Latest Real Estate News on 'Bangalore'


Property prices crash 30% as buyers hold on cash till election verdict

Add comment   |  May 8, 2014

Not all asset classes have been on a bull run in anticipation of the election result on May 16, when votes will be counted. Stocks may have been surging over the past few months but the secondary residential market has been going the other way, according to anecdotal evidence and the data that’s available. Prices of tens of thousands of homes built by local builders and investors in the metros have crashed by as much as 20-30 per cent in the past one year, with their owners desperate to exit a market in which buyers seem to have completely disappeared.

Brokers are left with a lot of free time. Inside his tinted-glass offices in south Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave, realtor Sunil Kapur holds up a list of 50 houses in the area that are for sale. Since there are no buyers, he’s been whiling away the time by surfing the Net or watching Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi on TV during the month-long election campaign. “There is no point… there are no buyers. Those who come by are also not interested to buy at these prices,” he said, as he winds up for lunch followed by an afternoon siesta, hoping that the situation will change dramatically after the election result is out.

Deepak Parekh, chairman of India’s largest mortgage lender HDFC, agreed: “The market is certainly soft today. Secondary sales have slowed down and prices in that segment have come down.” The number of unsold homes is rising, said Anshuman Magazine, managing director of property consultant CBRE South Asia. “The situation in the residential market is getting worse and piling inventory is mounting extra pressure on the investors’ holding capacity. This seems to be a good time to buy, but few buyers are convinced,” he said.

Stocks have been rising on the expectation that the Narendra Modiled BJP will be well-placed to form a stable government, but that assurance doesn’t seem to have enthused people to buy homes.

To be sure, economic confidence is yet to be restored with growth still down in the dumps and the possibility of a weak monsoon adding to the uncertainty amid the likelihood of inflation accelerating again, which could in turn mean rising interest rates as the central bank tries to clamp down on prices, putting pressure on mortgage rates.

“Income levels of people have not risen unlike an exceptional rise in property prices due to slowdown in the economy. Home buyers want to see a stable government and policy enacted to make informed decisions,” said Alexander Moore, chief executive officer at property brokerage firm LJ Hooker India.

Analysts also pointed to the overall negative sentiment because of uncertainty hanging over some real estate projects and deals that have got tangled up in court cases or are being cited in corruption allegations.

Most of the data for this report has been obtained from property consultants, who collate and share market data with the industry, and banks that usually compile information about new homes in micro-markets being constructed by organised builders.

“Prices had gone up too high to unrealistic levels in many markets. Now sellers are coming to more practical levels,” said RV Verma, chairman of the National Housing Bank. “Also, many people are under pressure to service their debts which is pushing them to sell their properties at a discount… Demand too has dropped, which is compounding the problem.”

In Mumbai’s Malad and Goregaon suburbs, where thousands of middle-class families stay, two-bedroom apartments that used to sell for Rs 1.5-1.7 crore six months ago are now available for Rs 1.2-1.3 crore. In Kandivali, Borivali, Malad, Bhandup, Mulund, Vikhroli, Thane and the Kharghar-Panvel belt prices have dropped over 20 per cent, local brokers said.

The situation is similar in the Capital. In south Delhi alone, more than 5,000 builder floors, bungalows and empty plots have remained unsold for the past several months.

In Safdarjung Enclave, plots selling at Rs 8 lakh a square yard a year ago are now available at Rs 5 lakh a sq yard. In tony Vasant Vihar, prices are down from Rs 10 lakh a sq yard to Rs 6 lakh per sq yard from a year ago.

In Kalkaji, an apartment built on a 200 sq yard plot is selling for Rs 2.75 crore, down from Rs 3.15 crore about eight months ago. These houses were built or rebuilt on 100-400 square yard plots, with investors either going solo or tying up with owners in a joint venture development. Had this money been invested in the stock market in October, the value would have gone up nearly 25 per cent by now.

The slowing economy, growing inflation, political uncertainty, a weak jobs scenario across sectors and the high cost of home loans kept most potential buyers away in 2013 and the first quarter of this year. This group is now expecting a further drop in prices, especially with the leading political parties promising to makes homes affordable. But this puts investors, who buy homes to flip them at higher prices, in a bind.

Unable to exit, their money is stuck. “The market is so squeezed for cash that sellers are desperate to find a way out. Their holding power is decreasing. On the other side, buyers are holding on to their cash. They want to see which way the election swings. If an unstable government comes, prices could go down further,” said a property consultant, who didn’t want to be named.

Property listings website MagicBricks added that sale listings have shrunk in the micro-markets of Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Mumbai in the past year by 35-65 per cent, indicating negative sentiment among sellers.

Kapur recalled a recent deal that he brokered in Gurgaon’s DLF Phase-II area. The seller dropped the price by 32 per cent as he needed the money in a week.

“His bank was sitting on his head. He was behind on a business loan repayment. He had to sell,” said Kapur. Mumbai property dealers are also feeling the pinch. “The market has dried up,” said Arun Lillaney of Raah Estate &Property Consultants, which operates in Mumbai’s western suburbs. “Everybody is expecting more correction and I hope it happens soon; at least deals will get going,” he said.

In Bangalore’s Richmond Town and Lavelle Road areas, secondary home prices are down 20-30 per cent. A 4,000 sq ft bungalow on Lavelle Road, which cost about Rs 14 crore a year ago is now available for Rs 9 crore.

A colonial bungalow in Richmond Town on a 2,400 sq ft plot is selling for Rs 3.6 crore, down from Rs 6 crore a year ago. Data for new homes and those on resale in markets such as south Delhi or Richmond Town are almost impossible to get as they are mostly catered to by small brokers. The association of realtors too does not keep tabs on these markets.

Yashwant Dalal, president of the Estate Agents Association in India, however, said sellers in these markets had toned down expectations given the price correction in new launches and under-construction projects around them. The primary market isn’t doing too well either.

According to data from property research firm Liases Foras, unsold inventory levels — new apartments built by organised developers — have risen to 7 lakh apartments in the March quarter from 6.5 lakh in the preceding three-month period.

“An oversupply situation in the primary market also impacts prices in the secondary segment,” said NHB’s Verma. Noida-based real estate agent Yogesh Juyal said buyers are not getting into market because they are hoping prices will fall further.

“They are waiting to see if this is the bottom or if it will slide further,” he said. A 350 sq metre plot in Noida’s Sector 51, which was originally quoted at Rs 5.25 crore, was recently sold for Rs 4.3 crore.

Source: ET



Real estate site CommonFloor acquires student focused accommodation site Flat.to

Comments Off on Real estate site CommonFloor acquires student focused accommodation site Flat.to   |  April 22, 2014

BANGALORE: CommonFloor.Com  has acquired Flat.to, a site that helps students and bachelors find accommodation, in a deal that signals growing consolidation in India’s consumer internet industry.

The deal included both cash and stock components and was finalised last week.

“We want to solve all problems related to property and we had a gap in the students and bachelor segment,” said Sumit Jain, cofounder of CommonFloor, who declined to share the financial details of the transaction.

Jain, 29, who set up his company seven years ago, raised equity funding of about Rs 64 crore in January. Commonfloor aims to earn revenue of Rs 150 crore in fiscal 2016.

Although CommonFloor has taken a controlling stake in Flat.to, the year-old company will continue to operate as an independent site. Flat.to, which has a 15-member team, will use CommonFloor’s finance, human resources and other similar back end functions.

Flat.to was founded by Gaurav Munjal, 23, who was previously a software developer at Directi, an internet domain name registrar company. “I decided to focus on this segment as I had faced problems finding accommodation when I had moved from Jaipur to Mumbai as a student,” said Munjal. CommonFloor’s Jain was an early mentor of Munjal and the two entrepreneurs soon realised that together they could grow much faster. Munjal, who was based in Mumbai, has now shifted to Bangalore where CommonFloor is headquartered. He found his paying guest accommodation in Bangalore through a Flat.to listing.

The firm, which earns revenue through subscriptions taken by brokers, only lists flats and accommodation that are open to bachelors. Flat.to, which operates in cities with high student population like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Kota and Jaipur, has recently launched a feature that highlights broker-free listings. The company, which has about 7,000 listings, declined to share details on revenue. It intends to quickly expand to cover the 18 cities that CommonFloor already covers.

The young startup’s other cofounder and angel investor, Aakrit Vaish, is exiting the company in this round. Vaish, who runs mobile application startup Haptik, was not involved in Flat.to’s daily operations.

“The top players (in internet) have received funding recently and many of them are acquiring niche players to fill the gaps in their offering,” said Raja Lahiri, a partner at financial advisory firm Grant Thornton India. “This trend should continue”.

Source: ET



Bangalore No. 1 market in India for luxury homes

Comments Off on Bangalore No. 1 market in India for luxury homes   |  April 21, 2014

BANGALORE: When it comes to luxury homes — units priced above Rs 5 crore — Bangalore is setting benchmarks to emerge as the country’s top luxury home market, says a report by JLL India, an international property consultancy firm.

Quality of construction, design, ventilation, floor-to- ceiling height, amenities, floor plans, building elevation and configuration aspects are among the factors fuelling Bangalore’s rise to the top, the report says.

Most importantly, pricing of luxury residential properties in the country’s IT capital is seen to be far more reasonable and realistic than Mumbai and NCR, says JLL’s report, shared exclusively with TOI.

“Luxury properties in Bangalore are 20% to 30% cheaper. While luxury apartments that cost between Rs 6 crore and Rs 30 crore may seem exorbitant, they are in fact very reasonable when compared to the rates going in premium locations of established cities like Delhi and Mumbai,” notes Om Ahuja, CEO-residential services, JLL India.

Citing research data, Ahuja adds: “A luxury apartment in Indiranagar or Koramangala is still an attainable reality with prices ranging from Rs 9,000 to Rs 12,000 per square foot. No other premium locations of other major Indian cities offer such prices in the luxury segment.”

While Bangalore reports sales of close to 100 luxury units — including villas — on a quarterly basis, Mumbai and NCR, in comparison, see only around a dozen such sales.

Data shared by the consultancy firm LJ Hooker shows that Bangalore has around 5,400 luxury units under various stages of construction and planning.

After Mumbai and NCR, Bangalore is the third largest market for luxury property sales and product offerings. It is also the third largest real estate investment hub for high net-worth individuals (HNIs), but tops the list in terms of investments from NRIs looking at settling down in India.

While much of the city’s luxury homes demand is fuelled by millionaires from the IT/ ITeS sectors, the demand is also being driven by Kolkata and Chennai-based HNIs. JLL estimates Bangalore to have over 10,000 dollar millionaires.

In terms of product, JLL reported that luxury residential offerings in Mumbai and NCR fall more or less in the vanilla category when compared to products in Bangalore. “In Mumbai and NCR, location aspects such as sea view or PIN code tend to define the flair and profile of a property far more than the positioning of the product in terms of luxury and design parameters,” says Ahuja.

Demand across all metros for luxury residential products was subdued over three to four financial quarters, but has picked up in the past 60 days, say analysts tracking the real estate sector.

Source: Times of India



It’s no lottery: BDA doubles flat rates

Comments Off on It’s no lottery: BDA doubles flat rates   |  March 13, 2014

BANGALORE: After sites, it’s now the turn of flats. Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has arbitrarily jacked up the prices of flats by almost 100%-200%, spiking the common man’s last hope of owning a dream home in the city.

While BDA plans to sell 2BHK flats of its future projects at not less than Rs 25 lakh, it also served notice to over 3,000 home buyers who’ve won flats in a recent lottery, to pay an additional Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh, depending on the type of house.

The decision to hike prices was taken at a recent BDA board meeting, official sources said. “There are several provisions in the Karnataka Apartment Ownership Act that prevent private developers from swindling buyers, but it appears now that BDA is just doing just that — cheating the average citizen. This is happening because there are only officials on the Board and they have no concern for the middle class or poor,” said BM Shiva Kumar, RTI activist.

Allottees, who’ve won 2BHK flats, have started getting notices from the BDA, informing them to pay an additional Rs 10 lakh over the original price of Rs 7.5 lakh, fixed at the time when BDA had invited applications in 2012. Allottees of 3BHK homes will soon get notices to pay up Rs 15 lakh more.

The abrupt increase in BDA flat prices has sent allottees scurrying to arrange for finances, while some have simply given up. “Over the past two years, I struggled to pay Rs 7.5 lakh, and borrowed loans at exorbitant interest from moneylenders. At most, I can pay Rs 1-2 lakh extra. But the BDA’s notice to pay an additional Rs 10 lakh has dashed all my hopes,” said Puttamma, who’s bagged a flat at Doddabanahalli on Old Madras Road.

Interestingly, some private builders are offering 2BHK flats of better quality and with more amenities, for prices slightly higher than those fixed by the BDA.

The hike will pinch buyers of 3BHK flats even more as they have to cough up an additional Rs 15 lakh. “It’s a ploy by the BDA to discourage the middle class to buy their flats,” added K Somashekar, another allottee.

BDA board members, however, defended their move. B Ganganna, finance member, BDA, said: “Because the buildings were under construction at the time, we mentioned in the advertisement that prices were provisional and could be changed. We’ve changed accordingly, taking into consideration the prices of land and increased construction costs. We’ve constructed internal roads and fitted other amenities and obviously, we have to take this money from the flat buyers.”

But Shiva Kumar strongly disputes this theory, alleging that the land where the flats are being constructed was bought by the BDA for just Rs 2 lakh per acre, after the Special Task Force recovered this encroached government land in and around Bangalore. Besides, the construction cost has not crossed Rs 1100 sqft.

BDA ENCLAVES

* Apartments are located in Nandini Layout, Alur, Malagala, Thippasandra, Halage Voderahalli, Kothanur, Doddabanahalli, Gunjur, Valagerahalli

* Flats are in various stages of construction

FLATS – OLD PRICE – REVISED PRICE – PRICE FOR FUTURE PROJECTS

1BHK — Rs 5 Lakh — Rs 7.5 lakh — Rs 10 Lakh

2BHK — Rs 7.5 lakh — Rs 17.6 lakh — Rs 25 lakh

3BHK — Rs 13.5 lakh – Rs 25 lakh – Rs 35 lakh

Times View

By hiking the prices of its apartments, the BDA is defeating the very purpose of providing affordable housing. While a marginal hike is understandable, given the rise in the prices of sand, steel and cement over the past year, escalating the price by 100%-200 % appears unfair. It’s the home buyers who will have to scrounge for funds, and take loans to cover the shortfall. Most of them may not fall in the band that banks love to oblige. The BDA is pushing them to desperation with its arbitrary decisions, and also behaving as a real estate agency rather than a civic agency, as the high court had once pointed out. The government could step in to regulate prices in this case.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Its-no-lottery-BDA-doubles-flat-rates/articleshow/31808251.cms



Master plans have no connect with city, says senior babu

Comments Off on Master plans have no connect with city, says senior babu   |  March 12, 2014

BANGALORE: That master plans for Bangalore are just decorative documents with little relevance or people connect, was highlighted by speakers at a conclave held in the city on Monday.

Damning previous comprehensive development plans (CDPs) drawn up by the BDA, PN Sreenivasachari, principal secretary of the transport department, said: “There is no idea who’s consulting whom before the master plans are made. These just become gazette orders decorating government offices. Have any of these CDPs indicated that land earmarked for a particular plan is required or will enhance the utility of the land? Little or none,” he said.

Sreenivasachari was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day conclave-Connect Karo, organized by Embarq India on Monday. Embarq is a World Resources Institute’s centre that works towards sustainable transport in world cities. Land use planning, transit-oriented development and solutions for mobility were some of the issues discussed.

Sreenivasachari added that investments and institution capacities do not match urban growth. “Our urban agglomerations are not controlled by us because the economy has opened its gates to the world. There are six or seven planning authorities in the city but the question that poses a challenge is how to integrate all these plans. Not just BDA, agencies like Bescom, BMTC and BWSSB should also have plans for 10 years ahead,” he said.

Urban expert Ashwin Mahesh also said the BDA’s master planning process is premature and not based on the performance of previous CDPs. “The advantage Bangalore has is the participation of civil society in social issues and solving issues by pressuring governments. The focus should be on making a road map for the next five years in every sector, including mobility, conversion to clean fuel and non-motorized transport.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Master-plans-have-no-connect-with-city-says-senior-babu/articleshow/31808212.cms



Apartment owners wake up to a demolition

Comments Off on Apartment owners wake up to a demolition   |  March 8, 2014

BANGALORE: It was 6.30am on Tuesday and many residents of Sobha Garnet, an apartment complex on Outer Ring Road, were asleep when a huge commotion outside woke them up. There were bulldozers, a police vehicle and media at daybreak outside their apartment. The compound wall, they were informed, was on encroached land and therefore had to be razed down.

Sobha Garnet was one among the many buildings, portions of which were razed down by civic authorities, allegedly standing on encroached land of Iblur lake. According to officials, Shobha Garnet has four guntas, Sun City five guntas and Sunshine seven guntas which are encroached land.

“The Iblur lake that existed on the survey no. 36 was spread across an area of 18 acres and 6 guntas, but the area has been reduced to 7 acres and 32 guntas. There were 17 encroachments on the lake bed that include the premier developer Sobha, Sunshine, Sun City and Joseph Associates. There was a temple, private school, tennis court, hoardings, a commercial complex, road, apartments, sump besides a lawn, garden and underground water storage tank,” Bangalore Urban deputy commissioner GC Prakash said.

While the compound walls of Sun City and Shobha Garnet were being brought down, a few feet of a commercial complex on the same lane was also razed. There was stiff resistance from the residents as emotions flared up at the scene. Women stood in front of bulldozers before they were pushed aside by police. Arguments continued with residents saying they were given a notice only on Monday evening. Most of them had to skip office to stay at the apartment and watch the proceedings as the bulldozer razed down the wall and uprooted the palm trees planted on the side.

“It is our earning of a lifetime. It is our home. It is our life. They cannot do what they want with us and not keep us informed,” said Dr Premlataha T S, a doctor at St Johns Hospital residing in Sobha. The apartment also has a water tank along the compound wall for which it has been given five days time. The 12-year-old building has around 87 apartments in the complex, including that of Infosys managing director Shibulal and international hockey player Ashish Ballal.

Prakash added that there are documents to prove that the developers and others had taken permission and sanction from BDA, BMRDA and BBMP, but many of them deviated from the sanctioned plan of the civic authorities and nobody had obtained clearance from the revenue department.

QUOTE HANGERS:

We have A khata for our apartments. Why were we given a khata if it was illegal? If we cannot trust a khata, what else will we trust?

How could they build a BDA road if it was on encroached land?

Vaibhav Parikh, a lawyer and resident

We decided to buy an apartment instead of building an independent house to be free from all legal issues. We thought a reputed builder can give us a place which has no such problems

Shashi Patil, education consultant

“We have been staying here for 12 years. We have paid all taxes. We have been dutiful citizens. Now we are in a fix. We don’t know whom to trust-the developer or the tahsildar. This has come as a shocker. We see our home being razed down. The trees we have planted are uprooted in a jiffy, ” – Manjula Senthil, tax consultant.

This is my home. I have been here since I am three. And now I am watching it being torn down. My friends are having exams. All of us are disturbed

Karthik Krishna, a student

We are totally exposed to the outer world now. What is the security we have now? Our water sump and fire control system is also under threat. These are the basic things we require here.” –

Ashok Ramaswamy, president of resident’s association

“This is more of a shocker than anything else for me.

Till the day before we were clueless. Some 100 policemen came and there were orders to hit us if we came near the demolition. We were totally unaware. The notice has gone to developers rather than owners. And

It was careless of developers to take it easy. It shows them in a bad light. We have now asked Sobha to sort it out

Ashish Ballal, international hockey player.

“Shobha Garnet has four guntas, Sun City five guntas and Sunshine 7 guntas which are encroached land.

The encroached areas will go to BDA for maintenance of lake. It is natural that nobody will accept mistakes after committing it. How could they say they were not informed about it when they have already approached high court for it? The eviction notice was sent in November. We cannot keep going to all houses and inform them. The notice was given and a verbal intimation also done

B R Dayanand, tahsildar, South taluk

BOX

Arbitrary and illegal: Sobha Properties

Sobha Developers Limited, in its defence, termed the demolition arbitrary and illegal. It said Bangalore South taluk tahsildar’s action contention that it had encroached upon 4 guntas of lake land was in contradiction with the survey sketch prepared and available on their records. It said the owners had challenged the validity of the notice before the high court. The high court disposed of the matter directing aggrieved parties to appeal before the assistant commissioner, who in turn directed a fresh survey by the tahsildar. It claimed that the tahsildar, without hearing the owners or providing them with the survey report, went about the demolition without giving a notice on it.

Sobha Developers Limited (‘SDL’) having developed and sold the residential apartment building named ‘Sobha Garnet’ situated on the ORR, Sarjapur Road.

Sobha Garnet consists of Basement, Ground plus Seven Floors and comprising of 87 apartments on all that piece and parcel of the land bearing Survey No. 38/2B, situated at Ibbalur Village, Agara Panchayat, Begur Hobli, Bangalore South Taluk, Bangalore, measuring 1 Acre 23 Guntas (‘Property’) based on a Plan Sanction bearing P.S/EM/TA-3/E/02-1999-2000, dated 17.11.1999 and an Occupancy Certificate bearing No. BDA/EM/TA-3/T-101/2002-03 dated 05.03.2003 issued by the Bangalore Development Authority, Bangalore.

The Tahsildhar, Bangalore South Taluk, Bangalore, by a Notice bearing No. NCR/CR/658, 801-809/09-10, dated 26.11.2013, alleged that SDL had encroached 04 Guntas of land bearing Survey No. 36, situated at Ibbalur Village, Begur Hobli, Bangalore South Taluk, Bangalore, in contradiction with the Survey Sketch prepared and available on their records.

Similary, Notices were issued to the other Owners in the said locality. SDL and the other Owners challenged the validity of the above Notice, before the Honourable High Court of Karnataka, Bangalore that came to be disposed by the High Court vide its Order dated 05.12.2013, with a direction that the aggrieved parties could prefer an Appeal before the Assistant Commissioner, the above Notice was kept in abeyance till then and that it was categorically specified that the procedures laid down under Law cannot be bypassed.

Pursuant to the above Order, appeals were filed before the Assistant Commissioner, Bangalore South Sub-Division at Bangalore that came to be allowed vide an Order dated 06.01.2014 with a direction that the Owners be present before the spot on 17.01.2014 at 10.00 a.m., for conducting a fresh survey by the Tahsildhar, Bangalore South Taluk, Bangalore and with a liberty to the Owners to place their version along with the relevant documents to the Tahsildhar, Bangalore South Taluk, Bangalore and directed the Tahsildhar dispose of the said proceedings in accordance with Law.

The Tahsildhar, Bangalore South Taluk, Bangalore, thereafter, without complying with the orders of the High Court as also the Asst Commissioner and without hearing the Owners or providing them with the Survey Report, has on 04.03.2014, after pasting a Notice dated 01.03.2014, along with the Police and Media, illegally demolished the alleged encroached portion of 4 Guntas by SDL, thereby causing threat to the life and by causing damages to the limb and assets of the Owners who are residing in the above apartments, in a manner which is not contemplated under Law.

No notice of demolition was given to us by the Tahsildhar. The aforesaid Authorities have carried out demolition activities on the other properties following the same procedure. Such, arbitrary and illegal acts committed by the Authorities need to be condemned.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Apartment-owners-wake-up-to-a-demolition/articleshow/31443989.cms



Strong local democracy can help us out of urban chaos

Comments Off on Strong local democracy can help us out of urban chaos   |  March 3, 2014

BANGALORE: As Indian cities battle problems of migration, unplanned settlements, poverty and climate change, those looking for solutions appear to have bitten off more than they can chew. David Satthertwaite, senior fellow, International Institute for Environment and Development, and one of the world’s leading urban experts, spoke to The Times of India about what’s needed to help cities meet sustainable development goals. Excerpts:

What are some of the common agendas cities need to address in the current scenario?

The first agenda is poverty reduction. This’ll provide people with access to good sanitation and potable water besides other things. The next three agendas are disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation. And for these matters of immediate attention, there needs to be a strong local democracy to lead the way.

Elaborate on local democracy?

Representative organizations, and not NGOs, play a central role in such activities. Of course, they’ll need to liaise with local governments. If you look at Latin American cities, you’ll find many examples of people’s organizations innovating and showing the government what they are capable of. It’s not about asking for housing or sanitation. Such organizations must innovate, tap into funds from sources other than those available publicly, and demonstrate their ability to do their own work much like corporate houses do. The representative organizations should understand the need for an international financial system that gives far more attention to supporting locally driven sustainable development, borrowing from examples of cities around the world.

Are there specific lessons for Indian cities? You have been in Mumbai, Pune and Cuttack.

It was India which led such movements. A mahila (women’s) organization in Mumbai championed a cause by facilitating collection of funds and mobilizing them with efficient accountability to show the local government that they could be trusted with projects and funds intended for informal settlements in Mumbai.

It was this savings group in Mumbai that drove innovation and helped almost 60 cities in India work on models they championed.

In such a scenario, what’s the role of the local administration?

It has been found that in many cities in India, the data is either incomplete or outdated. For example, local organizations in Cuttack found that data regarding informal settlements was outdated and largely underestimated. So they took it upon themselves to conduct surveys and publish more authentic data, which was eventually used by local authorities. Also, it’s important for such groups to identify good officers in the government, who champion their cause while liaising with the government.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Strong-local-democracy-can-help-us-out-of-urban-chaos/articleshow/31305498.cms



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