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Faridabad tops smart cities list with 95 points in Delhi NCR. Ghaziabad scores 82 marks, comes third

Faridabad made it to the smart cities list because its municipality had taken several steps to general revenues and make the civic agency financially sound. An online grievance mechanism was in place and so was an e-bulletin. Another reason why Faridabad secured second position in the state-level contest is that the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad paid salaries to its employees on June 30. Even 59 employees who retired on June 30 have been paid their dues (amounting to Rs 6 crore).


Interestingly, Faridabad was given four projects under the JnNURM scheme, out of which three were completed. These included revamping of the sewage system and sewage treatment works, drainage work in old Faridabad and solid waste management project. Karnal was chosen because it had audited balance sheets uploaded online,  citizen engagement and e-newsletter.

Ghaziabad had an overall score of 82 points in an assessment for smart cities conducted over 20 different parameters. It also stood 138th among 476 cities in the Swachh Bharat rankings, factors that helped it score over its neighbours in NCR and make the cut.

“Ghaziabad could make it to the final list because of its infrastructure development. The city is currently extending the Metro network from Dilshad Garden to New Bus Stand and has also started work on building an18-km cycle track. The concept of mixed land-use already exists in Ghaziabad. Developing Ghaziabad as a smart city will entail focusing on energy conservation, pollution control and eco-friendly projects that will add value to the lives of the residents,” says Pratap Padode, founder and director, Smart Cities Council India.

Having said that, Noida or Greater Noida still stand a chance because 70% of the parameters (mandatory for the challenge) have already been achieved by them in the last three decades. The cities boast of better infrastructure, transport network, and plenty of job opportunities.

The reasons why Gurgaon did not make the cut were multiplicity of authorities and a weak municipal corporation. Gurgaon missed the smart city bus due to its civic mess and poor local governance. It lost out on critical points as it was not part of the JnNURM scheme.

In Delhi, NDMC has been selected as a smart city. The competition was between the south, east and north MCDs and the NDMC. Since EDMC and SDMC did not send their nominations in time, they were not selected.



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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...