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Prevent Flood, Save Life and Blood

Every monsoon, the city is just a step away from any disaster. A Development Plan that takes this into consideration is very crucial. Mumbai’s monsoon problems — potholes, overflowing drains, flooding — are demonstrations of a larger fundamental planning issue. For nearly five decades, Mumbai has practiced planning for regulating development. Its key function is to adapt to the city’s present condition with enough vigilance to guide development, safety and improvement for the next 20-year period.

Let us look at the annual challenges the monsoon throws up.

Drainage: Mumbai’s drainage system capacity can take about 25 mm of rain per hour. In the suburbs of Greater Mumbai (including its existing No-Development Zones and natural areas), drainage capacity is expected to double up to 50 mm in the coming decade through implementation of Brimstowad (Brihanmumbai Storm Water Disposal system) projects. However, every year we record heavy rainfall exceeding 65 mm per hour, which means several days of floods. Even the enhanced drainage capacity in the suburbs cannot deal with this. The BMC and its contractors do not conduct desilting operations. What we need is better inter-agency coordination to see to it that the silt is not just removed but disposed off too.  Mumbai also needs more pumping stations, to push the water out to the sea. The Storm Water Drain department’s topographic contours map, created using aerial photography and photogrammetric mapping, must be studied while planning. Development without considering natural water flows and drains can collapse the city’s defences against the monsoon’s incursion.

Transport: Over 90% of Mumbai is made up of pedestrians. During peak hours, the suburban local trains transport over 22 lakh passengers. And every year due to rains, locomotives succumb to waterlogging and electrical failures, pushing commuters onto the roads. What the Development Plan needs to do is pay more attention to upgrading existing pedestrian networks and public transport. Also strengthen the norms and pricing policies for parking as vehicles are also seen parked on both sides of the roads.

Open spaces: Natural green spaces are not just good for the soul but they also play a very important role in the absorption of rain water. They raise groundwater percolation, and also act like holding ponds, increasing the rainfall’s ‘time of retention’ on city surfaces. The BMC must pay heed to the Bombay HC’s criticism of the zeal to destroy mangroves “under the garb of development”. The mangroves help to cushion the land against the waves and prevent soil erosion. What the DP needs to do is protect existing green spaces or the natural buffers and create more of them, ensuring that they are accessible and distributed.

Disaster preparedness:  Disaster management without a plan is a Digital Mumbai without internet connectivity. Recently, in Uttarakhand in 2013 and 2016, and in Chennai in 2015, unregulated construction on natural drains and riverbeds precipitated devastating floods. But the BMC seems to be unwilling learn from these mistakes. The DP must incorporate the Chitale Committee (committee of experts) recommendations on preparedness, mitigation, rescue and relief. But those recommendations barely find mention in the RDDP (revised draft development plan). In doing so, the RDDP should also adhere to the national standards for social and welfare amenities per citizen, for health, education and open spaces.

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Effects-of-land

The Maharashtra government has amended land laws to unlock agricultural land for industry as well as public, educational and medical institutes to promote ease of business under its Make in Maharashtra policy.

The changed rules are likely to boost industrial growth in the city’s suburbs. Under the changed rules, industrial units will be allowed to exploit up to nine times the existing building rights on agricultural land. Medical and educational institutes run by the state or public charitable trusts will be able to build up to four times the existing building rights on these lands.
However, the building rights have been capped at a maximum of 1 FSI which will essentially allow a ground plus one-storey structure depending on the width of the adjoining road, officials said.

FSI is a development tool that defines the extent of construction permissible on a plot. It is the ratio of built-up area to the total plot area. The additional building rights will be made available on the payment of a premium of 30 per cent of the land rate.
Small and medium scale industries can now be set up at a convenient location. While activists have called for a more calibrated approach, industrialists are smiling as municipal corporations of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Nagpur, Nasik, Raigad, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Nasik, Sangli, Jalgaon and Amravati welcome them with open arms.

The chief minister has also directed all departments to reform the approvals process.

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Prescon city

Prescon Group is a real estate company. We are pre dominantly into residential development. Our main focus is township development. We have our presence in Thane, Rajasthan & Goa. We have built about 5 projects in Thane. We are looking at a sizeable development in Goa which is forthcoming probably in the second half of the year. In Rajasthan also we have about 600 acres of villa scheme development.

Prescon Group- Sanjay Iyer

Prescon Group

Sanjay Iyer- Vice President (Sales)

 

 

How do Real Estate exhibitions help in marketing?

There are various types of media namely print, electronic, roadshows, etc. In events /exhibitions customers get a scope to interact with several builders which reduces their time in terms of property search. Plus point for customers is that it’s a one stop shop for homes & finance as well with schemes & discounts. From the builders perspective we get a lot of footfalls and also this is promoted through all media. So it’s a profitable from both the ends. Everything is under one roof. And I have always believed that an interactive media is more important than any other medium.

Technology has grown so much. But what are developers doing for eco system?

The advent of STP which is sewage system plant, water treatment plant, solar power system are all adding value to the ecological system. Whatever we can add to eco system we are adding by these techniques. Now days, govt. has made it mandatory for all big projects to have all these systems in place because it is expected that by 2020 water will be 25% less than what we get today. Every developer is trying their level best to take care of the ecological system. We try to do a lot of plantation & to shift trees rather than cutting them.

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Cosmos Group Director AbhishekParmar

Cosmos Group Director Abhishek Parmar speaks about fresh talent joining the industry

  • Tell us something about Cosmos Group.

Late SurajParmar, Pradeep Chopra and Manish Mehta started the Cosmos Group in 2000. The company has completed about 20-25 projects.About 3-4 million square feet has already been delivered. We plan to spread our wings across Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Vasai, Lonavala, Pune & rest of Maharashtra.

  • How do real estate exhibitions help customers?

Real estate exhibitions are a platform for buyers to check out many projectsunder one roof and compare rates. Due to inflation, prices are high. Property exhibitions give customers a lot of options to study and choose from.

  • What do you think will be the real estate scenario in Navi Mumbai in the coming future?

Navi Mumbai will witness more development in the days to come. Since job opportunities will increase due to myriad infrastructure projects in the pipeline, more and more people would want to shift here. Naturally, demand for homes and offices will rise.

  • Many young men and women like you are joining the industry. Do you think their entry will change the way business is conducted? What message would you like to give to other aspirants?

I see the attitude of the young persons joining the industry. Frankly, I am inspired by their professional attitude. It is an encouraging trend. They are enthusiastic and determined to benefit the society-at-large.

  • What are good places to buy property?

Navi Mumbai Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Thane, Dombivali are all good places to buy property because prices are cheaper. Thane is a central location and people don’t mind travelling but they want good amenities at reasonable rates.

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The much awaited Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill 2016 has been cleared by the RajyaSabha, thanks mainly to the Congress which did not allow this important Bill to face the fate of other Bills like GST Bill pending before it . This piece of legislation was first introduced by the erstwhile UPA government in 2013 and already passed in the LokSabha then.

The RE Bill aims to bring in total transparency, lack of which was haunting the present system and induce an inbuilt system of discipline and accountability making all the stake holders – the builders, the buyers and the brokers responsible.

In a way the pulse of the bill is indicative of the fact that there is a need to protect the home buyers, more often said to be the most axed segment in the arena of real estate business.

The Bill also seeks to plug the inflow of unaccounted money in to the system by introducing various provisions. What is a highly promising provision of this Bill is that the builder/developer is required to keep 70 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of flats in a separate account and this segment of the money will have to be used only for the same project and to meet the cost of the same land. This will definitely pave the way for the proper utilization of the money paid by the buyers and it will lead to completion of the project almost within the stipulated period of time. This is a unique provision that restricts the builders to utilise the money collected from one project to invest it elsewhere leading to mismanagement of the fund and consequent delay in completing the project. If there is any delay in completion of the project the builder is liable to pay interest and at the same time if the buyers do not adhere to the payment schedule, they too are liable to cough up interest at the same rate.

Further the Bill seeks to create  appellate tribunals and registries to decide and resolve disputes between the buyers and sellers within 60 days. If there is any violation of the orders of the regulating agencies, then  it can attract fine as well as imprisonment.

Apart from these epoch making provisions, the Bill also provides for a more practical approach for norms for registration of the project. It is now possible to register a project having 500 M2 area or eight apartments.

With all said, the Bill cannot be considered as cure for all the ills  found in the real estate scene, mainly in the fast developing metropolitan cities like Navi Mumbai and Mumbai. A plethora of problems, mainly litigations and disputes  involving non completion of the projects have been a regular issue in  the real estate sector in such cities, where the sagging real estate  sector needs a booster.

Success of this Bill, like any other measure will depend upon how effectively this Bill isfollowed in letter and spirit.

The all out sincere approach on the part of the State Governments will be the edifice of this bill  as Real Estate comes under the State list, where the promulgation of the laws are the prerogative of the State Governments. States like Maharashtra, which has a government controlled by the same political outfit as at the Centre can ride on it easily. It would be somewhat a tricky proposition in states like Tamil Nadu or Kerala, which have expressed some reservation about the Bill in the past.

Any way lets us take this Bill in its good intention and hopefully surmise that would achieve the desired result.

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Mr. Diipesh Bhagtani- Jaycee Homes

Started in 1965, Jaycee Homes has created a brand for itself by building luxury homes for many. Currently the torch bearers, Mr. Dipesh Bhagtani and Mr. Mukesh Bhagtani are leading the company as it takes pride in having completed 250-300 projects in and around Mumbai.

What do you think about the future of Real Estate sector and how will Jaycee Homes contribute towards it?

Real Estate will see some great days in the near future as the Government is backing it up in a huge way. We are hoping to see the sector boom faster with easier norms and easier funding options. Jaycee Homes has been a part of the industry since 50 years and we have contributed in every way possible. Our honourable Chief Minister announced to build 3 lac affordable homes in Maharashtra. So, we are focusing on affordable housing projects as it is the need of the hour. We are looking forward to contribute to the maximum towards this vision of building 3 lac homes.

Which are the good places to buy property in Mumbai?

Currently Chembur is one of the best hotspots. The location seems to be lucrative because of its exceptional connectivity with rest of the suburbs. Connectivity is the most essential when buying a property. Western suburbs are also a good investment because of the Metro. Also the Bandra-Mankhrud Metro will commence soon. Other than that, I reckon Meera Road, Bhayandar, Kalyan, Dombivali, Thane and Bhiwandi are equally good places to buy a property.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

We have 5 on-going projects at Dahisar, affordable 1 & 2 BHK homes at Kanjurmarg, Meera Road. Towards the next quarter, we will focus on 2 projects at Powai and 3 more key projects that will launched soon.

What features do your homes include that sets it apart from the rest?

We have been known as one of the leading pioneers in providing luxury homes which included amenities like Italian flooring, superior quality fitting in the bathrooms, etc. However, now we are shifting our focus towards smart housing with green amenities. Along with that, we aim to provide as much as open spaces we can. Our clientele includes working individuals who have less or no time to manage homes along with their busy schedules. Hence, with smart gadgets installed in their homes, they can take care of their homes with just a click. We are also looking to adopt faster construction technology methods for our future projects.

What kind of attitude one must possess to be a successful developer?

Developers are thrown a new challenge every day. Hence, to be successful, one needs to have unparalleled level of communication with the buyers and stakeholders to achieve timely delivery of the service. We need to deliver more than we commit. The most important factor is the passion towards your work that will drive you to provide superlative quality homes for people. I feel extremely satisfied when I see homes delivered by Jaycee.

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The 2006 movie, ‘The Holiday’, had a unique concept. The leads in the movie reside in London and Los Angeles respectively and are in search of a place for the holiday season. Kate Winslet lives in a ‘quaint cottage’ in Surrey and has a slow paced life, while Cameron Diaz resides in her very lavish Los Angeles home which has a much faster pace. Both are introduced to each other on a home rental website and soon they mutually agree to swap their homes for the holidays. Their primary reason was to get away from a strong regimental life and thus, set out in search of some happiness and peace. By switching homes, they soon warm up to the festive atmosphere in that place which was earlier unknown to them. The movie ends with both having the greatest times of their life and thereafter, build a relationship of deep friendship. Although this screams of a typical movie plot where everything falls into place miraculously and its happiness ever after, Airbnb provides you with very synonymous experience that both Kate and Cameron have in the movie. Airbnb gives you a perfect getaway that you wish for.

airbnb

Airbnb provides local destinations for the global community thereby giving you a feeling of being home while you are discovering amazing new places that you have always desired to visit. Coupled with affordable rent and a vast array of choices, it assures that by the end of it you surely feel that nothing gets better than this. It also enables hosts and guests to get acquainted through detailed profiles, personal reviews and confirmed verifications. A smart messaging system has also been put into place which helps hosts and guests to communicate, and helps collect & transfer payments securely.

While travelling in India we generally prefer to stick to hotels or maybe rough it out in a tent. This trend is fast changing since the entry of Airbnb. The idea behind this is that simple people with spare rooms in their houses can choose to rent them out just like a hotel helping the host to generate a secondary income while providing the guest with a homely place to stay. Due to this, Airbnb India has been a major factor in altering the trend of living only in hotels while on holiday since its launch in India in 2012.Consumers all round the world seek for value and we Indians are no different than our counter parts in the west. Users of Airbnb India are motivated by three factors namely value for money, access to amenities and local experience. With a relatively younger population and increase in the number of flights, young travelers have greater access to destinations worldwide. The older population too, finds it very desirable for post-retirement holidays. A wide range of accommodations such as apartments, houses and villas are available to choose from at the desired destination. Destinations are not only limited to the metropolitan cities but all round the length and breadth of the India. Places like Goa, Rajasthan, Pune and Gujarat also have accommodations which are well sought after. Apart from the primary aspect , Airbnb is helping create a meaningful impact in the life of the hosts  by helping single women hosts to make ends meet or like in the case of elderly couples (with kids staying overseas) by providing them with an opportunity to meet people across the world.

At inception in 2008, the site was named Airbedandbreakfast.com which was later changed in 2009 to Airbnb. It has proven to be a trusted community marketplace for people to rent out, explore and book unique accommodations all over the globe accessible over the internet even via mobile phone or a tablet. Airbnb connects people to a vast variety of unique travel experiences may it be an apartment for a night, an igloo for a day, a castle for a week, or a villa/cottage for a month. It provides guests with an option to choose their desired destinations from over 20 lakh listings in more than 34,000 cities spread across 190 countries along with world class customer service and an ever increasing number of users. Airbnb is rapidly providing people with one of the easiest way to capitalize on their available extra space by making quick money and also by displaying it to millions of people all over the world.

Airbnb is therefore proving to be very instrumental as it serves a dual purpose of providing unique accommodation solutions for guests as per their requirements as well as helps the hosts to generate more income thereby improving them monetarily. Its popularity speaks for the giant strides that it has taken since its inception and increase in number of users is a proof in itself that it is already enroute to become a huge success.

In addition to all the monetary benefits that Airbnb provides to the people, it has become a source for us to connect and communicate with citizens from all over the world. Just like in the movie ‘The Holiday’, we never know when and how we would find a great friendship with someone who lives millions of miles away.

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A new – elected managing committee took over the reins of the Navi Mumbai unit of the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) during the fourth Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on January 4, 2016 at Hotel Tunga in Vashi.

Mr. Prakash Baviskar was appointed as president of the organization while Mr. Vijay Lakhani was appointed president- elect. Mr. Atul Agarwal has been promoted to the post of trustee while ex-president Mr. Arvind Goel has been promoted to the post of chairman of the organization.

The new committee comprises Mr. Surinder Arenja at the post of senior vice-president and Mr. Manohar  Shroff as the new vice-president. Mr. Manoj Awasthi is the new secretary and Ms. Priya Gurnan is the new treasurer. Mr. Jeetu Hira will serve as joint secretary and Mr. Satish Sabhlok will serve as joint treasurer. Mr. Nirav Shah, Mr. Kishor Patkar, Mr. Sangram Patil and Mr. Madanlal Jain are also Part of the newly-formed committee.

A newly-formed advisory borad comprising three noted personalities Ex- IAS officer GS Gill, former chief planner of CIDCO Mr. Dinkar Samant and noted architect Hiten Sethi was also formed.

Additional commissioner of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Mr. S.V. Pattiwar was the chief guest. Town planner Mr. Kishor Agraharkar Too attended the function. The function was presided by CEO of MCHI Mr. S.S. Hussain (Ex-IAS Officer).

MCHI Navi Mumbai is a distinguished organization of nearly 100 renowned developers from across Navi Mumbai. It brings together members dealing in real estate development on one common platform to address various issues facing the industry. Members account for 80% of the organized development of new residential and commercial properties in Navi Mumbai. MCHI-CREDAI is recognized by Government of Maharashtra and the Central Government and helps in meeting their objectives of providing housing, a basic necessity. It works towards raising awareness among the general public, real estate and construction industry, while providing them with detailed information on new developments in and around Navi Mumbai.

On this occasion, Mr. Prakash Baviskar said, “The dynamics of the industry are changing at a very fast pace.  The realty industry continues to gain prominence as demand for housing is growing rapidly. In this scenario, the industry association intends to underline the importance of good work, our role and ethics. We, at MCHI, intend to take these factors seriously to our stakeholder and address their issues on top priority.”

Further Mr. Baviskar spoke about Navi Mumbai’s division within three authorities- NMMC, CIDCO & NAINA. More than 700 developers work here. Supply of land is less. Getting approvals in NAINA is proving ot be a herculean task. Even encroachment has increased. We will insist on new zoing within NAINA. The other issue to be addressed on priority will be problems faced b y develo9pers in NMMC area in consuming the allotted 2.5 FSI.”

Mr. Dinkar Samant specifically spoke about defining the core responsibilities of such and organization and shared his mixed experiences with similar organization. He appealed to all the members to keep aside their personal egos and work together towards a common motive.He extended all his support and offered his expertise to the organization.

CEO Mr. S. S. Hussain spoke about his personal journey and affection for Navi Mumbai. “I have seen Navi Mumbai blossom and I feel proud about it.” He motivated the builders to stay united and work honestly.

Additional Commissioner of NMMC Mr. S.V. Pattiwar and town planner Mr. Kishor Agraharkar too congratulated MCHI – Navi Mumbai unit for completing four years and extended their support to the new managing committee.