Monday, November 2, 2009

You can’t attract hi-tech investment to a city that runs on ‘cattle class’

Architect and urban planner Christopher Charles Benninger speaks about his doubts in calling Pune the seventh metro of the country:

Tain Square at Fatima Nagar Pune, (www.tain-con.com) premium under construction real estate project designed by Christopher Charles Benninger

Why does Pune lack in such basic amenities?

To have basic facilities, one needs the modern development institutions that facilitate development. We do not have an urban development authority within the present leadership. For reasons best known to themselves, the many nationally famous leaders for Pune, simply do not care about Pune!

Even small towns in Andhra Pradesh like Vijayawada have urban development authorities. Such an authority would spread its planning, systems and delivery networks over the entire feudal system of fiefdoms parceled out amongst our leaders.

Pune will not become a metro until it creates statesmen who know what a metro is and dream for their voters.

Is the real estate boom really helping the city? Is the boom real?

Whenever we talk of the real estate industry we are again looking for villains. We need housing and commercial venues and the developers are providing them within the rules set out by our politicians and implemented by our officials.

There was a pent-up need for middle and upper income housing until about two years ago. There was a huge influx of well paid talent into the city, but this demand pushed up the prices well beyond the ‘real value’ of the units.

The press catalyzed this process by hyping up the market through their ‘property’ sections. Land prices went out of control and cheap loans helped artificially lower the EMIs for blown-up prices.

Investors jumped in. They booked apartments for whom there were going to be no residents. They traded from one to another at ever higher prices. Thinking the joy ride would last forever they started using ‘deposits’ on flats to diversify into other profit centres.

The boom is over in real estate, but the city’s economy is booming. We are not a city who lives on real estate; real estate lives on the city.
To read more, please, visit Pune Mirror

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