Slowdown has hit the realty sector rather hard. Infrastructure projects too have slowed down somewhat. But Ajit Gulabchand, chairman and managing director of Hindustan Construction Co Ltd (HCC), is not worried. The company is going full throttle on its ambitious Lavasa lake city project and has also bid for the Worli-Haji Ali sealink project. In a chat with DNA, Gulabchand elaborates on the reasons behind these moves. Excerpts...
A lot has been said about your Lavasa project. How is it coming along?We were so encouraged by the sales during the last one year that we have advanced the phase that we were to complete in 2022 to 2015. By 2012, there will be 10,000 students and executives studying there. By then, there will be 1,000 rooms. Phase 1 B and phase II will begin together. What we hoped to complete by 2030, we will complete by 2022.
A lot of people, especially analysts, have misgivings about the project....
It's time to stop calling it a real estate development. I would like to say we are in the business of comprehensive urban development and management in which real estate is just one vertical. This is about creating a whole new hill station town, a whole new urban centre with hospitality and tourism and education at its centre.
It's not a resort town. It is being sold across socio-economic strata. On the one side, we have studio apartments for Rs 10-15 lakh. On the other, villas for Rs 1.5 crore. We also have a lot of affordable housing on rent. There will be 50,000 people living there and 20,000 tourists on any given day. There will be 1,00,000 chawl-like places for people like drivers to stay in. We are going to have star hotels and also Rs 150-a-day dormitories. We are now in the process of discussing a private-public partnership for providing police services in Lavasa.
To read Mr. Gulabchand on property rates, e-governance, progress of works and an initial public offer (IPO) of Lavasa please, visit - Ashish K Tiwari and G Seetharaman:DNA: Money:
Related Stories:1) Lavasa to set up first space-themed park by 2010
2) Hindustan Construction Company advances phase-II development of Lavasa
3) Lavasa - bookings for the 2nd phase to open in the coming festive season
4) Hindustan Construction Company’s upcoming townships in Pune, Nashik and Thane on hold
What is Nanded City Pune or Blue Ridge Hinjewadi?
Amanora Park Town, Blue Ridge Hinjewadi, Megapolis and Nanded City Pune are integrated townships formed under special township act.
These townships are not as big as Lavasa.
However, these townships are supposed to provide all infrastructure support services, like water, electricity, security, waste management to their citizens. Which Pune Municipal Corporation can't provide.
It means these townships also are not "real estate projects" but "Mini Municipal Corporations" or "City States" without any traditional revenue sources like property tax and octrai or funding from State and Central government!
I think a person who believes that these integrated townships will sustain and prosper without any substantial and assured revenue source must be a follower of some secret spiritual cult which believe that truthful and pure human being can survive for ages without water and food.
If you remove the corrupt political system (PMC) and surrender to the holy businessman (Aniruddha Deshpande or Ajit Gulabchand!) you can enjoy high standard of living and may be (digital) Nirvana!
Are you one of them? Please, tell me why you don't believe in the Municipal, State or Central Government's capacity to provide you better infrastructure? When in reality, today all private companies, all over the world, are begging their governments to bail out! Please, share you thoughts in the comments. (Comments Policy),
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