Pune Real Estate On A High Trajectory

(TOI, Oct 13, 2010)
PUNE: Prices of the city’s residential property are witnessing a rise, if market observations of leading realty research firms are an indication. Rentals of commercial space are also witnessing an upward movement, though the market cannot yet be called a heated one, the firms have said.
Rates in different parts of the city have recorded anything between 15 to 25 per cent rise in the past one year or so, rising customer interest being one of the factors, the observers added.
“As far residential properties are concerned, the sector is moving again for the last six months or so. Previously, we had thought the returning demand will fizzle out by April, but that has not been the case. The impression one gets is that Pune’s home buyers are once again convinced of the long-term potential of their investments,” Mohammed Aslam, Pune head for real estate advisory Jones Lang LaSalle India told TOI.
“I won’t say that the market is back with all guns blazing, but matters have improved considerably. Residential sales and retail lease figures for the month of July 2010 look astonishingly different than from this time last year, Aslam of JLL said.
For mid-income homes, the hottest-selling locations are now in western Pune, he observes. Buyers have the widest choice there because of the large number of projects popping up all over Hinjewadi, Wakad, Pimple Nilakh, Pimple Saudagar, Aundh and Balewadi. Secondly, this influx of projects is serving to keep prices affordable. In western Pune, average residential property rates start at around Rs. 3,200 per sq.ft. and hover around Rs 4,000 per sq.ft. The most popular price tags for homes in these areas are between Rs. 30 to 40 lakh.
Manish Aggarwal, executive director, investment services, Cushman & Wakefield India (C&W), said, “With India’s economic environment showing signs of stability and buoyant growth, coupled with improvement in affordability and access to finance, housing demand in the country is expected to witness a revival in the near future.”
According to the C&W report, Pune is expected to witness the highest demand in residential sector after National Capital Region (NCR) and Mumbai. Pune is estimated to witness a demand of 2,70,000 housing units by 2014, the report says. “The growth in demand for residential units in Pune can be attributed to rapidly growing city population (both migratory & local), coupled with improvement in economic environment with stimulate growth of both IT and manufacturing sectors in this city,” the report adds.
Real estate advisor Ravi Verma, a former official of the National Association of Realtors, said, “The residential market is moving briskly and both high-end and economy segments within the residential sector are doing well. There is however a warning here, that the prices are rising slowly but definitely.”
Offices segment, on the other hand, has yet to pick up speed, as there is a sizeable overhang of stock created or planned prior to the economic slowdown of 2008-09. Verma said the information technology sector which drove most of the deals in the early part of the decade is still slow in absorption of space and so are the retail and commercial spaces.
Aggarwal said, “The overall demand for commercial office space is subdued in comparison to the supply which is estimated to be approximately 400 million sq.ft during 2010 to 2014, implying caution and the need for quality supply at the right prices.” According to him, the demand for retail space across the country is estimated to be 55 million sq.ft; of which the top seven cities will witness approximately 53 per cent.
The total mall supply expected between the period under review is approximately 93 million sq.ft. NCR, followed by Pune, is likely to witness the highest demand-supply gap over the next five years, with supply overshooting demand.

PMPML Goes In For An Image Makeover

PUNE: The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s decision to allow commercial use of land owned by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has pepped up the transport body chief Dilip Band, who has said that Pune’s bus transport is in the process of transforming into an efficient public transport organisation with quality buses and up-to-date commuter facilities.
Launching the Pune bus guide, developed jointly by the PMPML and Janwani, an initiative of the MCCIA, Band said, “Our prime focus is to encourage college-goers and those in IT services to travel by city buses so that the number of private vehicles on roads will reduce.”
Band said that the delivery of 500 new buses, being procured under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission ( JNNURM), will begin from October. “The buses will have an unique colour combination and doors on both sides,” he said.
The buses and bus-shelters will have public announcement systems, and LED displays. The PMPML, he said, will also be allotting work for intelligent traffic system by which it would be possible to track the movement of buses in an efficient manner. The buses will also have entertainment facilities for commuters.
In addition to the 650 buses already sanctioned by the Union urban development department, the government has in principle sanctioned 200 more buses, Band said. He added that a proposal is in the offing to run air-conditioned buses under public-private partnership basis.
Band said that the design of the new bus-shelters has been finalised and both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations (PMC and PCMC) will be taking up the work to install them.
PCMC will complete the installation of bus-shelters by November-December, while PMC will soon be inviting tenders for the work.
The Union government, he said, has sanctioned 2.5 Floor Space Index (FSI) for bus depots by which, PMPML will be able to redevelop the existing depots with parking facilities for buses and commuters. Some portions of the building will also be used for commercial purposes.
“PMPML is going to benefit financially in a big way by redevelopment of the bus depots,” he said. PMPML will be able to provide “park and ride” facility by redeveloping the depots.
While PCMC has already sanctioned 2.5 FSI for bus depots in Pimpri-Chinchwad, PMC will be discussing the proposal soon, he said. The bus depots will be redeveloped within a period of one year, he added.
Justifying the e-ticketing system which has been adopted by PMPML despite opposition from certain sections of people, Band said that recently the transport organisation has recently awarded an advertisement contract which will fetch Rs 24 crore for the next three years.
“This is almost double the earlier advertisement contract which fetched Rs 18 crore for the last five years,” he said. Band said that now there would be more transparency in the functioning of the PMPML.
PMPML’s joint managing director Satish Kulkarni said there would be qualitative and quantitative improvements in PMPML as only better mobility of people would help in the health and environment related problems facing the city.
PMPML, at present is transporting just 20 to 22 per cent of people. This number has to increase, he said. Responding to a suggestion by MCCIA president Mukesh Malhotra that all buses should be clean, Kulkarni said that cleanliness of buses will be the top priority for the PMPML.
PUNE: The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s decision to allow commercial use of land owned by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has pepped up the transport body chief Dilip Band, who has said that Pune’s bus transport is in the process of transforming into an efficient public transport organisation with quality buses and up-to-date commuter facilities.
Launching the Pune bus guide, developed jointly by the PMPML and Janwani, an initiative of the MCCIA, Band said, “Our prime focus is to encourage college-goers and those in IT services to travel by city buses so that the number of private vehicles on roads will reduce.”
Band said that the delivery of 500 new buses, being procured under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission ( JNNURM), will begin from October. “The buses will have an unique colour combination and doors on both sides,” he said.
The buses and bus-shelters will have public announcement systems, and LED displays. The PMPML, he said, will also be allotting work for intelligent traffic system by which it would be possible to track the movement of buses in an efficient manner. The buses will also have entertainment facilities for commuters.
In addition to the 650 buses already sanctioned by the Union urban development department, the government has in principle sanctioned 200 more buses, Band said. He added that a proposal is in the offing to run air-conditioned buses under public-private partnership basis.
Band said that the design of the new bus-shelters has been finalised and both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations (PMC and PCMC) will be taking up the work to install them.
PCMC will complete the installation of bus-shelters by November-December, while PMC will soon be inviting tenders for the work.
The Union government, he said, has sanctioned 2.5 Floor Space Index (FSI) for bus depots by which, PMPML will be able to redevelop the existing depots with parking facilities for buses and commuters. Some portions of the building will also be used for commercial purposes.
“PMPML is going to benefit financially in a big way by redevelopment of the bus depots,” he said. PMPML will be able to provide “park and ride” facility by redeveloping the depots.
While PCMC has already sanctioned 2.5 FSI for bus depots in Pimpri-Chinchwad, PMC will be discussing the proposal soon, he said. The bus depots will be redeveloped within a period of one year, he added.
Justifying the e-ticketing system which has been adopted by PMPML despite opposition from certain sections of people, Band said that recently the transport organisation has recently awarded an advertisement contract which will fetch Rs 24 crore for the next three years.
“This is almost double the earlier advertisement contract which fetched Rs 18 crore for the last five years,” he said. Band said that now there would be more transparency in the functioning of the PMPML.
PMPML’s joint managing director Satish Kulkarni said there would be qualitative and quantitative improvements in PMPML as only better mobility of people would help in the health and environment related problems facing the city.
PMPML, at present is transporting just 20 to 22 per cent of people. This number has to increase, he said. Responding to a suggestion by MCCIA president Mukesh Malhotra that all buses should be clean, Kulkarni said that cleanliness of buses will be the top priority for the PMPML.

PMPML Plots In PCMC To Open For Commercial Property Use

PUNE: The general body of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has cleared the decks for commercial utilisation of land reserved for the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) depots and termini.
The GB has approved a resolution initiating changes in the development control (DC) rules, which is necessary to allow 2.5 floor space index (FSI) on these prime plots.
As per the resolution, only the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal ltd (PMPML) and the PCMC will be able to develop the plots, said Pimpri-Chinchwad mayor Yogesh Behl.
A short-notice proposal was tabled at the general body on Monday following a letter sent by Dilip Band, divisional commissioner and president and managing director of PMPML. Band said in the letter that the transport body was suffering huge losses and there was a need to increase its income from sources other than buses.
The letter further said that the bus depots in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad are located in prime locations. If 2.5 FSI is granted, depots can be developed on the ground floor while the three to four floors above can be used for parking; the portion above that will be developed on a build operate transfer (BOT) basis for commercial purpose.
“If 2.5 FSI is approved then funds can be generated to help the PMPML cover its losses. It would also mean better public transport in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad,” the proposal stated.
To get the FSI approved, changes will have to be made in the DC rules of the PCMC under provisions of section 37 of MRTP Act 1966. In case a site is situated in the bus rapid transit system (BRTS) zone then the premium and other rules which are applicable for the BRTS zone shall not be applicable for the bus stand/terminus/depot.
Satish Kulkarni, joint managing director of the PMPML, confirmed that the transport body has sought permission to commercially exploit all the plots reserved for bus termini/ depots and other purposes for the transport body within the PCMC limits.
A PMPML official said that all the properties and plots that were reserved for the erstwhile Pimpri Chinchwad municipal transport (PCMT) were owned by the PCMC. The PMPML has received possession of only three depots, namely Nigdi, Nehrunagar and Bhosari and one central workshop at Nigdi.
The PMPML had earlier sought possession of six plots in various parts of the municipal limits from the PCMC but the general body has kept the proposal pending.

Finolex Industries Selling Pune Land To Raise 4 Billion Rupees

Finolex Industries Ltd., India’s biggest maker of pipes made of polyvinyl chloride, surged to its highest in almost three years after the company said it expects to raise about 4 billion rupees ($86 million) selling land.
The company revived its plan to sell 78 acres (31 hectares) of industrial land after an increase in real estate prices, said P. Subramaniam, chief financial officer, said in an interview. Finolex had in 2008 proposed selling the property, he said.
The land sale will help Finolex improve its cash flow, said Tejas Doshi, vice president of equity research at Sushil Financial Services Pvt. The company, which reported a 67 percent drop in profit in the three months through June, also plans to spend 800 million rupees to build a new factory, Subramaniam said by phone today.
The land sale will help “improve the balance sheet,” Mumbai-based Doshi said. “It will also help their expansion plans.”
Finolex will raise 500 million rupees by selling non- convertible bonds to build the plant and will fund the balance from its profit, Subramaniam said. The company hasn’t “finalized” the land sale yet, he said.
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

MIDC To Give Five Acre Plot To PCMC For Fire Brigade Office

PUNE: The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) will give a five-acre plot to the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to set up the fire brigade head office.
Avinash Patil, deputy director, town planning, said that PCMC had approached the MIDC to get land for a police station and fire brigade office in Bhosari.
PCMC fire brigade has one central office and three sub-stations in the municipal limits. The central office is located at Pimpri while the sub-stations are located at Rahatni, Bhosari and Pradhikaran.
The population of PCMC limits has grown rapidly and there is a need to open 17 sub-stations as per the population. The fire brigade is also searching for land to open its new sub-offices in various parts of the municipal limits.
Read the rest of the article here.

PCMC Coming Up With A Comprehensive Parking Policy

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is planning to come up with a comprehensive parking policy for the twin township area.
Expressing the need for such a policy, municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma on Tuesday said that pedestrian safety issues need to be considered comprehensively while planning for road traffic and transportation projects.
Sharma, who was speaking at a symposium on land-use and transporation in Pimpri on Tuesday, said that the present approach regarding parking policy is ad hoc and that there is an urgent need to come out with a comprehensive policy.
Stressing on proper planning for pedestrian facilities, Sharma said that proper footpaths should be provided on all roads. While planning for footpaths the preference should not be on vehicles. Ways and means should be found out to prevent the encroachments that often result due to wider footpaths.
Issues like whether footpaths should be at the road level or at a higher level, need to be addressed, he said. The symposium was organised jointly by PCMC, Pimpri-Chinchwad New Town Development Authority (PCNTDA) in association with Institute for Transportation and Development Policy ( ITDP) and GEHL associates.
Source

Revamp Pune Property Tax Distribution System: BJP

PUNE: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded that the property tax distribution system should be revamped as citizens are not getting bills on time.
The standing committee approved municipal commissioner, Mahesh Zagade’s, proposal to appoint an agency to assess all the untaxed properties. Besides adding new properties to the tax list, the move will help identify domestic properties used for commercial purpose. This step will add to the PMC’s revenue.
In the last two years, the PMC has brought nearly 80,000 properties under the tax net. However, an estimated 45,000 properties still remain out of its ambit.
Read the rest of this article here.

PCMC To Ask Pune Organisation To Vacate Depot Land

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will send a legal notice to the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) asking it to vacate land of a bus depot in Sant Tukaramnagar area of Pimpri following a change in the reservation of the said land.
Pimpri-Chinchwad mayor Yogesh Behl took this decision at civic general body meeting held on Friday, at the insistence of local Congress corporator Yashwant Bhosale. Bhosale also pointed out that the PMPML should shift the depot to the land given at Nehrunagar.
Behl announced the decision while ending the discussion on a proposal to give Rs 1.27 crore to the PMPML for paying salaries of its employees for the month of April.
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PCMC’s Thergaon Boat Club Strict On Safety

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s Thergaon boat club attracts people from Pimpri and Chinchwad on weekends and holidays. The facility has been provided by constructing a bund on the river Pavana four years ago.
A visit to the club revealed an array of life jackets ready for visitors. Life guards too were present at the facility. During the lean season the club operates one pedal boat with the capacity to seat two to four people and one six-seater motor boat. On crowded occasions, three more pedal boats are added.
Laxman Dongre, a lifeguard at the club, said,”Since the boating facility is on the Pavana river which is deep, we insist that people wear life jackets. We don’t allow them entry without one. We also constantly monitor people once they start boating and do not allow them to go far.” About 50 visitors avail of the boating facility every day.
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