The notification under Section 37(1AA) invites objections and suggestions but, strangely, the draft notification is not on the government website.
MUMBAI: Skyscrapers may become the norm across municipal areas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region if the government’s latest plan becomes law.
Draft development control regulations (DCR) for the seven municipal corporations of Thane, Mira-Bhayandar, Kalyan-Dombivli, Bhiwandi-Nizampur city, Ulhasnagar, Vasai-Virar, and Panvel (excluding Cidco areas) have been issued by the state urban development department under Section 37(1AA) of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act. If passed, they will replace all existing regulations.
The notification under Section 37(1AA) invites objections and suggestions but, strangely, the draft notification is not on the government website. It was issued on February 28 and the last date for filing feedback is March 28.
In the draft, the government has been lavish with floor space index (FSI, the ratio of the permissible built-up area vis-a-vis the size of the plot). An FSI of 4 is allowed in Transit Oriented Zone along roads 30m wide. In case of the MMR municipal corporations, many of these roads are highways and several townships have already come up along them. “This is nothing but regularization of these high rises,” alleged an activist.
The Urban Development Research Institute (UDRI), an independent organization that engages in urban planning and policy, has raised a red flag on the government issuing the draft regulations under section 37(1AA) and not providing sufficient time to submit objections/suggestions.
“The draft has been online for a month but it has not been advertised effectively and is not easy to find online. Section 37(1AA) is used only when there is an emergency, so it is rather strange the government should use it to invite objections/suggestions for the draft DCRs, especially when objections/suggestions are being heard for the regional plan. The new Development Plan for the various municipal corporations are yet to be sanctioned. How does one acknowledge the DCRs where there is no proposal for the growth of these areas?” asked Pankaj Joshi, executive director, UDRI.
In the draft, an FSI of 4 is allowed under the urban renewal scheme, which will allow high rises in the inner areas of the seven municipal corporations. Similarly, FSI of 6 is allowed for the affordable housing scheme (3 for rehab component and 3 for free sale). There is also an FSI of 3 for slum rehabilitation.
Activists pointed out that the Bombay high court has stayed cluster redevelopment in the absence of an environment impact assessment. “This is now being sanctioned through the DCR,” one of them said.
The FSI being granted is equal to that for Greater Mumbai, creating high volumes of buildable areas for developers without any heed towards carrying capacity of the areas, environmental impact and densities. “There is a reduction in open space provisions too,” said UDRI.
Further, large chunks of municipal areas have been given for integrated township projects, depriving citizens in these areas of self-governance, said sources.
UDRI also objected to quarrying operations being permitted and promoted near dense residential communities. “This is contrary to the objective of healthy planned living. A mobile tower policy has been surreptitiously provided in many areas without considering the impact on the health of residents.”
Source: Economic Times
Under Construction Flat Booking Finds Tax Deduction Under Time Constraints
If a buyer makes a transaction to book an under-construction flat and if he acquires it within the three-year period of the sale of his old house, then he is entitled to a tax deduction, says a ruling from the Mumbai bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT). If an apartment is booked in an under construction project than it must be viewed as a method of constructing residential tenements, says the December 18 judgment.
That means if the buyer uses the entire gain from the transaction to buy another house within two years or construct another house within three years. The two- and three-year period applies even if the buyer bought another house a year before selling the first one. But the property should have been bought in the name of the seller.
It is mandatory that within a period of two years after or one year before the date of transfer of old house, the taxpayer should construct a residential house or acquire another residential house within a period of three years from the date of transfer of the old house. The date of receipt of compensation will determine the period of acquisition or construction in a case of compulsory acquisition.
This exemption is effective and can only be claimed in respect of one residential house property purchased/constructed in India. In the case of multiple house purchases or constructions, the exemption under section 54 will be available in respect of one house only. Any purchases made outside the country does not fall under any kind of exemption. Section 54 gives relaxation in such cases by providing relief to the taxpayer who sells his residential house and acquires another residential house from the gained capital.
After the sale of an asset, the difference between the buying price and the selling price is a capital gain or a capital loss. These are further classified as long-term or short-term. If a property is held for 24 months or less, with effective from 2017-18, then that asset is treated as Short Term Capital Asset. Then an investor can make
treated as Long Term Capital Asset. Then only a Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) or Long Term Capital Loss (LTCL) can be made on that investment.
ITAT agreed that booking of a new flat in an under-construction apartment should be considered as a case of “construction” and not “purchase”, hence following the earlier decisions of the Bombay high court and the tribunal itself. Further ITAT allowed the fact that the construction can began prior to the date of sale of the old asset. Same was stated in the earlier judicial decisions of the Karnataka high court and Ahmedabad ITAT, that the date of commencement is not relevant but it is the completion of construction that comes in relevance to section 54.
HDFC and Quikr Make A Deal
According to a deal between HDFC and Quikr, a stake of more than 3 percent will be given to the mortgage giant in return to its transfer of offline and online real estate brokerage business to the classified ads platform.
After acquiring Commonfloor in 2016 Quikr already has a major presence in online real estate broking.
“Most of the searches for real estate are moving online. Quikr has a much bigger presence online. Through this deal, we are partnering Quikr in the broking business,” said HDFC MD Renu Sud Karnad. According to her, this deal will strengthen Quirks position with offline support.
The deal suggests that HDFC will transfer to Quikr its entire shareholding in HDFC Realty, a real estate brokerage platform, and HDFC Developers, which runs the HDFC RED online platform.
Karnad added that the deal expects Quikr to generate home loan leads for HDFC. The transaction consists of a co-branded alliance between both parties and the HDFC brand will continue to be used online for a year.
The e-real estate classifieds platform HDFC RED has around 7,000 project listings and generates traffic of over 80,000 unique visitors per month. HDFC Realty has a 300-member, in-house sales team, and 7,000-strong nationwide broker network. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial adviser to Quikr while Kotak Investment Banking acted as the exclusive financial adviser to HDFC on this.
30 million monthly users make Quikr India’s largest classifieds platform. It runs multiple vertical businesses across real estate, automobiles, jobs, services, and goods. The Quikr Home, its real estate vertical generates 3.5 million monthly unique visitors.
Both companies intend to work closely and conduct analytics and identify potential homebuyers, and therefore home loan customers, early in their home-buying journey. Quikr founder and CEO Pranay Chulet said, “We see great synergies between Quikr and HDFC as we start working together to bring a seamless online-to-offline platform to developers and consumers.”
Retaining The Sustainability: GRIHA Launches Star Rating For Urban Homes
Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), is the National Rating System of India, a Sanskrit word meaning – ‘Abode’. Human architecture has always consumed resources in the form of energy, water and material from the environment. From their construction to operation, these habitats absorb the resources throughout their life cycles, emitting wastes in the end. This emission could be direct in the form of municipal wastes or indirect emission into the atmosphere, such as from electricity generation. Hence GRIHA was formed to reduce an architecture’s resource consumption, waste production and overall environment impact up to certain national acceptable limits.
In attempt to quantify all these aspects, like energy consumption, waste generation etc. GRIHA tries to manage, control and bring down the respective to the best possible limit. Being a rating tool, it helps people to assess the performance of their respective projects against the national benchmarks.
Hence it becomes an evaluation of the environmental performance of an architecture on a holistic level. Covering its entire life cycle, this evaluation provides a specific standard for a ‘green building’. This rating system aims to strike a balance between established institutions and emerging concepts, on a national as well as the international level.
The process starts with an online submission of documents according to the criteria. Then a team of professionals and experts from GRIHA Secretariat takes a site visit for the evaluation of the building. There are four different sections categorized by 34 criteria in GRIHA rating system. Some of them are site selection and site planning, conservation and efficient utilization of resources, building operation and maintenance, and innovation.
Sanjay Seth, CEO, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council says, “A rating between one and five stars is being provided, helping the costumers to know about the sustainability of the houses”.
According to the Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, the climate resilient and sustainable buildings are the need of the hour. As the government is aiming to construct around 1.2 crore houses for the urban poor under the affordable housing scheme.
In one of his keynote addresses, Andreas Baum, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan said that the Indo Swiss collaboration is operating with the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the development of guidelines for energy efficient housing.
“At present India is witnessing a rapid urbanisation, if each building becomes greener than the last one, then we have a huge opportunity and hope for our country. We need to look beyond the conventional methods of building, in order to provide our citizens with a good quality of life. Hence, GRIHA gains important in meeting our national goals with respect to a sustainable society”, says Dr Ajay Mathur, director general, TERI & president, GRIHA Council.
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