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100 smart cities coming up; here's how to be a town planner

Town planning involves ­conducting feasibility ­studies, planning and designing for a range of projects, ­including ­development plans of ­cities, ­master plans of special economic zones, industrial estates, commercial and ­residential projects, ­formulation of projects, financial ­analysis, consulting with various ­stakeholders, research and design for planning policies to guide development, designing layouts and drafting design ­statements, infrastructure planning, coordination, client interaction, report writing and presentation etc.


A town planner is trained to prepare town plans or Master Plans (statutory documents which give the broad ­direction for the ­spatial growth of a city). Town planners also play a role there in terms of ­validating land uses, approving land ­subdivisions, projects, etc.

In terms of education there are many fields one can ­pursue in order to become a town ­planner. These include ­architecture, civil ­engineering, economics, ­geography, among others. One can also pursue a bachelors of planning after Class 12. One has to have math and science as subjects to enter at  the undergraduate level.

There are just over a dozen schools of ­planning in the ­country. Every ­institute has its own entrance test that ­aspirants need to clear.

Many engineers and ­architects directly take up the ­postgraduate ­planning course without studying the undergraduate ­planning course.

Job opportunities for town planners exist mostly in the private sector.

There are a good number of consultancy companies employing town planners.A small number do join the government or get into teaching and research. For most fresh graduates, salaries start at Rs. 5 lakh per annum.

Town planning requires a broad understanding of several subjects such as engineering, architecture, geography, public administration, economics, sociology, etc. 
Computer skills are a basic prerequisite. A thorough understanding of civil society and economy is also important.

Driven by performance
Go in for town planning if you are keen to improve your community’s living conditions

Rs. I take home
Rs. 5 lakh per annum

I love my job because...
Town planners have a key role to play when it comes to giving sanctions to proposals put up by realty developers

Expert gyan
While there are 5,161 towns and cities in the country, only a few ­hundred of them have plans prepared. Also, with 100 smart cities being planned across the country, the demand for town planners will be huge 

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Realty Trends

Home prices near most-affordable levels in over 30 years: HDFC

Home prices may have been on an upward spiral for many years, but the cost of owning a house in India remains near the most affordable level in over three decades, shows data compiled by mortgage giant HDFC Ltd.

The average price of a home, purchased with a housing loan, rose to over Rs. 45 lakh in the 2012-13 fiscal year -- marking the fourth consecutive year of uptrend from about Rs. 25 lakh in the year 2008-09, HDFC has said in a presentation.

However, factors like an even greater surge in the personal income levels, tax incentives and lower interest rates, have resulted into houses becoming more affordable to purchase, it said.



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India Property Investment Gyan

Major schemes for affordable housing to be modified: Girija Vyas

NEW DELHI: Major schemes meant for providing affordable housing to urban poor will soon be modified to make them more people-friendly, the government said today and invited the private sector to contribute more actively in this area. 

Speaking to reporters here, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) ministerGirija Vyas today said her ministry is modifying all the major schemes including the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Rajiv Rinn Yojana and the, Affordable Housing in Partnership scheme and added enormous budgetary support has been earmarked during the current plan period. 

Secretary HUPA Arun Kumar Misra told reporters that a fund of Rs 35,000 crore had been allocated to the ministry for the implementation of three major schemes, including RAY, which was being run in as a pilot project earlier under 12th five- year plan. 

He said the ministry would require approval from the cabinet for the implementation of these schemes and efforts would be made that through these funds 2 million affordable houses are encouraged. 

He said that in addition to the central government funds, banks and credit institutions would be providing funds for construction of affordable houses. 

Vyas said that with urbanisation, the number of urban homeless and area under slums had grown. 

Vyas said there was a need for private developers to develop economic models to foster affordable housing for economically weaker sections and lower income group households in urban areas as government efforts in this direction needed to be supplemented. 

Vyas also said a technical group, set up by her ministry, had shown that out of 18.78 million housing shortage in the country, 96 percent shortage is in EWS and LIG category and for this huge investments and private sector participation were required. 

Misra said the group set up by the ministry has suggested incentives for the affordable housing sector included concessions to development-related charges and service taxexemptions. 

It also sought direct tax rebates for affordable housing projects and inclusion of the sector in the 'infrastructure facility' he said and added the task force had felt that governments need to still provide direct capital grant support to affordable housing projects. 

Misra said that in the symposium held today where states, experts and private sector representatives were present, there was unanimity on many of the suggestions.

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Green Property- Eco Homes

Reclaim your city space: Projects in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata aim to transform lives

Three projects in three cities aim to transform the lives of people who live close by. The one in Mumbai hopes to transform a congested area into a green precinct; the one in Delhi converted an open drain into a walkway, while Kolkata hopes to bring the crowds back...