Bottom Line:Track2Realty questions whose responsibility is it to create the much needed social infrastructure. More importantly, why does it always fall into the corridor of uncertainty when a developer dares to venture into something that is not directly ROI driven?
Reforms in the real estate can not be a one-way track. Facilitation and level playing field are probably two most glaring missing link in the Indian real estate. The urban planners in this part of the world are hence still debating as to whose responsibility is it to create a social infrastructure and recreation projects that could elevate the positioning of the given city.
For example, one of the major traction points of Gurgaon, despite other massive developments, have been the Golf Course and the projects by various developers even at the far end of the Golf Course Road are still being marketed in the name of proximity to the project. More importantly, it has elevated the positioning of the entire city and added aspiration quotient.
While there is no denying that quality social infrastructure projects like Golf Club have been the USP of India’s luxury landscape in Gurgaon, yet such projects have often fallen into the no man’s land in terms of its ownership issues and challenges to create.
No doubt, everyone wants to avail these recreation centers but no one wants the pains to create it. Worse even, such endeavours by the private parties have often been up against the challenges and road blocks with neither the state being a facilitator nor the eco system being conducive.
Social Infrastructure challenges
Attraction quotient of a location has symbiotic relation with social infrastructure
Locations where social infrastructure could not keep pace with the roadway and highways lose out
Lack of social infrastructure a glaring missing link in India’s urban planning
Endeavours by the developers often been up against the challenges and road blocks
Neither the government agencies are facilitator nor the eco system conducive for developers’ creating social infrastructure
The Punjab and Haryana High Court order a couple of years back that quashed the Haryana Government’s decision to transfer 350 acres of land in Gurgaon also raised the issue of land acquisition for public welfare as the allotted land was also for the development of sports activity and a golf course, besides a residential society and commercial facilities.
Despite of its unique position and importance such recreation projects are often blamed as the projects meant for the high & fly class who are least bothered to look for the government support. But the facilitating role of the state is very important to create an eco system of facilitation that leads to the city being developed as an investment magnet.
More often than not, it is the progressive policies of the government that defines whether the given property market can turn into ‘destination luxury’ and high growth corridor.
Gurgaon, as a matter of fact emerged as one such destination with the progressive policies of the government coupled with some innovative initiatives of the developers. In this market, social infrastructure was given equal importance to the growth of the physical infrastructure.
Collectively, they paved the way for the emergence of Gurgaon as the corporate hub, which naturally turned into luxury paradise with the booming economy of the market.
The success story of Gurgaon also speaks why this once remote suburb of the national capital could give a competition to the natural destination of luxury in Mumbai, where both the physical and social infrastructure was neglected by the government.
In Gurgaon today some of the best schools, hospitals, clubs, golf course etc within the periphery of the main city by the respective developers epitomise what has otherwise been a fancy jargon of Indian real estate—Live, Work & Play.
Gurgaon market also dispels the myth that contrary to the general perception of affordable and mid-income housing that need social infrastructure to make the place worth habitation, it actually works the other way round. While someone with budget constraints can compromise with the distance of a dream home with basic necessities like hospitals and schools; those who pay the premium for luxury quotient would like to have everything in the vicinity, within the walking distance.
And it is here that the Gurgaon market scores over many other property markets across the country. Even in the context of Delhi-NCR, Noida lags behind Gurgaon despite of better physical infrastructure being rolled out by the government.
Reason: social infrastructure could not keep pace with the roadways and highways. Even the cream of the cream property location called South Delhi is increasingly been replaced by Gurgaon as the preferential place to live luxury. The reasons once again are the same.
By: Ravi Sinha
Next: Social infrastructure needs policy facilittion