Latest Real Estate News on 'Ahmedabad'

Senior engineers want to be back in housing board

Comments Off on Senior engineers want to be back in housing board   |  February 19, 2014

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has sought a reply from the state government, the urban development department and the housing commissioner over a petition filed by civil engineers. The engineers have claimed in their plea that they were recruited in the Gujarat Housing Board but were later deputed as chief officers across the state.

These engineers, who have been serving as chief officers for the last one decade because the Housing Board had been defunct from 2001, have demanded repatriation to the Board because the state government once again has big plans for it.

After the state government came up with projects worth around Rs 2,000 crore for the Board, it also began the process of recruiting engineers for different posts in the Board. Moreover, the government has also started recruitment for the post of chief officers in various municipalities.

The 26 engineers, who are on deputation, have urged the court to stop the government from recruiting chief officers for municipalities and engineers for the Board. They have argued that instead of repatriating senior and experienced civil engineers appointed between 1984 and 1992 by the board, recruitment of new engineers would increase the financial burden on the Board. HC has kept further hearing on February 18. By then, authorities have been asked to submit their replies.

‘Scrap mining leases lacking in green nod’

Comments Off on ‘Scrap mining leases lacking in green nod’   |  February 17, 2014

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Thursday directed the state government to close with immediate effect all minor mineral mining activities that are underway without environment clearance (EC). Construction business might have an adverse impact as minor minerals include sand and lime stone.

The high court has also ordered to stop excavation within the certain limit of protected forest areas. Certain kind of mining, however, will be permitted for next six months with certain riders. The court also directed the state government to strictly adhere to the Supreme Court’s guidelines issued in February 2012. The SC made it mandatory for miners to have an EC before starting excavations across the country.

There are 2,887 mines that are located within 5 km of forest area, nature park, reserved forest, sanctuary.

“The state has been directed to stop the excavation from these mines and resume the possession of the area. Any grant in these areas in future should be as per the Supreme Court guidelines. Prior environment clearance is must and should be allotted to bidders only after auction of the leases,” the court said.

Those mines that were given permission before the SC order could continue mining for six months. But they, too, will have to obtain an EC within three months. After the expiry of this mining lease, the government will auction again and it will be the bidder’s liability to obtain an EC.

The state government gave a list of 7,990 lease holders, and the court took a serious note of some glaring example of laxity in approval of mines. “In certain cases, the state government has not mentioned the place or the survey number of the land where mining takes places. This looks like a magical trick. Irrespective of period of the grant or renewal, such mines must be cancelled immediately,” court said.

Surat’s realty not in sync with reality

Comments Off on Surat’s realty not in sync with reality   |  February 16, 2014

SURAT: Even as the state government focuses on housing schemes for urban poor, city’s real estate developers are struggling to find buyers from the higher income group (HIG) and higher middle income group (HMIG).

According to the figures of Surat Builders Association (SBA), as many as one lakh 3-BHK houses priced above Rs 40-45 lakh with an area of 1,500-1,600 sq feet are lying vacant in the city.

The builder’s body said that with increasing middle class population, there is a need for housing at least three lakh families in the city in middle income (MIG) and low-income group (LIG).

The two contrasting situations show that the real estate development in the city is not in sync with reality. There are certain areas of the city like Vesu, Parle Point, New City Light, City Light and Piplod where one can’t find houses or flats smaller than 1,500 sq feet.

Any middle-class family that wants to buy a flat of 1,200 sq feet priced less than Rs 35 lakh will have look to developing areas like Parvat or Puna or go up to Pal .

“It is not that builders have not developed LIG and MIG housing. But it is not affordable for builders and there is no financial viability,” said Velji Sheta, president, SBA.

“Moreover, there is a trend of buying houses for investment. Many go for bigger houses anticipating appreciation and profit by selling them in the future,” he said.

B R Balachandran, an urban planner from Bangalore, who worked on affordable housing concept Ahmaedabad and Surat said, “For LIG and MIG, the single biggest stumbling blocks is housing finance. The buyers don’t have required papers to get loans and they don’t even have cash.”

“However, in the last few years, companies like Micro Finance Corporation have come up that give loan to this segment. But the volume of housing finance is still very small,” he added.

He quoted the example of Rajasthan where state government came up with large number of affordable houses, but could not sell them due to lack of finance options. Surat is facing the same issue, he said.

Vertical expansion of old urban areas on cards

Comments Off on Vertical expansion of old urban areas on cards   |  February 12, 2014

GANDHINAGAR: Skylines of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot cities are going to change drastically in the coming days if the Gujarat government’s proposed new policy for redeveloping of old housing colonies takes off. With a view to solve the problems of old rundown housing colonies in congested areas, the urban development department is preparing a new policy to rejuvenate these areas.

To be taken up under public private partnership (PPP) mode, the redevelopment will ensure that the owners of old houses get new ones at the same place. The developers will earn through the vertical redevelopment of such residential and commercial properties.

“Ramshackle houses in old areas of all the major cities are a major issue. Dwellers who cannot afford to move out or redevelop their houses keep living there risking their lives and property. The new policy intends to come over this problem,” department sources said.

An official said, “Private developers will get special floor space index (FSI) leeway and can built extra apartments to sell and recover the cost of rebuilding an old colony. The government is checking various alternatives for financial motivation and other supporting facilities to attract private developers.”

“This will also help in controlling the horizontal expansion of cities. Moreover, the state won’t need to invest much in such projects. In addition, redevelopment will not be permitted on heritage properties but only on housing colonies only. The government can even help the residents of such colonies rent state-owned houses during the re-development,” said an official.

However, the government is likely to face a major challenge when it comes to redeveloping illegal colonies that have stood for decades and dealing with tenant rights in old houses.

Zaveri killers invested booty in realty: Cops

Comments Off on Zaveri killers invested booty in realty: Cops   |  February 6, 2014

AHMEDABAD: Killers of bullion trader Hitesh Zaveri may have invested the spoils of their robberies in real estate business in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and also to finance the political career of wife of one of the gang members.

City police on Monday said that since January 2013, the same gang of robbers had been involved in at least two other armed robberies within city limits. Total cash robbed in three incidents, including loot-murder of Zaveri, amounts to Rs 1.52 crore. The city cops have so far recovered Rs 45 lakh. “Just days before their arrest, on January 28, Rs 55 lakh was shifted out from the city by one of the main accused Kafeel Jehaju,” said a police investigator. Two of the accused – Vijendra and Ikram alias Langoor – are still at large.

“We are investigating into the possibility that a portion of the loot may have been invested in real estate deals. Wife of one of the accused Aqueel Jehaju, is a member of Samajwadi Party in UP. There is a possibility that some of money was used by her too,” said a police official who is part of the investigating team.

On Monday, the city crime branch officials said that they have recovered Rs 5 lakh and four pistols along with 22 cartridges. “During interrogation, Kafeel confessed that he had hidden the arms and ammunitions – one 7.62 bore pistol, three country-made pistols and 22 cartridges – behind Rahman’s house in Juhapura. We dug up the arms and ammunitions and also found Rs 5 lakh cash hidden in Rahman’s house,” said joint commissioner of police, crime branch, A K Sharma.

Three gang members – brothers Aqueel Ahmed Jehaju, a resident of Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, and Kafeel, a resident of Delhi, along with Zabur Rahman, a resident of Fatewadi, Juhapura – were arrested on Sunday. While the brothers were brought from Delhi, Kafeel’s brother-in-law Rahman was nabbed from Juhapura. Cops had recovered Rs 40 lakh and a 7.65 mm pistol along with two cartridges.

On January 15, Zaveri, owner of J K Bullion at Manek Chowk, was robbed of Rs 1.09 crore by three bike-borne men when he went to State Bank of India’s branch near Shivranjani flyover. Some passersby rushed to his help when he was being attacked. The robbers then took out guns and fired six rounds at Zaveri and two others. Zaveri was killed in the incident.

State govt puts on hold all new land acquisitions

Comments Off on State govt puts on hold all new land acquisitions   |  February 4, 2014

AHMEDABAD: All new land acquisitions processes in the state for various projects have been put on hold. The new central law, The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, which came into force in the beginning of January this year has superseded the 120-year old Land Acquisition Act, 1894, enacted during British rule.

The state government has already initiated the process of forming rules and revising its procedures as per the new Act. principal secretary of revenue department Anil Mukim has already issued directions to all districts and departments to stop all new land acquisitions under the 120 year old Act. Only those procedures that are laid down in article 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, which is the “last notice” for taking possession of the land will be executed.

“All new acquisitions will now be taken up as and when the new rules are formed,” says a senior officer in the revenue department. The projects that have been temporarily put on hold are Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad-Dholera-Bhavnagar express highway, Sauni Saurashtra irrigation project, works on the Narmada canal network, roads and bridge projects on state highways and new housing projects.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation extends incentive scheme for tax defaulters

Comments Off on Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation extends incentive scheme for tax defaulters   |  February 3, 2014

AHMEDABAD: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has decided to extend the incentive scheme for tax defaulters till March 31. The decision to extend the scheme was taken after the AMC recovered Rs 125.03 crore as property tax after announcing incentives on interest for those who had not paid their property taxes.

The civic body had launched the incentive scheme to recover pending taxes, said officials. The AMC had announced that, from December 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014, 70% rebate in interest would be given for those defaulters (in the residential category) who had paid according to the new property tax formula. The new formula, which is based on the carpet area of a property, had come into force in early 2001. AMC officials said that those who had pending dues before 2000 were given 100% rebate in interest.

The AMC had also announced 50% waiver in interest for commercial property owners who had defaulted in payments.

During the two months in which the scheme was available, the civic body recovered Rs 125.03 crore from the 2,38,715 property owners. Officials said that against the collection of Rs 401.22 crore as on January 31, 2013, this year the AMC has recovered Rs 527.09 crore which was Rs 125.87 crore more than last year.

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