Social infrastructure for quality life
Sep 27, 2013
Source : The Times of India


MUMBAI: Buying a suitable house that fits in their budget is no doubt very important for home buyers. However, equally vital are the educational, health, transport, security, cultural and recreational facilities for quality living, which range from grocery stores and markets to banks, schools, hospitals, theatres, restaurants, clubs, religious places, etc. “Buyers have always had a holistic approach and they prefer to have schools, hospitals, shopping complexes, entertainment centres, etc., in close proximity. The priorities, of course, vary from buyer to buyer and also between projects,” states Apurva Gupta, senior vice president-marketing, Hubtown Ltd.

According to Vivek Mohanani, joint managing director, Ekta World, though the list of demands has extended over the decades due to the changing aspirations and lifestyles to include a few additions like malls, multiplexes, green spaces, play schools, play area for children, etc., the basic wishlist has remained more or less the same over the years.

“There may be a few addons but the basic needs have remained the same over the years like schools, hospitals, convenience stores within a 5-km radius. Bus stops and railway stations nearby also add value. However, for premium apartment buyers, these are not important as they have their own vehicles. They look for a good ambience, open spaces with a sea view, etc.,” he adds. Sunil Gehi, proprietor, Mohan Estate Consultants, agrees, “For highend buyers, distance is not an issue as they have cars at their disposal. For them, a good ambience, slumfree areas and accessibility by road are of paramount importance. Middle-class families prefer to have schools, markets, medical facilities, etc., in close proximity, along with easy accessibility to public transport and a secure neighbourhood.”

Apart from the demographic factors, the priorities also vary depending on other conditions of the buyer – whether he or she is single, married or with school going children or is a senior citizen. For instance, schools may top the list for couples with young children, while for singles living alone, theatres, clubs, etc., may be more important. Developers too, take cognisance of social infrastructure facilities while purchasing land for their projects. “We give high priority to social amenities while we locate our projects, as good social infrastructure will push our sales automatically,” avers Gupta. “If we opt for development on the outskirts with poor facilities, we provide as many amenities as possible within our township. It is possible to do so since vast stretches of land are available in distant suburbs,” he adds.

Mohanani concurs, saying, “We always ensure that our project is located where social infra facilities are available. Where it is unavailable, we try to provide maximum amenities within our townships. If we want to depopulate Mumbai, we must create self-sustaining hubs. For this, developers have to depend on the local bodies who have to bring in the social infra support system.” In the last two decades, many developers have been providing several amenities within their complexes, including schools, malls, clubhouses, swimming pools and sport facilities. An ideal scenario is to have everything in one’s wishlist; however, this may not happen for several reasons. So, a buyer may have to compromise, depending on his or her priorities.

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