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Development Watch – Week #3 September ’23

Development News

India’s solar venture finalist in Earthshot Prize

The Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit took place in New York on September 19, 2023. Indian solar-powered tech venture S4S Technologies has been named as one of the 15 finalists for the GBP 1 million Earthshot Prize. It has been founded by Prince William of the UK. S4S Technologies is recognized for its work in combating food waste, rural poverty, and gender inequality by providing solar-powered conduction dryers and food processing equipment to smallholder female farmers. This helps them to prepare their crops on-site, rather than using cold storage or other more expensive methods of conventional industrial food preservation. S4S creates a market, connecting commercial buyers to these products and returning most of the profits to the farmers who made them.

Delhi Master Plan 2041 a $100 billion opportunity

Absence of timely planning and policy implementation has resulted in nearly 50% of the city becoming unauthorized. The Delhi Master Plan is expected to unlock real estate opportunities in 165 Delhi villages, potentially raising Delhi’s per capita income to Rs. 4 lakhs. This is estimated as per think tank Delhi Consortium. This represents a 47% increase from the Rs. 2.72 lakh per capita income reported in 2022-23 Economic Survey of Delhi. There is an urgent need for approval of Delhi Master Plan 2041, as the Delhi Land Reforms Act 1954 is the biggest impediment to planned development of Delhi. The government should expedite notification of MPD 2041. Municipal corporations should strictly halt any unlawful construction or deviation from zonal plans.

DDA Housing Scheme to offer 3,000 premium properties

The DDA will announce its housing scheme ahead of Diwali with 3,000 premium properties. The scheme will include super HIG, HIG, MIG and EWS flats. Many of them are currently under construction. Flats would be offered across various locations in the national capital such as Dwarka, Lok Nayak Puram, Vasant Kunj, among others. Penthouses and super HIG units are under construction at Sector 19B in Dwarka. MIG and EWS flats are also u/c at Sector 14 in Dwarka and Lok Nayak Puram. In August 2023, DDA enlisted the services of a real estate consultant to devise strategies for improving sales of especially 40,000 unsold flats.

Social Infra development at GIFT City

GIFT City plans social infra development on 20.5 acres with a 158 meters GIFT Eye. The Gujarat International Financial Center Company Ltd. (GIFTCL) plans to develop a social infrastructure zone. This will include an entertainment, recreational and retail zone. The development will cover a minimum of 1.5 million sq ft and will include attractions such as a large ferris wheel and fountain show. GIFTCL has invited bids for the project. Interested parties are expected to have a minimum net worth of Rs. 10,000 Crores ($1.2 billion) and a track record of delivering real estate projects.

Dwarka Expressway to become NCR’s Manhattan

Dwarka Expressway Corridor may soon host some of the tallest buildings in the NCR area. The Haryana government is now granting an extra floor area ratio (FAR) to promote real estate development along the under-construction expressway. The Haryana government is also introducing a new metro line along the expressway, enabling developers to expand under the TOD policy, as there are height restrictions for buildings elsewhere. State government officials have also met developers in Mumbai and Bengaluru to showcase development opportunities along the expressway. Any building with a height of more than 150 metres meets the tall-building classification. Tall projects in NCR include Supernova in Noida (300 m), Trump Towers in Gurgaon (198 m), Leela Sky Villas (190 m), and Raheja Revanta in Gurgaon (199 m). Currently Mumbai accounts for 77% of tall buildings in India.

Need for dedicated coal corridor

As per a study by the Railway Board, there is a need for a dedicated coal corridor to meet the increasing power demands. According to estimates, energy requirements of India will annually increase to approximately 3,000 billion units by 2030. The study conducted by the Railway Board has emphasized the need for dedicated coal corridors. The report suggests developing tracks exclusively for coal transportation from states like Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh to different regions of the country. India’s energy requirements will reach 3,000 billion units by 2030. Any shortfall can severely impact the country’s growth.

Eastern Maritime Corridor between India-Russia

India and Russia have agreed to train Indian seafarers in polar and artic waters. Discussion on India-Russia maritime cooperation gained momentum when ports, shipping and waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal met Russian Minister for development of Far East and Arctic, AO Chekunkov in Vladivostok on Wednesday. Mr. Sonowal is representing India at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The talks also focused on the use of new transport corridors such as Northern Sea Route via the Arctic (Vladivostok-Chennai Route). The two sides also explored creation of a trans-shipment hub in the in the Bay of Bengal. A workshop between Indian and Russian maritime stakeholders will be held in Chennai in October-November to put Eastern Maritime Corridor in full operation. This would involve those in trading and transportation of potential commodities such as coking coal, oil and liquefied natural gas.

Consumer demand improving in rural areas

Rural demand is narrowing the gap with urban areas as per a statement by Dabur India. The company derives half of its annual sales from rural India. While cooling inflation and early rains led to improvement in rural demand in the June quarter, rains have been erratic over the past two months. This has given way to concerns about sustained recovery in rural demand. This is crucial for sustained growth of the FMCG sector. Dabur makes Vatika shampoo and real juices. It saw its rural volumes increase 8% in April-June quarter. This is in comparison to industry average of 4%.

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