Thursday, July 21, 2005

"Garden city to get back verdant look": Huh?

Garden city to get back verdant look
Business Standard

The revised draft Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) 2015 for the Bangalore Metropolitan Area (BMA) is likely to shake the realty business in Bangalore.

The revised plan has suggested sweeping changes which, when implemented, are likely to alter the city from the way it is now.

Bangalore in the future is to grow only in zones -- right from the central business district (CBD) to green belt or agricultural zones in the peripheral areas.

The main aim of zoning the city is to preserve nature (green belt, natural valleys for water flow - which recharges ground water) and allow development in patches around the city, said BDA Commissioner M N Vidyashankar.

As part of the plan, interlinking of lakes, dedicated development zones, Industrial areas, green belts and restoration of good old traditional bazzar (petta) areas have been given preference, he added.

People associated with the real estate industry say he plan currently on public display for 60 days, may undergo a few more changes before implementation.

As per the draft CDP, the Bangalore Metropolitian Area (BMA) will be 1,306 sq kms, of which the area for development (conurbation area) will be 786 sq kms, green belt and agricultural areas 455 sq kms and projected population for 2015 within BMA 8.84 million. One much publicised aspect of the draft plan is an area of 248 sq km of the green belt being unlocked for Bangalore's growth.

The government has responded to criticism on this score by pointing out that the green belt ares in question have been extensively encroached and are 'green' only on paper.

Green belt has been cut into in the north and south to accommodate the Bangalore International Airport Project Area (BIAPA) at Devanahalli and Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC).

In addition to green belt unlocking, the CDP also plans to increase floor area ratio (FAR) in a few zones.

People in the realty world say this will increase the supply of real estate, thereby bringing down prices in the zones where they are already overheated.

When the CDP is enforced, the area stretching from Hosur Road to Doddaballapur Road is likely to witness hectic development, says Ashish B Singh, regional manager, Cushman Wakefield India.

"Some companies which have presence in south Bangalore and are looking for expansion have already begun to scout for good parcels of land in north Bangalore.

This trend started when IBM, Philips and Infosys committed space in the north," said Mayank Saksena of Chesterton Meghraj Property Consultants.

With these developments taking precedence, space offtake is likely to double by the time the new international airport comes up at Devanahalli (north Bangalore) in 2008.

According to Ram T Chandnani, head south India operations, CB Richard Ellis, the office space supply for the year 2005 is pegged at 14 million square feet.

Across Bangalore city (including Grade A & B) about 11.38 million square feet of commercial office space is under construction across in all micro markets.


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