Pune Real Estate Developer Suggests for Srzs

By: George Gonigal

Pune's real estate developer Mr. Kumar Gera, Chairman, CREDAI in his welcome address at the CREDAI's National Convention - NATCON 2008 held from 7th to 9th January at Hotel Ashok, New Delhi put forth a very interesting idea. That of creating Special Residential Zones (SRZs) in the periphery of every city.

He spoke about the dearth of affordable homes in all the big cities and creation of special zones namely SRZs was the solution he suggested. This is the only way we can solve the housing problem in India and make real estate within the reach of all and not just the privileged few, Pune based Gera said.

In his welcome address Gera, one of the biggest real estate developers in Pune, said that, "It is time to consider SRZs- Special Residential Zones with units below 60 sq. mtr. This could be patterned on the SEZ Act with similar processes of approval, monitoring and supervision."

Like the SEZs, even the SRZs may be given special incentives and tax breaks and this would encourage real estate developers to foray into the segment of affordable housing in a big way.

This could happen across the country, especially in the peripheral areas of big cities and metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad etc.

In order to solve the problem of accessibility of these SRZs lying on the peripheries of cities, he suggested that JNNURM funds may be linked to connecting these SRZs by creating hi-speed transit corridors. With hi-speed transport links created, people will be able to live in affordable homes and in a place with good social and physical infrastructure.

Gera gave a word of caution saying that care should be taken to ensure that these special residential zones are not new slums but gated communities meeting present day needs of the middle classes with realistic FSIs, FARs and other norms.

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