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‘Govt must protect aam aadmi against powerful builder lobby’

 Dominick Rodrigues |  2014-01-05 21:48:57.0  |  3

‘Govt must protect aam aadmi against powerful builder lobby’

Politicians have begun to lend their voice to laws supporting protection of real estate. In October 2013, Lok Sabha MP from North Mumbai Sanjay Nirupam lauded Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and the Maharashtra Government’s initiative in empowering thousands of housing societies by upholding their right over the plot of land on which their building is situated.

‘This landmark decision will go a long way in protecting the interest of the common man against the powerful builder lobby,’ he said here recently while pointing out that the ‘Deemed Conveyance’ procedure has been simplified to a great extent and several bottlenecks removed with many housing societies being granted deemed conveyance in the Chief Minister’s recently-concluded special drive.


‘In the meantime, we had demanded ‘Incorporation of Cooperative Housing society’s Name in Property Card’ as ‘Other Right Holder’ as soon as the society is granted registration and the chief minister had categorically assured that the demand would be acceded to,’ he said.

Meanwhile, resource and fund mobilisation remains the need of the hour in today’s economic scenario to meet the growing appetite and hunger of development of housing and infrastructure for both urban and rural areas in the country, Housing and Urban Development Corporation limited (Hudco) said CMD V P Baligar.

‘The housing shortage is estimated to be 18.78 million of which 95.62 per cent of such households hail from the economically weaker sections (EWS) and low income groups (LIG),’ he said while mentioning that seven cities — including some ‘Smart Cities’ — are being developed on the freight corridor between Delhi and Mumbai, 6 lakh housing units being set up in Rajasthan and 1 lakh units in Haryana, besides Rs 3,000 crore given for Hyderabad water supply.

About competition from the private sector, he said that in this regard Hudco is showcasing its best practices, especially in affordable housing, and will join hands with the concerned ministry in developing housing through the private sector wherever possible. ‘We are the first to enter into projects whenever any Government takes it up and we are also very environment-conscious as can be witnessed in the use of green material in our Delhi project,’ he said.

While Hudco has earmarked 25 per cent of its housing for the economically weak sections of society, every town has its middle class. Developers often step in to fill this need but leave it incomplete so that investors are left in the lurch, Baligar said, adding that Hudco can take over available lands and develop them with genuine developers for the needy.

While Hudco’s net worth is Rs 6,427.11 crore, its net non-performing assets NPAs are barely less than 0.8 per cent, with the loss coming from the power sector which has been stopped now, he said, adding that the company’s NPAs in the Government sector were very low.

Online portals too are joining the growing real estate pyramid. Housing.co.in, a growing completely map-based real estate search portal, raised $2.5 million funding from Nexus Venture Partners, India’s leading VC fund for its operations which has revolutionised house hunting through its unique and exceptional user interface, which empowers users with the ability to view a house without necessitating physical presence.

This portal was founded in 2012 by a group of IIT-Bombay students who chose to invest in it with the intention of ‘disrupting’ the online real estate market with best in class data and technology. The current round of funding will allow the company to aggressively expand its technology and data sciences teams with over 30  IITians in these teams.

Housing.co.in is perceived as a unique portal, thanks to its outstanding UI and interface. However, its real strength lies in its data and, since its inception, the company has been very obsessed with its data approach through the Data Science Lab to develop features like area based pricing, society ratings etc. The company is also building a large headquarter only for the technology team which will be one of the major investment.

Expressing happiness at partnering with and receiving mentoring from India’s leading VC Nexus Venture Partners, Housing.co.in Co-Founder Advitiya Sharma said, ‘Their experience in building high technology companies in India and abroad is what attracted us. We were just amazed by the speed of their decision making and trust they had in our team.’ Suvir Sujan, co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners, said, ‘The housing team is disrupting online search for home buying and renting in India like never before. We were very impressed with the vision, passion and speed of execution of the founding team and we are very excited to partner with them.’

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