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- That was pretty impressive. I was aware of the shift in focus of most real space developers towards new & growing urban centers, but this was an eye opener...that word - walk-to-work is real catchy tough!CommentQuote0Flag
- Harrisons to surrender 835 acre excess land to Kerala govt
Kochi: Plantation company Harrisons Malayalam Ltd has informed the Kerala High court that it was ready to surrender to the state government nearly 835 acre of excess land spread over in four districts.
HML made a submission in this regard before a division bench comprising Justices M Sashidharan Nambiar and P Bhavadasan.
The court asked the company to produce the original documents relating to the case pending before the Kottayam Land Tribunal.
According to HML, it was willing to surrender 834.53 acre excess land in four districts of Wayanad, Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kollam.
About 59,623 acres, of which 12,675 acres are in Wayanad, is being held by the company, HML counsel stated.
The court allowed the government to produce additional documents and adjourned the case to August 9.
It had directed HML to file a statement on the excess land held by it on a petition filed by the state government seeking a declaration that large tracts of land held by
Harrisons were liable to be forfeited under the Kerala Escheat and Forfeiture Act and protected as government land.
Harrisons to surrender 835 acre excess land to Kerala govtCommentQuote1Flag
- Centre okays Metro link to Bahadurgarh
GURGAON/CHANDIGARH: The Union government on Tuesday approved the extension ofMetro rail connection from Mundka (Delhi) to Bahadurgarh (Haryana), giving a third such link in the NCR of Haryana.
The approval was accorded at a high-level empowered group of ministers meeting, headed by Union defence minister A K Antony in New Delhi. Gurgaon and Faridabad are the other two Haryana cities connected with national capital by Metro rail.
Union finance minister P Chidambram, urban development minister Kamal Nath, minister Praful Patel, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and deputy chairman of Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia attended the meeting.
The route length of Delhi Metro from Mundka to Bahadurgarh, Haryana will be 11.182 kms that would cost Rs 1,991 crore. Seven metro stations would be set up at Mundka Industrial Area, Ghevra, Tikri Kalan, Tikri Border, Modern Industrial Estate, Bahadurgarh Bus Stand and City Park between Mundka and Bahadurgarh. The construction work of the extension project will start later this year and would be completed by March, 2016.
Haryana segment of the approved extension would be 4.875 kms while Delhi segment would be 6.307 kms. Of the total project cost, Rs 912 crore will be for the Haryana segment whereas Rs 1,079 crore will be spent on Delhi segment. Haryana government will bear expenses of Rs 788 crore for the project and would also provide 10 hectares of land for constructing a Metro depot.
On completion in 2016, it will provide commuting facilities to about 96,000 passengers from Bahadurgarh to Delhi and vice-versa. By 2021-2022, this figure is likely to go up to 1,48,000, sources said.
Centre okays Metro link to Bahadurgar - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote1Flag
- Unauthorised colonies at Uttarakhand to be regularised: CM
Dehra dun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has said that unauthorised colonies in the state would be regularised so that residents get ownership rights of their property.
A proposal for regularisation of unauthorised colonies would soon be brought before the state cabinet, Bahuguna said during a review meeting of the urban development department here last evening.
In this regard, he said the government is also preparing policies for housing and township development.
An official release said Bahuguna also advocated the construction of a multi-parking complex to redress parking problems in cities. He also called for better coordination between various undertaking agencies involved in construction works.
The Chief Minister said that traffic signals would be installed in all the squares and multi-story parking would be constructed in the city. He said measures would be taken to make the city lush and green.
Bahuguna laid emphasis on improving financial condition of local civic bodies and said taxes would be imposed on local buses entering the city area and responsibility of operating buses would also be given to local civic bodies.
Unauthorised colonies at Uttarakhand to be regularised: CMCommentQuote1Flag
- Ambala-Under the weather
Despite its proximity to the state capital and a strategic location on NH1, the real estate sector in the scientific city of Ambala has failed to attract any major developer over the past few months. Most of the developers have been shying away from launching projects in Ambala due to a slowdown here.
Even as the areas close to the district, including Dera Bassi and Zirakpur in Punjab, are witnessing large scale constructions of flats and villas, major developments in the reality sector continued to elude the district.
According Omkar Nathi, president of the real estate dealers of Ambala Cantonment, some of the local developers had come up with a few colonies on the outskirts of the twin cities, but these projects had not got good response from the buyers. “Thanks to the high prices that the developers had to pay for getting their projects approved by the government, many small-time developers chose to come up with unapproved colonies here”, he added.
As of today there is only one colony which has recently been approved by the state government. This is the one being developed by Harman Developers on the Ambala-Jagadhari road. But the pace of development here, too, is slow.
Satish Sharma, another local property dealer, said an overall recession in real estate markets across the region had gripped the property market in Ambala also. “Till last year Ambala was being touted as a major real estate destination in northern region, but as of today the situation is different,” he said.
One of the main reasons behind this slump is the imposition of a complete ban on land deals through power of attorney. The registration of plots in unapproved colonies has also hit the real estate business in a big way, Nathi said.
The virtual absence of buyers in the market has also added to the slowdown here. “It is mainly because of the sky rocketing prices that there are no buyers in the market now,” said Pradeep Rattanheri, a local property dealer. “Buying a commercial property anywhere in Sadar Bazaar, where the land is owned by the government can cost a buyer anywhere between Rs 2 and 3 lakh per sq yd,” he said.
Rattanheri said an average employee was finding it hard to buy a plot in the approved colonies where the price ranges between Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000 per sq yd. While, buying a plot in unapproved colonies, which had mushroomed all-around the twin cities, was out of question for them due to the legalities involved.
As of today, there is no major upcoming residential or commercial project in the city. The absence of noticeable industries in the district (other than a few in the Saha industrial sector) has also hit the property business. The district has a limited industrial base consisting of small-scale scientific and surgical instruments manufacturing industry, some food industry, metal casting, kitchen mixer grinder manufacturing and submersible motor pump manufacturing units. But, these do not attract many employment seekers who would settle here and eventually buy property. The city has been reduced to a mere transit city used by commuters who travel between Chandigarh and Delhi or Amritsar and Delhi.
Though, till last year companies such as Unitech, Reliance Industries and DLF were believed to have acquired land for their SEZs on Ambala-Naraingarh road, these projects have not seen the light of the day so far.
The Vatika Group, which was coming up with its group housing scheme that was to be followed by commercial properties, also hit a legal roadblock. The group had planned a major residential settlement on one of the largest land banks of over 170 acres in the city. It was also supposed to have around 500-700 two and three BHK apartments apart from a multiplex.
Plots in the sectors developed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) are fetching a price of Rs 12,000 to Rs 25,000 per sq yd. The houses are six marla, 10 marlas and one kanal. In Ambala Cantt, private colonies such as Agrasen Nagar, Dayal Bagh and Rani Bagh have prices in the range of Rs 18,000 per sq yd. The plots range from four marlas (100 square yards) to one kanal (600 square yard).
Near Gasitpur village in Ambala Cantt, HUDA has set up three sectors - 32, 33 and 34. HUDA had plans to add three more sectors as part of its expansion, which might heat up the scene for the property business here. Here the HUDA had come up with flats, most of which are now lying vacant and these have not found favour with the local residents.
The commercial activities have so far taken place largely in Sadar Bazar in Ambala Cantt, Mahesh Nagar on Jagadhri road, Cloth market Jagadhri Gate and Model Town markets in Ambala City. While, a shopping mall by the name of Galaxy Mall has also come up in the city area.
In Ambala, a record of entire accessible properties which are up for purchase, sale or rental amenities are all given by the property dealers of the city. As the values of the properties in Ambala are hiked exponentially, the purchase of property and land is limited only to investors.
- Looks like a paid article, atleast things that have been said about Agra.
TDI mall on fatehabad road is a big flop as no one drives more than 10 Km for shopping at this mall when there are better places around in town. Investors who bought shops in this mall are cursing them as after keeping the maintenance for couple of years, TDI transferred the maintenance rights to a new company which acts like a mafia and charge about 1/2 the rent cost as maintenance.Originally Posted by fritolay_psDevelopers are moving to Tier II & III cities like Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Gwalior, Jaipur, Nagpur, Meerut, among others, which is expected to augment demand for residential real estate in these places. A K TIWARY writes
Developers are now moving towards Tier II & III cities, having provided quality products in the metro cities like the Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc.
The reason is not far to see as demand in these cities is increasing by the day. Developers like Ansal API, Ansal Housing, Assotech, Omaxe, Amrapali, Antriksh, Unimexx Builders, Supertech, Earth Infrastructure, etc, which have made a major contribution to the realty scene in Delhi and the NCR, are now heading here.
Apart from real estate firms, a large number of IT-ITeS companies are also moving to Tier II & III cities in search of cheaper real estate and manpower. This will augment demand for residential real estate in places like Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Gwalior, Jaipur, Nagpur, Meerut, Kochi, Indore, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Udaipur, among others. The demand for quality lifestyle and walk-to-work concept are some of the drivers of demand for Tier II & III cities that offer commercial, retail, residential, and leisure facilities within a given area.
Encouraged by the growth in demand for affordable housing projects in the country, Noidabased real estate player Assotech Limited is exploring the possibility of developing a low-cost residential project in Bhubaneswar.
Assotech announced its Cosmopolis project in Bhubaneswar, which the company was keen to develop over 8.93 acres at Dumduma on National Highway 5, close to the archaeological sites of Khandagiri and Udaygiri. This project is being developed by Assotech in a strategic alliance with the city-based B Engineers and Builders Limited. Assotech has received all the relevant clearances from the Bhubaneswar Development Authority for the Cosmopolis project. Cosmopolis will consist of 17 floors and 666 dwelling units. This highrise complex will offer environmental-friendly features like rainwater harvesting system to replenish groundwater, as well as environment-friendly waste disposal and sewerage treatment.
Assotech Ltd is also coming up with a 5-star hotel, Radisson, after the launch of Cosmopolis. The project is a joint venture of Assotech and Milan Group. It will only be premium business hotel in the 5-star category in Bhubaneswar. The project is coming up on a prime site close to the Biju Patnaik Airport, Bhubaneswar. The national highway and railway station are within a radius of 5km from this project. This property will have nearly 120 rooms. The newly developing area of Khurda lies about 10km to the north. The proposed medical institutions like AIIMS and other educational facilities are located nearby. Assotech has also launched Windsor Hills in Gwalior, Metropolis City in Rudrapur and Medilifecare hospital in Patna.
Sanjiv Srivastava, the managing director of Assotech Ltd, says: "As a growth driver, the retail revolution, apart from bringing in positive and sweeping changes in the quality of life in the metros and bigger towns, is also bringing in changes in the lifestyles in Tier II and III cities. Increase in literacy, entry of software giants, high disposable income, exposure to media, greater availability and penetration of a variety of consumer goods into the interiors, have all resulted in creating lifestyle and aspiration levels on a par with other fastmoving metropolitan cities."
Under a 3-tier planning, developers are also reaching hill stations like Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. Here Unimexx Builders and Developers Pvt Ltd is offering a residential project, Kullu-Manali, on NH-21. This is on a 3-minute drive from Bhuntar Airport. Sumit Khanna, the chairman and managing director of Unimexx Builders, says: “In the serene backdrop of Himalayas in Kullu, our project is the most sought-after location with 190 units of 1-, 2-, 3BHK apartments, ensconced in orchids and beautiful landscapes of the valley.
“Fully furnished apartments with all 5-star amenities, security, power backup, and elevators make your life comfortable and luxurious. One of the attractive features is a promising asset for real estate market with assured profit returns in two years. And, this is the only government-approved project and is open for non Himachalis too. The project is likely to be completed by March 2013.”
Anil Sharma, the chairman of Amrapali, says: "The future of retailing in Tier II & III cities lies in New Age shopping malls, which provide variety, value and convenience in a more comfortable environment. The growth is supported by a surge in the consumer spending on branded goods in the recent times."
Amrapali Group has been launching its projects in Kochi, Patna, Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Jaipur and Indore.
Boom in Agra
Agra is now a very popular city for builders and developers after the boom of real estate industry here.
Residential development has put property in Fatehabad Road, Shamshabad Road, Dayal Bagh, Shastri Puram in focus in Agra. Reputed builders like Ansal API, TDI, Omaxe, Pushpanjali, Gayatri, Nalanda Developer, Bulland Heights, Anupam and Nikhil Housing are also showing interest in undertaking residential housing projects.
TDI City, Agra, is the first ecofriendly township located in the main Fatehabad Road and adjoining the proposed Noida Agra Expressway. It is being developed over 125 acres. The township is next to the eight-lane Taj Expressway and about 3.5km from the Taj Mahal.
This integrated township offers hotels, malls, shopping space, group housing, residential plots (200, 300 and 400 sq yd) and villas. With well-connected roads and rail network to entire country, a pollution free environment, and an international airport on the anvil, the township offers a highly modernistic lifestyle to the city of Agra. Ravinder
Taneja, vice-chairman of TDI, says: "Located at the junction of Fatehabad and Taj Road in Agra, TDI Mall is may well be Agra's longest and biggest mall in with an area of 2,00,000 sq ft. The mall is not only in close vicinity of the Taj Mahal, but also of luxury hotels like the Amar Vilas, Welcomgroup Mughal Sheraton, Jaypee Palace and the Trident."
Sushant Taj City, over 500 acres, is just two and half hours from Delhi, and has been meticulously planned. It has everything that customers look for: abundant greenery, a well-developed network of roads, parks, uninterrupted power, quality water supply and a secured cluster planning.
Pranav Ansal, the vice-chairman of Ansal API, says: "This project is a realization of Agra's long cherished desire for a global lifestyle. A pollution-free environment, state-of-the-art security systems and amenities fit for a luxurious cosmopolitan lifestyle make Sushant Taj City the most enviable location in the city. It promises to be the gateway to a new Agra."
Mohali gears up
Real estate in Mohali has started seeing bullish trends, as more and more buyers have begun to invest here. It is not only residential property; commercial property in Mohali, too, is seeing sunny days. An investment in Mohali real estate is sure to give a definite edge to buyers. Mohali has beautiful green surrounding with a proposed lake, a golf course, and an international airport adding to the USP of the place.
Several reputed builders including Ansals, Emaar MGF, TDI, Omaxe, DLF, IREO, and Unitech are developing mega projects at Mohali. With the entry of these big-ticket developers, Mohali is set to emerge as the favourite destination for global investors and end users. Ravinder Taneja says: "TDI has launched two mega projects, TDI City-1 and TDI City-2, in Mohali. TDI city-1 is spread over 200 acres and is a fine fusion of world-class infrastructure and good taste. With facilities and amenities like schools, a 5-star luxury hotel, a healthcare centre, a mallcum-multiplex and recreation centres, the township offers you a superb living experience."
Strategically located in Sectors 110 and 111, on the main Landran-Banur Road, another integrated township, TDI City-2, offers plots of various sizes, along with beautifully designed villas and luxury apartments. Spread over 150 acres, the township will have state-of-the-art malls, a multiplex, healthcare centres, etc. Ansal API City Centre Mohali, the new landmark located on the prime Kharar-Landran Road in Sector 115, Mohali, offers more options. The City Centre is designed to become the hub of all business and leisure activities in this city, as it offers a variety of options for residents to choose from.
Rohtas Goyal, the chairman and managing director of Omaxe Ltd, says: "On the other side, Mullanpur, is spread over 6,123 hectares, taken from 33 villages around the Chandigarh periphery, and is set to be the first 'eco-town' in Punjab. The approved master plan for Mullanpur local planning area includes several special development control regulations like a no-development zone, special-use zone and building-height control measures."
A state-of-the-art 7-star hotel is being developed by Omaxe, on 25 acres. The construction is likely to take off soon as the state government has allowed change of land use. The state government has recently given approval for a Rs 202-crore Golden Peak Township Private Limited, a mega housing project of Omaxe in Mullanpur, for the development of an integrated township consisting of row housing, villas and plots over 185 acres.
In addition, DLF has planned to invest Rs 1,000 crore in Mullanpur for a mega township project on nearly 170 acres; this will provide employment to nearly 5,000 people.
APART FROM REAL ESTATE FIRMS, A LARGE NUMBER OF IT-ITES COMPANIES ARE ALSO MOVING TO TIER II & III CITIES IN SEARCH OF CHEAPER REAL ESTATE AND MANPOWER
THE DEMAND FOR QUALITY LIFESTYLE AND WALK-TO-WORK CONCEPT ARE SOME OF THE DRIVERS OF DEMAND FOR TIER II & III CITIES THAT OFFER COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, RESIDENTIAL, AND LEISURE FACILITIES WITHIN A GIVEN AREA.
- Bhopal Municipal Corporation to seek help for tower radiation lowdown
BHOPAL: Amid new regulatory guidelines for towers, Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) is writing to the Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday to conduct a survey to check radiation from e towers across the city.
The new regulatory guidelines to become effective from September 1 specifies that radiation from the towers will be reduced to 1/10 of the present radiation. This means radiation from the towers will be reduced to 0.92 w/ sq. m (watt per square metre) from the existing 92 w/sq. m.
"We are writing to the TRAI, local authorities and the telecom companies to have a check on the radiation from towers"," BMC commissioner Rajneesh Shrivastava said. "Irrespective of whether the towers are legal or illegal, radiation from every tower will be thoroughly checked and then a certificate will be issued for the same," he added.
"We are doing this since the corporations does not have staff trained to keep a check on the radiation from the towers," the commissioner said.
This decision was made to reduce harmful effects caused by the electromagnetic field radiation from the towers and phones.
"After this survey action would be taken against the illegal towers, the onus for which is always controversial," the commissioner said. "The illegal towers in the city are definitely harmful for the residents," he added.
"After removing 58 illegal towers in the city, presently there are 338 illegal towers remaining in the city," Pramod Shukla, additional commissioner, BMC said.
Status of towers
Total towers in city: 637
Illegal towers: 338
Legal towers: 259
High court stay: 50
Bhopal Municipal Corporation to seek help for mobile tower radiation lowdown - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote1Flag
- Forest or estate: Leased land status divides Kerala govt
Thiruvananthapuram: Conflicting interests involving the status of leased land have divided the UDF government in Kerala, with the forest department claiming the land and the government chief whip leading a battle against the forest minister by taking up estate owners’ cause.
Chief whip P C George, who is of cabinet rank, represents the regional Christian party Kerala Congress, which has a considerable interest in the plantation sector under the garb of marginal farming. George has been opposing an effort by the forest department, headed by minister K B Ganesh Kumar, to take over the Shernelly estate in Palakkad.
Shernelly spreads over 278 acres of the 9,491-acre Nelliyambathy estates. With successive changes in ownership and tweaking of lease agreements, the number of estates has grown from 24 to 52, of which 11 have been taken over by the government, citing either expiry or violation of the lease agreement. Another three — including Shernelly, the others being Rajakkad and Monkwood — had been taken over but owners challenged it. These estates have been slapped charges of non-compliance of forest laws.
In an affidavit last week, the government told the High Court the Nelliyambathy estates are reserve forests; estate owners could be considered “encroachers”.
The estates, given on lease in the second half of the 19th century, were declared reserved forests by the erstwhile Cochin government in 1909. After the formation of Kerala state, all these rights were transferred to the state government, said the affidavit.
George said, “Shernelly has been a rubber plantation from 1909.” He says the government decision would affect the fortunes of “farmers”, meaning the estate owners. The forest department has found the estate was split among members of three families, all from George’s Kottayam district. Besides, some of them managed huge bank loans after pledging forest land. Ganesh Kumar has demanded a CBI probe into this.
A small-time actor and the leader of another Kerala Congress group, Kumar was openly threatened at a public meeting by George, who enjoys the support of the minister’s estranged father R Balakrishna Pillai.
After George revolted against the forest department, the government formed a sub-committee to make recommendations. This move has divided the UDF, with Kumar and George both finding support bases.
Six UDF legislators have plunged into green politics. Congress legislators V D Satheesan, T N Prathapan, V T Balram and Hybi Eden, the Socialist Janata Democratic’s Sreyamskumar and the Muslim League’s K M Shaji have launched a blog, greenthoughtskerala..in.
The campaign, virtually a rebellion against the UDF government, comes a month ahead of a major investors’ conclave planned by the government. Says Satheesan, “Nelliyambathy is the latest in a series of fights against the realty mafia. The blog is meant to generate discussions on state resources.’’
He added, “The status of Nelliyambathy as a reserve forest was legally settled. The government should not have allowed politicians to form a sub-committee based on petitions of estate owners.”
Congress spokes-man M M Hassan, who has quit as chairman of the sub-committee, has criticised Satheeshan and his team, saying, “They are trying to gain political mileage under the banner of green politics.”
Many bloggers have asked the crusaders why they have taken up only Nelliyambathy when powerful groups occupy government land elsewhere. Prathapan said these and violation of lease agreements by Harrison Mayalayalam Plantations would be taken up.
The revolt comes against the backdrop of two key decisions: to legalise paddy fillings up to 2005 and to allow the plantation sector to divert 5 per cent of their land for tourism. Recently, the Congress leadership asked the government to review both decisions.
Source - Financial ExpressCommentQuote1Flag
- Trichy farmlands being eaten up by land sharks
TRICHY: Most of the arable lands around Trichy are fast becoming real estate properties allegedly due to the obliging revenue officials. The worst-affected are the poor tapioca growers whose collective 2,500 hectares have been converted into real estate terrain, according to officials in the horticulture department.
The officials, who did not want to be named, told TOI that in the last land survey conducted by the department in 2008, as much as 6,013 hectares (one hectare is 2.5 acres) were under tapioca cultivation and now the total land area for this crop has been narrowed down to around 3,500 hectares in four years. While builders call it rapid modernisation and expansion of town limits, a few concerned officials term it encroachment of agricultural lands.
They lamented that revenue officials were working overtime to convert farmlands into housing plots without the necessary no-objection certificate from the horticulture department. The poor farmers too gave in to the pressure to powerful lobbying since agriculture was no more profitable as it once used to be. Also, more and more youngsters looked down upon tilling of land. The farmers could not withstand the pressure from monopolistic cartels that controlled the market prices of tapioca at will either.
The officials said the business of growing tapioca in Trichy district was no more profitable as a Salem-based mill controlled the prices. About 52 tonnes of tapioca are generally harvested on a hectare of land and the crop, that was in the recent past sold at Rs 10 per kg in the wholesale market, was not even fetching Rs two today. The owners of the mills in question had formed a cartel, the officials alleged. They, at times, inflated the rate (normally fixed based on starch content), goading farmers to sow more, and then dropping prices at the crucial harvest season, to the detriment of growers.
The tapioca farmers complained to the district collector and subsequently a meeting of tapioca producers and mill owners was recently organised at Thuraiyur to thrash out contentious price-related issues. At the end of the meeting, all the administration could do was to advise the growers to form an exclusive association so that they could fight better together. The district administration also advised them not to harvest yield at one go, but depending on the market climate so that intermediaries could not exploit the situation. Tapioca is predominantly grown in Thuraiyur, Uppiliyapuram, Musiri, Thathangaiyarpet and Mannachanallur.
Similarly, banana of all varieties was cultivated over 9,167 hectares in 2008, but the cultivable area has now shrunk to 8,400 hectares, according to official estimates. The one-year crop had been grown in areas such as Thiruverumbur, Anthanallur, Lalgudi and Mannachannalur, and since they were in the periphery of Trichy town, it came handy for builders to convert them into competitively priced housing plots. Now, only Thottiyam and Musiri areas cultivate banana, which is also affected by a water shortage.
Trichy farmlands being eaten up by land sharks - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote1Flag
- Face the music for encroachment in lake area: CM
BHOPAL: Adopting no-nonsense attitude about any laxity in granting building permission in the Upper Lake catchment area, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told officers to be ready for any such action.
Reviewing the works being carried out for the lake's conservation and development, Chouhan at a meeting on Friday said concrete steps must be taken to ensure lakes' conservation.
An official spokesman later said the chief minister told officer concerned would be held responsible for encroachments in the catchment area of the Upper Lake in Bhopal. Officer granting building permission in this area would also be punished.
According to spokesman, the chief minister also issued directives to chalk out practical long-term and short-term action plans for conservation, development and beautification of the Upper Lake and other lakes in the city and nearby areas
Urban administration minister Babulal Gaur, mayor Krishna Gaur and chief secretary R Parasuram were among others present.
At the meeting, the chief minister also directed to take a concrete initiative to ensure conservation of all the urban and rural area reservoirs in the state. Referring to aerial survey made by him recently, Chouhan said the flow of water into Kolans and Uljhawan rivers, the two tributaries of the Upper Lake has reduced. He said a short-term action plan should be chalked out and implemented soon for deepening of these rivers, motivating farmers in the area to adopt organic farming, treatment of sewer among other things.
Work of deepening of rivers should be completed before the next monsoon.
Face the music for encroachment in lake area: CM - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote1Flag
- Residents heave a sigh of relief
COIMBATORE: Ever since the previous DMK government had announced the Western bypass project, people have been on war path, holding demonstrations to seek a revision of the plan in lines with the one suggested in 1986 which caused minimum displacement. Their persistence has finally borne fruit with the government's decision to scrap the controversial project in favour of a less disruptive one.
The scrapped alignment, which according to the highways department had been approved by a high-level committee, would have destroyed at least 1000 homes including large apartment complexes. "There are many residents who have spent upwards of Rs 75 lakh to buy an apartment here. They have invested their entire life-savings in the home. Some of them are retired. Now we can heave a sigh of relief," says G Balaji, a resident of Thirumurugan Nagar near Thudiyalur.
According to residents, the construction of the Madukkarai-Narasimha Naicken Palyam road would be easier as there is a 25m wide road that already exists. It can be expanded into a 45m wide bypass road very easily. "The reviving road was originally planned in 1986 to be built along a different alignment, which would not have affected our homes. But it was a private contractor who changed the alignment to serve his interests," contends Balaji.
According to M Kesavan, a resident of Thudiyalur, the initial western bypass project was flawed since it was planned through some of the newly added areas of the city corporation. The purpose of the bypass is to decongest the city which now includes Kunimuthur and Thudiyalur, areas that are also crowded.
"The government has finally woken up to reality. By changing the alignment, it has taken a crucial step in facilitating a ring road. It is wise move with minimum demolition and maximum reach,'' says another resident P Prabhakaran.
Residents are planning to organize a public meeting to thank the government and highways authorities for conceding to their demand.
Residents heave a sigh of relief - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote1Flag
- Govt revises bypass project to minimize displacement
COIMBATORE: Considering the possibility of large scale displacement of people and the demolition of several homes and industrial units, the AIADMK government has decided to abandon the controversial Western Bypass Project which was to connect Palakkad main road with Mettupalayam road without disturbing core areas of Coimbatore city. The decision to discard the 26km road project expected to pass through Kuniamuthur, Sundakkamuthur, Perur, Chettipalayam, Vedapatti, Chithiraichavadi, Veerakeralam, Somayampalayam, Vadavalli, Pannimadai and Thudialur is a major reprieve for residents of these emerging urban residential areas.
Meanwhile, the government has directed the state highways department to revive a quarter century old proposal to build a bypass that would not be hugely disruptive. It would connect L&T road junction in Madukkarai on Palakkad main road with Narasimha Naicken Palayam on Mettupalayam road. The proposed road which will run a distance of 36 km involves minimal relocation or displacement of people.
Efforts are on to prepare a detailed project report of the bypass road linking Madukarai with Narasimha Naicken Palayam. Project works will begin as soon as we receive tender proposals from interested construction firms and choose the best bidder," says district collector M Karunagaran. According to him, the project was in active consideration since 1986 and if implemented it can decongest the city by diverting Ootty bound vehicles through the new road.
"National Highway Authority of India is in the process of constructing a bypass project from Narasimha Naicken Palayam to Neelambur on the Coimbatore-Salem-Bangalore Road. Our road from Madukarai would merge with NHAI's bypass in Narasimha Naicken Palayam and both would facilitate a ring road for the emerging city,'' said a senior officer of state highways department. The new project will allow for more spacious roads when compared to the old proposal. "While the abandoned project may have affected at least 1000 homes, the revised one may affect just 100 homes. These families can be rehabilitated very easily. Land acquisition for this project is also minimal while the abandoned project may have cost Rs 285 crore for this purpose.
The now abandoned circular road was announced by the previous DMK government during the Classical Tamil Conference and it was expected to ease congestion in the heart of the city.
Govt revises bypass project to minimize displacement - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote1Flag
- Greens, locals join hands to protect groves
MADIKERI: Environmentalists, villagers and other organizations have alleged that thousands of acres of sacred groves (devara kaadu) have been encroached upon by people who are being protected by politicians worried about their vote bank.
'Basavanna Devara Bana Rakhsana Samithi, an organization working in this field, has identified many such instances mainly in Valnur and surrounding villages. Environmentalists and organizations want the government to conduct a satellite survey to find the exact position of the sacred grove in Kodagu.
Deputy commissioner N V Prasad told TOI that in Valnur the revenue department had found 64 encroachers and action would soon be taken against them.
He added that tahsildars in each taluk have been instructed to gather information about the land after consulting the temple heads concerned. Kodagu zilla panchayat president Shantheyanda Ravi Kushappa said he planned to organize a district-level meeting to discuss the issue.
Sacred groves in Kodagu district are patches of forest which are protected by locals due to some religious sentiments and are usually assigned to some particular deity or temple. If such lands are under unauthorized occupation, they are not regularized. The Rule 108-I of Karnataka Land Revenue Rules, 1966, specifically prohibits regularization of such lands, pointed out Karnataka Wildlife First office-bearer Thammu Poovaiah.
As per forest department's records, 6,275.30 hectares (about 15,000 acres) of sacred grove land exists in Kodagu. D S Madppa, former legislator, said out of this, more than 50% was encroached by people with vested interests.
The Samithi, Coorg Wildlife Society and Kodagu Kshemabrivridhi Sangha have jointly met the deputy commissioner N V Prasad and demanded immediate action against encroachers. Meanwhile, a committee has been formed to fight the issue. The core committee includes Air marshal (retd) K C Cariappa and 10 more members from the district.
Greens, locals join hands to protect groves - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote1Flag
- Demolitions not carried out in Dashaswamedh Ghat area as politicians, traders protest
VARANASI: Massive protest by the traders, local residents and the politicians compelled the joint team of Varanasi Development Authority, district administration and police officials to return from Dashaswamedh Ghat without ensuring the compliance of the July 27 orders of the Allahabad High Court. The Allahabad High Court had ordered to demolish the illegal constructions on ghats along the Ganga after the date of issuance of government order in this regard.
Following this development, vice-chairman of VDA, V K Singh said, "the protest which posed threat for law and order, increased level of water in Ganga left no option for the joint team but to visit Dashaswamedh Ghat for demolishing the illegal constructions. The drive, which had been planned to ensure compliance of HC order, has not been withdrawn, however, it has been rescheduled. Now, the VDA would launch this drive again from September 18 to 21."
According to him, a total of 13 buildings including three of Dashaswamedh zone, two of Adampur, three of Kotwali, four of Bhelupur and one building of Chowk zone had to be covered under the VDA's drive.
On day one, the joint team consisting of three assistant engineers, all the junior engineers, building inspectors, zonal officers, additional city magistrate, SP Srivastava and circle officer, PS Pandey reached Dashaswamedh zone to launch this drive. Heavy police force, PAC personnel and a gang of labourers also accompanied this joint team of officials.
However, before this team could reach Dashaswamedh ghat, the protests had already been started by the local residents and traders while MLAs and other politicians from different political parties including Ajay Rai, Ravindra Jaiswal and Jyotsana Srivastava had also joined them.
Initially, the protesters held a public meeting at Chitranjan park where the speakers kept the VDA as well as the Kautilya Society, which had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) on which the HC issued the order, on their target. Some politicians also tried to give a communal colour to the agitation by mentioning an order of the Apex Court in which no action has been initiated by the district administration to ensure its compliance in a dispute of a graveyard land in Doshipura.
They alleged that VDA had also included those buildings in its list where the process of demolition had already been completed in the past.
When the joint team of VDA, district administration and police reached Dashaswamedh Ghat around 1 pm and camped at river police station to start the preparations for launching the demolition drive, all the protesters reached there and staged a massive demonstration. With the arrival of this team, the shop owners of Dashaswamedh market started pulling down their shutters while the care takers of cremation ghats including Manikarnika and Harishchandra threatened to stop cremation in case of demolition of any building. After the team members informed all these developments to their senior officers, order was issued for them to return without launching the drive. Witnessing this, the protesters returned to their public meeting venue and reiterated their pledge to continue the protest against the VDA.
Demolitions not carried out in Dashaswamedh Ghat area as politicians, traders protest - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote1Flag
- Odisha Government moots rental housing for poor to check mushrooming slums
In a bid to check the mushrooming growth of slums in the state, the Odisha government is planning to create rental housing at an affordable monthly rent of up to Rs 2,000 for the poor.
The recently announced Scheme for Affordable Urban Housing in Odisha-2012 has enunciated that the government shall provide land to the urban local bodies (ULBs) for creation of such housing blocks.
The scheme proposes government will create two types of rental houses. Those for the economically weaker section (EWS) will be offered for maximum rent of Rs 1,250 per month. The houses for low income group (LIG) will be available at Rs 2,000 per month. The civic agencies concerned will revise the rent from time to time.
The civic bodies will deploy private developers to create such houses with infrastructure such as water supply, electricity, sewerage and solid waste management on land provided by the government at a concessional cost.
The government will allot the rental houses to the identified below poverty line (BPL), EWS, LIG beneficiaries for a maximum period of one year. The government has kept benchmark of income up to Rs 7,500 per month as EWS and Rs 7,501 to Rs 15,000 as LIG. The civic bodies concerned will get 25 per cent of the rent collected to maintain the housing blocks.
Apart from rental blocks, the government aims to create 1 lakh affordable dwelling units in the cost range of Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh in 10 years for the poor. Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB) will act as the state level nodal agency for implementation of the scheme, notified by the housing and urban development department recently.
To promote affordable housing, the government has decided to reserve 20 per cent of developed land earmarked for residential purposes in the city development plan for houses under EWS, LIG and lower middle income group (those having income from Rs 15001 to Rs 20,000 per month) categories. All private developers have to reserve 15 per cent units for EWS and LIG housing in plots exceeding 2000 sq meters.
The government will give 100 per cent stamp duty exemption to EWS and LIG houses and 50 per cent to LMIG houses. Besides, the ULBs will give concession in holding tax.
The government has floated three models for developing affordable houses.
Under model 1, all Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB) housing schemes shall earmark at least 60 per cent of the total built-up area for EWS, LIG, LMIG and MIG (middle income group having income from Rs 20001 to Rs 25,000) housing, 15 per cent for each category. In return, the board will get government land at concessional rate.
Under Model 2, any private developer intending to build EWS and LIG dwelling units beyond the mandatory provision of 15% of built-up area can participate under voluntary development plan on private land through competitive bidding. Builders of such projects have to reserve 60 per cent of the built-up area for EWS, LIG, LMIG and MIG housing. In exchange, they will be allowed to use the unreserved portion to commercial usage. There will be no height restriction on such constructions.
Under Model 3, government land will be identified for allotment to private developer for construction of EWS and LIG housing through competitive bidding. At least 75% of dwelling units of such projects shall be utilized for EWS and LIG housing. The developer shall be free to use the balance area in any manner subject to building regulations.
Government plans to roll out the scheme in six cities covered under Rajiv Awas Yojna of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Rourkela and Puri besides Jharsuguda, Jajpur, Kalinganagar, Angul, Balasore and Paradeep in the first phase.
The scheme has evoked mixed reaction from the builders. “It is overall a very good scheme. The stamp duty exemption on EWS housing will boost creation of such houses. Rental blocks will prevent growth of slums,” said DS Tripathy, Odisha head of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI).
Real Estate Developers Association of Odisha president Pradipta Biswasray, however, said the policy should have more clarity. “It speaks about rental blocks. But details of how the programme will be implemented is not clear,” Biswasray said.