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Over eight months, property prices at Powai in central Mumbai have almost doubled
Powai is a tony residential location in central Mumbai. Property prices here are reaching for the stratosphere. Rates have almost doubled over the past eight months. Recently, a two bedroom-hall-kitchen (BHK) of 985 square feet (sq ft) in Lake Homes, a residential complex—developed by Ekta World and Supreme Universal— sold for between Rs 90 lakh-Rs 95 lakh. During the slowdown (around nine months back), an apartment of the same size would have sold for Rs68 lakh. In 2007, when the real-estate segment was at its peak, this apartment would have sold for Rs78 lakh, revealed a source.
Prices have been steadily going up in this apartment complex (Lake Homes). Around a month back, the property was priced between Rs80 lakh-Rs85 lakh; four deals took place at these prices. “Prices have been rising quite rapidly. I have seen four-five deals happening at Rs80 lakh-Rs85 lakh—recently a deal took place between Rs90 lakh–Rs95 lakh,” said a resident of that area, who preferred anonymity.
He also added, “The fourth phase of Lake Homes was launched at Rs5,400 per sq ft in May 2009, because the realty sector was going through a slowdown. But now I feel that the bubble is blowing up.” Currently, a 2 BHK in Lake Homes (of 985 sq ft) is priced at Rs 110,00,000, according to Magicbricks.com. A property agent in Powai said that the current price of a resale property in Lake Homes ranges between Rs11,000-Rs11,500 per sq ft.
The Nahar Group, which was selling new buildings (of 925-975 sq ft) at its Nahar Amrit Shakti project in Powai at Rs52 lakh-Rs 58 lakh, is now quoting a price of around Rs 90 lakh. The group launched a residential project named Lilium & Lantana during the slowdown (around eight months back) at Rs5,400 per sq ft plus floor rise (a premium of Rs50 per sq ft), but now the price has jumped up to Rs9,000 per sq ft plus the floor rise premium. Hiranandani Gardens, a project by Hiranandani Developers, is retailing at a price ranging between Rs14,000-Rs18,000 per sq ft, said the realty agent. This area had reported sale of a 3 BHK flat (1,350 sq ft, fully furnished) at Rs1.15 crore around nine months back. Now it is difficult to get a 2 BHK flat at this price.
On top of this, buyers are also being forced to cough up 3% extra as service tax if the property is under construction. The Budget proposals on service tax on such properties have still not come into force, but developers are apparently passing on this proposed tax to customers. To add to the woes of prospective buyers, home loan interest rates have also gone up.
Biswajit Mohanty, an environmental activist, plans to initiate legal action against Vedanta’s refinery in Orissa on the issue of alleged violations of environmental norms. The activist also plans to take legal action on the long-running ‘mining scam’ in the state
Environmental activist Biswajit Mohanty is planning to initiate legal action against the Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta group for allegedly violating environmental clearances given to its aluminium plant in Orissa. He had also written to the ministry of environment and forests on the issue earlier.
Apart from the Vedanta group, the activist also plans to initiate legal action against illegal mining in two districts in Orissa.
“We will take legal action on the basis that the environmental regulations are being violated and hence the same should be withdrawn, and operations should be suspended,” said Biswajit Mohanty, general secretary, Wildlife Society of Orissa.
Last month, Mr Mohanty had written to Jairam Ramesh, Union minister for environment and forests, alleging that Vedanta was flouting the conditions in its clearance letter by buying bauxite ore elsewhere and then carting it to its refinery on trucks, which is causing air pollution in that area.
PTI news reports have also quoted Mr Ramesh as stating that a ministerial expert committee that had gone into various mining projects in Orissa found violations of various permissions by Vedanta at its Niyamgiri Hills mining site.
A three-member team of the ministry submitted its report to the government, saying that it had found evidence of violations of green norms at the company’s bauxite project in the Kalahandi district of Orissa. However, Mr Mohanty has not received any direct reply to his letter to the ministry.
“The government should not have allowed the refinery to operate for the past two-and-a-half years. They are causing a huge environmental problem due to the trucks (which are plying), as they are sourcing bauxite from Korba in Chhattisgarh, which is illegal. Around 40,000 trucks ply on this route every year,” Mr Mohanty added.
Alleging that the companies involved in mining are taking out more ore than permitted, Mr Mohanty said that there is a “mining scam” going on in Orissa, which could be bigger than the one in Andhra Pradesh. He said that he is planning to take action against 40 mines in Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts in Orissa.
These mines are mainly iron ore mines and some are of chromate and bauxite. These are mines used by some of the large steel companies and business groups, including a state-run company.
“Every mine is given a cap on the amount of ore that they produce, but the production is much in excess than the one allowed as per the Pollution Act. This has been happening since many years, but the regulatory authority woke up to it only four to five years back. However, action still needs to be taken,” explained Mr Mohanty.
Mr Mohanty claims that many of these mines neither have environmental clearances nor have they have applied for it. “These were mines allotted many years back. If the companies operating these mines wished to exceed the capacity, they should have approached the concerned authority for an increase in the cap,” he added.
Cairn has said that it is on track to ramp up output from its Rajasthan fields to 125,000 barrels per day in the second half of 2010 from the current output of around 20,000 barrels per day
Cairn India Ltd on Tuesday said that oil reserves in its Thar Desert field in Rajasthan have increased to 4 billion barrels, reports PTI.
Previously, discovered resources were pegged at 3.7 billion barrels of oil and oil-equivalent gas, the company said in a press statement.
"Our resource base provides potential to produce 2,40,000 barrels per day (as against the previous estimate of 1,75,000 bpd)," it said.
Cairn said that it is on track to ramp up output from its Rajasthan fields to 1,25,000 bpd in the second half of 2010. Current output is around 20,000 bpd.
The company has tied up sale of 1,43,000 bpd (over 7 million tonnes a year) of oil. Cairn said that production potential from Mangala, the largest field in the block, has increased to 150,000 bpd from the previous 125,000 bpd.