Infrastructure And its Correlation to Home Buying

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

In India, as in other countries, it is a simple fact that localities which are as close as possible to important workplace areas will be most consistently sought out by people looking to buy homes. Therefore, projects with great connectivity by railway and road, see the highest demand for residential properties.

Property investment is always driven by the infrastructure in and around a locality. From sufficient roads to reliable water supply and drainage, infrastructure includes all the physical characteristics which contribute towards creating sustainable communities. Unsurprisingly, property costs close to infrastructure including airports, railway stations and roads are higher than in other regions.

If a location does not offer reliable electricity and water supply, connectivity, public transportation stops and sanitation by ways of good sewerage and waste disposal, it will not work as a residential destination regardless of what else it offers. All these are services that nobody living in a modern Indian city is prepared to live without.

From a property marketplace outlook, sufficient infrastructure in an area includes everything that leads to an easier, convenient lifestyle which does not have to contend with any kind of shortages, service outages and breakdown of public facilities.

Well-planned roads and public transport

Roads are required to make transport quicker and simpler. They are important right from the time when basic infrastructure and initial real estate development are being put in place, as raw materials and labour has to be able to reach the location. Once the area is established, roads let people travel to and from work, for kids to get to and from school and for access to shopping and entertainment.

Proper planning of road, rail and public transport nodes is very important. The key factor to be kept in mind during this planning is that people do not want to too close to bus depots, railway stations, shopping areas and industries businesses – but neither will they wish to be too far away from them.

Reliable supply of essential utilities

In a developing country like India, there are still many towns and suburbs of cities that do not enjoy reliable water and electricity supply, garbage management and public security features. With the income of typical Indian families constantly growing, today’s urban homeowners are willing to spend more to get access to seamless water and electricity, and adequate security.

Naturally, residential complexes that provide 24×7 water and electricity supply and round-the-clock security are far now highly favored. This is what has led to the growing momentum of township development in Pune and even more so in PCMC. Housing projects in places that don’t have reliable utilities and where security is a concern do find takers – but these are usually exceptionally budget-strung buyers who resign themselves to having to wait for everything to fall in place at some stage.

Sanitation infrastructure

In India, there has been rising awareness of the minimum levels of sanitation that a household should have access to. A new location will only start attracting real demand from homebuyers if it offers appropriate measures of sanitation such as municipal road cleaning, trash removal, sewage and waste water disposal, and other related services. Without these services, life becomes unhealthy and intolerable. A location’s score on the sanitation front is a very important criterion for homebuyers who are shortlisting housing projects in which to buy a property.

Social infrastructure: Schools, hospitals, shopping and recreation

Indian families put great onus on the availability of schools in a residential neighbourhood. This is why areas with good schools in the vicinity fetch higher property rates than most others. This is not only a question of convenience for Indian parents, but also of the safety for their children. Because of life’s uncertainties and the rise in road and domestic accidents, hospitals are another component in an area’s social infrastructure that is of critical concern for homebuyers. They expect quick access to medical facilities –  this is non-negotiable.

Recreational open spaces such as parks are also consistently in favour from city dwellers that wish to experience nature to some extent, and thereby be able to find some refuge from the urban madness that rules most of their days. A locality that offers water bodies, gardens, parks and playgrounds in the vicinity are considered premium.

Developers of large integrated townships are aware of how important the availability of good social infrastructure has become, which is why they include gardens and artificial lakes as well as schools, shopping and entertainment inside the project premises for their residents.

Infrastructure in all its facets is therefore hugely important in today’s residential property scenario, and it directly influences the buying behavior of Indians scouting around for homes. The degree to which social and civic infrastructure is available in a neighbourhood dictates how successful a residential destination is today.

This is why integrated townships have become the most important trend on the Indian property market today. Townships are not dependent on how proactive the municipality and private sector players in deploying social and physical infrastructure. They deploy it themselves in perfectly-contained microcosms that not only include residential projects but also office and retail complexes as well as educational and healthcare facilities.

Integrated townships ensure that their residents have everything they need for a modern comfortable and secure lifestyle accessible within easy reach, for instant use. The high demand for township properties in rapidly urbanizing cities like Pune and PCMC vouchsafes the fact that homebuyers are no longer willing to compromise on the advantages of sufficient infrastructure in their neighbourhoods.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in West Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.

Infrastructure: The Key Real Estate Investment Criterion

– Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

We keep hearing the term ‘market drivers’ being used in real estate. What are they? Market drivers can be defined as developments in an area that increase the value of living there. It is a well-established fact that infrastructure is by far the most important driver for real estate demand and property appreciation growth.

Infrastructure can take many forms. It includes road development to boost connectivity of a location, civic infrastructure such as dedicated water and electricity supply, public gardens, etc. that increases the quality of living in the area, and social infrastructure such as schools, colleges and healthcare, which result in shorter travelling time to such very essential services.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Infrastructure must be put in place either before or along with other real estate development. Attempts to put it in place retrospectively create the kind of mess that we can see in many of our cities today. The building of flyovers and road widening are attempted in highly congested areas, disrupting the flow of normal activity and taking ages to be built, causing great inconvenience and massive costs to the city because of the incessant delays.

Building infrastructure is like growing trees – in both cases, there needs to be enough space for them to grow, and sufficient opportunity for a root network to deploy. Without space and depth, neither trees nor infrastructure can grow and flourish. If we take the case of Pune as an example, we can see that building infrastructure as an afterthought to real estate development, rather than as a precursor, does not really work well.

Pune’s haphazard development in the past has not been favourable for decent infrastructure deployment to complement its rapid development on other fronts. Battling severe constraints, Pune’ development authorities are doing their best to counter the ill-effects of unregulated development which has so far been taking place.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

We are seeing some good results in building support infrastructure, but the Pune Municipal Corporation is actually a losing battle. This is amply illustrated by the fact that the Pune Municipal Corporation is not able to provide suitable parking, traffic management solutions and utilities supply despite enormous investments.

Guidelines For Homebuyers & Investors

  • The infrastructure of a location is a major focus area for property investors for a very good reason. Real estate investors want to attract end-users, either as rental or purchase clients, to the properties. They know that an area without sufficient infrastructure will be unattractive to their clients, because the quality of living quotient is low.
  • Again, properties in areas without good infrastructure tend to have cheaper property rates for a reason. Developers with projects in such locations know that the area has little or nothing to say for itself in terms of quality of life. The only way they can hope to sell their projects is to offer very attractive rates.
  • Buyers should place infrastructure availability prominently on their checklist while scouting for suitable homes. Road and rail connectivity, water supply, proximity of schools, hospitals and shopping outlets are of paramount importance. Buying a home cheaply if the location does not offer these is meaningless, and will give cause for regret.
  • If one is buying a property purely as a long-term investment and primarily for capital appreciation, one can afford to be a bit philosophical about existing infrastructure. After all, one is not planning to live there and does not expect very fast appreciation. As long as there is a reasonable assurance that it will arrive in the foreseeable future, it makes sense to invest in a property located in an emerging area where infrastructure is in its nascent stages.
  • However, if one is buying the property in order to generate rental income, existing infrastructure is far more important than upcoming infrastructure. People looking for rental options are also looking for a certain ease and dignity of living. They are willing to put the option of buying a home aside so that they can live in a good home in a good location on rent.
  • Where the option exists, give a high preference to townships over all other options. While checking out townships, ensure that they are located in areas which have a good saturation of support infrastructure as well. Most large Indian cities now have township projects coming up.
  • In Pune, the infrastructure-rich Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is attracting the highest number of buyers and investors of township properties. In other parts of the country, Navi Mumbai and the Kalyan-Dombivli and Vasai-Virar belts are becoming important township hubs.
  • In Delhi NCR, the areas to look at for townships are Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Greater Noida. In Bangalore, the growth hubs for townships are Yelahanka and Devanhalli, and in Chennai they include Sriperumbadur, Perambur, the OMR belt and Anna Nagar.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana PuneAnil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.

More Scope For Green Development In PCMC

The PCMC is one of the pioneering regions in the country to embrace the concepts and principles of sustainable development, and I myself have always been a strong advocate for the green way of life.

Pharande Vaarivana PuneThe use of green building technology, non-conventional energy sources and sustainable waste water management does not only have a positive impact on the environment but also on the overall quality of our lives. Moreover, adoption of sustainable building and living practices reduce the strain on municipal resources, resulting in significant revenue savings which can then be used to build better infrastructure and provide even more services to the people.

I would like to touch on PCMC’s major thrust towards sustainable real estate development. It is no secret that green development is the future of real estate all over the world. In fact, many of the bigger residential townships and commercial complexes in the PCMC have already adopted the ‘green development’ mantra. Many of the developers active here have started to take sustainable real estate development seriously and begun launching Green Homes.

To date, there are around 60 registered green buildings completed or under construction in the PCMC. The new PCNTDA building itself is a resounding statement to how important sustainable development has become to the city.

Obviously, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is taking its mission to provide cleaner, greener homes to its citizens very seriously. But I must also add that we still have a long way to go. In my opinion, there is still not enough enthusiasm within the region about the benefits of green homes and workplaces. One of the reasons for this is lack of awareness.

And despite all the progress that has been made, there should be more determination by the PCMC to encourage and promote developers who are taking the Green cause seriously. I still see a great deal of disconnect between developers, agencies like GRIHA, the environment department and the building permissions agencies. Permissions for green buildings should be fast-tracked and be given preferential status. But this is still not to be seen, and it is quite disappointing.

Such disconnect is not worthy of a mighty and progressive municipality like the PCMC. Everything that happens here should be a benchmark for other regions to follow. The PCMC should be the most encouraging and determined of all the regions to promote and develop green real estate. There should be attractive incentives for both developers and consumers of green real estate. Only in such an environment can we hope to see PCMC become and remain the leader in sustainability.

I look forward to an era when this will happen, so that everyone associated with the PCMC can benefit and be proud of its efforts. This is my vision for a better tomorrow for the citizens and all stakeholders of PCMC, India’s most progressive municipal corporation. Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana PuneAnil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings.

PCMC Launches Its First Eye Bank In Pimpri Chinchwad

eye
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC) first eye bank, ‘PCMC Aditya Jyot’, was launched at Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Chinchwad, on Sunday on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the hospital.
The chairperson of Aditya Birla Foundation, Rajashree Birla, inaugurated the modern eye bank facility. Chief executive officer of ABMH, Dr SP Singh, and other staff of the hospital were also present.
Rajashree Birla said donating an eye to an eye bank can result in restoring sight to someone else.
“I am happy at the launch of PCMC Aditya Jyot. The opening of the eye bank fulfilled a long-pending wish as it will go a long way in helping the visually impaired patients regain their visibility through transplanted eyes,’’ she added.
The PCMC Aditya Jyot is an integrated approach, based on PPP (public, private, partnership) basis, between Aditya Birla Hospital and the PCMC. The eye bank will be headed by Dr Ritesh Kakrania.
The standing committee of PCMC sanctioned Rs47.23 lakh for the facility.

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

Poor Response For Budget Suggestions In PCMC

(TNN, Nov 11, 2010)
Puzzled1
PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s move of inviting responses from residents for inclusion in the civic body’s 2011-12 budget proposal has received poor response, with only 53 residents sending in their suggestions for consideration. The industrial township has a population of nearly 15 lakh people and its previous budget was of around Rs 1,000 crore.
PCMC chief accounts officer V T Bhosale said, “The administration had invited suggestions from residents a month ago. The responses were to be submitted at the four zonal offices. Zone D received suggestions from eight citizens till Wednesday the last date for making the submissions.” The suggestions received from citizens will be scrutinised and only suitable ones will be included in the annual budget, he added.
Zone A officer Pandurang Zure said, “Twenty-nine citizens have submitted their suggestions while some have given more than one suggestion. The responses pertain to tree plantation, drainage, lack of street lights and water supply”.
Zone B officer Dilip Gawde said, “Ten citizens submitted their suggestions regarding requirement of gardens, jogging tracks, street lights, etc. One suggestion was regarding the underground drainage pipelines in Pimpri, while another demanded garden, swimming pool, health club and senior citizens day care centre.”
Zone C officer R D Gaikwad said, “Six citizens submitted their suggestions till the last day.”

PCMC To Levy Penalty On Property Tax Defaulters

(TNN, Oct 18, 2010)
PUNE: Propoerty tax defaulters in the Pimpri-Chinchwad township will have to pay a penalty of two per cent of the tax amount per month from this year, said Shahaji Pawar, assistant commissioner, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).
Pawar added that municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma had approved the proposal based on the new government resolution (GR) permitting civic bodies to levy penalty on defaulters.
There are 2.71 lakh properties in the municipal limits. The PCMC property tax department had, for the first time in the 26 years of its existence, crossed the Rs 100 crore collection mark in 2009-10 with the collection of Rs 106 crore. The department auctions properties of defaulters if they fail to clear their outstanding dues. The department had initiated auction against 315 properties and mopped up Rs 2.87 crore from these defaulters in 2009-10.
Pawar said, “Property tax payers have to pay the tax for the first six months of the financial year till September 30 every year. If they fail to pay the tax in this period, they will have to pay a penalty of two per cent of the tax amount from October 1 onwards. The tax for the second half of the financial year has to be paid by December 31, failing which taxpayers will have to pay the penalty from January 1 onwards.”
He said that for 2010-11, people should pay the tax for the first six months by October-end to avoid payment of penalty.
The state government had issued a GR on June 5, 2010, empowering municipal corporations to charge two per cent penalty per month for delay in payment of tax. The Pune Municipal Corporation decided to implement the GR a month ago.
The property tax department starts sending property tax bills for the first six months of the financial year from June, giving three months time to pay the tax. The bills for the second half are sent from October onwards.

Pimpri-Chinchwad To Get Central Fire Station

The industrial town of Pimpri-Chinchwad will finally get a well-equipped central fire station. It will be spread over 5 acre in Pimpri-Chinchwad-Bhosari industrial area where fire incidents are common throughout the year.
Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma said the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has sanctioned the land. “Within next few days, we hope to get the approval from the MIDC for setting up the central fire station,” he said. The civic chief said the existing fire sub-station at Sant Tukaram Nagar was too small and did not meet the requirement of a growing town like Pimpri-Chinchwad. “The central fire station will be well-equipped with latest fire tenders and rescue and recovery vans. A separate budgetory provision has already been made for such a central fire station,” he said.
The central fire station will come up close to poligrass stadium and Rose Garden in Nehrunagar.

IT Firms In PCMC Areas To Get Octroi Concessions

(Times of India, October 9 2010)
PUNE: Information Technology (IT) industrial units which will be set up in special economic zones in the Pimpri-Chinchwad township will get concessions in octroi on certain items from next month. The state government recently approved a proposal to this effect.
According to civic officials, the municipal corporation had sent a proposal to the state government last year to give concessions in octroi on certain items for IT units in SEZs. The units will be exempt from paying octroi on these items for a period of five years. The list of items which will be exempt from octroi will be notified by the municipal corporation.
According to a government resolution, the IT industries will first have to pay octroi to the municipal corporation. They will have to submit the necessary documents and then seek a refund from the municipal corporation.
The government has pointed out that the concession in octroi for industrial units in special economic zones is in accordance with the government’s SEZ policy to attract investments in the state. PCMC had invited suggestions and objections from citizens regarding the proposal to grant octroi concession. However, no suggestion or objection was received, civic officials said.

Environment Conservation Officer For PCMC

PUNE: The environment engineering cell of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will now be headed by an independent officer. Till date, it was looked after by the medical department.
The PCMC had sent a proposal to the state government for creating the new post in December last year. The state government recently approved the appointment of an executive engineer (environment) who will also be the environment conservation officer.
Pimpri Chinchwad has over 150 large and small industries with the housing sector growing fast in the last few years. Both these factors put a lot of pressure on the natural resources of the area, hence the need for an environment conservation officer.
“Considering the rapid growth of the township and the future industrialisation and urbanisation, it is necessary to create an independent system for environment protection and conservation in the city,” the proposal said. Besides, the municipal corporation has also said that it is required to prepare an environment status report every year, besides carrying out surveys about air, noise, water and land pollutions in the city.
The government while approving the civic proposal has notified the eligibility criteria for selecting the officer.  “Though the medical department had initiated the process of preparing the environment status report for the year 2009-10, the report may be finalised by the environment engineering cell,” said K Nagkumar, PCMC medical department head.
The report, as per the government guidelines, should have been tabled at the general body meeting before July 31. Nagkumar, however, said that the draft of the report is ready. Incidentally, the PCMC had failed to table the environment status report last year.