PUNE: Most of the urban cities that grew beyond the major metropolis have overshadowed the parent city for reasons more than one. While the growth of these new cities in terms of infrastructure has been better and organised, it has been well supported by the growth of economic activity. Is Pune growing at the cost of Mumbai and overshadowing the peer big city?
A close look at the rise and growth of Pune on the country’s realty landscape suggests that Pune is a story in contrast. The realty growth in the city has been more organised and structured. It has not been growing at the cost of Mumbai. As a matter of fact, Pune has nowhere overshadowed Mumbai in terms of urbanisation, economic activity or lifestyle choices but its growth nevertheless, has been better than Mumbai.
Analysts, however, maintain that both cities are different and have different issues. Has the evolution of Pune been better than Mumbai? In some ways yes but in some ways no. The fundamentals of the real estate market, driven by the expat working class, have not been very different to each other.
Rohit Gera, managing director, Gera Developments, says that it is not prudent to say that Pune has overshadowed Mumbai. The fact is that Mumbai is the capital of the state and the financial capital of the country. However, the real estate costs in Pune are far more affordable. Both can co-exist and complement each other. This nevertheless, brings to the table the inevitable question of the lessons that Pune has learnt well from the unorganised development of Mumbai.
“Developers pay a substantial amount for approvals at the time of obtaining commencement certificates. This amount goes into the PMC funds and is spent in various places. The PMC ought to spend the money in the ward or zone it is collected. These large amounts of money indicate that in the future, there will be a substantial population increase in those areas. Therefore, the PMC does have an advance warning as to where population will be moving over time,” adds Gera.
Everyone within the built environment of Pune agrees that providing the infrastructure in a new area will mean that by the time people move in, infrastructure can actually be delivered. This will bring about a huge change from the current model where the population movement and
infrastructure development are not in tandem. Dhaval Ajmera, director, Ajmera Realty & Infra maintains that Mumbai hosts maximum investment due to the rapid urbanisation and growth witnessed in every sector. Pune is known for its renowned educational institutions and the biggest IT hub which is enticing massive progresses in and around the city.
“Mumbai faces the biggest problem of land crunch and population explosion due to migration from distant cities and towns. In spite of several housing projects coming up, the city at large, needs thousands of housing units for the populace. Shanties are brooding in large numbers, leading to a constraint and much needed urbanisation. Pune, comparatively, has a considerable land resource which is now being developed to create housing and commercial settlements,” points out Gera.
Abhay Kumar, CMD of GrihPravesh Buildteck, categorically says Mumbai still enjoys being the headquarters of the state government and top financial institutions and relocating them is nowhere in the agenda. It has all the stock markets, the diamond hub, ports and above all, a huge coastal line which will always be an added advantage. “The high density population affects the infrastructure and planned development becomes extremely difficult. The development in Navi Mumbai whose planning authority is CIDCO is similar to Pune. CIDCO did a better job like what MIDC did for Pune,” opines Kumar.
Property analysts tracking the market admit that Pune’s planners were careful when the city’s development started and they took care of the mistakes which happened in Mumbai. Dense population becomes difficult for any infrastructure. Growth concentrated in small areas becomes quite unmanageable and the economic activity which brings urbanisation and prosperity, is also affected.
In Pune, the government offices, IT hubs and other economic activities, are quite well-spread which creates a good demand of realty in different geographical locations. Pune is observing an enumerable working population, comparatively less than Mumbai. Thus, it is not growing at the cost of Mumbai, rather Pune has its own unique demand drivers which set it apart from Mumbai in many ways.