Lets talk about Property

Activists, builders oppose SRA's proposed amendment in DCR in Mumbai

A notification in this regard was issued by the SRA last month, which drew flak from various stakeholders, who strongly opposed it 

MUMBAI: Housing rights activists today demanded from the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) to scrap its proposed amendment in Development Control Rule (DCR) 33(14), terming it "perverse" to city's development.

SRA's proposed amendment in DCR 33(14) will allow builders to construct transit camps or rental accommodation in far away suburbs, in return, they would get high Floor Space Index (FSI) on their plots, which can be utilised at any other location (construction site), including prime locations.

A notification in this regard was issued by the SRA last month, which drew flak from various stakeholders, who strongly opposed it.

Activists also hit out at Maharashtra Chief Minister and Chairman of SRA Devendra Fadnavis accusing him making only "shallow statements" and failing of doing "nothing concrete" to protect the rights of slum dwellers of the megapolis.

Housing rights activist Sunil Sharma said that if SRA does not scrap the proposed amendment immediately, activists will be forced to hold protests.

According to Sharma, the proposed amendment would allow builders to use the high FSI, obtained under the said DCR, in posh locality like Malabar Hills in South Mumbai and in return they would earn astronomical returns.

Shem, also a convenor of Forum For Slum Dwellers Welfare - a group of RTI activists, architects and advocates, has written a letter to CEO, SRA, cautioning that allowing utilisation of additional FSI, except public infrastructure, would be detrimental to the development of the city.

Housing expert and spokesperson of Builder Association of India (BAI) Dr Anand Gupta termed the proposed amendment as "foul play".

"This is a foul play of some influential builders' lobby in collusion with SRA authorities," he alleged.

"Allowing clubbing of FSI seems to be like the final nail into the coffin of Redevelopment schemes and a conspiracy to throw poor Mumbaikars out of the city to outskirts," the letter, a copy of which has been also sent to the Chief Minister, Principal secretary - Urban and Housing departments, read.

In the letter, Sharma urged SRA to scrap the proposed amendment, failing of which may lead to series of protests.

Terming the amendment proposal as "perverse" and as another "FSI scandal", another Forum member and advocate Arun Bendkhale, in his submission to SRA, highlighted his objections and suggestions.

"If SRA does not scrap this 'scheme of builders' bonanza', we will move the court," Bendkhale told PTI.

The activists are of the view that the proposal would further congest the island city with luxury towers and convert the suburbs into 'concrete jungle' for slum dwellers.

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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...