Architects will be empowered to give all permissions: Ar Manoj Vishwakarma

Ar Manoj VishwakarmaBy Accommodation Times Bureau

In an Exclusive interview with Ar Manoj Vishwakarma, various aspects of Real Estate Development and planning were detailed. Architect Manoj Vishwakarma is a CMD of Dotom, a Professional firm which is developing many landmark Project in Mumbai City.

1.      What is the customer preference for Product Mix means there demand is for 1bhk, 2bhk or more?

The growing stagnation level since 2015 in the mumbai residential market is ascribed to various parameters like unaffordable price level for consumers, project delays, and slow economic scenario. And looking at the after effect of Demonetization, RERA, GST and uncertainty about the DDCR2023 , the developer community has tried to push products which was necessarily in line with the consumer requirement. Lot of these projects came with many offers and arrangement to reduce the price of end-product for buyers of 1BHK, 2BHK or more.

In many instances, the built-up area of the apartments were reduced to compensate for relatively more capital value (Rs/sq ft) and reduce per transaction cost to match with the pocket of buyers. The concept of Product Mix introduced to invite all different pocket size buyers.

We have understood that the buyer wants to ensure proper positioning of the project both in terms of pricing as well as product offering. We are delivering ongoing project at various locations and we have analyzed that Rs 40-70 Lakh segment accounts for 45% share of consumer preference. The budget segment in Rs 70-100 Lakh has a further share of 25%. This shows that almost 70% of buyers in mumbai are looking for properties in Rs 1 Crore price bracket. When the buyer preference is looked from size of apartment perspective, we found that most preferred size is under 600 – 700 sq.ft. Hence, the commendable demand is 1BHK (upto 70% )and 2BHK(upto 30%) in the Product mix is working well in the market. But better not to ignore the higher segment also by having Jodi provision in layout.

2.           What should be the total ideal time to complete a project

The intelligent time management is the main key in the construction industry. Construction is a complex process, involving numerous activities and participants throughout the entire working. The requisite tasks, as well as the responsibilities of the owner, architects, contractors, and subcontractors, may be organized in many different ways to deliver the desired result. Adopting methodology as per condition and by analyzing construction program as project manual, it is easy to deliver the construction of 5 lakh sq ft residential colony in a period of 24 month. But when it comes to project period, it involved the other aspect like, encumbrance clearance, departmental Approval, sales and funding lead to project period in realty upto 5-6 years. Out of which the departmental approval is crucial part which is one of major aspect driving the status of project. Departmental approval involve multiple Clarence, compliance and NOC’s , which need to be fulfill throughout the completion of project. All paperwork delay the project due to tedious and manual paperwork, lack of a streamlined system, lack of clarity in interpretation of regulations and multiple windows for obtaining permissions, non availability of MCGM staff and ofcoruse corruption. Government has also considered the fact and promoting the Ease of doing business and brought multiple major NOC’s at corporation level, so that departmental approval shall not major task for any development.

Ideally, if the entire portfolio works well then project period shall not be more then 36-40 Month.

3.          Should BMC give a proof to Architect to satisfied project compliance?

The state government’s urban development department has come up with a notice that will empower architects to grant building approval in certain cases. As per the notice, architects are being given the power to grant construction permit under ease of doing business in the real estate sector. However, the permission comes with a set of riders.

This will eliminate the role of the building proposal department in giving approvals. In such cases a builder will not have to go to the building proposal department of the BMC as architects will be empowered to give all permissions. The notice reads, “The approval of building proposal will be inclusive of all type of approvals, such as amended plan approval, commencement certificate, building completion certificate cum occupation certificate.” To keep the watch that the work done is properly, the government has put clauses like, “On completion of work, Architect/Licensed Surveyor shall submit the building completion certificate to MCGM and shall issue building completion cum occupation certificate as required as per the provision of acts. The architect shall submit site inspection report along with photographs, video clips at stages.” For example, while submitting the building proposal after completion of various stages like plinth work, first floor level, and second floor level and finally at the time of submitting the building completion certificate, the architect shall have to furnish video and photographic evidences.

Notice further says that it will be now responsibility of the architect to look after the project and award the occupation certificate to the project. If there is some deviation between the submitted project details and actual constructions, then the architect will be solely responsible for these lapses. Henceforth, the BMC engineers will not give the OC or inspect the progress of each project work. The BMC vigilance department officials will only carry out random checks and submit its report,” states the circular.

State government’s decision of putting the onus of project approval and occupation certificate for a building on the architect of the project has shaken the architecture fraternity. This is a dangerous step taken by the state government.  “It is like lawyers has been authorised to take judgement of any case and Judges will verify that the judgement is correct and if not found upto mark then action will be taken against Laywer.” Government is shrugging of its responsibility and putting the onus on architects. Architects are not legal experts. The law can be interpreted in any way. Moreover, Mumbai developed organically and lateron development plan come up. Every development is specific and treated based on their parameter.

The decision will, in fact, lead to greater corruption, once the plan is submitted by the architects, it has to be also approved by the government department and the occupation certificate has to be also given by them only. Architect shall always there to cooperate and rectify the mistake from time to time. Also he shall certify all the local NOC’s , wherein private consultant can be involved and reduced down the process of granting approval for speedy disposal.

Besides above, in practise architects opted for different specialisation like Landscape, building project, interior, town planning etc. Government shall set the eligibility criteria like 3 years practise in building project and offer some felicitation or empanelment after conducting orientation examination before allowing any authorisation to architect to grant approval. This is like introducing one more exposer to architect fraternity, whether to opt this as career as choice.

4.          How industry will be benefited if one window concept introduce for all permission

The government is pushing for online application of building proposals and common application forms for approvals, from various departments. The construction industry in Mumbai, is eagerly waiting for the single-window clearance of all approvals within 30 days, to be implemented. The procedure is at the final stage of implementation. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), announced that they have started online acceptance of documents for building proposals, from May 15, 2016. The civic body has integrated approvals pertaining to the fire and water departments, while the integration of clearances pertaining to coastal regulation zones and forests, owing to the national park located within the city, clearance from Environmental department, airport authority, Heritage department are underway.

Developers on their part, have consistently complained that they face multiple hardships owing to delays in obtaining approvals. Developer have experienced a lot of delays due to lack of a streamlined system for obtaining approvals. Lack of clarity in interpretation of regulations and multiple windows for obtaining permissions, increased the time taken for projects to commence. As a result, in the past few years, numerous complaints have been filed in the consumer courts against developers, for delays in the delivery of flats.

I must say that Delivery timelines play a big role in determining how attractive a developer’s project is to investors and how much confidence end- users will have in a developer. In other words, developers not only suffer financial loss because of approval delays but also lose credibility. I must say further that on time delivery with a single-window approval system may help to offer reduced price point to home buyers. Faster approvals will also help developers to start construction of their projects on time and keep it within the planned budget, by avoiding year-on-year inflation in costs.

Single-window clearances will eventually benefit the end-user. However, It will increase competitiveness among developers and it could also bring about over-supply, if developers are not intelligent about their launch choices.

5.           Will TDR in South Mumbai reduce the prices

The modified policy allows buying/selling of TDR across the city. Earlier, the TDR could only be sold to developments north of where it was originally generated. It will allow developers to load additional FSI to developments, in areas where the demand is high. Furthermore, a developer can generate cash flows, by transferring the development rights to a potentially larger market. This TDR can now be used anywhere in the island city based on the indexing rule that inflates or deflates the FSI usable based on relative Ready Reckoner Rates (RRR) for locations where generated and where utilized. The policy has allowed the use of all kinds of TDR (slum, amenity) in the island city; earlier only heritage TDR was allowed. Higher premiums and indexation of TDR, will lead to higher costs, thereby, pushing property prices upwards. Supply will increase in the island city on wider roads, which will lead to higher TDR costs and increase in prices. Infect, the premiums are sometimes higher than the construction cost, in upscale localities of South Mumbai.

In the real sense, this premium will creates a chain of loading. The BMC forcing it upon developers and the developers, in turn, passing it on to the home buyers. It will never create a concept of a decent stock of affordable housing. Land cost in Mumbai is so high and construction costs are also increasing. There are so many hidden costs involved in the system and now, over and above that, we have this high premium. In nut shell “thinking of reduce price point in south Mumbai will be only a dream for mumbaiker”

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