Tag Archives: real state news in india.

Metro construction damages 212 buildings

Metro rail tunneling caused cracks in 212 buildings in the city, reveals an RTI application filed. The RTI also shows that the damages are not limited to old buildings in north Chennai.

The RTI reply from metro rail said damages were reported in 212 buildings along the metro route in Washermenpet, Mannadi, High Court, Nehru Park , Egmore, May Day Park, Government Estate, May Day Park, Chennai Central and Shenoy Nagar, Anna Nagar Tower after boring for the underground line started in 2012.

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In a reponse to the query as to why the vibration monitoring report of the Ripon Buildings and Victoria Public Hall has not been sent to Chennai Corporation, inspite of repeated requests from the corporation, CMRL said the reports are for internal monitoring and are not meant for sharing with any other agency. “The vibration monitoring report has not sent to the corporation as there were no events on cracks or damage recorded on Ripon Building and Victoria public hall due to the tunneling,” read the reply.

As for the damages to the heritage buildings due to the underground tunneling, the CMRL said, “Damages were reported in Arcot Lutheran Church, Tamil Wesley Church and the compound wall of law college building.” According to the rules, metro rail must undertake the responsibility for the repair of any damage to existing structures caused by tunneling or construction work. However, CMRL stated that “the cost of repairs is met directly by the contractors” and they do not have records on the amount spent for the repairs of the affected buildings.

S Neeta, a member of CSI Tamil Wesley Church, which had developed cracks due to the construction work, said CMRL did not repair the damage. “They conducted a meeting with parish members. But there was no follow up. Experts from Anna University said that a major restoration is necessary for the church”. A senior metro rail official said the church developed crack as the machine had to be stopped and restarted as a few people living in old houses refused to move out on time. “The church walls developed cracks due to the jerk triggered when the machine was restarted,” he said.

“If any building is vulnerable they should dig soil from near the foundation and fill it with sands. Sand can absorb vibration and save the building,” said former professor of civil engineering department in Anna University.

A CMRL official said, “We are using data from many devices — crack meter, inclinometer, deflection meter to monitor vibrations during the underground tunneling.”

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More money from Property for Sr.citizens

With an aim to make the reverse mortgage facility more attractive for senior citizens, the government has decided to give tax break on installment earned by pledging his residential property.

Now it has been decided that annuity would be tax exempt, National Housing Bank Chairman and Managing Director R V Verma said.

sr.citizenThe scheme is operated by National Housing Board and housing finance companies, banks and insurance companies. Besides income tax benefit, he said, the installment income or annuity is expected to increase at least three times to the benefit of retired person.

According to a conservative estimate, the reverse mortgage loan market is upwards of Rs. 20,000 crore. Banks have so far sanctionedRs. 1,800 crore and disbursed Rs. 800 crore under reverse mortgage loan since its launch in 2008, he said.

The revised scheme now enables a person above the age of 60 years to avail of monthly payments from insurance company as annuity till the life time against the mortgage of his/her house while remaining the owner and occupying the house.

Earlier, the period of reverse mortgage loan was 20 years from the date of signing the agreement by the reverse mortgagor and the approved lending institution. But, now period has been extended to “the residual life time of the borrower,” said a notification by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

As per the amendment, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and other insurer registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) have included as annuity sourcing institutions.

As per the scheme, on the borrower’s death or on the borrower leaving the house property permanently, the loan is repaid along with accumulated interest, through sale of the house property. The borrower or heir can also repay the loan with accumulated interest and have the mortgage released without resorting to sale of the property.

Mumbai builder fails to give flat, to pay Rs 15 lakh

According to Shah, he had jointly booked the flat with his father and an initial amount of Rs 10,000 was paid to the builder in May, 1987. Subsequently, they paid the remaining amount and signed an agreement in April 1996.

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A South Mumbai-based construction company has been ordered to pay Rs 11 lakh as compensation to a city resident, after it failed to give him possession of a flat he had booked in 1996. Shah Thakur and Sons will also have to refund Rs 4.27 lakh paid by the buyer Anand Shah for the flat.

The Shahs were to receive possession before or by December 1996. However, this never happened and Shah filed a complaint in the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in 1999. His father had died in the years prior to the complaint.

The builder contended that it had not received the amount and the story made by Shah with respect to payment was false. It also argued that the Shahs had not adhered to a certain clause in the agreement.

The commission took into consideration the receipts issued by the builder. It held that the documents showed that an agreement of sale was executed in favour of the Shahs. The commission also rejected the defence that the complaint should be dismissed on the ground that the legal heirs of Shah’s father were not made party to the complaint.

“The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been enacted to provide better protection of interests to consumers. In the present case, over-technical view cannot be taken to dismiss the complaint. Technicalities cannot be encouraged because the only procedure which is prescribed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is to follow the principles of natural justice and to decide the matter after hearing both the parties,” the commission said.

Refuting the builder’s defence it observed, “It is interesting to note that the developer denied execution of agreement of sale of the said flat. However, at the same time they rely on certain stipulation as to stages of payment and failure of the complainant to observe the same. Therefore, privity of contract between the parties is established by virtue of documents available on record and simple evasive general denial of the opponents is of no avail.”

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Realty prices at local micro-markets double in 2 yrs in NCRs

These pockets of realty in Gurgaon and Delhi are defying the general slowdown in NCR market and are now driving it forward.Going by the latest real estate prices,areas like Gurgaons Golf Course,Golf Course Extension and Southern Periphery and Dwarka Expressway are witnessing huge property rate hikes,say property experts Jones Lang LaSalle.

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Property prices in NCRs upcoming residential markets,which real estate experts term residential micro markets,have nearly doubled in the last two years. This trend,analysts say,is owing to new options being made available in these micro-markets which has become an attractive proposition for buyers who cant afford to enter the prime real estate market.

In Golf Course Extension,realty is priced at Rs 8,000-13,000 per square foot while the corresponding figures two years ago were Rs 6,000-9,000.The real estate firm has witnessed similarly high revision in rates in Southern Periphery and Dwarka Expressway where high demands are being recorded.In Southern Periphery,properties are priced in the range of Rs 6,000-7,000 per sq ft as against price levels of Rs 4,500-5,500 per sq ft a couple of years ago. Santhosh Kumar,CEO,Operations,Jones Lang LaSalle,who compiled the report,gave the example of the realty market within Gurgaon and at a distance in Southern Periphery.

Gurgaon has transformed from an investor-driven market to being an end-user driven market.On the other hand,the Southern Periphery essentially remains a hotbed as the current price point sit has the highest magnitude of affordable options, said Kumar.He added that the proposed widening of Golf Course Road,construction of the underpass and the proposed expressway will improve connectivity significantly which will boost sales.

A concrete health risk for NCR

In several sectors of Noida,residents say rainwater,which earlier used to percolate underground through green areas,now remains accumulated serving as breeding ground for mosquitoes.Poorer sections of the population have been more affected as they remain exposed to these areas.Most hospitals are flooded with patients belonging to LIG colonies with complaints of viral diseases, said Selina Sen,a resident of Sector 17.

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Residents of UP-NCR have been complaining of stagnant water,accumulating in patches due to large-scale concretization of green areas by civic authorities,thereby giving rise to vector-borne and water-borne diseases.Authorities in Noida and Ghaziabad have been continuing concretization activities despite nationwide urban greening guidelines issued by the Union urban development ministry recently.

Residents and activists say the Noida Authority has not assessed the long-term risks of undertaking large-scale concretization of green spaces.This will lead to depletion of groundwater levels as well.
In Ghaziabad,residents say open green spaces that beautified the landscape have turned into eyesores after concretization.Numerous complaints to the authorities have yielded no results.The citys green cover has also reduced, said Amber Shahid,a resident of Raj Nagar.

Activists have accused the Samajwadi Party-run state government of not playing by the rules and say it has sidelined the UD ministry guidelines in going ahead with concretization.The state government,in failing to rein in its authorities from undertaking concretization,has also been accused of flouting its own orders.
In April 2001,the UP chief secretary had asked municipal authorities not to concretize more than 5% of the total areas of parks.These orders were issued by the state government to facilitate underground seepage of rainwater in parks and open areas.The UD ministry,by an order issued in September,had also extended the scope of its urban greening guidelines to the entire country.
These orders and guidelines dont seem to affect authorities,who are on a concretizing spree,throwing health concerns of residents to the wind, said Leena Adhikary,a resident of Sector 27 in Noida.

DDA to auction 60 plots go under the hammer in coming month

DDA has chosen to initiate the auction with a high base rate, which is likely to increase the property rates in these areas. All 63 properties going under the hammer are priced above Rs 1 crore.

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After a gap of one year, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has decided to put several plots under the hammer. Over 60 plots, in 14 different prime locations, will be auctioned at Dwarka, Pitampura, Vikas Puri, East of Kailash, Vivek Vihar etc on November 20, 21, 22, said a DDA official. The sale of brochures will begin from October 28.

 “With the realty market witnessing a correction in prices and the investors not showing much interest, DDA has chosen to pitch their properties aggressively. At Janakpuri – where property rates usually range from Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 per square feet – DDA has begun auctioning the plot at Rs 42,000 to compete with the 12 bedroom park facing builder built property,” said Kapil Kalra, a city-based property dealer.

From a 70sqm plot in Yamuna Vihar to get under the hammer at Rs 1.47 crore, to a 357sqm plot in Janakpuri which will open at Rs 15.74 crore, the authority plans to take on the big players in the realty market.

For investors, some prime properties

include a 270sqm corner plot in Jasola which faces a 24m wide road and has a base price of nearly 13 crore; two 355sqm corner plots at around Rs 11 crore at Dwarka Sector-17, a 245sqm corner plot at Pitampura starting at Rs 10 crore; and a 357sqm corner plot at Janakpuri starting at Rs 15.74 crore.

Property auction used to be regular feature at DDA till a year ago. But after the top management was shuffled repeatedly – thrice in the past one year – the auctions were put on hold. After a long gap, DDA had auctioned 54 commercial properties in the city on October 8. Senior DDA officials say that more residential properties are being marked for auction and will also be put up for sale in batches in the coming months.

DDA pulls up its socks on “wrong address policy”

This time the vice-chairperson has held the director and deputy director of the housing department directly responsible for vetting each case. Diptivilasa has asked his top officials to approach the CBI directly in case of wrongdoing.

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Wary after being repeatedly attacked over allocation of flats under its ‘wrong address policy’, the vice-chairperson of DDA, D Diptivilasa, has issued a confidential circular to its senior officials asking them to be more cautious in scrutinizing applications of claimants.

 The circular has a set of guidelines for dealing with claims made under the ‘wrong address policy’.

DDA framed the policy in November 2002 following a Delhi high court judgment in which it was decided that all cases of change of address “wherein the allotment letter is sent at wrong addresses despite change having been communicated by the allottee leading to cancellation should be allotted a flat at the same price as given in the original demand letter and no interest shall be charged”.

The authority leadership has since been bogged by controversies regarding allotments under this policy.

While in some cases, allottees claimed the authority wasn’t providing them flats despite receiving all relevant documentation, charges of corruption in allotment and connivance of property dealers and DDA insiders were levelled against the authority elsewhere.

The latest accusation against the authority came in July this year when several crores were allegedly siphoned during allotment of 150 flats at 10/15-year-old rates before these being reportedly sold off at current market rates. The CBI initiated an inquiry into the matter and filed three FIRs in separate cases of allotment. DDA, on its part, claimed to have allotted the 150 flats “partly on the directions of court and party after verification of genuineness as per procedure laid for the purpose”. Various cases were filed in court against the authority for not allotting the property even after verification of all documents.

The latest circular has advised officials to get the verification of the claimant’s documents done through a forensic laboratory to make sure none of them have been tampered with.

An instruction has also been issued to confirm, through proper evidence, whether or not the claimant is living at their new address after having filed an address change application with the DDA. Besides, DDA must make sure flats once assigned to claimants are not put on sale within five years of allotment.

 

Red tape on “Delhi waterfalls”, its hard to imagine

Wedged between Sainik Farms and Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, the 70ha Tilpath Valley has long been envisaged as a biodiversity park by the Delhi Development Authority. A proposal was made to convert the area into a biodiversity park so as to rejuvenate its groundwater recharge capacity.

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It’s hard to imagine a Delhi with waterfalls. But scientists say there were once several water bodies and springs in the depressions and slopes of Tilpath Valley.

But four years hence, DDA has not even turned over the park to scientists from Center for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems who will work on reviving it. Encroachments spanning 3ha here have resulted in the project being put on hold as DDA is yet to figure out how this land-part of the Delhi Ridge-can be made inviolate. This being an election year it’s even more unlikely for the government to clean up the mess.

“There are a few farmhouses that need to be moved out. DDA has to pay compensation or find an alternative location for these houses,” said an officer. DDA officials confirmed that there is a procedure laid down specifically for removing encroachments but could not promise a date by which they would be able to recover the land. “We will need some time to confirm how much land has been encroached upon,” said a senior DDA official. Because of its proximity to the posh Sainik Farms the cost of the land here is quite high.

The land is important because of its ability to retain water in several natural deep pits in the area. “The catchment has degraded because of shrinking forest cover. There must have been waterfalls on the slopes facing the northwest direction. We will try to revive the system,” says scientist-in-charge, Aravali Biodiversity Park, M Shah Hussain who is now working on the plan for Tilpath Valley Biodiversity Park.

But it may take years before the water bodies are fully revived. “First, we have to increase forest cover by planting native varieties which will help bring precipitation to this forest. We must also rejuvenate the catchment. Only then can we have a perennial water body in the valley. There are many possibilities. Before all else, DDA must make it free of encroachments,” says Hussain.

The only access to this beautiful but degraded Ridge land is through Sainik Farms. Strangely, no one in the locality seems to know that DDA plans to develop a biodiversity park here. They haven’t heard of Tilpath Valley either. There are no sign boards, no entrance and locals seem to think that the area is private and open for development.

Scientists believe one of the main reasons behind lack of biodiversity in Delhi’s forests is its fragmentation. Forest land is owned by multiple agencies including DDA, corporation, forest department and NDMC which makes it difficult to bring it into the ambit of forest and wildlife laws.

The park which connects seamlessly with Asola Bhatti sanctuary will act as a wildlife corridor for animals and a lung to absorb urban air pollution besides being a site of water bodies for groundwater recharge. It will help fauna from both the park and Asola migrate. But for now it’s just caught in red tape.

Rahul Gandhi’s claims on roads

A muddled affidavit filed in Supreme Court by the government in July on highway construction during NDA’s term has come back to haunt the UPA after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi listed faster pace of road development as a major feather in the coalition’s cap.

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On last two or three days, while addressing an election rally in Madhya Pradesh, Rahul said NDA built 2,650 km of roads during its term, while UPA constructed 9,570 km during 2004-9.

But in the affidavit, the UPA government had said that during 1997-2002, 23,814 km was added to the national highway network. What it did not mention was that the stretches were state highways, which were “notified” as national highways. With the government failing to clarify the position after the affidavit was filed, Rahul may have some explaining to do.

Road ministry data shows that between 1996-97 and 2003-04, 3,900 km of NH was constructed and expanded into four lanes. A majority of this, 2,455 km, was constructed under NDA’s flagship NH Development Programme (NHDP).

“Since solid foundation was laid during NDA it was easier for UPA to take the programme ahead. Construction as well as award of projects increased during UPA-1 and picked up further pace during UPA-2. Private investment under PPP regime and introduction of new schemes,” said a senior government official.

After Kamal Nath took charge of the ministry in UPA-2, he set a target for awarding 20 km a day and pushed project preparation. The trend of faster awarding continued during his successor CP Joshi’s tenure as well but the pace was nowhere near Nath’s target. Still, between UPA’s two terms, NH construction added up to 13,533 km (till August 2013).

On the flip side, two dozen high profile projects awarded over the last two-and-a-half years have not taken off as land acquisition was incomplete and clearances had not been received.

On NDA’s role in focusing on highway development, ministry officials said before NDA came to power, work was mostly confined to maintenance and strengthening of existing stretches. For the first time, the plan to build highways in a massive scale was put during NDA. Despite the fact that it needed huge government investment of Rs 19,000 crore, NDA went all out to award 7,466 km for upgradation. Private investment during this period was a little under Rs 3,500 crore.

 

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Sitaram Kunte to Explain sewage disposal action plan

It has sought to know how it plans to phase out raw sewage disposal as well as scrap the old sewage treatment plants. Disposal of raw sewage into water bodies is a violation of the CRZ 2011 notification.

The coastal authority has directed BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte to explain the civic body’s action plan to treat sewage before discharging it into the sea.

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The municipal commissioner is a member of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) that issues CRZ clearances.

State environment department officials said the department had taken a serious view of the report last week on the worsening quality of seawater around Mumbai.

Comparing data on coastal sea-water quality for 2011-12 and 2012-13 , TOI found that the faecal coliform in the waters at Versova beach had risen 103% and at Juhu by around 45%.

The BMC’s Mumbai Disposal Sewage Project Phase-II is yet to take off. Civic officials blame the delay on land issues and environmental clearances for the projects.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has already issued notices to all municipal corporations to revert on whether their sewage treatment plants were functioning as required under laid down norms.

The MPCB has also been directed to test water quality at all outlets in the city.

However, MPCB since March this year has not been updating data on water quality on its website though it has been directed to give a weekly update by the Bombay high court from January this year

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