Integrated townships for the new age coming up in Delhi NCR
Jul 31, 2013
Source : The Times of India


DELHI: As the cities expand fast, the development of integrated townships has become the order of the day. A number of such townships are being developed in Noida, Greater Noida, and Yamuna Expressway. These townships not only provide good physical infrastructure but also make provision for schools, gymnasiums, hospitals, recreational facilities like jogging tracks and golf courses, hotels and shopping malls to improve the quality of life of the residents.

Integrated townships not only meet the day-to-day requirements of end users but, increasingly, they are being built with lifestyle amenities for quality living. No wonder that the concept of integrated townships has become popular among end users and investors. The lifestyle facilities in these townships make them attractive destinations for the young generation, who cannot afford to buy in the central part of the city.

A number of integrated township projects have been launched in the recent past in and around metropolitan cities like the NCR, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Even in the Tier II cities where the infrastructure is not good, developers are building townships with all requisite social and physical infrastructure. Integrated townships are a community habitat where everything that a family needs – schools, shopping malls, entertainment centres, hotels, hospitals, gymnasiums, libraries, health spa, etc – are available. Not only this, developers themselves make provision for sewage disposal, water supply and electricity to the residents.

As the land in the central areas of existing cities has already been exhausted, developers are forced to go to the periphery of the existing developed areas to construct their housing projects. But as existing infrastructure is not good enough to support the additional population, developers have to develop them on their own in their townships. Ultimately, it is the demand for housing that is driving the development of townships around cities.

Rohan Sharma, senior manager (research and real esate intelligence service) at Jones Lang LaSalle India, says there is little doubt that integrated townships are the format of the future when it comes to city development. They are clusters of housing and commercial businesses with associated infrastructure like roads, schools, hospitals, convenience shopping, water treatment plants, drainage, and sewage facilities.

With urban areas getting more crowded and falling increasingly short on future development potential, integrated townships have been correctly identified as a potential solution.

Integrated townships are rather complex with lower FAR, more open areas, and an emphasis on creating a sustainable living ecosystem with residential and commercial spaces supported by an infrastructure backbone of power, roads, water, drainage, and sewage – a virtual living and breathing city, Sharma says.

As the demand for housing is increasing and the government is not in a position to meet this demand, many developers like DLF, Jaypee, Unitech, Ansals, Vatika, IREO, BPTP, Amrapali, Assotech, Gaursons, Antriksh Group, Logix, Wave Infratech, M3M, Orris, etc, are developing a number of townships around the NCR. Many developers like DLF, Jaypee, Unitech, Antriksh, Logix, Paramount, Orris, Supertech, etc, are also developing golf-centric townships.

R K Arora, CMD of Supertech, says: “A township has plenty to offer for its residents. All the day-to-day requirements and other emergency services are available within the township. Each one comes with an education centre, a healthcare centre, hotels, an entertainment and recreational zone, a commercial centre, shopping complexes, transport services, modern gymnasiums and health spas, etc. All these facilities make life convenient and hassle-free for people living in these townships. But, in small projects, residents have to go to great lengths in meeting their daily requirements as all these services are not available within the premises. Due to this, residents have to move all over the city to meet their daily requirements.” Supertech is developing a number of townships in Greater Noida West.

Anil Sharma, CMD of Amrapali Group, says that new townships are coming up not only in the Delhi NCR, but also in Tier II and Tier III cities, which are equipped with all the modern facilities. Amrapali Group is also developing township in Greater Noida West and in other parts of the country.

Anil Sharma says that integrated townships will undoubtedly develop the cities across India in a more equitable and uniform manner, solving the country’s major urban problems like bad roads, traffic congestions, inadequate water and power supply, and poor sanitation.

Manoj Gaur, whole-time director of Crossings Infrastructure Pvt Ltd and MD of Gaursons India, says that people are tired of bad infrastructure and want to move to those places which provide good and planned infrastructure. If executed in the right manner, integrated township can fulfil the needs and dreams of a majority of the people, he says.

“We have a 9-hole golf course, banking facilities of nationalized banks, and postal services in place in Crossings Republik. Soon, the township will have a cycling track (8km out of the planned 20km is ready) and other green lifestyle facilities to make the life of residents more pleasant, compared to other part of the city,” Gaur says.

Sanjiv Srivastava, the MD of Assotech Ltd, says: “There is a great future for integrated townships and people are keen to buy their houses in such townships.” Assotech is planning to launch townships with world-class facilities, like Assotech Windsor Hills in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and Metropolis in Rudrapur in Uttar Pradesh.

Rakesh Yadav, MD of Antriksh Group, which is developing Antriksh Golf City in Sector 150, Noida, says that townships provide builders an opportunity to develop modern social and physical infrastructure, which would meet the requirements of residents. He says people are ready to pay more provided they are given quality infrastructure. In fact, most of the amenities in integrated townships can be developed in a fashion such that that they become self-sustained.

“The basic architectural layout plan of Antriksh Golf City has been designed by a renowned architectural firm with a vision to create a positive ecosystem for the community and to reconnect the residents with nature. The project will be equipped with a range of energy-conservation technologies to ensure the preservation of natural resources like land, air and water,” Yadav says.

R K Jain, executive director of Wave Infratech, says that, these
days, real estate developers are coming up with integrated townships that offer world-class amenities and facilities at the consumers’ doorstep. The proximity to basic amenities like offices, colleges, schools, hospitals, and leisure spots not only makes commuting easier but also saves time. “Wave City Center, with world-class amenities, is located in the heart of Noida, in Sector 32A & 25, and has been envisioned as a complete and self-contained township,” Jain says.

Kamaljit Singh, senior VP (sales and marketing) of Bestech Group, says that integrated townships provide holistic living, both in terms of infrastructure and amenities. Especially in the developing cities where options are limited and commercial hubs are situated at a distance; townships are just the perfect solution to their residents, providing all options – shopping, banking, and healthcare – all in one place. Bestech Group is developing a township in Dharuhera.

Pankaj Bansal, director of M3M India, says that since townships are usually developed by the private sector and always built or designed from scratch, the quality of urban planning is often state-of-the-art and, in general, civil infrastructure like water pipes, drainage, electric supply, sewage treatment and disposal, water conservation or harvesting, internal roads, lights, security, etc, are superior to those provided by public utilities. The most significant benefit for homebuyers is the relatively lower cost of acquisition. This is mainly due to the fact that most such townships are located in distant suburbs or semi-developed areas where land prices are significantly lower than those prevailing in downtown areas. M3M India is developing a township in Gurgaon.

However, for the speedy implementation of the township projects, which will also bring down the prices for end users, Rohan Sharma of JLL says that the development of townships should be granted infrastructure status, as the focus of integrated townships towards creating affordable housing as well as infrastructural development. This would enable these projects to gain cheaper and more established source of funds while also providing the kind of tax benefits to developers that are needed to make this model of development more attractive to them.

Single-window clearance has also been a long-standing demand of the real esate sector. If implemented, it will greatly aid larger projects like integrated townships.

As local municipal authorities lack funds to undertake intensive urbanization drives on any significant scale in major cities, integrated townships, with a focus on the development of ancillary infrastructure, are a clear solution, Rohan Sharma says. Thus, financial incentives and faster clearances from state governments are paramount requirements if this concept were to gain ground.

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