Pune Real Estate: The Price Of Rapid Urbanization

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By the most recent reckoning, India’s population currently hovers around the 1.15 billion mark. It is estimated that by 2030, this figure will have grown to around 1.53 billion. India’s urban areas are just about ready to burst at the seams, on the heels of an accelerating population explosion.

The population growth in India’s rural areas in the present decade is around 18%, and over 30% in the urban areas. This pattern of urbanisation is seen as encouraging, since it seems to indicate that India will attain the global urbanization standard average in the course of the next decade.

However, it is also true that this upsurge in our cities’ population is putting available civic structures like public transport, water supply, drainage, sewerage and obviously the supply of housing under severe pressure.

This raises the question – how are India’s real estate developers addressing the problem of insufficient infrastructure in and around their projects in the main cities? The fact is, they can’t do much.

In cities like Pune, property buyers have no choice but to turn a blind eye to the absence of sufficient infrastructure. They are aware of the fact that they will face numerous inconveniences, but what can they do?

Many opt to buy into projects that boast of compensatory measures to overcome the infrastructure deficit. These would include independent water supply if a reliable municipal pipeline doesn’t exist, electricity backup to make up for unreliable power supply and sump pits if the area does not have adequate sewage.

However, such projects in Pune City are few and far between, and homes in them come at extremely high prices. Also, no matter in how many ways Pune developers compensate for lack of civic infrastructure, they cannot add more than a token patch of landscaped lawn by ways of natural ambience.

The high property rates are a real problem. Many of those who buy flats in Pune have saved all their lives for buying their Pune dream home. They have made a lot of sacrifices to make this happen; having finally managed to save enough, they buy their homes and immediately regret it.

The maintenance costs for their flats are far too high for them to bear – a lot of them can’t afford petrol for their cars anymore. They travel to and from work by bus.

We have all looked at the parking lots of highly-priced residential projects and seen dusty cars with handmade posters on the rear windows saying things like ‘Homemade Detergent Soap Available at Flat 12A’ and ‘Tuition For Stds. V to IX – Contact Mr. XYZ at Flat 26C.

It simply makes no sense to invest everything in a home and then live in financial stress afterward. The solution obviously lies in finding a home where the same investment buys you more.

The choice is between paying a certain amount on a small, under-equipped flat in the crowded central city or on a spacious home in a location blessed with natural beauty and and sound infrastructure.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, which planned its residential areas decades ago, offers such options. The integrated residential projects in Ravet and other sectors of Pradhikaran close to the upcoming International Convention Centre offer the kind of homes that Puneites have always dreamed of, but never been able to own.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation also has an extremely vibrant economy, offering more and more job opportunities across all business sectors with every passing year.

Finally, because of the regulated nature of the PCMC real estate market and the high emphasis on civic facilities and amenities, there is no question of an eventual infrastructure deadlock. The real estate prices are way below those see in Pune, too. For that reason, these are the kind of homes that will be sources of joy for several generations.

Anil Pharande is Chaiman – Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm operating in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

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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

Hawkers Policy In Pimpri-Chinchwad Soon

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PUNE: Around 7,500 hawkers from the Pimpri-Chinchwad township can now hope to get an authorised place to sell their wares and proper rules to govern them. The common citizens too can hope to get relief from the encroachments by hawkers as there will be designated hawker zones, as well as no-hawker zones, particularly on some of the busy main roads.

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation(PCMC) has prepared a comprehensive policy on hawkers. According to civic officials, the policy, after its approval, will be implemented from April. The draft of the policy will be discussed at the municipal corporation’s monthly general body meeting later this month.

A city level hawkers committee has been proposed to implement the policy. In addition, there will be zonal committees as well as some technical committees which will look into all the issues concerning the policy at a micro level. The mayor will be the chairperson of the city hawkers committee, while other members will include elected office-bearers, civic officials as well as representatives of various hawkers organisations. The zonal committees will comprise zonal chairpersons, civic officials, and police officials.

The hawkers policy has been prepared according to the state government’s directives. As per the directives, the PCMC had invited suggestions and objections from citizens but did not receive any response.

Speaking to TOI on Monday, Subhash Machare, social welfare officer, PCMC said, “The PCMC had started preparing the hawkers zone policy two years back. But it had to be revised after the state government issued directives to have a common hawkers policy in the state.”

According to a survey conducted by the PCMC two years ago, there were 7,500 hawkers within the municipal limits. Machare said that a fresh survey will be undertaken to finalise the list of hawkers. As per the proposed policy, the hawker should have a proof that he has been a resident of Pimpri-Chinchwad for ten years. The PCMC will issue identity cards to the hawkers.

The civic body will announce a list of hawker zones and no-hawker zones. Only authorised hawkers will be allowed to operate in the hawker zones. Once the policy is implemented, the corporation will take action against unauthorised hawkers and those operating in no-hawker zones, Machare said.

Speaking to TOI, independent corporator Maruti Bhapkar said, “The PCMC should finalise its hawkers policy at the earliest. The hawkers have to face eviction from the township as there are no designated hawker zones in the municipal limits. Hawker zones should be formed to give relief to the hawkers. The PCMC should take action against the unauthorised hawkers and ensure that new hawkers do not encroach on public land.”

Hawkers policy

  • The draft policy will be discussed a the GB meeting later this month
  • After approval, the policy will come into effect from April
  • Various committees will be formed at the city and zonal levels to implement the policy
  • Hawker zones and no-hawker areas will be notified
  • Penal action will be taken against unauthorised hawkers and those operating in no-hawker zones

Soon, Pune Property Assessment Documents On Civic Website

(Indian Express, Dec 2, 2010)

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The Pune Municipal Corporation is set to upload documents related to assessment of properties on its website so that citizens need not visit the civic body office if they have any objection to the tax charged on their properties.

“The civic body prepares a certificate of tax assessment of each property after the completion certificate is issued by the city engineer’s department. It gives the name of the owner, actual area, date of assessment, name of the assessment officer and address of the property. The tax is charged on basis of assessment,” said PMC tax assessment and collection officer Vilas Kanade.

He said the work of scanning the documents had almost been completed. “They would soon be loaded on the website of the civic body so that they can be accessed by citizens through Internet.” He said the PMC already had an online payment facility for property tax, but making the assessment document available on the Internet would further ease the entire system. The initiative would also help the administration to check old documents that are in bad condition. “We are covering one area after the other and making note of documents missing from the records.”

Civic activist Vivek Velankar said the initiative was a good example of making use of information technology. “The documents being made available on the Internet will help citizens to check the tax charged on the property. Most of the time, it is difficult for the PMC to locate the document demanded by citizens,” he said, adding that it would save a lot of time.

The detailed information about properties would also be helpful to prospective property buyers. Velankar said, “Many would benefit from the PMC initiative and would simultaneously help the administration to maintain records. The PMC should also keep a backup of all the documents on Internet as it might get lost if the system crashes.”

Pune Real Estate: PMC Loses Out On Crores From Leased Properties

(Mid-Day, Nov 29, 2010)

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Civic body kisses Rs 36 crore goodbye every year because of its policy of leasing properties for 99 years and poor recovery system

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) seems to be in a benevolent mood these days. The civic body is getting only Rs 4 crore annually from leased properties, but it could earn almost Rs 40 crore per year if it follows the market value rate. This means it collects just 10 per cent of the revenue that can be collected, an annual loss of Rs 36 crore.

This is because the PMC leases properties for 99 years and does not have a proper recovery system.

Vivek Velankar, RTI activist and president of Sajag Nagrik Sangh, said that property should not be leased out for more than five years. Also, it should be let out at market rate with a 10 per cent increase in rent every year. “The PMC does not have any right to lease out properties for 99 years. Leasing of property for such longer period amounts to indirect selling and the lease becomes irrevocable and perpetual,” he said.

BJP corporator Ujjwal Keskar said the PMC was hacking its source of big income by leasing properties for 99 years at meagre rent. “It’s pathetic the PMC does not even have a proper system to recover long pending arrears of rent,” he said.

The municipal body does not even have an updated list of properties owned by it and the arrears are increasing every year.

However, Keskar has released a list of 201 property holders who have arrears since last 28 years.

RTI activist and president of NGO Nagri Hakka Samiti Sudhir Kaka Kulkarni said the rent arrears go up to Rs 8.5 crore every year.

Prakash Barne, who runs a canteen in the PMC main building, has arrears up to Rs 1.07 lakh accumulated over 12 years. Sai Service housed in PMC-owned complex Savarkar Bhawan is to pay Rs 10.44 lakh since last 11 years.

Kulkarni said that none of the commissioner had taken any interest in making an updated list of leased out properties. “These lands are given to rich and popular personalities without considering the proper criteria.

Many of the leased properties have been given to family members of PMC officials and elected members,” he said.

Kulkarni said there was no system to verify if the property was even being used by the same person to whom it was leased. “We want a responsible officer who can handle this efficiently and give a clear picture of these properties to the citizens,” he said.

Rs 18-Lakh Dues In 15 Days From Pune Property Tax Defaulters

(Indian Express, Oct 17 2010)

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Over the past fortnight, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has collected Rs 18 lakh property tax dues, including the penalty, from nearly 16,000 defaulters. The civic administration decided to impose a fine of 2 per cent on people who have property tax dues in their names.

Based on the directions issued by the state under the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act of 1949, the move came into effect from October 1. Owners of 2.5 lakh properties, out of 6.8 lakh assessed, have to pay the 2 per cent penalty. The civic body is looking at collecting approximately Rs 2 crore exclusively through the penalty this year.

“We started imposing the penalty on property tax from October 1. We found that out of 6.8 lakh assessed properties, there are about 2.5 lakh owners, who are yet to pay their property tax dues. While some of them had not paid tax in the first semester, some others had not paid the tax over the past couple of years,” said Vilas Kanade, chief of the property tax department.

He said though the people were complaining about the penalty, they have no option but to pay up. “Till Friday, about 16,000 property owners paid their dues worth Rs 18 lakh, inclusive of the penalty. This move is likely to provide an additional revenue of Rs 2 crore this year,” said Kanade. The property tax bills are distributed to property owners within the city limits twice a year, with a six-month division. For 2010-11, property tax had to be paid before September 30. The second installment has to be paid by December 31, 2010.

While the property tax collection in 2009-10 was Rs 370 crore, this year the initial six months have given the civic body Rs 320 crore of property tax. This year, the tax collection department has set a target of Rs 500 crore, the official said.

PCMC Pipeline Contractors To Level Dug Up Roads At Own Cost

PUNE: The water supply department of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has put a clause in tender bid documents making it mandatory for contractors to level the road after the pipelines are laid.

Earlier, the contractors would lay the pipes on roads and refill the trenches with uneven murum, resulting in inconvenience for motorists. Later, the asphalting work of these rough patches was given to new contractors for an extra price. Now, the one who lays the pipes will have to level the road with tar.

Ambadas Chavan, additional city engineer and chief of water supply department, PCMC, confirmed that such a clause has been included in the tender document.

Joint city engineer Pravin Tupe said, “Earlier too the PCMC used to get the trenches filled from the contractor. But now it is being explicitly mentioned as a mandatory condition while inviting bids for future projects. “The tender process will be completed in two months while actual work is expected to begin before the end of this year.”

The condition has been put up in the bid document for 18 projects of the water supply department, estimated to cost Rs 6.71 crore. Of these, 12 projects are to be completed in six months and five in a year. One other project has a two-year deadline.

Sulabha Ubale, group leader of Shiv Sena corporators, said, “The contractors dig up roads and other open areas but fail to fill the trenches. Accidents occur due to uneven roads. There is no co-ordination between the water supply department and the engineering department, due to which there is delay in reasphalting work of roads. The PCMC should ensure that the contractor who has dug up the roads for pipelines fills the trenches and asphalt the roads. ”

Source

PCMC Run Bahinabai Chaudhary Zoo At Akurdi

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will transfer control of the Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo, located at Akurdi, from the garden department to the veterinary department to improve the zoo’s administration and ensure better facilities to the animals.

Members of the standing committee expressed concern about the administration of the zoo at the weekly meeting held on Wednesday, while discussing the death of a female leopard at the zoo. They had complained that the animals were being given inferior quality food. The members demanded that the control of the zoo be transferred to the veterinary department to improve its condition.

Meanwhile, Subhash Dumbre, additional commissioner said, “The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI) has granted small zoo status to the Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo. The PCMC had submitted a master plan for the zoo’s development to the CZAI, which was approved one and a half years ago. The PCMC had incurred an expenditure of Rs 1.5 lakh to prepare the master plan and the union government has reimbursed this expenditure recently.”

The total cost of implementation of the master plan is around Rs 15 crore over a period of five years. The total cost of development comprises Rs 2.07 crore for the building, Rs 3.37 crore for basic amenities and Rs 9.46 crore for wildlife related works (for example, cages and veterinary care facilities). The PCMC will receive Rs 5 crore as grant from the CZAI.

The zoo will have around 20 types of reptiles, 3 types of amphibians and 10 species of water birds. It will have a breeding centre for endangered amphibians, a lake for water birds and an enclosure for crocodiles and alligators. There will also be a butterfly collection and breeding centre, a museum of models of extinct animals and a nature and interpretation centre.

Currently the PCMC-run Bahinabai Chaudhary zoo is spread over an area of seven acres and located in the Sambhajinagar area of Akurdi. There are three panthers, birds like the peafowl and peacock, varieties of snakes, a few crocodiles, ducks and a dozen monkeys.

In the 1990s, the zoo was located in a sparsely populated area. Now, however, houses and commercial complexes have come up around it, leaving no scope for the zoo’s expansion.

Source

Pune Property Tax Rates May Rise With New System

Based on the directions of the state government, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to introduce the capital value system (CVS) for computing the Annual Rateable Value of a property, for fixing the property taxes in the city. The civic administration has tabled a proposal before the standing committee regarding the move.

The move has been designed to bring uniformity in the taxation system in all the municipal corporations across the state. As a result, if the proposal is cleared, the property tax charges might go up.

At present, the ARV is fixed on the standard rents fixed by the Rent Control Act. Under the ARV system, the probable gross rent of a property is taken into account. For domestic buildings, 20 percent of the amount is calculated. For commercial buildings 25 percent of the amount is calculated.

Under the new CVS, the calculation of tax is based on the value of the land as well as that of the building. It takes into account the capital value of the building, which is in turn based on the cost of the land as well as the cost of the building, net of depreciation.

The proposal says: “In different municipal corporations in the state, there are different methods of fixing the ARV of a particular property. But, in order to bring uniformity, transparency and introduce simplicity, the new method of CVS is being considered.” The ARV fixed under the capital value system, will be updated every five years.

Source

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/New-system-on-anvil-to-evaluate-property-tax-likely-to-push-up-rates/677588

372 New Rickshaw Stands In Pune

PUNE: The traffic department has given a green signal to 372 new autorickshaw stands in the city, Manoj Patil, deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) announced.

According to Patil, the traffic department has planned a special drive against drivers plying rickshaws without meters. This drive will be carried out in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad during the next seven days.

“Many rickshaw drivers do not use meters. and charge exorbitant fare. So action has been planned against them,” he said.