Mahabalipuram and beyond for South Chennai residents. The other route to reach Mahabalipuram was through the Tambaram-Chengalpettu route, which was circuitous for residents of Mylapore, for instance. Tidel Park that was launched in 2000 laid the foundation stone not just for IT & ITES services in Chennai but was elemental in making India a leading software services hub in Asia. OMR is a strategically located area. It has the coast to the east, and the airport to the west. It has great connectivity to the city in the north and to weekend destinations in the south. Weekday evenings can be spent in posh hubs like Adyar and Boat Club, while weekends can be perfect getaways to hit Pondycherry, Tranquebar and why, even beyond. Long weekends are the perfect foil for OMR residents. They can get ahead of the city traffic pouring out the city. It’s like having a US visa… you can pack and leave to anywhere you want at the drop of a hat. But the hyperbole apart, OMR was and remains the perfect location for the idea of an IT Expressway. As a single stretch of 45 kilometres, it lends itself well to the kind of commercial, residential, social, public and lifestyle infrastructure that it needs, to sustain itself as a sensible investment – be it in any of the above facets. For instance, a flat is a great investment with year-on-year appreciation. A well-researched business plan will see the light of day faster than anywhere else in the city – be it a franchise of a famous chain (retail, fastfood, or showrooms) or just your very own venture. You have every resource at your disposal. From wide roads to services lanes, OMR has it set. Yes, it is crowded, and it has its fair share of issues with sewage outlets and water supply, but that is something that can be, and will be fixed. Progressive governance machinery has always ensured that irrespective of the party in power, the ideology that Tamil Nadu is an industrious and hardworking state has always been the front and center of development.
Take Siruseri for example. The shining example of what a locality can become with just the right balance of work and play. Located just after Navalur, Siruseri has the fabulous Hiranandani Township on one side in Egattur which houses thousands of knowledge workers and business folks. The Marina Mall caters to their every need, with ease. The SIPCOT Park houses the best of the best. The titans of industry from TCS to Capegemini, Hexaware and Cognizant to name a few. Infosys is a few kilometres, city side. If OMR feels like Bengaluru, Siruseri feels like Singapore – the kind of design in architecture that TCS has invested in what with its futuristic buildings and a Tony Stark kind of Avengers tower. In many ways, the TCS campus defines what Siruseri stands for. World-class, modern, sustainable… all built by an Indian company. By ourselves, of ourselves, for ourselves.
Look at a 10-kilometre radius within Siruseri and you’ll find the best residential properties. From plotted developments, to villas, gated communities, independent apartments, from micro townships to mega townships. You have it all. Olympia Opaline, Radiance Ivy Terrace, Emami Tejomaya, TVH Ouranya Bay, XSReal Symphony, Jains Inseli Park, Akshaya Adena Adora and Adair, Purva Swanlake, Mantri Synergy… the list is endless. With each developer competing with each other in views, amenities, quality and features, OMR bound homebuyers are clearly spoilt for choice like no other. From rooftop swimming pools and gyms to spacious parks, ample car parking, squash courts, tennis courts, cricket nets, skating rinks, water features, full-service clubhouses, multipurpose halls, AV rooms, mini-theatres, private terraces… need we say more? And by virtue of being at the centre of commerce on OMR, Siruseri offers a great work-life balance too. You can walk for pleasure or walk to work. You can cycle for cardio or cycle to Mahabalipuram (it’s just 30kms from Siruseri). Ironman athletes will love the open roads where they can practice their cycling skills.
For residents of the mature part of Chennai who work, live and socialize within the confines of the city, OMR is not the Madras they are used to. True. OMR is not the Madras that is an emotion, but a Chennai which is trailblazing its way into becoming a self-sufficient city of its own. While OMR may cater to a modern, lifestyle-rich future, it will always be rooted in the values and emotions that the city holds, be it Madras or Chennai. For their soul is the same.