PCMC In 25 Years – A Fast Forward Into The Future

Anil-Pharande
 
 
Anil Pharande on his vision and his expectations of the PCMC of the future
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation follows a real estate model that has proven to be the most progressive and sustainable all over the world. The essence of this model is ‘planned development’ or ‘controlled urbanization’. PCMC is a twin city to Pune, but in that respect is uniquely different. Pune’s real estate development has not followed any sort of plan, and it is not hard to see it as a smaller version of chaotic Mumbai in less than 25 years.
A HOMOGENEOUS, MULTI-FACETED MOSAIC
In the same time span, PCMC will have attained its fullest potential as a model city of the future. Obviously, it will look very different from what we see today. It will have grown exponentially, into a harmonized montage of large industrial units, IT Parks, hotels, shopping and entertainment plazas, educational institutes and healthcare facilities – towering above public parks and gardens and crisscrossed with multi-lane roads and flyovers.
Further, the additional 25,000 acres of land that have come within the PCMC jurisdiction by virtue of the last Development Plan will eventually result in the addition of at least 2 million new homes. These homes will cater to every social stratum of property buyers, from the lower to the high income segments.
HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL EXPANSION – CREATING A SPECTACULAR SKYLINE
In other words, there will be tremendous – yet controlled – horizontal real estate growth over the next 25 years. Most spaces allocated for residential use will have been utilized for that purpose. But this will not result in an urban jungle, since the PCMC planning blueprint will enforce the maintenance of vast green spaces at all stages of development.
Moreover, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will at all times endorse self-sufficient real estate developments such as townships and other integrated residential projects. The authorities have long since recognized that these are the most sustainable and progressive models for optimum real estate growth. These projects will ensure a scientific uniformity to the horizontal growth.
However, even these 25,000 acres will not suffice, since PCMC will have to accommodate a massive demand for housing. The following graph illustrates this point – it charts the population growth in PCMC over the last 25 years, and clearly depicts that this growth has been almost ten-fold (from 200,000 to 2 million).
graphAs the graph below indicates, there is reason to believe that population growth is likely to cross 50 lakhs (5 million)  by 2035
This growth will be fuelled by several factors. On the one hand, there will be a huge requirement for homes from the rapidly growing manufacturing sectors of Pimpri-Chinchwad and the Chakan-Talegaon belt. Chakan itself, though a burgeoning industrial hub, has little to offer by ways of residential facilities. The onus naturally falls on PCMC, which will necessarily be the residential location of choice for the entrepreneurs and employees of these units.
Simultaneously, there will be the spill-over effect from Pune City (which will have reached complete saturation point in the next 25 years). We further have to factor in the ever-increasing migrant population from all over the country, attracted as much by the excellent education institutions as by the varied career opportunities.
The obvious solution lies in growing vertically as well as horizontally. More land will have to come within the purview of planned development, and building heights will need to increase from the currently permitted 70 metres – approximately 22 floors plus parking – to 100 metres or more. FSI, which still currently stagnates at 1, will need to be raised to at least 2, or even 2.5.
In 25 years, PCMC will be a skyscraper city on the lines of Gurgaon.
WORLD-CLASS INFRASTRUCTURE
In most cities, such growth would mean serious infrastructure challenges. We have already seen what happens in a city like Mumbai, where skyscrapers are being built without sufficient parking, connectivity and municipal amenities to support them. However, thanks to the master plan that PCMC will always adhere to, the necessary infrastructure will precede the building of high-rises. I firmly believe that 25 years from now, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will serve as a national and even international benchmark for planned, scientific vertical real estate growth.
An essential pre-requisite to support this massive growth is an advanced public transport system. With an eye on this future requirement, PCMC has adopted a model similar to Ahmedabad’s Janmarg – a scientifically designed BRT-based  public transport system spanning 130 km across 14 routes in PCMC. This system involves 4-lane wide, exclusive roads with grade separators that will reduce the dependence on private transport in favour of more efficient public transport. This, in turn, will result in smooth traffic flow, less road blocks, radically lower pollution levels and a healthier, energy-conserving environment. To ensure that there are no hitches in the development of this lifeline, the PCMC has established an Urban Transport Fund for its funding.
Another pre-requisite for efficient transport is more connecting roadways. A ring road is on the drawing boards, but that will become truly effective only with the implementation of a hub-and-spoke road network. To illustrate this point, there are currently only two arterial roads connecting Pune with Pimpri-Chinchwad, and only two connecting Pimpri-Chinchwad with Chakan. These cannot sustain the enormous increase in vehicular traffic that industrial and residential growth will generate.
Again, it is my opinion that this alone may not suffice to cater to the public transport needs that will emerge over the next two decades. I personally feel that an elevated skybus or monorail network or even an underground rail network will be called for.
THE ULTIMATE GAMECHANGERS
I cannot end these musings without mentioning the new international airport being planned near Rajgurunagar and the International Convention Centre at Moshi, which will cover a sprawling 200 acres. The Convention Centre alone will spawn a huge tourism, hospitality and retail boom which will convert PCMC into a major urban destination both within and outside Maharashtra, perhaps second only to Mumbai. Global hotel chains will have redefined the hospitality sector, and the shopping centres will be populated by marquee retail brands.
In fact, the next two decades are surely going to see PCMC being catapulted into the international Big League, giving it a distinct global identity in its own right.
Anil Pharande is President, CREDAI – PCMC and Chairman, Pharande Spaces, one of the most innovative developers in Pimpri-Chinchwad

BRTS Premium Row: CREDAI Supports GB Resolution For Rate Reduction

(Pune Mirror, October 12, 2010)
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has invited objections and suggestions for the reduction in the BRTS premium rates that have been passed by the general body (GB) of the municipal corporation.
More importantly, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) has come out in favour of the proposed reduction in premium rates effectively pitting the builder lobby against municipal commissioner.
Anil-Pharande
 
 
Anil Pharande, president, CREDAI Pimpri Chinchwad unit, said, “The premium rates decided earlier are very high and not practical. It will increase the cost of construction. Suppose, the rate for TDR is Rs 700 per sq ft and then PCMC asks us to pay a premium of Rs 900 per sq ft.
This itself adds up to Rs 1600 per sq feet to the overall cost. Hence, it is necessary to reduce the premium rates. The current proposal to charge 25 per cent of the ready reckoner rate is appropriate.”
In August, the PCMC GB passed a resolution to reduce the premium charges to 25 per cent of the ready reckoner rate for allowing extra FSI. The ready reckoner rate is the rate of the land decided by the government, which is generally very less as compared to the market rate of the land in that area. So, the premium cost would also come down substantially.
After the suggestions and objections have been tabled, the proposal would be sent to the State government for approval. The issue had created quite a furore, after Opposition members alleged that the reduction in premium would cause loss of thousands of crores of rupees in revenue to PCMC. Sharma had remarked then that the GB is asking for a drastic reduction in premium rates, which, in his view, should not be done.
The PCMC had planned eight BRTS corridors in PCMC and would be spending in excess of Rs 2,100 crore for consructing these. The PCMC would be spending around 30 to 40 per cent of this amount, while the rest would be funded under JNNURM by the Central and the State governments.
So, to recover to construction cost of these roads, PCMC is allowing 0.8 extra FSI upto 100 metres on each side of the BRTS roads. For giving this extra FSI, PCMC would charge premium rates of 300,600,900 per sq. ft in A,B,C zones in PCMC. The state government also approved the proposal.
“PCMC had earlier given the powers of deciding the rates of BRTS premium to the municipal commisioner and the administration. But they made a blunder and proposed very high premium rates, which would make construction costs unviable.
The rates that have been passed by the general body now are appropriate. We expect the State government to give approval to the same in the next two to three months.”
Current Development Control Rule
TDR generated from any of the zone, from the sanctioned development plan (DP) of old and extended limit shall be allowed in the BRT corridor on payment of premium charges, which should not be less than what is decided by the general body (GB).
These premium charges are to be decided by the PCMC Commisioner from time to time. Premium shall not be charged for the 0.4 FSI of road widening area of the receiving plot
Modification Proposed
TDR generated from any of the zone, from the sanctioned DP of old and extended limit shall be allowed in the BRT corridor on payment of premium charges, and the said premium shall not be charged as per the policy sanctioned by the govt but shall be charged at the rate of 25 per cent of the govt ready reckoner rate of the receiving plot. Premium shall not be charged for the 0.40 FSI of road widening area of the receiving plot.

PCMC Land Acquisition Notices Sent To 1,800 People

(Times of India, October 6 2010)
PUNE:  The land acquisition office of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has sent notices to 1,800 people in Kalewadi to acquire land for construction of a road from MM School to the Pavana river. This half-km stretch is part of the Kalewadi phata-Dehu Alandi road bus rapid transit system (BRTS) route.
P G Nale, special land acquisition officer said, “The office started sending notices to the people 10 days ago.
“The notices have been served under the urgency clause of land acquisition as the land is urgently needed to construct the road. The land acquisition department will take possession of the land on October 20. Enquiry about the land owners and the area needed for the road will be conducted after October 27,” Nale said.
Nale said that details of the plot partitions registered in the revenue survey were available with the office but the civic body did not know who the actual owners were. Hence, notices had been sent to all the plot owners according to the survey numbers.
“We need to acquire very little land for the road which has a length of 500 m, he said. The road will be 45 m wide. The land on the right side of this road is within Pimpri-Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA) limits while that on the left side is within PCMC limits,” he said.
“The land within PCNTDA limits had been acquired by the authority many years ago and no compensation needs to be given. The PCNTDA will just transfer the land to the PCMC after the land acquisition drive,” Nale said.
The stretch is part of an 11-km BRTS route being built by the PCMC under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme.

Pune Real Estate – BRTS: Civic Body To Intensify Land Acquisition Drive

Under criticism for the slow pace of development work under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the Pune Municipal Corporation has chalked out a four-month plan to launch an extensive land acquisition drive for road widening to set up the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).
“The civic administration has been able to only complete the acquisition process of the land that was vacant. The development work on the acquired land is almost complete and now steps are being taken to acquire the land that has structures on it,” said Sudhakar Telang, PMC land acquisition and estate officer.
He said land will be acquired on Nagar Road, Alandi Road, Sinhagad Road and Karve Road in the next four months. Telang said that since the property owners or occupants have not cooperated with the civic administration on land acquisition, the special drive will be aimed at using the powers with the civic body for forceful acquisition of land for implementing developmental projects.
“The action will be taken with the help of staff of anti-encroachment department and city police,” he said, adding, the civic body has already served notices to property owners. The action will lead to demolition of structures on roads that are to be developed for BRTS. Under JNNURM, the civic body is carrying out road widening work, developing dedicated bus lanes and cycle tracks among others.
Work on the 16.5 km BRTS stretch from Katraj to Hadapsar via Swargate was launched in 2006, however, it was plagued by accidents and delays. The PMC has now speeded up work on other BRTS routes.
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