Centre Approves Rs 50 Cr For Moshi Convention Centre

(TOI, Oct 27, 2010)

PUNE: The Union government has cleared Rs 50 crore of the total grant of Rs 100 crore for the upcoming international convention centre, being built by the Pimpri-Chinchwad New Township Development Authority at Moshi.

Divisional commissioner Dilip Band, who is also chairman of the PCNTDA, said, “The Central government and the PCNTDA will contribute Rs 100 crore each for the project. The project will be implemented through a special purpose vehicle”.

Band and the urban development department secretary are chairmen of the SPV, with Suhas Divse, chief executive officer, PCNTDA, and secretary of department of industries and Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture as members. Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma is the member secretary.

Band said a presentation of the draft design of the convention centre will be made before chief minister Ashok Chavan on November 17. The actual construction of the project is expected to start within six months.

Divse said, “The total area of the international convention centre will be 1 lakh sq mt, which will be one of the largest such centres in Asia. There will be seven independent halls and one convention centre with an exhibition hall. Hotels, retail space, commercial space, open exhibition space, studio apartments and a nine-hole golf course are other features.”

Divse said in the first phase, a convention centre and exhibition hall will be developed with some infrastructure. The PCNTDA has made a provision of Rs 50 crore for it, while another Rs 50 crore will be sought from the Union government. The first phase will be completed in two years, while the entire project is expected to be completed in seven to eight years.

Pimpri-Chinchwad is an industrial township, but there are no exhibition halls for holding national- and international-level exhibitions. Hence, a decision was taken by Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and the PCNTDA to build an exhibition and convention centre at Moshi. An American firm Alliance-BBG, which has been selected architect for the project, has prepared the draft design.

Why Integrated Residential Projects Have Higher Investment Value

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Planned integrated projects have better property investment value

The concept of living in an integrated residential community is far from new in India. From villages in the rural areas to chawls in the urban areas, we have been doing it for centuries. However, with the rapid urbanization of our cities over the past few decades, the integrated residential project has become a more specialized real estate model.

We all know how disconnected we tend to become from each other while living in cities like Pune and Mumbai. Most developers tend to build their residential projects in such cities wherever small parcels of land are available.

As a result, people tend to live in smaller, isolated pockets. Coupled with the stresses of modern work life, this makes developing a sense of neighbourhood impossible. Homeowners buy units, but they cannot buy a sense of community.

The problems don’t end there. Residential properties in smaller, stand-alone projects do not have the same capacity for maintaining and increasing property investment value as integrated residential projects.

There are various reasons for the higher appreciation prospects of such planned residential projects:

Integrated residential projects adhere to a pre-set development plan with regards to open spaces, communal amenities and common areas. This means that the overall value of the location does not decrease because of unrestricted developments that may crop up later on.

Since such projects have their own infrastructure, they do not depend heavily on what the local municipal corporation delivers (or doesn’t deliver) in terms of sewage management, water supply and overall maintenance of the immediate surroundings.

Both these factors add a lot to the demand for homes in integrated residential developments, because they are directly related to better comfort and quality of life.

Planned integrated projects have better property investment value because there is uniformity of the home designs. Living in such a project assures residents that nobody will build either more luxurious or inferior homes in their neighbourhood.

Moreover, the maintenance of an integrated residential project is centralized. All this means that the overall social profile of the residential community is maintained at all times. Demand for homes in such projects is very high on the property market.

Considering the escalating crime rate in cities like Pune, security has become a big issue for Pune property owners. Burglaries apart, it becomes next to impossible to ensure sufficient security in smaller residential projects in the event of communal riots or other large-scale disruptions.

Since integrated residential projects have various levels of security that protect the entire project, homeowners are assured of much higher levels of safety for themselves, their families and their possessions. Such security commands a higher premium on the Pune property market.

It’s no secret that home buyers look for convenience in shopping and entertainment. The fact that integrated residential projects have these within walking distance adds tremendously to the property investment value of its units.

Because integrated residential projects are conceived and executed by a single developer, there are no variations in construction standards. In the unplanned localities that are so much a part of the Pune property market, many developers with different construction ideologies and standards have projects next to each other.

Substandard construction in one project will not only pull down its own property market value, but also that of those next to it. Two or three inferiorly designed and constructed buildings can cause the entire location’s market profile to collapse.

For all these reasons, the integrated residential projects coming up in Pradhikaran and other areas of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) have boosted this area’s entire property market.

Anil Pharande is President of CREDAI PCMC and Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

This article may be reprinted with proper attribution to the author and a link back to PunePropertyBlog.com

Parking IN PMC And PCMC As Per Revised Maps After Diwali

(Indian Express, Oct 27, 2010)

The Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations will begin the process of demarcating parking spaces, as per the reworked maps released by the traffic police in August, soon after Diwali. Around April this year, the traffic police had initiated the review of parking zones in its jurisdiction. After release of the first draft of maps on the Pune police website, remarks from people were invited. Deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Manoj Patil, said, “The motive was to look at the vehicle parking problem with a fresh mindset on the backdrop of the changing city infrastructure and ever growing number of vehicles.”

To involve people into the decision-making process, traffic cops directly approached citizens, citizen organisations and establishments for their inputs. The matter of parking outside schools, for example, was discussed with school administration, students and parents. Based on the maps, ward officers have been given orders for the painting of parking spaces and installation of sign boards at various places. Assistant city engineer and traffic planner with PMC, Shrinivas Bonala, said, “The work of painting of parking spaces has already started. It will be in full swing after Diwali when rain stops completely and repairing at some of roads is done.” Dilip Kudale, co-ordinator with engineering wing of PCMC said, “The work will start in the city and on highways.”

Patil said, “We had to review the entire parking plan to the minute. For example at many places P1-P2 plan for even and odd days was unnecessarily in place and was not in place at at some points where it was necessary. No parking spaces were marked at points which should have been allocated for parking. In the new plan we have prohibited parking for some distance on both the sides of bus stops on roads, specially which were causing problems for buses.”

The new plan also marks the parking lots for bus stands and railway stations in the city. Patil said, “Bus stands and railway station authorities have been asked to arrange for their own parking lots. It is the service providers duty to arrange for the parking of its customers.” He also added that even after the marking are in place they would be open for further changes if necessary.

PMC To Initiate Steps For Smooth, Speedy TDR Process

(TOI, Oct 26, 2010)

PUNE: Municipal commissioner Mahesh Zagade on Monday said that every possible step was taken to ensure smooth’ and speedy’ process to issue Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) to citizens whose property is acquired for public purpose. The General Body (GB) meeting of the PMC meanwhile approved the state government’s amendment to the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act regarding issuance of TDR.

Following the complaints made by corporators on Monday that common citizens whose land is acquired for public purposes are facing problems to get the compensation in form of TDR, Zagade assured that the administration would put in efforts to avoid any complications resulting in delay in the process.

“We have already initiated steps according to which every head of department is aware of the land they have to acquire and the compensation they have to issue for the same. We are trying to set up a mechanism where any delay in issuing TDR could be avoided,” said Zagade. He added that the primary responsibility to start the TDR process is of the heads of departments and they have to communicate with the land owners.

The GB also approved the state government’s amendments to the MRTP Act. As per the new rules, TDR issuance shall now be permissible in the cases where award has not been declared and the possession of the land has not been taken.

TDR issuance shall not be permissible where possession of land has not been taken and where the full or partial amount of compensation has been paid by the municipal corporation or the government under any provision of any Act. TDR issuance shall not be permissible if the amount is deposited in the treasury or the court or the land owner or interested person accepts a part of the full compensation.

The process to issue TDR became more complex after a multi-crore TDR scam had rocked the PMC in 2005. The first scam hit headlines in October 2005, when it was found that the PMC had been allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 14 crore by two property owners and their agent, who procured TDR for a plot of land in Kothrud which had already been acquired and paid for by the civic body.

The civic administration had then lodged a complaint of cheating and forgery against Prabhakar Bhide, Haridas Parekh and Balaji Hire.

Bhide and Parekh owned a plot of land in Kothrud, which was reserved under the Development Plan of Pune for a municipal garden. The PMC had acquired the plot by paying monetary compensation to them.

However, the case took a turn when corporators claimed that the scam was masterminded by civic officials themselves and not by the property owners. The scam had later been referred to the state Anti-Corruption Bureau in view of its serious nature.

PMC Approves 2% Fine For Property Tax Defaulters

(TOI, Oct 26, 2010)

PUNE: The general body (GB) of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Monday approved the state government’s notification to impose a 2 per cent penalty on property tax defaulters.

On May 31, 2010, the state government had issued a notification authorising the civic body to impose the fine every month if property tax was not paid in a given period of time.

Property tax for the first six months of the year has to be paid before September 30. Those who fail to do so will now have to pay a 2 per cent penalty on the tax amount every month till the tax is paid. The second instalment of the property tax has to be paid before December 31 every year.

In the last two years, the PMC has brought nearly 80,000 properties under its tax net. However, an estimated 45,000 properties still remain out of its reach. The standing committee has repeatedly told the administration to make an effort to widen its tax net. Once the unassessed properties are covered, the civic body is expected to get an additional revenue of Rs 100 crore to 150 crore.

Pune Property Prices Up By 20-43% In One Year: Survey

Pune: Ten locations in the city and adjoining areas have shown significant appreciation in property prices during the last one year, said a study by Makaan.com, an online real estate service promoted by People Interactive, the consumer Internet division of the Anupam Mittal-led People Group.

The price appreciation in these localities ranged from 20% to 43% and is associated with the pace of infrastructural development, the survey found. The study compared prices in the period from January to September 2010 with the corresponding period last year.

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/property-prices-up-by-20-to-43-in-one-year-survey-61397?cp

Widows, Minor Children Of Ex-Servicemen In PCMC To Get Property Tax Concession

(Times of india, Oct 21, 2010)

PUNE: The general body of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Wednesday approved the resolution offering property tax concession to widows of ex-servicemen, and their minor children. The concession, at present, is limited to ex-servicemen.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator, Mangala Kadam, cited that though the houses of the ex-servicemen were in the names of their wives and children, they did not get any concession in property tax. Kadam then tabled a supplementary amendment to extend the benefit to the widows and children also.

The general body has approved the supplementary amendment to give 50 per cent concession in property tax to the widows and their children, below 18 years of age. The concession is applicable only for areas measuring up to 1500 sq ft.

The general body also approved the resolution to charge 20 per cent more from patients coming to Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital from outside the municipal limits.

Some corporators observed that though PCMC spends around Rs 32- Rs 35 crore a year on the hospital, it lacked many facilities. NCP corporators Azam Pansare and R S Kumar demanded that staff vacancies be filled soon.

Independent corporator Maruti Bhapkar demanded that PCMC ask the state government to bear 50 per cent expenditure on YCMH as it takes in patients from Junnar, Khed, Maval, Mulshi and other nearby talukas.

Mayor Yogesh Behl asked the civic administration to list staff requirements and send it to the municipal commissioner for approval. A separate meeting to discuss matters related to YCMH will be held later.

Behl expressed concern about corporators tabling large number proposals of supplementary amendments. “There are 12 proposals on the agenda of the general body, but the corporators have tabled 25 supplementary amendments. This shows that the corporators do not attend the zonal committee meetings. Proposals of supplementary amendments will not be accepted from the next general body meeting”.

PCMC Announces Cash Awards To CWG Medalists

The general body has approved a resolution to give Rs 2.5 lakh cash award to Commonwealth Games gold medalist Aneesa Sayyad and Rs 1 lakh to silver medalist Vikram Pillay. Corporators demanded that the rules regarding cash awards be relaxed so that players can be given the awards directly instead of presenting them through sports organisations. Behl asked the civic administration to table a proposal to amend the rules in the next general body meeting.

BOT Basis Needed For Pimpri-Chinchwad Commercial Complex: Sharma

(Times of India, Oct 21, 2010)

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma will shortly send his report to the state government about the commercial complex being developed at Chinchwad on build operate transfer (BOT) basis.

The state government has sought Sharma’s comments about the commercial complex project following a letter sent by former Congress corporator Raju Golande to chief minister Ashok Chavan requesting him to direct the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to cancel bids for the commercial complex and develop the complex on its own.

Explaining the reason for developing the commercial complex on BOT basis instead of using civic funds, Sharma said, “The Zone B office of the civic body is located in a municipal school building near Chapekar chowk and there is a need for a separate building. Initially, the PCMC had taken a decision to build the office on the open plot near the new bus terminus and the construction had begun, but we found that there were roads on three sides of the plot and the site was not ideal for an office.”

Sharma added that the civic body meanwhile got a large portion of land from Elpro company for civic amenities under the industrial to residential conversion scheme. “So, we decided to build the office there, and since the previous site was ideal for a commercial complex we decided to develop it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Golande said, “The complex is under construction for the past five years. PCMC needs to spend around Rs 20 lakh to complete the project, and it can earn Rs 20 crore from leasing shops in it. Hence, it should develop the remaining part of the project on its own.”

Commissioner Sharma, however, rejected the demand saying that PCMC would need to spend about Rs 2 crore to complete the project and there was nothing wrong in developing the complex on BOT basis.

PCMC Emphasises Infrastructure To Ensure Planned Development

Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has been in the news lately for attracting reputed developers and emerging as a strong option for property buyers. PCMC’s carefully planned social, economic and surface infrastructure marks it different from other areas of Pune.

The growth of the real estate sector in the PCMC is closely regulated by the Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA), which works together with the PCMC to keep a hawk’s eye on a planned and realistic growth. The vigilance and futuristic thinking that went into this ultra-modern satellite city have added a completely new dimension to the concept of residential properties in Pune.

A blueprint for growth was thoroughly designed, placing top priority to organised urban planning. No scope was given to a piecemeal approach or immediate capitalisation on the development potential. Most importantly, infrastructure has preceded real estate development rather than following it, as it has been seen in most cases.

Ashish Sharma, Municipal Commissioner, PCMC says, “We have sufficient funds under the JNNURM scheme to develop the city and we are providing essentials like water supply, sewerage, solid waste management, road network that every city needs at a rapid pace. Work has started to make the city slum-free for which we are constructing 31,000 homes.”

Sharma informs, “A Central Business District has been planned on a 34-acre plot. Work on BRTS is in full swing and many routes are operational now. In the last one-and-a-half years, the population of PCMC has grown tremendously, making it a good residential city from the predominantly industrial city. India’s largest convention centre has been planned here. The international airport is close by. Hinjewadi and Talegaon are in the vicinity, so it is very strategically located and hence enjoys a great demand. The DP has been approved, doubling the area of PCMC. ”

A leading developer says, “PCMC has indeed been expanding in a planned way and the new development plan has opened up a tremendous potential for Pradhikaran’s expansion. They have provided good roads and water lines for the area. Due to commercial avenues in the area, people working here can be benefited as their place of work will be near, which in turn can save a lot of time. The place has very good future potential. The electricity situation is alright now and the government is working on increasing the power supply diligently.”

Under the PCMC’s housing scheme for urban poor under JNNRUM, Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA) awarded a 2,000 crore township project to a consortium comprising Mumbai-based builders. Today, PCMC is acknowledged as the masterpiece of community-oriented city development, encompassing a unique blend of sustainable residential spaces, advanced transportation networks, varied employment opportunities at all levels, modern housing complexes and townships, making it a truly global city that the residents could actually be proud of.

(Source: http://news.indianpropertyreview.com/)

PMC Losing Rs 150 Cr Property Tax Annually For Lack Of Draftsmen To Measure Building Plans

(Pune Mirror, October 20, 2010)

Can the property tax collection of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) get a boost just by inducting some draftsmen on staff? Yes, if one goes by the proposal by some corporators. A proposal before the standing committee of PMC states the civic body needs more draftsmen to increase the revenue.

Corporators Sanjay Nande and Shrikant Pujari have put forth this proposal. According to them, “The city is witnessing an explosion in constructions. The tax department is responsible for taxing them, so collection will see a boom.”

Property tax is levied in accordance with the area of the building. Since draftsperson can measure the area correctly, they are needed in the tax department. However, most of the draftsmen are currently in the building department, they said. Hence, they have recommended some draftsmen be hired.

The PMC has various pending tax complaints. The civic body has to recover Rs 51 crores from 210 cases of property tax. The standing committee has also approved a committee headed by retired High Court judge R M Bapat for this purpose.

Speaking to Mirror, Nande said, “The tax department has already asked for two draftsmen to be recruited for the assessment. There are not enough technically sound persons in the department.

Builders usually show the partially completed buildings which are never assessed again. They escape the tax net easily. Hence, if a draftsman is in the department, he can calculate how much tax the PMC can collect simply by studying the plan.”

The PMC had collected property tax of Rs 274.44 crore against the estimated amount of Rs 482.82 crore in 2009-2010. During the preparation of the budget this year, the standing committee had claimed that 45,000 properties do not fell in the tax net, eroding revenue by Rs 150 crore.

Vilas Kanade said, “I know about such a proposal but do not know the exact details of it. We have started charging tax on one lakh properties, which is the highest number of properties in the history of the PMC. However, some properties escape because of lack of manpower.”

The Current System

The PMC levies property tax on buildings in three ways. First, the building department sends occupation certificate to the tax department, depending on which tax is levied. Some residents approach the PMC and declare their properties voluntarily. The third way is the manual scrutiny of the building in PMC limits.

Explaining the reasons of less taxing, Kanade said, “Sometimes, the building is ready but only two or three families are moved in. The properties can’t be taxed until they are occupied totally. Sometimes, the buildings are used rarely and other times the completion certificate does not come in time.”

However, lack of manpower does not allow the department to scrutinise all properties. According to Kanade, there are no special teams to scrutinise such properties and has to be carried out by the employees, who are not experts.