Going flat out: Delhi babus to wake up to new realty

Written by Rajat Arora | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 20 2013, 10:53am hrs
The capital will soon come to grips with a new realty. The dreary and dull look of a large part of central and south Delhi currently occupied by dilapidated building housing bureaucrats is set to get a major makeover as the government plans to demolish the structures built several years ago and instead create modern, swanky, multi-storeyed commercial-cum-residential apartments, thus unlocking real estate at prime locations.

The new buildings in the identified areas would, however, be leased out as office space as well as residential units only to government and public sector units.

The first such project was the 2007 redevelopment of Moti Bagh, an area near the posh diplomatic enclave, which was funded by the R620 crore realised from the sale of three acres of government land on which the Leela Palace hotel in Chanakyapuri now stands. The National Building and Construction Corporation (NBCC) has now undertaken the project of redeveloping East Kidwai Nagar, near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. NBCC hopes to meet its fund requirement through pre-booking of office space by public sector units.

A similar plan is being drawn for other government colonies like Netaji Nagar, also near the diplomatic enclave, Kasturba Nagar near South Extension and Tyagraj Nagar, also in the vicinity of South Extension.

Not only would the much-needed renovation give the city a better look, it would also unlock a lot of prime real estate as currently the houses in these areas are mostly double-storeyed.

The proposed residential-cum-commercial multi-storeyed complexes would be akin to mini townships with facilities like clubs, market area, healthcare centres and schools. The projects would be financed through the lease amount that the PSUs and government departments pay for booking these spaces.

Delhi has around 30 such government colonies that occupy around 1,100 hectares of prime real estate.

East Kidwai Nagar, which is being redeveloped at a cost of R5,000 crore, has signalled the success of similar projects in future. Almost 60% of the space has already been booked by PSUs and government departments such as EPFO, Sebi, NMDC, Punjab and Sind Bank, IDBI, NHPC, IndianOil, the Chhattisgarh government and Oriental Insurance.

"Till now, NBCC has already allocated 60% of the commercial and residential spaces in the 86-acre complex to 23 PSUs and government departments and for the remaining 40% several government departments have evinced interest, HK Dhawan, chief general manager (real estate), NBCC, told FE.

The entire cost of the project is coming from leasing out the commercial and residential spaces to government departments for 30 years. The response has been tremendous, he added.

The largest space has been booked by EPFO, of around 2.11 lakh sq ft commercial area and 1 lakh sq ft residential area for Rs 790 crore. Similarly, IDBI has booked 1.2 lakh sq ft of commercial space and around 60,000 sq ft of residential space for Rs 470 crore.

NBCC is constructing around 4,700 new houses in high-rise buildings (76 towers) in place of the existing 2,200 houses. The project would be completed over the next four years.

"We had received 43 applications which included several state governments but allotment have been made to 23 applicants that wanted both commercial and residential spaces. State governments such as Jharkhand and Meghalaya, which only wanted residential flats, were not considered, Dhawan said.