75 Mumbai city-based families have been relentlessly making efforts to get back their sprawling flats which their fathers and grandfathers had rented out to the naval authorities. Over the years, some died and now their children are carrying on the fight to get back the flats – each costing a few crores in today’s prices. Most of these flats are stated to be huge and their bathrooms are as big as some of the bedrooms in modem constructions.
Between 1940 and 1945, the British navy based in Mumbai went on a flat hiring spree, mainly in south Mumbai, to bouse its sailors and other personnel during the war. Over 250 flats in prime localitieslike Cuffe Parade, Colaba, Churchgate, Marine Drive, Napean Sea Road and a few in Bandra and Vile Parlewere rented out by their owners at less than 10 paise per square foot, but there were no written agreements when these flats were rented out, but only verbal assurances that the properties would be banded back once the war ended. However, the Indian navy, which took over these flats after independence, has been diligently paying the rent and getting receipts from the owners every month. For instance, a 2,000 sq ftflat in south Mumbai fetches a rent of barely Rs. 800 a month.
Since years, the navy has been claiming that it has been facing a housing shortage. However,there are a large number of buildings that have been constructed for its personnel now. So, the navy should surrender our flats, it is stated. Between 1987 and 1989, 224 flats came up in four new buildings in Navy Nagar, This huge colony already has over 4,000 flats for naval personnel.
Hectic lobbying and numerous representations made to the centre by the frustrated flat owners finally forced the defense ministry to formulate a dehiring policy some time in 1977. The policy laid down that for every 1 00 flats constructed for the navy, ten of the rented flats would be handed back to the families. Since then, more than 150 flats have been surrendered by the navy. In fact, last year itself 21 flats were returned.There is no exact timeframe for the remainingflats to be surrendered. Butit will happen shortly according to the defence source.
In a follow up to the much discussed economic packages aimed at stimulating the economy with relaxations, the Union government is at it again. This time it is towards investment in the hospitalitysector. The Government has permitted hotels to avail of external commercial borrowings (ECBs) up to $100 millions per year both for foreign currency and rupee capital expenditure for permissible end-uses,other than for land acquisition, under the automatic route. The. decision was announced by the Finance Ministry in the second stimulus package on January 2, 2009. The government‘s move comes after Tourism Minister Ambika Soni wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking relief for the traveland hospitality sector in the wake of global melt- down and the spate ofcancellations following the terror attacks. According to the Finance Ministry, the ECB policy has been reviewed in consultation with RBI.The decision will mean greater infusion of investment for implementation of new projects and infrastructure and modernization and expansion of existing production units.
The Delhi development Authority (DDA) drew flak from the Delhi High Court for a lottery system which pits slum dweller of the capital against affluent applicants from other states for flat. It is so unjust that a person living in a jhuggi-jhopdi, who is virtually getting a lifetime opportunity to live in a house in Delhi has to compete with a person from other States having at least 10 properties, a Division Bench of the High Court observed. The court directed the DDA to give a break-up of the number of SC / ST allottees from within Delhi and thosefrom outside the state.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Prem Chand of Dilshad Garden against the DDA Housing Scheme 2008, which puts Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) applicants from outside Delhi on par with their counterparts domiciled in the Capital. Over 5,000 flats were put up for allotment under the scheme, of which 17.5 per cent were earmarked for the Scheduled Castes.
The Tamil Nadu Government has issued an order to provide 50 per cent rebate on stamp duty and registration fees for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) units in industrial estates developed by the government, the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation (TANSIDCO), or by private entites.
The order, dated January 6 2009, follows the guidelines issued by the State government in it MSMI policy last year, to allow a 50 per cent rebate on stamp duty and registration fees based on the transfer value in Government or TANSIDCO developed industries estates, and the guideline value in privately developed estates. Micro enterprises would also be exempted from payment of stamp duty onmortgaged and pledged documents, according to the order.
one of the country’s largest real-estate developers to introduced a scheme that would have sounded incredible yesterday. The company would like to pioneer a ‘price protection’ scheme soon for customers buying homes in the Rs.20 lakhs to RsAO lakhs category across the country. According to the companysources, if the price of a house drops within a year of a consumer entering into a contract with the developer, the latter will pass on the benefit of any reduction during the year to the consumer. The consumer would ultimately pay only the reduced price of the property. Most consumers make a down payment and commit to pay the balance in installments. So, if the price of a house drops from the initially contracted RsAO lakhs to Rs. 38 lakhs during the year, the consumer’s installments will be reduced commensurately.
To ensure that only genuine consumers gain, the company will impose certain conditions. For instance, the property would not be allowed to change hands for one year to keep speculators at bay. Further, the company would sell only one home per family. This is also a way for the company to ensure that people are buying a house for possession and not for investment purposes. The company will also be assured that the buyer does not default on his installments.
This would improve confidence in the market. It comes on the back of many other developers announcing schemes such as full payment only after construction is over. Companies have even offered free cars to potential customers. Such schemes should do particularly well in Tier II cities.
The Supreme Court has held that a land owner who enters into an agreement with a builder for construction of an apartment building and for sharing of the constructed area is a ‘consumer’. Therefore, he is entitled to move a consumer forum against the builder as a service provider under the’Consumer Protection Act’. The court thus set aside the judgment of the National Consumer Disputes Commission which had ruled that the land owner cannot move a consumer forum as the agreement was for a joint venture. The commission ruled that such disputes should be settled in the civil court.
Setting aside that view, the Supreme Court stated the owner could move either the civil court or the consumer forum, as the latter is an additional course open for him. The complaint of the landowner in this case, viz, Faqir Chand vs Uppal Agencies Ltd., was that the builder had violated regulations of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and failed to rectify several shortcomings in the construction.
DLF reduces Bangalore project price by 24 per cent DLF, the largest real estate player in the country has reduced the price of its residential project in Bangalore by around 24 per cent. The revised price of the project West end Heights in Bangalore is less than Rs 2, I 00 per sq ft as against the October 2008 launch price of Rs 2,775/- per sq. ft. The new price would be applicable with retrospective effect, so that customers who had booked flats in 2008 are benefited. According to the company, it is passing on the benefit of reduced input costs to give greater value to its customers with the intention to make the project affordable for the common man and the most interesting feature of the project isthat bigger apartments carried lower price per sq. ft. On the issue of delay in other projects in New Gorgon, the spokes person said that the company had not put on hold any project where it had made commitments to customers. This included DLF New Town Heights and Express Greens. DLF would deliver the projects on itself he added. System Overflowing seqage tanks, broken broken or burst pipes and water flooded streets are a common sight for us.
We live with it as if it would be impossible to contain or remedy. May be we will not pay more attention to the safety measures to prevent the breakdown of Sanitary System just squander away the State funds on ‘imported’ technology.
What we need is a Sanitary System which is compatible with Nature laws and flexible in terms of operation and expenditure.
Realty rates in Pune, which have already been slashed up to 40 per cent, are set to be cut further asdevelopers are trying to recover some of the money stuck in various projects. The industry is going through a tough phase. About 35,000 new homes are built in Pune every year for the last few years.Now, 25,000 more are planned in the next 30 months. Job insecurity and high interest rates are the cause of fall in demand. Many are waiting for prices to drop further.
Some developers have had to sell at a loss just to raise cash. The builders are now making, desperate bid to lure buyers and are offering attractive incentives. The following are a few incentive schemes introduced by the developers to attract the buyers.
“Buy now and your builder will pay the EMI for three months if you lose your job”
“Till you find another job, the builder will pay interest on your home loan.”
“Buy now and if rates drop before you take possession your builder will revise the price.”
One scheme offers buyers who have lost their jobs a three month respite from EMIs, offering to pay to banks themselves. They are also offering to pay the interest on the loan themselves till the buyer getsanother job, or takes possession of the flat. The rate guarantee scheme promises that if rates slide after a buyer has booked a flat but before he takes possession, he will be charged at the new, lower rates and the excess amount the buyer has paid will be refunded.