Morcha held against Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority
PUNE: Protesting against the Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority's major action against unauthorized structures, hundreds of citizens participated in a morcha organized in Nigdi on Thursday.
Various social groups and political parties, including the Shiv Sena, the BJP and the Nagrari Hakka Suraksha Samiti had organized the morcha which began at 10.30am in Nigdi.
Prior to the morcha, a public meeting was held wherein leaders of various political parties and social organizations addressed the people.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), too, supported the morcha.
Shiv Sena leader Shrirang Barne said the citizens paid stamp duty to the government when they purchased or built their houses in Pradhikaran areas. These houses are now being termed as unauthorized constructions.
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has provided basic amenities like roads and water supply to the areas of PCNTDA or Pradhiakran. The PCNTDA, he said, does not have any right to take action against the structures. The agitation will be intensified if the state government does not regularize the structures, he said.
The citizens carried black flags and raised slogans against the PCNTDA. Among others who spoke on the occasion were former independent corporator Maruti Bhapkar, Shiv Sena corporator Sulabha Ubale, Amar Sable of the BJP, Anant Korhale, group leader of MNS, Manav Kamble, president of Nagari Hakka Suraksha Samiti and Mayur Kalate, president of Pimpri Chinchwad NCP's youth wing.
The agitators had to disperse without receiving any assurance from the PCNTDA officials.
Times Property Showcase begins today - Economic Times
PUNE: The Times Property Showcase, a two-day property exhibition, will open at the Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre, Senapati Bapat Road, on Saturday. Times Property Showcase is Pune's most successful property exhibition, conceptualized with the aim to provide a transaction-focused platform to the top builders and developers in Pune. Select projects spread over the entire city, which suit the needs of discerning home buyers and investors, will be showcased.
The exhibition will be open between 10.30 am and 7.30 pm both days.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to install 50 CCTVs at various spots in the city before monsoon to keep a round-the-clock check on flood-prone spots, mostly nullahs that overflow during monsoon.
“Last year, the PMC had taken up this project on an experimental basis and it had proved successful. The PMC was able to keep an eye on flood-prone areas,” said additional city engineer Vivek Kharwadkar. Last year, PMC officials had installed CCTVs at 21 locations and tracked the situation from the civic headquarters. “This time we have decided to take up the work in a big way and and install at least 50 CCTVs at flood prone spots,” he added.
“There were some network problems last year and the civic administration could not be held accountable for it,” said Kharwadkar. “This time, proper steps have been taken to ensure that the network does not get disturbed during monsoon and the agency concerned will be held responsible if something goes wrong.” All the ward offices were asked to submit the list of flood-prone spots, primarily nullahs, he added.
At some places, the administration has undertaken repair work and has premanently resolved the problem of water logging and flooding, said Kharwadkar. He said steps have also been taken to clean and widen nullah paths where flood-like situation developed during previous monsoon.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner Pravin Ashtikar said PMC’s disaster management control room for monsoon would be activated on June 1. “The control room last year tracked the monsoon from the live coverage available through CCTV. This time the facility of live transmission through CCTV would also be available at ward offices. Officers at civic headquarters can instruct ward offices through video conferencing,” he added.
Defence campuses in line of sight of tall buildings
They are the tallest structures in the city and probably logical solutions to the growing population of a metropolis, but another side of the growth story is that some of these 100-metre-plus towers are around important/sensitive defence establishments and can give anyone a peep into their compounds.
For a visitor to the National Defence Academy, (NDA), it is hard to miss tall structures outside the campus. The 20-plus storey towers of Nanded City, a residential-commercial project under way on Sinhagad Road, provide a bird’s eye view of NDA. The Sudan Block, the heart of the NDA, is clearly visible.
While NDA has increased campus security after reports of possible threats, the Academy can do nothing about the high-rises except approach civic authorities. “High-rise buildings are a concern. We have taken up the matter with the authorities concerned,” said an NDA spokesperson without being specific.
Satish Magar, CMD, Nanded City, said, “No construction is allowed within 500 metres of NDA, a norm we have adhered to. IAF clearance is mandatory for high-rises, and we have them. The city has so many defence establishments that making an NOC mandatory for every project will make construction almost impossible. In today’s tech-driven times where missiles can be fired at the press of a button and one can peep into any establishment with the help of technology, such concerns are insignificant.”
According to civic officials, there are no defence-centric height norms for buildings other than those that need Indian Air Force (IAF) clearance. The state rules do not make No Objection Certificate (NOC) from defence authorities mandatory for such constructions.
The defence authorities concerned take up the matter case-by-case with the civic administration.
On May 19, The Indian Express reported how four 11-storey Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) towers in Lohegaon had violated the NOC given by the IAF 2 wing. Two squadrons of the premiere fighter Su-30 MKI, Base Repair Depot and a missile squadron are located at 2 Wing. When Express visited the site, Su-30 squadrons, the ATC and runway were clearly visible. Although the IAF does not openly reveal the number of aircraft/ squadrons at a particular location, all this can be sighted from atop the SRA.
In October last year, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne had expressed concern over construction of high-rises near the 2 Wing. The Air Officer Commanding (AOC), 2 Wing had said six construction clearance cases were taken up with Air HQ. The Aircraft Act 1934 makes NOC from IAF mandatory for construction around Air Force Stations. An IAF letter to PMC dated February 15 says, “Many high-rises have come up in Lohegaon overlooking the IAF Camp. Air Force assets can easily be targeted from these buildings.”
Another 20-plus storey structure-Castle Royal Towers, behind the University of Pune (UoP)-gives a clear view of the CME building, Military Hospital Khadki (MH) and another defence set-up with Army vehicles parked inside.
God’s Blessings, a 100-metre tower in Koregaon Park, provides a bird’s eye view of the Army Sports Institute and the adjacent army unit with 30-plus trucks parked inside. Amit Bhosale, director, ABIL group said, “We have obtained permissions from the IAF, DGCA as well as clearances of land titles and those for proximity to defence establishments from the Defence Estates Office (DEO) for both the projects.”
Recently, the construction of a shopping mall on 8A Lothian Road was halted due to its proximity to SCHQ supply depot.
Constructions around defence establishments are governed by Works of Defence Act 1903 (WDA). While defence officials can object to constructions within the cantonment limits, they have no control over buildings that loom tall around defence establishments, but are outside the cantonment limits. An Army official said, “On the basis of sensitivity of the defence establishments, constructions are not permitted within a radius of 100, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 metres. Obtaining an NOC for height from the defence is not mandatory. The State government, by a gazette notification, has to make it mandatory. Only Kerala and Secunderabad in AP have such provisions. We raise objections invoking WDA on a case-to-case basis.”
No construction is permitted within 2,000 metres of the Ammunition Depot, Dehu Road, and 366 metres of the Transmission Station, Wadgaon Sheri, as per the WDA limit. This, however, stands violated. “We have issued FIRs but there has been no result,” said the officer.
Rajendra Raut, executive engineer, PMC said, “Besides the IAF station and the transmission station there are no works within our limits where such restrictions exist. There are norms regarding distance, but for height there aren’t any except an IAF NOC.”
The concern over high-rises has been, however, taken note of at the highest level. A process to amend the WDA has been initiated by the MoD.
An MoD letter dated May 18, 2011 addressed to three services chiefs says citing Sukna and Adarsh, “WDA needs to be comprehensively amended so as to take care of concerns of the defence forces. The process of amendment has been put into motion.” According to a DEO official, a survey of constructions within 100, 500 and 2,000 metres of various defence establishments in the city is currently being carried out.
Security concerns are very important in this troubled times.The authorities of all departments ought to work hand in hand to sort out issues. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. On one hand a eleven story building comes up over a period of time and actions remain on paper but work still comes up and gets finished.If the question of responsibility comes up each department will have its tail clear by quoting some letter they have written but what is the end result-tall structure is ready and security can get compromised and government funds have been used for construction and now will remain waste till resolution of problems.
Pune like any other city is pressurised for space. All vacant land has been built up.Hills are being eyed for leveliing that is the level of pressure. So is the case of water bodies.Not long ago Dhanori lake area was under threat of becoming a built up area. Even precious water bodies are under threat in a water short place like Pune. Dhanori lake should have been developed into a water source and tourist attraction and safe boating place.
Administration should take proactive steps to avoid flat buyers wasting their resources on projects which suddenly get held up.
1)Municipal website should display survey numbers,full addresses,map where NOC from Defense/security agencies is mandatory, in addition to other multiple clearances.
20periodical survey of construction sites should be carried out and any project with inadequate or incomplete clearances be listed out with list of clearances not received and status of permission sought by the project owners
3)Single window cell where a buyer can contact for getting details of sanctions for any project in Pune, instead of having to hire an advocate to do SEARCH.
4)Computerization of land record at least in municipal areas where user can access information on payment of a fee.
Nation is running in difficult times and no effort should be spared to protect our brave defence services and their assets, but at the same time no individual investor should be denied information which can protect his investment in areas close to restricted areas.Due to shortage of land people have flocked toward Lohegaon,Wagholi etc.Several years ago the airport was really far away from the city centre and was relatively less populated and could at that time been treated as outskirt.Now with changed circumstances of unrestrained population increase,demand for housing etc the administration ought to put on their thinking caps and take preventive actions benefiting individuals as well keeping security concerns in mind.
Sopan Baug is now a preferred destination by the elite Pune population
Named after the fruit orchard located in the area, Sopan Baug is now a preferred destination by the elite population in Pune, who want to live a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Although a bit isolated from the main city, it is conveniently situated in close proximity to landmark areas like M G Road, Camp, Boat Club Road and Koregaon Park.
It is also accessible from B T Kawade Road and the Prince of Wales Drive. There are a number of good schools like The Army Public School, Bishops Camp and St. Vincents among many others in the area. Several healthcare facilities and business hubs are also located in close proximity.
The area is still coming up to become a self sufficient location. An attractive feature of the area is that it has a lot of greenery. Starting off with a society with a few bungalows, it has now got the status of an elite address with a number of buildings and plush homes and apartments that are offering high-end modern facilities and lifestyle amenities. One can feel relaxed due to the tranquil , unpolluted surroundings and wide-open spaces that can give a breather from the hectic system in the city.
Shashank Paranjape, MD, Paranjape Schemes (Construction) Ltd, says, "Sopan Baug is a great area with loads of greenery. M G Road is located in close proximity . It is one of the best residential areas in Pune."
He adds, "Some changes can be made in order to further develop the area. A few road connections here and there can be constructed , for better connectivity; otherwise it is a very well developed area.
Paranjape Schemes (Construction ) Ltd has a project in the area. La Cresta in Sopan Baug, offering 2 and 3 BHK boutique apartments, and provides all the modern amenities like swimming pool, landscaped gardens, clubhouse and gymnasium among many others .
Many of the buyers in the area are from Mumbai. As the race course is close to Sopan Baug, many Mumbaikars are finding the place very interesting. The area is rapidly growing and there has been an increase in the number of people living here. Another unique feature for the buyers is that they get a bungalow feel while living in an apartment in Sopan Baug.
Praveen Mahurkar, City Lead - Residential Services, Jones Lang LaSalle India, says, "The residential mix consists of Bungalows and High rise apartments. The quality of the area can be deciphered from the theme and name of the apartment projects in the area. They are known to follow an aura of European Royalty in their names and in the design of the apartments. Spacious 3, 4 and 5BHKs are the most common configurations that one would find in Sopan Baug with price tags of over INR 2 crore."
He adds, "The residential area contains an equal mix of End use and Investment purchases; with capital value (price per sq. ft.) steadily growing; a purchase in Sopan Baug will serve as a valued investment and a home of tranquility."
From the safety and security point of view, residents have nothing to worry about as the defence area is set up close by. Simran Kaul, says, "When I bought a place here, it was mainly jungle area. The reason we decided on this place was because of the race course, the abundant greenery and the peaceful environment. Moreover , it also is quite relaxing as the area is non-polluted unlike the main city areas."
Amar Manjrekar, MD, Amar Builders, says, "Sopan Baug is a fantastic area and is the best residential location in Pune today. To develop the area, there should be more commercial activities started." Amar Builders has a project called Amar Renaissance that presents buyers with 3 and 4 BHK, high-end luxurious apartments, along with all modern facilities and amenities for the residents.
Although there are not too many facilities for residents to enjoy, the few existing ones are not too far away. Kaul adds, "We have Big Bazaar close by, the airport is also nearby, Kalyani Nagar and Koregaon Park are also accessible. For serenity and calmness that the area provides, we don't mind going a distance away to get them."
Suresh Kalmadi, NCP take credit for initiating metro plan
PUNE: Days after the cabinet gave its assent to the metro rail project in Pune, MP Suresh Kalmadi issued a press release saying: "It was 12 years ago that I proposed idea of elevated metro in Pune as underground metro is unaffordable. Since last twelve years I have followed this project and finally the state government has given a green signal for Pune metro."
The NCP, on the other hand, has ridiculed Kalmadi's claim. NCP city chief and MP Vandana Chavan told TOI, "Kalmadi was nowhere in any process regarding metro. It was NCP president Sharad Pawar who ideate the project in 2006 and followed it up at the state and central levels."
64% sewage water in Pune remains untreated: Report
PUNE: While issues of water supply in the city remains a topic of debate, a recent report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has revealed that the city is faced with the problem of excessive water supply and generation of large volume of sewage water.
The report states that around 931.2 MLD (million litres per day) sewage water is generated in the city, which is 23% more the quantity estimated by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Based on the estimates of the water supplied, it is revealed that 64% of sewage water remains untreated. The report also states that 25% of the population is not covered by the sewerage network.
The findings have been mentioned in the report titled 'Excreta Matter: 7th citizen's report on the state of India's environment', published by the CSE, a Delhi-based NGO working on environmental issues. The report was released in the city by noted ecologist Madhav Gadgil at a workshop on 'Water-sewage challenges that Pune faces' last week. The survey divulges details about the water-waste profiles of 71 Indian cities, including Pune.
The report states that 15 TMC, which is the projected need of water, is lifted from the Khadakwasla dam, as against supply of 12.5 TMC by the irrigation department. The city's population has increased from 3.1 million in 2005 to 3.7 million in 2011. Thus, the demand of water has increased from 605 MLD to 1,164 MLD. There are 4,500 tubewells which have been counted, the report states.
The report points out serious water quality issues in rivers. The report has also made recommendations on sewage planning.
Nitya Jacob, programme director, Water, CSE, said Pune has mismanaged its water and sewage, and has landed in the current mess. "The situation is extremely serious since water supply is erratic, leading to rapid groundwater exploitation and depletion. The poor management of sewage and waste water has compounded the problem by increasing groundwater pollution as well as pollution of local rivers," Jacob said.
The report has made recommendations to prioritise public investments differently, plan to cut costs of water supply, invest in local water systems, reduce water demand, spend on sewage, not on water, cut costs on sewage systems, plan to recycle and reuse every drop.
Bharat Lal Seth, deputy programme manager, water, CSE, said the report has been received favourably by the government of India, especially the planning commission and the Union ministry of urban development. "Sunita Narain, director general, CSE, will have a meeting with the urban ministry shortly and we hope to find this report included in the urban reform agenda of Maharashtra," he said.
Sahara launches 10 township projects across Tier-2 and 3 cities
Sahara India has launched 10 integrated township projects across Tier-II and -III cities in the country spread over 900 acres. It has also launched a new affordable housing brand called Sahara Swapna City that will be built on smaller land parcels across 360 cities.
"There are some special issues around doing real estate. Land acquisition was a big issue, which took time. Approvals also took time but we have finally got approvals for these projects," said Subrata Roy, chairman of Sahara India. The company has a land bank of around 27,000 acres across the country.
Each Sahara City Homes project will entail an investment of 500-600 crore while affordable homes projects will require close to 100-125 crore, which will be financed through customer advances and bank funding.
Affordable homes will be sold in the 5.5 lakh to 11 lakh price range. The nine integrated townships under the Sahara City Homes will be launched in Pune, Aurangabad, Jodhpur, Gwalior, Bareilly, Solapur, Porbandar, Katni and Kashipur while one smaller project called Sahara Grace has been launched in Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar. Seven integrated projects are already under construction in Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Satna and Coimbatore.
"We will launch another 21 township and 37 affordable housing projects in FY 12-13," said Roy.
Roy pointed out that there are issues around real estate projects that have delayed plans in the past. For the 10 new projects that were announced, all approvals are in place and construction has started. In many cities in West Bengal and others, these issues are yet to be sorted out.
Last month, Sahara had announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bangladesh government to develop a new city outside Dhaka and also build affordable housing in the country. It will also build integrate satellite townships in the country.
ICICI Pru PMS exits from KUL township project in Pune
Mumbai: Asset management firm ICICI Prudential's real estate portfolio management service (PMS) today said it has divested investment in KUL Ecoloch, a township project in Pune.
ICICI Prudential PMS real estate portfolio, a part of ICICI Prudential AMC, had invested Rs 47.5 crore in the 105-acre integrated township in Pune developed by realty firm Kumar Urban Development (KUL), a company statement said.
The investment generated a gross internal rate of return (IRR) of about 27 per cent, it said.
"We believe in the tremendous potential of the realty space that is synchronous with India's growth and are always looking at providing opportunity to our investors to participate in this asset class," ICICI Prudential AMC Head - Real Estate Rahul Rai said.
He said the investment in KUL Ecoloch and successful exit was a reinforcement of the return potential of this segment and the strength of our investment process that has helped accomplish this feat.
ICICI Prudential PMS real estate portfolio has been managing capital commitments of more than Rs 750 crore since its inception and has made 14 investments across Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and NCR, the release said.
Earlier in April, 2010, the portfolio had made its first exit by divesting its investment in DS Kulkarni Developers' Bangalore project, generating deal level IRR of about 22 per cent.
Locations like Pimple Nilakh in Pune proving beneficial to the real estate market
Situated in the western part of Pune, Pimple Nilakh is a suburb of Pimpri-Chinchwad . Located close to Mumbai-Pune expressway, Pimple Nilakh is accessible to places like Wakad, Hinjewadi, Baner, Aundh, Pimple Saudagar and Rahatni, among others. The nearest airport is the Lohegaon airport.
Talking about the popularity of the area, Shantanu Mazumder, Branch Head- Pune, Knight Frank India says, "Due its proximity to the Mumbai - Pune expressway and Hinjewadi IT Park, Pimple Nilakh came into the limelight. With its nearness to established locations like Baner and Aundh , where property prices are at their peak and unaffordable for the mid-income segment, Pimple Nilakh seemed a fair option." Pimple Nilakh's proximity to places like Aundh, Baner and Wakad has made it a preferred destination , and developers like Goel Ganga Group, Kolte Patil Developers Ltd and Nandgude Patil, among others, have projects here. LA Montana, Pune, Tata Housing
Goel Ganga Group has their project Ganga Panama in Pimple Nilakh. Atul Goel, MD, Goel Ganga Group says, "Pimple Nilakh is a prime area, and can be called Aundh extension."
Kolte Patil Developers Ltd has their project Glitterati under their brand 24K here. Yogesh Mehra, Senior VPSales & Marketing (Business Development ), Kolte Patil Developers Ltd says, "The configurations of our project are 3 and 4 BHK. Apart from amenities like club house, swimming pool, landscaped gardens, we are also providing housekeeping services, property management and concierge services, among other things." Talking about the area, Mr Mehra says, "Pimple Nilakh is one of the crucial areas connecting Talegaon, Pimpri-Chinchwad , and Hinjewadi."
The commercial establishments around have impacted the realty market of Pimple Nilakh to some extent, with the affordability factor acting as a catalyst for buyers in Pimple Nilakh. Mr Mazumder says, "Pimple Nilakh is just five minutes drive from Aundh, Baner and 10 minutes from Hinjewadi , which propelled real estate development in this area. The proximity to the IT hub and affordable rates are favouring growth and demand in Pimple Nilakh. The current residential property rates in Pimple Nilakh are between Rs. 4800 to Rs.5400/sqft. Rates have remained constant compared to Q1 2011 wherein it went up marginally by 4-5 % during Q3 2011."
Mr Mehra says, "The Western side has vital commercial organisations in the city. There are several software companies, automobile companies and SMEs in these areas. People working in Hinjewadi can live in these places and find it easy to travel." If companies rent apartments in nearby areas, executives coming in from other cities can find this accommodation comfortable .
The infrastructure is in process with construction of new roads and road widening. Mr Goel says, "The infrastructure is improving with Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation taking development works in the area. The road widening process of Ravet is happening at a faster speed that connects to Aundh later. The connectivity to Mumbai-Pune expressway has attracted buyers from Mumbai as well."
Mr Mazumder says, "The location continues to struggle with the issue of Public Transportation even though the Pimple Nilakh-Baner bridge built by Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation was made operational early this year. The bridge, which was completed in September 2007, couldn't be opened to the public due to the absence of approach roads in Baner and Pimple Nilakh that connected the two places. It now saves travel time for people residing in Baner, Balewadi, and Pashan, who travel to Pimpri-Chinchwad daily for work."
With public transport being a problem for Punekars, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is trying to lessen the pain by providing buses that connect Pimple Nilakh to the main city and its suburbs.
Mr Mazumder says, "With improved connectivity and public transportation, the location has a lot of potential." He feels that since there is limited availability of land the location would not hold its pricing advantage.
Speaking about infrastructure, Mr Mehra says, "Government is looking into the infrastructure . However, there is more scope for improvement in terms of schools and hospitals ."
There are options available in education, medical and shopping facilities in the vicinity but more needs to be done, looking at the future. Mentioning the facilities, Mr Goel adds, "There are hospitals like Aundh Chest Hospital and Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital , among others. There are a few established and upcoming schools near Pimple Nilakh. In fact, we are also planning to build some shops on the main road."
Mr Mehra is of the opinion that the Navi Mumbai airport should speed up so that it will be easy for NRIs and foreigners to arrive faster and comfortably.
Though Pimple Nilakh was under the shadow of Aundh and Baner earlier, it is now making its presence felt in the real estate market of Pune.