Ajay Atul Live at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune…A Pharande Spaces CSR initiative

Pune PropertyAjay Atul, the Marathi music composer-director duo, which has created a storm in Maharashtra, picking up a bushel full of awards in the last decade, will perform before an estimated audience of over 25,000 music lovers at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Saturday, the 29th of January. Their orchestra of 110 musicians will back iconic singers and performers like Hariharan, Shreya Ghoshal, Kunal Ganjawala, Abhijeet Sawant and Vaishali Samant.

Ajay Atul combine traditional Maharashtrian music with a modern rhythm and beat. They use centuries old musical styles like Jagran, Gondhal, Lavani and Bhaktigeet as well as today’s rock and pop. Their eclectic choice of instruments includes the Dhol, Dholak and Basuri, as well as synthesizers, blending them together into heady, contemporary compositions.

“When the idea was put forward by Mr. Pharande, we knew we had to work this out, because we would never miss a chance to perform in Pune We’ve added surprise elements and performers in our concert this year which is especially designed for Pune.” said Atul Gogavale.

Pharande Spaces, the well known, innovative Pimpri-Chinchwad based Developers; have a lot in common with Ajay Atul’s music, since they too, create environments like Woodsville and Celestial City, which foster traditional culture and community bonding in a modern ambience, comprising a mélange of apartments, row houses and villas, in a setting which includes fine dining, shopping, varied sports and entertainment.

“The venue, Balewadi, being close to Pimpri-Chinchwad, will give our friends and well wishers spread across PCMC and Pradhikaran, a wonderful chance to enjoy an entertaining evening and will also serve to awaken interest in the classical Maharashtrian musical tradition among the present generation” says Mr. Anil Pharande, Chairman, Pharande Spaces.

This concert is also a splendid, opportunity for Pharande Spaces to implement their Corporate Social Responsibility. It will promote awareness of social concerns faced by our society as a whole, and in particular, will give an impetus to organizations like the Prabodhan Trust and the Pimpri Chinchwad Social Foundation who are dedicated to providing affordable solutions for treating diagnosed health ailments in young ones, as well as promoting all cultural and social activities that promote our tradition.

Posted by: Avinash Gokhale

Integrated Residential Projects: The New Precincts Of Realty Growth

(Business Standard, Jan 19, 2011)

Pune PropertyIntegrated township projects offer developers an opportunity to cash in on the revival in demand for residential & commercial space

Ajay Arora, a multinational software company employee, commutes 2 hours daily to work in rush-hour traffic. He spends as much time — sometimes more — on the journey home. Driving is his passion, but given the gridlock going into Bangalore almost the time, he recently hired a driver. Still, he is frustrated by the amount of time he spends on road.

Then, his firm took office space in an integrated township in Bangalore. “It was a dream come true,” he says. “This township includes my office and I am taking a flat that is hardly 10 minutes away on foot. It has a shopping mall, multiplex, hospital, school and most of the necessary amenities within walking distance,” says Arora.

Realty players across India are hoping there are many more people like Arora and are betting on the specialised real estate model of integrated townships as their next growth vertical. “Residential conditions in our major cities are on an accelerated decline. There is a general shortage of infrastructure, increased air, water and noise pollution, and a rash of illegal and unorganised structures cropping up everywhere. Increasingly, home-owners face problems reaching emergency services, finding adequate parking and traversing pothole-riddled roads,” says Sanjay Dutt, CEO – business at realty consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

“Given this depressing scenario, it has now been established that townships are the most suitable residential solution. The government is now encouraging the development of such townships to reduce pressure on urban areas and to improve infrastructure. Also, townships attract foreign direct investment and make overall economic sense,” says Dutt. Apart from FDI, integrated townships can also access extended commercial borrowings.

Integrated township projects also offer real estate developers an opportunity to cash in on the revival in demand for residential and commercial space. These projects are also part of an effort by these companies to reduce risk in their business model, as one vertical provides a cushion to another in case of tepid demand. As many as 24 expansive townships are being set up across India and are due for completion in the next couple of years.

“Integrated township projects are slowly gathering steam as the concept of walking to work is picking up among city dwellers. As a township project integrates residential, commercial and retail properties, this is the next phase of growth in the real estate industry,” says Venkat K Narayana, chief financial officer at Prestige Estates Projects. However, he pointed out that developers with considerable experience in the commercial and retail verticals would have an edge.

Prestige Estates recently launched Shanti Niketan in the Whitefield area of Bangalore. “While most of our residential space has been snapped up, bookings have just begun for our commercial space. We are also planning to come up with another integrated project in the next six to eight months,” says Narayana, adding that the operating margin for an integrated project was comparable with a purely residential one.

Others like Sobha Developers and Brigade Enterprises have also come up with similar projects. Top officials at Sobha said the company has an integrated housing project at Thrissur in Kerala, and the company is bullish about this emerging trend. Brigade Enterprises recently launched Brigade Gateway, which comprises residential, commercial and retail space.

Even city-based developers are planning projects of this kind in the near future. “We are planning to come up with an integrated township project in 2011 in Bangalore. This space holds great promise,” says Bharat Dhuppar, chief marketing officer at Mantri Developers. He said given the slow development of infrastructure projects and traffic congestion in cities, integrated township projects would be the next growth spot for the industry. “The concept will not only be popular in the metros, but also Tier-II & -III cities,” he adds.

An analyst with a real estate consultancy firm said the trend of launching integrated projects would continue in 2011 due to an upside in demand for both commercial and residential space. He also said large real estate players would like at least 10 per cent of the total portfolio in integrated space.

Anil-PharandeAnil Pharande, Chairman, Pharande Spaces, a Pune-based realty player that specialises in integrated residential projects, says, “Integrated residential projects counter the trend of people living in smaller, isolated pockets within larger cities, thereby reintroducing the possibility of community-based neighbourhoods. Residential properties in smaller, stand-alone projects do not have the same capacity to maintain and increase property investment value as integrated residential projects.”

What’s more, such townships also offer the prospect of higher appreciation, as these projects adhere to a pre-set development plan with regard to open spaces, communal amenities and common areas. This means the overall value of the location does not take a hit because of unrestricted developments that may crop up later.

“Since such integrated 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. The maintenance of integrated residential projects is centralised. Also, since such residential projects have various levels of security to protect the entire project, homeowners are assured of much higher levels of safety for themselves, their families and possessions,” explains Anil Pharande.

One more critical factor is that as townships are centrally conceived and executed, there are no variations in construction standards. In unplanned localities that are so much a part of the property markets of India’s main cities, many developers with different construction ideologies and standards have projects standing cheek by jowl.

“The substandard construction of one project not only pulls down its own market value, but also that of those next to it. Two or three poorly designed and constructed buildings can cause the entire location’s market profile to collapse,” says Anil Pharande.

Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir To Launch At Woodsville By June 2012

DSC01881-300x278Following Anil Pharande’s personal audience with Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji himself at his Ashram in Bangalore a few days ago, I’m happy to report that His Holiness has given his complete blessing to the launch of the Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir at Woodsville. We are all set to launch this holistic education institute at our 50-acre integrated living complex in PCMC by June, 2012.

In addition to the CBSE curriculum from Nursery to Std X (and possibly to Std XII), the school will offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities like Karnatik music, Bharat Natyam, sports, Taekwondo, elocution and spiritual guidance.

The implications in terms of the overall social profile and quality of education in Pimpri-Chinchwad can scarcely be described in a single article. We are all aware of the fact that the current education system in India lacks depth, and that it falls seriously short when it comes to imparting well-rounded education to our country’s future citizens.

Though we pride ourselves in being a spiritually-oriented nation, the fact is that our schooling system is based on obsolete, mechanical education models that focus on a drone-like academic performance. The so-called international schools just take this unfortunate trend to a less wholesome level. A more well-rounded education system by the revolutionary movement which Europe knows as ‘The Association for Inner Growth’ is definitely a major step forward for the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.

When we heard that the Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir Trust was keen to open its first school in Pimpri Chinchwad at Woodsville, we enthusiastically welcomed the proposition. After all, we are creating a futuristic residential concept here – one that offers everything to its residents that the rest of Pune (and indeed Maharashtra) cannot. Having a holistic education institute here is a logical extension of our other offerings.

DSC018872-300x197Until recently – and like many of us – I knew Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji mainly as the founder of the Art of Living Foundation – the world’s largest volunteer based, humanitarian and educational NGO. Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji has established it in 1981 as part of his vision to promote a stress-free, non-violent approach to social life. Over 300 million people living in more than 140 countries are part of this ground-breaking spiritual movement, which is also closely associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

However, Mr. Pharande’s meeting with His Holiness at Bangalore was also a personal eye-opener for him. He got a much deeper understanding of this amazing man’s dream to fortify human values at the grass roots level. The presence of the Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir at Woodsville now means a lot more to us than just huge value-addition to our residents.

We now see that this is the beginning of a revolution in the way the PCMC region will perceive education. Our children finally have a chance to obtain schooling of a quality and magnitude that genuinely enhances their lives – not just their mark sheets.

Avinash Gokhale, Director – Marketing & Corporate Planning, Pharande Spaces

Posted by: Avinash Gokhale

Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation To Get More Funds From World Bank

(DNA, Jan 4, 2011)

Pune PropertyThe World Bank has sanctioned a fresh loan of Rs210 crore to Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to implement three projects in the city.

The PCMC had sought the loan for its flyover projects at Empire Estate, Nashik Phata and Dange Chowk. A part of the loan amount will be used for Aundh-Ravet BRTS project.

PCMC spokesperson Dilip Kudale confirmed the development and said the civic body is going through formalities to avail of the loan.

Civic officials said about Rs17 crore would be spent on the remaining work of BRTS project. “The PCMC has already spent Rs316 crore on this project, which is being constructed for the past over two years,” they said.

The PCMC, on January 1, floated tenders for carrying out the remaining work on the corridor.

Kudale said that once the BRTS corridor and flyovers are completed, the vehicles would move with much ease in Pimpri-Chinchwad area. He said even the movement of vehicles from Pune to Mumbai and vice versa would be less chaotic.




Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces


Pune Citizens Oppose Increase In Property Tax

(TNN, Jan 5, 2011)

property-taxes-150x150PUNE: Citizens have come down strongly at the hike in property tax proposed by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). A public meeting to voice out the grievances was organised by the citizens’ group Sajag Nagrik Manch on Sunday. RTI activists Vivek Velankar and Vijay Kumbhar were present at the meeting.

“It has been observed that the entire tax amount due with the PMC is never collected. The civic body should develop a system through which the entire due amount is collected, so that the citizens are not burdened with rising tax rates,” citizens at the meet said.

“The public should be allowed to become a part of the tax collection process. Their participation should be allowed in finding out tax thefts,

” Velankar said, adding, “In this case, the public can be reimbursed with a service charge or commission. This will help increasing the revenue of the PMC.”

The PMC has proposed increase of various taxes including property tax. Subject to approval, it is likely to be implemented from the next financial year.




Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces


42,000 Properties Come Up In Pimpri-Chinchwad In 3 Years

(TOI, Jan 4, 2011)

Pune PropertyPUNE: As many as 42,000 new properties have come up in the Pimpri-Chinchwad township in the past three years.

Shahaji Pawar, assistant commissioner and chief of property tax department said, “Every year the property tax department conducts a survey of all the properties, and assessment of new properties is done. Around nine to 10 per cent new properties are added to the existing ones every year, fetching an average additional property tax of Rs 10 crore.”

A civic official said that the total number of properties in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) limits by the end of March 2008 was 2.54 lakh. The property tax department identified 17,000 new properties each in 2008-09 and in 2009-10. Around 8,000 new properties have been identified in 2010-11 till date.

The official added that the PCMC will paint numbers on new properties identified in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. This work is allotted to the students of the PCMC-run Industrial Training Centre (ITC) located at Morwadi in Pimpri.

Pawar said, “The students of ITC, Morwadi will paint numbers on new properties under the learn and earn scheme.”

A proposal will come up for approval before the standing committee on January 4 for spending Rs 2.14 lakh for painting numbers on 42,000 new properties and also some old ones where the number painted on them has faded. The contract will be directly awarded to the ITC, Morwadi.

The property tax department will pay Rs 4.5 per property for repainting the numbers on old properties and Rs 5 per property for painting number on newly assessed properties. The standing committee will also consider three proposals for laying storm water drains in various parts of the PCMC limits at a cost of Rs 5.87 crore. The first proposal is for Wakad, where Rs 67.52 lakh will be spent followed by storm water drains at Sangvi at the cost of Rs 3.52 crore and for Rahatni at a cost of Rs 1.67 crore.

Dilip Kudale, co-ordinator, engineering department said, “The PCMC has received approval from the union government to lay storm water drain network in the municipal limits at an expenditure of Rs 116 crore. The work is in progress in some parts.”




Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces


IGR’s Proposed Project To Evaluate Real Value Of Pune Property

(TNN, Jan 2, 2011)

Pune PropertyPUNE: A new process of property evaluation proposed by the office of the state inspector general of registration (IGR) and controller of stamps is likely to give a real’ value to your property. Unlike the current procedure of a single rate being applied to an entire value zone, which can sometimes be as big as a municipal ward, the proposed process will attach a separate price to every property, as per its location and area, among other factors.

The price of a property is generally determined based on how convenient it is to approach it and its surroundings. If a property is located near a dumping yard, cemetery or crematorium, nullah, garbage bins, slum area, etc, it reflects in the pricing as well.

Speaking to TOI on condition of anonymity, a senior official at the IGR office said, “In this project informally known as micro-planning urban maps of the city will be uploaded to the computers for further processing. These digital maps, with a particular code, will be evaluated separately and priced according to the government rates.”

“It will certainly lead to an increase in the prices of many properties, but it will bring parity in pune property rates across a city or town. On the other hand, it will reflect in the department’s earnings, as the price at which the deal is struck will go up, the IGR’s income will also go up.”

The completion of the micro-planning project is still some months away. But once it is implemented, the information on all properties will be available on the internet. The process will provide the exact value of a property.

The current process of valuation is not very real’, the official said. “For instance, the prices in the Kothrud area are high because there is a huge demand for property in the area; hence the ready reckoner (RR) rates also higher. The market rates in Magarpatta city of Hadapsar are close to the rates in Kothrud, but the RR rates in that value zone are very low compared to those for Kothrud. Thus there is a disparity, even though the market rates are almost equal in both areas.




Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces


‘Hike In Ready Reckoner Rates Will Not Affect Pune Property Prices’

(DNA, Jan 2, 2011)


Experts from the housing sector feel that the rise in ready reckoner (RR) rates would not affect the property buyers much in the Pune, as the market prices are already higher than government valuation.

Experts in the real estate sector said the hike in rates would help the government to get more revenue as in some transactions, buyers and sellers show sale deeds of a minimum amount to save stamp duty.

The government has increased the RR rates by 18-20% in city from Saturday.

Every year, the government reviews the RR rates and implements the revised rate on January1.

The RR rates are used for valuation of a property to calculate minimum registration charges and stamp duty to be paid while registering the sale deed.

Advocate Sumedh Katariya told DNA that a customer will have to pay 6% (5% stamp duty and 1% registration fee) while registering the sale deed.

“While registering the property, every transaction should be either according to the RR rates or higher. It is being observed that transactions are happening at rates more than the RR rates in the city,’’ he said.

Sachin Shingav, president, Association of Real Estates Agents (AREA) said it is an exaggeration that the property prices in city are going to be dearer by 18-20%.

“The hike is only in RR rates but the market price is much higher than ready reckoner rates. Hence, it won’t have any affect on the property price,’’ he said.

Shingav said if earlier, the government valuation for a property was Rs10 lakh, it would be Rs12 lakh after the hike by 20%.

“It means that the government will get a higher registration fee since the base value is higher. It means if a customer was paying Rs60,000 as registration fee for a flat of Rs10 lakh, after 20% hike in government valuation, the buyer will have to pay Rs72,000 registration fee,’’ he said.

Increase In Pune Municipal Corporation Taxes Faces Axe

(DNA, Jan 1, 2011)


All political parties in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are opposed to the tax hike proposed by the municipal administration. Municipal commissioner, Mahesh Zagade put the proposal for a 36% hike in property tax and general taxes.

The proposal is pending before the standing committee, which will take a decision on Tuesday, January 4.

As the civic elections are ahead, political parties are not in a mood to approve the tax hike. Congress leader Aba Bagul said that in the previous year, the general body approved the tax hike, but the Congress will not allow a bigger burden on citizens this year.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, Nilesh Nikam, who is also leader of the house, said his party will not allow the tax hike.

As both the ruling parties, the NCP and the Congress, are not in a mood to approve the administration’s proposal, it is cleat that there will be no tax hike. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Mukta Tilak, said the BJP also opposes the tax hike.

‘Pimpri-Chinchwad Will Be New Pune’

(Indian Express, Jan 1, 2011)


These days, I am often being asked about the vision for the industrial town. I believe the times in which we used to plan for the year ahead are over. We have chalked out our course of action for the next 20 years. After Mumbai became congested, people turned towards Navi Mumbai, which is now the centre of rapid infrastructural development. We look forward to Pimpri-Chinchwad as a similar option for Pune. We want to project Pimpri-Chinchwad as New Pune.

Our first priority is development of roads. Roads are like arteries for a city. If arteries are healthy, the city remains healthy. We will be focusing on developing broadways, roads with better designs and better safety.

We will also be amending development control rules for the city in the coming months. Let me give you am example of planning. We have chosen 12 important roads in the city. On these 12 roads, we will have entirely different sets of rules. These roads would be much wider, there would be much larger parking space and side space for buildings. Double the floor space index (FSI) would be allowed on these roads. These roadways would be the business hubs for the city.

Efforts will also be made to improve the quality of the bus rapid transit system. We are also doing a survey for Metro. It will have to be made sure that maximum number of people travel by public transport.