Peshwa’s wealth 500 million, by which we can purchase USA

अबब…अमेरिकेला विकत घेण्याइतकी पेशव्यांकडे संपत्ती


सध्या उन्नावमध्ये खजिन्याचा शोध सुरू आहे. मात्र या खजिन्यात कुणाची संपत्ती आहे य़ाबाबत जोरदार वादविवाद सुरू आहेत. हा खजिना नानासाहेब पेशव्यांचा असल्याचा दावा अनेक इतिहासतज्ञ करत आहेत. याच पार्श्वभूमीवर पेशव्यांच्या खजिन्याच्या तपशीलाचा शोध लागलाय. त्यावरचा हा विशेष रिपोर्ट.

५१ हजार ४०२ हिरे ,
११, ३५२ माणके,
१ लाख , ७६ हजार , ०११ मोती
२७,६४३ पाचू
नीलम , पुष्कराज , पोवळी , लसन्या आणि हजारो जड जवाहीरे. अबब…ही संपती ५०० लाख कोटींपेक्षा जास्त आहे. या संपत्तीतून अमेरिकेला विकत घेतले जाऊ शकते.

ही संपत्ती आहे एकेकाळी दिल्लीचे तख्त गाजवणा-या पेशव्यांची. यावर कोणाचाही विश्वास बसणार नाही. मात्र ही संपत्ती पेशव्यांचीच असल्याचा पुरावा इतिहासतज्ञ पांडुरंग बलकवडे यांना नुकताच शोधलाय. पुरालेखागार विभागामध्ये मिळालेल्या या कागदपत्रांमधील उल्लेखावरून पेशव्यांच्या श्रीमतीची आपल्याला प्रचिती येते.

या रत्नांची आत्ताची किंमत ५०० लाख कोटी इतकी असल्याचं दावा इतिहास तज्ज्ञांचा आहे. उन्नाव इथे पुरातत्व खात्याच्या वतीन सुरु असलेला खजिना नक्की कोणाच्या मालकीचा अशी उत्सुकता सर्वानाच आहे. याच पार्श्वभूमीवर पेशव्यांच्या मुख्य खजिन्यातल्या संपत्तीच्या तपशील मिळालाय. पेशव्यांच्या खजिन्यातील केवळ या जड-जवाहिरांची किंमत ५०० लाख कोटींपेक्षा जास्त आहे. मुख्य म्हणजे शनिवारवाड्याची ही श्रीमंती पद्मनाभ मंदिरात आढळलेल्या संपत्तीहून किती तरी जास्त आहे.

इंग्रजांनी १८१७ साली या खजिन्याची लूट केली होती. ही लुट झाल्या नंतरही या खजिन्यातली काही संपत्ती बाजीराव पेशव्यांनी आपल्यासोबत कानपूरला नेला होता. तो नंतर नानासाहेब यांना प्राप्त झाला. १८५७ च्या युद्धात नानासाहेब यांच्या शोधात असणा-या इंग्रजांच्या हातात पुन्हा एकदा नानासाहेबांचा खजिना पडला… लुट केलेल्या या खजिन्याची किंमत १ कोटी असल्याची नोंद इंग्रजांनी केली आहे.

आजच्या काळात याची किंमत ५०० कोटी रुपये आहे. पेशव्यांच्या काळात एका राजाकडे एवढी संपत्ती होती यातूनच आपल्याला पेशावाईची श्रीमंती दिसून येते. पेशव्यांच्या या खजिन्याची लूट झाल्यानंतर ती संपत्ती कुठे आहे हे अजूनही गुढच आहे. परंतु पेशव्यांच्या या खाजिन्यामुळेच इंग्रज वैभवशाली झाल्याचं इतिहासकारांचं म्हणणं आहे.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 26, 2013 at 11:48 am

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    Two building collapses have received a great deal of media coverage in 2013: the building collapse in Thane, Mumbai and Savar, Bangladesh. Whereas 74 people have lost their lives in the Thane building collapse, the death toll was more than 700 in the Savar building collapse. In the South Asian cities that are witnessing rapid urbanisation, building collapses are a common phenomenon but these tragedies seem to mostly occur in small buildings belonging to low-income and informal and semi-formal neighbourhoods.

    These collapses do not necessarily occur because the buildings are illegally constructed. Gaps in the system lead to poor quality of construction. Further, multifloor structures are constructed by untrained workers without proper engineering knowledge. Often, generic reasons such as use of substandard materials and poor construction are attributed to building collapses without conducting any proper investigations. Here is how you can spot bad construction.

    Constructing buildings, especially highrise buildings, without performing proper soil analysis, can cause cracks on the structure as well as on the outside pavement.

    Types of foundation problems can include windows and doors that make noise, jam or separate from frames; cracks that appear near the corners of windows and doors as well as at wall joints, cracks in basement that continue to widen or cause water seepage and leaky roofs.

    Defects in construction and use of bad construction material can be spotted by looking for the presence of moisture, mold and mildew in buildings.

    Vertical or horizontal cracks on plastered walls indicate shrinkage and drying and are normal. Cracks that are jagged, resemble stair steps and are at 45 degrees, generally point to settling issues and structural movement. These cracks are usually harmless but can be serious sometimes. A crack that is less than 1/8th of an inch width, is usually caused because of stress and is considered to be harmless. However, a crack that is 1/4th of inch or more wide is more serious.

    In the case of concrete walls, vertical as well as diagonal cracks typically signify foundation movement. If the vertical crack widens at the bottom or top, it may be because of settling or gradual heaving. Stair-step cracks also indicate heaving. Horizontal cracks signify design defects or build up of pressure behind the wall. Design aspects are compromised and people who do not have adequate technical knowledge related to construction of buildings, are frequently entrusted with the multi-floor building projects.

    Those living on low incomes, seek cheaper options and thus, are at the mercy of fly-by-night developers. This is regrettable because many reputed developers have projects in various pricebands. So, a lower price does not have to mean dangerously low construction quality.



Large cracks on beams, pillars and walls. Cracks in ground floor tiles. Vibrations in the building. Fall of plaster and visible steel rods. Upheaval of floor tiles. Leakages in walls, which keep spreading. Sudden jamming of windows, doors. Inoperative lifts.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 3, 2013 at 8:41 am

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Provides an in-depth comparison between a condominium and a CHS

    Though the condominium is more than a forty year old ownership concept for buildings in Mumbai, it is the cooperative society
    model which has been the most popular so far. However, in recent times, the concept of a condominium is slowly gaining momentum. Buyers who purchase premises on an ‘ownership’ basis require to come together to manage the building and for that purpose, one of the ways is to form a cooperative society, which is governed by the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960.
    An alternative to a cooperative society was introduced by the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act, 1970, which provides for the formation of a condominium. The buyers of premises in a condominium are called apartment owners who form an association known as an ‘association of apartment owners’, in case of both, residential as well as non-residential premises.
    Although the basic purpose of both the models is similar, there are many differences between a society and condominium, some of which are:

    FORMATION: To form a society, generally 10 persons, each from a different family who reside in the area of operation of the society (within the same city) and who have taken premises in the building, would be required. However, even one person who owns the entire building can form a condominium, provided there are at least five apartments in the building.

    OWNERSHIP: In the case of a society, the title of the land and the building is conveyed to the society, which becomes the owner thereof. Persons who have purchased premises are made members of the society and are allotted the particular premises. In the case of a condominium, the title of each apartment rests with the apartment owner, who also has a proportionate undivided interest in the land on which the building stands, the common areas and facilities of the building.

    BYLAWS: A society adopts the model bylaws in which little can be changed. While adopting the bylaws in a condominium, suitable changes can be made, so long as the provisions of the Act are not contravened.

    SHARE CERTIFICATE: A society issues certain shares to its members, as per the bylaws and the share certificate becomes an important title deed, since the allotment of the premises are related thereto. This is not so in a condominium.

    MANAGEMENT: The affairs of the society are managed by the managing committee, which is elected by the members of the society. The managing committee elects a chairman, secretary and a treasurer. Similarly, the affairs of a condominium are managed by the board of managers, who are elected by the members of the apartment owners association. The board also elects a president, vice-president, secretary and a treasurer.

    TRANSFER FEES: Under the model bylaws, a society can charge only Rs 500 as transfer fees and a maximum of Rs 25,000 as a premium. In case of a condominium, the bylaws can be more flexible and the amount of transfer fees can be provided therein.

    PERMISSION TO LET: In a condominium, the owner can give his apartment on lease or leave and license basis without the approval of the board of managers, while in a society, permission is required.

    VOTING RIGHTS: In a society, every member has one vote, irrespective of the area of his premises. In a condominium, every apartment owner has a voting right in proportion to the value of his premises, which is generally as per the area of the apartment owned by him and which is defined while forming the condominium.

    DISPUTES: In a society, disputes are generally referred to the registrar appointed under the Act or to a cooperative court, depending on the nature of the dispute. In the case of a condominium, the court having jurisdiction over the area in which the condominium is located, hears the disputes.
    EXPULSION: A society can expel its member under certain extreme circumstances. In case of a condominium, there is no such provision. However, if an apartment owner fails to comply with the bylaws or the rules and regulations, either damages or injunctive relief or both can be claimed against him.

    NOMINATION: In a society, a member can nominate a person in whose favour shares of the society should be transferred upon the member’s death. No such facility is available in a condominium. An apartment can be transferred to a person to whom the apartment owner bequeaths the same by his will or to the legal representative of the apartment owner’s estate.


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Makes a strong case for creating a garage that will not only keep your expensive set of wheels happy but look swanky as well

    To some people, cars are more than just a form of transportation; they are a way of life and sometimes, even therapy. A garage then becomes not just a place to park the car but a happy place to hang out with a swanky car or even keep all car-related stuff in one well-organised place. Garages tend to become store rooms for just about anything. As they are big empty spaces, they are easy targets for things that won’t fit in wardrobes and anything else that doesn’t have a set place in homes. We bring you a few ideas that promise to make a happy residence for your favourite set of wheels.
    Getting everything up and off the floor should be your first priority. So, get rid of as much junk as possible. Make it a point to sweep the garage and wipe things every week. Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and dive head first into the clutter. Ensure that you have enough room for your car so that you can avoid running into anything.
    Even though it is a garage, it does not necessarily have to look like one. A few coats of paint, metal shelving and some techno decals for the wall, can transform the space without burning a hole in your pocket. A simple and sharp design stays clean with customised cabinets and industrial overhead lighting.
    If your garage has unfinished interior walls, then it can be treated with insulation material. It’s not that expensive and your finished walls, painted in outdoor white or a bright acrylic paint, will look stunning. Such colours help in highlighting posters and industrial sign collections, and throw more light onto your car and machinery.
    There are plenty of flooring options available for your garage, depending on your budget. Skid-proof concrete flooring adds a subtle touch of warmth and gives a high-tech and mechanical vibe. Commercial grade blackand-white checkered flooring looks equally amazing in garages. As an alternative, an inter-locking floor is a cool option and is available in tiles with an enormous variety of colour schemes.
    The location and intensity of the lighting in your garage needs to be carefully planned so that you can undertake repairs and maintenance with ease. Get as much light on the nose of the car as possible with ceiling and front-wall fixtures, and have a strong portable work light with a beam you can aim for close-up work under the hood or car.
    Label absolutely everything. If your drawers and bins are full of nails, screws and bolts, take the time to sort each piece by type and label your storage containers and shelves accordingly. It is a tedious task but in the end, it will be worth it. Decide which area of the garage is going to be used for what purpose. You can divide it into dedicated zones for utility items like water cans, hand tools, air compressors, vacuum cleaners, etc. Clearing out clutter is incredibly satisfying. So, decide what to keep, what to donate and what to throw away. When you find yourself questioning a particular item, determine your needs and then take a decision.
    Acquiring cool tools can be a lifetime pursuit. Most starter tool-sets will come in a hefty plastic carrying case but sooner or later, you will need to invest in a multidrawer steel tool chest to keep all related tools in a single drawer and keep everything lined up and organised by size.
    These tips will convert your garage into a practical, well-equipped one that will keep your car as happy as you are in your home!
    (The writer is a Mumbaibased industrial designer)

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Designers and homemakers are drawing inspiration from older trends to create show-stopping interiors


Designers and homemakers are drawing inspiration from older trends to create show-stopping interiors,

    The concept of design has changed dramatically and is no longer some gimmicky, flashy, in-your-face look that reeks of slavish obedience to the latest trend and then ends up looking dated a few seasons later. Homeowners are no longer afraid to express their personal style and this has resulted in some amazing reincarnations of design ideas and concepts, many of which are comebacks from the past.

Be it the living room, bedroom or study, it’s all about highlighting certain key pieces of furniture to ‘centre’ the room and give it character. Nowadays, furnituremaking has been elevated to an art form and is no longer looked on as a simple exercise in carpentry. Furniture transcends mere functionality today; so a chair isn’t merely an object you sit on but an intricate piece of your home that can set the mood, reflecting identity, emotions and feelings, and quality of lifestyle.
    The craze for an old-fashioned four-poster bed, vintage dressing table or a pair of armchairs is back with a bang. For example, homemakers love the soaring posts of a four-poster bed that make a dramatic style statement, helping it create a visual centre in a room.
    Another piece quickly gaining popularity is the old-fashioned dresser. A striking vanity or dressing table can be the style statement of any bedroom. Whether it is a custom-built cabinetry or a small table in a nook that becomes a dressing area, there are plenty of attractive design options to choose from. Decorate your dresser with romantic overtones in the form or framed pictures, flowers or a box filled with personal effects.
    Before you toss out an outdated, worn-out sofa or an old fashioned writing desk in an attempt to add some style to your home, consider some simple do-it-yourself solutions. You could easily perk up your sofa by re-upholstering it in a modern fabric with a bright red colour along with a contrasting trim of lime green. Berry-coloured stripes have become all the rage as well and add a fresh, vibrant feel to any room. Strip the veneer or polish off your old writing table and go for a paint job in any bright colour – from mustard yellow to lime green. Don’t forget to change those tarnished drawer knobs for a final finishing touch.

A touch of raw wood has wowed the world of interior design today. Raw wood fits into any home décor, whether vintage or modern. Go shopping in old furniture stores for small items to add to your rooms, whether it is a mirror frame or a piece to accent a wall. However, in your enthusiasm, don’t go overboard, or your room can end up looking like a hunting lodge in the Highlands!

If you thought wallpaper was tacky and was to be limited to your grandmother’s home, think again. This trend is back but with a few modern twists. Today, you can choose your wallpaper from an array of shades and patterns that lend character and style and are an instant fit for any room. Rather than wallpapering a whole room, try it just on an accent wall or in a small space such as an entryway or powder room.

The latest in the world of lighting: statement installed fixtures. Glamorous art deco shades or a chandelier centrepiece in the living area are fast becoming favourites with homemakers. Vintage reading lamps that are curvaceous and colourful add shape and visual weight to side tables and nightstands. Whether they are in solid colours or muted ones, these lamps can effortlessly become part of any room, adding a hint of glamour and style.

School is the new cool in the decorating world. Old school style furniture, such as desks and benches are being painted and remodeled to add a whimsical touch to homes today. Textured painting and a touch of polish can transform these sturdy items into design worthy décor.

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Actor Pawan Shankar’s home

Actor Pawan Shankar’s home exudes elegance, with a mix of modernity and old world charm

    Actor Pawan Shankar’s home in Malad is cosy and artistically designed. The home has an earthy and warm ambiance and functionality is the key factor. The 3,000 sq ft spacious row house, has been designed by his wife Yukti, who is a designer and holds lifestyle exhibitions all over the country. “We shifted to Malad from Lokhandwala three years ago and are very happy here, as my sons have ample space to play here and enjoy the sun, breeze and greenery. Also, my wife works from home and she is also relaxed here with her office staff and home at the same place. We are very close to Infiniti Mall, so we get everything easily and we don’t need a car to go to a mall or theatre; we just have to walk for a few minutes,” says Shankar.
    The rustic elegance is highlighted by the use of the courtyard and ethnic décor. The courtyard has comfortable cane furniture, potted green plants and a swing. There are two doors, one that leads down to Yukti’s office and the other to the living room. The home has been designed as per Vastu Shastra. The entire house has a touch of brown, as the couple loves the feel of wood and it reminds them of their roots. “Wood is a natural element that instantly adds warmth to a home and reminds us of our home town. We have used a lot of wood as it looks classy. So, the furniture is all solid wood with basic lines,” Shankar adds. Antique wooden furniture like a rocking chair, adds richness and appeal to this home. Even the décor pieces like an old telephone instrument, glass lamps, tribal handicrafts and an antique Roman numeral wall clock are reminiscent of the bygone era.
    The living room has wooden flooring, intricately carved wooden design on the ceiling from Bangkok, an antique wooden centre table with brass picked up from an exhibition and a wooden bar from a showroom. The windows have brown wooden blinds that complement the furniture and the air conditioner’s pipes are cleverly concealed behind the sleeper wood on the wall. The antique, intricately carved wooden sofas are from Rajasthan and a huge painting is from Hyderabad. The ethnic touch is further enhanced with two jute stools and antique looking ceiling fans. One of the walls in the living room is adorned with brown and golden wallpaper. The cushion has digitally printed photographs of yesteryear’s heroine Madhubala. The living room has various artefacts like a wooden Buddha from Bangkok, three wooden African figurines and masks from south India. Ganesha and Buddha are omnipresent in this home. On every room’s door is a Ganesha idol. The bright entrance of the prayer room has a lovely frame, designed by Yukti herself with small pieces of fiber glass.
    On the ground floor is a dining room, living room, temple, kitchen and Yukti’s office. A few steps up is the guest room. It is simply put together, with a wooden wardrobe and the bed is comfortably functional. Further up are two bedrooms and a small den. The curved staircase, leading to the bedrooms upstairs, has been designed by the couple aesthetically, to occupy less space. The master bedroom has a semi-circular window and French windows with low seating. On the wall is a huge Buddha painting. There is also a walk-in closet near the bathroom, which has a huge bathtub. “We just love this window and enjoy the monsoon here with a cup of tea,” smiles Shankar.
    The kid’s room has a touch of red and is bright and colorful. The study table is red and white in colour. The room has a ceiling fan with Disney characters, a helicopter-shaped colourful hanging lamp and a wall, which the family has painted by using spray paints. A framed world map has a gold foil on it. In the lounge area outside the two bedrooms, is a mini-bar and a family photo corner. The steps from the bedroom lead to the low ceiling den, the family’s favourite relaxing zone, where the kids love to read or play board games. The tastefully done up interiors of Shankar’s home are indeed welcoming and comfortable. The home has an old warm old charm. “I always express my gratitude to God that he has blessed me with such a lovely home. I feel relaxed and chilled out when I am at home. It’s my own serene world to retire to after a day’s work,” he concludes.


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RBI doesn’t grant developers’ wish; stalemate continues in the realty market

RBI doesn’t grant developers’ wish; stalemate continues in the realty market

    Many developers privately admit that they had their eyes set on the quarterly monetary policy, which was announced on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, for a while now as the sector was hoping against hope that the rates would be marginally cut, in order to keep the sentiments bullish. Reports of foreign funds warming up and the substantial contribution of the sector, 6 plus to the Indian GDP, was also being seen as an indication of why the policies would be eased. A section of market watchers also maintained that this, being in all probability, the last policy review by the present governor, as he demits office in September, the chances of the RBI chief granting a wish or two to the business community was high. However, the RBI governor D Subbarao, kept the policy rates unchanged at Tuesday’s quarterly monetary policy review.
    Consequently, the key repo rate remains at 7.25 per cent while the cash reserve ratio remains at four per cent. The pause in the easing cycle of the RBI, set in motion in April 2012, continues. During the past one-and-half years, the RBI has cut rates by 1.25 per cent, to a level of 7.25 per cent.
    The real estate sector, for obvious reasons, is
not amused. Sitting over piles of debt and unsold inventory, they needed some sort of symbolic, if not substantive relief to the buyers to revive the demand in housing. The sector maintains that the apex bank has not been fair to the sector and in order to manage the shortages, they are losing sight of the larger picture of creating surpluses. Even the stock market seems to have disapproved the policy review and the Sensex, in general and the realty index in particular, went into red, following the announcement of the repo rate and CRR remaining unchanged.
    The RBI’s decision follows a careful assessment of the current situation and is in line with the stance taken by it in the last few days, to come down heavily on the speculation in the foreign exchange market. However, the policy review has definitely dented the psyche of average home buyers. Rakesh Arya, a prospective home buyer, feels the rates are too high to think of buying a house now. If it had been reduced, the kind of inventory that is piling up, could have been sold to home seekers who are mostly working class and not investors. Hence, the high rates are pinching at this moment. Realty analysts also maintain that it is not about the cheaper funding to the developers that is the issue, as the developers are anyway procuring funds, with the foreign investors warming up to Indian real estate. The RBI policy and the demand to reduce the interest rate has more to do with the home buyers getting cheaper loans, since inflation has already made them apprehensive of investments with borrowed capital and EMI, over a long period of time.
    The RBI’s concerns though have been taken accepted by a section of real estate developers as well. David Walker, executive director, SARE Homes, admits that the fact that the RBI refrained from increasing the rates, is a positive sign. He however feels that this particular monetary policy was more about liquidity strengthening and arresting the damage being caused by rupee depreciation. “It is important to see if the RBI decides not to increase key policy rates going ahead for the year. If the current account deficit improves and the liquidity measures are rolled back, we are confident that demand will improve in the real estate sector by the end of the year,” says Walker.
    The falling rupee against dollar seems to be driving the RBI policies as of now, instead of falling sales in the real estate business. Hence, the stalemate continues for the sector for some time now and the only hope that the realty fraternity has, is that the new RBI Governor will better understand the concerns of the sector. (The writer is CEO, Track2Realty)

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NOOPUR MODI writes about an unique association that the Dosti Group


With the feeling of friendship in the air, thanks to Friendship Day, NOOPUR MODI writes about an unique association that the Dosti Group has undertaken.

    Friendship is one of the purest forms of relationships that two people share, for a lifetime. The Dosti Group has used Friendship Day, as an extension of their brand philosophy and has combined their sales strategy with the emotion of friendship that is synonymous with their name. They have tied up with Times Property, in order to celebrate the bond of friendship by distributing more than 60,000 friendship bands along with the Times of India in Thane, marking the beginning of the friendship month. Rajesh Shah, executive director, Dosti Group says, “One of the main reasons for us to associate ourselves with Times Property, is that it is Mumbai’s premier realty brand and has agreed to extend its support to this celebration, which in turn, will be a mutually beneficial association.”
    Friendship Day/week is enthusiastically celebrated every year, all over the world. The occasion is observed on the first Sunday of every August. The traditional celebrations include meeting with friends and exchanging of cards, flowers, gifts and friendship bands. To this, Shah adds, “Dosti is synonymous with friendship. As an organisation, we firmly believe in friendship and make sure that all our actions are focussed on this aspect. The company’s relations with customers, investors, etc., are aimed at a long-term alliance, which lasts a lifetime.”
    While business propositions and plans have always been based on symbiosis, Dosti Group’s association with Times Property for this initiative aims to build a long-term bond of friendship with their customers and convey, by this means, what friendship is to them. Shah explains that “This year, with this tie-up with Times Property, we are giving away friendship vouchers to potential home buyers, who book a flat in the month of August. These vouchers are priced between Rs three to five lakhs, till August 15, 2013; from August 16 onwards, they are priced between Rs two to four lakhs. The key benefit of these vouchers is that they can be redeemed against the bookings done in this month,” he informs.
    Deepak Goradia, vice-chairman and managing director, Dosti Group, mentions that “To further give a boost to this idea, Dosti Group has created the ‘Dosti Friends for Life’ offer for any new apartment purchaser, at any Dosti realty project – Dosti Vihar and Dosti Imperia in Thane; Dosti Centerio at Shil or Dosti Ambrosia, wherein they can get a benefit of Rs three lakhs for a 1-1.5 BHK apartment, Rs four lakhs for a 2-2.5 BHK apartment and Rs five lakhs for a 3-BHK apartment, starting from August 1 to September 1, 2013.”
    He further adds that “We are extremely happy that Times Property has agreed to associate with us in this celebration, as this will help in communicating to all the readers to benefit from the same and in turn, add them to our circle of friends. All readers are welcome to participate in the Dosti Realty Friends For Life Celebration,” he signs off.



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Collapses of old buildings and the loss of lives related to them, have become a regular affair in Mumbai. Despite the redevelopment option, many continue to live in these dangerous buildings, risking their lives. examines the reasons for the same

    Monsoon doesn’t just mean torrential rains in Mumbai; it also means building collapses. That is not to say that collapses don’t happen at other times of the year. However, dilapidated buildings become more vulnerable during heavy downpours and tend to cave in easily. Every year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) carries out a survey, lists some buildings unfit for human occupation and serves eviction notices to the residents. The latter however, continue to live in the decrepit buildings, putting many lives in danger.
    Three buildings already collapsed in the first month of monsoon this year and many lives were lost. The number of casualties is only increasing, despite the availability of a surefire option: redevelopment. All the parties concerned – right from government authorities, civic officials, landlords and tenants to owners, are aware that redevelopment is the only solution and yet, redevelopment of old buildings has been moving at a snail’s pace.
The Maharashtra government has introduced several regulations and incentives to promote redevelopment, including the cluster redevelopment scheme for dilapidated buildings constructed before 1940, largely in south Mumbai. However, the procedures for approvals are lengthy and complicated, aver industry pundits. Corruption among approving officials is another major hurdle, allege some.
    “There are several reasons for the slow redevelopment of old buildings,” opines Viren Kapadia, survey coordinator of Remaking of Mumbai Federation (RoMF), which submitted its pilot proposal in 2010 for redeveloping a cluster spread across 30 acres in the C ward. “We are yet to receive the LOI, while a private builder developing 16 acres in Bhendi Bazaar has already received it. The government process is very slow and corrupt,” alleges Kapadia. According to a survey conducted by RoMF, the C ward alone has 2,950 old buildings (including 2,600 cessed buildings). Of these, only around 15 buildings have gone in for redevelopment so far.

The government’s frequent change of rules regarding redevelopment and a different set of incentives for different areas, is another reason for less redevelopment in the suburbs, according to architect BH Wadhwa, who is involved in redevelopment projects in Chembur and Ghatkopar. “In the city area, the government has provided an attractive FSI incentive for redevelopment projects, whereas in the suburbs, there is no such incentive. Hence, it is not viable for many developers. The government has recently announced that incentives will be provided for redevelopment in the suburbs too but it has not been implemented yet.”
    The lack of incentives is another reason, reiterates Kapadia. “The government has increased the flat area for the current occupants of these buildings in south Mumbai, from 225 sq ft to 300 sq ft, which has reduced the developers’ profit margin. As a result, the response from developers is also unenthusiastic,” he explains. Steps like a simplified procedure, single window clearance, approval on fast track and higher incentives, have been suggested by industry players for speeding up the redevelopment process.
The redevelopment of the old colonies of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) have also been slow, more so since 2010, when the premium option was closed and sharing of flats was made compulsory. Now, MHADA is planning to revamp its redevelopment rules and has submitted a proposal to the state government. NK Sudhansu, chief officer-Mumbai board of MHADA, gives details of the proposal. “Earlier, the incentive (free FSI) was the same for both, single buildings and cluster redevelopment. Now, a higher varying incentive for cluster development, which can go up to 200 per cent, has been proposed. There is an increase in the entitlement area for current occupants and everything has been defined. We will have a model agreement, specify the qualification required for developers, etc., which will standardise the redevelopment process,” he explains.

Large-scale cluster redevelopment is definitely an uphill task, as it involves obtaining consent from tenants and landlords; providing temporary housing/business accommodation for occupants; duly compensating the landlords; reconstructing the building and developing the infrastructure in the area. “In a cluster development, bringing the landlords and tenants of several buildings together and making them agree on redevelopment terms, is very difficult. That in itself takes a long time,” informs Kapadia.
    Even in standalone societies, obtaining the consent of members is a herculean task, which inevitably delays redevelopment. There are several reasons for the reluctance of members – fear of losing their homes forever; reluctance to move to distant alternate accommodations or transit camps (in case of cessed buildings); disputes with the landlord/builder over compensation terms; etc. Other causes are lack of sufficient FSI; no conveyance or Occupancy Certificate; etc. A case in example is the redevelopment of Laxminarayan CHS in Ghatkopar, which is yet to take off even five years after the move was initiated by its members. Since, no conveyance was executed by the landlord, the members applied for deemed conveyance and obtained it in 2011. The change in the property card is yet to come through, although the required procedure was started in the same year. “That is not a major hurdle now, since the landlord is cooperative but three members are not cooperating as they are demanding a larger area and because of them, all the other members are suffering and living in a dilapidated building, in fear of a collapse,” laments the secretary of the society, Praful Mehta. Though, members of the Park View CHS in Andheri, are not living in fear of their forty-year-old building collapsing, they are keen on developing it before its condition deteriorates. The redevelopment process was started almost eight years back in this three-building complex, having 80 members. However, the members did not have the conveyance. So, they asked the builder appointed, to undertake the project to get the conveyance from the landlord. “The builder instead negotiated with the owners and purchased the entire plot, housing another society. He has now offered to give us the land on a long-term lease! We have filed a case in the court seeking conveyance in our society’s name. We have also applied for deemed conveyance early this year,” reveals Rajesh Joshi, chairman of the society. The problem is more acute in tenanted buildings, where neither the landlord nor the tenants undertake repairs. Disputes also arise between landlords and tenants in the redevelopment context. Tenants of a building in Mulund for instance, allege that since the landlord has plans of redeveloping the building into a commercial venture, he is trying to get rid of them by paying a meagre amount as compensation, which is much lower than the market rate. Some tenants also allege that municipal officials in connivance with landlords/builders, purposely declare their buildings as dilapidated. In all this confusion, it is hardly surprising that the redevelopment of old buildings is not taking place as expected. Hopefully, the new rules and policies being framed by the state government will give a fillip to the movement.

Large cracks on beams, pillars and walls. Cracks in ground floor tiles. Vibrations in the building. Fall of plaster and visible steel rods. Upheaval of floor tiles. Leakages in walls, which keep spreading. Sudden jamming of windows, doors. Inoperative lifts.

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