Pune Presents Unique Model for Real Estate Development

By: George Gonigal

Amidst endless controversies and bloodbath at places like Nandigram and Singur over acquisition of land, Magarpatta Township of Pune presents a unique example of how even farmers can be involved in modern real estate development, in a peaceful and pleasant manner.

About 100 families that own land on the outskirts of Pune have come up with an ultra-modern township, spread in some 400 acre of land, following their determination to not to sell their ancestral property to real estate developers. The township sports a mini golf-course, a lake, multi-storied apartment buildings and a cyber city, which is no way less than those of DLFs and Unitechs.

Originally, Satish Magar, an entrepreneur with a political background, had come up with an idea of developing a model integrated township in the 1990s when most of the farmers and small-time landowners were allured by real estate developers to sell their properties. Of course, a countless number of people were forged into the deals, only to find themselves in a tricky situation. In absence of financial planning, most of the families could not manage the capital they made out of selling land and came to ground zero after some time; where neither did they have money nor the land they had ownership upon.

It was then Magar convinced them with his model under which they retained their ownership over land while at the same time he collectively developed their land to give it a shape of an integrated township-the one of its kind real estate project in India.

After the success of Magarpatta, farmers of Avasari Khurd, a village near Pune have been given an in-principle sanction from the Maharasthra Government to establish a Special Economic Zone. According to estimates, the SEZ project will figure the collective worth of Rs 900 crore where in 3,500 acre of land will be developed, out of which 2,500 acre of land will be used for industrial development, and the rest will be used for residential property development.

Around 2,500 acres will be used for industrial development and around 1,000 acres for residential purposes. A detailed proposal is to be submitted to the State Government within a month. Not only will this initiative create ownership of the SEZ by the farmers, but also bring 18,000 jobs to the area.

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