Group demands 400 sq ft flats for Dharavi residents
MUMBAI: When it comes to homes in Dharavi, demands are growing larger in size: From 180 sq ft, when the government first took up the slum rehabilitation project, to 225 sq ft, to 300 sq ft last year and now it is 400 sq ft.
The Dharavi Bachao Andolan has demanded that every family in Dharavi must be given a 400 sq-ft flat. "The government, besides rehabilitating residents of shanties, will commercially exploit most of the 550 acres of Dharavi. Providing another 100 sq-feet free of cost will not hit its bottom-line," said Baburao Mane of Dharavi Bachao Andolan, threatening to stall the redevelopment work before it starts, if the government did not fulfil their request. The organization, which claims to represent all political parties in the city, met governor K Sankaranarayanan last week, requesting him to ask the government to accept their demand. Mane pointed out that the Congress lost five of the six Dharavi seats in the civic polls. He added neither Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad nor his daughter Varsha Gaikwad could win as they did not listen to people's demands.
The Nivara Hakk Suraksha Samiti has been campaigning for all slum redevelopment projects to be converted into low-cost housing plans, with the sale component being used exclusively for creating housing stock for the low-income and middle-class families, ensuring mixed housing. Civic activist and architect P K Das said that at present, no one knew how the government was deciding on the size of a flat under the free housing scheme. The decisions, he said, were being made from the point of view of the developer and not that of slum-dwellers.
"The government must prepare a comprehensive masterplan for a slum-free development and affordable housing. It will then be able to decide on standards for housing, including density in a given area, amenities and the size of a free house," Das said.
Dharavi is also rising high on the rental list. "Nearly 80% people in Dharavi live on rent," said Shweta Damle of NGO Committee for Right to Housing. NGO Mashaal conducted a survey and found that only about 100 families owned most of the structures in Dharavi, whose population is estimated at 3 lakh. "Rental housing stock should be created within the city. It should form a part of the slum redevelopment scheme managed by Mhada," said Damle.
Group demands 400 sq ft flats for Dharavi residents - The Times of India
Navi Mumbai airport: Farmers demand Rs. 20 crore per acre
Mumbai: It appears that proposed Navi Mumbai Airport has once again run into troubled waters. Negotiations between the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd. (CIDCO) and the Project-Affected People (PAP), mostly farmers whose land would be acquired for the project, hit fresh deadlock.
The PAPs have once again refused to accept the compensation package offered by the CIDCO. The package comprises 22 per cent of the developed land in return for the land acquired for the project.
The farmers have stuck to their earlier demands - either 40 per cent of the developed land or monetary compensation of Rs. 20 crore per acre, or 30 per cent of the developed land plus Rs. 1 crore per acre. The talks between the two parties were held on August 3.
TC Benjamin, who was heading the land acquisition talks for last eight months, was transferred from the post of secretary of urban development-1 just a few days ago.
"After a series of consultations for the last eight months, CIDCO offered us 22 per cent of the developed land as compensation. However, we are firm on our earlier demands, and have conveyed them to CIDCO in the last meeting.
We want either 40 per cent of developed land or Rs. 20 crore per acre. If they cannot give 40 per cent of the developed land, we are ready to accept 30 per cent of the developed land plus monetary compensation of Rs. 1 crore per acre. We are still ready for negotiations and we want to reach a solution as early as possible so the airport work should not get affected," PAP representative R C Gharat said.
On the other hand, CIDCO has expressed optimism for speedy process of land acquisition.
"We have given our best offer to the PAP, which is 22 per cent of the developed land, and they are cooperating. Once the airport work starts, PAP will be the most benefited as they will get work and business opportunity.
So we anticipate that compensation issue will be sorted out soon," CIDCO chairman Pramod Hindurao said. According to sources in the CIDCO, the value of compensation package offered by them is more than enough.
"Citing importance of the international airport, CIDCO offered 22 per cent of the developed land. Earlier, the agency had given just 12.5 per cent of the developed land to farmers whose lands were acquired during development of Navi Mumbai.
The city is experiencing an unprecedented rise in property rates in last few years, so the PAP are going to earn huge money by selling the developed land, and through allied businesses of the airport.
But they are trying to get best deal possible by obstructing the negotiations," a senior CIDCO official said.
"In case the PAP do not agree with our offer, they may approach the state government for the compensation that they are seeking," CIDCO public relations officer Mohan Ninawe said.
Navi Mumbai airport: Farmers demand Rs 20 crore per acre | NDTV.com
No hand in Adarsh flat of nephew: Minister
MUMBAI: Minister Jayant Patil on Thursday denied having anything to do with his nephew getting a flat in Adarsh and sought to pass the buck for land allotment to the society to the revenue department then headed by former CMAshok Chavan.
Patil, who was finance minister from October 1999 to December 2008, claimed that he first came to know his nephew had applied for membership of Adarsh only in 2010. "Aditya Patil is my elder brother's son. I came to know that he was a member of the Adarsh society when news of the alleged scam came in the newspapers," Patil told the judicial commission of Justice (retired) J A Patil and member P Subrahmanyam.
Patil further denied pushing Aditya's case for getting a flat in the society or having granted any favours to Adarsh. "I was never aware that Aditya Patil was a member of the Adarsh society. Financially , he is independent. I make it clear that I have absolutely no connection or any hand in Aditya becoming a member of Adarsh society. I have not shown any favours or given any concession to the Adarsh society," said Patil during his questioning.
"As far as Adarsh is concerned I have always gone by the advice given by the finance department, the officials and the finance secretary ," he said. He also blamed the revenue department headed by Chavan and director of town planning for various decisions on Adarsh. "Grant of government land to any co-operative housing society is the revenue department's prerogative. The valuation of the land is done by the director, town planning. The finance minister and department only gives its concurrence to the valuation," said Patil.
No hand in Adarsh flat of nephew: Minister - The Times of India
Mumbai slips behind Pune, Delhi in home-loan demand
MUMBAI: Mumbai has fallen by the wayside in the mortgage market rankings as record realty prices keep customers away, say real estate and home finance executives.
Pune and New Delhi have overtaken India's financial capital with steady demand, while Mumbai has fallen to third or fourth position for housing finance. "It used to be number one but there are not many new projects that sell in big numbers," said V Srinivas Rangan, exeutive director HDFC.
"So, most sales are outside Bombay where the value is lower. We are witnessing good volumes from the northern market, especially the National Capital Region (NCR)." In addition to affordability in the north, Mumbai real estate is seeing a slowdown due to lack of infrastructure and economic slowdown.
With the financial situation worsening over the last couple of years, Mumbai — predominantly a banking and fiancial services oriented region — has lost its position. Apart from unaffordable prices, the dearth of new launches in Mumbai is a key reason for falling sales.
"Lending in Mumbai has come down. Prices have shot to unsustainable levels," said VK Sharma, MD and CEO, LIC Housing Finance. "The real estate market is under stress. New projects are not coming up and existing ones are getting delayed. Also, with prices at this level, expectation of returns has also fallen."
Most realty projects are in the services sector, especially IT and banking. The Mumbai market has been predominantly banking and financial services oriented. In other metros, a lot of the work is in distribution, marketing and back office. Also, real estate costs are very high in Mumbai.
The type of rentals we pay for back office does not make any economic sense, added Sharma. According to Jones Lang LaSalle India, Pune and Delhi-NCR continue to see good traction as these markets continue to be affordable and new launches are helping to keep the momentum. Of the total launches in Mumbai, NCR and Pune since January, around 60% were in NCR, 25% were in Pune and the rest were in Mumbai.
"In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, sales momentum continues to be better in Navi Mumbai as costs are still affordable and launches are taking place there. However, in Mumbai itself the momentum is sluggish as there are no major launches except in Worli, Lower Parel and Prabhadevi," said Om Ahuja, CEO, Residential Services, Jones Lang LaSalle India.
Many developers in the city have revised and submitted their project plans to the civic authorities following the recent amendment in Development Control Rules. There's enough demand for the right products with the right price," says Ahuja, emphasising that if developers in Mumbai that are launching projects offer their products at the right price, customer response can improve.
Every year, the Pune market sees sales of around 57,000 residential apartments and most of these are bought by people who come to work there. In Gurgaon, this number can be 30% higher, and this average is being maintained as these cities continue to offer jobs, said property consultants.
The job market in Mumbai, on the other hand, does not look quite as attractive in the current scenario, they said. A Fitch report said that demand for residential units continues to be dampened by affordability, high EMIs, the high level of property prices and stubborn inflation.
Mumbai slips behind Pune, Delhi in home-loan demand - The Economic Times
Lodha Developers to rope in PEs to part-fund DLF land buy
MUMBAI: India's largest real estate player DLF has signed a binding agreement with Mumbai-based Lodha Developers to sell its 17.5-acre NTC mill land in Mumbai's Lower Parel area for Rs 2,700 crore, the two companies said. The deal is expected to be completed by end of October 2012.
To finance the acquisition, Lodha has initiated talks with a clutch of private equity players. "We have heard from several private equity firms for equity participation in this project. We may induct an equity partner, but may not raise more than 500 crore through this," said Abhisheck Lodha, managing director, Lodha Group, which plans to fund the purchase of the land mostly though internal accruals and some amount of private equity.
According to industry officials, the company is close to receiving financial support from private equity players HDFC Property Ventures and Singapore's GIC. This, however, could not be ascertained independently.
Lodha Developers to rope in PEs to part-fund DLF land buy - The Economic Times
Deshmukh set the ball rolling for city’s makeover plans
Despite being hit by indefinite delays, the Mumbai Makeover plan announced by Vilasrao Deshmukh during his first stint as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, is regarded by many as the precursor for the much-needed vision for the metropolis. With a view to transforming ‘Mumbai into Shanghai’, Deshmukh had announced mega infrastructure initiatives worth Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 2003 to be taken up in the city and completed in the decade that followed. While a large part of the plan still remains on paper, many within and outside the government do not shy away from crediting Deshmukh for initiating the makeover of not just Mumbai, but also its neighbourhood.
Factors such as handling a coalition government, internal political resistance and lack of co-ordination among various government agencies in the city came in the way of Deshmukh and his plan, said Narinder Nayar, chairman of Bombay First, an NGO that worked closely with the state government for the implementation of the plan. “An important breakthrough was the formation of the Empowered Committee that Deshmukh appointed to ensure co-ordination between government agencies and representatives of the private sector. Marine Drive beautification, modernisation of the international airport, Bandra-Worli Sea Link, work on the Bandra-Kurla Complex as a financial hub and preparation of a 40-year concept plan were some of the projects initiated during his tenure. A lot of work still remains due to innumerable delays in sanctions and lack of funding,” said Nayar.
In February 2008, at the International Economic Forum (IEF) meet in Davos, Deshmukh had admitted that the pace of infrastructure development was very slow in Mumbai, as a result of which foreign investors were turning away from the city.
Controversies that surrounded Deshmukh’s political career during 26/11 and the Adarsh Scam and his subsequent move to Delhi as a Union minister greatly reduced his involvement in the city.
Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC and member of the Empowered Committee, said despite impediments and bottlenecks, Deshmukh understood the needs of Maharashtra and the city. “It is sad that vital projects such as Dharavi redevelopment, which were approved during Deshmukh’s tenure, are still stuck. From the interaction that I had with him, I could gather that he genuinely had a dream for the city,” he said.
Sanjay Ubale, former special secretary for Mumbai makeover plans who worked closely with Deshmukh, said one of the most important changes brought about by him was filling of the financial gap by involving Central funding for Mumbai projects. “Deshmukh was the first Chief Minister to approach the Prime Minister for funding and got Manmohan Singh’s approval for funding under the JNNURM. He also started other vital city projects such as Mithi River redevelopment and improvement of suburban railway system. Failures at the administrative level, court interventions in many cases regarding rehabilitation of project affected persons and lack of political backing are some of the reasons why his vision has not been achieved in the city so far,” he said.
Providing impetus to vertical growth of the city was one of the decisions for which Deshmukh was criticised. Deshmukh, with a vision to create more housing, sanctioned various high-rise buildings during his tenure but drew flak for “haphazard growth with local infrastructure development not being in sync”.
Deshmukh set the ball rolling for city’s makeover plans - Indian Express
Mumbai Realty Is Dead. It’s Time To Move On
With a little over one lakh residential flats lying unsold in Mumbai, an inventory which will take more than three years to clear as not much of it is available for immediate possession, consumer resistance in Mumbai’s real estate market is peaking.
Sale of Mumbai apartments in the financial year 2012 dropped by more than 60 percent from its peak in 2007 and 35 percent from 2011, according to data from property research firm Knight Frank. What’s worse, of the market average of 80,000 units, only 45,000 apartments were sold in the Mumbai Metropolitan region during 2011-2012.
When buyers are not biting, it also implies gloom for investors who buy more than one flat because they expect good appreciation. From the looks of it, even investor sentiment has turned bearish as interest rates are high, regulatory approvals are stuck and developers are not being able to deliver the returns they had earlier promised to PE investors.
Surprisingly, even resale homes – usually cheaper than new property – aren’t selling for want of buyers. “I have been trying to sell my flat in Goregaon at a 20 percent discount, but even at Rs 70 lakh there are no buyers,” says Amit Ghoshal, a Mumbai-based resident.
The two biggest reasons why Mumbaikars aren’t buying are expectations of a decline in prices and lack of confidence in the developer’s ability to deliver.
This is also evident from loan growth at India’s housing finance companies. Loan growth at LIC Housing Finance has slipped to 17 percent in 2011-12 from 28 percent a year ago, forcing the company to set a lower target of 20 percent for the current fiscal.
“The sharp rise in interest rates, high property prices in some locations and economic slowdown have resulted in a meaningful reduction in demand for housing in the two biggest cities, Delhi and Mumbai. Were rates to continue at these high levels and the economic environment were to deteriorate significantly we could see growth rates for the housing finance companies (HFCs) coming down”, noted Esprito Santo Securities in its latest report .
With the financial situation worsening thanks to poor infrastructure and economic slowdown, Mumbai has slipped behind Pune and NCR in the mortgage market too as record realty prices keep customers away.
“Lending in Mumbai has come down. Prices have shot to unsustainable levels,” VK Sharma, MD and CEO, LIC Housing Finance, was quoted as saying in the Economic Times. ”The real estate market is under stress. New projects are not coming up and existing ones are getting delayed. Also, with prices at this level, expectation of returns has also fallen.”
Apart from losing its top position in home financing, recently real estate data firm Qubrex replaced Mumbai with Noida as the second-most sought after real estate destination, citing better price appreciation in three years, emerging connectivity, potential growth in economic activity, nationally reputed builders, infrastructure and low land acquisition risk.
“Currently the price range in Noida is attractive and that is driving investor demand. In Mumbai, or Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), new project launches in the last 18 months have not been attractive/large/affordable,” Om Ahuja, CEO – Residential Services, Jones Lang LaSalle India, told Firstpost.
Mumbai has also become unattractive since it caters to mid-to-high end segments while low-income homes are difficult to find. According to Pankaj Kapoor, Managing Director at property consulting firm Liasas Foras, 80 percent of the demand for residential homes is in the Rs 45 lakh to Rs 70 lakh segment. But supply to meet this demand exists only in the far-flung suburbs of Panvel, Neral, Dombivli, Badlapur and beyond – where infrastructure and community life is weak, and the daily one-way commute to Mumbai can take as much as two hours. This essentially means no affordable homes exist in Mumbai and its immediate closest satellite towns of Navi Mumbai and Thane.
Says Mudassir Zaidi, Regional Director at Knight Frank, “In Mumbai, the problem is space. Most offices and business centres are either in the centre or on the Western Corridors. Areas like Navi Mumbai are developed, but the business community hasn’t taken to them yet.”
On the other hand, areas like Noida and Gurgaon, despite being suburbs, are independent cities in themselves with proper infrastructure, offices, schools and all other amenities. And the average ticket size of a property here costs anything between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 75 lakh.
“There has not been any dramatic governmental initiative to improve infrastructure in Mumbai compared to Noida. Inventory in specific areas has piled up but in key areas the scenario is quite different. There are always buyers for the right product, right location and right price,” explained Ahuja.
But the biggest game changer has been expectations of capital appreciation and development.
“Mumbai is an investors’ market, but investors in times of slowing economic conditions are looking for other options to invest, instead of heated-up markets,” Anshuman Magazine, head, CB Richard Ellis, was quoted as saying in Business Standard.
And there is the magic of infrastructure and development.
An era of development has already begun in Delhi NCR with the opening up of the Yamuna Expressway. Property experts believe that that realty market in the region is going to witness a boom and the NCR and western UP belt will become a hot destination for home buyers and investors. In the last one year, property prices have shot up 30 percent in Noida and Gurgaon and 38 percent in Greater Noida. This is expected to rise another 30 percent this year.
Against this, property prices in Mumbai have more or less remained stagnant in the last one year, with many developers being forced to offer discount schemes to lure buyers. This is of course in the high-end segment. Secondly, infra planning has been a major flop show in the city. The Andheri to King’s Circle monorail project and the Mumbai-Trans Harbour Link have already been delayed and so is the elevated road near the Chhattrapati Shivaji International Airport. There’s no word on the Navi Mumbai airport, which has run into land-acquisition problems now.
Mumbai can get back into the game only if the affordability factor is first addressed. Without real buyers, realtors cannot hope to push sales.
Source: Firstpost.com By Sunainaa Chadha Aug 13, 2012
Civic body will test low rates bid by many civil work contractors
MUMBAI: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ( BMC) will conduct a 'viability test' of low rates bid by civil work contract contractors. All the 31 contractors have been instructed to carry out petty civil works at rates quoted by them. The work will be monitored by an external agency-to be finalized in few days-and the civic vigilance department. The two monitoring agencies will submit their reports by August-end.
Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte told TOI, "The contractors will be told to complete few works from the civil work contract items; they will be given Rs 5 cr. But they claim that they can finish the work with Rs 2 cr. Let them prove that they can do the work at their rates and I will then take a decision." Contractors must provide supporting documents, with authentic invoices of materials procured. "We will check supporting documents," Kunte added.
Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar told TOI, "We will decide whether to hand over the work to the new contractors after the viability test." The new contractors are expected to begin work in October as the existing batch was given an extension till September. The old contract expired on March 31, but was given two extensions by the civic standing committee. "We will have adequate time for mobilization before the new contractors begin work," added Mhaiskar.
TOI had reported (May 17) that the contractors, known to submit inflated bills for the smallest of projects, had bid abnormally low-40-60%-for petty civil works in 24 wards and at four hospitals. Nearly 116 contractors had bid for the ward-level contracts (2012-14). The maximum low bids were from the eastern and western suburbs (50-60%). In the island city, the bids were a shade better (40-50%).
A note by BMC's chief accountant (finance) Ram Dhas earlier this year to the director (engineering services), additional commissioners and commissioner stated how contractors carrying out petty/minor work were, in connivance with ward staff and corporators, getting budgetary provisions made for unnecessary works.
Former civic chief Subodh Kumar had appointed a two-member panel to overhaul the system, and after this, a slew of measures were introduced. After reducing civil work contracts from 110 to 31, the civic body told contractors to submit bills within 15 days of completion of the work or face a 5% deduction in payment; no payment will be made if he fails to submit them within 45 days.
Civic body will test low rates bid by many civil work contractors - The Times of India
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