Integrated Townships Which Promote concept of Work,Live,Dream and Play the future?   113 comments

Integrated  Townships, it is hoped, will reduce the pressure on the civic bodies to provide social infrastructure and aid in reducing traffic congestion

A ‘township revolution’ is sweeping south of the Vindhyas, albeit slowly. Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore are going the “self-contained” way, with a slew of townships that offer wider choices, making their presence felt.

This, of course, is not a new phenomenon across the rest of the country. Ever since unplanned urbanisation became a mess that needed to be cleared, governments, civic bodies and city planners have been voicing the need to develop alternate cities and locations that would pave the way for planned living. A few satellite cities and townships have sprung up cities in the north as well as the west, but peers the south, so far, has been laggards.

Projects such as Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai, heralded as the future, were buried under government apathy. Suburban and peripheral areas of cities in the south continued to march to the tune of unplanned growth. What is new about south Indian cities is that the initiative for townships has come from the private sector. The projects may not be on a massive scale as proposed by state governments earlier. But the concept of self-contained townships is definitely catching up.

Om Ahuja, residential services CEO of Jones Lang Lasalle India, said the time for township revolution has certainly come. “Th­ere is a huge demand for alternate ho­using solutions. Of course, there are high costs associated with township development. This is why the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2005 encourages financial institutions to forge JVs to augment supply of fun­ds for ho­using and related infrastructure. Mo­reover, to­w­nships attract foreign direct investment and make overall economic sense.” But the infrastructure question still lingers even as builders are busy planning mini and mega cities.

Kalpana Murthy, associate director (south India) for residential services at Cushman & Wak­efield, agrees that the suburban markets in the past suffered from a lack of infrastr­ucture, but believes that the situation is different this time round. According to her, the end user segment primarily drives the demand for such developments. “The need to stay close to work has pushed many to look for options in suburban and peripheral locations.” She also points out with townships becoming increasingly self sustainable, people are confident of relocating in the hope of benefiting from affordable housing options.

To an extent, the recent success of these townships has surprised a section of the industry. Says Sanjay Chugh, founder of Skylines, a property advisory, “Traditionally, south India has been driven by the concept of independent houses or smaller apartment buildings. However, with growing urbanization and soaring land costs, the concept of independent dwellings has taken a back seat. Of late, people are showing greater interest towards townships that are self-contained and promote ‘walk to work’ concept, which also offers better infrastructure.” The townships down south are not as classy and massive as Magarpatta near Pune. “Magarpatta remains unparalleled when it comes to developing a complete integrated township. We have not seen many like that in India,” says Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of Jones Lang Lasalle India. But, according to Anurag Mathur, managing director, Cushman & Wakefield India, it is not easy “to develop townships like Magarpatta,” given the extent of land required and the large-scale planning that go with such projects.

Existing Integrated Townships in India

To name  a  few existing ones

  • Brigade Gateway @ Bangalore – 40 acre Township consisting of  Shopping Mall ,5-Star Hotel ,30 storied Office Tower ,Hospital ,Residences and School
  • Magarpatta @ Pune which is spread across 400 acres consists of Shopping Mall ,Residences ,IT SEZ, Recreation and Healthcare Facilities

Proposed Integrated Townships

  • Karle Town Center @  Bangalore is a 80 acre mixed use Project which has Mall ,Hotel ,IT-SEZ,Residences ,Healthcare and Hospitality Centers
  •  Elbeit has planned one in Bangalore which is spread across 200 acres and one in Pune currently under construction
  • Brigade Orchards @ Bangalore is spread across 120 acres and boasts of everything you can dream off including a stadium
  • Ramky City @ Hyderabad
  • Salapuria is planning one each in Bangalore and Hyderabad
  • Embassy is planning 3-4 Townships in India
  • Bhartiya Group is planning a New City in Bangalore which would require 10000 crores which would include cycling Track
  • RMZ has two in pipeline one each in Bangalore and Hyderabad

Loads and loads of developers are driven away by this concept as residences command a premium in slowdown and commercial properties can be monetized for future projects or to clear debts .For a customer the stress of travelling down to downtown for every minute need is eliminated

Rising to the challenge

Builders are certainly up and about with their projects that promise a mini-city away from the city. According to S Ram Reddy, general secretary of Confederation of Real Estates Developers Association of India (Hyderabad), the township trend has begun to spread its tentacles with several developers already having projects in various phases of construction. Townships, according to him, reduce the pressure on the civic bodies to provide social infrastructure and aid in reducing traffic congestion. His company, SMR Group is also planning an integrated township en route Bandlaguda, which is closer to the Hyderabad International Airport and also to Gachibowli, the IT hub. He also cites the examples of developers such as Janapriya Engineers Syndicate, Ramky and NCC who have announced their mega plans for mini cities.

M Narsaih, chairman and managing director of Hyderabad-based Shanta Sriram Constructions, says his company is now planning a township near Ramakrishnapur­am, northeast of Hyderabad, with an estimated investment of approximately Rs 500 crore. “It will be a self-contained project with the required social infrastructure like schools, hospitals, retail outlets, entertainment and office space. The project will be built in phases over a four to five year period,” says Narsaih. A township, according to his company that earlier created gated communities, offers convenience to owners. “There will be a lot of amenities and these would be available at relatively lesser cost,” he said, adding that his project would be about 2.5 million sq ft, accommodating about 2,000 dwelling units.

V Suresh, former CMD of Hudco and principal executive officer of Hirco, which is developing the Palace Gardens near the Oragadam industrial hub, off Chennai, says, “Creating social infrastructure alone is not enough. An integrated self-contained township should have utility infrastructure like drinking water, connecting roads, power and sewage treatment, social infrastructure like schools and healthcare and also commercial infrastructure like retail, commercial space for banks and insurance, besides entertainment facilities.”

Hurdles to cross

But there are some who believe there is a big gap between the cup and the lip. “Today, most of the large-scale development happens in periphery of an existing large metro or town, where civic infrastructure like water supply, drainage and sewerage or social infrastructure such as retail, educational and health care facilities are minimal or virtually non-existent,” points out Sajid Sathak, managing director, Inno Advisory (India), that is establishing the Inno GeoCity, also near Oragadam.

It may seem a handicap, but he is also aware that such a situation offers developers the possibility to plan infrastructure from scratch in a cost-efficient and organized manner. “Integration of these facilities becomes much easier than in an already populated neighborhood. This cannot be cost-effectively achieved by smaller stand alone projects,” says Sathak.


Posted December 5, 2011 by avinash2060 in Integrated Townships

113 responses to “Integrated Townships Which Promote concept of Work,Live,Dream and Play the future?

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