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Friday, April 17, 2015

Mumbai resident ‘duped’ of Rs 7 crore with promise of 22 flats

Mumbai resident ‘duped’ of Rs 7 crore with promise of 22 flats

A Santacruz resident, who had paid up Rs 7 crore in connection with the purchase of 22 flats in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai, has lodged a cheating complaint with the economic offences wing of the Mumbai police.Mateen Hafeez  
MUMBAI: A Santacruz resident, who had paid up Rs 7 crore in connection with the purchase of 22 flats in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai, has lodged a cheating complaint with the economic offences wing of the Mumbai police. An offence has been registered against three partners of Monarch Universal GroupGopal Thakur, Hasmukh Thakur and Roshan Sethbesides real estate agent Kiran Perwani who brokered the deal.

Pariani said that he had been given documents after he made the payment but he later learnt that the flats were mortgaged to a non-banking financial firm from whom the accused firm had allegedly taken a loan of Rs 40 crore.

Police sources said that Pariani had given the agent four cheques for Rs 7 crore for 22 flats. In exchange, he was issued agreement letters, agreement for sale, an irrevocable power of attorney, possession letter and other documents in his favour.

Pariani has told the police that his attempts to get the documents registered were stopped by the accused. Subsequently, Pariani decided to get the same registered independently. At the sub-registrar's office in Panvel, he learnt that the developers had mortaged some flats of the said projects (including the ones meant for him) to a non-banking company, Capri Global Private Limited, and the mortgage deed had been kept at the sub-registrar's office. Accordingly, he was told to bring a no-objection certificate from this company.

When Pariani approached the company, he was told that the developers had mortgaged many flats with them for which the company had financed Rs 40 crore.

Police sources said that the accused allegedly misrepresented facts to Pariani and other investors about mortgage and finance from Capri Global.

Monarch Universal Group could not reached for comment during the weekend holiday.

All you need to know about NRI home loans

All you need to know about NRI home loans

Whether you are a Vijay Desai, a retired stock exchange broker living in Mumbai’s Kalbadevi Road or a Rima Mukherjee, a head honcho in one of Dubai’s leading recruitment company, the desire to own a home is ubiquitous. Magicbricks data indicate India as a popular investment avenue not just with resident Indians but also with Indians posted offshore or on secondments to international destinations. United Arab Emirates, United States of America and United Kingdom are the leading countries who look up for realty updates in Magicbricks. If you are planning to apply for a home loan while posted abroad, there are a few things which you should know.

  • One needs to be eligible for home loans. A home loan is sanctioned to the NRIs to purchase a house either ready-built, under construction or from a second owner or for if you are building a property on a plot of land. One can also avail financial services to purchase a plot of land allotted by a society / development authority or for redecoration or upgrade of an existing property in India.
  • Are you eligible to apply for a NRI home loan? Overall, the qualifier is the same for resident Indians and NRIs. In the case of the latter, the applicant has to be a graduate; should have requisite employment documents as a proof to his/her work experience; probability of continuing abroad for the loan tenure and probability of servicing the loan with an extended tenure in case you have to return to India. To spend in an immovable property in India, you should have an Indian origin (PIO) - held Indian passport at any point in time; or your father or grandfather was a citizen of India. You cannot be a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan to invest in the country
  • Check for documents that need to be submitted. Usually, a copy of the passport and works contract is mandatory along with the power of attorney (POA). The third element is crucial as the borrower is not based in India and in such a scenario; the HFC would need a representative 'in lieu of' the NRI to deal with as required
  • Normally, five years is the repayment period of NRI home loans. Some Housing Finance Companies extend the term to seven years. EMI is the popular choice of refund, which begins only after the entire loan is disbursed. If it is a case of part disbursement, normal interest rate would be levied the availed loan amount. The mode of payment is by way of direct remittances from abroad through normal banking channels or from such accounts as may be permitted by RBI from time to time. NRO, NRE, NRNR and FCNR accounts are some ways of payment. However, these accounts change on the basis of RBI permissions to each HFC

Now that you have clarity on whether you can or not get homes loans and whether you are eligible to invest in India, think of visiting www.magicbricks.com to arm yourself with a plethora of choices in any city of India.

Magicbricks bureau


Let our cities first be sustainable and smart

Let our cities first be sustainable and smart

The characteristics of a Smart City are generally attributed to a town which is neat, stylish or elegant in appearance, is easily accessible by any mode of transport and is environment friendly. Smart Cities are efficient, intelligent, integrated, efficient, effective, adaptive and attractive.

In India, the development of a smart city is a huge challenge, especially for the town planners to seriously ponder over innovative concepts and then churn out pragmatic and realistic ideas which may be debated amongst governments, development authorities, experts, thinkers and public. Needless to mention here that every state or union territory has its own peculiar ethos, culture, traditions, architecture and therefore, to carve out a Smart City model which is locally acceptable is a daunting task for the town planners.

Before developing smart cities, the planners have to clearly understand its characteristics which broadly are as under:

  1. A smart city uses digital technologies to enhance performance and well-being, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens. Key 'smart' sectors include transport, environment, energy, health care, water and waste.
  2. A smart city should be able to respond faster to city and global challenges than one with a simple 'transactional' relationship with its citizens.
  3. Interest in smart cities is motivated by major challenges, including climate change, economic restructuring, moving to on-line retail and entertainment, ageing populations, and pressures on public finances.
  4. It involves regional competitiveness, effective transportation, enhanced communication technologies, better quality of life and participation of citizens in the governance of cities.
  5. A smart city is one that has digital technology embedded across all city functions.
  6. A city can be defined as ‘smart’ when investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory action and engagement.

Key factors

The key factors for the Smart City are - smart governance, smart energy, smart buildings, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart healthcare and smart citizens. A smart city brings together technology, government and the society to achieve all the above characteristics.

A Smart City offers sustainability in terms of economic activities and employment opportunities to a wide section of its residents, regardless of their level of education, skills or income levels.

Smart cities make more efficient use of physical infrastructure (roads, built environment and other physical assets) to support a strong and healthy economic, social, cultural development.

They also engage effectively with local people in local governance and decision by use of open innovation processes and e-participation with emphasis placed on citizen participation and co-design, and they help learn, adapt and innovate and thereby respond more effectively and promptly to changing circumstances.

What our cities need

Our major capital city like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai leave much to be desired. The population of Delhi now hovers around 2.50 crore and if we add population of the NCR towns like Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgoan, Noida, Sonepat etc to its kitty, Delhi has already crossed its saturation limits in every conceivable aspect.

The road connectivity of  NCR Towns to Delhi and vice versa has saturated its carrying  capacity  many years back, but unfortunately no serious  efforts  were made to widen these roads to ensure that traffic run smoothly. As a matter of fact, on account of the indifference and lack-lustre attitude of the concerned authorities, the existing narrow roads have not been maintained in a proper manner.

The traffic remains stranded for hours together resulting in continuous emanation of toxic fumes which is a serious health hazard and is a cause for serious concern. The immediate impact of the toxic fumes is on the travelling public, followed by people living in the colonies located on both sides of these roads and the general public of Delhi.

smart-city-info

The state and central government are fully aware about this menace but stay silent to address this serious health hazard.  The Apex Court, the National Green Tribunal and the Pollution Control Boards of Delhi and the neighbouring States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana have already sounded alarm bells about the deteriorating air pollution of Delhi. 

Why no serious efforts have been made by the National Capital Region Planning Board governed by the Union Urban Development Ministry or for that matter by Delhi Government and State Governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and by the National Highway Authority under the Union Ministry of Transport to widen these peripheral roads is a big Question Mark?

A visit to these peripheral roads will reveal the truth. During 2003, Environmental Pollution and Control Authority suggested two peripheral roads adjoining Delhi to cut diesel-belching pollution from the estimated 80,000 trucks that pass through Delhi every night. With the economy picking up fast, the number of commercial trucks passing through Delhi has already crossed one lakh mark. 

Supreme Court has given a go ahead signal for the construction of two expressways. In 2006, plans were drawn for the construction of two Expressways, each about 135 km long. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Greater Noida and Palwal and the Western Express aims to connect Kundli to the Expressways.

Even after a decade of the go-ahead signal by the Supreme Court, these important Expressways are still a pipe dream which unambiguously highlight beyond reasonable doubt that only lip sympathy is provided by all concerned and the problem proliferate like a cancerous disease. Despite the Apex Court displaying its displeasure about the very slow pace of the work, the authorities continue to be callous and careless as no tangible steps have been taken by the authorities to quicken the pace of construction.

The CNG introduced in Delhi no doubt has its impact on Delhi pollution. However, in the NCR towns like Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon etc., the auto rickshaws are still run on diesel and they pick up passengers from the borders of Delhi and the toxic fume which these vehicles emanate become part of the pollution of Delhi. It is one of the fundamental reasons for the rising pollution in Delhi. It is high time that diesel auto rickshaws in these NCR towns should be banned forthwith and in its place electric/CNG auto rickshaws should be introduced.

Similar is the fate of other metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai etc. In these cities, like Delhi, the pollution is rising at a rapid pace and there is lurking fear that if no practical and time bound  steps are  taken to control this menace, it will result in epidemic situation. All the major cities of the country are booming with over-population, traffic snarls and lack of transport connectivity. On daily basis, thousands of rural people migrate to these cities to earn their livelihood which further increase the traffic.  It is a continuous process which cannot be controlled in a lack-lustre manner.

The solution

Before the smart city concept becomes a reality in our country, it is important that in the first instance, the existing peripheral roads of  major State capital cities  and National Capital  Region are widened in such a manner that they can take care of the traffic for atleast next two decades. This is a herculean task which requires serious introspection by the Central and State Governments. The only way out of the present chaotic conditions is for the Central Government to entrust this work to the National Highway Authority and the expenditure involved for widening the existing peripheral roads of our major cities is borne by the Central Government. Charity begins at home. Let Central Government make this beginning from Delhi.

To begin with, the Western Peripheral Expressway and the Eastern Peripheral Expressway including the peripheral roads connecting Delhi to its satellite towns around the national capital may be directed to be constructed by the National Highway Authority and fully-funded by the Central Government.   The smart city can become smart only if their connectivity to our major capital cities is hassle-free, environmental friendly and possesses the characteristics highlight above.

Raj Mohan, Retired government official based in New Delhi, Consultant to Former Chairman, Law Commission of India.

Is Indian real estate set to change forever

Is Indian real estate set to change forever?

E Jayashree Kurup | April 16, 2015 @ 04:57 PM

These have been turbulent times for the Indian real estate industry. Or the calm before the storm if you will. 

In the last two to three weeks, I have witnessed many incidents that will have a direct bearing on the real estate industry. The National Green Tribunal's ruling that the vast amount of construction along the  Noida Expressway is contributing to pollution is promising. Despite the fact that the fortune of thousands of home buyers is impacted, it was critical that there is some statutory check on the unruly building practices. The leniency in giving them time to correct themselves is extremely positive.


That India is facing a 22.7 million units housing shortage and trying to cover the gap in just seven years by 2022 is ambitious. However, without stringent controls the entire country would face the type of pollution that the NCR is facing. For a healthy and prosperous India where there is adequate shelter to house all its citizens, these checks are critical. Else healthcare costs rising due to rampant pollution would be the price to pay.


Another policy move that warmed the cockles of my heart was the stricture given to the banks by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan. In no uncertain terms, he told the country and the banking community that there would be no sops if the benefits of basis point cuts are not passed on to the consumers. Within hours of this chiding, three leading banks have dropped interest rates on home loans. Many others have followed. 

Many consumer surveys on Magicbricks tell us that rising home loan interest rates is one of the critical factors for deteriorating consumer sentiment. Many feel if they take a loan on higher rates the new benefits do not flow to all.

However, in an ideal situation, a home loan consumer should be able to take a floating rate of interest and rest assured that the benefits of falling rates will come to him or her too. That has not happened for a while and only new consumers get the special benefits of lower rates. After years of being taken for granted the consumer prefers to err on the side of caution. That is not good for the industry or the consumer. The small cuts in interest rates and the RBI Governor’s tough stance show a tilt towards the day of the consumer. Will the buyer shed his inhibitions and start negotiating?  

E Jayashree Kurup is Head, Content & Research, Magicbricks.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mumbai promises home for everyone

Mumbai promises home for everyone

Surbhi Gupta | April 13, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

Every Mumbaikar would be finding a home in their budget very soon. Even though Mumbai real estate market is the most expensive in the country, government initiatives will make affordable housing a reality.
Recently Prakash Mehta, Housing Minister recently announced government’s plan to construct affordable houses in Mumbai. This would be constructed not just in Greater Mumbai region but also on the outskirts to provide a roof overhead.

Although, affordable housing is still a rarity in Mumbai real estate pricing, the government is busy making it a plausible. At present, it is finalising the project location such as Ramabai Colony in Ghatkopar, as announced by Mehta.

“Constructing affordable housing projects in Mumbai region would be a challenging task. However, building those on the outskirts can be a good idea if infrastructural development is ensured. Good schools and colleges, medical facilities and quality living should be focused upon, otherwise we would end up in creating more slums,” says Mohit Verma, co-owner, Prenatic Properties and advisories.


Recently areas such as Boisar, Murbad and Kalamboli have made headlines because of the availability of properties below Rs 20 lakh. Availability of large size land parcel makes these areas a perfect choice for constructing low-budget homes.

These areas are not just popular because of the presence of branded realty players but have also gained fame for the kind of quality construction being offered. “Areas like Boisar and Shahapur have attracted second home investment from Mumbaikars. These localities would take considerable time to appeal first time home buyers,” says Tushar Bharuch, one of the property brokers dealing in this area.

Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority will be the planning authority which will clear building proposals in five days and the onus will be on the architect to ensure everything is within the law.

However, there is another way to find a home in your budget. Just login to Magicbricks.com that offers maximum options in each budget category along with locality insights and comparison tools at one click.

Surbhi Gupta is a real estate correspondent in Magicbricks’ editorial team with the flair of analysing the industry trends and scenario.

You can reach us at editor@magicbricks.com for further queries, feedback and comment.

 

Larger than life dreams to push Mumbai realty?

Larger than life dreams to push Mumbai realty?


Often termed as the city of dreams, Mumbai is actually a destination where most money-makers want to live. To give these dreams a reality touch, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) has planned big for the city, yet another time.

This time MMRDA would not just be constructing new infrastructure but also developing and upgrading the existing ones such as modernizing Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and extending monorail and metro rail line to planned areas.

New infrastructure development includes Wadala Terminus that will connect BKC to Eastern Express Highway. This development is expected to clear traffic snarls between the two strategic points of the city that connects the tip of the city to ‘self-acclaimed’ Central Business District of Mumbai.

However, the concept of smart city was ignored by MMRDA. The body has granted just Rs 906 crore for urban development outside Mumbai. If sources are to be believed Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Kalwa are the three locales where smart city plan is going to be implemented.

As per the MMRDA statement, since the smart city concept is still in planning stage, funds have not been allocated and would be done once the concept note from the central government would be released.

The suburban railway network enabling easy transportation took the major chunk of total budget. Apart from expanding the railway network, the budget ensures easy, safe and swifter connectivity.

Impact on realty

As traveling to distant location would become easy with improved network of railways, realty in Greater Mumbai which is already booming might receive further boost.

 “Areas like Kanjurmagr, Mulund, Nahur and Bhandup are witnessing high pace realty growth because of availability of land. The supply would also complement demand if connectivity and infrastructure is boosted,” says Kishor Awasthi, head-Real Estate Solutions, Harquee Investments and Advisories.

For other areas such as Navi Mumbai and Thane, it is essential to come up with jobs in close vicinity, if life quality needs to be upgraded.

With more than Rs 2,000 crore budget, Mumbai city is all set to witness the dynamic development spree and would transform the city skyline which still consists of slums, despite of being a financial hub of the country.

Surbhi Gupta is a real estate correspondent in Magicbricks’ editorial team with the flair of analysing the industry trends and scenario.

You can reach us at editor@magicbricks.com for further queries, feedback and comment

What it's like living in the world's most expensive apartment building, One Hyde Park

What it's like living in the world's most expensive apartment building, One Hyde Park

by a luxury property developer who wishes to remain anonymous so as not to offend his investors or clients.He is not associated with One Hyde Park.

One Hyde Park still has vacancies eight years after completion.

This article was written for Business Insider by a luxury property developer who wishes to remain anonymous so as not to offend his investors or clients. He is not associated with One Hyde Park.

One Hyde Park is said by some to be the most exclusive address in London - maybe the world. In 2010, a penthouse there sold for a rumoured 140 million, which makes it the most expensive residential building on Earth, if true.

Developed by the Candy brothers, it sits pride of place in Knightsbridge overlooking, as its name suggests, Hyde Park. To give you an idea of the kind of people who live inside One Hyde Park, consider the shops inside the development: Rolex, McLaren Automotive and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

As a luxury real estate developer who has worked in the world of inward UK investment for the past 10 years, I have advised some of the world's wealthiest individuals, family offices and international companies.

I recently visited One Hyde Park to view two "newly released" apartments for sale by the developer, Candy & Candy. (I was just curious. I had no intention or indeed means to buy anything.) Given that the first apartments went on sale some eight years ago it might be said that's a long sales cycle.

10 million for a one-bedroom flat

On approaching you're aware of being scanned by the bowler-hatted guards, who have the bearing of a team charged with securing a military base rather than a central London block of flats. If you are one of the few people owning apartments in the building who actually visit - some owners appear to be absentee property investors - does this security bolster your self image or merely add to a nagging fear and paranoia of the world outside your "super rich bubble"?

I consider just saying hello and walking in, as you would in any other central London apartment block or hotel, but it is made very clear that's not an option.

Having provided the correct "password" I enter the bubble and the vacuum lock is closed behind me.

There is silence and marble

In fact rather a lot of marble.

I've left the cosmopolitan atmosphere of London - an energetic city that bustles with creativity and chaos - and I've entered the bland, monochrome world of the super rich. Along with mere mortals, colour, noise and indeed any sign of vibrancy has been excluded.

Screen Shot 2015 04 08 at 10.11.25

One Hyde Park

Staff in buttoned-down uniforms look down in silence at (presumably) computer screens behind the reception desk. No one looks up. Others wander down the staircase, but except the sales agent and a representative of the Candy brothers, who I am meeting, there is no one else to clutter the marble. No "neighbours," in other words.

Everyone viewing these apartments must be accompanied by a Candy representative, ostensibly there to answer any questions. We take the lift up, which opens onto a long silent corridor. Turning a corner, workmen are making minor repairs to a sea of marble. They virtually flatten themselves against the wall, look down, and make no eye contact.

No eye contact from staff

No eye contact from staff seems to be some sort of rule. Does this make the residents as uncomfortable as me, or is it what they expect?

We must remove our shoes before entering the apartment, I am not allowed to take any photographs (image control). And I am told I must purchase the furniture and fittings that the developer has dressed the apartment in. I can't even have my own stuff!

The apartment's fixtures, soft furnishings and furniture are all monochrome, marble and silent. The bay window overlooking Knightsbridge lets in no sound from the busy junction below. Red buses, black cabs and people going about their business are framed as a silent movie. There is no apparent way to open a window. Your air will be provided by an air conditioning system, and your food by a corridor linked to The Mandarin Hotel next door.

Screen Shot 2015 04 08 at 10.14.07

One Hyde Park

I feel no connection to London beyond the walls. Not even your fellow residents. You might expect to wave to your neighbours as you stand in the bay, but vertical slats prevent anyone seeing anybody else.

The isolation is complete

After seeing another apartment (you've guessed the decor), the gym, and swimming pool, and seeing no one - not a single person - in the building other than staff, I make my excuses and leave.

Of course walking in or out the front door could be viewed as breaking the rules of this club, as no real resident would do so without a driver waiting at the rear entrance to whisk them to another airtight building.

As I walk on to the pavement I'm immediately hit by noise and smells, real life. One Hyde Park is a testimony to a class who believe they are divorced from the rest of society and are happy to isolate themselves from it.

They have succeeded in building a soulless palace devoid of life.

Do you have a business story you'd like to tell anonymously? email jedwards@businessinsider.com if so.

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