EVEN before the IT SEZ planned by the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot) could take shape, there seems to be a big rush for IT space among various corporates and developers in the city.

While city-based corporates like the Bannari Amman Group, Salzer group and KG group have come out with their plans on the IT front, many new commercial developers have also joined the bandwagon by getting formal SEZ approvals for their proposed projects. Coimbatore Hi-Tech Infrastructure is planning to develop an IT SEZ over 60.73 acres at Keeranatham village and Span Ventures has got formal approval for 10.5 acres IT/ITeS SEZ at Eachanari.

The state-owned Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (Tidco), is also planning an IT park in the city suburbs. Rakindo Developers, a 50-50 joint venture between Vishwatej Projects and Rakeen, UAE, along with Tidco has proposed to develop feeder township, residential and leisure facilities over 625 acres in the villages of Sundakamuthur, Perur Chettipalayam and Thithipalayam.

The group also plans to promote an IT park on 25 acres at Perur village at Chettipalayam in south Coimbatore district. Bannari Group plans to develop an IT SEZ over 78 acres at Kalapatty village in Coimbatore and has got formal approval for around 60 acres. The entire process is likely to be completed in the next few months. Salzer plans to develop 1 lakh sq.ft. IT park in association with a US-based consulting service provider while KG group has acquired around 160 acres near its existing campus at Saravanampatty for developing it as an ITES SEZ. I

According to sources in the property development business, by the end of 2009, approximately 10-15 million sq.ft, of new IT/ITeS space will enter the Coimbatore market.
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  • Illegal hoardings still rule city roads, pose danger to commuters tnn | Dec 22, 2018, 00:43 IST

    Coimbatore: The civic body seems to have intensified the crackdown on illegal hoardings after the Madras high court pulled up state officials for their failure to remove them, yet the city roads are not free of such unauthorised structures. TOI on Friday spotted many illegal hoardings on Avinashi Road, Airport Road, Brooke Bond Road, Gandhipuram and other arterial roads.

    Pointing out that more than 100 illegal hoardings and flex boards were removed from the north and west zones in the city over the past three days alone, a city corporation official said there were challenges to pre-empt attempts to erect such unauthorised structures. “But they will definitely be removed as and when they are brought to our attention. After removing the illegal hoardings, we usually take out inspections once in 15days to check whether they have resurfaced,’’ the officer said.

    Activists have, meanwhile, filed petitions and even contempt of court cases as illegal hoardings continue to flourish in the city, distracting commuters.

    “There are strict rules on the erection of banners and hoardings, as they pose threat to road safety. Yet, a large number of banners are being erected without obtaining proper permission. There is a digital hoarding at Chinthamani in the north zone and another one near Women’s Polytechnic College,” said K Kathirmathiyon, secretary, Coimbatore Consumer Cause. “Officials should take stringent action against the violators and should not give any approval bypassing the rules,” he said.

    Commuters said the hoardings and banners were a distraction to them while driving. “In some cases, they obstruct traffic. Some are put up on weak poles, which might fall down at any time,” said Maniyan C, an auto driver, adding, “If someone hit the poles accidently, the whole structure might fall on one causing injuries.”

    Another commuter Allin Joe D said he had come across many commercial hoardings on the service road. “Political parties set a bad example by erecting structures on roads and commercial establishments follow suit,” he said.

    When contacted, city corporation commissioner K Vijaykarthikeyan said a team would be formed to curb the menace of illegal hoardings. “We will form a team comprising town planning and police officers and representatives of all departments to monitor and curb illegal hoardings.”


  • Four years on, integrated bus stand project yet to take off Nivedha Selvam | tnn | Dec 22, 2018, 00:43 IST

    Coimbatore: It was in 2014 that the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa announced the plan to construct an integrated bus stand at Vellalore. But little has been done to execute the project, which was expected to ease traffic congestion in the city.

    The project, which was with the city corporation, was handed over to the national highways wing of the state highways department about six months ago. They are yet to complete the pre-feasibility study, which would be conducted based on the detailed project report (DPR) submitted by the corporation.

    The project is still in its initial phase, a national highways official said. “It is only after the completion of pre-feasibility study, decision would be taken on whether to go ahead with the same plan or to make some changes in the corporation’s design. The civic body, which took up the project in 2015, included it under the ‘area-based development component’ of the smart city mission a year later. When the DPR was submitted for administrative sanction, the ministry of urban development refused to approve the project under smart city mission and handed it over to the national highways,” he told TOI.

    As per the DPR, three bus stands — omni, town and mofussil — with 354 bays, escalators, skywalks, underpasses, parking lots and restaurants were to be constructed on the 27-hectare land near the Vellalore dump yard. “As the central bus terminus and other major bus stands are located within the city limit and the constant flow of buses caused heavy traffic snarls, it was decided to establish the facility at Vellalore, on the border of the city,” said the official.

    N Karthik, MLA from the Singanallur constituency, blamed the authorities for the deadlock. “If this is the status of a project announced by a chief minister, then think about the status of the remaining projects. This is how the government administration functions. Moreover, commuters will be forced to travel more distance as Vellalore is situated half-an-hour away from the city. The decision to establish it at that place was a bad idea,” he said.

    Instead of easing traffic flow, the project will lead to more traffic congestion, former counsellor SM Samy said. “The roads in Vellalore are not wider than 30ft. To ease congestion, the approach roads should be at least 80ft wide. Unless the roads are widened, it is going to be a big failure.”

    Moreover, not many people want the integrated bus stand to come up near the dump yard, said Velmurugan, another former counsellor. “Even the local residents want to move from Vellalore because of the stench from the dump yard. It would do no good to the commuters and only spread diseases,” he said.


  • Residents up in arms against sewage plants Nivedha Selvam | Dec 24, 2018, 23:51 IST

    Coimbatore: Looks like the denizens are not that happy about the city corporation’s plan to set up two sewage treatment plants in every ward. They continue to submit petitions to the district collector, voicing their protest against the project.

    Two weeks after Sai Nagar residents protested against a sewage treatment plant being set up on a vacant plot in the area, a group of residents from Kathiravan Nagar and Udayam Nagar, near Podanur, turned up at the collectorate on Monday, raising the same issue.

    About 40 residents from Kathiravan Nagar and Udayam Nagar, which are situated right behind the Podanur Police Station, said last week a group of corporation officials surveyed a 7.5-acre open space reserve plot in Kathiravan Nagar. “They did not tell us what they were taking the measurements or even from which department they were from,” said Fayaz Khan, a resident of Udayam Nagar. “An official said they were building a 10ftx10ft tank, which we do not believe.”

    The reserve site has an anganwadi attended by 15 children, they said. “The Kathiravan Residents Welfare Association constructed a building and gave it to the government to run the anganwadi,” said Mansoor Khan, another resident. “We are afraid that instead of the sound of children playing merrily, stench will permeate the atmosphere soon.”

    The project should not be executed as the area is low-lying and a canal to the Noyyal River passes through it, the residents said. “If sewage overflows, it will flow straight to our streets and houses. The Noyyal canal is already filled with sewage,” a protester said.


  • Residents of Ganapathy seek removal of mobile tower Pratiksha.Ramkumar@timesgroup.com | Dec 25, 2018, 00:32 IST

    Coimbatore: A group of 30 residents of Nanjappa Layout at Ganapathy in the city on Monday petitioned the district collector seeking his intervention to stop a private company from erecting a mobile tower in their area.

    They said they were not consulted before the tower was erected. The private company started the work to set up the mobile tower on Saturday.

    The residents alleged that the tower could cause cancer among them and even affect fetuses.

    “A resident of Kasthuribai Street has permitted a private company to set up a mobile phone tower atop his terrace,” M Ramesh, a neighbor of the house owner, said. “Neither the private company nor the house owner bothered to get our consent. They technically require a permission from the corporation. But we don’t know how the civic body gave a ‘no objection certificate’ without our permission,” N Karthik, another resident, said.

    Another resident said the private company had approached other house owners a few months back, but they refused considering the health hazards it poses.

    “The radiation from cellphone towers is said to cause cancer. Our layout has 1,500 residents which includes children, senior citizens and even pregnant women,” Akash said. “In our area now, there are no mobile towers within 1km radius, except BSNL’s which is in their office compound,” said Ramesh.

    The department of telecom has set the exposure limits for radio frequency at 0.92 watt per square metre. However, many activists say that many cellular operators do not stick to those limits. This has prompted DOT to launch Tarang Sanchar, a portal where people can request for measurement of electro-magnetic radiation levels of a specific mobile tower.

    Whether electro-magnetic radiation pose a health hazard is a debate. While professor of electrical engineering in IIT Bombay, Girish Kumar says living within 50m of a mobile tower is like living in a microwave, WHO says radiation “could be” carcinogenic. “Most of our cellular operators say they transmit only 20watt to 40watt of power from their tower. Compare this to the US where operators in urban areas are not even allowed to transmit 1watt of power. The density of power transmitted in 4g towers are 1,000MW, while in the Austria even 1MW for 24x7 exposure is considered high. We are exposed to 1,000 times of that,” Kumar said.

    “For people like housewives, children and elderly people, who spend most of their time in houses, it could start causing headaches, loss of memory, difficulty in concentrating and even infertility in the long term,” he added.

    Rajan Mathews, who represents cellular operators, said there are no norms for minimum distance between two mobile phone towers or distance between a tower and human habitation.

    “It just requires an approval from the local body," he said.

    However, except a few residents claiming they developed brain cancer due to a mobile tower near their house or work place, there is still no conclusive evidence or published studies available of mobile tower radiation causing cancer.


  • Rice mill polluting Ayyasamy Colony, say residents Jan 1, 2019, 00:23 IST

    Tirupur: A group of residents from Kangeyam on Monday submitted a petition to the district administration demanding action against a rice mill, which was allegedly causing air pollution.

    The mill started functioning on Palayakottai Road a month ago, said L Sivakumar, a petitioner. “It is causing air pollution in the region. Its main chimney is emitting smoke consisting of black particles. As a result, residents of more than 500 houses located at Ayyasamy Colony in ward 6 of the Kangeyam municipality are suffering from respiratory problems and allergies. Some of them are taking medication for the health issues,” he said. “The black particles get depositing on foods and water. They even get attached to clothes.”

    Waste water discharged from the mill is affecting the water pumping station run by the Tamil Nadu water supply and drainage board, which is adjacent to the mill, the petition said.

    “The mill is processing at least 600 sacks of rice a day. But it looks like it lacks the necessary infrastructure and is causing pollution. The pumping station could be affected, if the black particles get deposited in the water tanks. Water pollution will affect the households. The district administration should take action and check pollution from the mill or direct its owners to shift it from the residential area,” former councillor A Maheswari said.

    The Tamil Nadu pollution control board will conduct an inspect and take appropriate action, a senior official said.


  • Coimbatore struggles to maintain plastic ban Those who stopped by a tender coconut stall near Ramanathapuram to quench thirst on the unusually hot December afternoon on Tuesday had a pleasant surprise. Instead of handing out a plastic straw, the coconut vendor gave a tumbler for those, who found it difficult to drink directly from the coconut.

    TNN | Updated: Jan 2, 2019, 05:34 IST

    Representative image

    COIMBATORE: Those who stopped by a tender coconut stall near Ramanathapuram to quench thirst on the unusually hot December afternoon on Tuesday had a pleasant surprise. Instead of handing out a plastic straw, the coconut vendor gave a tumbler for those, who found it difficult to drink directly from the coconut.

    Close by on Nanjundapuram Road, a board saying ‘no plastic carry bags’ welcomed the customers, who visited a meat stall. Bakeries had a tough time convincing customers that tea will not be given in plastic covers.

    Elsewhere in the city, plastic bags, tumblers and plates gave way to cloth bags on day-one of the state-wide ban on single-use plastic products.

    Big hotels, shopping malls and traders were well prepared for the ban and so did most of the commercial establishments.

    But teething problems arose, particularly among section such as roadside vendors including flower sellers, who could not find cheap alternatives to plastic carry bags. Flower vendors were worried that their sales will be hit because of the ban as most of the customers buy for Rs 10 to Rs 20 and they cannot afford other alternatives for wrapping flowers.

    “I have packed my flowers in small plastic covers. Besides the fact that I don’t have a choice, flowers would also get decayed easily in cloth bags,” said Vijaya, a flower vendor at Gandhipuram.

    Small eateries also found it difficult to cope with the ban on the first day. Customers were asked to bring tiffin boxes to get parcel food. “Most of the customers drop in for parcel on their way home. When they are turned away, my sales get reduced,” said Praveen Kumar, who runs an eatery at Puliakulam.

    Government officials said they were finding it difficult to implement the ban in small shops but were hopeful that such establishments will also switch over to alternatives soon. “We have doubled our production in the month of December. Our orders for January has increased by 85% . It has become a challenge for us to meet the demand. We have roped in more tailors to make cloth bags,” said Kavitha, co-ordinator of Pasumai Angadi.

    A Paramasivan of P&T Biotech that makes biocompostible bags said new orders were pouring in every day. “The demand for raw materials for biocompostible bags has increased. We are importing the raw materials now from Germany,”’ he said.


  • 174 illegal houses demolished to restore Sananoor canal tnn | Jan 4, 2019, 01:04 IST

    Coimbatore: The city corporation commenced the Sananoor canal rejuvenation project on Thursday by demolishing 174 houses that were constructed illegally encroaching the waterbody at Periyar Nagar on VOC Road.

    The canal, which once carried rainwater from Thadagam valley to the Singanallur lake, was rendered useless after domestic sewage was let into it in1990s and its width was narrowed down as people started illegal constructions along the canal, said a corporation official, who didn’t want to be named.

    According to the official, the corporation has sent a proposal to restore the 11.50km- long canal at a cost of Rs575 crore and a detailed project report (DPR) was being prepared by a consultant in this regard.

    The restoration process would start from Mettupalayam Road and cover areas including Gandhipuram, P N Palayam, Puliyakulam and Singanallur lake, the official said.

    Under the project, scheme road would be constructed on both the sides of the canal, along with and pedestrian pathways, non-motorized tracks and parks. The work would be implemented in multiple phases, the official said.

    An official with the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, meanwhile, said all the evicted people, including those residing on rental basis, were provided alternative accommodation at its housing unit in Keeranatham. “They were issued eviction notices as early as October.”

    Residents of more than 25 houses on VOC Road, however, alleged they were in dark about the corporation’s move to evict them. “Officials had issued eviction notice to the remaining houses in our area. But we were not intimated about the removal process,” said M Gunasekaran, one of the residents.

    He said they had filed a petition before the Madras high court in November seeking direction to the corporation to provide alternative land to them, instead of alternative houses. “When the case is still pending in the court, how could they demolish our houses?”

    When contacted, a slum clearance board official said they had conducted verification process in the area twice to ensure that no one was left out. “The houses were locked and remained unoccupied during the inspection drive and no body claimed ownership of them until the time of demolition,” the official said.


  • Police verification service goes online Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Updated: Jan 10, 2019, 13:20 IST

    Lakshmi from RS Puram receiving the report from deputy commissioner of police (law and order) Balaji Saravanan.

    COIMBATORE: Police on Wednesday launched online police verification service to enable people get four types of police verification reports (PVR) within 15 days.

    Public as well as private companies that want to do self-verification, job verification, tenant verification and domestic help verification could do it by visiting www.eservices.tnpolice.gov.in, inspector general of police K Periaiah said.

    “The government has fixed a fee of 500 per application for individuals and 1,000 for companies. The aim of the service is to verify the identity of a person, current address and to check if he/she is involved in any criminal case. The service is applicable only for verifying details of those residing in Tamil Nadu. The verification process will be completed within 15 days and a copy of PVR will be sent through e-mail to the applicant. They no longer need to visit police station and wait for weeks to get the verification report. The status of the application could be checked using the PVR number in the website,” the officer said.

    To check the authenticity of the PVR report, applicants could scan the QR codeon the report through the verify option on the website, police commissioner Sumit Sharan said. “The verification process will be initiated only if the applicant has attached consent letter of the person to be verified. It is to ensure the verification process is carried out with the knowledge of that person.”

    The report will reveal if someone is a troublemonger or has political influence, said an officer in charge of the service. “Earlier, the verification process was done manually and it took at least 30 to 50 days as the files were to be move from the headquarters to the police station concerned and had to come back once verification was completed. Also, the applicants needed to submit the application along with challan at police headquarters or commissioner office and collect it from the respective office,” the officer said.

    At present, while the district police receive about 1,200 to 2,000 applications, the city police get 2,400 to 3,600 applications annually, the official said, adding that in the last three years, most of the private companies had not recruited staff without doing police verification.

    Lakshmi from RS Puram, who applied for self-verification report during the trial period, said she received the report within three days.


  • 10 months on, private apartment yet to pay up for digging up road, damaging cables It has been more than 10 months since two government bodies slapped penalty on a private apartment on Nanjundapuram Road for digging up the road without prior permission and damaging underground cables. But till date, the apartment has not paid the fine.

    TNN | Updated: Jan 14, 2019, 05:47 IST

    Representative image

    COIMBATORE: It has been more than 10 months since two government bodies slapped penalty on a private apartment on Nanjundapuram Road for digging up the road without prior permission and damaging underground cables. But till date, the apartment has not paid the fine.

    Commuters on Nanjundapuram Road were shocked to see a 15ft-deep trench on the road after a rainy day in March last year. Complaints were registered, asking authorities to fix the road after several people fell into the pit.

    “It is only after the state highways department initiated an inquiry that it was revealed that the resident welfare association of the apartment had dug up the road with heavy machines to connect a sewage pipeline from the apartment to the sewage treatment plant just a few yards away,” recalled the petitioner, S Kanagasundaram, a civic activist.

    Even though the association members claimed to have got prior permission for the work, the inquiry revealed it to be false.

    According to the notice issued by the department to the association, “The association members had sought permission only to make a 10m long and 2m deep trench and had paid Rs 20,500 for doing restoration work. But, the department did not give work order to carry out the work.”

    They had further directed the association to pay Rs 2.30lakh in addition to the paid amount for violating the highway norms and digging up the road without informing anyone.

    Also, it came to light that they had damaged four main optical fiber cables of BSNL, due to which, connection was hindered to several government departments apart from educational institutions and banks, said the petitioner, citing the notice issued to the association by BSNL.

    For causing inconvenience to the public and damaging the cables, BSNL had slapped a penalty of Rs 6lakh. “In total, they will have to pay Rs 8.30lakh. But, till date, they did not pay a single rupee. Ideally, the officials could initiate prosecution against the association members for not paying the penalty within the stipulated time,” Kanagasundaram said, citing a recent RTI reply. He said that only if stringent action was taken against the violators, such instances will be reduced. He had filed a complaint with Ramanathapuram police as well.

    Meanwhile, the association members had written to the highways department claiming that they were not aware that the work should done only after issuing work order and urged them to provide permission to dig up the road. They also requested the officials to waive the penalized amount.


  • Madras high court orders demolition of illegal building in Coimbatore TNN | Jan 13, 2019, 10:23 IST

    Representative image

    CHENNAI: The Madras high court has ordered demolition of a multi-storey commercial cum residential complex located in the RS Puram area of Coimbatore. The court passed the order as 90% of the building has been constructed illegally, without sanction.

    A division bench of justices S Vaidyanathan and P T Asha however, postponed the demolition till June 7, as school annual exams of children residing in the complex are scheduled till April-May. “Electricity and water supply shall be disconnected to the entire premises on June 10. The occupiers shall vacate the premises before June 7, failing which, they would be deemed to have vacated and demolition shall commence. During such action, if their properties are damaged, the officials shall not be held liable,” the bench said.

    The bench passed the order on a plea moved by P Palaniammal, co-owner of the property, seeking direction to the district authorities to consider her representation dated September 11, 2018 for regularisation of the unauthorised construction.

    The property in dispute is located on West Sambandam Road, R S Puram, Coimbatore. The Coimbatore Corporation had issued several notices to the petitioner, stating that she should provide parking space inside the building for the owners of the residential flats, as cars of the house owners were parked on the street causing traffic congestion in the area.

    Final notice was issued on August 29, 2018. As per the notice, it is clear that the petitioner has constructed a building to an extent of 25,280sqft which is completely in violation of the sanctioned plan. The authorities had approved only 7,743sqft and no stilt floor was permitted. However, the petitioner had constructed 5,556sqft stilt floor and several other floors in violation of sanctioned plan. “The conduct of the petitioner in the present case deserves to be noticed. She knew fully well what was the permissible construction as per the sanctioned building plan. However, she has not only constructed the ground, first and second floors, but also constructed additional third, fourth and stilt floors, which are totally unauthorized. She was probably under the impression that she would be able to escape from the clutches of the law, by way of manipulation,” the court said.

    Although illegal constructions and encroachments are brought to the notice of authorities, they turn a blind eye for reasons best known to them and allow the illegal structures to stand, the bench added.

  • Illegal sand quarries thrive in Palar river basin, no action so far Rajasekaran RK
    At least three illegal sand quarries are functioning in Palar river basin in Udumalpet taluk in Tirupur district.

    | TNN | Updated: Jan 14, 2019, 11:25 IST

    Pillaging pallar

    TIRUPUR: At least three illegal sand quarries are functioning in Palar river basin in Udumalpet taluk in Tirupur district. Villagers said illegal sand mining was happening for months in the region, and the violators had threatened residents as well as the officials.

    The district administration was yet to initiate any sort of enquiry into the issue. On Saturday, two sand-laden trucks managed to escape, even as a team of revenue officials tried to stop them in Ravanaapuram village.

    Palar, the sub-tributary of Aliyar river, originates at Thirumoorthy hills, and passes through villages in Udumalpet and enters Coimbatore district.

    The district administration has not given any licence to mine sand in the river. “A farmer who owns around six acres of farm land on the banks of Palar riverin Valaiyapalayamin Vallakundapuram panchayat obtained licence to remove ‘savudu’ sand from his farm. Though he had obtained the licence for 15 days, five months ago, he quarried beyond the expiry date. Apart from the sand in his farm, the sand from the river basin was also mined,” said a villager.

    “The farmer could have sold more than 2,500 truckloads of sand, and got a good deal in Coimbatore and Kerala. Following which, few others who have land along the Palar river started taking advantage. Three such illegal sand quarries have cropped up in the region,” said the villager.

    A team of revenue officials reached Ravanaapuram panchayat for inspection. “They found that without obtaining any licence, the quarry was functioning in a farm land owned by J Rajkumar and J Rajasekar,” said official sources.

    “A sand-laden truck fled on Saturday afternoon, when the officials tried to stop. The officials managed to stop another truck for few minutes. However, the driver unloaded the sand and escaped despite warnings from the officials to halt the vehicles,” the sources said.

    Some villagers from Ravanaapuram say some politicians are supporting illegal sand mining in the area. The mafia sells a truckload of sand for Rs. 30,000. In order to upgrade the sand quality like Karur sand, they wash the sand on the spot.

    When contacted, Udumalpet Revenue Divisional Officer S Asokan told TOI that, “I will order the revenue officials to conduct an enquiry into the issue and seek report soon.”


  • Pollution: Power supply to four dyeing units cut TNN | Jan 17, 2019, 00:40 IST

    Tirupur: Electricity connections to four textile dyeing units were cut for polluting Noyyal and other areas in the district. Electricity was disconnected based on the recommendation by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

    A dyeing unit attached to S Periyapalayam common effluent treatment plant was found to have released effluents into the Noyyal river. “The dyeing unit laid a separate pipeline to let the effluents into the river, instead of sending them to the treatment plant,” said a TNPCB official, who didn’t want to be named.

    The officials also caught another dyeing unit, which was run by a leading knitwear exporter, releasing effluents into a waterbody at Veerapandi. “It had an individual effluent treatment plant, but yet effluents were released into a waterbody.”

    Similarly, two other unregistered dyeing units were found discharging effluents in open ground at Iduvampalayam.

    Based on the TNPCB recommendation, the district monitoring committee directed Tangedco to sever the electricity connections to all the four units.

  • Real estate sector registers 25% growth Pratiksha.Ramkumar@timesgroup.com | Jan 18, 2019, 00:56 IST

    Real estate developers and builders confirm that registrations of land parcel and apartments had increased since last year, compared to the slump experienced in 2016 and 2017. They say that land across segments, including residential, commercial and even industrial, are beginning to find buyers. They say that small budget sales have become common and a few big budget deals too are beginning to go through.

    Realtors and builders say their industry is finally beginning to look up after registrations came to a complete halt in 2016. “A focused realtor can now complete one deal in one to three months, compared to the six months it took earlier,” said R Hariprakash, founder, Race Course-based Annai Realty. “And we are seeing good movements of residential and commercial lands and even a few industrial land plots. People are willing to invest,” he said.

    The silver lining is hardly restricted to land movement alone, the construction industry too seems to be registering a sizeable momentum in business. “We are seeing at least a 25% growth in business in 2018,” said Aashish Raichuraa, of Saibaba Colony-based DJ Deesigners, a company of architects and civil engineers. “We are mainly getting a lot of apartments and residential projects. While a large chunk of growth has come from Erode and Salem, Coimbatore is also giving us good business,” he added. The outskirts and suburbs of the city also seem to be faring better than the older parts of the city in terms of residential land registrations. “Residential land is moving better than commercial land on the outskirts. However, people are preferring apartments and smaller plot sizes. Plots which are priced between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 30 lakh a cent are the fast-moving ones,” said Logesh Kumarasamy, managing director of Builders Pollachi.

    However, real estate brokers say landowners who have brought down their land prices in the last one year to remain competitive are the ones who have shown successful sales. “By 2017-end, many landowners, especially those with unapproved layouts, began reducing their prices by a few rupees a cent. So, buyers who have been eyeing those plots for a while ended up buying them in 2018. There is still more supply than demand,” said Veeramani K, a broker.

  • Revenue dept’s kitty swells despite less land registrations Abbinaya Kuzhanthaivel | Jan 18, 2019, 00:55 IST

    After a slump in real estate sector two years back, land transactions have picked up in the district filling the kitty of the registration department.

    The department has collected Rs 903 crore revenue by registering 1,30,897 documents from April 2018 to December 2018, which is expected to rise further by the end of the current fiscal year. In 2016–17, when the real estate sector saw a drop, the department managed to mop up only Rs 611 crore. That year the government aimed for a target of Rs 900 crore, but land transactions turned out to be dull.

    Though various factors like mandating approval from the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) and strict RERA guidelines were attributed to the fall, real estate players blamed demonetisation to have played a major role in aiding the slump.

    Soon after DTCP approval was made mandatory in 2016, land parcels without approvals were stuck without sales and owners of land with approvals hiked the prices exorbitantly forcing the buyers to put off their plans.

    But next year revenue collection started soaring, partly due to revision of guideline value by the state government which gave the much-required push to land sales.

    “There is a marked increase in revenues compared to the past years. In 2017 fiscal, the revenue collection rose to Rs 876 crore. After the revised guideline values, more people came forward for land registration,” said a senior officer in the registration department.

    Though the guideline value was slashed, government’s move to hike registration fee helped mop up more revenue. Hence, the registration department managed to collect more revenue this fiscal even though number of registrations was lesser than 2016.

    “With three more months to go for the financial year to end, we hope to surpass the number of land registrations made in previous years,’’ said the officer.

    But government officials are not sure of the nature of land being sold or bought. Though exact information on nature of land transacted is not available, officials say there was equal demand and sale of residential, agricultural and industrial land. Similarly, the land transactions are spread out in rural areas as well as urban areas.

    Realtors say that the sector seems to be stabilized. “The sector is going through a phase where there are no ups and downs. There is neither too big a growth nor a slowdown now,” said Karthikeyan from Kovai Real Estate Services.

    Officials say that simplification of registration process by making it online has also helped. “We have made the process easy by eradicating the need for brokers. People can now register through online portal and can get their hard copy of the documents on the same day of registration,” said the officer.


  • Delay in sharing waste collection route map threatens to derail micro composting project
    Karthik Madhavan

    The micro composting centre at R.S. Puram in the city could lie in disuse if the waste collection route map is not shared.S. Siva Saravanan

    The route map is essential to decide on the capacity of each of the composting centres
    At a time when the micro composting centres to process organic waste are getting ready, there seems to be a delay in sharing the details regarding the areas that the centres would cover.

    The Coimbatore Corporation is in the process of constructing around 60 centres across the city to locally process organic (wet, degradable) waste that is generated in each of the centre's neighbourhood. The objective, the Corporation officials said, was to reduce the quantity of waste transported to Vellalore and also use the compost obtained by processing the organic waste in the locality.

    The centres will have the capacity to handle five or less than five tonnes a day, which will depend on the locality. And the Corporation is spending Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 35 lakh to construct each centre.

    But for the Corporation to decide on the capacity of each of the micro composting centres it needed to know how much organic waste the neighbourhood would generate. To assess the waste generation, the engineering wing that builds the centres had asked the health wing, which handles the primary waste collection from houses, for a route map.

    The route map would reveal how many houses and streets were in the neighbourhood and how many conservancy workers operating the push carts or other primary collection vehicles served in the area.

    As the health wing delayed sharing the route map data, the engineering wing went ahead with the construction of the micro composting centres, said a senior engineer, on condition of anonymity.

    It they were to wait for the data, the construction would be delayed. And, the micro composting centre being a State-wide project under the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration, the Corporation went ahead with the construction.

    Now, with the construction nearing completion, the situation was no different, rued another engineer in-charge of waste management. He said sharing of route map data was necessary for the efficient functioning of the composting centres.

    A health wing official said there was some delay in sharing the route map but it would be done in the next couple of weeks.