New Delhi: The Indian real estate market is now at a stage of evolution wherein integrated townships are no longer just an option - they are a dire necessity. With a number of India's large developers now developing these futuristic mini-cities, townships are rapidly becoming the most significant model of property development in the foreseeable future.
With urban living rapidly giving way to extreme turmoil and lack of civic amenities, it is definitely high time for the proliferation stage of townships in India. Indian metros invariably 'explode' from the centre outwards, with the inner locations becoming the focal points of heat and pressure. Therefore, urbanization also happens with the city centre consistently receiving - and maintaining - the highest saturation of population.
Developable land in these places becomes increasingly expensive and soon unavailable. This leads to developers active in these areas to build up every square inch of their plots and selling their units there at exorbitant prices. In this kind of environment, opens spaces, infrastructure and overall accessibility are rapidly eroded by buildings. Also, these areas are increasingly plagued by extreme traffic congestion, shortage of parking and very high pollution.
Conversely, integrated townships offer their residents complete supporting infrastructure. They are no developed with the objective of maximum development potential but maximum liveability potential, and this means that they also provide green and open spaces.
In fact, the difference between the liveability quotients of integrated townships versus traditionally developed residential areas in a city are considerable - while the former enjoy clean air, green open spaces, regulated traffic, constant water and power supply and quick access to shopping, healthcare and entertainment, the latter tend to be defined by high pollution levels, a 'concrete jungle' ethos, bumper-to-bumper traffic, crippling commuting times and frequent power and water cuts.
There is no doubt that integrated townships are fast becoming the only viable long-term residential choice for metropolitan living. With this emerging as a clear fact, city dwellers that are looking to upgrade to the township life are on the rapid increase.
The following are some basic tips for choosing the right kind of township:
* Check whether the developer has obtained all the requisite municipal and environmental clearances. There are a number of approvals and clearances that the developer must obtain before his township project is legally sacrosanct and future-viable. Ensuring that all of these are indeed in place is very important to safeguard your investment as well as the future comfort of your family.
* Check the developer's track record for completing his larger projects on time. Most developers of townships also have smaller projects to their credit, but smaller residential projects also take less time and capitalization to develop. Large integrated townships are developed in phases and take much longer to reach final completion, so the developer should show sufficient evidence of healthy capitalization and a flawless record for handing over possession to customers.
* Check whether the developer has included a sufficient saturation of commercial buildings in the plan. The generous availability of office spaces within the township has a two-fold benefit - firstly, it will mean a potential walk-to-work option in the future. Secondly, the investment value of residential properties increases with proximity to job-generating commercial establishments.
* Check on what kind of developments will come in to take care of your shopping, entertainment and healthcare needs. Likewise, there should be good schools planned within the township. Do not be satisfied with the mere proximity of such establishments outside the township - they should be included within the township itself.
(Arvind Jain is the Managing Director of Pride Group)