Redevelopment Buildings are they really worth it?

Recently a retired bank employee vacated his home after signing a redevelopment agreement with a builder. However, still there is no instance of construction at the project yet. The developer says he is still waiting for BMC clearance. We cannot predict how much time further it will take. This case is similar to many other cases in the city for the projects undergoing redevelopment phase. The situation can take a U turn with a  single window clearance system expected to launch in this month, which is set to bring down civil approval in time may be within two months or so. While this will reduce corruption, red tapism,coordinate clearances, and track digital files. All these will have a great impact on project redevelopment. The system will bring the number of approvals from 119 to 58 and make it easy for developers to do the business.

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Redevelopment builders will be sole beneficiary of this amendment as it will lead to faster approvals, lower construction costs and fewer project delays. Most of the redundant permissions deal with redevelopment- it will give an initial boost. In accordance with the policies made by experts, the BMC has provided commencement certificate to clusters of redevelopment projects in Mumbai area, which have been pending for several years. Work on such projects will start soon.

Constant Hiccups

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With steady property rates, if projects are executed faster due to quick approvals and latest technology, now it is right time for old housing society to consider redevelopment. This will offer an immense value addition to the member’s living standard. The family members will receive a new flat along with a wide range of amenities, says managing director of reputed construction firm.  Not to forget, after redevelopment people will enjoy monetary benefits like increased rent for alternate accommodation and a corpus for future maintenance cost like offers will be more attractive. Emotionally too, people will be able to reside in same home and neighborhood, instead of selling their home and moving to all together new locality.

The rule clarify that at least 70% of the residents need to agree for redevelopment of property and with BMC no longer scrutinizing the consent, there is a chance that developer may play with the required numbers, and eventually force the occupants to evict their home through unscrupulous means. The architect of the redevelopment project is required to submit a certificate from a lawyer that proper consent has been taken, and agreements have been made with the home owners, after which BMC grant permission. This also protect the interest of the residents and minority will have to agree with terms and rules.

Secondly, though the number of approvals has been reduced, it remains still a question whether authority will be able to churn out all the cases. That means at least one permission in a day.

Hiccups in redevelopment

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Though all this process will slash time in taking civic approvals, it may have limited impact on completion of big projects that require approval from big agencies. Building proposals are granted by state and central government and civil aviation ministries like MMRDA, MHADA,MIDC, NHAI, to name a few. Under the new process, developers must submit No Objection certificate at the proposal stage, says Ramesh Nair, business and international director of reputed construction firm. This will elongate the pre-submission timeline, unless state and central department work together to get real estate approvals. While they are in process of speeding up the approvals, some hurdles like the lacks of coordination between the agencies need to be sorted out. For example, the environmental clearance required for building the projects with built up area of over 20,000 square metre is amongst the cumbersome milestone. Since 2014 it has become mandatory to obtain environmental clearance certificate before redeveloping  a property. This approval will take few months, if not years. This will continue until the state of housing reforms isn’t implemented.

How can the process can be revitalized?

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Meanwhile though some individuals have opted for redevelopment over various years ago, there are still thousands of buildings in the city that could be effectively revitalized through collective and united cluster development plan, which not only allows the residents to negotiate for a better package through collective bargaining but also allows systematic infrastructural development. Experts are of opinion that the overall project transformation of an area will be better in case of cluster development.

While the residents should protect their interest, they should also consider the face reality of the project during the negotiations with the developer, says Ashok Mehra, managing director of reputed construction firm that specializes in redevelopment project. The reputation of the developer and past projects should be considered, so that the members don’t find themselves in a lurch with a developer who has made tall promises and who is unable to complete the project.

More use of vertical spaces, more open areas, state-of-the-art infrastructure will be better in case of cluster development. More use of vertical space will enable more buyers towards the project. The need of hour is to develop infrastructure to keep in pace with the changing times. The city cannot afford more slums or areas with broken infrastructure along with poor living conditions.

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