Punjab: Mullanpur to be New Chandigarh

PUNJAB DECIDES TO CALL MULLANPUR NEW CHANDIGARH
Tribune India

To cash in on Chandigarh’s stature of being the first planned city of the country, the Punjab Government has renamed its Mullanpur township on the city’s periphery, adjoining the PGI, as “New Chandigarh”.

The new name, “hijacked” from an earlier proposal by late Chief Minister Beant Singh, is likely to benefit all those who have a high stake in the area, be it politicians, bureaucrats or private builders.

The changed name has the stamp of approval of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who took the decision at a recent meeting of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Board chaired by him. Defending the decision, SS Sandhu, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, said it was a normal practice to keep the name of a new township on the adjoining established major cities. He cited the example of Navi Mumbai to justify the decision. He claimed that the decision had been taken on the basis of a feedback from the public. At the meeting, which was also attended by the Financial Commissioner, Revenue, and Principal Secretaries of Revenue, Local Government, Commerce and Industry, Rural Development and Environment, it was decided that the Mullanpur Local Planning Area (LPA) as conceived in the masterplan be rechristened as New Chandigarh.

GRAND PLANS FOR MULLANPUR
The Times of India

MOHALI: Located between Chandigarh and Mohali, the sleepy town of Mullanpur would soon have a unique identity with Punjab government drawing big plans for it.

The ‘Local Planning Area’ (LPA) document of Mullanpur’s master plan suggests that 4,000 hectare of buildable area for development of new townships and urban activities is available, which makes large-scale development plausible. According to the plan, the area is going to have a golf course, spa village, turf club with grandstand area for 5,000 horses, lifestyle sports hub, indoor stadium, eco park, health village and hi-tech technology park.

The LPA, accessed by TOI, states most of the land in Mullanpur – around 75.5% – is currently used for agriculture and is chiefly a green field site. Plans to develop the town can roll out easily with little hindrance or need for urban renewal or redevelopment, it adds.

Real Estate

THE NEW PRECINCTS OF REALTY GROWTH
Business Standard

Integrated township projects offer developers an opportunity to cash in on the revival in demand for residential & commercial space

Ajay Arora, a multinational software company employee, commutes 2 hours daily to work in rush-hour traffic. He spends as much time — sometimes more — on the journey home. Driving is his passion, but given the gridlock going into Bangalore almost the time, he recently hired a driver. Still, he is frustrated by the amount of time he spends on road.

Then, his firm took office space in an integrated township in Bangalore. “It was a dream come true,” he says. “This township includes my office and I am taking a flat that is hardly 10 minutes away on foot. It has a shopping mall, multiplex, hospital, school and most of the necessary amenities within walking distance,” says Arora.

GLOBAL PROPERTY INVESTMENTS TO HIT $380 BILLION IN 2011
The Economic Times


LONDON: Global direct real estate investment is forecast to rise 20 percent this year to $380 billion, led by a sharp rebound in the United States, with total volumes still about half the market’s 2007 peak, a report said.

Investments in commercial real estate, mainly offices, malls, and industrial properties, had reached $316 billion in 2010, a 50 percent jump from an eight-year low of $209 billion in 2009, property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle said.

Investment volumes soared to $759 billion at the market’s peak in 2007, before the property bubble burst and helped trigger the 2008 global financial crisis.

Infrastructure

PRIVATE BANKS LINE UP TO FUND ROADS
Business Standard

Balarami Reddy, executive director-finance of Hyderabad-based IVRCL (the engineering, procurement and construction company), is one of those lucky chief financial officers who could manage 30-40 per cent oversubscription while raising debt for his road projects.

“This was the case four years back too. The ease of fund-raising depends on the lender’s confidence in the company,” he said.

The difference between then and now, he says, is that lenders such as Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are participating. “Four years back, there were only nationalised banks, as private banks would not touch these long-term projects. But they have now started lending to the sector,” said Reddy.

METRO’S PHASE III GETS BIGGER, TO COVER 105 KM
The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The extension of the Metro network just got bigger. According to E Sreedharan , the head of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), phase III of the network will cover 105 km now, instead of the proposed 70km earlier .

“After incorporating suggestions from the Delhi government, we have realigned some of the corridors. Now, we will be going into outer Delhi areas like Bawana as well as touch Jamia Milia Islamia University,” said the Metro Man.

Phase III, which will cost Rs 28,000 crore for the Delhi extensions, is expected to be completed by March 2016 and will include neighbouring localities like Faridabad and Noida.

METRO AIRPORT LINE NOD DELAYED OVER SECURITY
New Delhi
The Pioneer

The spat over deployment of security on the Delhi Airport Express Metro is delaying the inauguration of the corridor despite getting clearance from the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety. While the Reliance Infrastructure is keen on handing over the security to private agencies, the Union Home Ministry is firm on assigning the task to the CISF, which is maintaining the security of the entire metro network.

METRO NOT BEING EXTENDED TO MANESAR: SREEDHARAN
New Delhi
The Times of India

Haryana’s claim to extend the Metro services to Manesar appear to be far-fetched with DMRC chairman E Sreedharan denying expansion of the modern urban rail service beyond Gurgaon’s HUDA City Centre in the immediate future.

METRO RAIL PROJECT SEEN TO BEGIN IN MARCH
Hyderabad
The Hindu Business Line

Ground work on the Hyderabad Metro Rail project should begin in March after the financial closure is achieved, said the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy. Reviewing the progress of the project, he said the Hyderabad Metro Rail authorities (HMR) and the Concessionaire L&T should achieve financial closure by the due date of March, 2011. He advised them to take all precautions to minimise inconvenience to road users during the construction phase. The State Minister for Municipal Administration, M. Maheedhar Reddy, and the Managing Director of HMR, N.V.S. Reddy, participated in the meeting, according to a press release.

Hospitality

HOSPITALITY SECTOR TO MAKE MORE ROOM FOR HOTELS
Shubhra Tandon, Mumbai
The Hindu Business Line

After two years of slow growth, the Indian hospitality market is set to add over 13,000 rooms in 2011-2012 across all categories. According to industry estimates, be it overseas companies such as Hilton, Marriott, Carlson or Choice, or Indian majors such as Taj Group of Hotels, ITC and other hospitality companies — they are all expanding.

In 2011-2012, Marriott International Inc will be opening six new properties in the country, adding an inventory of 1,200 rooms. Hilton Worldwide will open seven hotels adding in excess of 1,000 rooms in the calendar year 2011. Carlson will open 19 new hotels adding 2,670 rooms. Choice Hospitality expects to add around 600 rooms. Indian companies such as Indian Hotels Company — owners of Taj Group of Hotels and Resorts — will be opening 10 properties making an addition of 1,458 rooms.

Healthcare

DR AGARWAL’S PLANS 100 HOSPITALS BY NEXT YEAR
Sangeetha G, Chennai
Financial Chronicle

Chennai-based Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital will double the number of hospitals to 100 by next year. This will be done through opening a cluster of hospitals in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The hospital chain opened five hospitals in Bangalore on Tuesday and it has scheduled a simultaneous launch of five hospitals in Hyderabad next month.

The company will invest Rs 150 crore till next year on the new hospitals and also enter Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The chain currently has 50 centres in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, of which 30 are in Tamil Nadu.

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