Integrated townships are the answer to the increasing land and construction costs in cities

In most big cities in the country, land prices have skyrocketed. Townships planned by developers, while also addressing all the needs of those who intend to live in them, away from cities, are the way forward, says Pradeep Jain, Chairman, CREDAI. Even as the city warms up to the idea of townships that promote the ‘work, play, live’ way of living, Jain stresses on the need for developers to provide all the necessary amenities such as proper roads, taxis and even emergency services within the township just as the government takes care of the amenities outside the township.

Talking about the proposed Land Bill, he says, “Once the Bill is passed, any kind of public-private partnership in development will be difficult except perhaps in large-scale public projects and civic services.” And of the FDI’s impact on the sector, he says, “FDI was the need of the hour and I am confident that its impact will be felt on the realty sector over the next three to four years.”

Addressing growing concern about the lack of affordable housing in the county, Jain says, “There needs to be a single window clearance system for affordable housing projects. Uniformity in terms of rules and regulations across the States and clarity on what can be the size of affordable homes is also the need of the hour.”

This confusion particularly prevails in the wake of the recent RBI announcement to allow external commercial borrowings (ECB) for low-cost and affordable housing, Jain explains.

According to the RBI, “a low-cost affordable housing scheme for availing ECB would be a project in which at least 60 per cent of the permissible FSI (floor space index) would be for units having a maximum carpet area up to 60 square metres”. However, Jain says that many States’ local norms do not permit homes in these specifications. “Developers will certainly take this on more seriously once these needs are concerned,” he adds before signing off.