Keeping in view the demand for affordable housing, Baviskar Group launched its debut project named Shankarsheela complex. All the flats were sold to Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) staff at a very affordable cost, says Prakash Baviskar, Founder, Baviskar Group of Companies, in conversation with Harshal Desai of Elets News Network (ENN).
Please brief us about Baviskar Group of Companies? How has your esteemed organisation grown over the last 10 years?
M/s Bhawani Vikasak (India) Private Limited being a part of Baviskar Group, incorporated on March 22, 2000 , by its Chairman and Managing Director, is today one of the fastest growing construction companies. The company is one of the top two selected for CREDAI AWARDS and CNBC AWARD for Corporate Social Responsibility and Category Affordable Housing in Metro Cities across India. Added to this is the company’s compelling motive of being a socially responsible enterprise since its commencement. Our Mission is to leave no stone unturned to fulfil the dreams of the common man, enriching their life.
We have done a thorough market study and tried to balance the demand & supply ratio which enabled us to produce targeted affordable housing efficiently. Currently we have obtained CC for a project of almost 200 affordable flats at Vasind, Thane. Also, an integrated township Project approved by the Government of Maharashtra, is one of our colossal projects in pipeline. This project targets more than 10,000 homes, out of which almost 80 percent units are absolutely under PMAY affordable slab.BGC started its journey with a noble cause & is holding firm its passion to shelter India affordably, and is now heading towards higher targets.
What are your views on Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) – Urban? How will this scheme benefit the urban poor?
In a city like Mumbai, various factors including land cost adds to the hiked costs of the housing units, thus owning a shelter in an urban setup remains a far-fetched dream for many & PMAY will definitely prove to be of greater benefits to urban poor, if executed efficiently.
The housing demand registered to draft an outline for the requirement statistics in housing sector, is one of a noble idea aptly implemented by the governing authorities, thus sufficing the demand & preventing unwanted construction in the sector.
This idea of registering the housing demand was put forth by our organisation & I was truly thankful to the Central Government for appointing me as a member of monitoring & sanctioning committee over the Maharashtra state.
What are the challenges you see while implementing the PMAY–U across the States?
The major challenge in implementing the PMAY is land use zoning. There is a R zone reserved for the land where the land owners are not interested or in a position to do development in near future and on the contrary Green zone is marked where people are ready for development and all positive infrastructure is available.
A sensitive approach towards fabrication of zoning patterns will hike the success graph of PMAY scheme.
What are the policy changes required? Which are the elements which need to be focused on to ensure successful execution of PMAY–U?
Approval process should be fast. Speedy approvals will be the gamechanger for returns on land, as every six month delay of the project increases the project cost by 5 percent in lagging interests, increasing market cost etc.
As mentioned earlier the major problem is of land use zoning which needs to be resolved. So, an independent committee should be formed which exclusively look after this will issue of Land use Zoning & Zone changing approvals at Taluka & District levels too.
Various charges for the permissions are humongous, sometimes the charges are more than the land cost. So it should be reduced somewhere which will directly lower down the cost of housing and thus PMAY Urban can be implemented successfully.
Approval /State /Local Authorities responsible for project sanctions should also be brought under RERA operations, for humble sharing of delay credits of any proposed project.
The period of execution of infrastructure connect to the projects, displaying higher scopes & interest of developing affordable units under PMAY, should be acted on high priority, thus preventing greater losses to the current & future economy.
Valuation of land is nowhere realistic today & so the Government should produce an authentic and realistic land valuation to achieve an actual land value. This may lead to the hiked flats cost, & thus to reduce it, the stamp duty rates & the related charges & taxes need to be brought down. This concept will not affect or reduce the revenue generation of the Government.
Do you think that the developers need to be given some other incentives to increase their participation?
Certainly Developers should be given incentives in form of lower permission cost and faster development permissions. In case if the permission is getting denied then all the issues should be informed to the developers in one single letter and once the queries are solved or the requirement is fulfilled by developer then no further delay should be there in granting permission.
Speeding up the approval procedures & cutting down of Stamp duty & various development charges & taxes may boost the developers to perform better in the sector.
Permissions for respective development of Tribal, forest & government lands as per pre-decided policies should be brought down to Tahasildar Level for better access to commoners.
Will you like to share any other information with our readers?
Affordable housing is in very high demand and PMAY is a very good initiative by our Government providing it gets executed successfully. BGC is in coordination with Government and have sent various communications mentioning the problems which are being faced by developers / land owners at the ground level.
Thus, we conclude with some highlighters as follows, which will definitely enhance the development sector to next level:
- Speedy approvals
- On priority execution of trunk infrastructure to the proposal sites of PMAY & greater scale Integrated township projects.
- Bringing development procedures of tribal lands, government land to lower better accessible levels, as to Tahsildar level.
- Proposing large parcels of land (of almost 40 Ha or more) as Town planning schemes contributing towards the affordability motto of PMAY. As well as promote the developers with clear titles of such large stretch of lands, towards the noble purpose of elevating the housing sector efficiently.
- Forming a dedicated cell for Township projects at Director of Town planning levels, in view of development permissions.