Authored by Mr. Deepak Goradia, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Dosti Realty, Mumbai
There has been a marked demographic shift of our population moving from rural to urban India since over the past decade. It is estimated that today over 30% of the country’s population live in urban areas of the country. The trend of burgeoning urban population has led to the rise of integrated townships coming up on the outskirts of metro cities. This has come about due to shortage of land for development coupled with exorbitant land prices in these cities.
Integrated township development is the new kid of the real estate sector. Township development basically attracts the mid segment of home buyers who aspire for a better lifestyle but cannot afford one within the city limits. Therefore they look at these township developments which offer a holistic lifestyle with all social infrastructures in place like schools, colleges, hospitals, Malls, Restaurants, Grocery stores etc., all within the confines of the township.
The limited land availability and the huge unbridgeable gap between demand and supply have aided the demand for such townships. Besides, higher disposable income, improved lifestyle, increasing aspiration levels and expanded knowledge on global trends have made new-generation property buyers to look for a house in an integrated township.
One can say that integrated township projects are the next big thing in the Indian real estate horizon. Integrated township development in India has emerged as a growing trend, and people are aspiring for more homes in townships rather than standalone buildings. Presently, township projects have become the most sought after among the mid segment of home buyers who live in metro cities.
Generally, integrated township developments are built on the outskirts of a city due to availability of large land tracks for development. The cost of units in these townships is comparatively much less due to lower land cost and huge project size, therefore providing the necessary economies of scale.
An integrated township consist of residential properties varying from 1BHK to 5BHK, duplexes, penthouses and even detached, semi-detached villas with a mix of residential and commercial space.
Typically, an integrated township has the following key characteristics:
Social infrastructure: An integrated township primarily has basic social infrastructure in place like schools, colleges, hospital or healthcare for any medical emergency, Shopping Centers, Grocery stores, Malls, entertainment centers and recreational facilities for residents. Adequate space for sports such as football, cricket, tennis and badminton, fitness facilities including a gymnasium and swimming pools are set up within the township to enhance a healthier lifestyle for its residents. Also a community centre with a club house and a function hall is set up within the township.
Apart from social infrastructure the township needs to be self-contained in most aspects, essentially on basic infrastructure like road connectivity both within the township and connecting to the main metro city, nearest highway or railway station.
A well planned and sustainable water management should be built within the township to provide for regular water supply, recycling of waste water and water harvesting. This optimizes available resources and reduces dependence on municipal water supply.
Although an integrated township depends on a public or private utility supplier for its power needs it has in place adequate back-up power for both homes and common areas during temporary or scheduled power cuts or disruptions by the utility supplier.
There is immense growth potential for integrated township development in the country which can actually take off the pressure weighing heavily down on metro cities. People working in cities cannot afford to find a house within their budget and therefore townships provide them with housing at affordable cost. For its success, infrastructure needs to be upgraded with improved and increased connectivity between the city and its outskirts. This will cut down time on commuting between home and office, giving more time for people to spend with family and therefore encourage people to look at housing at these townships.
Township development has got a boost with government’s policy that allows foreign direct investment (FDI) into the sector. This will help to attract more foreign direct investment putting the integrated township development in a fast track mode.