Infra, a priority in Mangalore

A well-defined policy on transferable development rights for land acquisition would help speed up infrastructure projects.

Mangalore city has been witnessing rapid growth in the real estate segment in the past few years, thanks to infrastructure development. Considering the correlation between these two areas, the stakeholders in these sectors came under a platform to discuss various facets of these two sectors.

An open house session on ‘Mangalore infrastructure', jointly organised by the Kanara Builders' Association and the Mangalore centre of Association of Consulting Civil Engineers here, recently discussed major issues such as road widening and concreting, and their impact on shaping transferable development rights (TDR).

The session also discussed the problems associated with some of the arterial road development projects.

It is a fact that Mangalore has been witnessing large-scale widening and concreting of major arterial roads for the last three years. A majority of these works have been taken up under the Rs 100-crore grant sanctioned by the Karnataka Government for this purpose.

Mr Vijay Vishnu Mayya, Chairman of the Mangalore branch of Association of Consulting Civil Engineers, who was a speaker at the session, said more roads should be widened to boost further growth.

DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS

On the development of arterial roads in the city, Mr Dharmaraj, Chief Executive Officer of Mohtisham Complexes Pvt Ltd (one of the developers in the city), said that land acquisition in some of the central business district areas of the city cost more than the development. This is coming in the way of development of roads.

Giving the example of the Hampankatta circle, he said Mangalore City Corporation has prepared a proposal to develop a flyover at the circle. Though the estimated cost of the project is around Rs 17 crore, acquisition of around one acre of land in that area would cost more than that.

As the area is cluttered with shops and other business establishments, many of them will have to give three to four cents of land for development. The guidance value in that area is around Rs 15 lakh a cent. The market rate in that region is much more than that in that area, he said. (One acre is equal to 100 cents).

In such a situation, it is essential to focus on implementing TDR for infrastructure development in the city. If implemented, it will help both the authorities and the land owners. While the local authorities don't have to spend on land acquisition, the land owner would get a better price for the acquired land. The land owner can sell the TDR to the developers who are in need of that. This would also help boost the real estate market in the city, he said.

A majority of members stressed the need for a proper policy on TDR while taking up infrastructure development work in the city.

DEPARTMENTS' ROLE

Some participants at the open house session also expressed unhappiness at the attitude of some Central government departments in surrendering land for city development. Many of them opined that while the city corporation manages to acquire the land of residents, it faces problems with government properties. . The problem arises when the property belongs to the government agencies.

Giving the example of a Central Government undertaking at Pandeshwar area in the city, Mr Dharmaraj said that particular department was reluctant to give the land for road widening.

The area is a vital link for several business establishments and residential properties. The participants were of the view that several such instances are occurring in other parts of the city also.

Mr M. Ranga Pai, President of Kanara Builders' Association, said that infrastructure such as water supply, roads, parks and electricity are essential for the growth of the real estate sector.

Mr Mayya said that though the initial Rs 100 crore given by the Government has been spent on road widening and concreting, another instalment of another Rs 100 crore (which is yet to be released), should be spent on utility improvements and for drainage and water supply systems in the city. Mr Dharmaraj suggested improvements in various areas of water supply network in the city.

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