Monthly Archives: August 2009

Affordable housing needs a holistic look

By Rajshri Mehta & Ranjona Banerji in DNA India

Is the housing situation in Mumbai going to get any easier for the middle class person who aspired to own a home? To find out, we invited the realty men over to discuss the situation.

The panel had Sitaram Kunte, principal secretary (housing) for the Maharashtra government; Parag Munot, director with Kalpataru Constructions; Gautam Chatterjee, CEO of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada); Vikas Oberoi, MD of Oberoi Constructions; Aditi Vijayakar, executive director (residential) at Cushman & Wakefield; Boman Irani, MD of the Rustomjee Group; Nabil Patel, director at DB Realty; Santosh Naik, CEO & MD of Disha Direct Pravin Doshi, chairman of Acme Housing and Brotin Banerjee, CEO of Tata Housing.

While rates are still high, our experts feel that prospective buyers should take advantage of the economic recession to buy now when rates are a bit lower than they were even last year. As far as affordable housing in general is concerned, it seems that a public-private partnership is the best available option.

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Tallest in Asia: Maharashtra moots Asia’s tallest tower

This article appeared in the Business Standard today. Is it just me or does anyone else think this is a really ridiculous idea? Just building tall for the heck of it makes no sense at all. There is no infrastructure to support such a tower, and getting into the tallest tower race is really doomed. There will always be another one. Funnily the excuse for building this is equally stupid. Arguably, the whole idea of Maharastra was a step down from the State of Bombay that existed before being splintered. People of our parents and grandparents generation could throw a lot more light on this.

The Maharashtra government is marking 50 years of the state by planning 50 ambitious projects, including Asia’s tallest building in the city.

“We have proposed the building as an iconic tower, which would be Asia’s tallest and have invited design and construction bids for it,” a senior official from the urban development department said.

The 531-metre high tower will be built at Wadala in Central Mumbai over 14 hectares of land, the official said, adding that the proposal has been submitted to the government. The tower will have commercial, recreational, academic and entertainment facilities, he said, adding, “the place has been chosen in such a way that it would be a conversion point for the proposed Monorail and Metro rail.”

To mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the coastal state, formed in 1960, the Congress-NCP Government is planning several projects. Chief Secretary Johny Joseph has convened a meeting of all departments tomorrow in this regard, the official said.

Original article here.