Amit Kulkarni_Redevelopment Market_ProjectsMonitor— Amit Kulkarni, Director, Varasiddhi Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd

Varasiddhi Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, formed in 2006, aims to become one of Mumbai’s best redevelopment companies through a healthy balance of aesthetics and green design. Amit Kulkarni, in an email interaction with Lalitha Rao, discusses the various aspects of building redevelopment projects in Mumbai.

With the amendment of new Development Control Regulations rules by the Maharashtra government, the focus seems to have shifted to redevelopment in Mumbai.
Yes, for a certain period of time the proposals were not moving due to lack of clarity on the Development Control Regulations front, but from last six to seven months things have been sorted and are moving smoothly from the approving authority’s end and a lot of societies have started opting for redevelopment.

Do you think the DCR rules will now bring about the much-needed transparency in the real estate market?
Yes, the government has now clearly identified the net usable area which is a part of FSI etc. and there are less chances of any other area being added in the carpet area component. There area hardly any loopholes left under the Development Control Regulations for misusing which will directly or indirectly cut on corruption, if any.

How do you see the variation in challenges of redevelopment in the western and central suburbs of Mumbai?
The western and central suburbs have seen different scales of development in their respective areas due to their geographical character and proximity to prime business districts. Social aspect plays a bigger role in redevelopment and both suburbs have different kinds of population which slightly varies in lifestyle and has different expectations from redevelopment. This basic requirement impacts the redevelopment dynamics.

What is the best sustainable model of redevelopment for Mumbai?
Projects which protect the mutual interest of existing members, developers and new buyers along with infrastructural and environmental balances would be the best sustainable model of redevelopment. If the transparency is maintained in the entire redevelopment process, there are fewer chances of descanting members, thus completing the project in time where ultimately existing member, developers and new buyer are benefited.

The western suburbs need an infrastructure push along with the redevelopment.
As stated in my above response, the western suburbs is dense and has put a lot of pressure on all sorts of infrastructure .It won’t be wrong if we call it a concrete jungle which needs to be softened in terms of visual and also indirect impact on infrastructure.

Adopting green buildings will ensure that mandatory green landscape is provided as well as recycling of water, rainwater harvesting, and use of all such materials and devices which will have a lesser impact on environment and energy.

What are some of the factors that go hand in hand with redevelopment projects?
The factors that go hand in hand with redevelopment projects are that all the projects should fit in the environmental norms which will help sort out many issues Mumbai city is facing due to too much development. Developers will have to look beyond square feet and create a project which will not only provide housing but will enrich the lifestyle of the resident which in turn will ensure that the project is maintained properly for everlasting comfort.

If all the builders follow such norms then there will be minimal impact on overall infrastructure work. Adequate parking facility will ensure lesser congestion and ultimately will help in fuel consumption aspect.

The trend of theme-based projects is slowly picking up in India. What kind of demand are you witnessing for such projects?
Mumbai being India’s financial market there are various types of housing demands e.g. from 300 sq. ft house to 10,000 sq. ft sky villa etc. One has to cater to all kinds of market requirements, which has called for these theme-based projects. Most of these projects have some unique amenity which the city is deprived of. We are creating one such in Chembur where theme is green spaces.

What are your views on the government tie-up with private developers for rehabilitation projects?
These kinds of projects are the future of real estate in Mumbai, as government participation will ensure timely approval procedure, and adherence to rules and regulations till the completion of the project. Developer participation will bring financial and aesthetical value on the table. But, the typical bureaucratic approach and typical builder mindset might spoil the relation due to lack of coordination and trust.

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