Where Are India’s Budget Homes?

Anil Pharande

The concept of affordable housing in India sounds simple enough, but nothing could be more complex than this subject. We all know that India needs more budget homes, but where are they?

Trends come and go. Developers’ business agendas change along with the dynamics of the real estate market. However, the dire need for compassionately priced homes remains. Of course, there are quite a few developers who are addressing the demand for affordable housing. Nevertheless, if we consider the sheer vastness of the demand, their offerings don’t make even make a dent in it.

Pune PropertySoon after the real estate market revival after the Lehman-induced global financial crash, it did seem as though the Indian developers had finally woken up. A huge number of them focused squarely on developing affordable housing projects. The inflexible demand for such homes in our larger cities and their further suburbs meant was their ticket out of financial trouble.

And then the economy revived, and it kept on reviving. Suddenly, home buyers with lower incomes were no longer in fear of their jobs. The stock market revived, and capital began to flow into the real estate sector again. This was good news for the real estate market in general, but bad news for the affordable housing sector. Greed took over again, and the focus of developers once again shifted to higher-priced premium housing.

Premium homes were an attractive segment for developers in 2006-07, and there were many project launches aimed squarely at India’s more affluent classes. The global economic downturn put a brake on this trend only through the worst period of 2008 and 2009. In this period, it did seem as though affordable housing was going to get its due share of attention at last. However, they did not take long to concentrate on premium housing again.

So – where does the common man stand today? What has happened to affordable housing? Was it no more than a passing trend to tide developers over during the leaner economic period? Budget home launches have reduced a lot. In fact, even mid-income homes in many of our cities have become so expensive that demand for them has slowed down.

It cannot be said that nothing at all is happening in terms of budget homes in India. There are commendable efforts still being made by conscientious, smart developers to cater to the housing needs of the lower-income groups. However, it is not enough. The shortage in this segment is still huge. The Government has come out with special schemes for affordable housing for builders, but most of them are not taking up the opportunities.

We are now faced with an escalating problem. More and more people who can be classified as slum dwellers are obtaining good jobs, and are able to afford homes in the bracket of Rs. 7-12 lakh. It is only because there is no supply of homes in this bracket that they continue to live in slums and run-down chawls. The affordable rental housing projects that were announced earlier with so much fanfare are not happening in the required numbers.

This means that India now has vast numbers of people who could live in better conditions, but are unable to. Because of the continued demand for accommodation in slums, it is harder than ever to eradicate them. Slum redevelopment can only take place on a significant scale if the resistance to it decreases.

Anil-PharandeAnil 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

PCMC gets defence land for widening Aundh Road

(Times of India, Sept. 10, 2011)

pune PropertyPUNE: The work of widening the Aundh-Ravet Road near Aundh commenced on Friday after a gap of nearly a year. The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has begun the work as it has received written permission from the defence authorities. The road-widening work had been stalled as the defence authorities had earlier objected to the work.

Municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma said the defence authorities on Thursday granted the permission to the PCMC. He said the PCMC had earlier paid Rs 18 crore to the defence authorities for the land.

The widening work will be from the Aundh Chest Hospital up to Y junction. The work will reduce traffic congestion on the narrow road near the hospital, he added. The widening work on the 14.4-km Aundh-Ravet Road is being done for developing a BRT corridor. For early completion of the work, the road has been divided into seven sections for which contracts have been given. The work on widening the four-km stretch from Rajiv Gandhi bridge in Aundh to Sai chowk in New Sangvi could not be completed due to the delay in getting the defence land.

The narrow stretch of the road is a bottleneck and witnesses daily traffic snarls during the peak morning and evening hours and causes inconvenience to hundreds of motorists.

Dilip Kudale, coordinator, engineering department, PCMC, said, the road is being widened from 15 to 45 metres. The PCMC will complete the work in the next six months.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/PCMC-gets-defence-land-for-widening-Aundh-Road/articleshow/9930496.cms

The Real Estate Evolution Of Nagar Road

Nagar Road is a lot more than just a stretch of highway. In fact, it has become symbolic of industrial and commercial progress in Pune. Some of the most economically thriving areas in the city are situated along Nagar Road. Kalyani Nagar, Vadgaon Sheri, Chandan Nagar, Viman Nagar and Kharadi are the ones that come immediately to mind.

Pune PropertyThe development taking place in these has given Nagar Road an entirely different image, and the name is gaining national and even international prominence. Let us examine Nagar Road’s real estate hot-spots according to the intensity of development as well as physical and social infrastructure.

KALYANI NAGAR

Kalyani Nagar is named after Dr. Neelkanth  Kalyani – owner of various notable companies like Bharat Forge and Optronica. It has emerged one of the most prominent and established commercial real estate destinations on the Eastern Corridor of Pune. Its strategic location between Koregaon Park and Viman Nagar and its close proximity to the airport, railway station and other commercial areas like Kharadi and Hadapsar makes it an ideal destination for IT/ITES companies.

Kharadi has also emerged as one of the most upmarket residential destinations in Pune. It is home to many luxury hotels and boasts of a golf course as well as prestigious social establishments such as the Connoisseur’s Club, Ganga Retreat and the Royal Connaught Club.

The IT and ITES-BPO segment have completely reinvented Kharadi’s landscape. High grade residential options have sprung up all over. Amongst all the above-mentioned localities, Kalyani Nagar’s rate of development is by far the fastest. The Pune-Mumbai Expressway has been a major contributing factor.

The Government responded to this potential by constructing the Kalyani Nagar-Koregaon Park connecting bridge, thereby linking these two progressive and vibrant localities. The ease of transport and commuting has resulted in even higher industrial and retail activity and boosted the residential sector, as well.

VIMAN NAGAR

Named for its proximity to the Lohegaon Airport, Viman Nagar is located approximately 10 km from Pune City. It is still relatively affordable and offers excellent connectivity by virtue of regular bus routes and a much-improved road network. Since it is the first major locality one reaches from the vibrant Dhole-Patil Road, it is far from isolated in spite of the distance from the central city. It can be easily reached from the airport as well as the railway station, and this is one of its most powerful selling points. Also, with the Air Force and Army camps hemming it in from three different sides, Viman Nagar is one of the safest residential and commercial localities in Pune.

Viman Nagar owes importance on the real estate market to its proximity to Kalyani Nagar. However, it does boast of a better residential infrastructure, and is still the preferred area of residence for immigrant software professionals.

KHARADI

Situated along the Kharadi- Hadapsar Bypass, Kharadi has the unique distinction of being accessible from three focal points of commercial importance, namely Nagar Road, Sholapur Road and Mundhwa/Koregaon Park. In addition, it is bookended by the industrial zones of Sanaswadi, Ranjangaon, Hadapsar and Parner. Since it also houses a telephone exchange building, it definitely had all the makings of significant commercial and industrial presence.

Today, Kharadi has been earmarked for a lot of IT development because of its excellent road network, the MIDC-promoted Info Tech Park as well as EON SEZ and other IT Parks in the neighbouring Kalyani Nagar. Though it is now a prominent IT/ITES destination, it has yet to evolve as a significant force on the residential property market.

WAGHOLI

Wagholi has emerged as a preferred residential destination primarily due to the competitive price that the area offers compared to other residential catchments along Nagar Road, such as Kharadi, Viman Nagar and Kalyani Nagar. Apart from being affordable, Wagholi is the most convenient location for people working in the Ranjangaon and Sanaswadi industrial areas as well as in the Kharadi-Magarpatta belt. Today, Wagholi is well-connected by the completed six-lane Nagar Road – making commuting to and from this area, which was once considered an obscure outlying location, very convenient.

MUNDHWA

Another distinct beneficiary of the Kalyani Nagar-Koregaon Park bridge, Mundhwa began as an Armed Forces area and has enjoyed a disciplined approach to overall development for this reason. It is located squarely on the Nagar-Sholapur Highway. Since it is immediately adjacent to Koregaon Park, it has earned itself the rather enviable label of Koregaon Park Extension. Considering KP’s rate of development and general upper-crust aura, this is extremely significant. The area is poised for rapid development because of its close proximity to extremely successful Magarpatta township that transformed the real estate landscape of the Eastern Corridor of Pune.

VADGAON SHERI

Vadgaon Sheri has still not completely risen from obscurity, but nevertheless has the same potential as all other localities along Nagar Road. At the present time, Vadgaon Sheri awaits coming into its own as the neighbouring Kalyani Nagar and Viman Nagar eventually share their glamour and development fallout. One of the most attractive features of this area today is its cheap land rates.

RANJANGAON

This is another area of intense industrial activity along Nagar Road. It is mainly known as an MIDC entity, but is now seeing the entry of residential projects that cater to the workforce of this industrial catchment. It has also been earmarked as the venue for the new International Airport.

Despite the great potential it offers, Nagar Road itself is surprisingly under-developed as a road conduit for all the real estate goldmines along it. Connectivity remains a significant issue, and it is hard to understand why the authorities have not taken greater interest in it. Lack of planning has always been the bane of real estate development in Pune, and Nagar Road is a good – if sad – example of this fact.

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

Pune Property – The Advent Of Transparent Real Estate Deals

Pune PropertyAnna Hazare and his fight against corruption were all over the news for the better part of the month. There was a lot of food for thought for everyone, including property market stakeholders. While there was no direct reference to the immense amounts of black money in real estate, Anna Hazare obviously addressed this aspect in his crusade, as well.

In this context, it is pertinent to note a recent testimonial by a senior representative of a leading international property consultancy here in Pune.  His statement was in response to a request for his views on the subject of corruption and black money in the Indian real estate sector.

He pointed out that the subject of corruption in real estate is bound to crop up again and again, especially in light of the scams that rocked the news bulletins just a few months ago. However, he also correctly pointed out that stricter scrutiny for and measures against the movement of black money in the sector are already being enforced. Nevertheless, he stated, we are still in the early days of our battle against corruption in various business segments, and that it will take time to completely subdue its effects.

Anna Hazare himself would not dispute this fact. The rot of corruption has set in over a number of years, and has therefore sunk rather deeply into it at various levels. To weed it out completely will take time, but the sanitation process can be accelerated with greater consumer awareness. After all, corruption in real estate is fed both at the supplier and consumer ends. Thankfully, this syndrome is already on the decline because of increasing awareness among Indian property buyers.

The traditional viewpoint of black money driving Indian real estate is obsolete in many ways by now. In Pune, property buyers should be aware of the fact that many of today’s larger, reputed developers are already offering completely transparent deals. The prevalence of such developers is, in fact, higher in Pune than in neighbouring Mumbai. Pune property buyers have the option of patronizing such developers.

The times when Pune property buyers were completely at the mercy of corrupt small-time developers are long over. Those looking for homes in Pune are no longer limited in their options. The more prominent developers in Pune have long since recognized the need for greater transparency in the system. After all, the largest component of Pune residential property buyers is made up by the salaried class, who do not have large cash reserves and often need 100% funding on home loans.

However, there are also larger reasons why Pune real estate is becoming more transparent. The Pune property market is a focal point for foreign investors who are attracted by the immense potential it presents. Residential developments around the Hinjewadi and Kharadi IT hubs as well as the integrated townships of Primpri-Chinchwad are drawing massive investments from from domestic and international investors. With the exposure to global funds, the sector has matured rapidly and transparency is becoming a norm.

In addressing the issue of corruption in Indian real estate, it is important to note that there will always be supply where there is demand. A corrupt system holds illegal advantages for both the buyer and the seller. If more and more sellers are willing to offer clean deals, it is to be hoped that more and more buyers will opt for such deals. only then will we be truly on the way to a corruption-free real estate market.

pharande spaces logoPharande  Spaces is 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

Posted by: K. D. Nagarkar

Pimpri Chinchwad civic body picks 6,720 people for EWS housing

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

(DNA, Aug 24, 2011)

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Tuesday identified 6,720 beneficiaries through draw of lots for its housing scheme for people falling in the economically weaker section (EWS).

The draw of lots took place at Ankush Landge auditorium in Bhosari. The PCMC has uploaded the list of beneficiaries on its website, www.pcmcindia.gov.in.

The PCMC is constructing 13,250 houses under the Jawaharlal Nehru national urban renewal mission (JNNURM) scheme for people in the EWS category.

In the first phase, 6,720 dwellings are supposed to be handed over. The first phase of the project is being implemented on a plot of 75 acres in Sectors 17 and 19 given by the Pimpri-Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA).

The PCMC had received 14,032 applications for the dwellings in Phase I. Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioner, Ashish Sharma, said the 6,720 beneficiaries have to pay Rs50,000 within 45 days as the first installment.

The initial cost of each flat under the scheme was Rs 1.5 lakh, but later went up to Rs3.76 lakh due to cost escalation.

“The civic officials will verify whether beneficiaries possess any properties and if found, the names of such beneficiaries will be withdrawn from the list,” he said.

The beneficiaries will be allotted any of the flats in the EWS scheme. After the hand-over of the flats, a society will be formed.

In 2007, the Union government gave primary approval to the PCMC proposal to implement the EWS housing scheme for JNNURM, estimated to cost Rs449.7 crore.

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_pimpri-chinchwad-civic-body-picks-6720-people-for-ews-housing_1579256

Affordable Housing In Pune

I recently attended the 2nd Annual Affordable Housing Conference in Kuala Lumpur from July 25–27, 2011. As a Pune developer, this conference was an eye-opener for me. More than anything else, the experience reaffirmed my belief that the affordable housing projects coming up in the PCMC area are a major step forward for Pune real estate.

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Experts from various real estate and housing finance verticals attended the affordable housing conference, and there was a notable representation from India as well. Of course, we all know that there is a shortage of affordable housing in India. However, I had no idea of large the national housing deficit actually is till I heard some of the facts and figures.

During the course of discussions, it became clear to me that we are still very far from the final ideal – a home for every Indian. The shortfall in housing is far too large. The estimated housing shortage from 2007-2012 in India’s urban areas is 26.5 million units, and in rural areas it is 47.4 million units. Altogether, the total housing shortage in India stands at 73.9 million units.

Let us ask ourselves some basic questions. Do we have the land, construction material and labour required to build affordable housing? We obviously do, otherwise even the costlier homes that are coming up everywhere in our cities would not be possible. The need is not for housing in remote, inaccessible areas. In today’s economic scenario, everyone – regardless of social and income grade – needs to live as close as possible to their place of work.

Everyone needs to be able to get to work and earn an income, so that they can sustain their families and contribute to the overall development of his or her city. However, affordable housing is mostly coming up in remote locations. These locations lack the kind of connectivity and infrastructure that make living there feasible and dignified. Even middle-income families are challenged to find homes within budgets of Rs. 25-40 lakh.

Obviously, attaining the dream of a home for every family is still far in the future for many cities of India. Thankfully, the nation is moving ahead rapidly in all respects. The affordable housing conference also outlined the fact that we now have newer concepts and technologies at our disposal that can indeed help us close at least a part of the existing gap.

In cities like Pune, there is an ever-increasing responsibility on planned real estate development areas like Pimpri-Chinchwad. While many of the other areas which are adding housing stock still lack the necessary infrastructure, PCMC has all the advantages of a regulated real estate market – including rational residential property rates. The integrated townships coming up here are the perfect blend of social and civic infrastructure as well as affordable prices.

Since Pimpri-Chinchwad also has a sizeable manufacturing belt, there is no shortage of employment opportunities. Here, then, is the only possibility for affordable housing for the mid-income sector that Pune has at its disposal. More than ever, I am convinced that this is where the action of the Pune real estate market is headed. Affordably priced residential property is and will remain the most important real estate sector in India.

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

Ready Possession Versus Under-Construction Property Purchase

It is human nature to prefer a finished product. One can apply this truth to various areas in life. We lack the faith to trust that something in the process may be of greater benefit than something we can see in the full glory of completion. This fact is also the basis of many counter-productive real estate purchases.

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The ‘Finished Property Product’ Syndrome

It is certainly tempting to purchase a residential property that is in a state of total completion. All that needs to be done is the signing of a cheque. The thought of investing in a property that is still under construction clashes with our need for instant gratification.

READY POSSESSION

The above term is a cunningly devised advertising tool that appeals to something we all share – the desire to possess. Instantly. No waiting, no effort involved, just sign the dotted line and show off your acquisition to envious friends and associates the very next day.

By giving in to it, we place ourselves at the mercy of the builder. We are forced to agree with his idea of aesthetics, colour schemes, brand of fittings, layout and his idea of a fair purchase price. Buying a ‘ready possession’ property may make sense if it is required for immediate occupancy, but it is rarely a wise move from the point of view of investment.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

This term appears to be a less promising one. It implies a state of incompleteness, which translates into ‘No Instant Gratification’. The desire to ‘possess’ will have to be toned down. You will feel less inclined to invite your friends to view an untidy site strewn with construction rubble… where is the glamour?

This is a classic example of tunnel vision. We fail to see the forest for the trees and do not take the long view. The inherent benefits of investing in an ‘under construction’ property far outweigh those of ‘ready possession’. Let’s look at some of them:

  • LOWER RATES

Every builder knows that a home buyer has to exercise restraint and patience while investing in an incomplete property. This knowledge reflects in the property rates the builder quotes. ‘Under construction’ properties cost significantly less than finished ones.

  • THE POWER OF CHOICE

With a little vision and imagination, you can see precisely which flat will best suit your needs. In an ‘under construction’ scheme, you will have lots to choose from. Direction of sunlight, best view, ‘Vaastu’ parameters, general ambience and ‘feel’… these are factors you can choose for yourself.

  • FLEXIBLE PAYMENT SCHEDULES

A property under development is not an immediately marketable asset. Builders can only hope to dictate inflexible payment schedules in the case of ‘ready possession’ properties. On the other hand, they are invariably open to negotiation at the ‘under construction’ phase. In other words, you can often ask for payment schedule that best suit your needs.

  • SCOPE FOR MODIFICATION AND CUSTOMIZING

There isn’t much you can do to change the physical characteristics of a finished flat or shop. The walls are in place, the choice of windows and bathroom fittings has already been made, and no space provisions for that extra Sintex tank may exist. In an ‘under construction’ flat, you can give specific instructions for modification without incurring extra expenses.

  • INVESTMENT BENEFITS

Apart from the lower property rates, easier payment terms allow you to plan a more effective investment strategy. Also, the ability to choose specifications helps you to value-add to the property. This translates into better returns on completion.

  • PLANNED INTERIOR LAYOUT

You can optimize space and layout for future convenience. For example, lofts and storage space can be included at this stage.

There will still be many circumstances that warrant the purchase a ‘readymade’ property, but consider the above pros and cons before doing so.

Pharande Spaces is the most established and respected construction company in Pradhikaran, the potential-laden boom sector of Pune’s PCMC area. Specialists in quality residential projects, Pharande Spaces also have township properties in the choicest parts of Pimpri-Chinchwad Business District. Two ongoing projects that are generating a huge amount of interest are the integrated townships Woodsville at Moshi and Celestial City at Ravet.

The Advantages Of Township Properties At Ravet

Pune real estate is all about new growth. Unlike neighbouring island city ofMumbai, Pune is not hemmed in geographically, and such growth is indeed possible. Pune’s urban growth is steadily advancing into its peripheral areas. Meanwhile, Pune’s sister city ofPimpri Chinchwadhas been seeing its own real estate boom under the auspices of the PCNTDA (Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority).

One of the most exciting new Pune real estate destinations for homebuyers is Ravet, which is situated on the North-West side of Pimpri Chinchwad. Ravet is an area that aptly showcases how seriously the PCNTDA is taking planned urban development.

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As a residential property purchase as well as property investment destination, Ravet has several advantages in terms of location and infrastructure. Also called the Gateway to Pune, Ravet is the first area to greet those who come in from the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. In fact, Ravet is also where the old NH4, the Katraj-Dehu Road bypass and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway meet. However, this incredible accessibility from the financial capital is not the only factor that makes Ravet so important from a real estate point of view.

Two of the primary demand drivers for residential real estate in Pimpri-Chinchwad are its industrial clusters and the Hinjewadi IT Park. Both of these generate a massive amount of employment at all levels. Ravet is located at an equal distance from both these workforce hubs. Also, it has excellent educational institutions in the immediate vicinity – including the prestigious Mercedes Benz School, the Indira Institute of Business Management and the D.Y. Patil College.

Ravet is also where the most prestigious residential township properties in the Pune-PCMC belt are now taking place. Township properties are becoming increasingly popular because they have re-introduced the concept of community-based neighbourhoods. Healthcare, educational facilities and shopping are all readily available in these projects. In sharp contrast, homes in smaller projects have far less to offer.

Moreover, the investment value of integrated township properties increases much faster than that of smaller projects. The appreciation is higher because these follow premeditated development plans that encompass open spaces, communal amenities and common areas. This means the overall value of the location does not decrease because of uncontrolled developments and compromised infrastructure.

In fact, since integrated townships have their own infrastructure, they are not overly dependent the local municipal corporation. They have their own sewage management, water supply and overall maintenance facilities as well as their own security, which assures homeowners in integrated township projects of much higher levels of safety for themselves, their families and possessions.

In Ravet, integrated townships such as Celestial City by Pharande Spaces are conceived and executed on the basis of a thoroughly researched master plan. This means that construction parameters are completely standardized – unlike in unplanned residential localities, where divergent construction ideologies and standards often prevail. The standardization of construction parameters in integrated townships allows for uniform appreciation of property values.

Posted by: K. D. Nagarkar

PCMC 24×7 Water Supply Scheme Gets Green Signal

(Source: TOI)

PUNE: The path has been cleared for the 24×7 water supply pilot project in Pimpri Chinchwad, to be implemented by the municipal corporation in association with a French company. The civic standing committee on Tuesday approved a proposal for a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the company.

The project will be implemented in one area of the township. Pravin Ladkat, executive engineer, water supply department, PCMC said, “The pilot project will be implemented in a zone with 3,000 to 5,000 water connections. The pilot zone is yet to be identified. The project will take nine months for completion.” He said, “The PCMC had signed a MoU with the French company Suez Environment in October 2010 to improve the water supply in the township. The project was to be implemented at a cost of Rs 6.3 crore. The proposal was sent to the state government for approval and later to the union government’s Urban Development Department.

It took almost four months to get the department’s approval.” Later, some changes were proposed in the implementation plan. The PCMC will have to spend money on purchasing equipment like leakage detectors, valves and bulk meters. As a result, a new MoU is being signed, officials said. Suman Pawale, chairperson, standing committee, said the panel also approved the short notice resolution to hold weekly bazaars during Diwali to sell goods produced by women Self Help Groups at the Bhakti Shakti chowk and Madhukar Pawale ground in Nigdi.

The committee also approved resolutions for laying water pipelines in the newly developing areas of Punawale village at a cost of Rs 1.11 crore, and laying a main pipeline from the Elevated Storage Reservoir (ESR) in the Elpro compound to improve water supply to Chinchwadgaon and nearby areas at a cost of Rs 74.66 lakh. A resolution to beautify a road divider on the Aundh-Ravet Road from Sai chowk to Dange chowk, at an expenditure of Rs 60 lakh, was also approved. Development projects with a total expenditure of Rs 7.4 crore were approved at the meeting on Tuesday.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/PCMCs-24×7-water-supply-scheme-gets-green-signal/articleshow/9462718.cms

A Home Amidst Greenery – Your Family’s Happiness And Wellbeing

Much has been said about Pune properties lacking the benefit of adequate greenery. It is true that rapid and uncontrolled urbanization is reducing the greenery within the Pune Municipal Corporation more and more. A lot of NRI IT professionals returning to Pune from abroad express shock at how much the city has become ‘concretized’.

One of the prime drivers of Pune real estate used to be the city’s erstwhile green cover. It therefore comes as no surprise that more and more Pune property buyers are choosing residential township properties in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. The green cover in the PCMC area is intact and in fact flourishing despite the real estate boom happening there.

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The reason for the difference between central Pune and the PCMC area as far as green cover is concerned is simply scientific, controlled development. The PCNTDA (Pimpri Chinchwad New Town Development Authority) has ensured that real estate development does not compromise the bountiful flora and fauna in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

‘Pimpri Chinchwad is a rapidly developing industrial and commercial centre in Maharashtra, India. It is one of the primary centres for the automobile industry cluster in India, and nearby Pune is a education centre commonly referred to as the “Oxford of the East”. The area is known for its busy commerce, plethora of industries, fine educational institutions, and a rapidly growing middle class and standard of living.

However, this rapid growth has created problems with infrastructure, affordable housing and the environment. The PCNTDA was established to tackle these issues and has a purview that extends over Mulshi and Haveli taluka.’ (Source: http://pcntda.org.in/)

The PCNTDA long ago recognized that without sufficient trees and other forms of greenery, the life of residents in any area becomes melancholic and depressive. Moreover, it took into consideration the fact that trees do a lot to neutralize the effects of urban pollution. Ensuring the presence of sufficient greenery is one of the foremost defenses against environmental, economic and health risks.

Reputed developers of township properties in Pimpri-Chinchwad have also taken into account the need for trees and other vegetation. In PCMC, integrated township projects such as Woodsville in Moshi and Celestial City in Ravet are rich with trees, shrubbery and other forms of greenery. In these projects, homeowners can still benefit from healthy, green, natural surroundings while also having all the advantages of modern city life at their disposal.

A green homes environment makes a huge difference in terms of health, quality of life and overall wellbeing. Adequate tree cover also brings down air temperature significantly (reducing in savings on electricity) and protects the land from erosion. As a result, these township properties in PCMC have a much longer lifespan.

Does it come as a surprise that Pune property buyers are increasingly favoring residential township properties over options in the central city? This phenomenon is not restricted to Pune real estate alone. All over the world, there is a rapidly increasing exodus of people congested city centres to better-planned, greener and more peaceful outskirts. People are tired of the deteriorating living conditions in the city, which also give rise to grave risks to health, damage the environment and reduce the investment value of properties.

Maybe it’s time that you offered your family the advantage of healthier, greener home surroundings, too?

Posted by: K. D. Nagarkar