Chennai electric suburban rail is 83 years old

The newly-inaugurated rail road happened to be the earliest metre gauge to be electrified in the country.

Electrical trains between Beach and Tambaram began in 1931

This April, the Chennai city’s suburban railways, as we know it, turns 83.

On April 2, 1931, the first electrically-operated railway service between Madras Beach and Tambaram was launched by Sir George Fredrick Stanley, the then governor of Madras.

The newly-inaugurated rail road happened to be the earliest metre gauge to be electrified in the country. It was only a month after the official inauguration that the service was opened to the public on May 11, 1931.

The plan to electrify railway lines in Madras however was not new. Sir Percy Rothera, an agent of the South Indian Railways, had foreseen the need for such a service way back in 1923.

With the city expanding, largely agricultural areas such as Saidapet, St. Thomas Mount and Tambaram were fast developing into residential quarters. It was only by 1931 that Rothera’s proposal saw the light of day.

As part of the suburban remodelling initiative of South Indian Railways, an ambitious plan was announced.

A new line between Beach and Egmore, and two between Egmore and Tambaram, were proposed to be built.

The Madras Electricity Supply Corporation which powered the railway lines was aided by sub-stations in Egmore and Meenambakkam.

The city which, until then, had the single steam rail line between Harbour and Tambaram, used by both passenger and goods trains, was soon to have more options.

The number of trains shuttling passengers was increased to 45 a day, running every 10 minutes at peak hours, and every 30 minutes, otherwise.

The running time between Madras Beach and Tambaram, which previously took 2 hours, was now covered in merely 49 minutes.

Moreover, commuters could avail of the train service from 4 in the morning right up to 12 at night.

On December 27, 1930, the authorities received their first consignment of 25 electric carriages from England. Painted a dull green with a black wheel base, the new carriages were parked in Tambaram station.

Boasting of wide sliding doors, a well-designed seating arrangement, and thick glass fronts, the new trains promised comfortable travel.

The governor, at the opening ceremony, is reported to have said that the new service would transform ‘desolate south Madras into burgeoning garden cities’.

Partially prophetic that: Chennai is certainly burgeoning now, garden or not.

 

Courtesy: The Hindu

Most preferred areas for rental accommodation in Chennai

In Chennai, certain locations, such as Velachery, Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, Medavakkam and Sholinganallur, are the most preferred areas for rental accommodation.

If you are looking for a rented accommodation in Chennai, the Magicbricks’ list of top ten localities for rent will give you an insight in to which locations to consider.

As per the data with Magicbricks, five localities – Velachery, Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, Medavakkam and Sholinganallur – have remained on the top of the list of preferred localities for four quarters in a row.

In the present quarter Jan-Mar 2014, Velachery has topped the list followed by Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, Medavakkam and Sholinganallur in the order. So, what makes these localities so popular as rental destinations? Proximity to IT hubs is a common thread in all localities. Let’s find out more.

Velachery

Velachery is preferred as a rental abode due to its proximity to the IT set ups along the OMR (Old Mahablipuram Road). The location has been on the top of the chart since the last four quarters. Well-planned residential layouts and established social and physical infrastructure have ensured continued demand for the locality.
Rental values in the locality vary from Rs 10,000-20,000 per month for a 900-1000-sq-ft 2BHK apartment. A 3BHK unit is available for Rs 25,000-40,000 per month.

Adyar

Adyar is one of the most centrally-located residential places in Chennai. Its proximity to OMR (around 5 km) makes it an ideal rental option for those who can afford the high rental values. A 3BHK sized around 1200-1800 sq ft is available for a monthly rent of Rs 25,000-40,000. A 2BHK, on the other hand, commands anywhere between Rs 20,000-25,000 per month, reveals data with Magicbricks.com.

Thiruvanmiyur

Being well-connected to both OMR and ECR (East Coast Road) is the prime advantage that Thiruvanmiyur enjoys and the reason for its popularity as a rental accommodation. The location offers both 2 and 3BHK units. A 3BHK apartment is more easily available. Rental values vary markedly from Rs 25,000-70,000 per month, as per Magicbricks. A 2BHK is available for Rs 15,000-25,000 per month approximately.

Medavakkam

Lying just off the OMR, Medavakkam is another preferred location for rental accommodations. Apart from its proximity to OMR, affordable rental values as compared to the other options, also makes Medavakkam an ideal choice.

A 3BHK is available for RS 10,000-15,000 per month while a 2BHK is 5000-10,000 per month.

Sholinganallur

Sholinnallur also rides on the affordability factor. Out of the top five locations, it is the only one that is situated along the OMR.

A 3BHK apartment sized around 1200-1700 sq ft is available for a monthly rent of Rs 15,000-20,000 per month. A 2BHK, on the other hand, commands a monthly rent of around Rs 10,000-15,000 per month.

Source: Times of India Real Estate

NRI investments in India legal?

Are you a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) and uninformed of your rights over making a real estate investment in India? And, are you completely aware of what kind of properties you can buy or sell in India? Well, several others like you who are looking forward to either make or exit their investments in India have raised queries on the consumer forum of Magicbricks, .

In order to explain the legalities of purchasing in India, it is first required to understand, who as per law is recognised as a NRI. “The persons residing outside India are categorised as Non- Resident Indians (NRI) or a foreign national of Indian Origin (PIO) or a foreign national of non-Indian origin. While NRIs and PIOs can definitely acquire/dispose properties in India, a foreign national of non-Indian origin is also covered by the relevant notifications in our country,” says Asha Basu, partner, S Jalan and Co Advocates.

The buying transaction of a NRI is governed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the rules and regulations fall under the purview of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Giving an insight on the legal rights of NRIs for investing in India, Basu adds, “Any NRI, holding an Indian Passport, does not require prior permission from the RBI to buy residential or commercial immovable property in India. The purchase consideration may be paid either by remittance of funds from abroad through normal banking channels or out of the Non-Resident External (NRE), Foreign Currency Non Resident (FCNR) or Non-Residential Ordinary (NRO) accounts.”

“NRI of Indian nationality does not require any permission for acquisition, transfer or disposal ofproperty by the way of gift of immovable property. However, this property should not be a farmhouse, an agricultural land or a plantations property. A declaration on form IPI 7 is required to be filed with RBI within 90 days of the date of purchase, in order to acquire a commercial propertyfor carrying out any industrial, commercial or trading activities by proprietary partnership firm in India,” adds Basu.

In fact, not only sell, but any NRI/PIO can even rent out their property without the approval of the RBI. The rent received can be credited to Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO)/Non-Resident External (NRE) account or even dispatched abroad.

Answering one of the users enquiring about whether a NRI/PIO requires seeking permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in order to sell their property, the legal expert of Magicbricks says, “As long as the property is being sold to a resident of India, a NRI or a PIO, one does not need to seek any permission from RBI.”

In another aspect where users needed to know whether they can apply for home loans in India, Magicbricks issued a set of guidelines for NRI Investments on its online property fair, India Calling. As per the guidelines, NRIs can take a home loan for purchase of a property. RBI also allows NRIs to take a loan for repairs and renovations of their home. RBI states in its website that the buyer, however, has to adhere to the FEMA regulations at the time of taking the loan. “Banks cannot grant fresh loans or renew existing loans in excess of Rs 1 crore against NRE and FCNR deposits, either to the depositors or to third parties,” the site mentions.

Such loans can be repaid by different means. For instance, by way of inward remittance through normal banking channel, by debit to the NRE/FCNR/NRO account of the NRI/ PIO, out of the rental income from such a property or by cheques from one’s local relative’s bank account.

Are NRIs liable to pay capital gain taxes on sale of their properties? Subhash Lakhotia, tax and investment consultant, R N Lakhotia & Associates answers in the Guide to Buying a House by Magicbricks, “The tax liabilities in India are the same for a resident India, a non-resident Indian or a foreigner. If one sells a residential property in India after holding it for a period lesser than 3 years, they are liable to accrue Short-Term Capital Gains (STCG). It is not possible to save tax on the STCG. The sale proceeds in this case are added to the income of the property owner and tax is calculated according to the slab rates of Income Tax.

“In order to save taxes on long-term capital gains, which are arrived after disposing a property by holding it for a minimum of three years, NRIs can invest the sale proceeds in a residential property. In case the sale proceeds are not re-invested, a tax of about 20 per cent of the total gains has to be then paid,” adds Lakhotia.

The road to investments in India for the NRIs is clear. They can not only buy or sell property but can also reap in the benefits of renting out the property.

Source: Times of India

What are the Tax Implications for NRI Getting a property in India as a gift ?

Plan well before accepting a gift

Sridhar, a leading advocate, brought an interesting tax situation to me, for his cousin Ms Nirmala. Before I get into the details of the issue involved, let me explain a little regarding the background. Nirmala left India almost 15 years ago with her husband and settled in the United States. She became a naturalised American Citizen, and is also a PIO cardholder by virtue of her Indian origins and connections. She received a house property at Bangalore from her mother as a gift in 2010, and wants to sell it.

Her mother inherited this property through the will, after the demise of her husband in 2009, and the property was originally constructed in 1980. The expected sale value of the gift was Rs 1.20 crore. She wanted to know what the legal and tax ramifications would be in India as well as USA, for sale as well as repatriation. Having received a gift for the US-living non-resident Indian is a bonanza, more so at a time when the US economy is reeling under recession. But wait, look at the challenges.

TAX LIABILITY

There is no doubt that the gift received in India from the mother is an exempt gift, as it falls under the definition of Sec 56(1) of the Indian Income-Tax Act. However, the profits on the sale of the property are subject to capital gains tax. As per section 49(1) of the Income-Tax Act, the period of holding the property dates to the time when her father started owning the property, since it was an inheritance by her mother, and subsequently a gift to Nirmala.

Therefore, the asset is a long-term capital asset (more than 36 months) and hence 20 per cent long-term capital gains tax has to be paid by her for the gains portion. The capital gains portion has to be computed by reducing the indexed cost of acquisition from the sale price. Now, while adopting the indexed cost of acquisition, the tax payer faces the anomaly. Contrary to the logical treatment of indexing the cost of acquisition, which should be capable of being imperatively inferred from the year of acquisition, i.e.1980-81, she would get indexation only from 2010-11, being the first year in which she held the asset.

This anomaly arises on account of the fact that the definition doesn’t provide for indexing from the year in which the previous owner held the asset.

In other words, instead of having cost of indexation at 711 for the year 2010-11, she would get indexation as 100, which is for 1981-82.  The tax liability is huge in India…Isn’t it? Let us look at her tax implications in the US, it being her resident country. As a US citizen and resident, Nirmala needs to include her global income in the US and comply with the tax laws of America.

THE US CONTEXT

The said house sale in India is “real property held for investment” to use US tax jargon, and therefore any loss/gain is reportable and gain is taxable.

You need to know the price you sold it (or are planning to sell it for) and the cost you bought it for. Of course, we do remember you didn’t buy this. So how do we arrive at the cost basis? Here comes the twist in the tale: To figure out what is your basis (cost) in the property received as a gift, you must know both the donor’s basis, as well as the fair market value (FMV) of the property, at the time the gift was given to you.

If the FMV at the time of the gift is less than the donor’s basis, your basis depends on whether you have a gain or loss on the actual sale. To state it simply, if you have gain on sale, your basis will be the same as the donor’s basis, and if you have a loss, your basis is the FMV of the property at the time of gift. “Adjusted basis” is cost, plus any improvements or any reductions to value of property, during the time you hold it or the donor held it. You may take credit for the taxes paid in India while arriving at your tax liability in USA as per DTAA.

It doesn’t stop with this. You need to file an information report in Form 3520 for having received the gift in India, failing which penalty proceedings would await. If you wish to repatriate the money to USA, you need to comply with the RBI formalities and transfer the funds. If you don’t wish to repatriate the proceedings but prefer to keep it in India in a bank or mutual funds or shares, the reporting requirements in FBAR format have to be done before June 30 each year. The failure of complying this will result in $10000 per incident.

To figure out the basis cost for the property, you must have both the donor’s basis, as well as the fair market value, at the time of gifting.

Courtesy: Business Line

Factors for consideration for NRIs while buying property in India

Tips for NRIs before buying property in India

Tips for NRIs before buying property in India

With over 20.20 million of NRIs (Non-resident Indian) and PIOs (Person Of Indian Origin) across the globe, the overseas investment into Indian real estate has never been an issue. Majority of these people have invested in the homeland in consideration to their individual future plans.

Factors for consideration for NRIs while buying property in India

  1. Which property can a NRI or PIO buy?
  2. How to pay for these properties?
  3. Repatriation of the capital gains?
  4. Availability of home loan
  5. Can a NRI sell or transfer a property?

Which property can a NRI or PIO buy?

An NRI or Person of Indian Origin (PIO) can own both residential as well as commercial properties in India and there is no restriction on the number of properties you can buy. However, you cannot purchase any agricultural land, farm house and plantation property. You can have ownership of such property only if they have been gifted or inherited.

How to pay for these properties

The money for purchase of property can be made either by way of funds remitted to India from abroad through regular banking channels or through the balance in the  Non Resident External (NRE), Non Resident Ordinary  (NRO) or Foreign Currency Non Resident  (FCNR) Account.

Repatriation of the capital gains

NRI and PIO have been allowed to repatriate original investment in equivalent foreign exchange in residential/ commercial properties. However, the gains from such transactions have to be re-invested in the real estate market in India.

Availability of home loan

Loan to an NRI is available the same way they would be to an eligible resident, for reference below mentioned criterion is must for availing home loan

  • Minimum age of 18 years.
  • Valid Indian passport (for NRIs) / valid foreign passport (for People of Indian Origin – PIOs).
  • Steady source of income.
  • Employed abroad for at least 2 years.
  • Valid job contract or work permit.

Can NRIs sell or transfer property

An NRI can sell property in India to a person resident in India or to an NRI. A PIO can sell property in India to a person resident in India or to an NRI or a PIO but after having a prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India.

Source: Times of India

Investment opportunities for NRI’s என்.ஆர். ஐ-களுக்கு ஏற்ற முதலீட்டு வாய்ப்புகள்

என்.ஆர்.ஐ-களுக்கு உள்ள வெவ்வேறு முதலீட்டு வாய்ப்புகள் குறித்துப் பார்ப்போம்.

வெளிநாட்டு வாழ் இந்தியர் கீழ்க்கண்ட முதலீட்டு சாதனங்க ளில் வரையறையின்றி முதலீடு செய்து, தேவைப்படும் பொழுது தான் வாழும் நாட்டிற்கு எடுத்துச் செல்லலாம்.

1. அரசாங்க கடன் பத்திரங்கள்

2. மியூச்சுவல் ஃபண்டு யூனிட்டு கள்

3. பொதுத்துறை நிறுவனங்கள் வெளியிடும் கடன் பத்திரங்கள்

4. கம்பெனிகள் வெளியிடும் என்.சி.டி-க்கள் (NCD Non-Convertible Debentures)

5. வங்கிகள் வெளியிடும் கடன் சார்ந்த உபகரணங்கள்

6. பொதுத்துறை நிறுவனப் பங்குகள்

7. அந்நிய நேரடி முதலீட்டு (FDI Foreign Direct Investment) முறை மூலம் கம்பெனி பங்குகள் மற்றும் மாற்றக்கூடிய கடன் பத்திரங்கள் (CONVERTIBLE DEBENTURES) மற்றும் இந்திய பங்குச் சந்தையில் வர்த்தகமாகும் பங்குகள்

என்.ஆர்.ஐ.க்கள் கீழ்க்கண்ட முதலீடுகளில் திரும்ப தான் வாழும் நாட்டிற்கு எடுத்துச் செல்ல முடியாத (NON-REPATRIATION) முறையில் வரையறையின்றி முதலீடு செய்யலாம்.

1. அரசாங்க பத்திரங்கள்

2. மியூசுவல் ஃபண்டு யூனிட்டுகள்

3. மணி மார்க்கட் மியூசுவல் ஃபண்டு யூனிட்டுகள்

4. தேசிய சேமிப்பு பத்திரங்கள்

5. என்.சி.டி-க்கள்

6. பங்குச் சந்தைகள் மூலமாக பங்குகள் மற்றும் மாற்றிக் கொள்ளக்கூடிய கடன் பத்திரங்கள் (CONVERTIBLE DEBENTURES)

7. பங்குச் சந்தைகளில் வர்த்தக மாகும் டெரிவேடிவ் காண்ட்ராக் டுகள்

இவற்றில் எல்லாம் முதலீடு செய்ய முடிந்த பொழுதிலும், வெளிநாடு வாழ் இந்தியர்கள் பி.பி.எஃப் (PPF) என்று அழைக்கப்படும் மிகவும் பாபுலரான பப்ளிக் பிராவிடண்ட் ஃபண்டில் முதலீடு செய்ய முடியாது என்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

சென்ற வாரம் பார்த்தது போல், வெளிநாட்டு வாழ் இந்தியர்களுக்கு அடிக்கடி ஏற்படும் இன்னும் சில கேள்விகளையும் அதற்கு உண்டான பதில்களையும் கீழே காண்போம்.

1. இந்தியாவில் வசிப்பவர்கள் வெளிநாட்டில் வாழும் அவர்க ளது நெருங்கிய உறவினரை, தங்களது உள்நாட்டில் உள்ள சேமிப்பு கணக்கில் ஜாயிண்ட் அக்கவுண்ட் ஹோல்டராக சேர்த்துக் கொள்ள முடியுமா?

தாராளமாக சேர்த்துக் கொள்ள லாம் முன்னவர் அல்லது இருப்ப வர் (FORMER OR SURVIVOR) என்ற அடிப்படையில் கணக்கைத் திறந்து கொள்ளலாம். ஆனால் வெளிநாட்டு வாழ் உறவினர், உள்நாட்டில் இருப்பவர் உயிரோடு இருக்கும்வரை அந்த கணக்கை ஆப்பரேட் செய்யமுடியாது.

2. உள்நாட்டில் வசிப்பவர் வெளி நாட்டில் வாழும் நெருங்கிய உறவினருக்கு அன்பளிப்பாக பங்குகள், கடன் பத்தி ரங்கள் போன்றவற்றை அளிக்க லாமா?

நன்றாக அன்பளிப்பு கொடுக்கலாம் வருடத்திற்கு 50 ஆயிரம் அமெரிக்க டாலருக்கு மிகாமல் இருக்க வேண்டும்.

3. இந்தியாவில் வாழ்பவர்கள் தங்களது நெருங்கிய வெளி நாட்டு உறவினருக்கு ரூபாயை அன்பளிப்பாக கொடுக்கலாமா?

அன்பளிப்பு கொடுக்கலாம் சில வரையறைகளுக்கு உட்பட்டு. அவ்வாறு கொடுக்கப்படும் அன்பளிப்பு காசோலை மூல மாகவோ அல்லது ஆன்லைன் மூலமாகவோ வருடத்திற்கு 2 லட்சம் அமெரிக்க டாலருக்கு மிகாமல் உறவினரின் என்.ஆர்.ஓ கணக்கிற்கு கொடுக்கப்பட வேண்டும்.

4. உள்நாட்டில் வாழ்பவர்கள் தங்களது நெருங்கிய வெளி நாட்டு உறவினர்களுக்கு எவ்வகையான செலவு களுக்காக பணத்தை கொடுக்கலாம்?

என்.ஆர்.ஐ உறவினர் இந்தியா வரும்பொழுது அவருடைய போக்குவரத்துச் செலவுகள், சாப்பாடு, தங்கும் செலவுகள் மற்றும் மருத்துவச் செலவுகள் போன்றவற்றிற்கு தேவையான பணத்தைக் கொடுக்கலாம்.

 

Courtesy : The Hindu

Chennai Railway hub is closer to realty

CHENNAI: Last-mile connectivity issues delaying completion of an integrated railway station at St Thomas Mount, where MRTS, Metro Rail, Beach-Tambram suburban rail lines and long distance trains would converge, is closer to reality now.The matter pertains to Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) Phase-II extension from Velachery to St Thomas Mount. Between 2008 and 2011, authorities had completed works on 3.7km out of 5km of MRTS line. Works remain to be done only for about 500 metres in the final 1.3-km stretch.

However, for about six years, residents welfare associations, individual land owners, a church and others from the 500 metres along the project area, stood in the way of completing the project on two grounds: First, authorities amended the original alignment thereby prejudicing the interests of landowners; Second, they invoked emergency land acquisition clause which did not require the usual proceedings such as issuing notice and hearing objections.

On Wednesday, a division bench of Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, acceding to the submissions of Tamil Nadu advocate-general A L Somayaji, dismissed the entire batch of writ petitions and appeals, saying: “Deviation in alignment was necessitated and integration among rail transit systems (MRTS, CMRL, Chennai suburban and long distance trains) would clearly benefit the commuters who are residing in Chennai Metropolitan Area. It would result in reduction of traffic congestion in the metropolis as a whole. Therefore, it cannot be said that no public interest is involved.”

Noting that allegations of malafides by some officials, who allegedly acted for extraneous considerations, had been inquired into and also closed, the judges said: “Therefore, it cannot be said that the decision was actuated by malafides.” Citing the exhaustive meetings, discussions and analyses conducted by officials and experts, the bench said, “it cannot be said that without proper application of mind, deviation in alignment was mooted. The decision was also taken in public interest by taking into consideration ground realities and facts and circumstances. Expert opinion in this regard cannot be lightly interfered with.”

Earlier, Somayaji said the original alignment had to be changed because Chennai Metro Rail Project came into being on September 2, 2008. Also, a decision has been taken to integrate MRTS, CMRL rail lines with Chennai Beach to Tambaram suburban line at St Thomas Mount railway station and a further decision was also taken to terminate long distance trains there, so that the city traffic may get reduced.

Advocate-general further said that as per the old alignment 35 structures had to be demolished, whereas the new alignment required only 28 structures to be razed. The new alignment would ultimately result in optimal integration of four rail systems at St Thomas Mount, he said, adding that the emergency clause dispensing with usual acquisition proceedings had to be invoked, because all works, except those lying in the 500-metre stretch had been completed by the railways.

Before parting with the case, the judges gave a piece of their mind to the MRTS administration in maintaining its existing facilities up to Velachery. They said that huge space and buildings constructed at huge cost at existing MRTS railway stations from Chinthadripet to Velachery had not been put to good use. “There is no proper upkeep and maintenance of MRTS railway stations and Southern Railways and MRTS shall take emergent steps to maintain the railway stations cleanly, properly and keep them user-friendly.”

Source: Times of India

Traditional water harvesting structures and systems in use in different parts of India

More than 7,000 years ago, the people of India knew the importance of water harvesting.

Water is essential for our survival. It is important to remember that water is not a permanent resource available through the year. However, it can be recycled. Today, overhead or underground tanks store water in our homes in cities. However in ancient India, many traditional practices existed to harvest or collect water from rain, streams and rivers.

A water harvesting system is one that collects and stores water for later use, especially in summer when water is scarce. India’s use of traditional water harvesting systems dates back 7,000 years.

Storehouses

Wetlands are areas where water controls or regulates the environment, and any animal or plant life. They occur where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where land is covered by water.

Wetlands are cradles of biological diversity and are among the world’s most productive environments. They provide water upon which countless species of plants and animals depend for survival. Wetlands support high concentrations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrate species. They are also important storehouses of plant genetic material. Rice, for example, which is a common wetland plant, is the staple diet for more than half of humanity.

There are six kinds of wetlands:

– Marine or coastal wetlands which include coastal lagoons, rocky shores, and coral reefs

– Estuarine wetlands including deltas, tidal marshes and mangrove swamps

– Lacustrine wetlands associated with lakes

– Riverine wetlands along rivers and streams

– Palustrine wetlands, essentially marshes, swamps and bogs

– Man-made wetlands like fish, shrimp and farm ponds, irrigated agricultural land, salt pans, reservoirs, gravel pits and canals.

Source: ramsar.org, National Wetland Conservation Programme Guidelines for Conservation and Management of Wetlands in India

Here are some traditional water harvesting structures and systems in use in different parts of India:

Kere: These are large tanks with boundaries built from mud, earth, stones and cement around a stream. A kere has a provision for overflow of excess water, and outlets for irrigation and feeding channels. Water from a kere is used for drinking, irrigation, livestock and groundwater recharge. Keres are used in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Phad: This system has earthen embankments built on a river that divert water for agricultural use. They are used in Dhule and Nashik districts, Maharashtra.

Kund: A large saucer-shaped deep pit covered by a dome. The size of a kund can range from a few meters to 100 square kilometres in diameter. It has a gradual slope which allows water to flow into the deep pit. This pit is lined with limestone and ash which naturally purify the collected water of dust, dirt and silt. Kunds are used to store drinking water in dry climates like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Naula: A stone-lined tank which catches dripping water from springs and streams. Naulas are surrounded by shady trees to prevent evaporation of water. This water is used for drinking in the hilly areas of Kumaon, Garhwal and Uttarakhand regions.

Zing: Channels are built to divert glacial water into a storage tank called a zing. This water is mainly used for irrigation in mountain regions like Ladakh and Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bamboo drip system: A network of bamboo pipes of varying diameter, length and positioning is used to harvest water from hill springs or streams. Bamboo drip systems are used for irrigation of black pepper and betel leaf crops, and are also sometimes used for drinking. This system is widely used in the tribal pockets of the Khasi and Jaintia hills of Cherrapunji, and in the Mawsynram belt of Meghalaya.

Surangas: These are vertical man-made excavations in hill slopes that act as a tunnel network, where water from the top to the bottom of the hill is captured in the porous soil. This water is then channelled into large tanks, collecting enough water for agriculture and livelihood. Surangas are used in the Dakshin Kannada region of Karnataka and in Kerala.

Source: The Hindu

கட்டுமானச் செலவு கட்டுபடியாகுமா?

வீடு கட்டிக் கொண்டிருக்கும்போது பலருக்கும் ஒரு அனுபவம் ஏற்பட்டிருக்கும். அது பணத் தேவை. செலவு அதிகரித்துவிட்டது. இன்னும் இவ்வளவு பணம் தேவை, செலவை இழுத்து விட்டுவிட்டார்கள் என்று வீடு கட்டுவோர் புலம்புவார்கள். வீடு கட்டுவதற்கெனச் செலவினங்களை 3 வகைகளாகப் பிரிக்கலாம். அடிப்படைச் செலவு, அத்தியாவசியச் செலவு, எதிர்பாராத செலவு ஆகியவையே அவை. ஒவ்வொரு செலவும் எதில் அடங்கும் என்பதைப் பொறுத்து வீடு கட்டும் செலவை ஓரளவுக்குத் துல்லியமாக நாம் முடிவு செய்ய இந்தச் செலவினங்களைத் தெரிந்து கொள்வதும் முக்கியம்.

அடிப்படைச் செலவு

சுவர் இருந்தால்தான் சித்திரம் வரைய முடியும் என்று சொல்வதைப் போல, வீடு கட்ட முக்கியத் தேவை, மனை. இதை வாங்க ஆகும் செலவு மிக முக்கியமானது. அடுத்ததாக, வீடு கட்டத் தேவையான பொருட்களைக் கொள்முதல் செய்வது. ஆவணங்கள் பதிவு, குடி நீர், மின் இணைப்பு கோரி விண்ணப்பிப்பது, திட்ட அனுமதி வாங்குவது ஆகியவற்றுக்கு ஆகும் செலவு ஆகியவை அடிப்படைச் செலவிலேயே வரும். இச்செலவுகளைப் பற்றி அனுபவம் வாய்ந்தவர்களிடம் கேட்டுச் சிக்கனமாகச் செலவழிக்க முயற்சிக்கவேண்டும். இது தவிர நமக்கு ஏற்படும் செலவுகளில் அடிப்படைச் செலவு எது, தவிர்க்க முடிகிற செலவு எது என்பதைப் பிரித்துப் பார்க்கக்கூடிய திறமை நமக்கு இருந்தால் செலவினங்கள் நம் கட்டுக்குள் இருக்கும்.

வழிகாட்டி

சுவர் இருந்தால்தான் சித்திரம் வரைய முடியும் என்று சொல்வதைப் போல, வீடு கட்ட முக்கியத் தேவை, மனை. இதை வாங்க ஆகும் செலவு மிக முக்கியமானது. அடுத்ததாக, வீடு கட்டத் தேவையான பொருட்களைக் கொள்முதல் செய்வது. ஆவணங்கள் பதிவு, குடி நீர், மின் இணைப்பு கோரி விண்ணப்பிப்பது, திட்ட அனுமதி வாங்குவது ஆகியவற்றுக்கு ஆகும் செலவு ஆகியவை அடிப்படைச் செலவிலேயே வரும். இச்செலவுகளைப் பற்றி அனுபவம் வாய்ந்தவர்களிடம் கேட்டுச் சிக்கனமாகச் செலவழிக்க முயற்சிக்கவேண்டும். இது தவிர நமக்கு ஏற்படும் செலவுகளில் அடிப்படைச் செலவு எது, தவிர்க்க முடிகிற செலவு எது என்பதைப் பிரித்துப் பார்க்கக்கூடிய திறமை நமக்கு இருந்தால் செலவினங்கள் நம் கட்டுக்குள் இருக்கும்.

அத்தியாவசியச் செலவு

அடிப்படைச் செலவிற்கும், அத்தியாவசியச் செலவிற்கும் வேறுபாடு உண்டு. கட்டுமானத் தொழிலாளர்களுக்கு ஊதியம் அளித்தல், மின்சாரச் செலவு, கட்டுமானப் பொருட்களை எடுத்து வரும் போக்குவரத்துச் செலவு ஆகியவையெல்லாம் அத்தியாவசியச் செலவின் கீழ் வரும். இந்தச் செலவினங்களைத் தவிர்க்க முடியாது. ஆனால், நாம் போடும் திட்டச் செலவை விடச் சில சமயங்களில் இந்தச் செலவினம் அதிகமாகிவிடும். சில நேரங்களில் வீடு கட்டுபவர்களுக்குப் பண நெருக்கடியை ஏற்படுத்தும் செலவினம் இது.

எதிர்பாராத செலவு

வீடு கட்ட முறையாகத் திட்டம் போட்டுப் பணிகள் நடந்து கொண்டிருக்கும். அப்போது நண்பர்கள் சொன்னார்கள், உறவினர்கள் சொன்னார்கள் எனப் புதிய யோசனையைப் பொறியாளரிடம் சொல்வார்கள். இன்னும் சில வீட்டில் உறுப்பினர்கள் ஆசைப்படுகிறார்கள் என்று புதிய யோசனையைச் செய்து முடிக்க வற்புறுத்துவார்கள். கூடுதல் செலவு ஆகும் என்றாலும், இப்போது விட்டால் எப்போது செய்து முடிப்பது என்று யோசனையை நிறைவேற்ற ஆயத்தமாக்கி விடுவார்கள். இது எதிர்பாராத செலவு கணக்கில் வரும். ஆனால், கடைசி நேரத்தில் திட்டத்தில் மாற்றம் செய்து செய்யப்படும் பணிகளுக்கு மதிப்பிடப்படும் தொகையை விட மேலும் கூடுதல் செலவு ஆகவும் வாய்ப்புகள் உண்டு. இதேபோலக் கட்டுமானப் பொருட்களின் திடீரென ஏற்படும் விலை உயர்வும் எதிர்பாராத செலவைச் சாரும்.

வீடு கட்ட முறையாகத் திட்டம் போட்டுப் பணிகள் நடந்து கொண்டிருக்கும். அப்போது நண்பர்கள் சொன்னார்கள், உறவினர்கள் சொன்னார்கள் எனப் புதிய யோசனையைப் பொறியாளரிடம் சொல்வார்கள். இன்னும் சில வீட்டில் உறுப்பினர்கள் ஆசைப்படுகிறார்கள் என்று புதிய யோசனையைச் செய்து முடிக்க வற்புறுத்துவார்கள். கூடுதல் செலவு ஆகும் என்றாலும், இப்போது விட்டால் எப்போது செய்து முடிப்பது என்று யோசனையை நிறைவேற்ற ஆயத்தமாக்கி விடுவார்கள். இது எதிர்பாராத செலவு கணக்கில் வரும். ஆனால், கடைசி நேரத்தில் திட்டத்தில் மாற்றம் செய்து செய்யப்படும் பணிகளுக்கு மதிப்பிடப்படும் தொகையை விட மேலும் கூடுதல் செலவு ஆகவும் வாய்ப்புகள் உண்டு. இதேபோலக் கட்டுமானப் பொருட்களின் திடீரென ஏற்படும் விலை உயர்வும் எதிர்பாராத செலவைச் சாரும்.

எல்லாச் செலவுகளுக்கும் எப்போதும் ஒரு விஷயம் தீர்வாகவும் அமைந்திருக்கிறது. அதுதான் சிக்கனம். எல்லாச் செலவுகளிலும் ஓரளவு சிக்கனத்தைக் கடைபிடிக்க முயற்சித்தால், கட்டுமானச் செலவு எகிறாமல் பார்த்துக் கொள்ளவும் முடியும். பணத் தேவை இல்லாமல் வீட்டுக் கட்டுமானத்தை மேற்கொள்ளவும் முடியும்.

 

Courtesy: tamil Hindu

Permanent Illumination for Chennai Rippon Building

Ripon_Building_Chennai

CHENNAI: Soon, Chennaiites will be able to enjoy the beauty of the Ripon Building in all its glory even at night as the city corporation is planning to install permanent illumination.

On Tuesday, three reputable private electrical companies engaged in illumination work gave a presentation to the civic officials about the proposed illumination project, which is to be installed, on the 100-year-old heritage building, after the elections.

Sources say permanent illumination will enhance its Indo-Saracenic architecture and also its historical significance.

Corporation officials say static lighting, spotlights and beamers would be placed on the building in a couple of months. “This is also expected to attract tourists especially during night,” said an official.

On April 2, 21 buildings in Chennai, including the Ripon Building, were temporarily illuminated in blue colour to mark the World Autism Awareness Day.

Corporation official says the much delayed restoration work of the Ripon Building is also in a full swing and expected to be completed in a few months.

Meanwhile, the civic body would shift all departments in the main buildings to the five-storeyed administration block, which is located behind the main building.

“The ground floor of the main building will house a museum for the public, where artifacts such as statues having antique value will be displayed. Only the office of the council and the chambers of the mayor, the deputy mayor and officials in the rank of commissioner and deputy commissioner will remain in the building,” an official said.

Source: Times of India