Delhi Master Plan 2021: City’s skyline may go the Shanghai way

At Ireo Gurgaon Hills, the architectural planning ensures that residents get the most out of the stunning natural beauty of the surroundings.

Delhi’s skyline could resemble Manhattan’s or Shanghai’s if urban development minister Kamal Nath has his way. The minister has mooted verticalisation of Delhi in the new master plan for 2021 by allowing higher floor area ratio in the city, which is expected to increase housing stock considerably and rejuvenate some old commercial areas.

“Property prices in Delhi are too high today and the only way they can come down are by increasing supply,” says Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director (south Asia) at property advisory firm CB Richard Ellis.

Property rates in Delhi, especially in the south and central parts, today are comparable to those in cities like New York and London.

Read more: The Economic Times

Rising Activity in Hotel Industry a Boon for Expat Executives

A new opportunity has opened up in the Indian hotels industry for expat executives, with rookie businessmen opening up hundreds of five-star and high-end luxury properties around the country but having little experience to build and manage them.

Many of the 102,400 hotel rooms that are expected to come up in the country over the next 3-4 years are under construction today and international hotel brands that have signed up management contracts with the owners are bringing in expat executives to kick-start the show.

Read more: The Times of India

More unauthorised colonies will be regularised in Delhi: Government

Close on the heels of regularising 917 unauthorised colonies in the capital, the Centre today said it would regularise more such existing colonies and was looking for options that includes knocking at the doors of the judiciary as well.

Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath also said his ministry would embark on an ardous task of fully regularising religious structures in the national capital built before 2007 and also providing park space at such places.

Addressing a press conference organised by Delhi Development Authority here, Nath categorically said there was no option other than to regularise such colonies which have been existing for the past three to four decades.

Read more: The Economic Times

Online conversion a hit with residents

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) that gets almost 600 applications every month for the conversion of properties, is receiving almost double the number of applications per day. All due to the  online conversion from leasehold to freehold  launched on Friday. DDA has developed a software for the online process which is expected to make the conversion transparent and free from tout involvement.

Read more: HindustanTimes

Economy

There isn’t much time left for kick-starting the economy: Chanda Kochhar

The dark clouds outside her corner office look ominous, but ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar is quick to spot the silver lining. “At least, they would bring in rains,” she says. The same optimism, however, isn’t quite visible on the external economic environment. The head of the country’s largest private sector lender says the consumption story can’t handhold the economy for long and it’s important to kick-start the economy through executive decisions. Excerpts from an interview with Shyamal Majumdar and Manojit Saha

What’s your take on the interest rate outlook? Do you think the central bank will cut rates in the September policy?

I don’t want to guess what the central bank would do. My theory is simpler. While lower interest rates would be an enabling factor for investments to take place and for people to buy more homes or invest more in homes and cars, that alone won’t be enough. It is important now to kick-start the economy through executive decisions to restore confidence in the investment climate. The process of decision-making has to improve for projects that have been either completed or are nearing completion.

Read more: Business Standard

Food for all will cost Rs 200,000 cr a year: Ashok Gulati

Ashok Gulati, chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, talks to Sanjeeb Mukherjee about the challenges facing the government’s aam aadmi schemes and the paddy procurement crisis

Are the fears of a slowdown in rural demand well founded?

Rural demand is likely to slow down. The late rains are likely to affect productivity and thereby farmers’ incomes, unless price increases offset productivity losses. The likelihood is that there will be lower demand for modern inputs (seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.) and if incomes suffer, the demand for durables may be affected.

Read more: Business Standard

Infrastructure/Transportation

No toll for Gurgaon for next 15 days

No toll will be collected at the Gurgaon toll plaza for the next 15 days starting tonight.

This, after a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court stated that the mechanism to collect money was not functioning properly, leading to traffic congestions.

In response to that petition, the High Court has issued an order saying that no toll should be collected.

The court had earlier ordered more collection booths to be setup, to cut down traffic, but that has not happened yet.

This decision comes after the firm that was asked to put up five more booths was not able to install it in spite of a months time given to them.

Read more: NDTV

Plan panel opposes faster exit for highway developers

NHAI’s move to relax contract norms allowing highway developers to exit soon after construction faced a road block on Thursday. At an inter-ministerial group meeting, the proposal aimed to infuse more equity, was opposed by the plan panel.

Sources said NHAI chairman RP Singh told members that after talking to over 30 highway developers on the issue of lukewarm or no response to highway contracts, he had found that unlocking their capital in completed projects would enable them to raise equity. This will help them take up new projects and revive investment.

Read more: The Times of India

T3 road caves-in again

A portion of the central road that connects Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport with National Highway 8, caved in once again on Thursday. The stretch is used by thousands of passengers and visitors every day. The portion was barricaded by airport operator Delhi

International Airport Ltd (DIAL) for repair work last week as this particular stretch had caved in several times in the last three years.

DIAL said the tunnel of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) airport line, which runs beneath the stretch, had resulted in the topsoil settling down, which damaged the road.

“This is purely on account of deficiencies in the execution of works by the sub-contractor of DMRC,” a DIAL spokesman said.

Read article: HindustanTimes

Haryana Urban Development Authority roads on forest land?

Construction work on master roads inside Sector 42, which is now on in full swing, was once stalled by none other than former conservator Dr R P Balwan. In other words, the forest department had put an end to the construction at that time.

However, one can clearly see the construction work going on in right earnest during a drive down the HUDA master road 9/9A connecting Faridabad-Gurgaon road to Golf Course Road.

Construction work on master roads inside Sector 42, which is now on in full swing, was once stalled by none other than former conservator Dr R P Balwan. In other words, the forest department had put an end to the construction at that time.

However, one can clearly see the construction work going on in right earnest during a drive down the HUDA master road 9/9A connecting Faridabad-Gurgaon road to Golf Course Road.

Read more: The Times of India

Haryana to fly high with 3 new airports

Haryana will soon take wing. The state is set to have its first ever domestic flight connectivity, with two civil airports and a cargo airport approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

“The state government had moved the proposal to the Union civil aviation ministry for three airports in Haryana. Two of these will handle domestic flights while the third will be a cargo airport,” Congress MP from Rohtak Deepender Hooda told TOI.

The two domestic airports will be built in Karnal and Hisar, while the cargo airport will come up in Rohtak. The plan to open the airports was discussed in a meeting between Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Union civil aviation minister Ajit Singh on July 27 in Delhi.

Read more: The Times of India

Metro’s expansion hits green hurdle

Delhi Metro has hit a green hurdle almost a year after it started construction for Phase 3 of its network. Of a total of roughly 16,000 trees that needed to be felled for the expansion, the forest department has given permission to cut only 3,700 trees. DM Shukla, chief conservator of forest, Delhi government, said, “DMRC has not yet fulfilled some statutory requirements such as forest clearance, getting no objection certificates from DDA and signing MoU with the Defence ministry for land use.”

But sources said unavailability of suitable land for afforestation is also one of the reasons for the roadblock. The forest department had requested the DMRC to identify lands for afforestation. According to a senior official, restoration of Aravali hills is also going on for the same. The compensatory afforestation for trees cut for the 140-km phase 3 would require 125 acres of land.

Read more: HindustanTimes

Haryana Urban Development Authority plans to improve Behrampur Sewage Treatment Plant efficiency

With HUDA planning to supply treated sewage water for construction in the city, the private operator of Behrampur Sewage Treatment Plant ( STP) has been asked to expedite the process.

Senior HUDA officials would be meeting the contractor to sort out the differences and draw a roadmap to improve efficiency of the plant. The firm will be asked to upgrade the equipment at the plant. After the recent high court order to ban use of groundwater at construction sites, HUDA decided to supply treated sewage for construction activities.

With HUDA planning to supply treated sewage water for construction in the city, the private operator of Behrampur Sewage Treatment Plant ( STP) has been asked to expedite the process.

Senior HUDA officials would be meeting the contractor to sort out the differences and draw a roadmap to improve efficiency of the plant. The firm will be asked to upgrade the equipment at the plant. After the recent high court order to ban use of groundwater at construction sites, HUDA decided to supply treated sewage for construction activities.

Read more: The Times of India

Haryana Urban Development Authority claims to have cleared waterlogging at Hero Honda Chowk

HUDA has managed to clear the waterlogging at the Hero Honda Chowk for the time being. The HUDA team led by Sarvesh Joon worked for three consecutive days to clear the water from the perennial trouble spot on NH-8. To chart a strategy to avert waterlogging at Hero Honda Chowk, officials from NHAI, Gurgaon traffic police, HUDA and DSC Ltd held a meeting on Thursday.

“The HUDA team brought a 500-metre-long pipe to flow the rainwater to Khandsa drain thereby ensuring that the water flowed directly to the drain without affecting any other road,” said a HUDA official. After Thursday’s meeting it has been decided that the new pump will be kept at the site and DS Construction has been asked to make arrangement for power.

Read more: The Times of India

Business

Arundhati Bhattacharya to head SBI Caps

State Bank of India (SBI) has re-allocated the portfolios of its deputy managing directors, and has appointed Arundhati Bhattacharya as the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of SBI Capital Markets — its merchant banking arm.

Prior to this new role, Bhattacharya, a deputy managing director, was also the corporate development officer. She will be in contention for the top job after the present Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri’s term ends in September next year.

Read more: Business Standard

It is not our job to help banks achieve targets: K C Chakrabarty

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty, in an interview with Rutam Vora, says banks should not complain about the stiff priority-sector targets. Edited excerpts:

Some banks have said meeting the new priority sector target would be difficult and have sought more time. Will RBI consider it?

Our target is not to help banks achieve their targets. Our job is to look at the lower category borrowers, who find it difficult to get credit. Banks will be forced to pass on the pressure to their local officials to achieve these targets. And the branch manager will then provide loans to those lower-category borrowers.

We don’t consider loans to large corporates under priority sector and have made necessary changes. Now, if they (the banks) want more time it is a different issue and we will examine it. They do not understand why we have given those targets. It is because the work is difficult to achieve. For this, they should not be complaining. At present, we are not doing anything on allowing extensions. If I consider it, I will announce at a proper time or it may come in our policy.

Read more: Business Standard

NRI

Student heading to the US? 3 tax rules to keep in mind

In an earlier article, we saw the various remittance rules for students going abroad to study. The US continues to be a top destination. According to reports, of the 185,000 Indian students enrolled in higher education institutions abroad, the US leads with a share of hosting nearly 55% of all Indian students. In this part, we will look at the tax implications for students going to the US to study.

Read more: The Economic Times

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