Metro rail track-laying in North Chennai by end of year

Chennai

As the construction of the 9km metro rail corridor in North Chennai is progressing in full swing, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has started preliminary work to lay ballastless tracks required for the operation of metro trains. The 9km Phase 1 extension line between Washermenpet and Wimco Nagar is expected to be ready by March 2020.

“We have floated tenders for both MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) and for track work. We are expecting to start track work before the end of this year,” a metro rail official said.

The extension line in North Chennai includes a 2km underground section connected by two stations and a 7km elevated stretch linked through six stations. Once the line is ready, commuters from north Chennai can travel to several localities in the city that are connected by metro rail network.

Work for the extension line in north Chennai was launched in 2016. Towards the end of 2017, construction of two tunnels along a 2km stretch from Washermenpet to Korukkupet was completed. Soon after, work began for construction of the elevated corridor and is still under way.

CMRL is also constructing the elevated maintenance depot at Wimco Nagar. A tender was recently floated to find a company that can supply, install and commission electrical and mechanical systems at the depot. Metro rail is expecting to get these systems in place within a period of 18 months.

Source: The Times of India, Chennai

Government order lifts ban on multistorey buildings in Chennai

The government has lifted the ban on construction of multi-storeyed buildings (MSB) on approved plots in the Chennai metropolitan area (CMA). The move is expected to trigger a spurt of new multi-storeyed projects in redevelopment ventures, mostly initiated by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB).

In a government order, housing and urban development secretary S Krishnan said the approval of the government was based on an announcement made in the assembly. However, there would be restrictions on construction of MSBs in select areas. As per the order, MSBs will not be allowed in aquifer recharge areas including the Buckingham Canal, areas near the Cooum river between Park railway station and Napier Bridge and Redhills catchment areas.

Realty sector sources said the move would ensure more space within the city for MSB projects. Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), Chennai chapter vice-president S Sridharan, said the move would result in developers revising their existing plans from special category buildings to MSBs. “The development regulations of the CMDA allows MSBs only on roads with a width of 60 feet. Against the backdrop of the government order, it is likely that revised applications could be filed for proposed projects that would qualify for constructing MSBs,” he said.

However, the question of developers renegotiating with land owners in joint ventures passing on the benefits following the move remains unanswered.

Source: Economic Times, Chennai

Tamil Nadu govt sets guidelines for officials in charge of property tax collection

Did you receive an SMS alert from Chennai corporation to make a self-declaration of your house/flat details for property tax purposes? This is part of a system put in place by the state to introduce a revised tax regime.

A detailed set of guidelines has been issued to commissioners of all local bodies on the preparation of a master list of properties and a time frame has been set to map them. At a meeting, officials were asked to first accumulate records of all properties available with housing society, housing board, slum clearance board, ration cards maintained by civil supplies department and other registers maintained by municipalities and corporations to verify omissions in assessment.

Officials are to cross-check records by going door-to-door and finally submit the verified data to seniors. Armed with this verified database, officials will ensure that residents file returns from October 20.

“Field staff will be deployed and 100% filing of returns must be ensured. The returns filed by the owners will be kept in safe custody with no room for tampering. Wherever returns could not be obtained before the due date, the property concerned should be inspected by the revenue staff and returns prepared and submitted to the office,” said a senior official.

Officials of the municipal administration department told TOI that all officials were informed of these guidelines and the deadline. “While everyone is aware that property tax has been revised, we wanted to create a system for officials to implement it which is why we came out with a set of guidelines for them,” said a senior official.

Source Komal Gautham, Economic Times, Chennai

Parent documents mandatory for land registrations in Tamil Nadu

Parent documents mandatory for land registrations in Tamil Nadu

Three days after mandating parent documents for registering properties, the registration department has eased the process. Now, the sub registrar offices will accept statement from banks that they were in possession of the parent documents, in case of mortgage. This apart, a written undertaking is necessary for laminated parent document that cannot be scanned for registrations. Furnishing parent document was mandated from June 11 to prevent fraudulent registrations.

In a circular, the inspector general of registration said that people, whose parent documents are with the financial institutions, can furnish statement from the respective banks that financial institutions are possessing the parent documents. The statement can be considered as a document for registrations, it added. As far as registration of plots and flats are concerned, the parent document was required to facilitate registration of the first unit from the same property. “However, the parent document is must during the resale of property to another person,” the circular added.

The registrations department made parent document an essential document for property registrations, wherein the document would be completely scanned by the sub registrar ahead of processing the registration. However, sources said, it caused inconvenience for the public since not all those registering their properties had the parent document, which are lying in different places including mortgaged with banks. Also scanning every document at the sub registrar office led to delay in registrations.

Against this backdrop, the registration department issued certain clarifications on June 13 to its previous order stating that only the first page of the parent document would be scanned for the verification purpose. It further said that those coming for registration must give an undertaking that documents, which are laminated could not be scanned for registration of land documents.

Source: Economic Times, Chennai

Chennai Metro Rail: Track work on Anna Salai underground line nearing completion

Chennai Metro Rail: Track work on Anna Salai underground line nearing completion

Laying of tracks in the underground section on the Anna Salai has reached the final stages.

Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has floated tenders for the final finishing of track works from AG-DMS to Thousand Lights. The remaining 10km section of phase-1 between Washermenpet and AG-DMS is expected to be ready by December 2018.

While the laying of tracks has been completed, CMRL is now looking for a company to do finishing work on the downline for a stretch of 1.7km.

“Track work is still underway between Central Metro and Government Estate. We are likely to begin trial run by September,” an official said.

Metro trains are operated on ballastless tracks.

Construction of the stations and its entry structure is in full-swing between Government Estate and AG-DMS. One of the entry structures of stations Government Estate and AG-DMS is being integrated with the existing pedestrian subway.

Civil and track work between Washermenpet and Central Metro stations are nearing completion and installation of signal systems have begun.

U Tejonmayam, The Times of India, Chennai

Over 800 properties identified for land acquisition to construct Chennai metro phase-2

Over 800 properties identified for land acquisition to construct Chennai metro phase-2

Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has listed more than 800 property owners to whom notices will be issued for acquisition of land required to build 48 stations planned in the ambitious 107.55km phase-2.

Notices have been issued to nearly 410 owners who have properties along the alignment planned for 19 stations.

They include people living close to Madhavaram, Perumbur, Otteri, Sembium, Chetpet, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Gemini and Purasaiwalkam. The land required in these areas will be used for building the stations as well as a maintenance yard at Madhavaram.

CMRL would issue 400 more notices to property owners in the coming days, officials said.

‘As a start, land acquisition work is underway for corridor 3 and 5. Paperwork for corridor 4 will begin next month,” the official said.

Phase-2 project has three corridors. Corridor 3 will link Madhavaram to Siruseri SIPCOT via the IT hub along the OMR and corridor 5 will connect Madhavaram to Sholinganallur through localities on the western part of the city. Corridor-4, which will link the core areas of the city from Light House to CMBT, will be extended to Poonamallee.

U Tejonmayam, Economic Times, Chennai

Registration of properties may soon need Aadhaar

Property registrations in Tamil Nadu may no longer be facilitated without Aadhaar card as the state government is mandating the 12-digit unique identification number for the purpose. The move stems out of a recent fraud involving creation of forged Power of Attorney (PoA) for a plot worth Rs 4 crore at Madhavaram of a city-based resident currently residing overseas using impersonated identity proof with the alleged connivance of the sub-registrar.

Registration department officials told TOI a proposal has been sent to the government to make Aadhaar card compulsory for land registrations. “Once Aadhaar is mandated, people should provide their Aadhaar card as an identification proof. Our biometric devices would be linked to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) central server to authenticate that the seller is the real owner of the property,” a registration official said.

It is learned that the proposal is in the advanced stage with the government as it has to amend the Tamil Nadu Registration Rules to make authentication through Aadhaar card for land registrations. Registration department sources said that mandating Aadhaar would help eradicate fraudulent registrations.

According to data available with the state government, Tamil Nadu has a 95% Aadhaar coverage. Of the 7.65 lakh population in the state, 7.27 lakh have Aadhaar cards. “In the cases, where people do not have Aadhaar cards, the procedures of the UIDAI would be followed to facilitate the registrations,” the source said.

In a recent case of fraudulent registration at Madhavaram sub-registrar office, a fake document was created in the name of the original owner of the 4,200 square feet vacant plot such that she has given the PoA to another person. “The forged PoA came to light when encumbrance certificate was applied to sell the property, whose market value is worth Rs 4 crore,” the official added. The case is under central crime branch police for investigation and an FIR has been registered, in which four persons, including George, the sub-registrar of Madhavaram, have been named as accused.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, The Times of India, Chennai

At your service | Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai | July 31, 2018

At your service

Chennai

With a growing number of house owners not having the time to take care of their property, they are beginning to rely on professional property management services to take care of their needs.

House hunting can lead to having interesting experiences for each person. When Srividhya, a financial analyst, was scouring the city for a house to move into on rent, she contacted a person whose phone number was listed on a website. “I found myself speaking to a property manager who enquired about my requirements. He was managing the property that belonged to someone else. But what surprised me the most was that he wanted to interview me to see if I fit the bill of the property owner. I was not aware that the city had such services where an owner could hire such people so that they don’t have to micro-manage certain tasks,” she says.

Many from the earlier generation may have built houses to live in them. But today, buying a house is not merely to live in it, but it is also seen as an investment. Hence an owner, today, need not essentially live in the same house. And this is where home management services are sought.

How exactly is it relevant today? T Chockalingam, Managing Partner, 360 Property Management Services, says, “20 years back, if you owned a house in a city that you currently did not live in, you would take the help of a relative (family member) or a friend to help find a tenant, or to help with anything that was related to the property such as a repair or renovation work. Today, there are a lot of Indians who are settled abroad or live far away from the property, and they may be reluctant to ask a relative’s help in this regard. Simply because they may know that these people may not feel obliged to help them, or they may live far from the property themselves and may find it inconvenient to visit it often.” And that is how these services have become crucial to many Chennai residents.

These companies offer a range of solutions. They help in buying and selling houses, and finding tenants for the house. Tenants are often interviewed, the information is verified and that is shared with the house owner. Sometimes it is also their job to find tenants according to the demands of the owner. “Sometimes they will be particular about tenants having a small family, or belonging to a certain state or community. We have to find them accordingly. Then a rental agreement is drafted and the deal is finalised. We then become facilitators,” says a property manager.

Further, services pertaining to electrical, plumbing, carpentry, flooring, wood work and painting are taken care of by a team from property management service companies. Also, property tax, maintenance charges, water and sewer charges and other expenses are paid on time by these organisations. They visit the property from time to time to check if it has been well maintained by its occupants and even pictures and videos of the same are shared with the owners.

“The prices for the services depend on the size of the property, its location and the specific work that we need to do. Generally, people think it is only NRIs who look out for such help. But even those who have multiple assets, or own a small building with many apartments, take our help,” says Prabhu Shankar, Manager, Nimmadhi Property Management. He offers a word of advice, “Verify if such a company is registered. You can try and do that by checking if that company has a GST number. Also, read the reviews online, see the customer feedback and check if anyone you personally know has enlisted their help.”

Source: Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Chennai district likely to expand to 426 sqkm

Chennai district likely to expand to 426 sqkm mid-July

More than seven months after the state announced the expansion of Chennai district, the city’s boundaries are set to get wider by mid July. Areas falling under the purview of Greater Chennai Corporation would be part of the expanded Chennai district to facilitate better coordination between the civic body and district administration for executing various administrative activities.

Revenue department sources said that the procedure to elicit the view of officials on choice of district has been completed in Kancheepuram district. “Government servants have provided their preferred option to either work in Chennai or stick to Kancheepuram district,” a revenue official said. But, the process is still under way in Tiruvallur district. According to plan, 67 revenue villages from Alandur and Sholinganallur Taluks in Kancheepuram and Ambattur, Madavaram, Maduravoyal and Tiruvottiyur taluks in Tiruvallur district would be merged with Chennai district, taking the total number of revenue villages in the expanded city to 122.

Official sources said that the state is expected to make a notification regarding the merger of the urbanised neighbourhood revenue villages mid-July. “It is likely to be on July 15,” a senior revenue department official said.

This expansion would increase the size of Chennai from 176sqkm to 426sqkm covering all 15 zones of Greater Chennai Corporation. The city will have an additional revenue divisional officer from the existing two. The state had missed its April 1 target for issuing the notification due to delay in completing the task of getting the views of government staff working in these taluks on their preferred place of work.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, The Times of India, Chennai

Born again Anna Nagar Chennai

Three metro stations dotting a two-kilometre stretch, a wide two-way thoroughfare and an address that leading retail brands are competing for — Second Avenue Road on Anna Nagar is now a posh shopping hub bustling with life, a dramatically different picture from a year ago, when the metro rail construction had just finished.

Since the end of 2010, when phase-1 metro constructions began in the area, the roads were dug up and barricaded, traffic turned chaotic and shops began relocating as the area was almost cut off. Now, a year after the road is widened and metro rail has become operational the transformation is complete with the locality getting back in business.

While the newly-opened showrooms are looking at brisk sale, existing shops which suffered huge losses are experiencing a revival. S Prabhakaran, manager of a leading consumer electronics shop near Anna Nagar Tower metro station said, “We opened our showroom six months ago. From 2012 to 2017, it was a difficult time for traders because sales took a heavy beating as Second Ave nue Road was made into a one-way and parking was not allowed. The losses ranged between 20% and 30%,” he said, adding that business had improved in the past few months and new brands were setting up shop. “Reputed chains, including several restaurants had relocated. That phase has ended with new entrants moving into this area,” he said.

Anna Nagar is a home for several political leaders and noted personalities such as MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, TNCC President Su Thirunnavukkarasar and ÁIADMK Minister K Pandiarajan. Before traffic diversions, the locality was an important business centre of west Chennai.

But the one-way rule and with a majority of road space taken over for construction of underground stations, there was hardly any room for business establishments.

S Nagoor Kani, owner of a stationery shop said customers had dwindled. “I was on the verge of shutting down my business due to heavy losses. I pulled through hoping that the scenario would change and, now the change has begun,” he said. “Four big retailers and a hospital moved out of here and are yet to return,” he points out.

A few traders are yet to see the boost they expect. “The changes in Anna Nagar haven’t helped and add to it the losses due to demonetisation. I am reeling under a 20% loss. The business though better than before is still not on a par with the years before 2012,” said L Gopalakrishnan, a textile shop owner.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, The Times of India, Chennai