Hyderabad ranked as one of the Best Quality of living in India

Hyderabad has been ranked as the top Indian city in the quality of living ranking, for the third year in a row, as per Mercer's Quality of Living rankings 2017. For the second year in a row, according to the study, New Delhi continues to be ranked lowest, with scores remaining constant. Both Hyderabad and Pune cities rank higher for quality of living than the country's more traditional business centres, Mumbai and New Delhi ranked at 154 and 161, respectively, as per the report. Globally, Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities -- Zurich (2), Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel (10). The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79), respectively..

Budget 2018: Push for projects worth Rs11,000cr to add 90km to suburban railways

Mumbai's rail system is being expanded and augmented to add 90km of double line tracks at a cost of over Rs11,000 crore," said Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in this budget speech on Thursday. Jaitley's reference, according to railway officials, was to projects that are part of MUTP III, or the third phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project. The projects include the Airoli-Kalva Link, the quadrupling of the Virar-Dahanu line, the procurement of 47 AC rakes, and building infrastructure to prevent trespassing (mainly, track crossing, which leads to hundreds of deaths in the Mumbai Region every year). This year, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the implementation authority for MUTP, is expecting an allocation of Rs 500-600 crore for the third phase projects. Execution of work will begin in the next financial year, which starts from April. In 2017-18, MUTP III got an allocation of Rs 411 crore, but even contractors for the listed works are yet to be finalized. "Though allocation was substantial, barely Rs 15-20 crore was spent," said a senior MRVC official. "This year, we need to spend on land acquisition, besides making payments to contractors. We plan to conclude the loan agreement with the World Bank for MUTP III (both MUTP I and II are World Bank-funded). Also, there are chances that a few projects under MUTP IIIA (see story below) may be included in MUTP III." Under MUTP III, WR will quadruple tracks between Virar and Dahanu. At present, Virar-Dahanu suburban services are double-line, overlapping with the main line Mumbai-Ahmedabad/Delhi route. The main line is over-saturated and there is no scope for supplementing suburban services here. A railway official said the construction of an additional double line in the Virar-Dahanu corridor will address commuter demand, facilitating an extension of suburban services from Churchgate to Dahanu Road. The Panvel-Karjat double line too is part of MUTP III, to provide an alternative route from Karjat to CSMT via Panvel, which will be shorter by 23km than the existing route via Kalyan. It will reduce CSMT-Karjat travel by 35-40 minutes by slow locals.

Government gives nod for ORR growth corridor

HYDERABAD: Seeking to promote planned development around the Outer Ring Road, the comprehensive Master Plan for 1-km belt on either side of the road has been approved by the government. This was done after examination of the modified Draft Master Plan and Special Development Regulations from the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) along with objections and suggestions from public. The Government Order No. 470 on ORR Growth Corridor applies to all development and building activities in areas that fall within 1 km on either side of the outer edge of the ORR Right Of Way. It defines the special development zone (SDZ) and classifies it as multipurpose use zone excluding areas meant for roads, open spaces and recreational, transportation and public utilities. Facilities In this zone, neither expansion of existing industries nor permission for new industries is to be permitted. Facilities such as warehousing, market yards, wholesale open stocking and construction material stocking will be permitted in specified transportation zone only. While not allowing any new polluting activity, either industrial or otherwise, the existing ones will be allowed to continue if they are non-polluting in operations and certified by the Pollution Control Board. Specifications For purpose of development, independent plots will have to be a minimum of 1,000 sq mts with a minimum abutting road width of 12.2 metres, while no change of land is to be allowed. The GO puts the minimum layout size for residential plotted development at 4 hectares and it has to be contiguous and approachable by an existing black topped road of 12.2-mt wide. In cases of such access not existing, the developer will first have to provide the same at his own cost. A layout will also have to reserve 5 per cent of total area to be given free of cost to HUDA/HADA for residential/commercial use apart from 5 per cent each for EWS, LIG and MIG Housing. Also, a minimum of 10 per cent has to be earmarked for parks, playgrounds and open spaces. Another 2.5 per cent goes for social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, public utilities and shopping centres. For those less than four hectares, development of apartments, cluster housing, residential enclaves, row housing, high-rise residential buildings are to be permitted.

Government gives nod for ORR growth corridor

HYDERABAD: Seeking to promote planned development around the Outer Ring Road, the comprehensive Master Plan for 1-km belt on either side of the road has been approved by the government. This was done after examination of the modified Draft Master Plan and Special Development Regulations from the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) along with objections and suggestions from public. The Government Order No. 470 on ORR Growth Corridor applies to all development and building activities in areas that fall within 1 km on either side of the outer edge of the ORR Right Of Way. It defines the special development zone (SDZ) and classifies it as multipurpose use zone excluding areas meant for roads, open spaces and recreational, transportation and public utilities. Facilities In this zone, neither expansion of existing industries nor permission for new industries is to be permitted. Facilities such as warehousing, market yards, wholesale open stocking and construction material stocking will be permitted in specified transportation zone only. While not allowing any new polluting activity, either industrial or otherwise, the existing ones will be allowed to continue if they are non-polluting in operations and certified by the Pollution Control Board. Specifications For purpose of development, independent plots will have to be a minimum of 1,000 sq mts with a minimum abutting road width of 12.2 metres, while no change of land is to be allowed. The GO puts the minimum layout size for residential plotted development at 4 hectares and it has to be contiguous and approachable by an existing black topped road of 12.2-mt wide. In cases of such access not existing, the developer will first have to provide the same at his own cost. A layout will also have to reserve 5 per cent of total area to be given free of cost to HUDA/HADA for residential/commercial use apart from 5 per cent each for EWS, LIG and MIG Housing. Also, a minimum of 10 per cent has to be earmarked for parks, playgrounds and open spaces. Another 2.5 per cent goes for social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, public utilities and shopping centres. For those less than four hectares, development of apartments, cluster housing, residential enclaves, row housing, high-rise residential buildings are to be permitted.

Sector entry gets narrow to make space for flyover

GURUGRAM: After the construction of Sector 14-Iffco Chowk flyover, the sector's entry gate has got narrowed and a part of it was demolished by builder Gawar Constructions, residents of Sector 14 have claimed. They also alleged the realtor had promised that the entry gate would be reconstructed, but even after months, no repair work has been started yet. The residents welfare associations (RWAs) of Sector 14 told TOI that two-and-a-half months back the builder had completed the construction of the flyover, but left the gate unrepaired, leading to traffic problems. "We encounter traffic problems here daily," said Dinesh Aggarwal, president, RWA Sector 14. "The gate has been narrowed down. It is the only main entry into the Sector 14. Parts of the gates have been knocked down. The flyover was opened for traffic in 2017. The builder demolished our gates and promised that he would refurbish them, but once the work on flyover was complete, he vanished. We keep trying to contact them, but to no avail. Either no one takes our call or they dodge our queries." Residents said that the situation worsened over the past few months as cars jostled to get inside. "This is a key road because it leads to Iffco Chowk. There is also a private hospital and a few other important landmarks surrounding this area," Akash, another resident explained. The security guard at the entry of gate too lamented the sorry state of affairs. "It's fine during the afternoon, but during morning and evening hours, the traffic is gruelling. There is no space," he said. However, a project officer for Gawar Constructions said that they had dismantled the gate on the instructions of the residents only. "They had been demanding that it should be widened. Then they suddenly asked us to restore the gate. We widened their road and it required carpeting, but they insisted on stationing the gate back to its place. We can still do the carpeting, but the removal of gate has to be done by them."

Aadhaar of buyer and seller mandatory for land deals

HYDERABAD: Come March 11, Aadhaar will be made mandatory for all land registrations. This is one of the several sweeping changes in land deals made by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government to weed out corruption and bring in transparency. Speaking at the collectors' conference at Pragati Bhavan on Tuesday, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said that age-old practices will be abandoned to make the sale deed process more transparent and accountable. The CM said that Aadhaar will be made mandatory to execute a sale deed, top sources confirmed. During land registration, both the parties must take appointment of the registration authority and be physically present on the day. The financial transactions must be completed by that time. No registration of property in unauthorized layouts will be allowed. Banks too have been ordered to not give loans on the basis of pattadar passbooks, but based only on the details in the Dharani website. The far reaching changes will come into effect from March 11, when the chief minister launches the new registration policy. "In the land records purification programme, 93% of land and 92% accounts were found to be undisputed and without any litigation. By February-end, there should be one revenue court in the district in place of courts of RDO, joint collector and district collector. Revolutionary changes are going to take place in the revenue records maintenance from March 12," KCR said. As many as 2,500 to 4,000 registrations take place on a daily basis in the state, 60% of which are in urban areas. Apart from 141 sub-registrar offices, 443 mandal offices will be given the responsibility of registrations. Registration offices will be in place in 584 mandals. It was also decided not to take too much time for mutation of land. Entries will be made into the passbooks of both seller and buyer immediately with the required changes and additions. For this purpose, advanced computers and servers will be provided. Passbooks will be sent by courier to both seller and buyer and the details updated immediately on Dharani website. "Dharani website can be accessed from anywhere in the world. The collectors should update details of sale and purchases beginning March 12 on the site. Core banking method will start from March 12. We have reduced Pahani columns and will use simple Telugu terms in place of Marathi terms," KCR said.

Project with 1,400 flats in Greater Noida called off

NOIDA: In 2012-13, 1,400 investors booked flats in a housing society planned along the Yamuna expressway. Five years later, in what has become a recurring theme in NCR, they are preparing for a legal battle for refunds. Waiting for the flats isn't an option because the project never took off, and was called off by the developer. At least 39 of those investors who had booked homes in Sunworld's Vandita have decided to approach the national consumer forum for their money to be returned to them. The buyers claimed the project, located in Sector 22D of the Yamuna expressway region, was called off last year, but the refund cheques have bounced. Each investor is claiming a refund in the range of Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 8.5 lakh. The developer, however, claims it has returned the money to 75% of the buyers.The buyers claimed the project, located in Sector 22D of the Yamuna expressway region, was called off last year, but the refund cheques have bounced. Each investor is claiming a refund in the range of Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 8.5 lakh. The developer, however, claims it has returned the money to 75% of the buyers.

Jaypee promises 3,500 Wish Town flats in April

NOIDA: The Jaypee group on Thursday committed to delivering 3,500 flats in its long-delayed Wish Town housing project in Noida in April.With a Supreme Court hearing due on January 25, the company's top management also said it would another tranche of Rs 125 crore with the court's registry on the day as part of the deposit it has been asked to pay to safeguard the interests of homebuyers. Jaypee Infratech Limited, the group's real estate arm that is building Wish Town, is facing insolvency proceedings. The case went to the Supreme Court after Jaypee buyers filed a petition. The Supreme Court asked Jaypee to deposit Rs 2,000 crore and later agreed to let it make the deposits in instalments. The company on Thursday also gave an update on the delivery status of Wish Town and Aman. Of 32,000 housing units at Wish Town, Jaypee said it had already handed over 6,000 apartments and 1,400 plots. Of 4,000 apartments in Aman, it said 600 had been delivered.The realtor said it was ready to apply for completion certificates of 3,500 more flats in Wish Town and 350 in Aman.

Real estate still remains desirable asset in India: Report

NEW DELHI: In a year marked with a series of policy changes to bring in more transparency, real estate remained a desirable asset for Indians as more than 15 lakh people actively searched to buy property in 2017, according to a report released on Wednesday. "How India searched for Homes in 2017", prepared by online realty site Magicbricks, analysed consumer behaviour over the last 12 months to capture interesting consumer trends in 2017. According to it, Maharashtra occupied the top spot with seven of its localities being the most preferred localities around the country. New Delhi remains a winner when it comes to rented properties while Navi Mumbai and Hyderabad are high on the buying meter. "In a year marked with several policy changes, the fact that there were more than 15 lakh active searches for a property in 2017 debunks the myth that buyers have exited the market and establishes that real estate continues to be a desirable asset for Indians," said the property site's Head Marketing Prasun Kumar. With prices remaining flattish over the last one year and demand-supply equation balancing out due to fewer project launches, it is certainly the right time for home buyers to invest in their home, he said.

CREDAI pegs real estate prices to go up due to input costs

CHENNAI: Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India has said property prices could rise due to rising input costs.Raw materials like sand, which was earlier available at Rs 35 per cubic feet was being sold at Rs 135 per cubic feet while a cement bag which costs Rs 270 was being sold at Rs 330 per bag, CREDAI Chennai, President, Suresh Krishn said. "Credai Chennai feels there will be a rise in the property prices that cannot be avoided due to rise in raw material costs", Krishn said in a press release. Real estate developers would be 'compelled' to pass the additional input costs to homebuyers, he said. Steel prices have also gone up from the earlier Rs 34,000 per tonne to Rs 47,000 per tonne. The overall increase in construction cost was expected to be around Rs 400 per square foot, he added.

Realty sector tested by critical reforms this year; hopes for better 2018

NEW DELHI: The multi-year slowdown continued in the property market this year as sales and launches were hit due to triple tsunami -- demonetisation, RERA and GST -- but developers hope for recovery in 2018 driven by affordable housing that got infrastructure tag and other sops. Real estate developers and consultants expect housing sales to improve, although gradually, as prices have become stable after much-needed correction in last few years and interest rates on home loans have softened. With new supply likely to be restricted in 2018, the rise in housing demand and sales would lead to reduction in unsold stock, which is around 5-6 lakh homes currently. The sector is likely to see a major consolidation as many developers would sell their assets to complete ongoing projects and cut debt. The year 2017 saw decline in housing sales and launches, which real estate players attributed to triple tsunamis faced by the sector in form of note ban announced in November 2016, new realty law RERA implemented from May and Goods and Services Tax from July. During January-September 2017, housing sales and launches fell by 30 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, in 7 major cities as compared to the year-ago period, according to Anarock Property Consultants. During January-September 2017, housing sales and launches fell by 30 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, in 7 major cities as compared to the year-ago period, according to Anarock Property Consultants.

Steel PSUs to be on par with private counterparts in 2018

Upbeat about the domestic steel industry witnessing a revival in 2017 after a gloomy spell, the steel ministry hopes that PSUs operating in the sector to fare better in 2018 and be on par with private counterparts. "So, PSUs will be functioning if not on par but near par with the private sector in the calendar year of 2018," Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma told PTI in an interview. Ecstatic about the national steel and a public procurement policies have taken off very well, the secretary said the sector has got a fillip and there is an optimism in the market.The Cabinet, in May, approved National Steel Policy 2017 that envisages Rs 10 lakh crore investment to take capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31 to give a boost to the sector. The government in the same month also approved a public procurement policy to give preference to domestically manufactured goods with a view to promote Make in India initiative. "We are happy with 2017 because the two things which the ministry was working on i.e. the steel policy and procurement preference policy, have taken off very very well and there are very positive signs about it. The sector has got the boost. The figure itself speaks up themselves that the sector has revived," Sharma explained. Stating that the companies operating in the steel sector were considering expanding their capacities, she said in the year ahead, the government expected some of the firms to be grounded.

Realty queries: Has RERA become an effective tool for property investors yet?

Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants answers the real estate queries from our readers.As a matter of fact, Maharashtra is the front-runner in the process of RERA implementation and had registered more than 13,000 projects till Oct 2017. Since its inception, it registered many complaints against developers by aggrieved buyers, and the RERA authority in the state has already started resolving them. However, of the states have notified their RERA rules, many still don't have the requisite infrastructure for a smooth process. States such as Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Odisha still don't have live RERA websites.Is this the right time to buy a flat in Faridabad? We keep hearing that it is a buyer's market. What exactly does this mean? It means that the residential market now favours end-users. If you're an investor who is hoping for some quick profits, look elsewhere because Indian residential property is definitely not what you should be looking for. However, if you are a patient, long-term investor who understands property cycles and market readings, your star currently shines as brightly as the end-user's. Four or five years from now, your investment — as long as you have picked the right location and project — will have grown sizably in value. If you're looking to buy a home for self-occupation, now is probably the best time you could have hoped for. There is a massive supply of ready-to-move-in property options available at rates which would have been considered impossible 4-5 years ago.

CoWrks leases 2.25 lakh sq ft in Mumbai, Gurgaon

MUMBAI: CoWrks, a shared office space providing company, has leased over 2.25 lakh sq ft commercial space across three deals in Mumbai and Gurugram. With this, the company will be venturing into the Mumbai market with one office and Gurugram with two offices, said a top company official. "Given the robust demand for shared office spaces across all major cities, we are moving swiftly to lease and form alliances with landlords to establish and further our presence. We are adding three more centres to our portfolio in key commercial markets of Mumbai and Gurugram," Sidharth Menda, chief executive at CoWrks, told ET. Of the newly leased spaces, around 95,000 sq ft has been picked up in Mumbai's Worli locality, while around 1.28 lakh sq ft has been leased through two separate transactions in Gurugram. The company is planning to launch all three centres that would cumulatively accommodate over 2,500 seats by February end. "This is in addition to our three existing centres in South India and five under-construction centres spread over 5.5 lakh sq ft," said Menda. With this, the RMZ promoter group company will have co-working offices spread over 1million sq ft across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Gurugram. The company started its operations in September 2016 and currently has total three centers operational in Bengaluru and Chennai. While CoWrks' Chennai centre is around 24,000 sq ft,

Will ensure delivery of 80,000 homes by March: Yogi Adityanath

NOIDA: Yogi Adityanath, on his first visit to Noida on Saturday after becoming the chief minister, held a meeting with homebuyers as well as the builders, after which he promised that 80,000 homes would be delivered to the investors by the end of next March in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna expressway areas. The chief minister also promised stringent action against builders who fail to deliver the flats on time. Action would be taken after the completion of physical and financial audit being done in the three areas, he said. The chief minister assured that the delivery process is being streamlined and that the builders are being divided into three categories-first, those who are solvent to deliver; second, who are securing measures to deliver but stuck with projects because of minor dues, and finally those who are debt-ridden and unable to deliver. Yogi, meanwhile, blamed the previous governments' "corrupt practises" for the stalled development of the state. "All the problems being faced in the three areas including the builder-buyer stalemate is a contribution of the previous governments," he said.

Reformed realty to ride out rough road

The year 2017 could well go down as one of the most painful for the bruised real estate and housing sector, reeling under the short-term disruptive impact of a series of reforms. But then, riding high on these landmark reforms, the regulated and organised realty is set to ride out the rough terrain to emerge as a healthy and sustainable asset class in the medium to long run. The agony of the real estate sector was particularly reflected in the worst-hit residential real estate. The long delays in completing projects and large-scale delivery defaults badly shattered the confidence and trust of home buyers, who were at war with developers and fighting it out in the courts -- which saw a few developers landing in jail. In the wake of all this, home buyers took a back seat, especially refraining from buying under-construction housing units and thereby badly hitting sales. According to industry statistics, there were about 685,000 unsold units across seven major cities till September this year. The high unsold inventory, together with the burden of complying with RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Act) led to a big slump in the launch of new units, though home buyers did pick up ready-to-move dwelling units as they were assured of the safety of their investment. In view of RERA squeezing funds for residential properties, many developers took to commercial real estate, especially as investors preferred this segment due to better capital appreciation and good returns, particularly in pre-leased properties.

Sand crisis hits workers, construction work hard

MUNGER: Building construction works by government as well as private agencies have received setback across the district because of scarcity of sand and stone chips despite the state government claim of making these materials at affordable rates.The government decision to sell sand and small stone chips from December 1 completely failed with the result that the sand mafia were making a heyday by realizing hefty prices for these materials from public. They are charging Rs6,800 to Rs7000 for 80cft of sand for which they had to pay Rs2000 per tractor to the men in uniform to allow them free access on the road. "I have stopped construction work midway because of non-availability of sand. The sand dealers are charging three times more than earlier for 80cft of sand," said Nawal Kishore Prasad, a lawyer's clerk at Munger court and resident of Shadipurin the town. According to contractor Ramlakhan Prasad Singh, around 10,000 artisans, including masons and daily wage workers, in the district have become unemployed due to non-availability of sand and stone chips. Their families are facing acute financial crisis. Around 100 private contractors have also failed to complete the building construction work due to the same reason.Navin Kumar, the DCLR and officiating mining officer, said on Monday the matter was being sorted out and the sale of sand and stone chips would resume in two or three days.

Global investors eye tieups with local realtors to build commercial assets

MUMBAI: Global private equity, pension and sovereign wealth funds eyeing commercial assets in India are now looking to build these assets with local developers given that the demand is far outstripping supply of grade A assets in key markets. Blackstone, GIC, Brookfield and CPPIB have already taken most of the ready and leased assets, leaving other long-term investors ready to write big cheques to scout for partners for development opportunities on core assets. “Increasingly global investors are seeking advice on arrangements to be made with local realty developers for developing greenfield assets rather than waiting for the asset to be built by someone else. With this, their returns are also expected to be better as they lock in commercials from day one,” said Bhairav Dalal, partner, PwC India. wC’s annual survey on emerging trends in real estate found Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi’s pan-Asia rankings in term of investment destination stood at 12, 15 and 20, respectively. However, interest from international investors remains unabated. The survey is based on 400 fund managers and developers across Asia. “Developers are successfully attracting funds with good capitalisation rate for their assets. But, that means expensive deals for funds. In this backdrop, investors are open to an idea of developing their own assets provided they find right partners.

GHMC moots TDR for acquiring land for road project

HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) faced with the herculean task of acquiring properties for the proposed Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP), has decided to give sops to owners set to lose their property for the project. The primary benefit to be offered will come in the form of improved transferrable development rights (TDR). By extending TDR benefits, the municipal corporation will not need to pay cash compensation to the owners who handover properties for the SRDP. As per TDR, permission will be given for more built-up area than normally allowed as per the building rules. The owner can either utilize the right to additional built-up area or can sell it others. For instance, as of now, if a person loses 100 sq yards land, he would get built up area permission for 200 sq yards (200% built up space). The owners can also claim set0back relaxations instead of additional built-up area. The TDR is given in the form of a certificate by incorporating the eligible space. Now more relaxations like both built-up area and set-back relaxations would be offered to the owners in the proposed package by the GHMC for taking over properties for SRDP. It may be recalled that the GHMC has taken up construction of multi-level flyovers and development of junctions at 20 locations in the city under SRDP Phase I costing over Rs 2,631 crore. Sources said that the corporation needs to take over about 42 acres of state and central government land along with another 29 acres of private properties. If the GHMC needs to rely on cash compensation, it has to cough up about Rs 1,400 crore towards compensation to the owners.

Landowners getting share of revenue named 'promoters'

PUNE: The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has made it clear that landowners getting a share of the total revenue from the sale of apartments or a project marketed or sold will be treated as promoters.The authority in an order issued on Monday land owners of nearly 4,345 projects registered as they being co-promoters will be mentioned as promoters. Their liability will be decided on the basis of whether they are land owners or investors. The order stated that a land owner will be accountable as a developer if he has taken area of a project and not cost. "It was necessary for the consumers' benefits to distinguish or identify whether such a promoter is a land owner, investor or is the one who has actually obtained the building permissions for carrying out the construction work," a MahaRERA official said. Credai-Maharashtra president Shantilal Kataria said the specification clears the doubts for the consumers and as well as the developers. "If a person is only a land owner and has no area share, he is not liable as the builder," he said, adding that the order clearly states that a copy of the written agreement must be uploaded on the RERA website for public viewing. Shrikant Paranjape, president of Pune Credai (metro), said the new order is a clarification that needs to be studied and interpreted correctly. "There have been some distinctions made between a developer and a land owner/investor," he said.

Credai, activists divided on constructions on foothills

PUNE: The state government's notification banning fresh construction up to 100ft (30.48m) from the foot of any hill has evoked contrasting reactions from developers and environmentalists. While the Maharashtra unit of Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (Credai) has urged the government to reconsider the notification, the environmentalists hailed the move while asking "the government to not yield to pressures mounted by builders' bodies." Credai said the notification will hamper redevelopment efforts of existing structures while putting those with land holdings by the foothills at a serious economic disadvantage. "The open land around the foothill is an invitation to slums and encroachments," Credai Maharashtra president Shantilal Kataria said. "The notification is not a state order. It is a fallout of National Green Tribunal's order. The spirit of the order should not be tampered with by anyone," D Stalin, director of Vanashakti, an environmental NGO, said. He added that with the (implementation of) the order, at least the remaining hills will be seen as hills and not as a concrete jungle. "Also when there is a landslide or a hill collapse, will the developers take responsibility for the safety of the project?" he asked. Noted environmentalist Madhav Gadgil also backed the notification, terming it a very good move.

Real estate queries: No GST on houses rented for residential purposes

According to the provision of the GST Act, renting out of an immovable property would be treated as a supply of services and thus fall under the ambit of GST. However, GST would not applicable if the property is rented out for residential purposes. Thus, if the property is let out for commercial/business purposes, it would attract GST at the rate of 18%, provided the landlord’s annual income (from provision of services) exceeds Rs 20 lakh. Brokerage services are also subject to GST at the rate of 18% provided the broker’s annual income (from provision of services) exceeds Rs 20 lakh. Stamp duty is calculated on the agreement value of the property or the ready reckoner value, whichever is higher and is currently levied at a base rate of 5% in Mumbai. There is no concession given for secondary transactions. It is pertinent to note that the registrar considers several factors while arriving at the ready reckoner value of the property, such as type of property (flat/independent house), usage of property (commercial, residential), depreciation of the property, etc. The calculation of depreciation factors in age of the building – higher the age of the building, lower the value after depreciation. Post demonetisation, linkage of Aadhaar to property transactions will be an important measure to curb black money and aid in reducing the quantum of ‘Benami’ properties.

Will affordable housing create an artificial demand bubble?

With the government lending a major policy push to its vision of ensuring 'Housing for All’ by bringing homes up to 150 sq m under the affordable housing scheme and private players rising to the occasion, the million-dollar question is will the government be able to meet its target by 2022? An uptick in home financing options and increase in the purchasing power of people working in the private sector has undoubtedly given a fillip to residential sales. But demonetisation, RERA and GST have been a dampener. Apart from affecting the overall market sentiment, these government policies have forced people to adopt a ‘wait-and-watch’ policy. But there is another dimension to this debate. Will affordable housing create an artificial demand bubble? Some experts warn that one must tread with utmost caution, looking into genuine supply and demand as an oversupply of housing and artificial demand will create a bubble which may not last very long. The US economic crisis of 2008, for example, also started with an ambitious dream by the then-president George Bush, of ensuring each American family has his own house. To realise this dream, the US government framed a policy of home loans backed by government assurance in case of loan defaultwhich led to artificial demand. This created a bubble in the financial market which grew so much that when it burst, it affected almost the entire world.

Builders can only ensure delivery of 10,000 flats by December: Credai

NOIDA: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's instruction to officers of Noida and Greater Noida in September this year to ensure at least 50,000 apartments to home buyers in the twin cities by December 12, has fallen flat. The Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association (Credai) confirmed with TOI that only 10,000 apartment handovers are possible by December 31; that too if the builders can clear their pending dues and other formalities with the respective authorities.The chief minister's instructions for the two authorities had come after a high level meeting at Lucknow in September. A three-member committee of ministers comprising ministers Suresh Khanna, Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana were constituted to focus on the problems of the buyers. Builders at that point had agreed to aid completion of 50,000 apartments from cash-strapped projects but they had bargained for FAR concession in their own ongoing projects. "After a fair estimation of available inventory and what we can offer buyers in real terms, we have found 10,000 apartments which are complete and at present only stuck in last stages of clearances with the Authorities. These are clearances which are withheld for small payments or compliances," Pankaj Bajaj, president, Credai-NCR said. Beyond these, Bajaj said there are 20,000 more flats which are in the last phases of completion and they can be handed over in next few months if the builder can acquire necessary funds to get them done.

Builders can’t blame system for delivery delays, says MahaRERA

MUMBAI: Builders cannot blame the approval system to seek exemption from paying compensation to homebuyers for delay in completion of projects, said Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority in two rulings. The regulator has ruled that the developer is not entitled to recover any money from allottees without approvals of the competent authority. With this, MahaRERA has reinstated that builders need to desist from launching projects and committing deadlines until permissions are in place. The regulator has passed two separate orders in favor of homebuyers, Atul Deshpande and Ravindra Patankar, who had complained and sought refund of amounts paid by them to developer Babasaheb Atkire over failure to deliver timely possession. According to complaints, Atkire had promised the project delivery in September 2015 but has delivered the same as yet. However, Atkire contended that he is not at fault for the delay. In May 2012, the developer had secured non-agriculture land approval from Assistant Director, Town Planning of Pune. He cited that while the project’s environment clearance application was pending, the sanctioning authority was replaced by Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (PMRDA) in March 2015. PMRDA initially sanctioned only P+6 floors due to height restrictions. However, it finally approved the building plans in December 2016 with P+11 floors for one of the wings with some conditions.

Top 10 destinations to invest in residential real estate

As India's urbanisation picks up speed, the traditionally-preferred property investment locations in most of the main cities are getting saturated and increasingly expensive. This is having a roll-on effect on many other residential sub-markets across leading Indian cities. Even as more and more locations go out of the reach of a certain cross-segment of buyers that preferred it in the preceding years, other emerging areas come to the rescue. Moreover, with the expansion of business districts and different office space occupier categories preferring newer business precincts to older ones, certain residential sub-markets in the primary cities have been finding favour from an increasing number of buyers - and, consequently, property investors. Such sub-markets tend to offer a marked price advantage vis-à-vis the more established locations - and the residential projects coming up there are compliant with the latest development laws and tend to have more contemporary amenities. All these 'pull factors' lead to such locations seeing good sales traction independent of the rate at which sales are taking place at the city level. Locations currently witnessing such trends across India's key cities include Malad (Mumbai), Kharghar (Navi Mumbai), Ghodbunder Road and Pokhran Road (both in Thane), Hinjewadi and Kharadi (both in Pune), Sarjapur Road, Varthur, Kanakapura Road (all in Bengaluru) and Gachibowli (in Hyderabad).

Realtors want GST for sector be lowered to 6 percent

NEW DELHI: The National Real Estate Development Council (Naredco) has urged the government to halve the goods and services tax (GST) rate for the real estate sector to 6% to help boost demand for new homes. At a meeting with finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia and minister of state for finance and shipping, P Radhakrishnan, on Tuesday, the real estate builders' body said GST rate of 6%, with input tax credit, will be a win-win situation for all stakeholders. "Capping GST at 6% will incentivise buyers to invest in under-construction properties, who otherwise are waiting for completed properties to save 12% GST," said Rajeev Talwar, chairman of Naredco. "Buyers stand to benefit as developers would pass on the benefit to the buyers. The government also stands to benefit as it will collect more tax because of increase in demand. This is a win-win situation for all." According to Naredco president Niranjan Hiranandani, the industry body has also urged the government to increase the abatement for land cost to 50%, from the existing 30%, as cost of land forms the most significant part of any real estate-project cost. Builders claim the tax differential between the tax rates for a ready-to-move property and an under-construction property has compounded the problem. "The GST rate for under construction properties is 12%, whereas for ready-to-move properties it is 0%. This makes the ready-to-move properties lucrative compared with under-construction properties. This, in turn, is translating to reduction in fresh and continuous demand," Naredco said.

Builders give home buyers one deadline and RERA another to avoid penalty

Builders are pushing back the date of delivery of flats to buyers by several months and even years as a result of the new real estate law in the state. This has put many buyers in a bind because their agreements of sale with the builders mention a much earlier date. Developers registering projects with the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRera) are mandated to declare the delivery date of projects. There are penalties if they delay beyond the date submitted. People who have booked flats in projects across the city and in Pune have complained that their builders had committed to handing over the apartments in, say, 2017 and 2018. However, during registration, the developers have shown the date of possession as 2021-22. Real estate observers say builders have intentionally pushed back the date to allow themselves a buffer in case the project gets stuck for some reason. Many builders are giving project completion deadlines to MahaRera which are different from the ones they have promised flat buyers. Developer Boman Irani, vice-president of MCHI-CREDAI which represents builders, said the date of delivery mentioned during Rera registration is “acceptable.“ “Builders are keeping a margin of six months to one year for possession. The date submitted to Rera to hand over possession is the final cut-off.But developers will deliver much before this date,“ he said. MahaRera chairman Gautam Chatterjee, however, warned that builders will have to pay penalties for delays beyond what is stipulated in the registered agreement for sale.

HDFC and its subsidiary invest Rs 1,000 cr in Radius Developers’ Mumbai realty projects

Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and its subsidiary HDFC Capital Advisors have together invested Rs 1,000 crore in realty developer Radius Developers’ two residential projects in Mumbai, said three persons familiar with the development.Of the two investments, the first transaction involves India’s largest mortgage lender and non-banking finance company HDFC investing nearly Rs 600 crore in the developer’s premium project ‘X BKC’ near business district Bandra-Kurla Complex. In the second deal, HDFC Capital has invested about Rs 400 crore in the developers’ affordable housing project Anantya in Chembur, a suburb in Mumbai. HDFC has extended a construction finance facility with a tenure of four years to the developer’s 2.2 million sq ft BKC luxury project, while HDFC Capital has invested the money in the first phase of 6 million sq ft affordable housing project as structured equity through its fund HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund 1 (H-CARE 1).“This is HDFC entities’ maiden exposure to the developer. Both the entities may extend their financial partnership further as HDFC Capital is looking for more opportunities in the affordable housing segment along with Radius Developers,” said one of the persons mentioned above. HDFC Capital is likely to invest in the second phase of affordable housing project Anantya in Chembur. While HDFC’s construction finance will attract annual interest of around 12%, HDFC Capital’s structured equity investment has a component of assured return.

PM to flag-off Hyderabad Metro Rail tomorrow

The much-awaited Hyderabad Metro Rail will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow and start commercial operations from November 29. The 30-km-long first phase of the metro rail project between Miyapur and Nagole, having 24 stations, would be launched by the prime minister at 2.15 pm tomorrow at Miyapur station. Modi along with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will travel by the metro from Miyapur to Kukatpally, and back.The trains would run from 6 am to 10 pm initially and the timings would be rescheduled to 5.30 am to 11 pm, depending on the traffic and demand, Telangana's Information Technology Minister K T Rama Rao said on Saturday. He claimed that the Hyderabad metro rail is the most innovative and largest such project in the world in public private partnership (PPP) mode.The concessionaire, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, has fixed a minimum fare of Rs 10 for a distance of up to two kilometres and the maximum fare is Rs 60 for a distance of more than 26 kms. Each train would initially have three coaches and 330 people can travel in each coach. The number of coaches can be increased to six depending on the traffic, Rao said. The Telangana State Road Transport CorporationBSE 1.30 % (TSRTC) would also start feeder services for the metro, he said.A smart card was launched on Saturday for metro rail passengers.The card would be used for multiple modes of transport in future, Rao said.

Hyderabad airport growth soars, overtakes Mumbai, Delhi

HYDERABAD: Nine years after it made a 'landing' in the city, Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) has whizzed to the top of the growth chart, leaving all major airports, including Mumbai and Delhi (those built on PPPmodel), lagging behind. At least that's what records of this fiscal — the first half spanning April to September — suggest. The facility in Shamshabad clocked a massive 18% growth during that period in comparison to the corresponding period last year. Better still, in October 2017 the airport saw passenger footfall of over 1.5 million — the highest monthly traffic since its inception in 2008. Of the total, domestic passengers comprised over 1.2 million, while the international traffic count hovered around 0.3 million. The reasons being festive rush coupled with increased connectivity. "The marriage season that has coincided with a host of corporate events in the city is pulling massive crowds. During December to January, the arrival figures are expected to be high as well with NRIs from the US, travelling on their winter break," said Abdul Majid Faheem, chairman, Travel Agents Federation of India (Telangana and AP chapters). This steady growth in footfall was recently mapped in a survey conducted by CAPA - Centre for Aviation as well. While reiterating how passenger movement through the GMR-run international facility has increased, it indicated that the airport will need an expansion, "to 55 million capacity", as it is headed towards a point of saturation over the next decade.

MahaRERA may take suo motu action against realtors for registration non-compliance

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) is planning to take suo motu action on property developers whose ongoing projects have not been registered with itself even after the July 31 deadline. Until 7:20 pm on Monday, about 9,000 ongoing projects and 7,200 property brokers in the state had applied for registration with the authority. The number of applications for ongoing projects was expected to move closer to 10,000 by midnight when the deadline came to an end, an official at the Authority said, referring to the proposed suo motu action. According to developers, there are more than 20,000 ongoing realty projects across the state that had to be registered with the authority. Although the pace of registration remained slow until last week, the momentum increased closer to the deadline of July 31. Over the last three days, the MahaRERA portal had witnessed huge traffic as developers rushed to register their ongoing projects. The regulator had already stated that the deadline for registration of ongoing projects with the authority will not be extended. To prod realty developers to expedite the process of registering their projects, the regulator has also announced that builders can make changes to their project documents from September.

Now, an insurance cover for structural defects in buildings

MUMBAI: Property owners can now get an extended warranty for buildings in the form of an insurance policy against structural defects. Private insurer HDFC Ergo has launched a policy that compensates for the cost of repairing, restoring or strengthening of a building due to structural defect.Speaking to TOI, HDFC Ergo General Insurance executive director Mukesh Kumar said that under the new Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA), builders are liable for any structural flaws detected up to five years from the date of giving possession. While the policy is designed to cover the developer's liability, unlike other liability covers the claim will be paid without the property owners taking legal action against the developer.The cover is different from the standard property insurance cover, which is a fire insurance policy with added risks. The inherent defects policy covers all those risks that are not covered by the fire policy. Besides structural defect, this will include poor workmanship. Since even small damages are covered, the premium is higher than what is paid out for property insurance, and will be in the range of 0.6-1% of the project cost, depending on the risk features of the project.What could be reassuring for property buyers is that the policy can be assigned to the new property owners. This means that if an apartment block is sold and the property transferred to a cooperative society, the policy can be transferred to the society.

RERA unable to track developers’ deposits

CHENNAI: A provision to protect the investments of home buyers in the Real Estate Act is instead working in favour of promoters with a loop hole enabling them to conceal information from the realty regulator. Despite the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 mandating the depositing of 70% of the amount realised from the buyers in a separate account, the developer does not have to disclose if the rules have been followed.With the bank account being exclusively maintained by the developer, the real estate authority can intervene only in the event of complaints by buyers over misuse of the account. Sources with the Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority said that there was no mechanism in the Real Estate Actto verify whether the developer deposited the money in the separate account unless there were complaints. "It is just a self-declaration by the promoter and we can actonly if buyers complained about misuse of funds in the account," an official said. The loophole, home buyers said, would water down the ambitious clause, which was aimed at arresting diversion of funds for other purposes. It can be with drawn only for construction purposes of the particular project.Ratna Mishra, president of Moulivakkam Trust Height Affected Flat Buyers Association, said that there should be a provision for monitoring the account. "Otherwise, home buyers will have to run from pillar to post like us

Luxury home prices drop in Delhi, Bengaluru

NEW DELHI: Prices of luxury homes in New Delhi and Bengaluru declined by 3.1 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively, but rose marginally in Mumbai by 0.6 per cent in the year to September 2017, according to Knight Frank India."The declining trend that engulfed luxury home prices across key Indian metros earlier this year has further intensified amid a global pattern of weakening prices," Knight Frank said in a statement. Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index Q3 2017, which tracks the movement in luxury residential prices across 41 international cities every quarter, rose by 4.2 per cent in the year to September 2017. owever, at least 19 of these cities saw a decline in annual growth, it added."While Delhi (-3.1%) and Bengaluru (-0.8%) recorded sharper negative growth, prices for luxury homes in Mumbai saw a marginal increase of 0.6% between September 2016 and September 2017, albeit on a declining trend," the statement said. All the three metros featured on the price index slid from their positions in the previous quarter. Delhi saw the biggest drop in rankings as it slipped from the 31st to the 36th position. Samantak Das, Chief Economist and National Director - Research, said, "Prime residential markets have been under immense pressure particularly since the event of demonetisation.

For better valuations, realtors prefer to hold on to commercial properties

MUMBAI | BENGALURU: Real estate developers building commercial properties, including office blocks and retail malls, are increasingly looking to lease their properties than selling them on outright basis or monetising them through lease rental discounting (LRDs) given the imminent opening up of REIT market in India.Possibility of better valuation and control through this new option is holding back developers, who have so far stuck to the strategy of either complete or strata monetisation or even selling properties on outright basis.“The office market has been growing steadily since past few years and we expect the trend to continue. In such times, rental yielding asset owners might want to hold their properties and enjoy better valuations and also list them through REIT rather than monetise them at a go,” said Shobhit Agarwal, managing director–capital markets, JLL India. However, according to him, the launch of the first REIT seems to be at least 2-3 quarters away and the success of initial REITs will decide the fate of this market in India. While realty developers that also used lease rental discounting to monetise their commercial assets along with outright sale model are also now keen to create a portfolio that can be listed under a REIT.

Cement sector poised for faster growth; time to pick your bets

India, the second largest producer of cement in the world, is now globally competitive with lowest energy consumption and CO2 emissions. However, the industry is currently going through a consolidation phase, with large players such as UltraTech CementBSE -1.83 % acquiring the cement plants of Jaiprakash AssociatesBSE 0.54 % for Rs 16,189 crore in what has been the largest asset resolution in the country so far. The acquisition of Jaiprakash Associates’s cement assets will increase UltraTech’s capacity to 93 million tonnes per annum.On the demand side, there has been a long slowdown due to sluggishness in the construction industry following demonetisation and RERA implementation. With the continuous initiatives taken by the government such as affordable housing, interest rate subvention on home loans, continuous infrastructure spend, demand has improved in south IndianBSE -0.82 % market. Revival in rural housing demand, and Smart City, AMRUT, Housing for All and Bharatmala projects are expected to create huge demand.Under the Bharatmala project, the government aims to construct 83,000 km roads with an investment of Rs 7 lakh crore in five years.

China to shut down steel plants for 5 months to curb Beijing winter pollution

China will either shut down or curtail operations at dozens of steel plants over the next five months under an aggressive action plan to reduce winter pollution in Beijing and its surrounding areas, a new report has stated.A number of steel plants in northern China, which usually faces heavy to severe winter pollution every year, will be shut down before Christmas as part of the green strategy.“The measures are part of an aggressive action plan that aims to cut wintertime particulate pollution by 15% year-on-year over the next five months. These cuts are badly needed as Beijing and the surroundingindustrial provinces have suffered the winter’s first serious episode this week (last week of October), with PM 2.5 levels across several provinces reaching ‘very unhealthy’ levels,” the report by environmental advocacy group Greenpeace said.The new measures are set to take full effect in mid-November, and will continue through the winter.“The operating restrictions will affect one quarter of China’s total steel-making capacity and approximately 10% of its cement production. The measures are expected to cut national steel output by over 10% in the next five months and could prevent (the emission of) as much CO2 as Denmark and Finland emit in one year,” the report added.

Jaypee homebuyers finally get possession letters

NEW DELHI: Nearly 1,150 homebuyers in Jaypee Wish Town and Kosmos have received possession letters over the last two-and-a-half months when Jaypee Infratech was admitted for insolvency by the National Company Law Tribunal.Company sources said that during August and September, around 950 possession letters were offered, while another 200 letters have been handed over so far this month. The expectation is that the current pace of construction will be maintained and another 2,300 apartments in Wish Town will be handed over by December 2017.Although the insolvency resolution professional has been running the operations, most of the apartments were close to completion before IDBI Bank moved the insolvency tribunal following instructions from the Reserve Bank of India. With the current round of possession letters and 1,700 residential plots and town houses handed over around 7,700 residential units have been offered for possession. Jaypee Infratech had committed to build around 32,000 units across its 27 projects. While some of the projects were launched close to a decade ago, based on the current timelines, possession is to be completed by March 2021.

Valuable lessons RERA can learn from the mutual fund industry

The Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (Rera), 2016, came into effect in May 2017. While it has had some teething problems, there is no doubt that this regulation will bringing transparency and accountability into the real estate sector, something that consumers as well as responsible real estate developers will welcome. For far too long, consumers have viewed the real estate sector through a cloud of mistrust. Their apprehension isn’t without reason. Delayed projects, overpricing and ambiguous project specifications in the past have left homebuyers feeling helpless. So, ethical real estate developers are as excited about Rera as homebuyers as it will help reinstate consumer faith in the industry. Homebuyers invest a huge part of their life earnings in buying property. They are entitled to be aware of all relevant details, such as carpet area, super-built-up area, car parking facilities, floor plan and fixtures, and to be informed of changes to any of these elements during the project’s construction. Rera puts an end to the possibility of ambiguity in this matter and tilts the balance of power in favour of the consumer. For instance, by mandating that developers disclose and update project details on the state Rera website.

Festive cheer eludes real estate sector

Much against the expectations of the real estate sector, this year's festive season is turning out to be somewhat disappointing for property developers as aspiring home buyers are extra cautious about investments in the backdrop of the slowing economy and unstable realty sector, hit by the short-term impact of the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) and the Goods & Services Tax (GST).Capital-starved property developers, sitting on huge unsold inventories of residential real estate, had been banking heavily on this year's festive season to push sales and cut down their inventories. Their optimism stemmed from the fact that property rates have bottomed out and the home loan interest rate has touched a six-year year low of 8.35 per cent and that the enactment of RERA, which empowers and protects consumers, would boost the sentiments of home buyers. Buoyed by all this, developers had lined up the best of bargains, with attractive deals and discounts that include free modular kitchens, free club membership, free car parking, no GST and no maintenance charges, no EMI till possession and waiver of stamp duty & registration fee. So much so that developers were quoting all-inclusive pricing and giving their track record of delivery to win the confidence of buyers.

Maharashtra Rera rules dilute Act, say home buyers

MUMBAI: Home buyers are entitled to interest from the date of default under the original contract in ongoing projects and not from the date of registration of project under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (Rera), said the lawyer representing consumers, Shiraz Rustomjee, on Tuesday."Maharashtra and Gujarat are the only states that have issued rules contravening the act. Their rules say 70% of only the funds 'to be realised' need to be deposited in a separate account," he said. The Bombay high court was hearing Rustomjee, counsel for the Forum for People's Collective Efforts, a pan-India body of home buyers that had intervened in support of the new law brought in to protect their interest.The body says the constitutional challenge by nine builders to RERA provisions must fail. Some of their members have been coming to the court room of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice R G Ketkar, a special bench which will be the first in the country to decide on the validity of the central legislation.He reasoned that RERA allows a flat buyer to withdraw from a consumer body, a pending case in a pending project over delayed possession and file a complaint under RERA.

Homebuyers confront petition challenging legality of RERA

MUMBAI: Homebuyers have confronted realty developers’ petition challenging the legal validity of RERA and some of its provisions. A pan-India homebuyers’ pressure group Fight for RERA, that has now formed a non-profit company Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), has filed an impleadment application in the Bombay High Court. Several builders had filed cases in high courts of Bombay, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Jabalpur to challenge the recently enacted Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016, and few of its provisions including applicability for ongoing projects. The government of India had filed a Transfer Petition in the Supreme Court seeking directive that all similar cases in various courts be clubbed and heard by the apex court. The Supreme Court then directed the High Court of Bombay to hear the cases filed in Maharashtra with a directive to give a judgment within 2 months. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court stayed all proceedings in other high courts until this judgment is pronounced. The Act itself has been challenged by the builders and there was no party representing homebuyers in the said matter.

Even real estate brokers are covered under RERA

Even property brokerage houses come under the ambit of RERA, meaning that agents or agencies operating in smaller pockets who did not hesitate to foist inferior or flawed properties onto their clients will be wiped out. No longer will buyers who used the services of such brokers in the past risk winding up with properties whose defects become evident only after the deal is done. RERA renders brokers and agents punishable if they do not comply and abide with the regulator's strictures ruling. Previously, smaller brokers had an unrestricted play on the Indian residential real estate marketplace, and many of them thrived on misinforming or under-informing their customers. With RERA, homebuyers who use the services of real estate agents and agencies will be protected and have access to quick legal redressal in case of faulty business practices. In fact, brokers who made their money out of the ignorance or unwitting trust of clients will now be eradicated from the marketplace.

Builders will have to give 5-year warranty against structural flaws as per RERA

While RERA or Real Estate (Regulation and Amendment) Act, 2016, will slowly change the way the real estate industry operates in India, the Act has also thrown open a few aspects that need extensive deliberation. One such issue is the liability of developers to provide for workmanship for structural defects for a period of five years.RERA lays down that "In case any structural defect or any other defect in workmanship, quality or provision of services or any other obligations of the promoter as per the agreement for sale relating to such development is brought to the notice of the promoter within a period of five years by the allottee from the date of handing over possession, it shall be the duty of the promoter to rectify such defects without further charge, within thirty days, and in the event of promoter's failure to rectify such defects within such time, the aggrieved allottees shall be entitled to receive appropriate compensation in the manner as provided under this Act." Undoubtedly, this is the first time that such a provision has been introduced and its applicability may become a headache for developers in times to come.

Real estate structured by demonetisation and allied policies

NEW DELHI: Demonetisation, GST, RERA, Benami Transactions Act, lowering of Interest rates and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - the last 12 months have seen a sea-change in the environmental factors around real estate. As many as six variables have had a profound regulatory/environmental impact on the industry, perhaps ever. Formalising the sector by raising entry barriers and making it harder for fly-by-night operators. Getting the developer focus from "fund-raising" to "project completion and handovers" Increasing costs for developers and reducing the margins in business to more reasonable levels. These policy changes made a significant impact on the consumer segment as well. It encouraged end users to purchase homes and discouraged arbitrage-seeking investors. These changes are likely to have an impact on the sector over a period of time. Expect more gradual, incremental price movements due to lack of investor/hot money. Expect consolidation in the sector with developers who are either inadequately funded or unable to sell, seeking to merge/sell to larger developers.

City outskirts might see jump in construction activity

HYDERABAD: With affordable housing being the catchphrase of Budget2017, the focus could well shift from core areas of Hyderabad to its cheaper peripheries, said market analysts post Arun Jaitley's close to two-hour-long speech on Wednesday. The bouquet of incentives that the finance minister showered on this segment, however, left industry biggies disappointed. "Though a lot of people think Hyderabad does not have the potential to grow in the affordable housing segment, I feel otherwise. The city's outskirts, where land rates are cheaper, are perfect destinations for such ventures that have so far not been economically viable," said Sandip Patnaik, managing director (Hyderabad) of global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. He felt the benefits extended to this segment were very encouraging. Apart from an increased carpet area, affordable housing was also awarded the 'infrastructure status'. This will result in bigger homes for buyers and lower interest rates for developers. The average projected cost of these homes is Rs 15- Rs 20 lakh."This will push more local players to take up small projects that they shied away from until now.

Property transactions in city set to be cheaper

NAGPUR: There is good news for those aspiring to buy home or plot within city. Stamp duty on property transactions is set to come down for them. However, they will cost more in rural parts as the state government has increased stamp duty by 1%. Assistant government pleader MJ Khan in a letter dated July 26 sent to Law and Judiciary Department said NIT will stop charging 0.5% stamp duty after its abolition. "In public interest litigation (PIL) of Ajay Tiwari against the NIT in High Court, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and state government, the NIT made statement that it would not be charging 0.5% cess under Section 77 of the NIT Act 1936. PIL came to be disposed of by taking NIT's statement on record," he said. NIT and NMC have received copy of the letter a few days ago. As per deadline set by the government, NIT will be transformed into Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) after December. At that time, the additional charge of 0.5% duty will end. NIT is getting that 0.5% stamp duty for the last 80 years as financial assistance.

Builders say RERA has conflicting provisions, breaches right to trade

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court which is hearing a challenge to constitutional validity of the new Real Estate Regulatory law observed that its "adjudicatory provision should have been more elaborate" to cover various situations that can arise when a builder's registration is revoked. The Real Estate Regulation and Development Act provides for compensation to a flat purchaser from a builder for delay in possession beyond the date specified in the agreement for sale. Senior counsel S U Kamdar appearing for a builder said the provision under section 18(1)(a) of RERA which stipulates the compensation that an adjudicatory officer can fix when combined with provisions of the Act was in conflict with another provision under section 4 the Act that mandates a builder to specify the time period by which he will complete a project. He said that a builder may give a new date for possession while registering an ongoing project if the earlier deadline has already expired, but the Act seeks to hold him down to the date mentioned in the agreement made with a buyer.

CREDAI asks Noida builders to strictly follow green norms at construction sites

NEW DELHI: Builders' body Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) has asked real estate developers in Noida to adhere to orders of the National Green Tribunal and the ministry of environment and forest, 2010 guidelines related to pollution at their construction activities. In a letter issued to its members today, CREDAI warned its members of heavy penalty in case of a breach.The move followed a meeting held yesterday between the chairman of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, Noida Authority officials and CREDAI office bearers to discuss NGT, MoEF and Noida Authority guidelines related to pollution."The Noida Authority has asked us to follow the guidelines strictly. We were anyways very cautious about following the norms. However, we have issued this letters to the members to sensitise them further," said Amit Modi, vice president, CREDAI Western UP and director, ABA Corp.

Construction work and snarls never stop here

NOIDA: Sector 125 in Noida is quite the opposite of Sahibabad. A developing urban area, it has vast open spaces for one, and no chimneys sending smoke trails into the air.But the reading on the pollution meter is still as bad. That's because the vast open spaces aren't green but predominantly brown. Many are construction sites dug up. Several have construction work on in full swing. The roads, though wide, seldom offer a smooth drive because of illegal parking. As a result, vehicular congestion is high, especially near the Amity University campus, according to residents.The Greater Noida expressway also passes by it, which means there is a steady stream of traffic there all the time. A combination of all these factors is driving up pollution levels, officials said. B B Awasthi, regional officer of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), said, "Sector 125 is where our ambient air quality monitoring system is located, so the results are highlighting the sector. But the findings are indicative of the entire city in general. In Sector 125, the causes of pollution are many — vehicular traffic, dusty broken roads, major ongoing construction, heavy dust blowing in from muddy areas."

No deadline for construction on converted farmland

AHMEDABAD: District collectors may have to stop fixing stipulated time periods to commence and finish construction on land converted from agriculture to non-agriculture (NA) land. This can be implemented across the state as the Gujarat high court has recently set aside an order of Jamnagar district collector which stipulated a time period to start and complete construction on a land owned by a temple authority after it was converted from agricultural land to non-agricultural. The HC has set aside the condition that directed the temple authority to start functioning on a non-agriculture (NA) land within six months and to complete the work within three years after changing its use from agriculture land. The HC also sent this direction to the revenue department so that the state government can pass appropriate instructions to all collectors over the use of NA land.

Office space to see big growth, make city larger corporate hub

Gurgaon: Even as the residential property market in the city remains dull, the office space market continues to see interest from both developers and companies looking to rent. According to international property consultant Colliers International, Gurgaon will see an addition of 11 million sq ft of office space by 2020 with a number of projects lined up for launch over the next couple of years. The current office space in the city is around 60 million sq ft. "Gurgaon remains a bright spot in the office space market in the country and is the fastest growing market in the region. This year, NCR has witnessed over 6 million sq ft of leasing activity till date and of that approximately 60% is in Gurgaon. Between January and September this year, Gurgaon has seen an absorption of 3.32 million sq ft of office space," said Sanjay Chatrath, executive director-NCR at Colliers International. "The office space demand in Gurgaon remains steady and the major demand comes from IT and ITES sectors, along with tenants from the banking, financial services and insurance (BSFI) sector. While demand has been steady, the last two years saw limited supply of quality office space, which will change in the coming two years, adding to quality office space stock in the country," he added.

Residential capital values growing

HYDERABAD: Bucking a nation-wide trend, Hyderabad is the only city where residential capital values are 'growing'. In cities such as Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, the residential capital values are 'stabilizing'. In Delhi, it is falling and in Mumbai, it is stagnant, according to the latest report by a real estate consulting firm. According to the report, which tracks the office, retail and residential real estate trends and transactions across eight major Indian cities for September, while the residential capital values are growing, the retail market in the city remained stable this month, with less amount of activity being recorded and with only a few transactions being recorded in the suburbs. The Hyderabad retail market will see traction in the coming months, thanks to more supply. "With several under-construction mall projects nearing completion, the retail market in Hyderabad is expected to see traction over the next six months. However, while supply will be plenty, leasing activity may not happen at the same scale since many retailers prefer select malls in each city," said MV Rajeshwar Rao, CEO of Confederation Of Real Estate Developers Association. 'Hi-Tec City continued to be the preferred location for new entrants. The demand for quality grade A spaces continued to drive the leases this month as well.

Construction of Nagpur AIIMS building begins

Nagpur: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will begin functioning in city with 300 beds from academic year 2019-20. Though with a slight delay, the building construction of AIIMS has begun at its sprawling land in Mihan. It is being constructed by Hospital Service Consultancy Corporation (HSCC). A detailed schedule has been prepared by Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). As per the set target, construction of the medical college building will be over by May 2019. As far as hospital is concerned, the out-patient department (OPD) will be ready by August 2018 and 300 beds in-patient department (IPD) by the end of August 2019. An HSCC executive told TOI, "Recently, Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) has sanctioned the building plan; after which the construction work could begin a few days ago." Construction was to begin in August this year, but delay in getting the sanction delayed the work by about 45 days. The Union cabinet approved setting up AIIMS in the city at a cost of Rs 1577 crore during 2015. Following that, the foundation stone was laid in 2016. The work for comprehensive planning and designing of AIIMS was given to MS Perkins Eastman through a global tender during February 2017. Retd Delhi AIIMS director Dr Mahesh Mishra was appointed the officer on special duty (OSD) for the project in March this year. On April 6, 2017, a Central team headed by Dr Mishra visited the site.

Building permissions may need traffic impact assessment

HYDERABAD: Commercial establishments and other big projects coming up in the city may soon have to get a Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) report for securing building permissions from civic bodies. Currently, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been insisting on TIA from developers and builders for granting permissions for multiplexes and shopping malls on major roads. TIA is vital as it gives the civic body an idea about the impact of an upcoming construction on the road and surrounding areas, especially with respect to traffic volume and infrastructure. For instance, a showroom, recently opened at Rajiv Gandhi circle at Panjagutta, created a traffic nightmare for commuters using the road every day . If TIA guidelines were to come into force, the builder would be asked to take steps at his own cost to ease commuters' woes.

Property rates to go up in Telangana in few months: Realtors

Hyderabad A body of realty developers in Telangana today said there will be an increase in prices of both commercial and residential properties in the next few months on account of note ban, RERA and GST implementation. "In the next few months, we expect impact (prices to go up) by around Rs 400 to Rs 450 per sq ft because of demonetisation, RERA and GST," Sunil Chandra Reddy, Secretary General, Telangana Real Estate Developers Association (TREDA), told reporters here. He was replying to a query on the impact of note ban, Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act (RERA) and the GST switchover on the real estate sector on the end consumer. According to Reddy, the Hyderabad real estate market is quite stable. He said, "It is one of the most affordable markets in the country in terms of cost of real estate. With so many infrastructure projects planned, Hyderabad is a very steady market...a market that will grow in the next two-three years."

Why buying ready-to-move-in house is better than under-construction property

The resale housing market, particularly the brand new, ready-for-possession segment, offers home-buyers a chance to side-step the risks of buying under-construction properties that are prone to inordinate delays. The usual 10-15% cost premium of ready-to-move in properties, however, has dissuaded buyers from investing in them. With this premium coming down, should home-buyers tap into the quick-possession resale market, or does it make sense to wait for 2-3 years and invest in an under-construct . Recently, there has been a substantial jump in inventory in the resale market. This pile-up has made purchasing a possession-ready property a more viable option now. Experts reckon home-buyers will find good deals in the resale market rather than from developers. Kishor Pate, CMD, Amit Enterprises Housing, says, “Never in the history of the Indian real estate market have properties ready or almost ready for possession been so costeffective.”

Display maps of under construction buildings at sites: ADA

AGRA: Now builders will have to put up boards at construction sites displaying the building maps. In an attempt to crack down on illegal construction, the Agra Development Authority (ADA) has asked builders and property owners to display house maps approved by the development authority. According to ADA officials, asking for maps every time during inspection becomes a little inconvenient as developers try to evade checks. Also, trying to identify construction as residential or commercial is difficult on the spot. "Once the maps are displayed prominently, we will not have to ask developers repeatedly to show the approved maps," said an official. The decision was taken after ADA officer on special duty Yogendra Kumar went on inspection in different parts of the city and found that most of the builders were not carrying the approved maps. The senior officer then conducted a meeting and asked officers to take strict action against property owners if map boards are not displayed at construction sites. "Availability of maps on site of construction is necessary to compare the approved plan and construction being undertaken at the site. Non compliance of the order will result in strict action," Kumar said, adding that engineer concerned will be held responsible if maps of under-construction buildings are not displayed at the site.

Modi builds a bridge and sees a road ahead

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While picking civil servant-turned-politician Alphons Kannanthanam as Kerala's nominee in his cabinet, PM Narendra Modi might have visualized a bridge and a road. He wants Kannanthanam to act as a bridge between the party and state's minority Christian community and as a wider road through which young upper middle class voters can connect with the politics of development and nationalism which he preaches. Kannanthanam can act as both bridge and road easily while incumbent Rajya Sabha MPs from Kerala, Suresh Gopi and Richard Hay, can be either of them. Suresh Gopi is a favourite of the urban young voters and woman voters and there is no doubt that he can mobilize their support if given a chance. Richard Hay can connect the party with various Christian denominations but his efficiency to cash in on the development plank is doubtful. The 15% vote share BJP has already found in the state could grow to a number that can send a few MPs to Lok Sabha only with the support of the state's Christian community. According to the 2011 census, 18.38% of Keralites are Christians and 26.56% are Muslims. Indian girl used this fruit to lose 20 kg! Healthreport24 This 13-year-old is fighting Cancer Alone! Milaap Recommended By Colombia Despite several attempts, the party failed to mobilize minority votes which is a deciding factor in more than half of the Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies, in Kerala. Sources in BJP indicated that the long-term aim of the BJP is to woo the Kerala Congress (M) which is now keeping an equi-distant policy with all fronts. While there were reports about cabinet expansion, rumour mills predicted the induction of Kottayam MP and KC(M) scion Jose K Mani into the cabinet which the MP himself had denied soon after. It is not a secret that Amit Shah hinted to Mani about BJP's eagerness to align with his party. But, Mani wants to first gather the support of the Church before migrating to the saffron fold. TOP COMMENT The minorities came with the blessings of the Hindu kings. Now you need their blessings to survive in the state. Malaikallan N SEE ALL COMMENTSADD COMMENT Kannanthanam, as Modi's envoy in Kerala, will have to woo the Christian denominations towards the BJP and through the Church, the Kerala Congress (M). With IT and tourism under his control, Kannanthanam can also impress the young professionals . Whatever the new minister does for the welfare of these techies and college students who aspire to be techies will send out positive vibes which can easily be converted into votes at a later stage.

Credai property expo begins

Kochi: Over 100 projects have been showcased at the 'Credai Kochi Property Expo' organized by the apex body of private real estate developers which began here on Friday. Boost your website traffic via Times network COLOMBIA The Next Gen Verna with new advanced features Hyundai Verna Recommended By Colombia With several banks slashing home loan interest rates, builders are hopeful that home buyers are upbeat about owning property. "We are expecting huge footfalls this year. It is the best time to purchase a house as interest rates have come down. The implementation of Real Estate Regulation and Development Act brought transparency and also helped to increase confidence among the customers," said J Paul Raj, president, Credai Kochi. Credai has roped in four financial institutions who would provide loans to home buyers. Builders' representatives said they expect NRIs and other high net-worth individuals to check out premium projects. "There was a lull in the real estate sector. That situation is slowly changing. We are looking forward to buyers who are in need of premium projects priced above Rs 1 crore. Though there are customers who are keen to deal in cash, builders are wary about this as various government agencies keep a tab on transactions," said a builder's representative. It is pointed out that those working in the film industry were one of those sections which showed active interest in investing in premium villas and apartments. "Demonetisation, investigation and raids conducted by various agencies are holding back many in the film industry from making major investments," added the representative. Earlier on the day, Kochi mayor Soumini Jain inaugurated the 25th edition of the property show being held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The three-day expo, open from 10am to 8pm, will conclude on Sunday.

Illegal constructions razed in Udhna

SURAT: Teams of Udhna zone of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) razed illegal construction on over 12,350 sq feet in Laximnarayan Industrial Estate on Wednesday. Officials said that construction of only ground plus one floor was permitted in the estate. However, nearly 22 plot holders had built more floors illegally or had grabbed the margin space for additional construction. "We demolished all that was not legally sanctioned and cleared construction on up to 12, 350 sq feet," an official said.

Noida Authority CEO meets 21 builders to find resolutions for ongoing projects

NOIDA: In an attempt to provide relief to hundreds of homebuyers who are running from pillar to post in order to get their homes besides dealing with initiation of insolvency proceedings against developers, Amit Mohan Prasad, CEO Noida Authority on Wednesday held a meeting with 21 builders with projects in Noida. As per directions of Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister, UP, the focus of the meeting was to take a physical and financial update from the builders about each project. Speaking to TOI, Prasad said that they have also received several suggestions from the builders to resolve the issue. Prasad further said that they have still to meet another 16 developers with ongoing projects in the city. "This meeting is scheduled on August 18," he said. "Once we have all the suggestions from the builders including the progress and status of their ongoing projects we will take a call," he said. "The suggestions we receive will be examined in detail for their ability to resolve the builder-buyer impasse. Once we have reached a conclusion, policies will have to be reworked along with approvals from the state government. We hope to reach a conclusion by the end of this month," he explained. TOP COMMENT manoj moharana SEE ALL COMMENTSADD COMMENT Though the CEO refused to divulge the details of the suggestions from the builders, sources inform that builders have suggested that the Authority give unit-wise completion so that registration of residential flats can be does without delay. Presently, Authority gives tower-wise completion certificates. However, Authority officials said that any completion issuance would depend on the clearance of dues by the builders. Without clearing the outstanding by the builders, no completion could be given, which in turn would mean that home buyers would not be able to register their properties and thereafter take possession. On Wednesday, Prasad met officials of Amrapali, 3Cs, Loreat Buildwell, Colourful States, Unati Fortune, Logix, Pan Realtors, AIIMS Max Gardenia, E Homes, Antriksh, Assotech, Divine India, IVRCL, Sunshine, Granite, etc. Each builder made a presentation of their ongoing projects in the city during the three-hour long meeting.

L&T gets mandate to turn Nagpur into integrated smart city

New Delhi: Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro has been picked as the implementation partner to make Nagpur the first large-scale integrated smart city of the country. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has handed over the letter of intent to the company. The scope of work in phase 1 for L&T's Smart World Communications business vertical, which is part of L&T Construction, will cover laying of 1,200 km of optical fibre network, creating 136 city wi-fi hotspots at key locations, setting up 100 digital interactive kiosks and developing city surveillance systems with 3,800 IP-based cameras, the company said in a statement. Further, the city has identified a strip of approximately 6 km (from Japanese Garden Square to Orange City Hospital Square) to be developed as a Smart Strip with state-of-the-art systems powered by smart ICT (information and communications technology) tools like smart transport, solid waste management, smart lighting and the like. These can be leveraged in a phased manner to ultimately cover the entire city, it said. "After Jaipur, this is the most significant step in the country's journey towards establishing smart cities and we are delighted to be participating in transforming Nagpur into one," said S N Subrahmanyan, Deputy MD and President, Larsen & Toubro. As a master systems integrator, L&T will provide cutting-edge technology solutions, including high-end analytics, mobile surveillance and high-tech tools like drones, he said. "The Nagpur smart city project is a major milestone for the Government of Maharashtra," said Vijay Kumar Gautam, Principal Secretary, Maharashtra. "We envisage it as a very structured programme replete with several digital technology elements," he said, adding that the Smart Strip will be "a new and exciting concept" attempted for the first time in the country. The company said its Smart World business has been "making its presence felt" across major Indian cities by creating smart solutions. Beginning with development of surveillance and intelligent traffic management for Gujarat and a management system at the Sabarmati jail, the company has since executed the smart city project in Jaipur and is implementing India's largest city surveillance project comprising 6,000 cameras across 1,500 plus locations in Mumbai, it said. Similar projects are also under way in Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad.

DP now mandatory for projects involving large-scale excavation

Thiruvananthapuram: The city corporation, which has picked up harsh lessons from the Pangappara tragedy where four migrant labourers lost their lives during construction works, has made development permit mandatory for construction projects which involve large-scale levelling and excavation of land. In an unprecedented move, the town planning committee had insisted on development permit for a project proposed in Palayam and based on site inspection and recommendation of corporation secretary subject to a set of conditions, the committee has recommended issuance of development permit to the project.The project for construction measuring 1924.26 sq.m was earlier issued building permit levying a fee of Rs 27,650. Based on recommendation of town planning committee, the developer will have to pay Rs 24,800 as fee for development permit. It is also stated in the set of conditions that if ever any violation of permit is spotted during the period of construction, stop memo will be issued. The builder has also been directed to take precautions to avert any damage to loss of life and property. There is another condition which says that the builder should also ensure that no kind of loss of property occurs to neighbouring residents. The city corporation has insisted on development permit for a construction project for the first time in seven years after an amendment was inserted in Kerala Municipality Building Rules in 2010. TOI had earlier reported that the builder had developed the plot at Pangappara without mandatory development permit. The plot was dug up to a depth of nearly 25-30 feet, posing serious threat to the stability of buildings there. The city corporation had issued building permit for the two-storey apartment project in 2015 but the need for development permit was completely ignored which led to unscientific land development at Pangappara. It was during the construction of a retaining wall the earth had caved in leading to death of the labourers. A senior corporation official said that development permit is being made mandatory following the Pangappara accident. "Lack of development permit has often led to unregulated excavation defying safety norms and risking human lives," the official said. The committee has also demanded development permit for a three-storey construction under another project at Vanchiyoor. As per section 11 A of Kerala municipality building rules, which deals with approval of site and plans and issue of permit where excavations to a depth of more than 1.5 metres is involved, the builder has to apply for development and building permit. However the engineering wing had seldom complied with this norm considering a general clause which says that land development for construction purpose does not require development permit, however senior officials clearly point out that development permit is mandatory for projects if it involves excavation to a depth more than 1.5 metres.

Fly ash use to be mandatory in all constructions in Nagpur

NAGPUR: Fly ash bricks will soon be made mandatory for all constructions, be it individual houses, residential flat schemes or commercial complexes, across the city and district. All civic bodies, including Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), will include this condition while giving permission to building plans. Fly ash use will also be made mandatory in cement roads, as per the new Fly Ash Utilization Policy by the state government. The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) has implemented the policy and its subsidiary Mahagenco Ash Management Services Ltd (Mahagams) is ensuring effective implementation of the policy. Managing director of Mahagams Shyam Wardhane told TOI the policy has been implemented as per directives of the central government. "Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and energy minister Chandrashekar Bawankule are pursuing effective implementation of the policy. Mahagams and NMC have executed a MoU for utilization of fly ash. Similar MoUs will be done with NIT and municipal councils in the district," he said.NMC additional municipal commissioner Ramnath Sonawane said town planning department will begin to make use of fly ash bricks mandatory while giving building plan permissions soon. "NMC will also utilize fly ash in all cement concrete road works." Wardhane said an industrial cluster for manufacturing fly ash based materials — bricks, blocks, pavers etc — will be developed at Koradi Thermal Power Station (KTPS) land within a month. "Mahagams is taking the initiative to ensure availability of fly ash-based materials, if the civic bodies make its utilization mandatory in constructions. Mahagams has already received proposals from over 400 brick manufacturers to set up units to use fly ash. One of the manufacturers is ready to produce over 2 lakh bricks every day. Manufacturers will be given land free of cost, and concessions in all required resources like water, power, taxes etc," he said. Wardhane added fly ash-based bricks will be cheaper and better quality as compared to soil-based bricks. "Fly ash-based bricks are erosion-free, have better thermostatic value, and require less coal/fuel while baking." He also said up to 30% fly ash can be utilized in cement concrete roads. "This can bring down costs and also improve quality. Fly ash in cement concrete roads prevents cracks. Fly ash will also be utilized in all housing schemes to come up under Housing For All Project, and all roads to be constructed under Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana," he said.

Artificial sand scarcity hits construction activity in Gaya

GAYA: Artificial scarcity of sand created allegedly by the sand mafia has brought construction activity to a near standstill in the district. Following action against the sand mafia engaged in illegal mining and overloading, the sand mafia hit back by creating artificial scarcity on the alibi that sand stock has dwindled and river bed mining has been stopped. The crackdown on sand mafia was ordered by zonal IG Naiyyer Hasnain Khan following the production of video footages of large-scale malpractices. River bed mining stands banned for three months between July and September. Most of the sand mining in the district is done in Falgu and Morhar rivers.n view of the crisis-like situation created by the sand mafia, district magistrate (DM) Kumar Ravi, on Saturday held an extensive review meet on sand-related matters. The mining officials informed the DM that the ban on sand mining during the monsoon was being effectively implemented. The DM also directed the mining officials to seize machines and vehicles found engaged in river bed mining during the these three months. Mining officials also said that was no cause of worry as the sand stock is adequate. As on date, the sand stock available with licensed dealers was estimated to be 2.22 crore cubic feet, enough to load more than 55,700 10-wheeler trucks. The stock was far more than the requirement. At present, there are seven primary and 33 secondary sand stock points in the district. The officials have been directed to ensure effective compliance of the standard operating procedure in respect of sand-lifting and transportation. In order to prevent revenue loss on account of illegal transportation and black marketing, the DM asked the officials to ensure transportation with proper e-challans and submit daily report on sand availability and sand lifting in the district. The issue of indiscriminate stone mining and excessive use of dynamite by the lease holders also came up at the review meet. Several villagers have lodged complaints with the DM regarding the threat caused by dynamite explosion for stone mining and its impact on houses lying in the mining vicinity. The DM, while expressing concern over the reported malpractices of lease holders, directed the officials to ensure effective implementation of the rules.

Mumbai: Small buildings need only 51% consent for redevelopment

MUMBAI: In a major relief for redevelopment of buildings having fewer than 11 flat owners, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the requirement of 70% consent would be reduced to 51%. Most of the private smaller buildings registered under the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act (MAOA) stand to benefit. A minimum of 11 members is required to mandatorily register a housing society. Anything less than that means the tenement gets registered under the 1971 MAOA legislation. Fadnavis said that, sometimes, a few people in a building deliberately approach another developer and as a result the redevelopment project gets stuck. "To avoid delay in redevelopment projects, the government has decided to amend the MAOA so that instead of 70%, the flat-owners can go ahead with 51% consent," he said. An official from the housing department said that the move would help people located in south Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Pune. Buildings which have been registered under this Act, including cessed buildings in south Mumbai, will benefit. With the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in place, the government is considering amending both MAOA and the Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act, he added. Experts however say the move may lead to more litigation as even a single member could swing the the decision. "It would not be easy to convince one member of the building, so it may result in more litigation. Instead, the government should increase the stipulation for 70% consent to 80% or 90%, which would put pressure on the other group. However, the 51% consent may lead to making the minority more vulnerable,'' said advocate Neha Nagothanekar.The CM also announced that if tenants reject a developer in an SRA (Slum Rehabilitation Authority) project, they should appoint a new developer within three months or the SRA would take over the project and would float e-tenders and appoint a new developer. The state is also considering declaring MHADA a special authority for development of 56 MHADA layouts with 2.3 lakh tenements. Fadnavis said that the inquiry report of the 137 proposals cleared by then SRA CEO Vishwas Patil is expected in 15 days. He added that the government was also working on taking building permissions online and bringing all corporations and councils onto a digital platform by this December. "Now online permission will be given for construction of homes of up to1,500 sq ft in the state, excluding Mumbai and Mumbai Metropolitan Region, without additional scrutiny," said Fadnavis. "The government has given directions for an integrated plan for development of three Mumbai rivers—Mithi, Dahisar and Poisar—to make them drainage carriers and not sewers," said the CM.

Two-day training on building construction starts

MOHALI: A two-day training programme on building construction organized by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar was inaugurated by additional chief secretary, housing and urban development, government of Punjab Vini Mahajan at Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) Bhawan in Mohali on Friday. The curriculum include investigation and soil exploration, excavations and shallow foundation, guidelines for selection of building materials, design consideration for pile foundations, reinforcement requirements and detailing considerations for structural members. Presentations, lectures and question-answer sessions are being conducted by the faculty from IIT Ropar to educate the PUDA and GMADA. In her inaugural address, Mahajan said, a variety of new building materials and technologies have come up. The usage of new materials and methods of construction are economical and time saving. Thus, the orientation of engineers working for PUDA and other development authorities is necessary to develop quality infrastructure in the state. Chief administrator of PUDA-cum-director of town & country planning department Ravi Bhagat was present on the occasion. Concerned about the groundwater depletion in the state the Nahajan directed engineer-in-chief of PUDA and chief engineer of GMADA to ensure that rainwater harvesting technology is adopted in all buildings of the department of housing and urban development to be a model for the state. She said, "We should study the extent of use of this technology in the state and initiate efforts to recharge the groundwater level. IIT Ropar has deputed Dr Naveen James and Dr Putul Haldar to conduct this training programme. More than 90 engineers working in PUDA and GMADA among others have joined the programme. Earlier, a training programme on design and construction of flexible and rigid roads was organized by Central Road Research Institute (CRR), New Delhi at PUDA Bhawan in Mohali.

Files for 24,000 affordable homes stuck

Gurgaon: Nearly 35,000 flats under the affordable housing scheme are currently under construction in Gurgaon and, if state government expedites the approval for pending licences, another 24,000 units could come up in the city to address the housing needs for low and middle income groups. TOI has learnt that as many as 30 licence applications for affordable housing on around 165 acres of land in Gurgaon are currently pending with the state for nearly a year now, despite the government's focus on the segment. Affordable housing got a boost earlier this year, with the Union government giving the segment the 'infrastructure' status in the budget. The Haryana government had come up with the Affordable Group Housing Policy in 2013 under which 300 acres of land was reserved for the same in Gurgaon. Last year, the state government even increased the land limit to 500 acres though no notification has been issued till date. And the department of town and country planning (DTCP) has so far issued 41 licences for affordable housing on 234 acres of land in the city's new sectors 58 to 115 being developed along Southern Peripheral Road and the Dwarka expressway. Realtors say the delay in giving approval to pending licences will defeat the dream of affordable housing for all."If there is some issue with paperwork, then reject the application, but do not hold on to it," said president of NAREDCO, Praveen Jain. "The government should do away with the cap on affordable housing. Why there is a cap on 300 or 500 acres for affordable housing, if anyone has land and want to construct affordable housing units, let them do it. It will be difficult to achieve the dream of housing for all with such limitations." "Affordable housing is the need of the hour. The most important factor that has provided a fillip to affordable housing is granting of infrastructure status. The state government should expedite the licence approval process and end the upper limit for affordable housing," said Ssumit Berry, managing director of BDI Group. Some developers also said that along with Gurgaon, places like Bhiwadi are emerging as affordable housing hotspots. "Proximity to Gurgaon and Indira Gandhi International Airport makes Bhiwadi a well-connected hub of commercial and industrial activity, leading to the demand for affordable housing," said Rohtas Goel, CMD of Omaxe Ltd. However, Vineet Relia, managing director of SARE Homes, said with more players coming into the affordable segment, "there is a need for innovation in construction technology". "For private developers, affordable housing offers cheaper FSI (floor space index), but margins are thin since the real estate eco-system does not provide streamlined processes, design and automation for construction work. Affordable housing offers high sale velocity, but it is not backed with technology," he said.

Developers give 10-day ultimatum to TN govt for resolving sand crisis

CHENNAI: Giving a 10-day ultimatum to the Tamil Nadu government, developers on Thursday threatened to commence an indefinite strike if steps are not taken to find solutions for the sand crisis within the deadline. Speaking on the sideline of a daylong hunger strike seeking immediate action to resolve the prevailing sand shortage and reduce the registration fee for properties, K Venkatesan, chairman of the Builders Association of India, Southern Centre, said hardly 200 loads of sand was allowed to mine in each sand quarries, in contrast to 2,000 loads earlier. "More sand quarries should be opened to meet the demand of the construction industry," he said.On Thursday, construction activities in the state came to a grinding halt with developers, sand truck owners and construction workers carried out a strike pressing the government address their grievances. There are around 30 lakh construction workers in Tamil Nadu, according to him.

Construction and Demolition debris can be reused: Report

CHENNAI: What happens to the debris when a building is demolished? In most cases it is taken to landfills or dumped illegally by the roadside and in water bodies. But if processed, construction and demolition (C&D) debris can be used in the construction of buildings and flyovers, albeit partially. But to turn waste to wealth, Greater Chennai Corporation not only needs to create a market for the recycled product, but use processed C&D waste for its infrastructure projects. Experts say if the corporation sets the trend, regular buyers can overcome the apprehension of using 'waste' in a new construction. Last week, TOI reported that the civic body has identified erstwhile landfill sites in Athipattu and Pallikaranai to process more than 1,200 tonnes of C&D waste that the city generates daily. According to officials, less than 1% of the city's total C&D waste is processed or recycled. With the city's construction boom expected to get bigger over the next decade, uti lising processed C&D waste can reduce the strain on natural resources. "C&D waste can be used for as much as 20% of material in structural (buildings, flyovers) and 100% in nonstructural (roads, pavements) projects.The corporation's must ensure that the waste processing unit is always fed.Because these plants are energy intensive and for the project to be economically viable, the corporation must create a market for the recycled product," said IIT-Tirupati director K N Satyanarayana, who helped the corporation prepare a detailed project report for C&D waste processing.But the government's lackadaisical attitude may come in the way. Though the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 -notified by the Union ministry of environment in March 2016 -stipulates that state governments mandate using 10%-20% C&D waste in all infrastructure projects, local contractors cite the government's struggle to popularise m-sand as a reason for their pessimism. "Using m-sand was notified by the PWD in 2012. But it did not use m-sand in its own projects until recently , when the chief minister intervened," a contractor said. The same is happening with C&D, he said. Civil engineer and builder, R Balamurugan, said new constructions used C&D waste but for filling purposes."Using it in the structure means there is a risk of air cracks due to presence of uneven granules. For the labour cost required to avoid such issues, it would be cheaper and easier to stick to conventional materials," he said, adding that buyers would not prefer a project that has C&D waste. Environmental activist Dharmesh Shah said the project would be impeded by existing building code policies. The National Building Code of India and Bureau of Indian Standards, through recent amendments, have made it possible for builders to substitute natural material with recycled waste in constructions. However, Shah said these amendments still tread a line of caution, which was sufficient for contractors to hesitate exploring the C&D option altogether. The hesitation could also be due to the lack of incentives offered by government, CREDAI TN chapter chairman Ajit Chordia said. "In Ahmedabad, the corporation gives an incentive to recyclers and encourage cement block manufacturers to use part of the recycled material. In Chennai, the local body should encourage setting up of recycling plants, then the debris will be diverted to the recycler," said Chordia.

Soon, green building tag must for new constructions

Kolhapur: The civic body is going to make environment clearance mandatory for new buildings coming up in the city in a bid to curb growing air, water and soil pollution. The Kolhapur municipal corporation (KMC) will make it mandatory for developers to get the projects with built-up size of over 5,000 square metre scrutinised for their complaince with green norms and be termed as 'Green Buildings'. The state government has directed the civic bodies to integrate environment norms in the bylaws or the development control regulations (DCR) of the civic bodies. The new DCR for the D-class municipal corporations in the state came into effect this year and environment-friendly rules such as setting up sewage treatment plants (STP) were made mandatory for large-sized buildings. R K Patil, head of KMC's environmental cell, said the environment clearance will address concerns of land, air, water pollution in the construction of the building. Other issues such as energy efficiency and less water use will be considered while approving the building projects. "We are going to set up a committee in the next couple of weeks. This Environment Clearance Committee will comprise experts from various fields such as environment, energy, traffic and solid waste management and rules will be framed in the general body meeting," Patil said. The Union government in December last year directed the state governments to integrate environmental laws into the development rules. As per the notification, the developer has to get the certification from qualified building environment auditor and apply for environment clearance online.The local civic authority should send the team to the site and scrutinise the projects. The developers have to give the details of the parameters such as energy use from all sources, use of renewable energy, water use, waste water generation and treatment, solid waste management and plantation of the trees. The buildings other than industrial, education institutes will have to get the environment clearance. "We are framing the rules for implementing of the decision. The rules such as use of natural drain system, use of water-efficient appliances, rainwater harvesting plan, reservation of open spaces, facilities to treat dry and solid waste and compliance of the energy conservation building code will be framed. Workshops will be conducted to spread awareness among the developers once the rules are finalised," said Patil. Environmental experts said the move would help curb haphazard constructions in the city, but pointed out that the stakeholders know very little about the concept of the Green Buildings. Uday Gaikwad, city-based environmental activist, said, "The decision will stop rampant construction that is damaging the ecosystem. Often, the natural drains are diverted to facilitate construction of residential projects. Once these environmental rules are enforced for the construction of the building, such instances will never take place. However, implementation of these rules needs to be carefully watched as many times such committees bend the rules to help the builders."

Design experts to construct entry to YEIDA area

GREATER NOIDA: The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) will on Wednesday finalize the company, which will design a new iconic gateway to enter its area. This state-of-the-art, aesthetically designed entrance besides providing security and entry to the YEIDA area will increase its aesthetic appeal and depict it as a model planned city. YEIDA had in May this year launched an open competition by initiating a Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting talented architects and designers for construction of a holistic entrance.According to YEIDA officials, six companies have applied for participating in the project competition. The technical and financial bids will be finalized on Wednesday July 26, 2017. While the winner of the competition will be awarded the project, the second and third entries will be awarded cash prizes. Officials further said that more than Rs 10 crore has been budgeted for the venture. "The objective is to create a gateway that meets security standards and incorporates aesthetic features blended with an extensive engineering effort," said Arunvir Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), YEIDA. "The gateway will be created at the entry point of the 165-Km of Yamuna Expressway, which connects Greater Noida with Agra," he explained. Explaining the project concept, Singh told TOI that the new project aims to be a high-tech, professional image that blends in with its surroundings. The entrance will be designed in a way to tighten security and enhance the aesthetics complete with hi-tech surveillance cameras, police posts and observation towers. "The entrances will be crafted to reflect the YEIDA's character to people entering into the YEIDA area. YEIDA's planning and development will be mirrored in the gateway," the CEO said. "We want to project YEIDA as the city which welcomes new ideas, new perspectives and new people. However, it will not interfere with the traffic movement of vehicles entering the Yamuna Expressway," he added. The gateway will also illustrate model landscaping and comply with environment parameters. Horticulture details combined with civic amenities and public conveniences will form a part of the entrance's architecture. The entrance will also support technology driven illumination, which will enhance the features of the proposed structure.

Soon, green building tag must for new constructions

Kolhapur: The civic body is going to make environment clearance mandatory for new buildings coming up in the city in a bid to curb growing air, water and soil pollution. The Kolhapur municipal corporation (KMC) will make it mandatory for developers to get the projects with built-up size of over 5,000 square metre scrutinised for their complaince with green norms and be termed as 'Green Buildings'. The state government has directed the civic bodies to integrate environment norms in the bylaws or the development control regulations (DCR) of the civic bodies. The new DCR for the D-class municipal corporations in the state came into effect this year and environment-friendly rules such as setting up sewage treatment plants (STP) were made mandatory for large-sized buildings. R K Patil, head of KMC's environmental cell, said the environment clearance will address concerns of land, air, water pollution in the construction of the building. Other issues such as energy efficiency and less water use will be considered while approving the building projects. "We are going to set up a committee in the next couple of weeks. This Environment Clearance Committee will comprise experts from various fields such as environment, energy, traffic and solid waste management and rules will be framed in the general body meeting," Patil said. The Union government in December last year directed the state governments to integrate environmental laws into the development rules. As per the notification, the developer has to get the certification from qualified building environment auditor and apply for environment clearance online.The local civic authority should send the team to the site and scrutinise the projects. The developers have to give the details of the parameters such as energy use from all sources, use of renewable energy, water use, waste water generation and treatment, solid waste management and plantation of the trees. The buildings other than industrial, education institutes will have to get the environment clearance. "We are framing the rules for implementing of the decision. The rules such as use of natural drain system, use of water-efficient appliances, rainwater harvesting plan, reservation of open spaces, facilities to treat dry and solid waste and compliance of the energy conservation building code will be framed. Workshops will be conducted to spread awareness among the developers once the rules are finalised," said Patil. Environmental experts said the move would help curb haphazard constructions in the city, but pointed out that the stakeholders know very little about the concept of the Green Buildings. Uday Gaikwad, city-based environmental activist, said, "The decision will stop rampant construction that is damaging the ecosystem. Often, the natural drains are diverted to facilitate construction of residential projects. Once these environmental rules are enforced for the construction of the building, such instances will never take place. However, implementation of these rules needs to be carefully watched as many times such committees bend the rules to help the builders."

Amaravati construction deserves place in educational discourse: CM

Amaravati: Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu believes the construction of Amaravati deserves to be part of school syllabus. In recent meetings, the CM directed officials to explore possibilities of including the capital city construction in educational discourse. While there are a number of significant aspects to the construction of Amaravati, the CM thinks farmers voluntarily giving up vast extents under LPS is worthy of great discussion among graduates, scholars, students and teachers.Future generations are expected to greatly benefit from the capital city and their coming together to become partners of Amaravati construction shows great foresight on part of the public and this sociological aspect is of historical significance. Additionally, the people having such great faith in the government also deserves it share of research and study. The CM has asked the officials to promote Amaravati as a city of happiness and economic growth. Earlier, he described Amaravati as the symbol of Telugu pride and emphasised that "every Telugu should own Amaravati and feel part of it".The CM said the state government plans to lay the foundation for iconic government buildings in the capital on Vijaya Dasami this year. "Amaravati has great history, which dates back to the second century," said the CM, "The origin of world famous Kohinoor diamond is also from here." However, the CM has told officials that it must not seem as if the government is only concerned about the capital and is ignoring other development activities in the state. Accordingly, he has directed Capita Region Development Authority (CRDA) and irrigation department officials to promote his plans regarding Amaravati and Polavaram in equal measure among all villagers of Andhra Pradesh and NRI Telugus.

Construction of War Memorial started, to be completed by year end

DEHRADUN: Construction work for the War Memorial in Dehradun started on Wednesday, more than a year its foundation stone was laid by the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar. The memorial will have names of awardees and martyrs from the three defence forces. The memorial, which the veterans have demanded since the state's inception in 2000, is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The walls of the structure will also have statues representing the three regiments, Kumaon Rifles, Garhwal Rifles and Gorkha Rifles, which originated in the state.Former Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay, who contributed Rs 2 crore for the development of the memorial said, "The unique memorial will inspire many villagers. Movement of official files delayed the project, however, we are hoping that it will be completed by the end of this year." Veterans are happy that the construction of the memorial has finally commenced. Brig (Retd) KG Behl said, "We wanted this memorial since Uttarakhand was formed and in spite of all the obstacles, I am glad that the project is finally turning into a reality." "We are also planning a museum and have asked for more acres for its construction from the authorities," added Behl, who is also part of a committee for the development of the memorial. The maintenance of the memorial will be done by the Cantonment board and the Indian Army. Calling it a source of inspiration for the youth, Col (retd) A K Sharma said, "This will not only inspire the youth to join the forces but will also keep alive the memories of the brave soldiers who lost their lives."

Housing societies on government plots may get ownership

MUMBAI: The state revenue department is likely to allow conversion of collector land to freehold plots upon payment of a premium. The move would benefit around 3,000 housing societies in Mumbai alone. There are around 22,000 such societies across the state. Salil Rameshchandra, a resident of Chembur's Shivshristi housing society, said conversion to freehold would rid them of red tape. "Now for every change, transfer we need prior permission from the government. The new premium and other charges for redevelopment have made the project completely unviable," he said. Rohit Badame, a consultant for sale of flats on collector land said the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code allows the government to place restrictions on transfer of land as the plots had been granted for an objective. "However, the collector regulates the sale, management and transfer of flats, which is not its mandate. Under the guise of regulation the collector's office only harasses citizens," he said.It was in 2016 when Eknath Khadse was the revenue minister that the state cabinet approved a proposal to convert occupants' class II land (collector land) to freehold land. It even set up a committee headed by revenue secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava to recommend the conversion. A senior revenue official said the government would allow the conversion provided the residents are willing to pay for it. The report is expected to be submitted to the government soon, said the official. "The state has only sold leasehold rights. It still has residual rights to these plots and if it is to give up these rights then it is only right that it charge for it. The money that will come from the conversion of these plots to freehold will only be used for development works," said the official. While the report is yet to be submitted, the department has increased the premium for redevelopment of buildings on the collector land from 10% to 25% of the Ready Reckoner Rate. Residents will have to pay another 1% of the RRR if they want to mortgage the land for raising funds for the redevelopment.

KMC cracks the whip on construction sites

KOLKATA: As the dengue threat looms over Kolkata following the death of four patients in Dum Dum, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has started cracking down on para promoters for not taking adequate measures to prevent accumulation of water, which can become mosquito breeding grounds, at construction sites.According to the KMC health department, the civic body had identified around 7,000 construction sites that pose a threat and issued a dos-and-don'ts guideline on dengue prevention in early June. All developers were told to do whatever it took to keep the construction sites dry and ensure that water did not stagnate. They were also told to ensure that rubbish didn't pile up. A month later, inspection by the KMC health department's Rapid Action Force (RAF) found that its guidelines had been ignored. "Nothing has changed at several sites. Our team found mosquito larvae in stagnant water that had been allowed to accumulate. We also found heaps of rubbish and construction material. We have now served notices to the errant developers, asking them to take immediate action. If they fail to rectify the situation, we will slap stop-work notice," said MMiC health Atin Ghosh. Sources said a notice had already been issued to a developer at a large construction site off EM Bypass. This apart, several developers have been served notices, asking them either to fall in line within a week or face action. The worst offenders are local promoters in added areas like Behala, Garden Reach, Metiabruz, Jadavpur and stretches off EM Bypass as well as places like Bidhan Sarani, Chittaranjan Avenue, Tollygunge and Jadavpur in Kolkata proper. "We need to take our guard against spread of dengue in Kolkata. So far, the situation is under control but with an increasing number of patients testing positive in the neighbouring south Dum Dum and Baranagar, the threat is menacing. Construction sites are potential breeding grounds of mosquitoes and hence we had to act tough," Ghosh explained.

Spurt in construction destroying EKW ecology

KOLKATA: Single and two-storeyed houses have recently mushroomed across East Kolkata Wetlands, irreversibly altering its character, endangering the biodiversity and threatening the prestigious Ramsar tag.In moujas like Dhapa Manpur, Bhagabanpur, Kumar Pukuria, Tardaha Kapasati, Kheyadaha, Haatgachha and Beonta, hundreds of brick-and-mortar houses have cropped up in the past couple of years with the local administration turning a blind eye to blatant violation of legislations in place to protect and preserve the wetlands. Of the 264 bheris or fish farms, more than 64 have disappeared with land sharks in connivance with a section of local politicians, musclemen and cops. The cops' reluctance to act in the initial stages of construction has led to allegations of their tacit involvement in the land grab. Additionally, East Kolkata Wetland Management Authority's failure to carry out spot inspections when they first receive complaints and the consequent delay in filing FIRs have emboldened land sharks to encroach further. Not only have bheris been encroached upon, paddy fields and embankments between bheris have also been usurped to construct houses. "Once people begin living on the embankment, it is a matter of time before the adjoining wetlands are lost as solid waste is continuously dumped into the water," said Dhruba Dasgupta, researcher and project director of Society for Creative Opportunities and Participatory Ecosystems that works extensively in EKW.Activist Shantanu Chacraverti pointed to a graver problem. Most of the new houses are inhabited by those who are not traditional residents of EKW and have nothing to do with its waste water ecology. This has led to a demographic and situational problem. "Once you have a substantial EKW population that has nothing to do with EKW's waste water ecology, you have a strong demographic component in the EKW that has no stake in preserving these wetlands and waterbodies. This corrodes the resistance — actual and potential — to the encroachment upon these wetlands. Further, this gradual and silent takeover by outsiders opens the way to further encroachment by both the relatively less affluent and by big promoters and realtors. Gradually, notwithstanding all the legal barriers, the EKW will be inevitably destroyed," he pointed out. Locals say the construction activity has received a fillip since the Bidhannagar civic elections in October 2015. "One of the new councillors has been openly grabbing land from settlers, first claiming that it was vested and then carrying out construction on them. With mayor and environment minister Sovon Chatterjee commenting that he wants illegal houses in EKW to be regularised so that civic bodies can earn revenue by way of house tax, it has given a fillip to encroachment and construction," said Bimal Sarkar of Chhayanabhi village in Dhapa Manpur I mouja.

PCNTDA razes illegal structures

PIMPRI CHINCHWAD: The Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA) demolished 25 kuccha and permanent constructions over 25,000sqft in an anti-encroachment drive at Kalewadi Phata last week. Vasant Naik, deputy engineer, PCNTDA, said it was the largest anti-encroachment drive of this year till now. "The 30-metre-wide high capacity mass transit route is in the development plan of the authority and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. It is a ring road that starts from Nashik Phata and goes via Rahatani, Spine Road and Chikhali . An 800-metre-long stretch of the route passes through Rahatani village, out of which we have planned to make 300 metres encroachment free this month," he said. He added that the first phase of the drive started on Saturday along the Kalewadi Phata Chowk on Sangvi-Kiwale bus rapid transit system route. "The authority had sent notices three years ago for vacating the land as it is reserved for the high capacity mass transit route. We had also sent reminders repeatedly. But people did not vacate it. So we were forced to conduct the drive," Naik said. Initially, the people tried to oppose the drive, but relented later. They were allowed to remove their valuables and belongings. Among the demolished structures were two-storied houses, automobile garages, godowns and a bungalow.

New Town development authority to adopt better construction management process

KOLKATA: The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) held a meeting with all architects and engineers involved with NKDA at the Rabindra Tirtha auditorium on Monday to increase awareness on adopting better design and construction management process. Officials said that the participants attention was drawn to the recent amendment of NKDA Rules that discourages dumping of construction materials and demolition waste on the roads. NKDA had also decided earlier that service will be provided for removing of construction and demolition waste from a particular spot at a given cost for removing per tonne of waste. It was discussed that dumping of construction materials and demolition waste on roads, drains, culverts and sewerage pipes were causing much problem and that new procedures were to be adopted like renting of vacant land, construction work in the project sites in phases, use of prefabricated beams, using empty plots with prior permission from the authorities, constant monitoring of trucks while unloading sand and bricks, use of polythene sheets on the ground to avoid leakage into drains.

1,000 home buyers of Jaypee project to soon get possession

NOIDA: Noida Authority Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Amit Mohan Prasad said on Thursday that relief is in store 1000 home buyers with residences in three of Jaypee group's housing projects. Prasad said that the Authority has completed the inspections of nine towers across the three projects and would be issuing the completion certificates by Monday, July 17, 2017. Speaking to TOI, Prasad said that the three projects include Jaypee Aman, Jaypee Cosmos and Jaypee Klassic, all of which are located in the Jaypee Wish Town project. About 27,000 buyers are agitating against the developer for the delay in giving possession of their promised flats. "While five towers will be cleared in Jaypee Aman, two towers each will be given the completion in Cosmos and Klassic projects," the CEO said. "Our teams have completed the inspections of the nine towers. We should be issuing the completions by Monday after which home buyers will be able to get the registries done. Builders will also be able to hand over possession," he said. Prasad further said that the Authority was also trying to revive another five stuck group housing projects by facilitating meetings between realtors and bankers aiming to get bankers to lend money to realtors. Banks stopped lending to developers in Noida as they fear non-repayment of loans due to the financial crisis the builders are facing. Prasad hoped that if bankers help builders with their financial crisis, many developers will be able to resume construction and finish housing projects to deliver flats to homebuyers. Thousands of homebuyers have been suffering due to delayed delivery of flats as builders have failed to finish projects in time citing a fund crunch amid slowdown in the realty sector. "We have received a positive response from the bankers regarding these builders. If all works out, at least 2000 home buyers from these projects will be able to get possession of their homes, soon," he said. Meanwhile, in a further attempt to clear the builder-buyer impasse and in order to facilitate coordination between developers and home buyers in the city, Noida Authority will soon finalize a private agency to monitor the progress of ongoing and delayed projects. The aim of this agency will be to ensure delivery of flats as per schedule provided by defaulting builders. "We have shortlisted 15 companies. We are likely to appoint more than one company for the job," said Prasad.

Builder usurps BMC plot, submits plan to construct 39-storey tower

MUMBAI: Attempts by a builder appointed by a housing society to encroach on a BMC land and gain incentive to construct additional floors in a redevelopment project at Oshiwara have been foiled by civic officials. The builder had initially obtained permission to construct 39 floors after demolishing 2 four-storey Mhada buildings of Prabhakar Kunte housing society. But he showed an adjoining plot reserved as a recreational ground (RG) by the BMC as part of the society's existing premises. The society and builder claimed that both the plots carried the same CTS number, they even approached the court and obtained a stay order against the BMC some years ago. The fight between the builder and BMC has been going on since the last seven years. The builder amended the plan last month to reduce the number of floors to 30, but he was not ready to give up the RG plot. On Saturday, the BMC demolished the boundary wall, which the builder had constructed around the land after amalgamating both the plots, and took back their land. The society has threatened to file a contempt of court case against the civic officials, said sources. The society secretary was unavailable for comment.The row dates back to 2008 when the builder was appointed to redevelop the society. Two years later, he submitted a proposal to construct a 39-storey building on the plot. Civic officials said the description provided as part of the design mentioned the original area of the society premises, but in the design both plots were amalgamated. The builder also showed that the RG plot belonged to the society in an attempt to obtain additional construction rights. The builder obtained an NOC from Mhada to support his claim and allegedly used his influence to get initial BMC permission to construct the 39-storey building. But the BMC took the matter to court."The society has misled the court after stating that both the plots in their possession have the same CTS number," said Prashant Gaikwad, assistant commissioner of K-West ward. "The RG plot belongs to us. They have encroached the plot, which was kept for road widening and RG. We will inform the court about it."

New Town takes e-route to residents

KOLKATA: The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is going to be the first government agency in the state to have a direct interface with citizens. Residents of New Town who are interested in knowing about different events and important information regarding the township could now get their mobile number registered with NKDA and get messages with updates and announcements. "It would be primarily for reaching out to residents. We are using IT and mobile technology for introducing the service," said NKDA chairman Debashis Sen. Already, the authorities have introduced a number of online services for residents to avail various civic services.KOLKATA: The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is going to be the first government agency in the state to have a direct interface with citizens. Residents of New Town who are interested in knowing about different events and important information regarding the township could now get their mobile number registered with NKDA and get messages with updates and announcements. "It would be primarily for reaching out to residents. We are using IT and mobile technology for introducing the service," said NKDA chairman Debashis Sen. Already, the authorities have introduced a number of online services for residents to avail various civic services.

Developers employ precast, dry well system to fasten affordable housing projects

HYDERABAD: Developers are employing new construction techniques like aluminium shuttering, precast concrete technology and dry well systems to fasten the delivery of housing projects amid a renewed focus on the residential space with Housing for All by 2022, said property consultant Colliers International. The property consultant added that especially after the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act, which emphasises the need for timely completion of projects, adoption of modern technologies has become the need of the hour to survive in the market for a developer. Also, execution of construction projects and their delivery in a timely manner has become a prime concern for developers in view of the buyer’s agitation on delay in construction. R. Shobha, national director, project management, Colliers International India said, “Rising industrial, residential and commercial growth is driving the demand for faster construction and world class quality. It has become imperative to use newer products and technologies to meet this increasing demand. The construction industry in India is at the cusp of disruptive change with new materials, building technology, software, digitisation and artificial intelligence changing the way we conceptualise, build and use our buildings”. As nearly 2 million homes are to be built by 2022, adoption of such technologies will not only reduce the turnaround time but also improve the quality and durability of construction and help in generating more interest in affordable housing projects among buyers. These technologies are not only cost-effective but offer advantages such as minimal labour force, higher earthquake resistance, more durability than conventional building techniques, higher carpet area, smooth finish on walls and lower on maintenance. Many private developers are already using these technologies that provide a boost to their affordable housing projects.

Coimbatore realtors want M-sand production hiked

COIMBATORE: The online sale of river sand has curtailed supply from private players, construction contractors and realtors associations have alleged. The supply has fallen from 40,000 loads of sand to 4,000 per day. On the other hand, the supply of M-sand (manufactured sand) is limited as there are not more than 12 manufacturers in the region. President of the Builders Association of India, Coimbatore, K Rajavel said, "Earlier the cost of one load (275cubic feet) was Rs 12,000, and now it costs us Rs 35,000. While we are with the state government in trying to regularise the sale of river sand, we urge the chief minister to regularise the manufacturing of Msand too." In Coimbatore, the capacity for manufacturing Msand is 50 loads, said Coimbatore Civil Engineers Association president R Karthick."This is not enough to meet the demand. Other states manufacture it in large quantities and it is better than river sand," he said. "M-sand is cheaper (Rs 2,000 for 100 cubic feet) and it also dries quickly," he added.The Mines Act prevents realtors in the city from purchasing M-sand from neigh bouring states. "So the only way to meet our demands is to improve the production capacity of the district and the state. For this, the state government should take steps to regularise the licensing process," said Rajavel. Setting up a manufacturing unit for M-sand requires about 5 acres and `3crore-5crore investment on equipment and labour, depending on the capacity . "There is enough space for mining.And about 100 people from the district are willing to set up manufacturing facilities if the state passes a government order," said Karthick. Realtors say chief mini ster Edapaddi K Palanisami has promised to look into the matter. "In 2011-12, chief minister J Jayalalithaa said Msand can be used for construction of offices and PWD projects," said Karthick. The realtors said they were facing problems obtaining permissions for mining, environmental clearances and power permission. To bring the issue to the attention of the government, the associations will organise a rally from Womens' Polytechnic to VOC Park and meet collector T N Hariaharan and place their demands.

You can get building plan cleared in 30 days

NEW DELHI: The three municipal corporations have simplified the process of sanctioning building plans. Giving a push to the "ease of doing business" initiative, they have now introduced a single window clearance system for construction proposals. Earlier, the system was quite complicated and people had to get NOCs from different agencies. Now, it has been made online and there is a common application form for all approvals. Any building plan will be cleared within 30 days after submission of the application. If that doesn't happen, the proposal gets automatically sanctioned on the 31st day. The time required to get the approvals has been reduced from 213 days to 60 days and the number of procedures have been brought down to 8 from 29. "The building plan will be cleared within two weeks. In case of objections, the department will get a month's time to clear the plans," said Puneet Goel, commissioner of the south corporation, which is the nodal agency for the civic bodies to promote the "ease of doing business" initiative. "We have added the digital signature feature and now, there is no interaction between department and the people. Everything is done online," Goel added. The portal was launched in April 2016 and since then all plans have been sanctioned online. "A few more changes have been made and we have started using WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms to clear doubts of people," added a senior official. According to officials, receipt of documents will be acknowledged promptly through a text message or an email.Also, applicants need not worry about acquiring NOCs from various agencies, a requirement that prolonged the approval process to 2-3 months. "Earlier, people had to get separate NOCs from various agencies before their plans were approved. Now, all of them have been added to our system and it is SDMC's job to get those NOCs," said Goel.The agencies, which are required to concur on the approvals though no-objection certificates, include Delhi Urban Art Commission, Airport Authority of India, Heritage Conservation Committee, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, chief inspector of factories, Archaeological Survey of India, Delhi Jal Board and the power discoms. The system, set up by the south corporation, will also help fix accountability in case of lapses. The civic body has sanctioned over 2,800 building plans out of 3,300 applications they received in the past one year from different municipal areas. A total of 354 plans were rejected due to errors in applications.

New housing policy aims to reduce cost of construction

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday proposed a new housing policy that will include a series of changes, including reducing the cost of construction. Announcing it in the state assembly, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the government would formulate a housing and residential policy and its features would include bringing down cost of construction and ensuring adequate housing facilities for economically weaker sections. Other highlights of the policy include promoting standard urbanisation, ensuring provision of all basic amenities, developing infrastructure, amending master plans and development control rules and fixing time frames for building approval, among others, he said. The government, he said, will also take steps to ensure safety and security of senior citizens and women in premises developed by its boards. The chief minister also announced construction of nearly 1.87 lakh houses under different schemes including the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Vanessa Peter, policy researcher, Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities, said the new policy should focus on marginalised citizens residing in the informal settlements in the urban areas. Sources say the new policy could create space for private players to involve in slum redevelopment, decreasing the role of the state. "This shift will only benefit the real estate lobby and private housing finance agencies," said Vanessa. While affordable housing is a progressive move, adequacy should be the core component, she said. "The housing programme should also address the concerns of the informal labour force, the livelihood concerns and factor it the social and cultural sensitivities." Urban planners said the policy should be more participatory, inviting discussions before, during and after execution of a scheme.

Flaky ceilings in new buildings at Noida raise buyers’ concern

NOIDA: Following a series of complaints regarding poor quality of construction and flaky plaster peeling off ceilings at newly constructed apartments, Noida Extension Flat Owners Main Association (Nefoma) has formed a united appeal with the Noida and Greater Noida Authority, on behalf of all residents of new apartments in Noida and Greater Noida claiming the construction quality be checked and be certified for safety. According to Annu Khan, president Nefoma, residents of at least four new residential apartments have reported of concrete peeling off ceilings over last two days. "Every week there is at least once incident of a plaster peel off being reported. Some apartment residents in the recent past have also made police complaints and lodged FIRs with the police against the concerned builders, but even then no stringent action is being taken against the builders on the construction quality," Annu Khan, president, Nefoma, said. "We have heard from residents of Stellar Jeevan, Skytech, Amrapali Silicon valley and Mahagun apartments over last two days. Complaints of flaky plaster has now become commonplace. We are now worried whether these apartments will last beyond 10 years or be ever able to survive an earthquake," Khan added.Reports of concrete showers both from building exteriors and inside apartments have been pouring in from various construction sites. "At some apartments where complaints of concrete shower have emerged from, construction is still underway on site. So effectively, even before the project is entirely complete, plaster has started peeling off from the ones which have been newly completed. In such a state, it is anybody's guess in what shape these apartments would be in 10 years," Khan complained. While Nefoma has made complaints on the issue with GNIDA and Noida Authority previously, another buyers' group Noida Extension Flat Owners' welfare Association (Nefowa) has been demanding an authentic audit of the apartments before the final completion and occupation certificates are handed over to builders. "Safety of new apartments is becoming a rising concern. Construction quality, hygiene, living environment - everything needs attention," Abhishek Kumar, president, Nefowa said.After struggling for years on the issue of delayed construction, the buyers are now negotiating on the quality of construction of the projects. "Bad construction is serious matter. Timely attention to the matter should be given," Khan added.

GST on real estate: Effective GST rate on under-construction real estate at 12%

NEW DELHI: The effective GST rate on under- construction real estate projects will be 12 per cent only and not 18 per cent as there will be abatement for land cost, according to tax consultant EY. Realtors' body CREDAI President Jaxay Shah also said that the effective GST rate would remain at 12 per cent and assured that as per the law, the developers would pass on the benefits of input tax credit to home buyers. Yesterday, the government hiked the GST rate for the construction sector to 18 per cent from 12 per cent but removed land value from computation of tax liability. The GST Council had in May decided to levy 12 per cent GST on construction of a complex, building, civil structure or intended for sale to a buyer, wholly or partly. Earlier, the value of land was to be included in the amount on which tax was to be calculated. "There is some confusion in the industry that GST on under-construction projects has been fixed by the government at 18 per cent instead of the 12 per cent proposed earlier by the GST Council. "This confusion is mis-placed as there is an abatement of one-third for the value of land when you apply the rate of 18 per cent; which makes the effective GST rate 12 per cent only," said Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY. When contacted, CREDAI President Jaxay Shah also said that the effective GST rate will remain 12 per cent on under- construction properties. Asked whether builders will pass on the input tax credit to home buyers, he said: "As per law, we will return input tax credit to buyers".As on today, home buyers have to pay 15 per cent service tax on 30 per cent of the total cost of the apartment, which is effectively 4.5 per cent. NAREDCO President Parveen Jain said the effective rate will be 12 per cent after the abatement for land value.Earlier this month, NAREDCO had written to the Prime Minister seeking lower GST of 6 per cent on sale of under- construction property from 12 per cent as higher tax will lead to price rise and affect sales. It had also sought exemption from Goods and Services Tax (GST), to be rolled out from July 1, to affordable housing which has gained momentum after getting infrastructure status and interest subsidy.

Fast-track building permission system drifts at slow pace

PUNE: The fast-track building permission system started by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is yet to gather steam. The number of applications under the scheme has gone down since its introduction three years back. The PMC launched the fast-track building permission system in November 2014 with an aim to clear proposals within 24 hours. The scheme had received 46 applications in the first five months. In 2015-16, the number of applications went up to 99, but received only 57 proposals for fast-track approval in 2016-17. The scheme aims to make the process of getting permission to build houses hassle-free by cutting down on the number of visits to PMC offices and the time taken to clear the proposals. Officials said the success of the scheme can also bring down the number of illegal constructions. The PMC official said that on an average, 4,500 building permissions are granted every year in PMC limits. The administration generates around Rs 600 crore per year by giving these permissions. "The lull in the real estate scenario has had a direct bearing on the number of proposals received for permissions. It has also adversely affected performance of the fast-track system," Prashant Waghmare, city engineer of PMC, told TOI. He said that the regular permission system of PMC was working effectively. People get permissions quickly. So many people use the system rather than the fast-track as there is hardly any time lapse, he said.Developers on the other hand observed that the limited scope of the scheme has led to the slowdown. "Only small projects and single buildings receive approval under the scheme. If multi-apartment projects are allowed to apply, it can boost the performance of the scheme," said Shrikant Paranjape, chairman of CREDAI Pune chapter. The civic administration had introduced a similar scheme in 2003 but that failed. Of the 1,200 city-based architects dealing with the civic building permission department, only around 100 applied for empanelment. Architects are required to register before submitting proposals. A special committee has been appointed to look into the proposals. Once a proposal reaches the administration, it will be cleared in one working day.

Make a real estate splash!

Mumbai Wary of indulging in home-hunting during the monsoons? Fret not, as the ongoing season could be an apt time to gauge the sturdiness and durability of your prospective home. Traditionally, home-buyers have underestimated monsoons as a prospective house-hunting season. However, contrary to popular belief, monsoons are the best time to invest in a property, believe experts. During this season, buyers can actually check the construction quality of their homes ­ pertaining to any leakages and seepage issues that would be very much visible during heavy rains. "Many-a-times, people invest all their savings in areas where they don't envisage local problems such as water stagnation and flooding, sewage issues during monsoons, non-availability of public transport, etc," says Srinivasan Gopalan, group CEO Ozone Group. Secondly, monsoons are generally considered as a lull period and so, there is a slew of offers and schemes that can be leveraged upon during this period for buyers, thus making the home-buying activity an attractive proposition. "It becomes easier to avail lucrative deals offered by sellers on account of a muted demand. In order for the realtors to not backslide in this three-month period, they are susceptible to offering projects at reasonable prices, which ultimately, benefit the end-user. Furthermore, developers offer appealing discounts at this time to provide the crucial push to their sales," says Rajeev Jain, Director, Nirmal Lifestyle. Visiting the construction site during the rains can help buyers address concerns pertaining to any difficulty while commuting during the monsoons; water-clogging; visible instances of flooding; sturdiness of the building, among others. "A site visit to the property during the monsoons can help one check the durability of the building and ensure that one don't take any bad decisions," says Sachin Sandhir, Global Managing Director emerging business, RICS. Realty experts believe that not only are the developers more than willing to sit across the table and negotiate; for the buyers too, the monsoons is an apt time to inspect their prospective homes and finalise a fruitful deal for themselves. The season further exposes any construction defects; plumbing quality in terms of drainage; as well as water-logging and congestion issues in the neighbourhood, thus giving a clearer picture. So, go ahead and inspect your property this season. In an under-construction property, the home-buyer can learn of how the project would shape up and if the location is offering proper connectivity, has proper drainage system, etc. For resale and ready possession flats, one can check the quality of construction and if there are seepage in the walls, leakages or water stagnating anywhere. "This gives the buyer an upper hand and he can negotiate with the developer or reseller to get it repaired and also give a better deal on the property," concludes Gopalan. Hence, if you are a prospective home-buyer, monsoons are not the time to sit back and relax but to call for action, get valuable information on the property you intend to purchase and go ahead and take the plunge.

Smart infrastructure: The future of Indian real estate

Smart infrastructure: The future of Indian real estate Smart sanitation Sewage should be treated and must not be released in rivers or water bodies. The methane released from sewage should be captured and used as fuel and it’s residue can be used as a bio-fertiliser. Water management Water should be treated as a precious natural resource. The infrastructure should be such that water supply should be metered. Dual water supply lines should be established – one for drinking and cooking and the other for various uses. Each housing complex should have rain water harvesting and water treatment plants for optimum usage. Technology infrastructure Internet connectivity along with cell phone coverage is essential in smart cities as most of the city services are offered online. Multiple service kiosks have to be set up for people to access public services and information. “Technology infrastructure can provide real time vehicle tracking, control of street lighting, solid waste serving vehicle tracking, citizen’s portal, online building permissions and water and energy management applications at testing level,” says Kanchan Sidhaye, GRIHA trainer and evaluator, BEE Energy Manager, VK:e environmental, a green consulting firm based in Pune. Solid waste management Solid waste must be mandatorily segregated into dry and wet waste and collected through separate channels that handle all activities from collection to disposal. Where wet waste can be used by converting into fuel/fertiliser/heat source, while the dry waste should be segregated into reusable parts and non-usable parts which can further be converted into electricity. Smart industry Smart cities are employment oriented. They should follow guidelines given by ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ to facilitate industrial development. They should provide ‘single window clearance’ system for industries. Fuel pipelines and dedicated high tension electricity lines should be provided for uninterrupted supply of energy. Social infrastructure A well-developed social infrastructure ensures better liveability for citizens as they don’t have to go far for basic amenities. This includes education facilities such as schools and colleges, good quality healthcare facilities and entertainment facilities that make people happy. Smart security A smart city should be covered by CCTV cameras for round-the-clock surveillance. Advanced surveillance techniques with facial recognition and video processing should be implemented to track would-be criminals.

Fly ash use to be mandatory in all constructions in Nagpur

NAGPUR: Fly ash bricks will soon be made mandatory for all constructions, be it individual houses, residential flat schemes or commercial complexes, across the city and district. All civic bodies, including Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), will include this condition while giving permission to building plans. Fly ash use will also be made mandatory in cement roads, as per the new Fly Ash Utilization Policy by the state government. The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) has implemented the policy and its subsidiary Mahagenco Ash Management Services Ltd (Mahagams) is ensuring effective implementation of the policy. Managing director of Mahagams Shyam Wardhane told TOI the policy has been implemented as per directives of the central government. "Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and energy minister Chandrashekar Bawankule are pursuing effective implementation of the policy. Mahagams and NMC have executed a MoU for utilization of fly ash. Similar MoUs will be done with NIT and municipal councils in the district," he said.NMC additional municipal commissioner Ramnath Sonawane said town planning department will begin to make use of fly ash bricks mandatory while giving building plan permissions soon. "NMC will also utilize fly ash in all cement concrete road works." Wardhane said an industrial cluster for manufacturing fly ash based materials — bricks, blocks, pavers etc — will be developed at Koradi Thermal Power Station (KTPS) land within a month. "Mahagams is taking the initiative to ensure availability of fly ash-based materials, if the civic bodies make its utilization mandatory in constructions. Mahagams has already received proposals from over 400 brick manufacturers to set up units to use fly ash. One of the manufacturers is ready to produce over 2 lakh bricks every day. Manufacturers will be given land free of cost, and concessions in all required resources like water, power, taxes etc," he said. Wardhane added fly ash-based bricks will be cheaper and better quality as compared to soil-based bricks. "Fly ash-based bricks are erosion-free, have better thermostatic value, and require less coal/fuel while baking." He also said up to 30% fly ash can be utilized in cement concrete roads. "This can bring down costs and also improve quality. Fly ash in cement concrete roads prevents cracks. Fly ash will also be utilized in all housing schemes to come up under Housing For All Project, and all roads to be constructed under Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana," he said.

PMC-level environment clearances for buildings

Pune: Developers in the city have a reason to cheer as now they can get environment clearance certificates at the corporation-level. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has formed a special environment committee to issue environment certificates. The move, after a state government directive making environment permission mandatory for constructions above 5,000sqm, is expected to accelerate local projects.The environment committee comprises additional commissioner, city engineer, chief engineers and environmental officer. A monitoring cell of civic officials and environment experts will run background checks before issuing the NOC. The projects will be monitored even after their completion. "The initiative will ease doing business. Simplification and standard operating process will speed up clearances," said Anirudhha Pavaskar, a senior official of the building permission department heading the monitoring cell. The developers will have to submit a self-declaration after having fulfilled all environmental norms. Environment certificates will be issued at the PMC-level for projects up to 1.5 lakh square metres. Constructions above that will require the state government's approval. "Getting environment certificates locally will fix some major problems faced by builders. So many projects come to a halt in the waiting process. The delay in commencement leads to cost escalation, which ultimately results in buyers bearing the burden of the extra rates," said Shrikant Paranjape, president, Credai Pune Metro.

30-day deadline for building plan approvals in Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI: In a game-changing decision, Tamil Nadu government announced that if applications for building approvals did not evoke any response from officials within 30 days, the plan would be deemed to have been approved, and applicants could start construction as per rules. Also, local bodies can issue planning permission for ground-plus-one-floor or stilt-plus-two floors within their jurisdiction. Municipal administration minister S P Velumani told the assembly on Wednesday, "Land owners and builders can commence their constructions adhering to the framework of rules considering that their applications have been approved." Noting that the chief minister had reviewed the procedures to ease planning and building approvals, Velumani said necessary amendments would be ma de for the purpose. The decision has been hailed by the construction sector as it would considerably cut the delay in obtaining approvals for planning permission.Delay in getting the approval for building plans has been causing huge loss to the builders in the state. Builder's Association of In dia southern centre, Chennai, honorary sec retary S Ramaprabhu said the move would save a few months that used to be wasted on getting approvals for plans. "This is a welcome move because people need not have to spend several months just for getting the approvals," he said. It will also reflect on reduction of unnecessary of expenses caused during the de lay period, he added. S Kanagasundaram, past president of the Association of Licensed Building Surveyors, Coimbatore, said applicants in Coimbatore Corporation had to wait for three months to receive planning permissions."The delay happens despite the entire process of planning permission having been computerised. Under such circumstances, it is surely a move that calls for celebration," he said. Meanwhile, local bodies will also be empo wered to give planning permission for residential buildings beyond an area of 4,000 square feet, as the state government has decided to enhance their powers. They will sanction planning approval for commercial structures constructed beyond 2,000 square feet. Velumani further announced that applications seeking planning permission for constructing buildings in local bodies should be registered only through online.

Lucknow development body to shame engineers for approving illegal construction

Lucknow Growth of illegal construction in the city is not an overnight phenomenon, rather a result of disregard of building bylaws by development authority engineers over last several years, admitted LDA vice-chairman P N Singh at the board meeting on May 24. He has, therefore, announced to release shortly a list of such engineers who have allowed flouting of building bylaws right under their nose. So far, Lucknow Development Authority used to release list of only those offenders whose properties were under their scanner for either not getting a map approved by the authority or constructing beyond the design approved. But after high court intervened and asked the authority to explain why so many cases of illegal construction had cropped up in city despite full-fledged RBO (Regulation of Building Operation) Wing of LDA operating, the authorities have swung into action. LDA’s recent survey suggests that more than 70% of the buildings in the city are illegal because they trespass map limits and flout building bylaws. Of these, LDA court has already issued demolition orders for over 1,700 buildings till date but its execution is pending. A lot many illegal constructions are owned by high-profile individuals like politicians, businessmen, bureaucrats in city who have appealed in the LDA court for relief. P N Singh said, "Along with public, LDA engineers are also responsible for overlooking norms. It was their job to see that construction is as per law. We will soon be issuing list of engineers too along with the offenders who have been supervising these areas but have failed to take any action till date." The high court has also sought list of engineers from LDA who have allegedly allowed illegal constructions in their jurisdiction over last 10 years. There have been many complaints in the past that LDA engineers don’t keep a check on unauthorised construction and give it a go-ahead to fulfil personal benefits turning a blind-eye to the anomalies.

Carpet area to exclude balcony, veranda, terrace: Maha RERA

Mumbai To bring about uniformity in the sale of apartments in the state, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) issued a circular on June 15 defining carpet area calculation and asked builders to adhere to this standard while drawing up sale agreements. The regulator's circular has stated that the balcony, veranda and the terrace, even if exclusive to the flat owner, can't be included in the carpet area even as internal walls are included in the calculation. While the new rules will result in the per square foot rate going up in certain areas, prices of apartments should remain unchanged. The move, however, is expected to bring to an end the practice of builders selling flats based on measurements like the built up area (sum of carpet area, wall thickness, ducts, exclusive balcony and verandas) or super built up area (sum of built up area and common facilities like veranda, staircase, lift etc). "We welcome this move by RERA as it defines carpet area and has set it as the standard. Now all builders will talk in the same language. Earlier, different builders used to 'set' their carpet area, built up area and super built up area leaving buyers confused," said Shirish Deshpande, Executive President of Consumer Rights Group Mumbai Grahak Panchyat. "But we are opposed to inclusion of inner wall in the definition of the carpet area as it defies the original definition of carpet area which literally goes for the area of carpet which can be laid out wall to wall," said Deshpande. The rule that flat must be sold on carpet area was there even under Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act but it was rarely enforced as there was no enforcement mechanism. "But now with MahaRERA coming into existence, one can sue the builder if he falters," Deshpande pointed out. Nirbhant Shah, Founder and CEO of ISPRAVA Builders, said, "This will help consumers get a clear understanding about the size of property they are buying which will help them make an informed decision."

Tips to save cost while constructing a house

Today, cementing, false roofs and other methods are being used to cover shoddy workmanship and even mistakes,” says Ravi Kesaravalli, chief architect of a well-known design and architectural firm in Pune. “When constructing a wall, if the bricks are precisely kept and cemented, you do not need more than half an inch of plaster on the walls. This translates into extensive savings as cement is expensive.” This opinion is reiterated by Mahalakshmi Jayaram, principal architect of Mahalakshmi and Jayaram Associates, a well-known architectural firm that focuses on building sustainable homes. In fact, she goes a step further. “If concreting is done well, with perfect shuttering and casting, you can actually save on ceiling plaster. The convenience of plaster has actually increased the use of cement to hide mistakes made by workmen. Similarly, well measured and planned spaces for doors, size of windows, wardrobes and showcases can save the cost of knocking down or re-doing walls.” According to Jayaram, well-constructed and properly erected walls can save as much as 20-25 per cent of the construction cost, due to savings on cement. This is a considerable amount as construction budgets tend to go beyond almost 90 per cent of the times. Some steps to take when constructing a house: "Building a house is generally a once in a lifetime process. I strongly recommend a daily visit to the site, when the workers are at their job,” says Kesaravalli. “This way you will be able to put pressure on the contractor and keep the workers committed.” “At the beginning stage itself if you notice a wall is not being constructed properly, get the worker to take it down and re-do it,” says Jayaram. “This way they know you mean business and will be careful when laying bricks/stones. Never allow it when they say, ‘we can cover it up with cement’. A well-constructed wall means less cementing and hence, lesser cost burden.” “As far as possible have rectangular rooms,” says Jayaram. “Even an 11x15 ft ratio is good. You require less steel rods to support and strengthen it.” You can have a strong staircase with two support beams. With Saadarhalli stones and 2RCC beams as support, your staircase is strong. The extra thick layers of cement are more a habit done out of fear, by the contractor,” adds Kesaravalli. Other cost savers: Bricks of clay/Valapattanam bricks or cement blocks, all of them require less cement Use of clay tiles or Mangalore tiles as roofing and Meyeder filler tiles which can give a flat roof All broken bricks and `stone malba’ can be used for weathering the terrace and/or constructing the compound wall. “Insisting on this will save cost and give you a good feeling as you are recycling as well,” says Jayaram.

Good news for the construction sector

Bangalore This initiative to revive real estate projects comes as good news for all ­ developers, economy and prospective homebuyers. There is some good news for the realty sector. The government has taken another initiative to push growth in it. Recently, the government announced a package to ease financial stress on construction companies. This includes a package for restructuring of loans for the real estate sector. The intention is to prompt property developers to resume work on stalled projects. According to estimates, almost 45 percent of banks' exposure is to the construction sector. The total loan outstanding from the construction sector is almost Rs 10 lakh crores. The government's latest initiative is to enable builders to complete pending projects and hand over the flats to the buyers. The Niti Aayog scheme has now prepared a proposal to revive these projects. The Department of Financial Services and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will prepare a policy on how to deal with companies that have a lot of stressed assets in the real estate sector. This will pump in considerable liquidity into the sector to activate many real estate and infrastructure projects that have been stranded for some time and support the entire process of dispute resolution in relation to construction and real estate. The package prepared by Niti Aayog seeks to ensure release of 75 percent of funds locked up in projects where an arbitration award has been made in favour of a construction company. In case where an award has been challenged, agencies such as National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will transfer 75 percent of the award amount to an escrow account against a mar gin-free bank guarantee. This amount can be used to repay loans and generate liquidity besides easing the burden on companies. So, a company will be able to reduce its debt immediately. In case of construction companies, the government has also sought to speed up the arbitration process. Further, in order to avoid a build-up of cases in future, the government will encourage setting up conciliation committees so as to ensure speedy disposal of disputes. The scope may be widened over a period of time. With these measures providing liquidity to builders, solutions can be found. For example, if banks extend the repayment schedule, developers will use the cash flow to complete the projects instead of repaying the loan. This will help the sector, the economy, and of course, the buyers.

Cheaper loans, lower registration fee for green homes soon

Delhi/NCR The government is working on a scheme to promote energy efficient homes by offering cheaper loans and lower registration fee for green residential units as it ramps up efforts to mitigate climate change by moving towards a net zero-energy building regime. Government sources said the proposal is part of ongoing discussions on framing the 'Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Sector (ECBC-R)' on the lines of such a code for government and commercial buildings framed in 2007. Minister for power, coal and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, is scheduled to release the refreshed version of the code, ECBC-2017, on June 19, outlining a quantum leap towards a greener outlook for Indian realty. Sources said the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), an outfit under the power ministry, is working on a scheme to incentivise new homes that are more energy efficient and make lower demand on utilities for lighting and cooling energy. Also on the table is a proposal to extend the incentives to make existing residential properties more energy efficient through retrofitting. The thinking behind the proposals is in line with the incentives given to rooftop solar projects for the residential sector, which have been brought under the ambit of home loans that enjoy low interest rates. Admittedly, it is still a work in progress and, as the sources said, "the i's are yet to be dotted and the t's to be crossed". The move for a code for residential buildings has been prompted by concerns over demand side management, a vital step for maintaining a sustainable growth and lowering carbon emission at a time when the economy trots apace. As reported by TOI on November 2, 2016, the World Bank estimated India's market potential for energy efficient products at Rs 1.6 lakh crore, on the basis of the success of Ujala — the Narendra Modi government's scheme to replace old filament and CFL bulbs with modern LED lamps. Seen in the backdrop of climate change and expanding cities, ECBC-R will strengthen the government's efforts at reducing the carbon footprint of a growing segment of energy consumers. It will also add green jobs in the real estate sector.

Fly ash bricks to be mandatory in all constructions in Nagpur

Nagpur Fly ash bricks will soon be made mandatory for all constructions, be it individual houses, residential flat schemes or commercial complexes, across the city and district. All civic bodies, including Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), will include this condition while giving permission to building plans. Fly ash use will also be made mandatory in cement roads, as per the new Fly Ash Utilization Policy by the state government. The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) has implemented the policy and its subsidiary Mahagenco Ash Management Services Ltd (Mahagams) is ensuring effective implementation of the policy. Managing Director of Mahagams Shyam Wardhane told the policy has been implemented as per directives of the central government. "Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and energy minister Chandrashekar Bawankule are pursuing effective implementation of the policy. Mahagams and NMC have executed a MoU for utilization of fly ash. Similar MoUs will be done with NIT and municipal councils in the district," he said. NMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Ramnath Sonawane said town planning department will begin to make use of fly ash bricks mandatory while giving building plan permissions soon. "NMC will also utilize fly ash in all cement concrete road works." Wardhane said an industrial cluster for manufacturing fly ash based materials - bricks, blocks, pavers etc - will be developed at Koradi Thermal Power Station (KTPS) land within a month. "Mahagams is taking the initiative to ensure availability of fly ash-based materials, if the civic bodies make its utilization mandatory in constructions. Mahagams has already received proposals from over 400 brick manufacturers to set up units to use fly ash. One of the manufacturers is ready to produce over 2 lakh bricks every day. Manufacturers will be given land free of cost, and concessions in all required resources like water, power, taxes etc," he said. Wardhane added fly ash-based bricks will be cheaper and better quality as compared to soil-based bricks. "Fly ash-based bricks are erosion-free, have better thermostatic value, and require less coal/fuel while baking." He also said up to 30% fly ash can be utilized in cement concrete roads. "This can bring down costs and also improve quality. Fly ash in cement concrete roads prevents cracks. Fly ash will also be utilized in all housing schemes to come up under Housing For All Project, and all roads to be constructed under Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana," he said.

No occupancy certificate without solar power panel in Haryana

Delhi/NCR Two years after making it mandatory for all buildings on plots of 500 square metres or more to install rooftop solar power systems, the state government has issued a notification directing all authorities to appoint nodal officers for strict implementation of the scheme in buildings, including residential ones. According to the new notification, Huda will issue occupancy certificate (OC) for a building on plot size 500 sq m and above only after seeing its certificate of installation of a solar power plant. The renewable energy department will issue the no-objection certificate to the building after an inspection. "The nodal officer will be accountable for implementation of the policy," said a senior government official, adding they are planning to give old and existing buildings a fixed time to install solar systems, failing which their power connection could be disconnected. The order will be applicable to private bungalows, group housing, builder apartments, malls, offices, commercial complexes, schools, hospitals — any building, new or old, that meets the plot size criteria. The new notification has after the state government decided to replace the Haryana Solar Power Policy, 2014, with the Haryana Solar Power Policy, 2016, and set an ambitious target of generating 1,600MW using rooftop solar plants by 2021-22. But, according to an RTI, till February 2017, only four government buildings — Government Model School, Sushant Lok, Sector 43; additional deputy commissioner's (ADC) office; Vikas Sadan; ITI Sohna on Delhi-Alwar road bypass; and Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy (RGRE) Park in Sector 29 — have installed solar power system on their rooftops. The state government also hopes strict implementation will help replace polluting diesel gensets, which in turn will reduce pollution and emission of greenhouse gases. In Gurgaon, solar systems can generate enough power round the year to meet power requirements of households. Large parts of Gurgaon’s residential and commercial buildings, though, still dependable on diesel gensets to meet their requirements and causing pollution. The minimum solar power capacity to be installed is 1kW or 5% of a building's connected load, whichever is higher. A 1kW plant can generate up to 4.5 units of electricity a day, enough to power three fans, seven tubelights and a cooler for 4-5 hours. A typical 1kW plant costs Rs 55,000-Rs 60,000, after availing subsidy. While the payback period is 4-5 years, the system lasts for over 25 years. The government is also providing 30% subsidy, subject to a maximum of Rs 20,000 per kilowatt peak (kWp), on installation of solar power plants for certain categories of buildings.A typical 1kW plant costs Rs 55,000-Rs 60,000, after availing subsidy. While the payback period is 4-5 years, the system lasts for over 25 years. The government is also providing 30% subsidy, subject to a maximum of Rs 20,000 per kilowatt peak (kWp), on installation of solar power plants for certain categories of buildings.

Gas pipelines to be set up during building construction in Mumbai

Mumbai Developers can now make provision for piped gas line networks in buildings during their construction stage itself. The Mahanagar Gas Limited has started providing builders with a "reticulated system" model, which can be implemented during construction of a new building. "This methodology has been adopted with the objective of enabling builders to construct PNG (cooking gas) infrastructure at the time of constructing the building, thus saving time," said an MGL official. "The infrastructure laid by the builder shall be inspected and certified by a third-party inspection agency. Subsequently, the pipeline network (erected by the builder) will be commissioned by MGL and the latter will commence supply of cooking gas to every household," the official stated. Roopali Cooperative Housing Society in Vile Parle and Emerald Isle in Powai are among the first to receive cooking gas through this model, said the official. The MGL had proposed the "reticulated system" model to the builder fraternity few months ago. "More buildings will adopt this system in near future. We will ensure that it is implemented in accordance with the safety standards," the official added.

A step towards revival

Mumbai The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is expected to reduce a few charges and penalties that have been levied upon the builders to counter the slowdown in the real estate sector. In a bid to tackle the prolonged slowdown in the real estate sector of Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is expected to reduce some charges and penalties levied upon the builders. This move is expected to bring some relief to the developers, who have been burdened with exponential charges and premiums in the last five years. In a meeting with the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), the civic body is planning to reduce the rising project costs for builders, by cutting down on components such as land under-construction rates and some premiums. Dharmesh Jain, chairman, MCHI says, "We had been requesting the BMC to reduce the charges and the premiums, which are too high and need to be relooked at. We had a dialogue on it and will continue to work together. Taxation has become unbearable for the industry; which is why there is a need to re-asses these taxes. The problem that lies with real estate is that you get taxed by the central government, state government as well as urban local bodies. And all three when combined, considerably impact the overall cost." Issues of concern: When the property is under-construction, the developer has to pay the Land Under-Construction (LUC) tax, which used to be nominal; however, through the years, it has increased substantially. Also today, there are many buildings whose Occupation Certificates (OC) are pending. The reason is that many house owners make minor alterations for their personal needs and then when developers apply for an OC, those alterations are looked at as violations. This is why the OC is then withheld. MCHI has proposed that minor alterations should be ignored and it is preparing a list where they would define the percentage of minor variations too. Sukhraj Nahar, chairman and MD of Nahar Group says, "The cutting down of components such as under-construction land rates and reduction of the rising project costs and some premiums, will surely help the real estate sector grow. This will realign the taxes and make houses more affordable. Reducing some charges and penalties will also help the builders who are sitting on empty land and delaying construction. Currently, the tax is higher than the property tax levied after the development of the plot, which makes it difficult for the builder to set affordable rates for the flats. Currently, the BMC imposes 70 percent of the Ready Reckoner (RR) rate of the land in case of unauthorised construction. However, smaller penalties or other measures can be considered when the customer makes interior alterations, leading to a violation." Discussions were held on certain kinds of premiums charged on open spaces and elevators too. There is a deficiency of open spaces and as a result, the civic body was charging a premium. However, developers would prefer that wherever there is a premium of FSI that is being charged, the authorities must not charge a separate premium for deficiency of open spaces. What changes are expected to be made? Keeping in mind the concerns of the city's builders regarding the rising project costs, senior civic officials mentioned that they are considering lessening the taxation on LUC. Also, measures are being adopted to figure out a way of reducing the penalties linked with construction beyond the approved dimensions. Currently, heavy penalties are charged under three categories. While construction work done without approved plans will amount to a penalty, which is 70 percent of RR rate of the land, work carried out beyond the dimensions approved by the Commencement Certificate (CC) will attract a fine, which is 20 percent of the RR rate and the fine for work carried out after a 'stop work' notice has been issued, is 40 percent of the RR rates. The BMC will try to reduce the costs of premiums that a builder needs to acquire for any project. Premiums are charged for the staircase, lift and lobby area, (which are free of FSI) as well as open space deficiency. Among the expensive premiums, for fungible FSI, while the rate for residential projects is 60 percent of RR rate, for commercial properties, the rate is 100 percent of RR rate. How will this help? With heavy penalties levied, cost cutbacks became difficult and the expenses would generate considerable financial distress. A reduction in the rates will positively aid developers to overcome monetary difficulties as more transactions would take place. According to Rohit Poddar, MD, Poddar Housing and Development, "Already, there are fewer transactions and registrations taking place, which is affecting the collections of the BMC and other government departments. Property prices have been stressed and a lot is being done on the regulatory front including RERA and GST to create a transparent and predictable environment. In this context, it is a logical extension for the BMC to also become transparent and act as an enabler by reducing the charges and penalties. The need of the hour is to reduce red tapism and this is a good step." Shubika Bilkha, business head, The Real Estate Management Institute (REMI) agrees and adds, "Charges that increase the project costs include LUC rates and other premiums. These have seen a significant increase over the last five years. In a tepid sales environment and with real estate companies currently investing resources in aligning their business practices in line with the stipulations of RERA, any relief that the BMC could offer them would be most welcome. In an expensive real estate market such as Mumbai, any reduction in the cost of construction that could result in greater affordability would benefit even the end-consumer."

Real insight - Is Miyapur best for budget houses near IT hotspots?

Proximity to the technology corridors has made Miyapur a residential hub of choice. Hyderabad is one of the most price-conscious cities of South India, surpassing Chennai and Bengaluru. Pocket-friendly prices According to Magicbricks data, 80 percent of localities in the Rs 3,000-4,000 per sq ft segment witnessed a price correction of 10 to 12%, including Miyapur (Rs 2,200-Rs 3,700). Prices in Miyapur are a little cheaper as compared with other areas such as Kukatpally with a 1BHK of 395 865 sq ft available for Rs 12-28 lakh, a 2BHK of 660 1579 sq ft available for Rs 19-45 lakh while a 3BHK can be bought for Rs 33-72 lakh covering an area of 905-2200 sqft. "Miyapur and Chandanagar are the closest emerging residential, affordable locations from the IT hotspots of Hitec City and Gachilowli. The belt has transformed into a rapidly growing residential suburb. Proximity to IT corridors, improving infrastructure and affordability are making this area a preferred location for buyers," says Prakash Matta of Matta Brokerage. Infrastructure Social infrastructure and connectivity jointly drive the real estate in an upcoming area. Located along the National Highway-9 (Pune-Hyderabad-Machillipatam Highway), Miyapur enjoys seamless connectivity to the IT corridors of Hitec City and Gachibowli. The upcoming 158-km, eightlane, Outer Ring Road (ORR) connected with the Inner Ring Road and the upcoming Regional Ring Road will address the connectivity issues of the region. "The 12-km Miyapur to SR Nagar line could be the first metro rail stretch to be opened to the public later this year. Along with that, the work on the state-of-the-art Rs 100-crore Inter City Bus Terminal (ICBT) on 500 acres at Miyapur is likely to begin soon. This will boost infrastructure in the area. Madhapur and Hitec City were the initial centres of development but they have been supplemented by Kukatpally, Miyapur, Bachupally and the surrounding localities," says broker Suhan Singh, who works in the area. Limited supply and high demand drove price appreciation of these locations. "Some amount of price appreciation can also be accorded to the metro rail development along this corridor. Rental demand also remained strong as the rents appreciate by 5%-10% year-on-year," says Trivita Roy, Associate Director Research & Real Estate Intelligence Service, JLL India.

Hyderabad witnesses latest technology in construction

In the last few years the real estate industry advanced in terms of embracing technology that cover areas of architecture, engineering including the overall construction process. The construction industry in India is trying to update the usage of technology in building the real estate sector. New buildings are emerging with novel concepts and designs that can attract home buyers. Use of technology Like other cities in India, Hyderabad should also build its value in the market by using appropriate technology. For instance, Pune is currently trying to make its environment more eco-friendly. The city has installed smart underground garbage bins in the municipality, which can play a pivotal role in the waste management system. It sends direct signals to the municipality office once it is over-filled. The authorities then clean the garbage bin immediately. Locations such as Gachibowli, Hitec City, Banjara Hills, Miyapur and Kondapur including others have both social and physical infrastructure that will definitely attract buyers. However, the market is yet to show some signs of revival. Would the presence of technology and the promise of making lives simpler give the much-needed push to buyers? In comparison to the year 2014, sales volume and new project launches have fallen marginally. Maybe once the market shows some revival then the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry can experiment and use technology that might help save time, money and energy. Moreover, as the world is looking towards India for investment and business ties, it is high time, the real estate development and infrastructure growth matches their requirements. India needs to adopt some ideas and technologies that countries in the western world like Japan, Germany or China are using currently. "If we have to talk about the latest innovation, then Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) are one of the key technology systems that have been used in India for some time now. The major benefit of this system is that it reduces the operating energy cost from day one during the entire life cycle of the building," says Shabbir Kanchwala, senior vice president, K Raheja Corp. Kanchwala adds that the intangible benefits like enhanced ventilation, better views and daylight improves productivity of the occupants. An engineering firm consultant from the city says that with the advent of computer and internet, India has started using computer-aided design to build infrastructure. In fact, product modelling, classification and standardisation are done technically via the use of computer advanced technologies. Many latest designing softwares such as STAAD Pro, Tekla, Auto Cad, Revit, etc are used for drawings, graphics and sketching innovative building designs. Developers are trying to use the latest technologies in their projects in the city. Kanchwala says, "At present, we are using technology like Net Zero Concept (Zero Energy and Zero Water Concepts). Buildings that produce surplus energy may be called 'energy-plus buildings' and buildings that consume slightly more energy than they produce are called 'near-zero energy buildings'. It is the quietest and most convenient way to cool the entire home." Many real estate developers are now using the 'green' building concept to save more energy and water in Hyderabad. Previously, most constructions in the city were done via the conventional method but now things are changing. In the recent past, there was labour shortage in the construction industry. So, developers started using precast technology. It helped in maintaining quality, speed of construction and remained profitable. Industry experts say that the normal brick-and-mortar method takes at least a year to complete a project and precast method takes about four months.

All new buildings in Maharashtra must now be green & efficient

All new constructions in Maharashtra will have to be eco-friendly and comply with the energy-efficiency regulations; this is one of the highlights of the electricity-conservation policy that was cleared by the state cabinet on May 30. The state government will be amending the development control rules (DCR) to make it mandatory for all new constructions to follow 'green building guidelines'. If the new norms are flouted, then the final occupation certificate can be withheld and notices can also be issued to the developer. The guidelines will have a bearing on upcoming construction projects in the state. "The policy has to be practical. Nearly 90% of new construction sites in the city are SRA or BDD chawls redevelopment projects and in these projects there is hardly any space on the terrace for a solar panels. One policy will not work for all kinds of construction," said Nayan Shah of Mayfair Housing. "There should a provision for self-certification. It will add to the number of approvals that a builder has to secure from the authorities," he added. Green buildings are equipped with efficient systems to save 40-50% power consumption and 20-30% water consumption, besides enhanced ventilation, strong 'daylighting', superior sanitation, well-being and systems that boost occupants’ productivity. There is a record 750 such buildings in the city. "New buildings will have to adhere to the green building norms especially for energy conservation. No permission will be given if the plan is not in line with the norms," said power minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule. Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to have an energy-conservation policy and is hoping to save an estimated 1,000 megawatt in the next five years. The policy also makes it mandatory for all the government and semi–government buildings to replace their existing tubelights and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to LEDs and the government will also give incentives to individual households that wish to replace bulbs and tubelights. Officials from the energy department said that the state government will be installing 1 crore LED lights, 15 lakh energy-efficient ceiling fans and 1.5 lakh energy efficient air-conditioners in 1,500 government buildings in the next 5 years. This will result in saving 128 million units of power across the state. The Maharashtra government has budgeted Rs 840 crore to implement the policy. Under the guidelines, agricultural pumps, which require nearly 30% of the total electricity supply, will be powered by solar energy. Similarly, water supply projects in the state that generate a bill of Rs 25 lakh annually will switch over to solar energy. Large-scale power consumers like malls and multiplexes will have to undergo a mandatory audit every two years. Meanwhile, power utility firms are already promoting the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme to encourage lakhs of power consumers to conserve energy. This includes selling energy-efficient bulbs, tubelights, fans and ACs at a reasonable cost. "An ordinary bulb is an extremely energy inefficient form of lighting with just 5% of the electricity input converted to light. LED bulbs consume only one-tenth of energy used by an ordinary bulb to provide the same or better light output," said a source.

Mumbai builders to get construction cost for building affordable homes from MHADA

Mumbai For the first time, Mhada has offered to pay developers construction cost for building affordable houses. The proposal has, however, raised eyebrows as Mhada has been tweaking rules to favour builders. Earlier it was mandatory for builders redeveloping Mhada properties to hand over surplus flats free of cost to the agency. Mhada changed the rule and allowed builders to get away by paying a premium. And now, Mhada chief S Zende Patil has submitted a proposal to the government, stating that builders be sanctioned additional floor space index (FSI) if they build affordable houses, whose construction cost will be borne by the agency. The FSI (it defines how much can be built on a plot) for redeveloping Mhada colonies is currently 3. Mhada wants it to be raised to 4 so that builders can use the additional FSI to build affordable homes for which the agency is willing to pay for. As Mhada does not have any vacant land in Mumbai, the only way it can generate affordable housing stock is by making builders part with some portion of built area in redevelopment schemes. "The rules were amended to enable developers escape the responsibility of handing over affordable houses by paying a premium. Moreover, while the FSI has been increased by 33%, the benefit has not been transferred to citizens," said housing activist Chandrashekhar Prabhu. But builders said they are unlikely to bite this Mhada bait because there is nothing in it for them. Besides, Mhada has proposed to pay construction cost based on the state public works department (PWD) rates, which is lower than the market rate. "This business model will not work for any developer," said Amit Thacker, director of S D Corporation that is redeveloping a Mhada colony. "No builder will not want to work as a Mhada contractor. The housing authority should have given some sweetener to builders. It makes no business sense if a developer is to be paid at PWD rates," he added. Real estate analyst Pankaj Kapoor said, "Mhada owns the land, buildings and the FSI. Why should they invite builders to redevelop its properties?" He said that Mhada should redevelop colonies itself and reap the benefits, adding that once a builder steps in, the prices get escalated. "Mhada’s role is to compete with builders and fulfil its obligation of providing affordable homes. Instead, it is sitting with developers to make the property market inefficient," he said.

Find out the costs before constructing a house

Here are some factors that will help you to cut the construction cost while building a house. Hitesh Bhagat from Delhi moved to Hyderabad about a decade ago. She is a qualified nurse and is employed in one of the leading Hospital groups. Bhagat says, "My brother is working with one of the power management companies in Bengaluru. He plans to bring our father from Sikkim to stay with him. We had invested in a small plot in Hyderabad years ago and would like to build a house. Can you please state the factors that help in building one?" Building a house of your own requires attention to the minutes details. The size of the housing unit, structures being incorporated, the city where you wish to develop and materials being used are just a few elements that have a strong impact on the costs incurred. Here are some factors that will give you an idea of the construction cost as per your building plans. - The outside perimeter commands attention in estimating the total construction cost The shape is easily the determinant factor of the costs. If the shape is complex, then the structure per square foot of floor area will be higher. 'Outside limit' takes into account the outermost exterior walls comprising garage area (if any) - Standard homes are comparatively cheaper than customised and luxury homes. If you desire to build a customised home (which we normally tend to as per our requirement), the cost instantly increases. This happens despite the fact that the materials used in building the room is the same as that of any other room. For example, a circular room, exterior and interior finish, doors and windows, kitchen, bathrooms, floor finish, etc are some key aspects to ponder upon if escalating costs is your concern Everything under the main roof within the main building walls, will be considered in calculating the total living area. However, basement, porch and garage will not be measured. Instead, their costs will be calculated independently. Usually, a big building is more expensive than a small one, though the cost per sq ft will be lesser Premia construction - Balconies are a favourite amongst buyers. However, they come at a price. Similarly, basements, garages and porches command extra expenditure. Though not under living area, they incur extra costs - Materials used in construction such as bricks, cement, pebble, sand, etc are differently priced in each city. In the same way, labour costs vary within different cities. If you reside in a metropolitan then the material and labour cost will be much higher as compared to that in a tier-II or III city it is also helpful if you keep in mind few tips to save cost while constructing a building. This opinion is reiterated by Mahalakshmi Jayaram, principal architect of Mahalak shmi and Jayaram Associates, a well known architectural firm. Jayaram states, "If concreting is done well, with perfect shuttering and casting, you can actually save on ceiling plaster. The convenience of plaster has actually increased the use of cement to hide mistakes made by workmen. Similarly, well measured and planned spaces for doors, size of windows, wardrobes and showcases can save the cost of knocking down or re doing walls."

Why more millennials are finally getting into the real estate market

Here come the millennial home buyers. Finally. For the past decade, since the Great Recession forced so many Americans to put their lives on hold, the world of real estate has been praying for the arrival of millennials on the home-buying scene, to begin buying, selling, fixing up and financing property. It has been quite the waiting game. When I first started writing about real estate, the average age of a first-time home buyer was about 26. Today, it’s nearly 33. Over the past 25 years, we’ve watched millennials wait an extra seven years to buy their first home. There are lots of explanations for the millennials’ home-buying delay: • Millennials who graduated from college in 2008 to 2012 found a weak job market. • Many of them moved home instead of moving out with a friend (or by themselves) and renting their own place (typically a precursor to home buying). • Roughly a third of them are still living at home • Older millennials watched as parents lost jobs, tapped their 401(k)s to survive, and took jobs that paid less (and often didn’t offer benefits), and their families struggle to make ends meet. Millions of homeowners couldn’t sell when they needed to and lost their homes to foreclosure, destroying credit histories and confidence. And when you lose confidence in yourself and your ability to pay the bills, it’s awfully hard to make the commitment to buy something as large and as permanent as a house. Millennials also have cash-flow issues, thanks to a huge amount of student loans. About 44 million Americans are paying off student loans these days, to the tune of $1.4 trillion. The average amount of student-loan debt has tripled over the past 20 years, and 2017 graduates were carrying about $36,000 worth of student loans as they made their way out of college and into their adult lives. Here are some facts about millennials and student-loan debt that make the real estate industry nervous: Some 58 percent of college graduates reported having student loans. 44 percent don’t know the difference between private and federal loans. • 45 percent don’t know what percentage of their budget goes toward paying down student loans. • 37 percent don’t know what interest rate their loans carry. • 15 percent don’t even know how much they owe. • Default rates are running between 7 and just over 11 percent, depending on the type of loan and whether the school was private or public, according to the Department of Education. For those millennials who are making their payments, paying off student loans can delay home buying because monthly debt-service payments are deducted from the amount someone has available to repay debts. One of the reasons that millennials are aging into becoming first-time home buyers is that they’re finally getting married and having children. If you’re single, or even if you’re in a long-term relationship but without kids, you’re probably not looking for a condominium, much less a house in the suburbs with a good school district. And because you’re changing jobs fairly frequently, having a longer-term commitment to real estate isn’t particularly high on the list. But times they are a-changing. According to the latest figures from the National Association of Realtors, millennials accounted for 34 percent of home buyers in 2016, the latest year for which data is available. And almost all of them were buying homes for the first time. To which the real estate industry says, “Amen!” Ilyce Glink is the creator of an 18-part webinar+ebook series called “The Intentional Investor: How to Be Wildly Successful in Real Estate” as well as the author of many books on real estate. She also hosts the “Real Estate Minute” on her YouTube channel. Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Contact them at ThinkGlink.com. Source:washingtonpost.com

Heavy showers hit construction works

KOCHI: Heavy rains lashing across the district have hit the supply of construction materials including red earth and manufactured sand. As rain intensifies contractors are unable to proceed with road and construction works. Kerala government contractors association (KGCA) state president Varghese Kannampally said, "There is a shortage in supply of rubble, manufactured sand and all other materials from quarries. Moreover, we have to stop work due to rains."With the government imposing severe restrictions on razing down of hills it has become difficult to source red earth as getting permits has become a tedious process.Though many contractors placed orders for red earth much before the onslaught of monsoon, the quarry owners were not able to meet the demand. "All kind of construction works slowdown during monsoon. The road contractors are most affected. People involved in construction of individual houses or buildings are also affected," said MV Antony, a CREDAI member adding that all these factors would contribute to increase in the cost of materials supplied from quarries. According to Antony there was a time when red sand was easily available. But it is no longer the same. CREDAI also said the construction works in organised sector was not affected. KGCA pointed out that the government decision to fix rate for red earth would prevent a hike in its cost. Meanwhile, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said the ongoing works of Kochi Metro had not been affected. "In the stretch from Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, Kaloor to Maharaja's College the works are progressing inside the station structures. The rain will not affect these works," said DMRC spokesperson adding that they would be able to meet the September deadline. However, they expressed fear that if rains continued during the next months it would have an adverse impact.

Impact of RERA on brokers

Over the past few weeks, there has been confusion among many on whether it is permissible to sell or purchase property until it is registered with RERA Real-estate brokers also known as realtors or channel partners are the medium between a buyer and a developer and play an important role in the marketing of any project. The Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA), not only brings within its ambit the developers, but also includes brokerage firms and real estate agents as well. Over the past few weeks, there has been confusion among many on whether it is permissible to sell or purchase property until it is registered with RERA, as a large majority of transactions in the country are for properties under-construction with an occupation certificate or approvals awaited. RERA has given a 90 day window that is until July 31, to all ongoing projects to complete the registration formalities. However, Brokers need to register themselves immediately and only then continue to market the project in hand. For the purpose of educating the broker community, leading industry players are launching initiatives such as helplines and registration desks, with the objective of empowering the community with the required knowledge. With only a limited window available, these initiatives are being welcomed and are much appreciated by the broker community. The code of conduct for Agents by the regulator is expected to bring in accountability and prevent unfair practices and also ensure that only registered brokers are able to carry out their businesses. The broker community therefore, will now have a much larger and responsible role to perform because under RERA, they are expected to inform the buyer if the project is RERA compliant or not. They will not be allowed to facilitate transactions for non-RERA compliant properties. Brokers will also be required to maintain all the records and documents of all real-estate projects and developers they work with. In a bid to ensure transparency and transform the sector from an age old unorganised business into an organised model, this move by the government is a much welcomed initiative. Anyone, be it a broker or a developer, who cannot comply with the Real Estate Act, will be held accountable for their own actions. Those who do not follow the Act, can face mild to severe penalties depending on the rules and responsibilities. These measures may seem harsh, but they are expected to bring in a more transparent outlook towards the business of Real Estate in India. On the other hand, to address the concerns of the brokers and hear their points of view, the Act also calls for forming of a Central Advisory Council that will help the government understand issues of the real-estate sector including property brokers. At the moment, the Act is confined to the best interest of a consumer, however it is necessary for the Authorities to also consider the benefits for the intermediaries such as the broker community. With higher penalty and lower income, a broker is confined and limited in their business decisions. A broker or any business, requires to feel protected and therefore, the community is in process of sharing constructive feedback with the Government in order to avail better benefits. With the advent of RERA, it is evident that the real estate market is consolidating itself and every agent, broker or developer has their own role to play within the RERA regime. Until now, real-estate brokers were only considered the facilitators who brought together the buyers and the seller, but with the changing rules and regulations, Brokers will now have a larger and more responsible role in the industry. With many businesses intending to work together and many agents / brokers joining hands to form an association or a self-regulatory governing body, one can already see and feel the winds of change in the broking industry. I am therefore convinced that the implementation of the Real-estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 is in fact a win-win situation for all stakeholders in the real estate industry. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

New projects, stable leadership set ground for Telangana realty's bull ride

Big ticket investments, a flurry of new projects and, most importantly, a stable political climate gave Telangana's real estate sector its best three years, between 2014 and 2017. The last time the real estate market touched such a high was in 2007, said industry insiders. Though the maiden TSR government started out on a sticky wicket, multi-crore corporate deals soon made way for increased activity in the commercial realty sector. In fact, in 2016, this segment broke all records by clocking an office space absorption of 6.5 million square feet (sft). While the flow of funds and subsequent development was largely restricted to Hyderabad's IT corridor, it, nonetheless, helped the state (and the city, in particular) consolidate its position as a prime real estate destination among investors, both from neighbouring states and overseas. "Groups that were previously unsure about coming to Hyderabad, made a foray into the local market while the existing names took up massive expansion. This increased activity among corporate occupiers, and in turn, benefitted land sales and the residential market. Brands such as Prestige, Salarpuria (both from Bengaluru) increased their footprint in the city," said Sandip Patnaik, head of capital markets (South India) of global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. His only complaint: the recent land auction where the highest bid was a staggering 42.59 crore per acre. "This is unrealistic and shouldn't be encouraged. Else, Hyderabad will lose its advantage over other competitors for being most economical realty destination," he said. For developers, good news also came in the form of reduced impact fee (charged for construction of high rises) and Non-Agricultural Land Assessment (NALA) charges that were dropped from 9% to 3%. "Several bureaucratic hurdles were also smoothened out, to the delight of developers. This was first administration that convened a meeting with industry players to listen to their grievances and address them," said Ashwin Rao, director, Manbhum Construction. Former national president of Credai, C Sekhar Reddy, agreed the "KCR government maintained good working relations with the associations". "Going forward, I just hope that the government makes available suitable incentives to developers to pursue affordable housing projects," Reddy said.

Hyderabad's water ATMs are real life savers, with a litre for just Re 1

Harshita gets down from the bus at Bowenpally bus stop. Wilting under the energy-sapping heat, she wipes her face and takes out an empty bottle from her bag. “This bus stop has a water ATM. I just have to spend Re.1 to fill my bottle with clean and chilled water,” says Harshita. Almost a year back, the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) had installed five Water ATMs in different parts of the city. The water ATMs at a cost of just Re 1 have come as a huge relief for people suffering from the scorching heat with Hyderabad reeling under heat wave like conditions. “Hardly anyone is buying water from the shops, my shop is right beside the Water ATM. Now people have been carrying bottles and filling cold water. We sell the bottle for Rs. 20 and this works out cheaper for the people. Sometimes there is rush in the ATM, people will be waiting to fill water,” says Raju, who owns a small stall near the Water ATM. According to SCB, there are five Water ATMs in Lal Bazaar, Tadbund, Balamrai, Bolarum and Bowenpally. However, the Bolaram machine in Risala Bazar has been out of order for some time, but will be restored soon. “The Water ATMs take water only from borewells, however, there is not much water in Risala Bazar’s borewell. After the monsoon, the ATM is expected to dispense water,” says Rajkumar, superintendent of SCB (Water Department). The SCB with the help of an NGO, Piramal Sarvajal, had installed the water ATMs and have plans to install five more in the city. Soon, the city will get water ATMs at Trimulgherry, Begumpet, Karkhana, Rasoolpura and Cantonment area. “The Water ATMs have been a success. Every day, the ATMs yield over Rs.900. Water is a basic need, and during summer, people spend hundreds of rupees to buy water whenever they travel. What about people who cannot afford a mineral water bottle? They tend to drink unhygienic or unpurified water. These water ATMs dispense water which everyone can afford,” says Rajkumar. According to the superintendent, the Water ATM does not waste water, but recycles it. “So the water is also used by people to wash their face or hands. In that case, the dirty water goes back to the borewell and gets recycled. The water purifier again purifies the water and dispenses clean water which is fit for drinking. In that way we are not wasting even a drop of water during this time of water shortage,” he added. The ATM has a storage capacity of over 60 litres. When the water gets over, it automatically fills the tank through a pipe connected to borewell. It takes just five minutes to fill the water and make it chilled for use. “This is one of the best initiatives in Hyderabad. No one should struggle to get some clean water. And this ATM has made that possible,” said M Jagannath, a resident of Bowenpally who frequently travels by bus for work. Water ATMs are already in operation in several cities across India, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh. Inspired by this, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board had earlier decided to introduce Water ATMs in the city.

New projects, stable leadership set ground for realty's bull ride

HYDERABAD: Big ticket investments, a flurry of new projects and, most importantly, a stable political climate gave Telangana's real estate sector its best three years, between 2014 and 2017. The last time the real estate market touched such a high was in 2007, said industry insiders. Though the maiden TSR government started out on a sticky wicket, multi-crore corporate deals soon made way for increased activity in the commercial realty sector. In fact, in 2016, this segment broke all records by clocking an office space absorption of 6.5 million square feet (sft). While the flow of funds and subsequent development was largely restricted to Hyderabad's IT corridor, it, nonetheless, helped the state (and the city, in particular) consolidate its position as a prime real estate destination among investors, both from neighbouring states and overseas."Groups that were previously unsure about coming to Hyderabad, made a foray into the local market while the existing names took up massive expansion. This increased activity among corporate occupiers, and in turn, benefitted land sales and the residential market. Brands such as Prestige, Salarpuria (both from Bengaluru) increased their footprint in the city," said Sandip Patnaik, head of capital markets (South India) of global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. His only complaint: the recent land auction where the highest bid was a staggering 42.59 crore per acre. "This is unrealistic and shouldn't be encouraged. Else, Hyderabad will lose its advantage over other competitors for being most economical realty destination," he said. For developers, good news also came in the form of reduced impact fee (charged for construction of high rises) and Non-Agricultural Land Assessment (NALA) charges that were dropped from 9% to 3%."Several bureaucratic hurdles were also smoothened out, to the delight of developers. This was first administration that convened a meeting with industry players to listen to their grievances and address them," said Ashwin Rao, director, Manbhum Construction. Former national president of Credai, C Sekhar Reddy, agreed the "KCR government maintained good working relations with the associations". "Going forward, I just hope that the government makes available suitable incentives to developers to pursue affordable housing projects," Reddy said.

Housing scheme for construction workers

BHUBANESWAR: The state government will build three rental housing projects for construction labourers. The low-rent accomodation will have a total of 400 beds. The projects will come up at three locations: Kharavel Nagar, Sampur and Chandrasekharpur. A 200-bed project will come up on one acre of land at Kharavel Nagar at an estimated cost of Rs 4.5 crore. The other two will have 100 beds each at an estimated cost of Rs 5.5 crore on 2.6 acres of land. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik will lay the foundation stones of these projects on the occasion of International Labour Day on Monday. "The government will also build 18 rental housing projects at nine more urban centres of the state in a phase-wise manner," said Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board (OBOCWWB) chairman, Subash Singh. Each selected urban centre will have two such projects. The government has selected four municipal corporations - Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Samabalpur - and five municipalities Jharsuguda, Angul, Dhenkanal, Vyasanagar and Paradip.

Raj govt orders compulsory registration of real estate

The Rajasthan government today made it compulsory for all real estate projects and agents in the state to register on the official website of the Real Estate Regulations and Development Act (RERA). The website was launched by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje here today. The website www.rera-rajasthan.in will make the people aware about the projects and their rights. No new real estate project will allowed to start without registering on the portal, she said after the launch. Projects already operational will be provided three months time to complete the formalities, Raje said. The chief minister said the state was the first in providing affordable housing benefits to people and urged the real estate sector players to continue providing quality and affordable housing to the citizens. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Unitech Q4 loss narrows to Rs 291 crore

NEW DELHI: Realty firm Unitech Ltd on Wednesday reported a consolidated net loss of Rs291.25 crore for the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2017. The company had posted a net loss of Rs483.54 crore in the year-ago period, the company said in a regulatory filing. Total income for the January-March quarter of 2016-17 fiscal rose to Rs467.53 crore from Rs438.93 crore in the corresponding period of previous year. During the full 2016-17 fiscal, the company posted a net loss of Rs402.69 crore as against a net loss of Rs884.66 crore. Total income fell to Rs1,730.01 crore during last fiscal from Rs1,850.16 crore in the 2015-16 fiscal. Commenting on the result, Unitech managing director Ajay Chandra said, “The company on an operational level performed well, the loss this year is because of the accumulated interest and cost on a project which was closed during the year in Hyderabad of an amount Rs 284.11 crore.” Chandra said the focus of the company is to enhance the pace of construction. The company has been able to get some additional working capital which has helped speed up execution of the projects. Unitech has adopted a policy that will help fulfil its obligations in Noida. All the projects in the portfolio are seeing enhanced activity. “With implementation of Rera, the overall real estate market is expected to get a boost as the projects are going to get ring fenced financially and operationally which will in turn help developers in timely delivery of the projects,” Chandra said.

CIPET’s under construction building caves in, 6 critical

BHUBANESWAR/BALASORE: Six labourers were seriously injured after some portion of an under construction building of the Advanced Plastics Processing Technology Centre (APPTC), Balasore, a specialized unit of the Central institute of Plastics and Technology (CIPET), caved in on Sunday. The labourers were engaged in the construction work of a ladies hostel of the institute. At least 15 labourers were working when a portion of its roof collapsed at around 2.30 pm. Following the incident, locals informed the fire brigade team and police about the incident. Personnel of fire brigade and the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) launched rescue operations at the accident site. With the help of local people, the rescue team rescued the labourers from the accident site. Three ambulances were pressed into service to bring them to hospital. The critically injured labourers are undergoing treatment in the district headquarters hospital (DHH) at Balasore, 215 km from the capital city. Other nine labourers have been discharged from a Remuna-based hospital after minor treatment. Niti Sekhar, SP (Balasore), said two fire brigade teams (Remuna and Balasore fire stations), one team from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), an ODRAF team, local police, two bulldozers and two cranes have been engaged for the rescue operation. No casualty has been reported so far, he added.The district administration has announced to provide free treatment to the accident victims. The injured persons were identified as Dillu Murmu, Ranjan Murmu, Karan Murmu, Budhiram Murmu, Mangal Hembram and Laxman Marandi. All are in the age group of 30 to 40. They hail from Bisi village under Udala block of Mayurbhanj district, said additional district magistrate (ADM), Balasore, Manmath Kumar Pani. This building is being constructed by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), a state-owned company. But it has engaged a Bhubaneswar-based contractor for the hostel work. "We will find out whether the labourers engaged in the work are registered or not," said Pani. Locals alleged that poor construction was the major reason behind the accident. APPTC head PK Sahoo said he got information regarding the accident. "The construction work is being done by NBCC. I have communicated with NBCC general manager in Bhubaneswar about the incident. He will take action against the persons who are responsible for the incident," said Sahoo.

Budget boon for construction equipment

INDORE: Sales of construction equipment are expected to increase by about 10 per cent in the next fiscal due to the government focus on infrastructure development and increased allocation for infrastructure projects that is likely to drive the market for tippers, loader backhoe and vibratory compactors among others. The demand for heavy commercial vehicles is likely to jump this year due to higher construction and mining activity in the rural as well as urban areas, development of roads, bridges, railway stations, airports and highways. Sunil Kalyankar, HR head at a construction equipment manufacturing unit at Pithampur said, "In coming months infrastructure projects will go up as so as the demand for construction equipment. Increased construction activity of roads, highways and other projects will spur the demand for construction equipment." In the Union budget, the government has increased the focus on rural economy and infrastructure. The government has increased budget allocation for highways from Rs 57,976 crore to Rs 64,900 crore in 2017-18. The government has proposed 2,000 km of coastal connectivity roads for construction and development. Select airports in Tier-2 cities will be taken up for operation and maintenance under PPP mode.Anuj Kathuria, president, Global Trucks, at an Indian automobile manufacturing firm said, "We are expecting that the market share of our medium and heavy commercial vehicle will increase by 5 to 30 per cent. Demand for tippers will increase and we have already started receiving orders." Kathuria said that the boost to the infrastructure projects by the government will increase the demand for tippers in the country. Kalyankar said, "Madhya Pradesh is going aggressive on infrastructure development. Roads and highway projects are in full swing in the state." Industry participants said that purchasing machinery from Madhya Pradesh is comparatively cheaper than other states until the implementation of GST due to absence of Octroi in the state.

How GST will impact real estate sector going forward

Government plans building tribunals to regularise construction activity

HYDERABAD: The state government on Monday admitted in assembly that some of the promises it made as part of the 100-day plan for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have not progressed as expected.Replying to questions from BJP members, municipal administration minister KT Rama Rao said due to unexpected legal tangles in acquisition of land, there was a delay in construction of various `bhavans' for different sections of the society . Responding to concerns about illegal and sub-standard constructions resulting in building collapses and deaths, Rama Rao said the government was drafting a legislation for setting up building tribunals in the state to regulate all construction activity and eliminate illegal and poorly-built structures. "We hope to introduce the Bill in this session itself," he added.The minister's admission was preceded by questions and complaints from BJP members Dr K Laxman and NVSS Prabhakar on the go vernment over its 100-day action plan for the GHMC during which various development works were expected to be taken up and completed. The minister also said that the 100-day plan was something the government offered to do on its own and was not in response to any demand to do so. The government, Rama Rao said, was mindful of the delays and was moving to accomplishing all the goals it set for itself. So far, the government completed 463 black-topping road works, 317 desilting works and constructed 50 busbays among other projects, KTR said. He also said that the GHMC experimented with laying of roads with paver blocks and white topped some stretches prone to water logging. And soon, it will take up a Rs 200-crore road project in IT corridor from Jubilee Hills onwards.

System reboot for Indian real estate

Indian real estate is witnessing a ‘systems re-boot’ that began with demonetization, the legislation on benami properties, RERA Act and now, Goods & Services Tax. The Union Budget for 2017-18 also provided affordable housing with infrastructure status, coupled with the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY) to incentivize affordable housing production with interest subvention schemes. Real estate sector will benefit owing to the cumulative effect from reformist and progressive policies, including liberalized FDI Rules, REITs and InviTs, Credit Linked Subsidy scheme - reduction in compliance cost, tax mgt expenses, provision of Input tax credit; the Smart Cities initiative with a budget of Rs 1 lakh crore as also the AMRUT - Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, with a budget of Rs 77,000 crore, aims to provide basic services like water, sewerage, urban transport as also the National Investment & Infrastructure Fund, with a budget of Rs 4,000 crore. So, if the aim is ‘Housing for All by 2022’, the ‘Smart Cities’ where this will happen are in process of being built. The latest event that impacts real estate is GST. At this stage, the indications are that GST will hopefully, not increase the over-all taxation burden on real estate. This should augur well for the home buyers and industry. While the GST provision of partially covering real estate under the 12% on works contract aspect is fine, the real estate industry had high expectations to subsume stamp duty and other additional levies under GST. Non inclusive of these additional heavy duties might lead to inflationary impact on Housing -an industry that has a multiplier effect on the GDP, enhances employment as it is labour intensive, works as an economic driver for the nation and is important from many aspects. As we understood it, the purpose of GST was to bring uniformity in taxes levied on various sectors of industry. Housing for All by 2022 is among the most ambitious initiatives by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. To amplify and boost these initiatives, Finance Minister has announced interest subvention in home loans for affordable homes. Rural fund allocation under PMAY has been raised from Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 23,000 crore, with the target to build 10 million homes by 2017-18. Aspects that point to things being positive include funding for Infrastructure development having almost doubled from Rs 9,850 crore per annum; FDI-related reforms having shown improved inflows touching a record $43 billion in FY17; FDI Investment in real estate sector being $5.7 billion; PE funding stood at $ 32 billion, according to the 2016 World Investment Report prepared by UN. In light of these, the Realty Index improved by over 50%. According to a report by CLSA India, a $ 1.3 trillion housing boom is set to be the country’s next growth driver. It is expected to add 60 million new houses during the 6 years beyond 2018, while also creating 2 million jobs annually. Overall, with the economy moving upward, the fillip in housing sector alone should witness an increase in GDP by at least 1%. This also indicates ‘pull’ factor for sales of affordable housing. The Indian economy is set to grow at 7.5% to become the 4th largest ($ 3.5 trillion) economy in world by 2022. Good signals are being observed in the micro markets witnessing high number of enquiriesand these will definitely result in leads becoming closures soon. My assessment of the situation is that sales are gradually picking up. In cities like Mumbai, Thane and Panvel home buyers are making buying decisions. Meeting the target of 25 million urban houses and 45 million rural houses by 2022 can become a reality when private sector real estate developers work in sync with the government. Both the stakeholders will need to work together so as to create the mixed -used townships and smart cities to encompass the target. I began by saying Indian real estate is witnessing a ‘systems re-boot’, but the positivity of it all makes me want to rephrase that as ‘change in operating system’. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Corporation moots relaxation in building norms on green strips

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city corporation has dragged itself into a tricky situation by mooting relaxation in norms for construction on green strips (preserved zones). An agenda was presented in the corporation council meeting, held on May 15, regarding allowing relaxation to a beneficiary (of the corporation's housing scheme) to construct a house near Karamana river. While as per the sanctioned master plan (SMP) 1971, a distance of 20 metres from the river is to be treated as construction free zone, the application sought exemption for constructing house within a distance of 3.83 metres. The council had agreed to forward the application for the consent of regional town planner. Though the relaxation was mooted for the housing scheme, officials with engineering department point out that it would set a wrong precedent. The ruling council did not take into account the fact that the district administration has already identified over 2,000 encroachers near Parvathy Puthanar canal and is all set to evict them as part of re-establishing navigational channel along the canal. Besides, the city corporation itself has embarked on a scheme to revamp sewerage scheme along the area. Also, the corporation is trying to cleanse the canal and areas adjacent to Karamana. As per the SMP, a distance of 10 kilometres from Killiyaar has to be treated as no-construction zone.If one beneficiary is exempted, more people/beneficiaries of various schemes are likely to come up with demands for relaxation in the construction norms with regard to Killiyar and Parvathy Puthanar. Chinchu, ward councillor, Perunthanni, said there were so many families residing near Parvathy Puthanar with U/A (unauthorised number). "They have lived there for around 25 years. Still they don't have corporation number (TC). If relaxation is allowed for people near Karamana river, the same would be applicable here as well,'' said Chinchu. Around 750 houses by Parvathy Puthanar pump sewage directly into the canal, said a report prepared by inland navigation department, which completed cleaning of the canal in 2015 at a cost of Rs 68 lakh. However, the cleaning drive, which took two long months, has gone in vain as Parvathy Puthanar continues to be polluted due to continuing discharge of sewage. The same would be the fate of Karamana and Killiyaar if constructions are allowed near them. Mayor V K Prasanth said the issue was overlooked while presenting the agenda. "We have decided to omit the portion in the agenda that says that the relaxation could be applicable for all beneficiaries under housing schemes. It can be allowed in isolated cases, but again we would only issue temporary building numbers,'' said Prasanth.

No more construction or activities on Malka lake: High court

HYDERABAD: Justice A Rajashekhar Reddy of the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday directed the GHMC officials not to carry out any construction or activity that adversely affects the buffer zone, full tank level and the inflow channel of Malka Lake in Raidurg, Serlilingampalli mandal. Presiding over a vacation court, the judge heard a plea by local fisherman E Sudhakar, who said that the destruction of lake would result in loss of livelihood for him. His counsel Sameer Ahmed told the court that the GHMC officials are filling the lake and its inflow channels with debris and are constructing a walk way. Killing a lake in the name of beautification is not good for the city, he said.When sought an answer, the counsel representing GHMC denied the allegations and said that GHMC is only constructing a path for walkers without affecting the FTL, buffer zone. However, when the petitioner's counsel insisted that they are blocking the inflow channel, the GHMC counsel said that she has no instructions on this. The judge stayed the ongoing works there. Don't take up any work that affects the FTL, Buffer Zone or inflow channels of the lake, the judge said, while issuing notices to the authorities and seeking their counters.

Illegal constructions razed in Udhna

SURAT: Teams of Udhna zone of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) razed illegal construction on over 12,350 sq feet in Laximnarayan Industrial Estate on Wednesday. Officials said that construction of only ground plus one floor was permitted in the estate. However, nearly 22 plot holders had built more floors illegally or had grabbed the margin space for additional construction. "We demolished all that was not legally sanctioned and cleared construction on up to 12, 350 sq feet," an official said.

Real estate companies waiting for clarity on GST, new law: Study

Property consultant Knight Frank India and FICCI today released its real estate sentiment index, based on a quarterly survey of key supply-side stakeholders, which include developers, private equity funds, banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), Sentiment in real estate sector has improved post demonetisation but the industry is still in 'wait and watch' mode due to lack of clarity on reforms, including the new real estate law and GST, according to a study. Property consultant Knight Frank India and FICCI today released its real estate sentiment index, based on a quarterly survey of key supply-side stakeholders, which include developers, private equity funds, banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), "Post the policy intervention by the government in November 2016 that shook the real estate sector, the current sentiment score (53) has seen a substantial uptick from the drastic fall seen in Q4 2016 that had pushed the score to 41, which is the worst in the last three years," the report said. "This substantiates the transitory impact of the demonetisation policy initiative," it added. The "wait and watch mode” is still prevailing in the sector in the expectation of clarity on various policy measures by the government in the next six months. The stakeholders are not very clear about the impact of the changing environment on account of policy interventions like Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 and Goods and Services Tax (GST). The real estate sector is facing a multi-year slowdown due to poor demand because of high prices. The sluggish demand has resulted in liquidity crunch to developers and huge delays in delivery of projects. Source:moneycontrol.com

What is the Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA)? Here is how it will help buyers

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) will finally give India’s real estate sector its first regulator from Monday, May 1, 2016. The act was passed by parliament last year and the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation had given time till May 1, 2017, to formulate and notify rules for the functioning of the regulator. RERA seeks to bring clarity and fair practices that would protect the interests of buyers and also impose penalties on errant builders. So what is RERA? Here is a look at the real estate regulator and how it will impact the real estate market. According to RERA, each state and Union territory will have its own regulator and set of rules to govern the functioning of the regulator. Centre has drafted the rules for Union territories including the national Capital. While many states are still behind on schedule for notification of RERA rules, many have notified rules and a regulator will start functioning. Some of these states are Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Despite seeing a slump in the past three years, the ticket prices are relatively high and inventories are piling up. Low demand is also contributing to the reduced recovery of investment by developers. These reasons have deterred developers from reducing the ticket prices. RERA seeks to address issues like delays, price, quality of construction, title and other changes. Delays in projects are the biggest issue faced by buyers. The reasons are many and the impact is huge. Since the last 10 years, many projects have seen delays of up to 7 years. Projects launched after the turn of this decade have faced delays as well. Some have run into obstacles even before a brick was laid. The reasons include diversion of funds to other projects, changes in regulations by authorities, the environment ministry, national green tribunal etc and other bodies like those involved in infrastructure development and governing transport. In many places, land acquisition becomes an issue. Errant builders often sell projects to investors without the approval of plans, unauthorised increase in FAR, bad quality of construction, projects stuck in litigation etc. Key provisions of RERA The promoter of a real estate development firm has to maintain a separate escrow account for each of their projects. A minimum 70 per cent of the money from investors and buyers will have to be deposited. This money can only be used for the construction of the project and the cost borne towards the land. To provide clarity to buyers, developers will have to keep them informed of their other ongoing projects. RERA requires builders to submit the original approved plans for their ongoing projects and the alterations that they made later. They also have to furnish details of revenue collected from allottees, how the funds were utilised, the timeline for construction, completion, and delivery that will need to be certified by an Engineer/Architect/practicing Chartered Accountant. It will be the responsibility of each state regulator to register real estate projects and real estate agents operating in their state under RERA. The details of all registered projects will be put up on a website for public access. RERA talks about the quality of construction in projects. Over the last few years, buyers have protested about poor of flats. The regulator will ensure protection to buyers in this matter for five years from the date of possession. If any issue is highlighted by buyers in front of the regulator in this period including in quality of construction and the provision of services, the developer will have to rectify the same in a matter of 30 days. Developers can’t invite, advertise, sell, offer, market or book any plot, apartment, house, building, investment in projects, without first registering it with the regulatory authority. Furthermore, after registration, all the advertisement inviting investment will have to bear the unique RERA registration number. The registration no. will be provided project-wise. After registering the project, developers will have to furnish details of their financial statements, legal title deed and supporting documents. If the promoter defaults on delivery within the agreed deadline, they will be required to return the entire money invested by the buyers along with the pre agreed interest rate mentioned in the contract based on the model contract given by RERA. If the buyer chooses not to take the money back, the builder will have to pay monthly interest on each delay month to the buyer till they get delivery. After developers register with the regulator, a page will be created for the builder on the regulatory authority’s website. The developer will be given login credentials using which it will upload all the information regarding the registered projects on the regulator’s website. The number, type of apartments, plots and projects and their completion status will be updated at a maximum quarterly basis. To add further security to buyers, RERA mandates that developers can’t ask more than 10 per cent of the property’s cost as an advanced payment booking amount before actually signing a registered sale agreement. The regulator will have the power to fine and imprison errant builders based on a case by case basis. The imprisonment can go up to a period of three years for a project.

HC seeks details of illegal constructions from LDA

LUCKNOW: The high court has directed the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) to furnish details of illegal constructions raised in the city in the last 15 years. It also asked the authority as to what action was taken against the erring officers or employees under whose nose the constructions were illegally raised. LDA VC P N Singh appeared before the court to explain the situation but to no avail. The court summoned him on May 30 with the details on an affidavit. A bench of Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Virendra Kumar (II) passed the order in the course of hearing of a petition on Monday which was moved in 2014. The petitioner raised the issue of an illegal construction, but during hearing the court sought details of all the illegal constructions in the city. It had summoned the VC on Monday.

Emaar India plans to raise Rs 1,000 cr debt for construction

New Delhi, May 14 () Realty major Emaar India plans to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore debt to meet construction expenses as it targets to complete all the ongoing 50 projects over the next two years. The company has already raised Rs 2,500 crore debt in last one year, of which about Rs 1,500 crore was used to replace costlier debt. In April last year, Dubai-based Emaar Properties decided to end the 11-year-old India JV with MGF Development through demerger process. Since then, Emaar India is focusing on execution of ongoing projects. The Dubai property major entered the Indian real estate market in 2005 and has invested Rs 8,500 crore through the joint venture firm Emaar MGF Land. According to sources, Emaar India is looking to raise Rs 800-1,000 crore more debt to fund its projects. The company currently has a debt of about Rs 5,000 crore. When contacted, the company spokesperson declined to comment. Earlier this month, Emaar India CEO Sanjay Malhotra had said that the company is focusing on delivery and will invest Rs 1,000 crore each in next two years to complete all its ongoing projects. "Our focus in on delivery. We are putting in place all components required to complete our ongoing projects. We have increased the number of labourers on sites to over 10,000 from 1,000 a year ago," he had said. The company has about 50 ongoing projects in Gurgaon, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mohali and Chennai comprising about 10,000 housing units. Emaar India has got completion certificates for 2,000 apartments since July last year and these units are being handed over to the customers. The company has brought in a new project management team to expedite projects. The uncertainty over the JV delayed execution of projects. The company has unsold stock of about Rs 600-700 crore, mostly on Dwarka Expressway in Gurgaon. The demerger is expected to be completed this year. Both the partners -- Emaar Properties and India's MGF Development -- have divided projects and land parcels among themselves. Emaar India has a land bank of 6,000 acres for future developments. MJH SA SBT

Carry out safety audit of under-construction buildings: Nefowa

NOIDA: In the wake of complaints about poor construction quality raised by the home buyers who have recently claimed possession in Noida and Greater Noida, Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (Nefowa) has demanded that the authorities concerned should carry out a safety audit of the under-construction buildings. "We demand that the authority should now conduct a safety audit of all the under-construction apartments to check the quality of construction material, and safety measures being followed for disaster management. Realtors cannot ignore the fact that Noida falls in the seismic zone 4 and it is also close to river Yamuna," Indrish Gupta, co-founder, Nefowa, said.Meanwhile, the buyers have also raised concerns over a proposed increase of density in per-person-per-hectare (ppph) occupancy permissible for Noida and Greater Noida to 1650 in NCR Planning Board's, draft Master Plan 2031. The existing ppph of the city is 500. Home buyers have already raised the issue with Noida Authority, industry minister Satish Mahana and MLA Pankaj Singh. With an increased permissible population density, the city can accommodate more real estate projects; however, buyers claim, this would lead to a civic crisis. The buyers also claim it can also lead to environmental hazards. "From a 500 ppph density as per the Masterplan 2021, there's a jump to 1650 ppph in the Masterplan 2031. We had opposed this move in a meeting with Noida Authority officials in January 2017. Noida or Greater Noida is not prepared to tackle this kind of pressure because the city is in seismic zone 4. Further, it will send the city's civic system out of gear. More density may lead to accommodation of more apartments but it can cause long-term damage to the city," Shailender Barnwal, a homebuyer and a Nefowa member said. "For all stakeholders, rapid and random increase of population density could have serious ramifications," Gupta added.

UltraTech recognizes India’s promising Engineers & Architects at ‘India Next’ 2017

UltraTech Cement, an Aditya Birla Group company awarded stalwarts of the construction industry at the ‘India Next’ awards evening. India Next is India’s first competition that recognizes ideas by professionals and students from the construction fraternity for smart ideas and solutions that bridge the country’s urban and rural problems by focusing on an improved ‘collective’ future.India Next is a platform under UltraTech’s Build Beautiful philosophy that engages future builders of India to make more intelligent use of technology with available people and resources for improved management of the urban and rural landscapes. A step towards new India, India Next felicitated engineers and architects for their inspiring ideas and solutions towards building a better future. After 6 months of rigorous screening through 400 detailed concept entries by 16 eminent jury members, India Next awarded 17 participants with trophies and citations for coming up with the best ideas that if implemented, can bring a transformation towards societies at large. Prominent architect David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture along with Mr. K K Maheshwari, Managing Director, UltraTech Cement felicitated the most inspiring ideas that inspire to create a ‘Smart Cities and Villages’. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. K K Maheshwari, Managing Director, and UltraTech Cement said “India is moving towards claiming its rightful place in the world through a series of determined steps. Taking advantage of the vast potential of this country, government is leading initiatives to create infrastructure at par with the world’s best. This is a story of transformation of the country and its society, through multiple initiatives like better governance, Swacha Bharat Abhiyan, irrigation, water and waste management programs, to name a few – all culminating to a clean and healthier livelihood for all. The plan to create Smart Cities will make life a real pleasure, and ultimately improve productivity. All of this will lead to an India where the next generation will experience life in a manner dramatically different from what it is today and be the envy of the world. Ultratech has always partnered in India’s growth story. All the iconic buildings in the country, be it the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Terminal T2 of Mumbai, Metros, etc. have been built with cement and concrete especially formulated by UltraTech to lend elegance and beauty to these marvelous structures. UltraTech believes in a seamless partnership with all its stakeholders. In line with government’s vision of grand, beautiful and powerful India, UltraTech now seeks to unleash the power of ideas of architects, engineers and students. India Next was designed to give them a platform to showcase their vision of a Smart Society, a Beautiful Society. The award jury for India Next comprised of eminent names like civil engineer, Mahendra Raj, architect Raj Rewal, and senior director of Teri Sanjay Seth among other noted industry stalwarts. This competition delved upon solutions that traversed diverse socio-economic landscape and was welcomed with open minds by the entire fraternity.

Pune Municipal Corporation earns Rs 29 crore from regularising illegal flats

PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has collected a fine of Rs 29 crore under the amnesty scheme for regularising constructions in the city. Even as the opposition claimed that builders benefitted from the scheme and not consumers, civic administration said the scheme has been a success. Over 10,700 flats have been regularised by the civic administration. The scheme is for owners who have constructed additional portions, made some alterations or have not registered their property. The amnesty scheme was launched in August and continued till October, 2016. "The scheme was carried out again in March. It was conducted for five days. More than 125 proposals came before the civic administration for discussion and approval," a civic official said. According to the civic body data, PMC regularised 1,285 flats in five days in March. Since the launch of the project in 2016, over 10,700 flats have been made legal. "The civic body has stated that the regularisation was carried out for giving relief to home buyers who are suffering because of the misconduct of builders. But the way scheme was hurriedly extended in March, there is scope for raising doubts over the programme," said Vishal Tambe, PMC corporator.As per the civic officials, the amnesty scheme was a last opportunity for flat owners to regularise their properties before the geographical information system of all properties was completed. It will also help in bringing more properties under the tax net. The civic body's long-pending project to tag properties under the geographical information system started in September, 2016. Nearly 2,000 people will be deployed and the administration plans to complete the tagging within nine months. Head of the PMC property tax department Suhas Mapari said, "The city has many unassessed properties. The GIS will bring them under the tax ambit. It will boost the revenue of the department." The city has around 8.3 lakh properties, of which one lakh are commercial and around 7 lakh are residential buildings. There are 29,000 open plots and the remaining 14,000 are a mix of commercial, residential and open properties.

Real estate sector lifts Egypt, Saudi volumes rise before Ramadan

* Egypt's SODIC jumps on expansion plans, strong Q1 results * Positive mood spills over to other developers * Saudi Arabia sees highest volume since January * Small caps outperform large caps * Dubai's DAMAC continues climb on MSCI upgrade By Celine Aswad DUBAI, May 17 (Reuters) - Egypt's stock market outperformed its Gulf peers on Wednesday on the back of strong first-quarter earnings and positive news from a real estate developer, while Saudi Arabia saw increased activity as traders took positions ahead of Ramadan. Egypt's index rose 1.0 percent as real estate firm Sixth of October Development (SODIC) jumped 4.2 percent to a four-month high in its heaviest trade since May 2014. The company's chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday it planned to buy new land to the north and west of Cairo as part of an expansion plan. In total, SODIC would acquire land worth 600 million Egyptian pounds ($33.2 million). The value of contracted sales during the first quarter reached 1.2 billion pounds, beating the company's target of 1 billion pounds. On Tuesday SODIC reported net profit of 211 million pounds for the first quarter, four times its year-ago profit. The positive sentiment spilled over into shares of other property developers with the largest by market value, Talaat Mostafa Group, adding 0.8 percent, recovering slightly from the previous day's heavy loss on news that MSCI will remove the stock from its main Egypt index. Ezz Steel rose 2.1 percent after one of its subsidiaries reported an almost tripling in first-quarter net income compared with a year ago. Meanwhile, the Saudi index added 0.1 percent in the heaviest trading volume since January as much activity focused on second- and third-tier stocks. "Investors are taking positions or exiting them ahead of the holy month of Ramadan," said a Jeddah-based trader. Ramadan is expected to start on May 27. Saudi Paper Manufacturing gained 3.1 percent as about 3.2 million shares traded hands on Wednesday, more than triple the usual daily volume. Of the 20 most valuable companies by market capitalisation, only eight rose, with Almarai and Makkah Construction Development each gaining 1.7 percent. The Dubai index rose 0.5 percent as DAMAC Properties extended the previous session's 2.9 percent gain to add a further 2.5 percent. Its shares have been rising since index compiler MSCI said on Monday that it would add the stock to its United Arab Emirates index on June 1. Arqaam Capital estimated the inclusion would bring $68 million of passive fund inflows into the stock. Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.3 percent as mid-sized Eshraq Properties, the most heavily traded share, climbed 2.8 percent and Abu Dhabi National Energy jumped 3.5 percent. Qatar's index rose 0.2 percent with its main support from blue-chip banks; Qatar National Bank added 1.0 percent. HIGHLIGHTS SAUDI ARABIA * The index rose 0.1 percent to 6,947 points. DUBAI * The index added 0.5 percent to 3,395 points. ABU DHABI * The index edged up 0.3 percent to 4,594 points. QATAR * The index rose 0.2 percent to 10,145 points. EGYPT * The index gained 1.0 percent to 13,064 points. KUWAIT * The index rose 0.1 percent to 6,732 points. BAHRAIN * The index fell 0.3 percent to 1,310 points. OMAN * The index lost 0.2 percent to 5,423 points. (Editing by Andrew Torchia Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

Illegal structures on plots on government lands to be regularised

BENGALURU: The state government has proposed to regularise illegal constructions on 30ft x 40ft plots on government lands within 3 to 18km of the periphery of municipal corporations, municipalities and town panchayats across the state. The proposal, according to sources in the revenue department, will come as a respite for thousands of middle-class families who have unwittingly either built or bought houses constructed on government lands in revenue pockets. Moreover, the government will generate hundreds of crores of rupees as penalty collected from those who apply for regularization. The issue is likely to come up for discussion at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday and the quantum of penalty will be decided based on the type of urban local bodies. "The fee for regularization will be nominal," a revenue department source said. Though the relaxation is not applicable to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), sources said illegal constructions around Bengaluru will benefit as the proposed relief will cover the urban local bodies of Anekal, Devanahalli, Magadi, Malur, Hoskote and Nelamangala.The other cities where 30x40 ft sites will be regularized include Ballari, Belagavi, Davanagere, Hubballi-Dharwad, Kalauragi, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Tumakuru and Vijayapura. "If the cabinet gives its green signal to the proposal, those who have built houses on government lands will not have to live under the fear of their houses being demolished." official sources said, adding, "The move is likely to generate a lot of goodwill for the Siddaramaiah government in the run-up to the assembly polls next year. It is mostly the middle class that builds houses on 30x40 sites (1,200 sq ft)."Last year, the government had announced regularization of illegal structure built on 20ft x30ft (600 sqft) plots on lands located 18km away from Bengaluru's periphery. However, in cities such as Mysuru, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Hubballi-Dharwad and Mangaluru, the buildings seeking regularization were to be located 10km away from the periphery.

Thousands of buildings in Dhanbad illegal: MADA

Dhanbad: City commissioner Manoj Kumar on Saturday directed the Mineral Area Development Authority (MADA) to submit list of maps of all buildings, including multi-storey apartments, which have been sanctioned by it. Kumar also asked the authority to list steps it took against erring builders or owners who either did not get their layout maps sanctioned by the MADA for constructing structures or deviated from the original plan approved for the building. Dhanbad mayor Chandra Shekhar Agrawal said, "We have received information and the Dhanbad Municipal Corporation (DMC) will soon do a door-to-door survey to identify such buildings," he said. Till a few months ago the layout plan of buildings constructed in Dhanbad, Chas (Bokaro) till Jaina More were approved by the MADA.The DMC has now taken over the process of sanctioning building layout plans. "No one can deny that thousands of houses built in Dhanbad do not have their map layout passed by the MADA. If a survey is carried out it will force open a can of worms,'' said an elected councillor of the DMC . Details available with the MADA show as many as 456 buildings in Dhanbad, constructed till 2007, were built illegally. Sources in the MADA said thousands of houses, including multi-storey apartments and standalone houses have been built in the past eight years, but less than half of those have a sanctioned layout plan or have deviated from the approved design."When I was in charge, notices were sent to 407 houses for illegal construction. At least 49 buildings were declared dangerous and should be demolished immediately. If a door-to-door survey is done today, more than 25,000 houses built in Dhanbad will be found to have deviated from the approved plan," said former MADA managing director, Ravindra Kumar Singh.. Singh said hundreds of houses recently constructed at Hirapur, Kusumpur, Dhaiya, Saraidhela, Dhanbad housing colony, Wasseypur, Purani Bazar and even in newly-developed colonies have been constructed without getting their layout sanctioned or have deviated from the original plan.

India real estate: An investment hotbed

India real estate: An investment hotbed

Government releaxes penalty norms for illegal construction

BHOPAL: A one-time waiver is being offered by the state government to regularise over a lakh illegal constructions in the state capital. The compounding fee over penalty is expected to be slashed to barely 2% to 5% of building permission fee. The decision, now effective is to benefit many across the city, who have constructed structures by exceeding building permission area limit. It paves the way for regularisation for millions of square feet excess built-up area in Bhopal. Instead of paying compounding penalisation calculated at collectorate rate, the new one-time waiver compounding would be calculated at building permission. Simply put, instead of paying regulation fee in lakhs, the amount would come down to thousands."The policy is aimed at regularisation of illegal structures. It is a one-time waiver," said BMC additional commissioner Malika Nigam. Impact of the waiver from the state government is expected to result in a revenue loss of about Rs 80 crore for the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) alone. As per new estimates, BMC revenue from regularisation would dip to around Rs 12 crore. There are an estimated more than one lakh constructions in Bhopal, which have exceeded construction beyond their deemed building permission. The construction exceeding building permission were earlier regularised at the rate of 10% to 40% of the collectorate rate of land. The new waiver would be 2% to 5% of the building permission fee. Experts indicate new waiver would mean a lesser penalisation for violation of building permission. For instance, a plot of 1,000 sq feet with built area for permission 800 sq feet has been extended to 900 sq feet. Under the old rules, the compounding for residential construction was calculated at 10 times the collectorate rate of the property in the area (for the extended construction). Under the new waiver, the penalisation would be 5 times of the BMC building permission rate.

Should you invest in the real estate in tier-2 cities?

Andhra cabinet clears proposal to build 4 lakh houses for weaker sections

AMARAVATI: The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday cleared the proposal to sanction 4 lakh houses for the weaker sections in the state. All the houses will be taken up under the NTR housing scheme. While the beneficiaries have to take up the construction themselves, the government will fund the entire cost of unit Rs 1.5 lakh. The state government will grant a subsidy of Rs 92,000 per unit and Rs 3,000 will be spared under the Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) scheme.Another Rs 55,000 would be spent from National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). The State Housing Corporation will monitor the programme. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu told reporters that 2 lakh units would be construc ted during the current fiscal and another 2 lakh during the next fiscal.The cabinet also approved recruitment of 800 constables -600 civil and 200 Armed Reserve personnel. The recruitment would place a burden of `22.53 crore on the exchequer. The state cabinet has also given its nod for creation and upgrade of posts in the prisons department. The cabinet resolved to grant 36.07 acres to Gitam University in Visakhaptnam by cancelling the previous decision of the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration.After clearing all legal hurdles, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday gave its nod to take up the start-up capital city area development under Swiss challenge mode. After a three-hour discussion, the cabine picked up Singapore consortium Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp as master developer of the seed capital city area.

Careers in Real Estate: The industry worth 180 billion USD by 2022

Real estate is a booming industry and if you get in at the right time, with the right skills, you can very well shoot to the top of the career ladder. Check out the categories of jobs in this industry. Being a fresh graduate or an early stage professional trying to outline a long-term career path today is challenging. While there are a number of different career disciplines available, there is an inherent accompanying uncertainty in the constantly evolving job market. Additionally, despite some favourable initiatives, there exists a large supply and demand gap, with students frustrated with the limited employment opportunities and corporates looking for quality talent. While graduates seem to be focused on careers in the IT sector, finance and marketing, among others, the real estate sector remains largely overlooked when determining a viable career path. The real estate sector, which is slated to be a 180 billion USD opportunity by 2022, has a current skill shortfall of 4 million core professionals. The total skill requirement of the sector is expected to be 75 million by 2022! The government's impetus to boost urban development and infrastructure, such as the addition of 25 million homes, 40 million dwelling units and 98 smart cities by 2022, has further enhanced the growth of the real estate and ancillary services sector. To build out Prime Minister Narendra's Modi's development agenda, there is an urgent requirement to have skilled resources in the real estate and infrastructure segments. Why is real estate a lucrative career opportunity now? Today, with increased regulatory vigilance, real estate companies gaining scale, an increase in investments by private equity funds in real estate firms, as well as a number of large brands entering the space, there is a greater focus by companies on talent acquisition and retention. The incentive structures at these firms are now extremely attractive and with a more professionalised outlook there is a wonderful opportunity to build a lucrative career. Three categories of real estate professionals The 'top of the pyramid' career opportunities in real estate can be categorised into three segments: specialised professionals, core professionals and non-core professionals. Specialised professionals Valuers Quantity surveyors Facility managers Property managers Sustainable development experts Core professionals Engineers Architects and planners Non-core professionals Management Business administration Chartered accountants Marketing professionals Sales professionals Project managers Finance analysts Lawyers Electrical engineers Skill development in real estate Despite this requirement for skilled professionals in the sector to enhance delivery capabilities, there are a limited number of programmes and institutes focused on addressing the skill gap and training people on the required global best practices. The Real Estate Management Institute (REMI) is one of the few institutes in India that caters specifically on skill enhancement in real estate by way of technical, business and entrepreneurial skills. Qualification advice to work in different areas in real estate For new graduates looking to enter the space, there are a number of opportunities across corporate functions at real estate sections such as marketing, sales, finance, strategy, administrative roles and management. Programmes such as Real Estate Business Management, and Real Estate Marketing and Sales could be advised for these candidates as it covers an introduction to the sector, an understanding of the legal aspects of the sector, documentation involved, the approval and construction process, marketing, sales, leasing among other technical, business and entrepreneurial modules Additionally, programmes focused on Housing Finance opens a new career path for graduates at Housing Finance companies or Micro Finance institutions For civil engineering graduates looking to join real estate companies, Real Estate Project Management or Construction Management is advised to provide the requisite 'job-ready' skills and get them updated on the latest tools and technologies For specialised graduates, such as architectural graduates or legal or accounting graduates, taking a Real Estate Business Management programme is helpful to provide a detailed understanding of the business, legal and procedural aspects of the sector. This is essential for them to be able to meet various stipulations as outlined by their work profiles For finance graduates, programmes such as Investment in Real Estate, Valuation and Project Feasibility might be of interest Read: Career as a real estate broker: Being a broker is not the same anymore! Real estate services include services such as consulting, brokerage and other ancillary services. With the recently proposed regulatory amendments, the real estate brokerage sector is on the path to getting more organized and will over time, operate in line with global benchmarks. This will create an organised entrepreneurial segment with licensed brokers and create a lucrative career opportunity within the sector for students, graduates as well as for women homemakers. At REMI, we offer over 15 specialised programmes specially curated for the real estate sector. The typical employers who recruit students from our institute include developers, brokerage firms, property management companies, real estate online portals and property consultants. Source:indiatoday.intoday.in

'Real estate, construction top employment generators in April'

Mumbai, May 10 () The construction and real estate industries are generating employment demand for skilled workforce as the sectors are gearing up for growth following the government's agenda of providing affordable housing to people, a report said. While the overall talent demand was up by three per cent during April 2017, real estate posted a seven per cent rise in talent demand and the construction sector saw a six per cent rise in demand, according to the latest RecruiteX, the recruitment index by TimesJobs. "Our RecruiteX report reflects the growth of the Indian middle class and their rising purchasing power, which has converted the dream of owning a home into tangible demand for affordable housing. When coupled with Prime Minister Modi's drive to create a business-friendly environment, drive real estate growth, and create jobs, the sector is on a hiring spree to take advantage of the next growth wave," TimesJobs Business Head Ramathreya Krishnamurthi said. While construction and real estate were the top hiring sectors during April 2017, logistics, petrochemicals, IT, telecom and BFSI also hired significantly during the month, it said. Business managers, consultants, hospitality, logistics and BFSI professionals reported significant rise in demand, it added. The report said, among key locations, while Bengaluru and Pune posted the maximum rise in demand, Ahmedabad and Indore were the top hiring among the non-metros. When it comes to states, Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai and Pune) posted a five per cent rise in demand, it said. Hiring gained momentum for experienced professionals while it dropped for freshers, it said. Candidates having over 20 years of experience posted the highest rise in talent demand in April 2017, it added. SM NP

Real estate, construction top employment generators in April: Report

The construction and real estate industries are generating employment demand for skilled workforce as the sectors are gearing up for growth following the government's agenda of providing affordable housing to people, a report said. While the overall talent demand was up by three per cent during April 2017, real estate posted a 7 % rise in talent demand and the construction sector saw a 6 % rise in demand, according to the latest RecruiteX, the recruitment index by TimesJobs. "Our RecruiteX report reflects the growth of the Indian middle class and their rising purchasing power, which has converted the dream of owning a home into tangible demand for affordable housing. When coupled with Prime Minister Modi's drive to create a business-friendly environment, drive real estate growth, and create jobs, the sector is on a hiring spree to take advantage of the next growth wave," TimesJobs Business Head Ramathreya Krishnamurthi said. While construction and real estate were the top hiring sectors during April 2017, logistics, petrochemicals, IT, telecom and BFSI also hired significantly during the month, it said. Business managers, consultants, hospitality, logistics and BFSI professionals reported significant rise in demand, it added. The report said, among key locations, while Bengaluru and Pune posted the maximum rise in demand, Ahmedabad and Indore were the top hiring among the non-metros. When it comes to states, Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai and Pune) posted a five per cent rise in demand, it said. Hiring gained momentum for experienced professionals while it dropped for freshers, it said. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Cell to keep tabs on illegal constructions

PUNE: The PMRDA is set to have a separate cell and machinery to crack down on illegal constructions. At present, 18,000 illegal constructions are under its scanner. New PMRDA chief Kiran Gitte on Tuesday said a separate action plan will be drawn to initiate action against these such structures. He added that the PMRDA has also initiated a "land mapping pattern" software that will provide it with real-time data on the use pattern of use of land in the area. "The software is ready and it will provide a geographic information system (GIS) mapping of the entire area and also data on if the buildings are approved. Work on it has been on for the last 10 months. With the technology, there will not be any need to send out people to check and re-check such constructions. The launch of the project will be announced soon," he said. With the state keen on amending the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act to allow legalising of unauthorised buildings by paying a premium or a compounding fee, Gitte said they would have to keep a check on these structures. The new rule will be applicable for buildings constructed before December 2015.

Banks are tightening commercial real estate loan standards: Fed

Officials at the U.S. central bank, including Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, have warned that a run-up in commercial real estate prices could amplify any future economic downturn WASHINGTON: Loan officers at U.S. banks reported tightening their lending standards for commercial real estate loans over the last year, the Federal Reserve said on Monday in a report that could heighten concerns about the outlook for commercial real estate. Officials at the U.S. central bank, including Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, have warned that a run-up in commercial real estate prices could amplify any future economic downturn. On Monday, the Fed said in a quarterly report that standards for overall businesses appeared largely unchanged during the first quarter. But in this latest poll of senior loan officers, the Fed included special questions on commercial real estate lending over the past year. U.S. banks, in describing why they were tightening standards, cited "a less favorable or more uncertain outlook for CRE property prices, capitalization rates and vacancy rates," the Fed said in its report. The Fed is putting a bigger focus this year on commercial real estate in its annual "stress tests" of how well big banks could weather financial turmoil. Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Stop construction work at Aloha: DTCP to builder

GURGAON: The enforcement wing of the department of town and country planning (DTCP) has issued a notice to the developer of Aloha Apartment to stop the ongoing construction inside the society premises and file a reply and submit the approved building plan before May 18. The notice was issued following complaints from residents raising their concern over construction being carried out on the premises by the developers which is not in keeping with the approved plan. Aloha Apartment, a residential group housing project in Gurgaon's Sector 57, is being constructed by ADTV Communication, earlier known as AEZ Infratech. Shrey Aeren, from ADTV Communication, denied the allegation saying that all the construction was according to the approved plan. "All the construction is being done according to the approved plan. If anyone has a doubt they can come to us and we will be happy to show the documents." Aeren said they were preparing a reply to be submitted to DTCP. "The construction is for the community centre, according to the approved plan and it is spread across towers D4, D5 to D6," Aeren said, adding they would submit all the documents to the department.According to an official of DTCP, the department had received complaints about construction in the stilt area of Tower B-4 for converting the said stilt area into shops for commercial use, which is in violation of the approved plan. "We will check the approved plan, till then a direction has been issued to stop all construction activities," district town planner (enforcement) Rajendra T Sharma said, adding that they have written to the head joffice to find out the status of the occupation certificate of the towers. K G Agrawal, resident of Aloha, said construction material was moved inside the premises without the knowledge of the RWA before the developer started construction. "We found the construction suspicious following complaints made to DTCP," Agrawal said. Suresh Kaparia, another resident, alleged that construction was not like the community centre. "They are constructing something which is not in the approved plan," Kaparia said, adding that the condition of the towers, where people are living, is not very good.

How will GST impact the Indian real estate sector

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is beyond doubt the most revolutionary tax-related reform to be seen in India in several decades, since it will eliminate the conflicting and cascading taxation structures which have confounded several industries over the past few decades. It will most certainly have a profound effect on India's economic prospects. A single indirect tax which covers all goods and services will, in the long run, increase tax collection by making it easier for retailers and several other businesses to comply and also moderate overall taxation levels. That said, it should be remembered that the favourable effects of this new taxation regime will become evident only within 2-3 years of its implementation. Though the goods and services tax (GST) tax structure has been announced, there is still a lot of conjecture about which tax rate will be applicable to the real estate and construction industry. The tax rate is not decided yet and it would be premature to comment on it at this point. The expectations are for real estate to be in the 12% bracket. However, the GST rate is not the only important factor. The abatement rules as applicable under the service tax regime and the input tax credit facility for developers will determine if the effective tax incidence on real estate is lower or higher under GST. Effectively, the composition scheme allowing for abatement against cost of land to the extent of 75% of the house cost for residential units priced under INR 1 crores and less than 2000 sq. ft. makes the effective rate at 3.75%. In other cases, the abatement goes down to 70%, making the effective rate at 4%. This will go a long way in determining whether GST is tax neutral or tax adverse for real estate. The Government has offered some clarity on the abatement rules for under-construction houses and input tax credit benefits for developers. Impact on Residential Real Estate: If we look at the residential property sector, sales are not just impacted by tax rates but also by sentiment, and also on account of the trust deficit which the Real Estate Regulation & Development Act - or RERA - now seeks to address. That said, if costs do go higher under GST, the lower prevailing current home loan rates could assuage the impact to some extent. Buyers and investors as well as developers are understandably worried that the final ticket size of homes will increase even if the Government levies GST at 12%, when compared to the existing service tax rates. Developers are still awaiting further clarity on this, but they know that it is in the interest of their business to keep ticket sizes range-bound. Evolving market dynamics have already brought about a change in the manner in which developers work. Staying customer-centric and delivery-focused to create a differentiated identity will be the most logical and likely method for them to adopt. Impact on Rental Housing Other doubts pertain to the rental housing market, which would naturally be impacted if the Government were to tax residential leases under GST. The common apprehension is that if this were to happen, the rental housing segment may see a huge slump over the medium-term, since residential leases are currently not taxed at all. Here, it is pertinent to note that residential leasing is an inherent demand which will not evaporate merely by higher taxes. Certainly, we may be looking at a rental stagnation or marginal decline as the market readjusts to the new dynamics which GST will infuse. However, rental housing demand is sticky and end-user-driven in nature, so we are definitely not looking at a major slump in this segment because of GST even if it does tax residential leases. That said, rental yields in major cities could certainly moderate if GST is levied on rental housing. In India, rental yields in housing are quite modest at around 2-4% on an average. Rents may either hold steady or decline marginally due to increase in housing stock. However, it is also true that most investors in the residential sector do not invest for rental yields but rather for the capital value appreciation, so reduced rental yields would not independently impact sentiment. Impact on Commercial Real Estate When it comes to GST's impact on the commercial office real estate market - with the existing service tax for commercial leases at 15%, GST would be likely neutral overall (at 12% slight savings, and at 18% slight increase). Impact on Affordable Housing Affordable housing is currently exempt from service tax. It is likely that the government may come out with a clarification regarding the applicability or continuing exemption under the GST. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

‘Complete 50% construction in 2 years or pay fine’

GURGAON: Plot owners, who had been allotted plots in Huda sectors in the past, have been given about two years to complete at least 50% of the construction approved in the layouts. On failing to do so, one will have to cough up a hefty amount as penalty to get an extension of another year to fulfill this requirement. In a notice issued on Monday, Huda has asked total 1,060 plot holders in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of the estate officer-I to complete the minimum amount of construction by March 2019 on their land or brace for action. "As per the new policy, it has been made mandatory to complete construction on at least 50% of the permissible ground coverage, and receive occupation certificates by March 2019. Violators will be liable to pay extension fee as per the rates prescribed in the extension policy of Huda," read the notice issued by Huda. Huda sub-divisional engineer (survey) HS Jakhad said, "The allottees have two years to complete the mandatory construction to avoid paying extension fee. Copies of the notice have also been marked to the administrative and account departments. If plot owners fail to get OCs before the above mentioned time, Huda will automatically start charging penalties."Officials claimed that the step had been taken following the amendment made to the Huda policy in January, making it mandatory to complete half of the construction — be it residential, commercial or institutional — within the stipulated time. The changes in the rules were made after it was found that large chunk of plots lying vacant even years after the allotment, causing huge losses in terms of property taxes to Huda. Following the amendment, Huda has conducted a survey across all sectors to identify plots where construction carried out has been less than the 50% of the ground coverage. While Huda has already issued notice to 1,060 plot owners under the estate officer-I, another 4,000 allotees in the areas under the estate officer-II's jurisdiction have been found to be violating the rules and may get similar notices soon.Elaborating on the new rules, a senior Huda official said those who had been allotted residential plots in various sectors had to start construction within two years of the allotment. If they fail to complete half of the construction within the fixed deadline, the allottees will have to pay an extension fee to retain the ownership of the plots. However, if allottees fail to complete the construction even 15 years after the allotment, Huda will reclaim their plots. Earlier, Huda used to issue occupation certificates for plots with only 10% construction, which was later revised to make minimum 25% construction mandatory for issuing OCs. Now, those who had taken provisional OCs on the basis of 10-25% of construction as per the previous rules can complete the mandatory 50% constriction in next two years and get OCs. "Allottees who have taken only provisional OCs but failed to complete construction within the specified date, will be liable to pay extension fee," said a Huda official.

The myth of real estate profits

The myth of real estate being a great investment is mostly a result of mathematical illiteracy about compound growth. People will tell you about how the value of a certain plot of land or house grew 50 or 100 times in 40-50 years. This sounds fabulous, but is actually nothing special. The BSE Sensex has become 300 times its value in 38 years. Even a gain of 100 times in 50 years comes to only 9.6% per annum, which is not exceptional. But even these gains in real estate could only have happened under the old model of real estate investment. They cannot happen now. Let's try to understand where real estate returns came from historically. There are perhaps five sources of gains in the price of a given property, and the final profit is a product of these. First, the original change in usage of a piece of land from agricultural or barren to residential or commercial. Second, the development of physical infrastructure which makes this land usable for the new purpose. Third, the improvement in livability or commercial viability as the area becomes more and more populated. Fourth, the periodic booms and busts that afflict real estate, and fifth, the general inflation of the economy that becomes part of the visible change in the property's price. When your parents' generation bought property, they often did so at an early stage. As a result, all the gains from the second to the fifth point above accrued to them over two or three decades. Now, you typically buy an apartment from a real estate developer, and all gains from stage one to three accrue to him. What is even worse is that the developer also tries to capture much of the value of the later stages in advance from the buyer, and often succeeds in doing so. The intense marketing hype around real estate developments is intended to convince you that one day in the imminent future, the property you are buying will be among the most desirable in your part of country. Therefore, you must pay up now. To put things in investment terms, your acquisition price is at a high multiple of a value that will supposedly be attained in the far future. Therefore, the price of a property in South Mumbai or South Delhi may have grown 50 times in 50 years. However, the flat on the outskirts of these cities that someone is trying to convince you is worth `5 crore today is not going to be saleable for `250 crore in another 50 years, because the developer has factored in much of the future value into the current price. The real estate investment model has changed, and as far as the individual buyer is concerned, it has changed for the worse. Much worse. Therefore, it's only logical that savers should buy only one house, the one in which they are going to live. If your lifestyle and family require many houses, then that's fine, but don't consider it to be an investment. Source:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

W Delhi building falls on another, 5 hurt

NEW DELHI: Five people were hurt when an unoccupied, under-construction building toppled over around 3am on Saturday and came to rest on an adjacent four-floor house in C Block of the JJ resettlement colony in Inderpuri. Fifteen people were fast asleep in the neighbouring building at the time of the incident. The five-storey structure that fell on its side was reportedly constructed within an unbelievably short time of two months. An official of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation said all building norms had been violated in its erection. He accused the owner of having taken advantage of the preoccupation of corporation officials with the recent municipal polls to hurriedly put up the structure. "The fallen building still poses a threat to the local people," said Yogendra Singh Maan, the corporation spokesperson. "The whole area has been barricaded and experts are engaged in the exercise of pulling down the hanging building safely." A senior police officer said that all the occupants of the house on which the building fell sustained minor injuries while trying to leave their rooms in a state of panic. The injured were given primary medical aid on the site. The pre-dawn collapse caused a big panic in the neighbourhood. "I thought it was an earthquake, but on running out my house saw that a building had collapsed," said Amit Chhilwal, whose house is located behind the fallen structure. But neighbours had always suspected the building was weak. "Its foundation was very shallow," pointed out Chhilwal. Nitu Rana, 30, a resident of an upper floor in the house that was hit, said, "I thought it was a gas cylinder blast. The building shook like a leaf. My children fell unconscious due to the dust and panic." Some men on the floor slithered down a rope that neighbours had provided, but the widowed Rana had no option other than to descend via the wrecked staircase with her three children. Second-floor resident Salma Khatoon hurt her leg while hurrying down with her children. Her brother-in-law Mohammad Hussain said with a shiver, "It was a nightmare. We thought we were finished." It was a traumatic 30 minutes for the six members of the family as they tried to find their way to the ground. The fall damaged five buildings. Three of them have major cracks now, while the others were badly damaged. Too frightened to venture into their damaged dwellings, the affected people, including the aged and the children, spent the hot day out in the open. "I will not allow my children to go inside unless the hanging structure is pulled down," said Sunita Devi, who had rented a house in the damaged building. The north corporation's commissioner, PK Gupta, has ordered an inquiry into the incident. He said, "People are constructing 'suicidal houses' here under cover of darkness, resisting all attempts of the corporation to check illegal construction." He said that if any official was found to have connived in or failed to stop such constructions, action would be taken against them. The six blocks of Inderpuri JJ Colony have around 3,000 houses, most of them constructed on 25-square-yard plots given to the families in the 1960s by former PM Indira Gandhi when she resettled them there. While the locals alleged officials were bribed to have the mushrooming illegal constructions approved, corporation spokesperson Maan claimed that "no building plan is needed for constructing houses in JJ colonies because the building plots are just 15-25 square yards only". He, however, said that rules prohibited the erection of more than two floors. The building that fell, like many others in the area, had five floors.

Noisy Construction in the Building

Q. A shareholder in our co-op is combining two apartments. For the past six months, the construction has made our lives miserable, tying up the elevator and disrupting any quiet enjoyment on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The board and the managing agent have shrugged off the concerns of shareholders, and we are at our wits’ end. Is there anything to be done? A. The co-op may have signed off on renovation plans, but that does not give your neighbor license to make everyone else miserable. “They can’t just do anything,” said Ingrid C. Manevitz, a partner at the law firm Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas. Ask Real Estate Submit your questions, share your stories and tell us what topics interest you most. Post a comment or email us at realestateqa@nytimes.com. Your neighbors cannot create unreasonable noise. If they do, and the board fails to intervene, then you might have a claim against your neighbor and the building, Ms. Manevitz said. To prove that it is unreasonable, you could hire a consultant to measure the noise. Armed with that evidence, you may be able sue the building for violating the proprietary lease, the warranty of habitability and your right to the quiet enjoyment of your apartment. As for your neighbor, you may be able sue him for creating a private nuisance. But litigation is expensive and grueling. Do any of us really want to get embroiled in a lawsuit with our building and neighbors? Gathering evidence of excessive noise could help you, even if you don’t sue: You could bring it to management, urging them to address the problem properly. Sign Up for the Real Estate Newsletter Every week, get updates on residential real estate news, covering the five boroughs and beyond. Receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services. SEE SAMPLE PRIVACY POLICY Consider the long view. Your neighbors will, eventually, finish the renovation. But this won’t be the last time someone takes a sledgehammer to a kitchen. “Many of my clients have endured renovations by neighbors before they proceed with their own,” said Paul Barnla, the founder of Artistic License Interiors, a contractor based in Brooklyn. “It’s a bit of a rite of passage and a trade-off for living in the big city.” To prepare for the next big project, get more involved with your building and perhaps run for a board seat. With a leadership voice, you could influence how projects are handled. The board could revisit its standard alteration agreement, enacting stricter rules about how a contractor works and limiting hours (or even months of the year) when work can be done. Source:www.nytimes.com

Colony in Cuttack for construction workers soon

CUTTACK: The district administration will soon build a colony for construction workers at CDA locality here to provide them cheap accommodation. The development came close on the heels of the government announcing to build three rental housing projects for construction labourers in Bhubaneswar. A 9,000 sq ft area has been identified for the project at CDA Sector 8 and its construction will start soon. Officials said the colony will come up at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore. Road and buildings division will float tenders for the project by next month and authorities have plans to complete the colony by 2018. A four-storey building will be constructed that can accommodate over 100 construction workers. The colony will have two types of accommodation facilities - one for bachelors and another for families. Dormitories will be built for bachelors while individual rooms with kitchen and bathroom will be allotted to construction workers wishing to stay with their families.District labour officer Banamali Mohapatra said construction workers from across the state throng Cuttack for jobs. But due to lack of cheap accommodation facilities, they face a lot of problem. It has been noticed that workers have to cough up a major share of their earnings for house rent, an official said. And those, who cannot afford to take houses on rent, erect illegal shanties in different parts of the city and live in a very unhygienic conditions. The colony will be equipped with drinking water, electricity and toilets and workers will have to pay a meagre amount as rent, which will be used for maintenance of the building, said Mohapatra. Construction workers have welcomed the move. "The initiative is good. The facility will reduce our sufferings to a great extent. But the authorities should ensure that the project is completed in time," said Sanjay Behera, who works as a mason in the city. Official sources said Cuttack district has 1.16 lakh registered construction workers.

'Changing economic policies, ownership patterns to disrupt Indian office real estate'

High court refuses to lift ban on construction in Mumbai

MUMBAI: In a setback to Mumbai's builders, Bombay high court on Thursday refused to lift its year-old ban on new constructions in the city. A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Chandrakant Bhadang dismissed a petition, saying there was no case made out for a review of its February 2016 order. The court had put an embargo on new construction projects, excluding redevelopment and slum rehabilitation schemes, after BMC failed to comply with orders that required it to make its dumping grounds compliant with pollution norms. The bench reiterated that "the right to live in a pollution-free environment" was a fundamental right under the Constitution of India. "We will protect and enforce the rights of citizens," the judges said. In February 2016, when the HC imposed the ban, over 1,000 metric tonnes of garbage, including around 1,000 metric tonnes of construction debris were being dumped at the Deonar, Mulund and Kanjurmarg dumping grounds. Only the Kanjurmarg ground had facilities to process around 3,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste as per the Municipal Solid Waste Rules of 2000. The court had extended the deadline for BMC to make its waste disposal and processing facilities as per pollution norms to June 2017. BMC, while supporting the case of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) for a review, had said that Mumbai generates around 8,640 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste. In addition, around 1,000 metric tonnes of construction and demolition debris are dumped at designated spots, including at infrastructure projects like the new Navi Mumbai airport site. The HC pointed out that Kanjurmarg, with 3,000 metric tonnes capacity, was the only dumping ground still complying with MSW rules, which meant that even if the corporation's new figures were correct, over 5,600 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste were still being dumped daily in violation of norms. The court cited BMC's affidavit, which revealed that plans to set up two new dumping grounds were in limbo, the proposal at Airoli was caught in a dispute with the salt pan department, which owns the land, while there was no progress for the site at Taloja due to encroachments. The court said it saw no hope that BMC will be able to comply with its orders in the near future. MCHI contended that the new MSW rules enacted in April 2016, gave the authorities more time to implement pollution control measures at its waste disposal facilities. The bench pointed out that the corporation had not only failed to comply with the rules before the initial deadline of 2003, it had still not adhered to the 2013 orders of the high court. The court also scoffed at the argument that slum-dwellers and poor people were affected because of the ban order as builders were unable to implement projects in the suburbs that comprised of flats priced at Rs 2 lakh. The judges pointed to the ready reckoner rates of the suburbs.

'Changing economic policies, ownership patterns to disrupt Indian office real estate'

Drinking water not to be used for construction work, in pools

Pune: District collector Saurabh Rao has directed that potable drinking water should not be used for activities such as construction and washing vehicles and at at swimming pools and garages. At present, the four dams supplying water to the city have a storage of 7.70 TMC (25.53%). Rao has emphasised on judicious use of water with the storage being reserved till July 15. A review meeting of the current water stock with Pune guardian minister Girish Bapat has been scheduled next week to decide if the Pune Municipal Corporation has to start alternate day supply. "The mercury is rising and there has been more evaporation and more demands for water in the rural and city areas. We have to be cautious while using water during the next 75 days. We have to be ready if the monsoon gets delayed," Rao said after a meeting on Tuesday.Currently, the PMC lifts 1,350 MLD water. Last year, it was allowed to lift 1,125 MLD water. The collector said he has asked the civic authorities to take strict action against those wasting drinking water. For the rural areas, 3.51 TMC of water has been at present reserved. "There is an increase in demand in the rural areas also. We have marked a quota of 3.51 TMC though the demand is 4.25 TMC," the collector said. Superintending engineer (Pune irrigation circle) A A Kapole told TOI, "Last year, only 1 TMC was released for drinking for rural areas with 5.3 TMC water in the four dams. This water is being released and will be released till June 5.'' The latest demand of tankers for water in Pune district is 60 a day with Ambegaon, Khed, Junnar, Baramati, Purandar and Bhor talukas being the affected talukas.

Will RERA hit supplies, push up prices?

AHMEDABAD: Will RERA push property prices up? With Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) coming into force from May 1, realtors see a short-supply, albeit temporarily, as new realty project launches will get delayed on account of stricter norms. The short-supply coupled with increase in construction cost is expected to push up property prices for short term, say experts and realtors. "New project launches will get postponed as compliance will increase. With demand rising, delay in new project launches would result into temporary short supply," said Jaxay Shah, president, Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI).Developers say that conversion of agriculture land into non-agriculture (NA) takes around 4-6 months. Then, development plan passing and environment clearance require three months each. After obtaining these permissions, developers will have to apply to state regulatory authority for registration, which will take maximum one month's time. "If purchase a land today, it will take at least 10 months for me to launch project," said a city-based developer. "New project launches will be delayed mainly because developers will have to get all the permissions before they start selling. The demand in the market has picked up and if the supply does not match pace with demand, it will dry up the available stocks in the market. Short supply will naturally increase the prices of end products," added Shekhar Patel, treasurer, CREDAI-National. Industry players also expect the construction cost to go up as developers will have to deposit 70% of the money from investors and buyers into a separate account, which can used only for the construction of the project. "Developers also have to make full payments for purchasing land as they are required to have land agreement before registering their projects. Construction cost is expected to increase, which ultimately is passed on to consumers," said a developer. "Restricted supply in the wake of delayed project launches may increase property prices temporarily and will stabilise in longer run," said Nirav Kothari, MD, Ahmedabad office, JLL, a leading property consultant.

Real-estate firms mull setting up special team to comply with RERA

Water crisis shadow on construction in Guna

Bhopal: Rising temperature and deepening water crisis began to impact construction of about 5,000 houses, being carried out under PM Awas Yojana in Guna, a district bordering Rajasthan. Zilla panchayat CEO says he will ensure no person remains thirsty and will have to acquire private water sources to see the houses get constructed before the onset of monsoon. Already, the villages bordering the desert state are feeling the heat.Villages of Bamori and Chachoda blocks, adjoining Rajasthan, are facing acute water crisis. In some villages, people have to fetch water from a distance of 2 to 4 km. Water bodies are drying up and the water table has gone down impacting tube-wells as well, said Nandram, a villager in Cachoda."Guna is ahead of all districts in the country in the construction of the houses under PM Awas Yojana," said CEO of district Panchayat Kailash Wankhede. More water is required to construct a house and 5,000 houses, at varying stages, of construction need water, he said. "We want to complete construction before the monsoon. At the same time, we will see to it that people get adequate water to quench their thirst as well. Rs 2 lakh have been issued to panchayats in areas facing water crisis to repair and maintain water sources for optimum use of water. Besides, we will also make lakes to ensure more water in coming monsoon," Wankhede said. As many as 7,500 houses are being constructed in Bamori while 4,500 houses are under construction in Chachoda block, he said. Of them 5,000 houses are located in villages facing acute water crisis. District collector Rajesh Jain says he is monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis and will ensure water crisis does not affect life of people and construction of the houses.

21 rental housing projects for construction labourers to come up in Odisha

BHUBANESWAR: Good news for the construction labourers, those who are staying in deprived conditions without access to shelter and basic amenities in the city, as the state government will build three rental housing projects for them. Total 400 beds will be available for them. They can stay here by paying considerably low amount of rent. It will come up at three locations- Kharavel Nagar, Sampur and Chandrasekharpur at around four acres of land. Kharavel Nagar will have 200-bed project on one acre of land at an estimated cost of Rs 4.5 crore. The other two will have 100-bed each at an estimated cost of Rs 5.5 crore on 2.6 acres of land. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik will lay foundation stone of these projects on the occasion of International Workers' Day on Monday. Besides construction of these projects in the city, the state will build 18 more rental housing projects at nine more urban centres of the state in phase wise, said Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board (OBOCWWB) chairman Subash Singh. Each selected urban centre will have two such projects. The state government has selected four municipal corporations- Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur- for 100-bed housing projects and five municipalities like Jharsuguda, Angul, Dhenkanal, Vyasanagar and Paradip for 50-bed housing complexes. OBOCWWB will provide funds for the project, while housing and urban development department will implement the project under the Odisha Urban Housing Mission (OUHM) scheme. Singh said most of the labourers migrate from rural areas and work privately in the peripheral area of towns and cities. They either squat on government land or stay in slums with dismal amenities. "Total 21 projects will come up across the state at an estimated cost of around Rs 50 crore. It will solve their housing problems," he added. He said all basic necessities like drinking water, sanitation, electricity, connectivity and other amenities will be available on shared basis at affordable rent. There will be separate facility for single men, single women and families on dormitory pattern, he added. Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

21 rental housing projects for construction labourers to come up in Odisha

BHUBANESWAR: Good news for the construction labourers, those who are staying in deprived conditions without access to shelter and basic amenities in the city, as the state government will build three rental housing projects for them. Total 400 beds will be available for them. They can stay here by paying considerably low amount of rent. It will come up at three locations- Kharavel Nagar, Sampur and Chandrasekharpur at around four acres of land. Kharavel Nagar will have 200-bed project on one acre of land at an estimated cost of Rs 4.5 crore. The other two will have 100-bed each at an estimated cost of Rs 5.5 crore on 2.6 acres of land. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik will lay foundation stone of these projects on the occasion of International Workers' Day on Monday. Besides construction of these projects in the city, the state will build 18 more rental housing projects at nine more urban centres of the state in phase wise, said Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board (OBOCWWB) chairman Subash Singh. Each selected urban centre will have two such projects. The state government has selected four municipal corporations- Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela and Sambalpur- for 100-bed housing projects and five municipalities like Jharsuguda, Angul, Dhenkanal, Vyasanagar and Paradip for 50-bed housing complexes. OBOCWWB will provide funds for the project, while housing and urban development department will implement the project under the Odisha Urban Housing Mission (OUHM) scheme. Singh said most of the labourers migrate from rural areas and work privately in the peripheral area of towns and cities. They either squat on government land or stay in slums with dismal amenities. "Total 21 projects will come up across the state at an estimated cost of around Rs 50 crore. It will solve their housing problems," he added. He said all basic necessities like drinking water, sanitation, electricity, connectivity and other amenities will be available on shared basis at affordable rent. There will be separate facility for single men, single women and families on dormitory pattern, he added. Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Lodha Developers to invest Rs 4300 crore in construction to boost deliveries

NEW DELHI: Realty major Lodha Developers will invest about Rs 4,300 crore this fiscal on construction to boost deliveries of housing units and also plans to launch 8-9 new projects in Mumbai, Pune and London. The Mumbai-based Lodha Developers invested Rs 3,700 crore in the last fiscal on construction and has increased outlay for the 2017-18 fiscal to boost deliveries, its Managing Director Abhishek Lodha said. "We will launch 8-9 projects this financial year, of which 6-7 will be in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and one each in Pune and London market," he said in an interview. Asked about the investment, Lodha said the company will increase its total construction spend this fiscal to Rs 4,100 -4,300 crore on existing and new projects from Rs 3,700 crore in the 2016-17 fiscal. The investment will be funded largely through internal accruals as the company expects to receive Rs 8,000-9,000 crore from customers during this fiscal. The collections from customers stood at Rs 7,000 crore during 2016-17. "During last fiscal, we delivered 7,200 homes which is a big record for the country in itself. The company is targeting to increase delivery of homes in excess of 8,000 units," Lodha said. Lodha group will focus on affordable housing sector which is expected to gain momentum after the government accorded infrastructure status to this segment in the Budget this year. "We sold 4,000 homes in affordable category in 2016-17 and we are targeting sale of 6,000 low-cost homes this fiscal," Lodha said. The infrastructure status to affordable housing will boost availability of cheaper finance for such projects. Besides infra status, the government has offered interest subsidy for prospective home buyers and relaxed various norms including built-up area for developers of low-cost homes. Lodha group's sales bookings rose by 30 per cent last fiscal to about Rs 8,500 crore on the back of better sales in the domestic market and foray into London. "Our new sales bookings grew by 30 per cent last fiscal at around Rs 8,300-8,500 crore. Out of this, about Rs 7,000 crore sales were from Indian market and rest from London where we launched our first project," Lodha group's MD said. The group's sales bookings stood at about Rs 6,400 crore during the 2015-16 fiscal, all from Indian market, he added. Lodha said sales were affected during November 2016 to January 2017 because of poor demand post notes ban. "Sales have bounced back in February and March. We will have to see the sales number of April-May to get to know whether this demand is sustainable," Lodha said.On the London market, he said the group launched its first project 'Lincoln Square' in London last year and the sales have been good despite Brexit. The construction work has started and completion is expected in the next year. Asked about the company's debt, Lodha said it is currently around Rs 14,000 crore. The overall debt level and interest cost of debt is expected to reduce. Lodha group is currently developing around 45 million sq ft area and has over 30 ongoing projects across London, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Hyderabad. It has a land bank of 350 million sq ft for future development.

Real Estate Regulation & Development Act (RERA) to give big boost to real estate market, say industr

The advent of the path-breaking Real Estate Regulation & Development Act, 2016 (RERA) gave a big boost to the real estate market helping both the developers and homebuyers in the process, said industry experts today at a seminar, organised by The Bengal Chamber of Commerce in association with MACJ A Buyers Choice Home Inspection. The seminar was organised to discuss the burning topic of the implementation of RERA and the concept of professional home inspection services around RERA. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Nandu Belani, president of CREDAI, said, "The advent of the path-breaking Real Estate Regulation & Development Act, 2016 (RERA) gave a big boost to the real estate market. It will help both the developers and homebuyers in the process." Mr. Girja Choudhary, CFO of Emami Infrastructure gave a detailed presentation on RERA, the concept, its key legal provisions and explained how RERA will affect all key stakeholders (developers and home buyers). "In the light of RERA, the home inspection services will not only boost the morale of consumers but will also provide the real estate developers peace of mind by assuring quality control over work done by contractors / workers," said leading city-based developer, Mr. Dileep Singh Mehta of Multicon Group. "I am happy to see the seeds of the home inspection idea that I had visualised 20 years back now seeing the light of the day at the right time for the real estate industry," Mr. Mehta said. Ms. Debjani Mukherjee ,Senior Vice President, Sales& Marketing, Bengal NRI Complex Ltd. agreed to this and mentioned that they have already engaged MACJ- ABCHI to conduct home inspection of 250 of their apartments of the premium Urbana Residential Project before handover to the customers. MACJ, India had in 2016 collaborated with US company A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) to pioneer professional home inspection services in India for the first time. A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) - started in the mid-2000s by Bill Redfern - is an industry leader in the home inspection franchise in USA & Canada and presently has 200 franchises spread across 19 countries, and is on a path to becoming the world's largest home inspection company. MACJ, India has been co-promoted by Mr. Mahendra Sureka and Mr. Arvind Kumar Bhotica, along with investor industrialists, Mr. Ravindra Chamaria of Infinity Group and Mr. Kamal Prakash of Jiwanram Sheoduttrai Group. The professional home inspection services had been launched by MACJABCHI in India in the light of RERA looking at the needs of the real estate industry - both home buyers and developers. Home inspection is a $5-billion industry in America and promises to develop into an even bigger market in India as the industry develops and matures over the next few years. Already 7-8 companies have started offering home inspection services at various locations across the country. Mr Bill Redfern, founder and CEO of internationally recognised A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections, said that post the signing of his agreement with MACJ, India in 2016, he was happy with the development of the business in India. "Our company has agreed to invest in the equity of the Indian entity of MACJ- ABCHI combined," Mr. Redfern said. "We've recognised a growing need for professionally certified home inspections across the country through ongoing analysis in local real estate markets. MACJ is the perfect team to lead the efforts to fill this unmet need. The momentum of the brand is remarkable and we are thrilled to be bringing ABCHI's high-quality services and franchise opportunities to India in partnership with MACJ, India," he said. Mr. Mahendra Sureka (Director-CEO, MACJ India) said, "The implementation of RERA will further boost the development of the home inspection services industry and I am confident that home inspection services in India will develop into a multi-billion US dollar industry over the next decade, helping both the developers and homebuyers in the process." MACJ-ABCHI has started its operations in Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune, and is in the process of opening offices in Chennai and Delhi through the franchise model route. The franchise model will enable them to expand faster at a lower investment and enable them to provide quality PAN-India service under the single MACJ A Buyers Choice Home Inspections brand. On the sidelines of the seminar, Mr. Sureka announced the launch of two more franchise partners in two key growth pockets of Kolkata at New Town and Tollygunge. The New Town franchise has been taken by Utsav Agarwal, an enterprising BBA student striving to be an entrepreneur, supported by his father G S Agarwal, the CFO of Magma Housing Finance. The Tollygunge franchise has been taken by Abhijit Naha along with his wife Ria, Abhijit being an MBA with 10 years of business experience in petroleum and forex business. Both the franchise partners agree that professional home inspections services are the need of the hour. " The demand is unlimited and we hope to provide quality and assured services with complete transparency that will fulfill the need of all stake holders, i.e., developers, homebuyers, real estate agents, interior designers, bankers, insurers and the government. It will fill the void of the real estate industry as well as open new avenues of skilling and providing employment opportunities in India," they said.UNI SJC KK Source:news.webindia123.com

Builders cite latest rules, urge Bombay HC to lift ban on new projects

MUMBAI: More than a year after the Bombay high court restrained the BMC from granting permissions for new construction projects in the city over failure to implement waste disposal rules, the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) has sought the lifting of the ban. The body that represents real estate developers on Thursday urged the high court to review its February 2016 order. The BMC, too, has backed a review of the order. Senior advocate Aspi Chinoy, counsel for MCHI, said that builders had not been heard. He also pointed to changed circumstances, especially the introduction of the new Municipal Solid Waste Rules that were framed in 2016 and gave local bodies more time to implement measures for pollution control at their waste disposal facilities.Chinoy said the 1,000 metric tonnes of construction waste and debris generated daily is not dumped at either Deonar or Mulund dumping grounds but at designated spots, including at infrastructure projects like the new Navi Mumbai airport site. The BMC said that as a result of the measures taken by it, municipal solid waste being taken to dumping grounds had reduced from 9,400 metric tonnes daily to 8,600 metric tonnes. The court scheduled the next hearing on May 3. The ban was imposed following the failure to implement the Municipal Solid Waste Rules of 2000. The two main dumping grounds in the city, Deonar and Mulund, were set up in 1927 and 1967, respectively, and were now filled to capacity. Going by the law, these should have complied with the pollution norms in 2003. The high court had set a deadline of July 2013 for the authorities to conform to the rules on the two sites and set up new facilities by April 2015. The deadline for implementing norms at Deonar and Mulund was last year extended to June 30, 2017.

Karnataka real estate developers still waiting for final RERA norms

BENGALURU: Real estate developers in Karnataka are unsure when the final regulation on Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) will be notified, even six months after the draft notification for it was issued. RERA, which aims to increase transparency and bring about standardisation in the real estate industry, was notified on May 1, 2016. It will come into force from May 1 this year. States were asked to notify the final rules within six months of the notification of the Act. So far only Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha have finalised their rules. Karnataka, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have only framed the draft rules, while Delhi and Maharashtra have appointed regulators. "Developers fraternity is awaiting anxiously for the government to notify the rules under the Act, as they have to prepare themselves to align with the requirements," said JC Sharma, president (Bangalore Chapter), Confederation of Real Estate Association of India. "CREDAI, Bengaluru, is confident that the government will give due consideration to the suggestions given by the association to ensure that RERA helps all stakeholders to work harmoniously to develop this important sector." The Karnataka Draft Rules were released on October 24, 2016 and the last date for suggestions/comments was on November 8. "The state government had already received suggestion from builders and brokers on the draft in November, but there is no clarity on when it will come out with the final notification. The delay is not in the interest of home buyers and builders," said a senior executive of a listed real estate firm. "In Karnataka, only 8 days was left for Notification of RERA Rules and Appointment of Regulatory Authority but suddenly Additional Chief Secretary Rajeev Chawla from Housing Department, GOK, was transferred," said MS Shankar, convenor of Fight for RERA-Karnataka Chapter. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill was passed on March 10, 2016 after a long wait of eight years. The Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the UPA government on August 14, 2013 and referred to the house's select committee on May 6, 2015. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

Segregate construction waste at project sites: MCG to builders

GURGAON: In what will help combat the problem of dust from construction activities polluting the air, the MCG has asked all private developers to ensure segregation of all construction and demolition (C&D) waste at the project site itself. According to an MCG order, the C&D waste has to be segregated into six separate streams — bricks and masonry; concrete and steel; soil; sand and gravel; wood and plastics; and other metals and miscellaneous waste. Any violation of the order will attract punishment of up to five years or fine that may extend up to Rs 1 lakh or both. "The builder should also ensure that the segregated waste shall not be mixed with each other and shall be stored separately at the project premises. Also the segregated waste shall have to be transported by the builder at his or her own cost to the designated sites," said an MCG official. "The builder will also have to pay Rs 360 per tonne for each kind of segregated waste and a charge of Rs 720 per tonne of unsegregated waste, as charges for secondary collection, storage, processing and disposal of C&D waste," he added.

Kashmir Is Not Prime Real Estate, It Is Its People

Subramanian Swamy is being unnecessarily coy in his suggestion that the Kashmir “problem” may be solved by depopulating the Valley and resettling the people of Kashmir in “refugee camps”. I have long suspected that Swamy is a sort of clown in our public space – and, like the clowns in Shakespeare, he occasionally serves a valuable function in that he is able to articulate the unstated, and often unstatable, truth in ways that are unavailable to less gifted politicians. (His latest outrage is, instantly, reminiscent of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal.) After all, his suggestion points up the fatal contradiction in the official Indian position – we like the Valley, but minus the people. However, that “refugee camp” is uncharacteristically euphemistic, unless Swamy is visualising merging these refugee camps with the refugee camps of the Kashmiri Pandits – in which case we would have created a sort of non-resident Kashmir and left the Valley free for the army. But, poor paranoid me, I fear that the word that is really lurking there in Swamy’s suggestion is “concentration camp”. Obviously I must be wrong. I recall Hindi writer Nirmal Verma describing the buyers who turned up at his doorstep when it was time for him and his brother Ram Kumar to move from their home in Karol Bagh’s Western Extension Area: with butchers’ eyes, he said, assessing the value of the flanks of the animal that they were planning to slaughter. The only thing that mattered was the realisable market value of the property – and the feelings of the people who were about to relinquish their home were merely an irrelevance. It is a moment that often comes back to me in Kashmir-related conversations. India’s Kashmir “problem” is that there are those damned Kashmiris in Kashmir – it’s as simple as that. Talking to my fellow-Indians, I often get a sense that they think of Kashmir as if it were a piece of valuable real estate, which an unfortunate history has denied them vacant possession of. Rather like builders and real estate developers, who see valuable resources – land, houses – in the possession of unworthy people, who are incapable of “unlocking the value” that is inherent in those resources. Among the many charming slogans that have been invented by the hyper-nationalists is one that seems apt in this context; not only does it have an echo of some primitive poetic gift with its gratuitous rhyme, it also has the characteristic frisson of violence: “Doodh maangoge kheer denge. Kashmir maangoge cheer denge.” (‘Ask for milk and I will give you kheer, ask for Kashmir and I will tear you from limb to limb’) This is good enough for the poetic sloganeers to be sent to Kashmir, instead of the military. Perhaps they will be able to achieve what mere pellet guns could not. However, it still leaves an essential question hanging in the air: after all, who is the asker and who, so to speak, is the askee? Who is it, one wonders, that has both “kheer” and “Kashmir” in his gift? One suspects that the problem with “having” runs deep in the current dispensation. Answering the charge of racism in the context of the anti-African violence in Noida, MP Tarun Vijay offered the defence that we “have” dark South Indians in the country, and “we” manage to rub along with “them”, so how could “we” be racist? I think the hapless fellow was genuinely surprised by the outrage that he provoked among “dark South Indians” who didn’t seem to know – or when they came to know, didn’t like it – that they were, so to speak, being “had” by Vijay. And if we can’t “have” those mild – if “dark” – “South Indians”, what hope do we have of “having” those recalcitrant Kashmiris? Enter Swamy with his “camps”. In situation after situation, it is “people” that are the problem and they come in various descriptions – sometimes as bearded ruffians in pherans, but also as beardless schoolboys armed with pebbles, as unkempt “tribals” with axes and bows and arrows, as beturbaned and suicide-prone farmers, diverse recalcitrants holding up the great engine of development. That, indeed, is the irreducible core of India’s Kashmir problem. The rest of it – the UN resolutions, Pakistan, “the international community” – all this is ultimately inconsequential. And indeed, with respect to these we may be tempted to follow the example of our new-found friend Israel, to say nothing of the Biggest Brother – the US. But the people of Kashmir will not simply go away – and they will have to be part of any conceivable, viable solution. It is merely silly of the government of India to insist on talking only to the government of Pakistan and leaving it to the Pakistani state, with its well-known commitment to democracy, to insist that the people of Kashmir have to be a part of the dialogue. What I am proposing, I suppose, is simply flipping this absurd situation around – talk to the people of Kashmir, who have a right to be heard and will find ways, pleasant and, if necessary, very unpleasant, to make themselves heard. And to the extent that we talk – honestly, sincerely – to the people of Kashmir, the Pakistani claim to be part of the process – founded as it must be on the dubious two-nation theory – will be proportionately weakened. Talk to the Kashmiri people, I say, screw Pakistan! And if indeed there are some Kashmiris who want to be a part of Pakistan at the end of that process, the government of India could set up an emigration programme to enable them. Just as Pakistan’s “claim” to Kashmir rests on the implicit affirmation of its foundational two-nation myth, so India’s claim to Kashmir rests – must rest, beyond the fact of possession/occupation – on an implicit affirmation of its foundational promise of constitutive – and constitutional – secularism. Kashmir can be a part of India because India is a secular republic. It is crucial for India’s own survival to progressively legitimise its claim to Kashmir by affirming and consolidating its secularism. Without that, our position in Kashmir is only that of real estate sharks. Source:kashmirobserver.net

Indiabulls Real Estate surges over 80% in April

NEW DELHI: Shares of Indiabulls Real Estate surged over 80 per cent this month so far to a high of Rs 163.25 on April 22 against Rs 87.40 on March 31, 2017. The scrip hogged limelight last week after the company announced its plans to restructure its business. The company had announced plans to restructure its business by creating a separate venture for commercial and leasing operations as part of strategy to have focused approach on each segment. The Mumbai-based developer plans to hive off commercial and leasing business into a separate entity Indiabulls Commercial Assets Ltd, according to a regulatory filing. With market capitalisation of over Rs 7,300 crore, shares of the company were trading 9 per cent up at Rs 156.30 around 10.05 am (IST). The scrip opened at Rs 143 and touched a fresh 52-week high and intraday low of Rs 163.25 and Rs 143, respectively, in trade so far. Market capitalisation of the company was hover around Rs 4,200 on March 31, 2017. On the BSE, 31.99 lakh shares were traded on the counter on Monday so far as against the average daily volumes of 65.49 lakh shares in the past two weeks. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

7,500 houses to be built under PMAY this year

PIMPRI CHINCHWAD: The plan to construct an additional 6,500 tenements for the low income group under JNNURM has been cancelled, municipal commissioner Dinesh Waghmare has said. This has been done in view of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) starting the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY) this year.Waghmare said PMAY is a new scheme. However, the beneficiaries who had applied for the 6,500 tenements can seek benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, if the state government approves the proposal. PCMC had earlier planned to construct 17,920 tenements for slum dwellers and for those in the low income group in phases under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) at Sector 22 in Nigdi, Link Road between Pimpri and Chinchwad, Vetalnagar, Milindnagar, Vithalnagar and Ajanthanagar. Construction began in 2005 with an estimated cost of Rs 413 crore with Central and state government funding, besides budgetary allocations of the municipal corporation and the beneficiaries' share. However, PCMC could construct only 11,420 tenements in the past 10 years. The remaining tenements were not constructed because of various reasons including cost escalation, non-availability of land and failure to get environment clearance. Incidentally, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in 2015 had passed strictures on the slum rehabilitation projects of 14 municipal corporations, including Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. The CAG report for Pimpri Chinchwad said that 672 tenements were to be constructed at a cost of Rs 28.37 crore on Link Road. The building plan was sanctioned in May 2010 on land reserved for sewerage treatment plant and vegetable market. However, it was not changed to residential zone. Civic officials said under PMAY, the municipal corporation wants to build 7,500 houses this year in fringe areas like Chikhli, Charholi, Dudulgaon and Ravet. PCMC has already sent a proposal to the district collectorate to acquire around 29 acres at Chikhli. A provision of Rs 50 crore has been made for the PMAY. Eligible beneficiaries can apply online for PMAY, officials said.

Perth real estate agent banned for 15 yrs

A Perth real estate agent who forged signatures on fake contracts to pocket $30,000 has been banned from working in the industry for 15 years. Joseph Weng Kong Cheong and his company Easy Invest Pty Ltd had their licences cancelled on Thursday by the State Administrative Tribunal after he was found to have acted unfairly and dishonestly in the sale of two properties. Consumer Protection brought the case against Mr Cheong, who drafted legitimate contracts for the East Victoria Park and East Perth properties in August 2015, which gave him 2.2 per cent commission. The two property owners were unaware that Mr Cheong then drafted fake agreements upping the commission to 3.2 per cent, and forged their signatures on the contacts. A few months later he drew up 'offer and acceptance' contracts using buyer names randomly picked from the phone book, forging their signatures so it appeared they agreed to buy the properties. He used these fake contracts to apply for an advance of the 3.2 per cent commission and was paid just over $30,000 from a finance company. Mr Cheong has since repaid the finance company, and the SAT noted the property owners did not lose money despite his deception. Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said it was a case of serious dishonesty and Mr Cheong's 15-year ban was more than justified. "I expect agents will uphold their fiduciary duty and always place the interests of their sellers above their own," he said. Source:news.com.au

Construction work in Chennai hit as sand price doubles on restrictions, protests

CHENNAI: Sand prices have doubled in a month, giving nightmares to the realty sector. A cubic foot of river sand now costs between Rs70 and Rs80 against the Rs35 -Rs40 a few weeks ago. Manufactured sand (M Sand), an alternative to river sand, is sold at Rs60 per cubic foot. While closure of quarries and increased smuggling of sand to neighbouring states are cited as reasons for the escalation, industry sources stressed the need for importing sand to control rates. "It would result in timelines going for a spin," said N Nandakumar, former president of Ta mil Nadu chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (Credai). Noting that a delay in completing projects would increase the burden for home-buyers, he said small developers would be the worst hit. "With sand not available in neighbouring districts, it has to be transported from far-off places pushing the rates up," he said. A leading developer, Chitty Babu, said many key in frastructure projects would take a beating. "On the one hand, the contractor cannot afford to comprise the quality, and, on the other, he may not be able to invest more than what he had quoted. Under such circumstances, major infrastructure projects like metro rail and roads could be delayed," he said. Compounding the situation is the prevailing sand shortage. Industry sources say the city and its suburbs have been receiving around 2,500 truckloads of sand, each comprising a minimum of 300 cubic feet, everyday, against the demand for more than 6,000 loads. Tamil Nadu State Sand Lorry Owners Federa tion president S Yuva raj said many quarries in Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Vellore districts had been shut due to reasons like bans, protests over rampant illegal mining and court directives, leading to getting sand from Cuddalore and Villupuram districts, besides Trichy."Moreover, sand smuggling to neighbouring states is going on unabated. In fact, local trucks take a few days to procure sand from the quarries, but those with national permits get access in hours," he charged. There is an urgent need to import sand to stabilize rates, said Yuvaraj. "An attempt to import sand from Cambodia was made four years ago, but it did not materialise. Now, something must be down to bring down prices," he added. Sources in the state PWD denied allegations of sand smuggling. "There is no possibility of it being smuggled from quarries in Cuddalore and Villupuram districts to other states," an official said.

Real estate stocks could be investment idea for next 1 year: Daljeet Singh Kohli, IndiaNivesh

In a chat with ET Now, Daljeet Singh Kohli, Head of Research, IndiaNiveshBSE 0.00 %, says in the near term, one can look at the real estate stocks, especially the ones which have this investment trust or the REITS. What is your sense of what TCSBSE -0.91 % might say or do and what would be your pecking order in largecap IT? Number-wise, we are expecting 0.9% growth in terms of quarter-on-quarter dollar revenue and a slight pressure on the margins of probably around 22 bps to 30 bps as per our analyst estimates. Number wise, there may not be any major surprise expected or any fireworks to come from. What everybody is watching from all the IT companies now is their future outlook. From InfosysBSE -0.72 % reducing the guidance, to what TCS will talk about and then what today the US president is likely to announce on H1-B visa. That bill which is to signed about hiring more from US and buying more from the US. All these things are headwinds for the IT sector and that will continue probably for some more time. We are actually banking on Infosys more and as a preferred pick over TCS mainly because we feel that the potential for moving towards digitisation and the work that Infosys has already started probably will be the one which will keep them in a better space than TCS over a period of time. Valuation wise also, Infosys is actually lagging TCS for quite some time. It gives you a cheaper stock, it is a contrarian buy one can say at this time. We feel that they have that wherewithal which of course TCS also has in terms of fighting the market or going through this bad phase. So our pecking order right now is Infosys on the top. WiproBSE -0.27 % is the second pick because we feel that there again though the work that they started three quarters back, has not come to fruition in the last two quarters, this quarter the numbers will be slightly better than all these companies. Over a period of time, Wipro has the potential to catch up faster.That will be again a stock to look for. TCS will be on the third space. Give your quick perspective on metals as a pocket? Do you think what is happening in China is really good news for buying metal stocks? The major part of the good news is over. We have seen the rally in most of the stocks and the stocks have actually moved from very low levels to almost 100% returns that they have given. The major part of rally is over on the broader sector but within the sector, there could be certain stocks which will have specific items which will drive their earnings so for example, companies like Tata SpongeBSE -0.21 % stands out mainly because they have expanded their capacity and debottlenecked some of their existing plant so that is going to give them a better growth. In terms of steel, if we talk other companies so government has helped them by way of coming out with this MIP and all that. Now that will probably-- that has already played out in terms of stock price the performance in number for these stocks will come muted, it would not be very big but at least it is not deteriorating, which was the case probably one year back, one and a half years back. You will have to be very selective in certain stocks where these things can still play out so maybe a company like Tata Sponge which comes to mind, one can play out still from here for another 5-10% move from here. But Tata SteelBSE 0.04 % has already played out so we are now actually are booking profits on that. Give me an investment idea for the next 12 months. Where do you think that the downside could be 15% but the upside could be 25 or 30%? In the near term, one can look at the real estate stocks, especially the ones which have this investment trust or the REITS which are possible. Maybe stocks like Prestige and Sunteck RealtyBSE -2.10 %. By the way, we have already have a coverage on that from Rs 260 odd levels and it has already reached our target but probably we will increase that. Chances are that you will get good returns. Why this is happening is because after seven, eight years this sector is coming into reckoning because or RERA coming in, because of a lot of positive impetus from the government and this-- financials being available to them. Banks were all actually just throwing them out they were not giving them any money at that time in the last three, four years but now with this RERA and this REITS thing coming in, most of these guys who were stuck because of these problems they will get some funds. May be Prestige or DLF can actually give good returns. We should be looking at these kind of stocks because again after four, five years, they are coming out and they will have some Rs 4000-5000 crore coming in which will help them in completing the existing projects, going for the new projects where it will ease up that pressure. Things are changing fundamentally for these companies, one should look at this within the infra space. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

Allahabad high court: Remove unauthorised construction

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad high court on Monday directed Noida officials to remove any unauthorised construction raised on the ground floor of NPX commercial project of M/s Hi-Lead Infotech Pvt Ltd in Sector 153. The court further directed to ensure that the ground floor shall not be sold by the builder to any new buyer.While disposing of a petition filed by NPX Unit Owners Welfare Association, a division bench of Chief Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma directed the builder to hand over possession of shops built on the first floor to buyers within eight weeks and directed the buyers to shift to first floor within 10 weeks. The plea alleged the commercial project was first advertised in 2009 and many buyers bought ground floor shops. Later, a new brochure introduced a new floor plan, showing shop numbers of ground floor merged with first floor.

Indiabulls Real Estate hits 52-week high on restructuring plans

Indiabulls Real Estate hit a 52-week high of Rs 111, up 5% on BSE in early morning trade after the real estate developer said it will restructure the real estate business by demerging commercial and residential into separate companies. the stock was trading 2.6% higher at Rs 109, after hitting a low of Rs 104 in intra-day trade. The counter has seen huge trading volumes with a combined 10.98 million shares changed hands in first 12 minutes of trade on NSE and BSE. In the past five trading days, the stock rallied 25% as compared to 1% decline in the S&P BSE Sensex. “The Company's board in its meeting today considered the possibility of streamlining its existing ‘residential', ‘commercial' and ‘leasing' businesses by segregating ‘commercial & leasing' business carried on by itself and/or through its special-purpose vehicle/SPVs and vesting the same into ‘Indiabulls Commercial Assets Ltd' (ICAL),” Indiabulls Real Estate said in BSE filing. The restructuring/reorganizing the company’s businesses by either restructuring by way of placing ICAL as a separate holding co under the Company to hold its assets and investments relating to ‘commercial & leasing' business segment and to undertake the business & operations of ‘commercial & leasing' business segment and/or explore opportunities to bring in strategic investments; or by reorganizing its existing businesses by way of a demerger of the undertakings, business, activities & operations pertaining to its commercial & leasing business segments, it added. The company said the object of the same is, to, inter alia, bring greater focus on each of the said business segments of the company. Source:business-standard.com

No demand for real estate is a myth: Murali

CHENNAI: Contrary to reports that demand for real estate in Chennai has been stagnant, affordable housing projects in Chennai show strong demand, according to Shriram Properties’ managing director M Murali. The Chennai-based real estate developer currently has affordable housing projects under development of around 3.1 million square feet in the city, with another 2 million square feet in the mid-market segment. Speaking to Express, Murali said, “There is a myth, just like the myth post demonetisation that prices would fall, that there is no demand for real estate. Contrary to that there is strong demand and prices are unlikely to fall. We have three projects in the affordable segment band currently under construction.” The three projects together account for over 2,600 units and are worth around `950 crore. The average ticket size for an affordable housing unit works out to between `20 to `40 lakh in the city, while the mid-market band ranges between `40 and `80 lakhs. According to Murali, another 2.2 million square feet is set to be launched in the mid-market price band, which is also seeing signifi cant demand. “This is primarily due to the job generation in Chennai over last fi ve years. While not as high as in Bengaluru, the city is no laggard and that has contributed to demand,” said Murali. The developer is not just concentrating on the TN state capital. It has lined up an investment of around `15,000 crore over the next 7-8 years for develop around 30 ongoing projects, largely residential, across six major cities. “We have completed and delivered 15 million sq ft and currently developing 25-30 projects comprising 60 million sq ft area in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vizag, Coimbatore and Kolkata,” Murali said. Source:newindianexpress.com

No ray of hope for indoor polo arena construction

JAIPUR: The construction of indoor polo arena at Organized Archery, Shooting and Equestrian Sports (OASES) complex, Jagatpura, will remain incomplete as state government has asked Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) not to initiate work. There is no ray of hope for completion of project, which is already pending for past seven years. The JDA has recently asked permission from the state government to complete the project. However, the permission has been denied. The JDA will now have to cancel the tenders. Sources at JDA said, "There is no specific reason given for not allowing the construction work. The state government possibly wants to give project on public private and partnership (PPP) or built operate transfer mode." He added, "The JDA invited tenders for the project. But the financial bid was not opened. Only one firm participated to take up the work. The JDA will not refund the harness money." The JDA has proposed to lay the OASES complex roof of aircraft aluminium sheet metal, which will be long-lasting. "A 45-metre wide and 90-metre long area was proposed be covered by the roof. Under the roof, games such as shooting, indoor polo and archery could be played," said an official. Besides, JDA proposed to develop seating for 1,300 spectators. The estimated cost to complete the project is Rs 60 crore. "Earlier, JDA had spent Rs 28.50 crore. The remaining 31.50 crore will now be spent by the civic body. Recently, Rs 10 crore had been sanctioned by JDA to lay the roof," added the official. Despite spending crores of public money, the project, which was initiated by the previous Vasundhara Raje government, was lying in a dilapidated state since long. After Ashok Gehlot came to power, the OASES project, which was meant to give a boost to the heritage sports of Rajasthan and nurture budding talent, was ignored for full five years. With over Rs 80 crore of public money spent on the project, only 25% of the work remains to be completed. However, due to complete apathy in the past six years, the work remained suspended. However, even BJP government failed to complete the work after coming to power."

Wake up BBMP, Kammasandra Lake is choking with construction debris

BENGALURU: The Kammasandra Lake near Electronic City has turned into a dumpyard, with piles of construction and household waste littering its banks. The lakebed is dotted with heaps of rocks, granite, bricks, plastic and what not. Residents alleged that tractors dump construction waste here on a regular basis. "If any building is demolished in the nearby area, all the debris is brought here and discarded. And this happens at least thrice a week,'' rued Sankar Das, a vendor. Pointing to the plastic packets and other household waste, Saroj Kumar, who works nearby, said: "The waste generated at the nearby flats too also junked here. Boxes and sacks filled with household waste add to the mess."Naseema B, who has been living in the area for over 20 years, said the scenic waterbody lost its charm over the years. "Apart from being an eyesore, garbage heaps are posing severe health hazards. Filthy water enters the lake from the premises of industrial units which are located less than a kilometre away. The stench is unbearable," she added. According to environmentalist Yellappa Reddy, dumping of construction debris in and around lakes is the first step towards encroachment. "The lake dies over a period of time. The local population should stand united to prevent this happening to Kammasandra Lake," he said.

Lucknow bench of Allahabad HC declines plea for construction of temple in its premises

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad high court on Monday turned down a plea for allowing the construction of a temple in its new premises in Gomtinagar for offering prayers. "The design, the architecture and more particularly the legal framework within which the premises exists do not cast any such obligation upon it, hence the prayer made is declined," said the court. A bench of justice AP Sahi and Justice AK Srivastava passed the order on the petition moved by Hindu Front For Justice. The petitioner had requested that in the old premises on Kaiserbagh, there was a temple, but on the new campus, there was no place for worship for lawyers, court employees and litigants. The petitioner demanded that a place should be earmarked for the purpose. Consigning the petition to records, the bench said, "There is nothing which can impel us to conclude that the high court's administration is under an obligation to earmark any particular place allowing those coming inside the premises to practise their religion and worship in their own form. Such obligations and rights can be performed by the individuals and communities in the vicinity outside the premises where such facilities are commonly available."

Enathu Bailey bridge to be opened on Monday

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Bailey bridge constructed by the Army across the Kallada river, connecting Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts, will be opened to traffic on Monday. Only light vehicles will be allowed on the bridge. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the bridge which was built in parallel to the damaged Enathu Bridge. The construction of the 54.50-metre-long bridge with a width of 3.5 metres has come as a major relief to commuters on the Thiruvananthapuram-Adoor route as the traffic along the way was diverted after the closure of the Enathu bridge on January 10. The Bailey bridge will be put into use till the PWD completes the repair works at the Enathu bridge. The Army started construction of the Bailey bridge on Monday and completed a major portion of it within a day. PWD minister G Sudhakaran had visited the Enathu bridge three months ago on the day it was reported that it had developed a crack. The minister had sought the opinion of retired IIT professor Dr P K Aravindan on repairing the bridge. He had also written to the Union defence minister seeking the Army's help for constructing a Bailey bridge. Subsequently, a team of Army officials, led by Lt colonel P Ravi Rajendran visited the site and began the work. Though the Army brought materials for construction of the bridge on March 20, it received the consent from the Delhi headquarters only on April 2.

Construction works for Technocity all set to begin at Pallippuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Path is clear for the commencement of construction activities for Technocity at Pallippuram. The Technopark authorities are planning to begin construction works for the first building in the campus within a week. The work is expected to be completed in 1.5 years. Technopark is also in the process of setting up infrastructure facilities such as roads for the site at Pallipuram, nearly 5km from the Technopark campus. Technopark CEO Hrishikesh Nair said that the building to be constructed at Technocity now will cover two lakh square feet. The Technopark is developing 450 acres of land for the project. As per the initial proposal, the Technocity project will be developed as an integrated IT township with IT/ITES office space, commercial space, multiplexes, hotels, international schools, management schools and residential accommodation, etc. IT majors such as SunTec Business Solutions, TCS and educational institutions including IITMK have been allotted space in the campus. As per the revised master plan for Technocity in 2015, TCS has been allotted 97 acres and Suntec 10 acres. IITMK will get 10.33 acres. Though Infosys was allotted 50 acres in the campus, it withdrew from the project in 2015, alleging that there was delay from part of state government in ensuring infrastructure. Meanwhile, government's shift in focus to Technocity has come in the way of one of the proposed projects in phase I campus of Technopark. Technopark has shelved the Shiriya project proposed in 2015. Shirya was proposed to be a Rs 268 crore project. Technopark CEO said that construction of Shiriya would have caused financial liability to Technopark at that time. "So the choice was between Technocity and Shiriya and government gave preference to Technocity," he said. In addition to IT, other focus areas of Technocity will be biotechnology, nanotechnology, high-end manufacturing and research and development. The project is planned to be developed through multiple special purpose vehicles (SPVs) in association with leading developers. Considering the development of Technocity, the proposed light metro project was conceived from Pallippuram to Karamana.

Real Estate Regulator will impact the way you buy a house

Real Estate Regulator will impact the way you buy a house -

Real Estate Regulator will impact the way you buy a house

All construction in Lucknow to stop till LDA gives its nod

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow Development Authority has issued fresh orders to stop all sorts of construction across the city, even if they are flouting the norms slightly, till the time a team from the authority visits the site and checks every detail meticulously and gives its approval. Only those builders who are 100% sure every inch of their building conforms with the approved map limit can continue construction. The orders came a day after LDA vice chairman Satyendra Singh took stern view of the officials' laxity in checking rampant illegal construction across the city and ordered them to remove all illegal constructions within next 48 hours. LDA official in charge of RBO (Regulation of Building operations) wing said, "We have already identified these illegal structures and since the past two days were holidays, the inspection will begin from Thursday. Our team will visit construction sites randomly based on the list prepared by executive engineers and complaints received from an area." LDA team will check every minute details of construction ranging from floor-area ratio, number of floors, compliance with map, area left in front and back as per building norms, parking provision on site, etc . "Once we are assured every single brick is laid as per building bylaws, are we going to give it a go ahead, or else stop the construction permanently. Only those builders sure of their compliance with map and other building norms can go ahead with construction on the condition that they can prove it to the team", said the official. As per LDA estimates, there are over 250-300 construction sites within the city which have flouted the rules while constructing and are now under scanner. But the biggest challenge is to regulate mushrooming of illegal construction on highways and private colonies where people haven't got their maps approved by the authority. "A proposal was sent about four months ago to the government to frame a policy to crackdown on these private colonies so that the erring builders and residents can be penalised but we have yet to receive response," said LDA.

Illegal construction market high on state’s move to amend law

PUNE: The illegal construction market on the city fringes is celebrating the state assembly's move to amend the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act that allows to legalise unauthorised buildings by paying a premium or a compounding fee. The new rule will be applicable to buildings constructed before December 2015. But players in the illegal construction market appear confident that there will be more deadlines in coming years "as politicians need votes and people require cheap accommodations". A developer planning hill-top constructions in Katraj said, "The deadline is December 2015 this time. After a few years, there will be another deadline. This is not going to end. Similarly, the demand for cheap illegal structures will be there." Following the Bombay high court's refusal to approve the state's amnesty plan for the pre-2015 illegal buildings, the government decided to take a step to save these constructions by using its powers. There are about 1,50,000 illegal constructions in Pune district, including 66,000 in Pimpri Chinchwad. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has identified over 2,300 illegal properties in city areas, many of those developed by some corporators. Residents in illegal buildings are happy as the developers - mostly local politicians — have kept their "promise" to legalise the illegal work. "This is best way to get a cheap house in Pune. Buy an illegal accommodation at reasonable price and get it legalized later," said Ramesh Kate, a private employee looking for an accommodation in Ambegaon. Kate cannot get bank loans, as he does not have a salary slip to produce and he has not filed income-tax returns. However, there are private money lenders and also small developers who give credits to buyers at an 8-9% interest rate. Hundreds of illegal buildings on the city's fringes are not formally registered. Besides, many buildings stand on agricultural land owned by local bigwigs, who have turned developers. All the dealings are registered on Rs 100 stamp papers and the buyers are assured that the buildings will be legalized later. "This move is disastrous. Lack of affordable housing has led to rampant illegal constructions in the villages bordering the city. The 0.4 Floor Space Index (FSI) in fringe villages has been blatantly flouted. In many cases, the FSI of 8-10 has been used. With the state government supporting these constructions, more illegal buildings will come up." urban planner Ramchandra Gohad said. Pintu Sen, a self-employed youth who has migrated to the city from Rajasthan, said living in illegal constructions might be dangerous and illegal, but those belonging to the lower middle class have no option. " Instead of creating affordable housing, the government is legalizing the illegal constructions," he said.

Building a house? Pay lake fee now

BENGALURU: Building a new house in the city is set to get a little costlier. Those constructing buildings will have to cough up a lake rejuvenation fee, in addition to existing fees for water, electricity connection and building plan approval. The lake fee is likely to be fixed at Rs 25 per square metre for local planning areas within the Bengaluru Metropolitan Region, irrespective of population. This will translate into Rs 2,785 for a building coming up on a 30x40 ft plot and Rs 5,572 for a house coming up on a 60x40 ft plot. For buildings coming up in local planning areas with a population of 10 lakh and above, other than metropolitan region, the fee is fixed at Rs 20 per square metre. BBMP has issued a circular, asking town-planning offi cials and joint commissioners in all eight zones to collect the lake rejuvenation fee at the time building plan approval. A copy of the circular accessed by TOI says the fee collection is in accordance with Section 18 (1A) of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning act (KTCP), 1961. The law says the local planning authority is empowered to levy and collect an additional fee for rejuvenation of waterbodies. The circular follows a government decision in January allowing collection of fee from new constructions coming under BDA and Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority regions. An official said, "Though Section 18 (1A) of KTCP Act allows collection of fee at Rs 1 lakh per acre, related slabs and other rules are yet to be framed."

Manhattan real estate stabilizes as prices come down

The number of Manhattan real estate sales was essentially flat in the first quarter, ending a monthslong decline brought on by a glut of available condos. Some 2,892 sales were completed in the New York City borough during the first quarter, according to a report from the Douglas Elliman brokerage firm and the Miller Samuel appraisal company. That was barely changed from last year's total of 2,877. Average sale prices, which can be skewed by a few high-end transactions, inched up 2.6 percent to $2.1 million. Median sale prices fell 3.3 percent to $1.1 million. Many sellers are lowering their prices as they become more realistic about values, according to Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel. Yet after two straight quarters of declining sales, a stabilization in volume could be a positive sign for the market. "More sellers are coming to grips with market conditions," he said. "The seller is traveling farther to meet the buyer on price, not the other way around." The big question for the Manhattan market is how it will absorb the tens of thousands of new units coming available over the next few months and years. Many of those units are aimed at high-end buyers. Already, the number of condos on the market jumped 7 percent in the quarter, reaching a six-month supply. While the market was supported by strong sales of existing units in the quarter, new properties remained weak. Sales of new units fell 25 percent in the quarter while inventory rose 20 percent. Miller said the outlook for the rest of the year is unclear, but said sales are unlikely to surge over 2016 — especially if interest rates continue to rise. "It is unclear whether the jump in resales will have enough momentum to be sustained throughout 2017," he said. "We may end up seeing sales levels equal or slightly exceed 2016 levels even with a few rate increases." Source:cnbc.com

Real estate prices on the rise, reveals RBI's House Price Index

Real estate prices continued to grow steadily according to the latest installment of Reserve Bank of India's House Price Index (HPI). While the overall index sequentially rose 2.2% at the end of December 2016, almost seven of the ten cities tracked by RBI saw increase in price last year. The House Price Index , that measures price levels across the nation, rose to 240.2 in December, from 234.9 in the September quarter.The annual growth in all-India HPI increased by 60 basis points to 8.3% however it remained lower than 9.7% annual growth recorded a year ago. RBI's index also noted a wide divergence in city-wise housing price movements. Annual growth in the price index ranged from an increase of 19.3% in Lucknow to a price correction of 5.4% in Jaipur during the period under review. "All the metro cities witnessed housing price-rise on Y-o-Y basis, though Chennai witnessed some moderation during the latest two quarters," the RBI said. "The city-wise HPIs also witnessed large variance in sequential terms Kanpur recorded highest rise at 12.1% whereas Kochi witnessed significant contraction at (-) 4.7%. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

Black money fight: Bringing real estate under GST will help curb tax evasion, says Hasmukh Adhia

While goods and services tax (GST) will leave the tax incidence on a vast majority of goods unchanged or lower, revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia believes the enhanced input tax credit (ITC) flows will result in lower tax liabilities. While goods and services tax (GST) will leave the tax incidence on a vast majority of goods unchanged or lower, revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia believes the enhanced input tax credit (ITC) flows will result in lower tax liabilities for at least a section of industry. Adhia tells Sumit Jha bringing real estate under the GST may not add much to the tax base but would be a significant step against black money. How much will the GST base expand if real estate is brought under the tax? We will have to see but I don’t think it will make a big difference. Inclusion of real estate is more important in the context of ameliorating the black-money content in that business. Even in the GST regime, states will continue to charge a registration fee and a stamp duty on property registration. There is a case for levying GST on sale of land and other immovable property in the interest of letting free flow of input tax credit along the GST chain. To gauge the potential of such a move on the tax base, one must take into consideration the fact that works contracts are even now subjected to VAT and service tax. There will be GST on them from day one and this is part of the base computed. Currently, if a company gets a building constructed by a contractor, then it will have to pay service tax on the works contract fee. People who pre-book apartments from builders also pay VAT and service tax on the works contracts. However, if a firm or an individual purchases a readymade building, then no VAT/service tax is paid at present as land and buildings are not taxable supplies. So there is a disparity here. This is what will likely get addressed and the implications of such a move for the tax base and revenue estimates are unlikely to be substantial. You have said GST rates would be closer to current combined centre-state tax rates in a vast majority of cases. But with a broader tax base and its potency to greatly mitigate the cascading of taxes GST was meant to allow lower rates… The rates could be the same but GST will enhance the benefit of input tax credit for businesses. Currently, a business-to-business taxpayer paying VAT, is not given credit for the excise duty content in the goods, as the Central VAT and state VAT chains are not integrated. The GST will combine the two streams and allow seamless input tax credit. Under-utilisation of tax credit adds to costs, blunting competitiveness. If the output is taxed at a rate lower than inputs, taking full credit of the input tax paid becomes difficult if the value addition is not large enough to cover the difference. For example, a textile unit, which pays a 6% tax on its products but uses a chemical which attracts a 12% levy, will find it tough to get full ITC. In the GST system, this issue would be resolved as everyone can get a full refund of input taxes. GST will effectively address the problem of inverted duty structure, except in the context of the basic Customs duty, which will remain outside GST. Also, while credit on countervailing duty on imports is not available now, the corresponding tax (integrated GST) will be fully creditable. Similarly, GST paid on capital goods could be recovered in a year –as against 2-3 years taken to recoup customs/excise duties on them and would improve cash flows. For instance, an airline company could get full credit of the integrated GST paid on import of aircraft against its output (service) taxes. So the cascading impact might be limited to petroleum products and electricity duties being outside. You have said GST won’t result in “rate shocks” or alter the fortunes of industries… We don’t want to see any rate shocks and will watch the effect of GST on prices. While fixing the rates for items in the Consumer Price Index basket, we will be extra vigilant so as to ensure rates don’t go up. We are pretty sure GST won’t be inflationary. Which are the items that could still see rate hikes? Mainly services, which will move to 18% tax slab (from 15% now). In case of those few services which currently get abatement benefits, the rates, however, will be either 5% or 12% depending on the rates of abatement. Given the way GST is now designed many sectors and most certainly producers of oil and gas and solar power will face a situation where inputs are within GST but not all or some of their output. This could complicate the computation of input tax credit (ITC), besides raising chances of the non-availability or under-utilisation of credit. There is an entire chapter on the formula for input tax credit distribution and we hope it is pretty clear. For instance, what portion of input tax paid by an oil marketing company can be used to meet its output tax liability on LPG can be computed using the formula. The Place of Supply Rules, in the case of inter-state supplies, is also clear. We are open to discussing issues faced by sectors like solar power generators. With integrated GST (a washout tax) replacing the central sales tax (CST) on inter-state sales and CVD/SAD on imports, how exactly will the system work? A: Integrated GST (I-GST) is not a separate tax; it’s only an interim tax. What one essentially has to pay are the CGST and SGST (CGST and UT-GST in Union Territories). Of course, I-GST is paid when goods and sold/transferred from one state to another but when the goods are used in the second state, full I-GST credit can be taken to pay GST (CGST and SGST) to that state. (The state which collects I-GST transfers it to the one where the goods are moved using the GST’s IT network). If goods moves across more than two states, IGST paid at the first inter-state transfer stage can be used to pay I-GST for the second such transfer and so on. However, if a resident of one state buys a product in another state, takes it to his own state and consumes it, then IGST becomes equivalent of GST and adds to government revenue. Is there any change in Rs 8.8 lakh crore tax base envisaged by the Arvind Subramanian panel following the deliberations at the GST Council meetings? A: The base is the same, given the CEA had computed the base without petroleum products and real estate. We will know the exact value of transactions under GST only after it is rolled out. The revenue estimates will be clearer once the rates are fixed. The GST Council has estimated a 14% annual growth over the 2015-16 base for states and they will be fully compensated if revenues fall below the threshold in the first five years. When will the five petroleum products and electricity, which are left out, come into the ambit of GST? These issues will be reviewed every year. It was a conscious decision not to include electricity because states aren’t comfortable with taxes on it collapsing into GST. There is a fear that taxes paid on a reverse-charge basis would hamper the business of unregistered (exempted) suppliers and increase the compliance burden on registered entities purchasing goods and services from them. On the contrary, it will encourage more people to register for GST voluntarily. Even exempted suppliers can register to avail of input tax credit facility. Even if an entity is below the threshold of Rs 20 lakh/annum revenue, he can register. Had the tax collected at source (TCS) provision was not there, then a registered entity buying goods from an unregistered dealer would have paid full tax, without recovering it from the latter. That would have caused problems for the unregistered dealers too in terms of loss of business. However, the TCS facility allows a registered unit to pay the tax on reverse charge basis and utilise it against its output tax liability. Since the registered entities are anyway filing his returns, their compliance burden is not going to increase much due to this measure. Source:financialexpress.com

Telangana Real Estate Developers Association announces new governing body

Telangana Real Estate Developers’ Association (TREDA) has announced the new Governing Body for a two year term during its 21st Annual General Body Meeting held here on Saturday. P Ravinder Rao has been elected as the President of TREDA, R Chalapathi Rao and M Vijaya Sai as Executive Vice Presidents, B Sunil Chandra Reddy as Secretary General and K Sreedhar Reddy as Treasurer, according to a statement. APREDA was formed in 1995 and after the bifurcation of the state it was reorganised into TREDA and APREDA. TREDA was formed with the vision to become a leading, credible and a guiding force in the realty sector for all the stakeholders. TREDA aims to enrich the members through its knowledge bank and enable them to create projects with exemplary standards. It works towards the enhancement of quality of life of the society in harmony with nature. TREDA’s mission would encompass to bring all the developers on a common platform, building trust and camaraderie together developing team spirit. It coordinates with all policy-making authorities in evolving and implementing real-estate friendly policies and service delivery systems in order to stimulate development. Source:thehindubusinessline.com

Is real estate past the bad patch? Slew of govt measures promises turnaround

The Indian real estate sector has been struggling with cash shortage caused by the demonetisation drive of November 8, 2016. There is a sense of confusion among investors regarding the growth prospect of the sector. When the realty sector will come out of slowdown is always a subject of much interest and debate, particularly post demonetisation. With re-monetisation by RBI, the liquidity issue seems to have been addressed and it is now about confidence on the sector among various stakeholders. Now it seems that wait would be over soon. With the government’s continuous push towards making housing more affordable, it is adding a new dimension to the sector. Various initiatives undertaken by the government at the Centre – such as introduction of REIT, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) and GST – to name a few – are expected to bring back cheer among the realty players across segments. The government has also allowed 100 per cent FDI in real estate projects within the special economic zones (SEZ). It is believed this move will not only help ease the slowdown in the country’s realty sector, but would also have a ripple impact on the entire economy. The Indian real estate sector has attracted significant investment over the past few years due to rapid urbanisation, positive demographics and rising income levels. The improvement in the realty sector is expected to lift the construction industry, which has been facing pressure due to the downtrend in the real estate sector. With increased public investment in transport and urban infrastructures, power transmission and water and irrigation projects, it is expected that the sector would get the much-needed boost. Moreover, the recent measures taken by the government to revive the construction sector by putting in place a mechanism to release funds stuck in arbitration awards and revive stalled projects is likely to strengthen the construction sector. The government has also promised a scheme to address stressed loans in this space. The push for affordable housing and low home loan rates also augur well for the sector. Both RERA and REITs would be game-changers for the real estate sector. With RERA and REIT, the industry is poised for positive growth, which will bring more developers and investors to this space. The construction sector would get a lot of benefit from it. Companies such as Ashoka BuildconBSE 0.83 %, PNC Infratech, Ahluwalia ContractsBSE 0.16 %, Man Infra, Dilip Buildcon and DLF are expected to see good growth going forward. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

Real estate queries: Exercise due diligence for the discounts offered by developers

Shveta Jain Cushman & Wakefield, India answers queries from our readers on real estate. During Gudi Padva, developers were offering various promotional schemes such as waiving off stamp duty etc. Are such offers genuine? Offers from developers are usually steps to drive sales volume and clear unsold inventories or to provide an additional push to the fence sitters to take a decision in their real estate investments. Hence, irrespective of the offers made by the builders, you should not forget to assess the quality of these offers and exercise due diligence prior to investing or purchasing. You must be wary of taking offered discounts at face value and instead look for the hidden charges. Always check if the discount is only on the carpet area or super built-up area. Reading between the lines would ascertain hidden terms and conditions behind the freebies offered. For e.g. Schemes of 20:80 with bank loan, consumer needs to be careful as eventual liability of bank loan rests with buyer. If developer delays project then buyer has to bear liability of loan after initial interest-free moratorium period. Hence, buyer must negotiate interest-free till possession is received. I am looking at investing in a property in Bengaluru. Backed by preliminary research, I have finalised on Rajajinagar as a locality to explore options. What are the pros and cons of living there? Rajajinagar, one of the older residential locations of Bengaluru, is characterised by independent residential dwellings along with retail and commercial developments along major road connectors. In the recent years, a few developers have launched apartment projects in the mid-to high-end segment in this locality. With the Peenya-Yeshwanthpur-Malleshwaram arm of the metro rail becoming operational in 2014, connectivity between Rajajinagar and other surrounding industrial and commercial pockets of the city has improved significantly. The neighborhood hosts a number of schools, hospitals and other required social infrastructure for sustainable residential developments. While Rajajinagar is a self-sustaining established neighbourhood, it has a few infra issues such as road constraints and community parkings. What are the realty prospects of Sadashivnagar? Amongst the few upscale regions of Bengaluru, Sadashivanagar is one of the most sought after locations in the city. Sadashivanagar is dominated by villasinterspersed with low-rise apartment blocks. Additionally, the major roads i.e. 13th Cross Road (connecting to Malleshwaram), Sankhey Road (leading from Sankhey tank to Bangalore Golf Club and onwards to the Rajbhavan) and Bellary Road are host to a number of retail outlets. In recent years, strong demand and limited land availability have led to redevelopment of a number of villas into low-rise apartment projects. Considering the limited availability amidst high demand, going forth, Sadashivanagar is expected to witness sustained residential development in the future. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

Emerging opportunities in commercial real estate space

Indian economy is presently one of the fastest growing economies globally recording GDP growth rates of 7.9% in 2015-16 and 7.1% (estimated) in 2016-17. Against the backdrop of a rising economy and concurrent income growth, the real estate sector has witnessed tremendous growth over the last 10-12 years, with government policies at the crux, providing the necessary stimulus. This has led to strong interest from the investment community in businesses across the spectrum with real estate being one of the prime investment targets. The investor sentiment is quite positive for both domestic and international players, all of whom are looking to grab a slice of this pie. Investors from across the globe – from North America and Europe to APAC and the Middle East, are finding the real estate sector appealing mainly due to the relatively higher returns and stability on offer. Investors prefer the secure income streams of Grade A commercial properties. Apart from financials, the other key considerations are the product quality, the specifications and features, the quality of tenants, the lease tenures, etc. Properties with these characteristics witness strong leasing activity and significantly outperform the market, commanding a substantial valuation premium. Interest rates are also softening over the recent past with the repo rate at 6.25%, which is the lowest in the past five years. Currently, the RBI has taken a cautious stance as it works to balance lower interest with the dual objective of keeping inflation rates low while still fueling economic growth. However, it is expected that the medium term interest rates will reduce further, providing a fillip to business growth. The recent policy reforms by the government will help to improve the sentiments in the real estate sector. With an objective of bringing in more transparency into the overall Indian real estate industry, Modi government has proposed a string of regulations, in the form of Real Estate Regulation Act, which is expected to result into a major paradigm shift with strong emphasis on safeguarding buyer's interest and boosting buyer's confidence. The target market in India is small when compared to developed markets, and the number of developers having a portfolio of investible properties is even smaller. This substantially limits the available investment opportunities for completed, rent-yielding properties. Consequently, it would not be surprising if the cap rates compress substantially with the market witnessing yields matching Singapore and Hong Kong. Growth area: Coworking spaces A new growth avenue is that of co-working spaces. Located in prime business areas, these spaces provide a convenient way to take up only as much space as needed – from as low as one seat to much more. This works great for freelancers and SMEs who, aided by the reasonable prices, are able to locate themselves in a Grade A office park with sophisticated infrastructure without having to lease large spaces. The rich networking environment and the prominent business address give such SMEs a cutting edge in enhancing the business opportunities that they get. Outlook: We also believe that going ahead the industry will see a lot of consolidation in the short to medium term with M&As and takeovers becoming more common. Transparency and propriety will get a further boost with the provisions of the Real Estate Regulation Act becoming operational. With a limited stock of assets available for acquisitions, investment flows will naturally get directed to development and construction activities. Coupled with the global outlook that the country is rapidly adopting, this will bring about a rise in the volume of great world-class commercial real estate being built in the country. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Builders offer 'half rooms' in projects to expand customer base

In addition to offering the 2, 3, 4-BHK flats, providing the extra half configuration has elevated the idea of living in a bigger and spacious home With changing family struc tures, the home-buying needs are also constantly changing and evolving. While every individual's needs and wants are different when it comes to their home, they often end up paying a higher price for a bigger flat. Hence, in order to fulfil buyers' current and probable future family needs, the landscape of the ultimate four walls of the dwelling, is also undergoing through a massive overhaul. Explaining with an example, Harjith D Bubber, MD and CEO, Rivali Park, CCI Projects says, “A couple who has just gotten married could do with a small apartment probably a 1-BHK but as the family grows, its space requirements also vary. So, instead of settling for a 1-BHK flat today, they could look at a 1.5 BHK unit as well, if the option is available. End buyers would not mind stretching themselves a little bit for half-a-bedroom, in order to accommodate a definite addition into their family, in the near future.“ Hence, developers are catering to the mid-category of each segment and increasing their customer base by offering additional options of half-abedroom. THE CONCEPT: In addition to offering the 2, 3, 4-BHK flats, providing the extra half configuration has elevated the idea of living in a bigger and spacious home.Developers are expanding their customer base by providing the option of half bedrooms, which psychologically, sums up to be an extra room in the project. Today, in a property, project configurations are not rigid. Hence, 1.5, 2.5-BHK units have become favourites among home-buyers, as such units address space issues as well. THE RATIONALE: This mechanism can be constructive and can act as the ideal option for customers who have a limited budget and lesser members in their families. Deepika Rao, a resident of Mulund, invested in a 2.5-BHK flat which actually seems likes a 3-BHK, since it has three rooms to offer.“With two children, this set up provides them with their own rooms. Even if the area is less, I am happy that physically, there are three rooms in my house,“ she says. Realty experts believe that these offers not only attract the buyers but also benefit the builders in terms of sales. “Usually, the 0.5 configuration is either a part of the the terrace or forms a part of the store room. In any of these cases, they can later be modified into a roombedroom and if not, they can be used in their original avtaar. By availing the 0.5 extra room, the buyers not only save some of their buying amount but also end up living in a spacious home,“ says Manish Bathija, managing director, Paradise Group Builders & Developers and senior vice-president, Builders Association of Navi Mumbai (BANM). As cities such as Mumbai densify, vertical growth is the only option for spatial expansion. Simultaneously, residential developers must constantly adapt to the emerging needs and preferences of home-buyers. “Offering unique and imaginative in-between alternatives to the usual 123 BHK formats, is clearly the need of the hour and a possible solution to the space issues that are being faced by Mumbai's real estate market currently. For this reason, the 1.5 BHK configurations are definitely proving to be a bestseller,“ says Ashwinder Raj Singh, CEO residential services, JLL India. IS IT VIABLE? In all major cities, developers have to think out-of-the-box about how to increase demand. The previously used formula may no longer work, especially in cities and microlocations where property prices are very high and every square foot counts. For this reason, offering a 1.5 and 2.5BHK format can make all the difference. “Also, buyers can be more or less assured that the resale value for such properties will always be very attractive, which means that there is a lot of comfort, even from an investment value perspective, while buying such a home. As all metropolitan cities become more crowded and pricey, developers will have no option but to offer such formats,“ says Kishor Pate, CMD Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Builders offer 'half rooms' in projects to expand customer base

In addition to offering the 2, 3, 4-BHK flats, providing the extra half configuration has elevated the idea of living in a bigger and spacious home With changing family struc tures, the home-buying needs are also constantly changing and evolving. While every individual's needs and wants are different when it comes to their home, they often end up paying a higher price for a bigger flat. Hence, in order to fulfil buyers' current and probable future family needs, the landscape of the ultimate four walls of the dwelling, is also undergoing through a massive overhaul. Explaining with an example, Harjith D Bubber, MD and CEO, Rivali Park, CCI Projects says, “A couple who has just gotten married could do with a small apartment probably a 1-BHK but as the family grows, its space requirements also vary. So, instead of settling for a 1-BHK flat today, they could look at a 1.5 BHK unit as well, if the option is available. End buyers would not mind stretching themselves a little bit for half-a-bedroom, in order to accommodate a definite addition into their family, in the near future.“ Hence, developers are catering to the mid-category of each segment and increasing their customer base by offering additional options of half-abedroom. THE CONCEPT: In addition to offering the 2, 3, 4-BHK flats, providing the extra half configuration has elevated the idea of living in a bigger and spacious home.Developers are expanding their customer base by providing the option of half bedrooms, which psychologically, sums up to be an extra room in the project. Today, in a property, project configurations are not rigid. Hence, 1.5, 2.5-BHK units have become favourites among home-buyers, as such units address space issues as well. THE RATIONALE: This mechanism can be constructive and can act as the ideal option for customers who have a limited budget and lesser members in their families. Deepika Rao, a resident of Mulund, invested in a 2.5-BHK flat which actually seems likes a 3-BHK, since it has three rooms to offer.“With two children, this set up provides them with their own rooms. Even if the area is less, I am happy that physically, there are three rooms in my house,“ she says. Realty experts believe that these offers not only attract the buyers but also benefit the builders in terms of sales. “Usually, the 0.5 configuration is either a part of the the terrace or forms a part of the store room. In any of these cases, they can later be modified into a roombedroom and if not, they can be used in their original avtaar. By availing the 0.5 extra room, the buyers not only save some of their buying amount but also end up living in a spacious home,“ says Manish Bathija, managing director, Paradise Group Builders & Developers and senior vice-president, Builders Association of Navi Mumbai (BANM). As cities such as Mumbai densify, vertical growth is the only option for spatial expansion. Simultaneously, residential developers must constantly adapt to the emerging needs and preferences of home-buyers. “Offering unique and imaginative in-between alternatives to the usual 123 BHK formats, is clearly the need of the hour and a possible solution to the space issues that are being faced by Mumbai's real estate market currently. For this reason, the 1.5 BHK configurations are definitely proving to be a bestseller,“ says Ashwinder Raj Singh, CEO residential services, JLL India. IS IT VIABLE? In all major cities, developers have to think out-of-the-box about how to increase demand. The previously used formula may no longer work, especially in cities and microlocations where property prices are very high and every square foot counts. For this reason, offering a 1.5 and 2.5BHK format can make all the difference. “Also, buyers can be more or less assured that the resale value for such properties will always be very attractive, which means that there is a lot of comfort, even from an investment value perspective, while buying such a home. As all metropolitan cities become more crowded and pricey, developers will have no option but to offer such formats,“ says Kishor Pate, CMD Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Realtors welcome extended validity of building plan permits

CHENNAI: Approvals for building planning permissions in Tamil Nadu will not expire in three years as the state government has decided to extend the validity period to five years. The move has been welcomed by realtors at this will relieve them from the hassle of renewing the approvals every three years in the event of failing to commence the construction of proposed projects. Moving the bill in the assembly to amend the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971 on Friday, housing and urban development minister K Radhakrishnan said, "It has been brought to the notice of the government that difficulties are being experienced by people carrying out large-scale development activities like Special Economic Zones, IT Parks, malls and townships in implementing them within the prescribed period of three years." The validity period of planning permission was fixed as three years in 1971 when large-scale development activities were not taking place in the state, he said. Developers have welcomed the move saying it will come in handy for builders as the implementation of the real estate act is round the corner. "Moreover, planning permission approvals should not expire when builders approach financial institutions for loans. The extension by two years will help developers in this regard," Ramaprabhu, secretary of Builders' Association of India's southern centre said. Vivek Sharma, business head of Mahindra World City, Chennai said the construction industry will benefit from the decision. "Special Economic Zones and IT parks will be benefit at large," he said noting that the amendment in the more than decade-old act is keeping up with the changing times.

High court notices over illegal construction in Jalna

AURANGABAD: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court has served notices to the state urban development department, director of town planning, the Jalna civic chief and three industries, after the firms allegedly set up their business by encroaching upon the only road between Daregaon village and old MIDC. The notices are returnable on April 5. Dhirendra Mahendraprasad Mehra, 48, who owns 12.51 hectares in gat number 56 and 57 of Daregaon village knocked the doors of the high court after his pleas, along with that of the villagers, to different local authorities went unheard. Mehra in his writ petition has raised questions over the letter issued by the state urban development department on September 6, 2016 and claimed that it indicates intention of the government "to regularize the unauthorized construction by the three industries". The urban development department issued a letter on September 6, 2016 to Jalna municipal council and it directed to file a proposal under section 37 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act for deletion of the said road from the existing plan. The petition claims that "regularising the unauthorised construction would not only block the road permanently, but would also result in injustice to the scores of villagers, who use the road regularly. As on date, the villagers do not have any alternate road and the construction forces them to travel a distance of about 10 km to reach the industrial area. Before the construction of industries on the said road, the villagers had to travel only one km to reach the industrial area". In the order, the under secretary of the urban development department has asked the Jalna municipal council to delete the 15-m road from the existing plan and directed the authorities concerned to file a proposal for alternate road as per sections of the MRTP Act, 1966. Lawyer Sachin Sarda, who represents Mehra, has dubbed the move by the state as "harsh, unfair, irrational, arbitrary, malafide and discriminatory" in the petition. Taking cognizance of the writ petition, division bench comprising Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice K L Wadane issued notices to the secretary of urban development department, state director of town planning, Aurangabad deputy director of town planning, chief executive officer of the Jalna Municipal Council, the Daregaon gram panchayat, the MIDC regional officer and the three industries. The petition claims that the three firms had caused obstruction in gat number 48 by raising shed, fencing wall and closing the road permanently due to which the villagers as well as Mehra have no any alternate road to approach the MIDC from Daregaon. The road is ancient and it is recorded in all official records, the existing plan, development plan, the MIDC. The Railways considering the use of road by villagers for past many decades have installed railwy gate number 74 between Daregaon and the industrial area. The petition claims that following the frequent complaints by the villagers, the tehsildar and mandal ddhikari conducted spot panchanama on November 15, 2014. They concluded that the three industries intentionally and illegally made unauthorized construction over the public road passing from Daregaon to MIDC Jalna. In addition to this, the petition also cites the order passed by the mamledar and tehsidlar of Jalna on February 3, 2015, in which it has ordered the industries to remove the encroachment on their own within a period of three days. The mamledar further ordered that if it is not done, the circle officer as well as talathi with the help of police should remove the encroachment from the road and submit a report. Much to the dismay of tge villagers, nothing has been done so far on this order and forced Mehra to reach out to HC, the petition states.

HC: Set up panel to frame rules for building flyovers

MUMBAI: Expressing its shock at the condition of the five-year-old Lalbaug flyover, the Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to set up an expert committee to frame guidelines for the construction of flyovers, bridges and roads. A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai emphasized that 'right to good roads' was part of the fundamental right to life under the Constitution. The bench set a March 31 deadline for the BMC to carry out surface repairs on the flyover and said it will have to complete all structural repairs by December 31. Wondering how a flyover, which usually has a life span of 100 years, could have corroded joints in just five years, the bench asked the BMC to conduct an inquiry if the contractor had used substandard material for the construction of the flyover and initiate action if found to have done so. The repairs on the flyover will be monitored by an IIT team. Advocate Sumedha Rao, counsel for the petitioner Janhit Manch, said that it was necessary that an independent third party monitor the repair works. "The MMRDA has washed its hands of the flyover and put the onus on the BMC for the repairs. The contractor, Simplex, is also implementing MMRDA's Metro-III project," said Rao. The court scheduled next hearing on May 4, and gave the state two months' time to set up a committee. The 2.48km flyover, between ITC Hotel in Parel and Jijamata Udyan in Byculla, was inaugurated in June 2011 to ease one of the most congested stretches on the eastern corridor on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, between Sion and Byculla. The PIL had sought a structural audit of the flyover after various incidents have been reported since 2011. In December 2016, the BMC had issued a work order for surface repairs of the flyover at a cost of Rs 13 crore. However, the HC intervened and restrained the BMC from carrying out the repairs unless a structural audit was done. The audit report, submitted on February 8, had found gaps and tilts in the joints that had corroded through the structure and recommended urgent structural repairs.

HCC Bags Rs. 369 Crore Project From IRCON International In Jammu And Kashmir

New Delhi: Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) on Monday announced that it has bagged a contract worth Rs. 368.6 crore from IRCON International Ltd in Jammu and Kashmir. "HCC has been awarded a Rs. 368.6 crore contract by IRCON International Ltd for construction of the Cable Stayed Bridge including its approaches across river Anji Khad in Jammu & Kashmir," the company said in a statement. The project is to be completed in 36 months, it said. "This bridge will connect tunnel T2 and T3 on Katra-Banihal Section of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link project. The total length of the bridge is 473.25 m including its approaches across river Anji Khad. With a 290 meter long main span, this will be the longest cable stayed bridge for Indian Railways," the statement said. The company's President and CEO Arun Karambelkar said it is a matter of great pride that HCC is associated with IRCON in the successful completion of many of its projects. HCC has to credit over 365 bridges and 320 kms of complex tunnelling in some of the most challenging geologies in the world, and has been actively participating in creating responsible infrastructure in the country, Karambelkar added.

April deadline for MIDC’s Ambad work

NASHIK: The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has set this April as the final deadline for a private firm to complete construction of the flatted estate building in the Ambad industrial estate. Earlier, the MIDC had extended the deadline up to February 07, 2016. But the firm, Harsh Constructions, could not complete construction of the building within the deadline. The MIDC will impose fine on the firm if it did not construct the building within the new deadline. The new flatted building will include 200 galas (shops) in various sizes, ranging from 65 sq ft to 1,000 sq ft. The built-up areas of the flatted building project is close to 4 lakh sq ft. The flatted building will include 207 shops in different sizes ranging from 500 sq ft to over 1,000 sq ft. The project is estimated around Rs 39 crore. The MIDC has finalised a contractor a private construction firm through tender process. "Senior MIDC officials recently visited the project to check the project status. The MIDC has set the final deadline. We are yet to finalise the rates for galas .We have already quoted rate of Rs 5,110 per sq ft and sent it to our office for approval," an MIDC official said. Vilas Birari of Harsh Constructions said, "We have finished 90% work of the building and it is expected to be completed by March end. We are expecting to hand over the building to the MIDC before the deadline." Both the Satpur and the Ambad MIDC estates are fully occupied and there is no land available for the industries to set up new units there. At this juncture, the flatted industrial estate building is the best option for the new entrepreneurs who are going to start new business. However, the industries are expected to complete the project at the earliest.

Balapur illegal buildings: HC seeks govt reply

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad HC on Tuesday directed the Telangana government, HMDA and endowments commissioner to file affidavits explaining the facts and circumstances of alleged illegal constructions by some private parties on government land at Devatalagutta at Balapur. The bench comprising acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Shameem Akhter was dealing with a PIL by Devatalagutta Parirakshana Samithi vice president N Ramreddy challenging the alleged inaction of the authorities in preventing the private parties from making construction activity in government land. Petitioner's counsel PSP Suresh Kumar told the court that Pride India Builders Ltd, a real estate firm, was constructing villas by demolishing temples and other structures in 150 acres of government land and also land belonging to private individuals. "All our complaints have fallen on the deaf years of the authorities," he alleged. HMDA counsel Rama Rao too supported the contention of the petitioner and was of the view that there was a need for action against the errant private player. A status quo order from the HC earlier was misinterpreted by the builder, he said. The bench did not relish the idea of a state organ pleading helplessness and wanted it to be assertive. The bench sought replies from the authorities within one week and posted the case to next week.

Poor check at metro diversions causing traffic jams

LUCKNOW: It has been almost a week since LMRC (Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation) brought into effect a diversion near Janpath to facilitate construction near Sahu Cinema but lack of vigilance by traffic police and metro marshals is causing frequent jams in Hazratganj. On March 16, Lucknow Metro barricaded around 100 metres of road in front of Sahu Cinema to construct second half of underground Hazratganj station. As a result, people coming from Parivartan Chowk to GPO crossing had to take the lane opposite Mayfair trisection to reach Sahu Cinema. Traffic on the other side is moving on its usual path from GPO to Parivartan crossing but diversion of traffic on the opposite side to the same path is leading to massive and frequent jams. Of the total 24 metre width of MG Marg, only 12 metre width has been left open for both way traffic movement in Hazratganj. Since MG Marg is already a busy road and barricading on both sides for metro construction has led to the road getting narrowed further and there are long jams during peak hours because of illegal parking around roadside. All the time, vehicles are parked along sides around Janpath and Tej Kumar Plaza gates causing long queues of vehicles moving at a snail's pace. Commuter Poorvi Agarwal said, "It's a challenge to come to Hazratganj and though metro marshals are there lack of traffic police to check illegal parking of vehicles causes long jams here." Even cycle rickshaws banned to enter MG Marg in Hazratganj are commuting freely on the already congested lane and even parking along roadside illegally. Kirti Gupta, a frequent visitor said, "People like us who look for an authorised place to park and cars have to bear with illegal parking most. Entire Hazratganj has just one parking facility. If you are coming from GPO side, you have to drive up to Mayfair and then take U-turn to reach this parking. Randomly parked cars and rickshaws cause obstruction to people who are looking for authorised parking." LMRC maintained they have deployed enough metro marshals to streamline traffic management but to check illegal parking, they have to seek help from traffic police. LMRC MD Kumar Keshav said, "I will look into the illegal parking menace in Hazratganj and we will take traffic police's help to check it."

Beach constructions flout CRZ norms

VISAKHAPATNAM: Massive construction works are going on along the Vizag-Bheemili Beach Road in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms and ironically, it is the government bodies who are permiting such constructions and putting up boards regarding the details of the upcoming project. Though the CRZ norms state that no new permanent or concrete structure should come up at least half a kilometre (500 metres) from the sea coast, several hotels, resorts and structures have come up on Beach Road, especially between Rushikonda and Bheemili, during the last few years. The latest being a 4,966 square yard kalyanamandapam at Rushikonda, barely a few metres away from Sai Priya Resort. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) member Shabnam Patel said, "It's surprising to see how the government can give permission to such permanent structures at the cost of coastal environment. Sometimes, it is for a hotel or convention centre or at times a function hall. There are already sea-view star hotels and resorts existing in the city where meetings and functions can be held. There's no need for creating noise and environment pollution in a serene ambiance and damage the coastal ecology further." Melville Smythe, an employee of Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) who teaches surfing at Rushikonda Beach, said, "Being associated with Rushikonda and Vizag for many decades, I have seen how private players keep expanding their properties along the beach, grab land gradually and start construction on them and discharge untreated waste into the sea. The upcoming kalyanamandapam will not do anything good for the environment, rather will worsen the prevailing pollution. There is absolutely no need for a noisy function hall with bright lights so close to the sea. Already, Rushikonda beach is battered by erosion. It would be detrimental for the environment and marine life."

Surat Urban Development Authority to construct 6.6km road for entry into city

SURAT: Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA) would construct a new road for entry into the city from National Highway (NH)- 8. The seven metre wide and 6.6km-long road near Kamrej on one side of the canal from Valak to Swaminarayan Mission on NH-8 near Vav would cost the exchequer Rs 7 crore. The stone laying ceremony was performed on Saturday for the road, which is expected to be completed by February 2018. SUDA chief executive officer J B Patel said, "This will help reduce traffic at Kamrej junction and distance too by at least 2.5km for those wanting to enter Varachha from Mumbai side. They can take this road and directly reach Laskana near Swaminarayan Mission in Varachha." SUDA plans a similar road on the other side of the canal once this road is completed. This would benefit people living in villages lying in proximity to Surat city near Kamrej, Sarthana, Valak, Laskana, Pasodara, Vav, Nansad and Navagam. At present, there is just one road to enter Surat from Kamrej junction. Large number of vehicles find it difficult to reach Surat city after reaching Kamrej junction in four hours from Ahmedabad from NH- 8. Light motor vehicles would be able to take up canal corridor roads from both sides to reach other parts of the city without getting caught in traffic chaos of Varachha.

Supertech to invest Rs 4,000 crore to build affordable homes

NEW DELHI: Realty firm Supertech plans to invest about Rs 4,000 crore to develop low-cost homes as it expects demand for affordable housing to rise after getting infrastructure status in the budget.Supertech has engaged consultants to raise about Rs 1,000 crore through external commercial borrowing (ECB) to fund the development of 40,000 affordable homes planned over the next four years, its Chairman R K Arora said. "The affordable housing has got a big boost in the budget this year. We are changing building plans of our existing projects in Greater Noida, Yamuna Expressway, Gurgaon, Meerut and Dehradun to launch low-cost homes," Arora told Asked about the investment, he said: "We already have land. On construction, we will require Rs 3,500-4,000 crore for 40,000 flats". He said the company has appointed consultants to raise funds through ECB route. "We will raise about 25 per cent of the total investment. Rest can be funded through internal accruals and advances from customers," Arora said. The affordable housing projects would meet the criteria laid in the Prime Minister's Awas Yojna (PMAY) so that prospective buyers could get the loan subsidy up to 4 per cent, he added. The government in the budget announced infrastructure status to affordable housing. It also proposed to amend the Section 80-IBA, relaxing the condition of period of completion of the affordable housing projects for claiming deduction from the current three years to five years. The size of affordable housing has been increased as now instead of built up area of 30 and 60 sq meter, the carpet area of 30 and 60 sq meter will be counted. Supertech is fighting a legal battle in the Supreme Court related to its housing project in Noida. In April 2014, the Allahabad High Court had ordered to demolish the company's two 40-storey towers in a housing project. The realty firm challenged the high court order in the apex court. The two towers -- Apex and Ceyane -- have in total 857 apartments, of which about 600 flats were sold. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Maharashtra suspends construction of 82 water tanks

PUNE: The state government on Thursday ordered the Pune Municipal Corporation to stop building tanks for the ambitious 24x7 water supply project till further orders. An inquiry has been ordered into the tender process of the Rs248-crore project, under which 82 tanks were to be built. The civic officials said the work of 15 tanks had started on the ground-level. V G Kulkarni, the head of the Pune Municipal Corporation's water department, confirmed the development. According to civic officials, they received an order from the government in this regard. "Keep the work of building the tanks suspended till further orders," stated the order, asking the commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit the report. Allegations were made during the Assembly's winter session in 2016 that due process was not followed while allotting the tender for building the tanks.

Black hole: LB Nagar hub of city's illegal structures

HYDERABAD: L B Nagar has emerged as the hub for illegal constructions in the Greater Hyderabad area. As many as 22,000 people from L B Nagar circle voluntarily disclosed that they have either raised unauthorised structures or purchased them. This information was declared in their applications for the Building Regularization Scheme (BRS) announced by the government last year. After L B Nagar, the highest number of such structures - 15,360 - were disclosed by people in the central zone circle, especially municipal circle 10 that covers areas such as Khairtabad, Panjagutta, Banjara Hills, Ameerpet, Sanjeeva Reddy Nagar and Sanathnagar areas followed by Kukatpally circle where 14,700 people applied for regularization. The municipal administration and urban development department announced BRS last year to regularise unauthorised constructions, but did not process the applications due to a case in the high court against the scheme. Following the court permission to process applications, the GHMC recently started segregating and processing them after a week-long training of the town planning staff. The high court also asked the civic body to bulldoze structures whose applications are rejected. While eligible applications will be regularised after collection of a penal amount, construction on public places such as parks, play grounds and lake beds are to be rejected.

Metro boring machine damages century-old pipe, struggles to fix it

CHENNAI: A century-old sewer line running under the arterial stretch of Anna Salai that was damaged during underground metro rail construction had been keeping CMRL workers busy for more than a month. Metro rail officials said the sewer line built during the British-period was damaged during construction of a crossover passage to connect two parallel tunnels running between Government Estate and LIC metro stations. Authorities did not know about the sewage line that ran at a depth of 6m when they started work to build a crossover passage meant to evacuate commuters during a fire or when a train breaks down. A large pit has been dug up in the centre of the road near Anna Road Head Post Office and a team of workers had been on the job for more than three weeks to repair the sewer line. They had to draw out the grout, used for tunnelling purposes, which clogged the line and fix the damage caused while building a cross passage.

Real estate investors renegotiating existing contracts fearing two regulatory changes

MUMBAI: Fearing that their investments in some of the real estate companies and projects would be adversely impacted due to two new regulations many private equity and strategic investors are renegotiating their existing contracts. The fear is that the thin capitalisation introduced in the budget combined with the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) would mean an increased tax and other legal liabilities beginning April this year. Thin capitalisation will not allow companies to claim tax deduction for interest paid on foreign debt above 30% of their EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation). Experts say the most hit would be real estate and infrastructure companies that have large chunk of international debt at project level or in their special purpose vehicles (SPVs). The government is expected to categorise investments through non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and the dividend paid on that also as debt. Thin capitalisation concept would apply to all companies operating in India beginning April 2017, in line with the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) framework, a global agreement with 15 action points to check tax avoidance by multinationals. India has already adopted some of these points. The fear is also that under RERA investors can be labelled a developer and may have to face strict penalties for any violation of rules by the projects they fund. The responsibility of compliance under the RERA is on the promoter. And the term has a wide definition to cover, not only the developer, but also a landlord and private equity or strategic investor, if they actively participate in the project. Many private equity as well as strategic investors, who have invested in real estate, mainly at the project level, are renegotiating their contracts, with the developers fearing litigation and fines once the new real estate regulations come in to force, said experts. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

Construction activity comes to a halt in twin cities

Hubballi: Construction activity in the twin cities has ground to a halt, owing to a crippling shortage of sand. The chairman of the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India), Hubballi, Suresh Kiresur alleged that vested interests had hoarded sand, in a bid to inflate the price. Kiresur, who addressed a press conference, added, "Also, the quality of sand that is being supplied is of very poor. Sand that is dug up from the Honnavar beach is mixed with water, and supplied to us." Pointing out that poor quality sand could not be used for construction activities, Kiresur said, "Structures built with low quality sand do not sustain for long. Despite this, such sand is being used for government projects, including the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project. One truckload of sand is being sold at Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000. Those involved in small projects cannot afford to pay as much for sand. Poorer families, who have to meet construction deadlines, are facing a hard time. However, the price can be normalised - it can come down to Rs 15,000 to Rs 16,000 - if the supply chain is streamlined." He further alleged that government officials were restricting purchase of sand from other districts. "Why can't we buy sand from neighbouring Gadag district? The Sand Act that has been rolled out allows for purchase of sand from other districts provided we pay a fee. The officials here are restricting such activities," Kiresur said, adding that the association had appealed to the Construction materials expo in January In collaboration with US Communications, Bengaluru, the Association of Consultant Civil Engineers (India), Hubballi will organise Buildtech -2017 - a building and construction materials expo. The three-day expo will start on January 20 next year, and will be hosted at Raikar Ground at Vidyanagar, Hubballi. President of the Association of Consultant Engineers, Hubballi, Ashok Basav said that this would be the 16th edition of the expo. "Entry to the event will be free," he added. Some of the latest advancements in construction technology, electrical equipment and flooring options will be showcased at the expo.

Real estate scams on the rise; How to protect your family

Real estate scams are duping victims out of money by using authentic property ads to lure in prospective home buyers or renters. The scheme is nothing new - fraudsters have been using sites like Craigslist or Zillow to list phony properties for years. Often, criminals use real brokers' names and email addresses to create a facade of credibility. The fake home owner or agent may say that he or she is out of the country when customers reach out to them. The potential buyers or renters are then asked to wire money as a down payment or security deposit. The problem? The property listing isn't real or it's already occupied. The funds are sent directly to the scammer, and the victim has no way to get his money back. There are ways to protect yourself, according to the FBI: Do not wire funds to people you do not know Check with your county recorder to learn who owns the property you’re seeking to rent Call the property manager or association, if applicable, and ask about the landlord Find out how much of a security deposit may be requested in your state, scammers will often ask for extra money in the form of a deposit Source:wvtm13.com

Is This The Future Of Real Estate Marketing?

While traditional forms of marketing real estate fizzle out, a new era of digital marketing has dawned. Thanks to the global connectivity of the internet, people no longer have to turn to traditional media to market a home or condo or any other form of real estate. Gone are the days where consumers lack transparency into a market that once used to confuse and perplex everyday average individuals looking to buy or sell a home. No. Today, consumers are savvy. As the internet has evolved, so has our unfettered access to information across the spectrum. In turn, the real estate market, which has been one of the most lucrative and profitable lines of business since the dawn of time, has seen an explosive growth of agents and owners vying for the buyer's attention through any form of digital marketing means. Yet, like every other highly-saturated field, it's no longer simple to gain the customer's awareness. They've learned to weed out the nuisances and cancel the noise as they search for the perfect home on the web. With fierce competition in the marketplace, potential home buyers are armed with all the data they could possibly need, forcing real estate agents to compete and set themselves apart more fortuitously than before. ADVERTISING The truth? It's difficult to market a home on the internet. It's become excruciatingly painful to set yourself apart from the fray. With the biggest players in the market aggregating themselves through sites like Zillow, Trulia and others, most have come to realize that real estate marketing is an extremely complex field that requires weaving together a number of online marketing disciplines such as blogging, social media and search engine optimization, just to name a few. While much of this has little to do with the everyday consumer, real estate agents are constantly searching for ways they can gain an edge in digital real estate marketing. To that effect, I pondered the question for a while about the future of real estate marketing. I wondered what realtors and owners were doing to set themselves apart in such a convoluted and competitive online space. In a recent article where I covered virtual reality's impact on three different industries, one of those industries that I covered was real estate. The key player in that industry? Matterport. By far, this is one of the most innovative and impressive companies that I have come across and I wanted to dive in further to learn more about the product behind the company. If you've never heard of Matterport, then prepare to be impressed. Their camera captures a 3D-dollhouse rendering of any space that can be toured and viewed, not only in virtual reality, but across any device. When real estate agents and home owners are looking for an edge in marketing their homes, condos, offices, yachts and anything else for that matter, they turn to Matterport. I'm not often this impressed by a company's product or services. I've not been paid to endorse them and have no deals whatsoever in place. Yet, as a digital marketing sleuth and someone who is acutely vested in the real estate industry, I am always looking for the next best thing, so to speak. In a brief conversation with Bill Brown, CEO of the company, he informed me that "Matterport’s mission is to give people the freedom to experience any place at any time... establishing 3D and VR models as a primary medium for experiencing, sharing, and re-imagining the world." So to ensure that I sated my ongoing lust for information about the company's product, I reached out. The otherwise-expensive camera that the company provides is at the center of its technology. With its previous iteration hovering around the $5,000 mark (recently reduced to $3,600), some would consider this a significant investment. So, I wanted to give a test drive on my own. I wanted to see what all this hype was about. Matterport came through. I reached out and was connected with Sibyl Chen and Chris Hoang, who graciously shipped me a loaner camera to put the tech to firsthand use. The goal? I wanted to see just how difficult it was to capture a space in 3D. I wanted to know if this really was the cutting edge tech that lived up to all the hype. If you've never seen a Matterport scan or 'flown through' a Matterport home, then you can see a variety of examples in their gallery, here. Chen informs me that Matterport has captured over 400,000 spaces in over 70 countries. This includes not only traditional real estate in the form of homes and condos, but also commercial real estate, hotels, retail shops, restaurants and even historical museums and other landmarks around the world. In total, these spaces have received over 100,000,000 million views. Here are some of the most interesting things that have been done with these spaces: Real estate transactions (on homes with prices points as high as $8million) Vacation rental bookings all over the world Venue booking for corporate events, wedding, etc Education of telemarketing staff on features in different hotels they “support” Communications with facilities staff to to support maintenance needs Construction documentation for commercial buildings As built capture of major commercial buildings Journalistic and immersive storytelling of culturally or historically significant real world locations (e.g. Iraq bomb site, Rosa Parks Bus, Martin Luther King church) Interactive walk throughs of TV sets Source:forbes.com

Focus on affordable housing may boost real estate: MagicBrick's Sudhir Pai

Sudhir Pai, chief executive of MagicBricks, has been instrumental in scaling up its business and pushing it towards a leadership position within the fiercely contested online real estate portal segment in India. In a candid interview, he tells how the big-bang stimulus to affordable housing in the Union Budget may bring in some cheers to the beleaguered sector. Edited Excerpts. How has technology changed the way a company like yours functions, especially over the past one year? In recent years, fast-changing technologies have shown their transformative impact on services, manufacturing and knowledge industries. Real estate consumers are also evolving fast. They are rapidly consuming solutions, which are more aesthetic; they are opting for immersive solutions that reduce their time and efforts required to make actual site visits and also make their entire property discovery experience delightful. We are leveraging technology in many ways. Recently, we have launched India's first real estate "Experience Centre," that uses technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, on-demand video calling and large-format touchscreens, enabling buyers to perform a wide range of tasks ranging from browsing property listings and using various financial calculators to property comparison, seeking property advice and so on. Then again, mobile as a platform is being leveraged to deliver highly personalised content and search experience. In addition, we have set up a data sciences unit. This unit generates algorithms and analytics that improve search, identify fake listings, help curate sellers and generate prices/demand data that can be used as a decision-support system. PropWorth, a recently launched price-discovery app, is an output of this unit. Do developers find better value online, in terms of branding and advertising, compared to traditional mediums? A recent industry report suggested that 65 percent of those buying a home mostly search online, as part of their buying process. This figure is likely to grow with more than three-fourth of the users flocking to online as a more efficient medium for search and discovery. With the online platforms evolving, consumers are also likely to use these portals beyond the discovery phase, mostly for research, price comparisons and for services during buying and/or post-purchase phase. Online also enables developers to leverage rich media in the form of 3D floor plans; 360 degree, immersive walkthroughs; HD videos and so on, which help their brand marketing efforts. Digital is, therefore, likely to capture upwards of 25 percent share of the wallet. Going digital is surely the way forward for India and its real estate sector. On the regulatory side, how do you see things shaping up for developers? Is the buyer getting empowered? Various game-changing reforms were introduced last year and they have impacted the real estate sector at large. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) and Benami Transaction Prohibition Act 2016 are expected to bring in drastic changes in the real estate sector, largely benefiting the consumers. These reforms will bring transparency and credibility in transactions and change the fortunes of the sector. The recently introduced Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for providing subsidy on interest subvention will also benefit the mid- and lower-income groups. These policy-level changes and announcements will boost demand and create the market for affordable housing. One of the great moves by the government in the Union Budget 2017 is the focus on affordable housing, moving toward housing for all by 2022. It is a big and positive move for developers, banks and housing finance companies. The criteria for affordable housing have been broadened; it is now based on carpet area instead of built-up area. Also, flush with low-cost deposits, banks have reduced home-loan lending rates by as much as 90 basis points and the government's decision to provide interest subvention of 3 percent and 4 percent for loans of up to Rs 12 lakh and Rs 9 lakh, respectively, under the PMAY will further boost demand. The government's focus on developing multimodal infrastructure, including rail, roads, ports, airports and waterways will not only help decongest urban areas, but will also boost the development of new industrial cities around our industrial transport corridors. Moreover, there have been other crucial initiatives, including digitalising land records, strategising sale of land and manufacturing units owned by the government, which are expected to transform the real estate sector. The recent policy changes will not only add credibility to the sector, but will also strengthen buyers' confidence, thus leading to stability and a win-win for both buyers and sellers. The real estate market includes end users as well as investors. Which of them will become more active as prices soften? Flat property prices over the past two years have seen investors largely exiting the market. Recent initiatives such as demonetisation, notification of RERA and goods and service tax (GST) will make sure that the market is largely driven by end users. Our data suggest that prices have softened only marginally in the post-demonetisation period. Any further softening of prices is more likely to attract end users who will see homes becoming more affordable. What's your take on demonetisation and its impact on real estate? Will it change the Indian market for good? Demonetisation has led to a deep-rooted, probably unrealistic, consumer sentiment that prices will fall steeply. This sentiment, along with the liquidity crunch, has led to a steep fall in property transactions as buyers and sellers are not able to agree on terms. Landlords seem to be largely holding onto to prices and in the primary markets too, developers have bundled deals to attract buyers and refrained from giving outright cash discounts. Buyers have deferred their buying decisions and are waiting for the air to clear regarding various policy initiatives taken by the government. But we believe that demonetisation is a one-off, short-term phenomenon, and its impact will wane within a quarter or two. Our platform data show that buyer enquiries have started to improve and in many localities, they are even touching the pre-demonetisation levels. Owners and landlords, too, are showing heightened interest in selling their properties on our platform. With the government's current budget and financial stimuli, we anticipate a recovery in real estate transactions, particularly in the affordable segment. These stimuli will initiate the process of "remonetisation" in the real estate sector. Are southern markets more stable than the traditionally stronger north, and generating stronger yields? Traditionally, North has been more investor-driven compared to South, which has had more end users. Also, northern markets have a higher degree of supply glut compared to southern markets. These reasons have worked in favour of the southern markets. Source:businesstoday.in

Women in real estate: ‘I did it my way’

“I can’t think of a better career choice” Surabhi Arora Senior associate director – research, Colliers International, Gurgaon Surabhi Arora leads the India research team at Colliers International. She specialises in real estate economics R “I can’t think of a better career choice” Surabhi Arora Senior associate director research, Colliers International, Gurgaon Surabhi Arora leads the India research team at Colliers International. She specialises in real estate economics and is well-versed with the market dynamics across the main cities in India. Arora’s responsibility in Colliers, includes sector analysis, forecasting, financial modelling, strategic planning, project-level analysis, pre-sales and brand building. She has played an active role in the growth and development of the research team. Arora joined a real estate-centric Singapore-based venture capital fund in 2005. Being a chartered financial analyst, her entry into the real estate industry was an unplanned one. “The industry was growing at a very fast pace at that time. I could not have chosen a better career than this. The last 12 years in the real estate sector, have been fantastic for me,” says Arora. The challenges faced by women in this industry, are not much different from those in any other industry, feels Arora. “Hard work and self-confidence, helped me to cope with obstacles. Balancing work and home has not been a difficult task for me. My son is 10 years old now. Although it is difficult to spend enough time with him, I ensure that I am there with him for important events,” she elaborates. “People will look beyond your gender, if you are hardworking and clear about your objectives” Pushpa Bector Executive VP and head, DLF Premium, Delhi NCR Pushpa Bector was instrumental in creating the DLF Mall, which is spread across 2 million sq ft in Noida. Bector heads the premium malls portfolio for the real estate company, including Mall of India in Noida, DLF Place (Saket), Cyber Hub (Gurgaon) and City Centre (Chandigarh). In almost 11 years with DLF, she also revamped and DLF Promenade (Vasant Kunj) into a prime fashion destination in India and set up the F&B division for DLF malls. Bector has two decades of experience in the retail and mall business and has several accolades to her credit, including the ‘Most Admired Shopping Centre Professional of the Year’ at the Asia Shopping Centre and Mall Awards 2014 and ‘International Women Leadership Award for the Excellence in the Retail Industry’ organised by CMO Asia in 2013. “Retail management is a human-centric profession. In the last few years, women have been seen in large numbers in the retail industry. Women have good communications skills to persuade and influence the consumer, which helps in marketing. I strongly believe that if you are clear about your objectives and if your work speaks for itself, then, people look beyond gender,” Bector maintains. See also: Here’s why Indian real estate needs more women in the business “My two children are grown up and they are my biggest support. They look upon me as their role model. I have faced gender discrimination when I was a junior-level executive. I have always dealt with such issues firmly,” says Bector, who graduated in hospitality from the Oberoi School of Hotel Management and was associated with Domino’s Pizza. “In today’s competitive global economy, knowledge and one’s capability are the ingredients for success. If women have ambition and skills, there is no stopping them from succeeding,” she states. “I feel happy to play a small role in helping home owning aspirations of women from lower segment” Deepali Shinde Unit head of MALA (Mahila Awas Loan Division) of Aspire Home Finance Corporation Limited, Mumbai Deepali Shinde heads Aspire Home Finance Corporation Limited’s (AHFCL’s) Mahila Awas Loan Division MALA (Mahila Awas Loan from Aspire). MALA is an initiative to bring financial inclusion to low-income, salaried and self-employed women and offers housing finance as well as advisory assistance. Shinde’s experience in housing finance includes more than a decade in the financial and services industry. “The low-income group women include salaried women (working in private companies, small scale industries, nursing and housekeeping staff, maid servants, cooks, etc.), as well as self-employed women (such as vegetable vendors, women with home-based business like papad making, running small kitchens and tailoring). These women have equal share in the income of the household and in many cases, are the only source of income at home. However, their search for financing towards home buying has often gone unanswered. So, we have tied up with builders, to provide property options to our women customers, at below-market offerings. We also offer counselling on the entire process of home buying and home loans,” Shinde explains. “My mother, who was not educated, worked very hard and did odd jobs to ensure I was educated. So, I can understand the difficulties of these women. They are committed in their repayment, unless there is any exigency. This segment faces more than 90% of the total housing shortage in India and hence, can also be viewed as a business opportunity,” points out Shinde. MALA offers loans starting from Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 12 lakhs and AHFCL currently covers 42 locations in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Telangana. “We aim to provide housing finance assistance to more than 1,000 women customers in the current financial year. I feel happy to play a small role in fulfilling the home-owning aspirations of women from the lower segment,” says Shinde. “Women have a high emotional quotient” Darshana Parmar Jain Deputy MD, Ishwar Parmar Group, Pune Darshana Parmar Jain, has a master’s in Software Science from the United States, with 12 years’ experience in the Information Technology industry in India, the US and the UK. She has incorporated information technology as an important driver for growth in the 40-year-old Ishwar Parmar Group one of the largest developers of slum rehabilitation projects in Pune. “The success of a real estate company, depends on the product and delivery. When it comes to home buying, the decision maker is often a man but the influencer is a woman. Being a woman is a huge advantage in this field. Women have a high emotional quotient and can appeal to consumers. With the government focusing on improving the ease of doing business and the real estate industry becoming more organised, there are now greater opportunities for ambitious and hardworking women in the industry” maintains Jain, who handles various departments, such as marketing, sales, recovery, legal and liaison. “In fact, CREDAI Maharashrta has decided to launch a ‘Women’s Wing’ in all cities, to encourage more women to get involved in real estate. Cities like Pune, Aurangabad, Pandharpur, Satara and Nashik have already setup this wing,” adds Jain, who is Women’s Wing convenor for CREDAI Maharashtra and CREDAI Pune metro. “For any woman to scale new heights in her career, she needs a supportive family. I have tremendous support from my in-laws, my parents, my husband and my children. Hence, I am able to balance everything and meet deadlines, by sharing the workload” says the mother of two. “Being a woman in this field is an advantage” Gita Ramanan Co-founder and chief design and HR officer, Design Cafe, Bengaluru Gita Ramanan is an architect, who also has an Entrepreneurial Management Certification from ISB, Hyderabad. She worked has with several design firms, designing restaurants, five-star hotels and homes, before co-founding Design Cafe in 2011, with her partner Shezan Bhojani. Design Cafe is an award-winning design firm, with projects across the country. Ramanan has experience in client management, employee hiring, accounts, networking, marketing, retention and research. “This business needs one to be very hands-on. We constantly implement better processes and engage with the right people, to manage the challenges that arise,” explains Ramanan, who has been a TEDx speaker and national athlete. Ramanan considers herself lucky to belong to a family where getting educated and making a career was natural. Two generations of women before her, managed their families, as well as their careers. “I am also fortunate to have a life-partner, who knows and understands me and honors my choices and intelligence. I try not be a ‘super woman’ and instead, focus on the quality of life,” she adds. “While I face numerous challenges as an entrepreneur, architect and designer, being a woman, is not one of them. I certainly am not diminishing the challenges that women face in today’s workplace and in maintaining a balance between their personal and professional lives. Nevertheless, being a woman in this industry is an advantage, as we naturally possess patience and determination. Our empathy, holistic viewpoint and attention to details, allow us create a sense of calm in this frenetic field,” Ramanan explains. “A higher level of integrity and commitment, are my greatest strengths as a woman in this field” Nazia Yusuf Izuddin President, SN Group, Uttarakhand Nazia Izuddin is the founding president of SN Group of Companies, which is a business house based in Uttarakhand. The Group consists of infrastructure companies, hospitality companies and asset banks. Izuddin started her career as a finance lawyer in New York and thereafter, worked in Dubai and London. She moved to Dehradun in 2008 and along with her husband, started SN Group with two key laterals – hospitality and real estate. Their flagship hospitality project in Dehradun is the World Integrity Center, India. The Group is currently developing Aures Valley, one of the largest residential developments in Dehradun, spread across 40 acres. Izuddin, a Fulbright scholar and Harvard and Aligarh Muslim University alumnus, feels that the acceptance towards women has increased and this has helped them to make inroads and build allies and networks faster, especially in entrepreneurial ventures such as real estate. “Gender decimation can be emotionally torturous, especially for those who are educated and experienced, points out Izuddin. “There may be a constant attempt discredit one’s merit. This disturbs productivity, because half of one’s energy goes into establishing relevance. I deal with one situation at a time. I believe in god and good and this keeps me going. I am a great believer in experiences. If the experience is wholesome, it has a natural balance. Home, work, family, friends and clients, all balance out naturally, because as a person, I am not compartmentalised – all my experiences stem from the same being. Intuition and aesthetic and utility sensibilities are my strengths, which help me in designing real estate and hospitality products. A higher level of integrity and commitment and the ability to value things beyond its financial aspect, are my greatest strengths as a woman in this field,” concludes Izuddin. Source:moneycontrol.com

Special focus on India at 2017 World Real Estate Forum

With India expected to be the world's fastest growing economy in 2017, this year's World Real Estate Forum organised by MIT Center for Real Estate on the MIT campus in Cambridge will have a special focus on India. The World Real Estate Forum will be held on May 18 and 19 in Massachusetts. The panelists will come from countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Mexico and India. Global experts will discuss a wide range of topics that are shaping and reshaping the real estate industry including city futures, innovation, growth markets, cross-border capital and development opportunities. The Growth Markets and Development Opportunities: India panel at the WREF will discuss what the country's growth means for the future of Indian real estate, and hear from India's leading developers about their strategy for the future. "The Forum is a unique and perhaps the only platform which brings together global leaders and academia to discuss current and future issues impacting global real estate and identify potential solutions," said Raja Seetharaman, panelist and Director of Propstack. "I look forward to discussing about the impact of technology, digitization & data transparency in real estate." Other participants on the India-focused panel include Ajay Prasad, panel moderator and Managing Director- India, Taurus Investment Holdings; Claude Lavigne, Senior Vice President of Investments and Global Markets at Ivanhoé Cambridge; Manoj Menda, Corporate Vice Chairman at RMZ Corp; and Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs. Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

Real estate transactions should go digital: Naidu

Home prices could come down if the real estate sector moves away from cash transactions and embraces digital economy, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said. This, according to him, will also make the sector truly transparent and, therefore, valuation will become more realistic. Speaking at the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India Conclave here on Monday, Naidu said: “Land prices in some cities in India have sky-rocketed. There is a need to bring down land prices to the ground level.” Referring to the high prices in some of the metro cities, the minister said, “When you look at the land prices here, it is on par with prices in Paris or New York.” Explaining the benefits of going digital, the minister said the real estate sector should seriously think of digitising all transactions. “There has to be a voluntary code of conduct. I want the real estate sector to go for digital transaction to maintain transparency,” he said. In reply to demand from a section of the real estate sector to amend the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Bill and make it only prospective and not retrospective, Naidu said there were several ongoing projects that had overshot the deadline for completion and were still nowhere near completion. Unless these issues are addressed, making RERA only prospective might not work, he added. The whole purpose of the regulation was to eliminate fly-by-night operators and ensure project completion, he emphasised. Naidu noted that the government is also pushing for ease of approvals, guaranteeing an approval status to applicants within 30 days. He said that had interacted with other departments involved in this exercise and would make a presentation before the Prime Minister soon. Naidu said he had also written to all chief ministers to take steps to reduce stamp duty. Source:newindianexpress.com

Real estate firm accused of fraud

BENGALURU: Nearly 700 people on Sunday staged a demonstration at Freedom Park against a real estate company which allegedly had cheated them of lakhs of rupees. Over 5,000 citizens have been fighting for their investments in the allegedly fraudulent ventures of Dreamz Infra India Pvt Ltd since 2012. Their investments range from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.2 crore. They were shown empty plots and told that construction on those properties would start soon. "When we got our lawyer to look at the memorandum of understanding (MoU) given to us, we were given the green signal as the land was in the name of the builders. What we slowly came to realize was that these builders had no intention of constructing any flats," said Rajani, who was convinced about investing in the projects as the Dreamz group had successful properties in Koramangala, Marathahalli and Silk Board. "After waiting for six months and seeing no progress, not even BBMP approval had come for construction, I got suspicious and cancelled my registration. Other people who live outstation were not as lucky. They are supposed to refund the money in 120 days of cancellation but they have been taking advantage of our patience," said Rajani who had invested Rs 1 lakh to buy a flat in Dreamz Sadan in Kundanahalli. Complaints galore: Senior citizens Raju and Kusuma claim that have lost money without any benefit accruing to them. "The project did not take off as planned and the MoU also lapsed. When we tried to cancel our registration, they gave us post-dated cheques that repeatedly bounced," alleged the 60-year-old retired government official. The investors have filed collective as well as individual complaints against the builders. Sunday's protest was marked by blood donation camps, daylong fasting by residents and consultation sessions with a legal counsel. "Most of us have given legal notices before filing a case. We are not going for money recovery, instead asking for a stay order so nothing can happen to that land. Individually, we will file civil suits for money recovery," said Rajani. The management of the company was not available for comment.

6 major trends for Indian Real Estate in 2017

Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head of JLL India, believes that these trends will shape – or reshape - the Indian real estate sector this year and beyond 1. Global capital flow into Indian real estate will increase further India ranked fourth in developing Asia for FDI inflows as per the World Investment Report 2016 by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development. That is endorsement at the highest levels - and real estate saw equity investment on a very visible return journey to India last year. Indian real estate has attracted USD ~32 billion in private equity so far. The global capital flow into Indian real estate in 2016 stood at USD ~5.7 billion. Though the historic high of 2007 (in terms of total PE inflows) was not breached, last year proved to be the second-best year so far. Despite Brexit and uncertainty around the new US President’s outsourcing and visa-related policies, private equity activity also looks healthy in 2017 - thanks to a strengthening and modernizing economy, and the growing reputation of India as an attractive investment destination. India’s tier I cities moved up to the 36th rank in JLL’s 2016 bi-annual Global Real Estate Transparency Index. The catalyzing factors for this were improvements in structural reforms and the more liberalized foreign direct investment (FDI) regime. Increased transparency brings higher investments into such real estate markets. Thanks to changes in its regulatory framework, India is now way more attractive to both global and Indian investors. Increased consolidation and transparency - and the launch of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) this year - will further whet their appetites for getting a piece of the Indian real estate pie. 2. Developers will revamp their business models Throughout 2016, the number of new residential project launches was lower than units sold. With all states staring at the approaching deadline to implement their versions of the Real Estate Regulation & Development Act (RERA), most of them will definitely fall in line. This landmark law will enforce hitherto unprecedented transparency and accountability requirements for developers into the system, and do a lot to increase consumer confidence. Consumer activism, which has already been making news in recent times, will increase in distressed ongoing projects. And it's not only RERA that the Indian real estate sector anticipates with bated breath. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Benami Property Act will also have a major impact on how many developers run their businesses. Demonetization shook up the older ways of working, but did not affect self-governing developers with the right products targeted at the working masses. The rest have realized it is time now to revamp their existing business models if they want to remain in business at all. Market watchers who had despaired of the Indian real estate market ever shedding its tainted image have every reason to perk up now. Currently, the residential property market is dominated by end-users - speculative investors are making a beeline out of real estate as an investment category. Residential demand is expected to pick up only towards the end of 2017 - but the recovery will be sustainable and based on much sounder market fundamentals than transient sentiment. The commercial office space sector will get a strong shot in the arm with REITs. Real Estate Investment Trusts will have an important and long-term impact on developers and present them with the choice of either 'corporatizing' or risking take-over by their bigger and better-organized counterparts. The pressure from funding agencies will simply be too strong to ignore. Corporate developers like Tata, Godrej, L&T, Bharti, Mahindra, etc. will acquire more projects, and corporate houses like Birla are gearing up for their maiden innings in real estate development. Institutional funding will increase. 3. Co-working: More of India Inc. will move into ‘hybrid’ spaces Co-working spaces are popping up across Indian metros as well as tier-II cities, providing start-ups with flexible working options at affordable rents. At last count, there were more than 100 operators in this space across India, though there is still very limited supply of co-working spaces available. However, this segment is slowly but surely moving into boom mode across India, given the many advantages that such spaces offer: Cost-efficiency Employee motivation and retention Boosted productivity Firms focused on agility who house their innovation teams in co-working spaces can induce a quicker learning curve to integrate them into the entrepreneurial ecosystem The perfect option for companies who need their client servicing teams close to their respective client sites in locations with low office vacancy Certain co-working operators will prefer leasing out parts of or the entire areas of their co-working office spaces 'anchor tenant' corporates. In other words, co-working operators and corporates will move into a ‘hybrid’ sort of space and increasingly rely on each other. 4. The sun rises on affordable housing Affordable housing in India is finally set to get the much-coveted infrastructure status. One crore houses are to be built in rural India by 2019, and this vital segment will now see cheaper sources of finance - including external commercial borrowings (ECBs). Re-financing of housing loans by National Housing Banks (NHBs) can give a further boost to the sector. A new Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for the mid-income group with a provision of INR 1,000 crore in 2017-18 was announced even before Budget 2017-18. Extension of tenure of loans under the CLSS of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) was increased from 15 to 20 years, and the Budget also increased allocation to PMAY from INR 15,000 crore to INR 23,000 crore in the rural areas. The qualifying criteria for affordable housing were also revised to 30 sqm and 60 sqm on carpet rather than saleable area in the four main metros and non-metros respectively. This effectively increases the size of affordable housing market across India. Moreover, the demonetization of high-value currency notes will cause land prices to ease in the next few years - especially in far-flung areas around Indian metros and the tier II and tier III cities. The Government's dream of Housing for All by 2022 appears a lot more attainable now. 5. Office sector transformation: From REIT to complete The first REIT listing is expected within the next few months, and prominent private equity funds such as Blackstone will likely be the first movers. REITs will attract institutional and smaller investors alike because of their inherent nature to provide regular dividends at relatively low risk. Smaller investors are especially excited at this new and easier investment opportunity because: Indian REITs will prefer to invest in commercial space developments – specifically the highest quality or Grade-A properties – because of the higher rental yields in this asset class; and Only 20% of an Indian REIT’s monies can be invested in development, which is the riskiest aspect. The remaining 80% of a REIT's assets must be invested in income-producing property. The REIT potential in India is huge, with around 229 million sft of office space currently being REIT-compliant. Even if 50% of this space is listed in the next few years, we are looking at a total REIT listing worth USD 18.5 billion. Moreover, India’s stock of Grade A commercial assets is increasing, with REITs acting as a sure-fire growth catalyst. 6. More industry consolidation on the cards Slowing sales and lack of financial prudence among several developers is leading to a fairly obvious conclusion - consolidation. The overcrowded real estate sector is going to become a lot leaner and meaner, with consolidation happening by ways of joint developments and joint ventures between landowners and/or small developers with bigger, better-organized players, smaller developers being bought out by larger players, and struggling developers cashing in their land banks by selling them to players with stronger balance sheets and appetite for growth. The pace at which this happens will depend on how much equity gets infused into the sector by the larger PE investors, and the strategy that foreign and domestic developers adopt. Some foreign developers have already entered the country, setting up base and obviously playing for keeps. Some investors and developers will take plunge into the market now, while others will prefer to ride the fence for a while; but one way or the other, consolidation will be the name of the game for the Indian real estate industry over the next five years. Larger players will peak in strength by around 2021, and smaller players will be eroded. Equity investment - or the lack of it - will play a deciding role. Source:morningstar.in

Real estate slowly recovering after sharp falls in sales post demonetisation: Moody’s

Sales momentum of real estate in India is recovering slowly following the sharp fall witnessed post the government’s demonetisation move, said ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. The sales volumes are expected to gradually accelerate in the affordable housing sector as liquidity returns post demonetisation move. Sales volumes in India's real estate sector decreased by around 40% year on year in the fourth quarter of 2016, while launches dropped by around 60% during the same period. There were signs of extreme caution by buyers, and real estate developers refrained from announcing any new launches during this period, the ratings agency added. The government had announced demonetisation of high-value currency notes on November 8. “Sentiment in the sector has since improved. Measures in the 2017 budget will support the affordable housing segment, while reductions in home loan rates since November 2016 will improve demand,” Moody’s said. “One measure introduced in the budget was the granting of infrastructure status to affordable housing, which will allow developers to borrow at lower interest rates. At the same time, the government introduced measures to prop up the secondary market. A more liquid secondary market will in turn benefit the primary market.” However, it expects the sales for the luxury and mid-market segments to remain weak for another 12 to 18 months. Given the generally discretionary nature of buying a house, the real estate sector will be one of the slowest to recover from the impact of the demonetization, Moody’s added. Source:realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com

6 major trends in Indian real estate in 2017

These trends will shape - or reshape - the Indian real estate sector in 2017 and beyond: Global capital flow into Indian real estate will increase further India is ranked fourth in developing Asia for FDI inflows as per the World Investment Report 2016 by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development. That is endorsement at the highest levels - and real estate saw equity investment on a very visible return journey to India last year. Indian real estate has attracted $32 billion in private equity so far. The global capital flow into Indian real estate in 2016 stood at $5.7 billion. Though the historic high of 2007 (in terms of total PE inflows) was not breached, last year proved to be the second-best year so far. Despite Brexit and uncertainty around the new US President's outsourcing and visa-related policies, private equity activity also looks healthy in 2017 - thanks to a strengthening and modernising economy, and the growing reputation of India as an attractive investment destination. India's Tier-I cities moved up to the 36th rank in JLL's 2016 bi-annual Global Real Estate Transparency Index. The catalysing factors for this were improvements in structural reforms and the more liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) regime. Increased transparency brings higher investments into such real estate markets. Thanks to changes in its regulatory framework, India is now way more attractive to both global and Indian investors. Increased consolidation and transparency - and the launch of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) th