Realty Check | Day 20 | Dinesh Ethiraj: Need for satellite townships to be well-connected & self-sufficient

04 Sep,2014

By Dinesh Ethiraj
Director, Green Tree Homes & Ventures Pvt Ltd

 

Satellite townships have been growing in our country. These townships came into existence as a solution to the haphazard development of suburban areas in major cities. The city limits are becoming overcrowded and the land prices have hit the roof. Land prices increase as the environment becomes bad, and then quality becomes expensive to super expensive. This has made the government and the real estate developers to look for development of habitat outside the city limits.

 

There is a need for the satellite towns to be developed. According to a study done by Jones Lang LaSalle on ‘Satellite Townships’, “Cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata, etc, provide three to five times the number of houses as compared to their parent cities. Every year, when the Mumbai Metropolitan Region constructs about 24,000 houses, Mumbai City builds 1000 houses, her suburbs build about 5,000 and the remaining 18,000 are constructed in her satellite towns of Thane and Navi Mumbai. Chennai constructs about 18,000 houses annually, of which only 3,000 are in the city limits, while a whopping 15,000 are in the suburbs and satellite towns.”

 

The idea behind developing satellite townships is to bring up planned habitations to ease population growth in towns. All major towns of the state are presently marred by unplanned growth that is stressing public utilities.

 

Affordability drives many to these townships. With several industries setting up factories far way from cities, developers know there will be a demand for the residential properties and they go early and tap the market way ahead before the infrastructure is built.

 

Most of the satellite townships are poorly connected with main city.  They continue to suffer from a lack of proper roads, water, electricity, sewage systems, public transport, hospitals and schools, etc. Inhabitants buy properties thinking things will get better in 15- 20 years. But that’s lot of time to wait for the development.

 

Satellite towns should be well-connected and must be self–sufficient. It simple terms it should be a small city by itself.  The city agencies should be innovative and use market dynamics to raise and deploy funds for infrastructure.

 

The state governments can provide with plying mini / bus between the towns and cities. They can improve the quality of commuting for a better and safer journeys. Develop not just road connectivity, but also extend the connectivity via metro rails(once its in place). We have different rail connectivity, and road connectivity most of these and not interconnected.

 

Many flyovers are built without logical connectivity.  Such things add to the pains than to gains. Good quality roads must be put in place. Proper facility of water, electricity, sewage systems, public transport, hospitals and schools, etc

 

Bengaluru’s NICE Road has a really good connectivity. Developers are quiet upbeat about the integrated township development, they feel that the governments, both the central and State should do more  to promote such developments. Governments can give rebate for the developers to encourage them to work along with the governments for development.

 

Governments, the developers and citizens have to wake up to the call of the growing satellite townships. They answer all needs to have better facilities to live in. And better connectivity to the cities, better schools, hospitals etc. We need to push for the change to happen.

 

Coordinated by Shobhana Nair

 

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