Amidst friends and well-wishers, Niranjan Hiranandani, the founder and MD of Hiranandani group, delivered a speech that painted a futuristic, liveable Mumbai. Despite all the trouble the city is facing as it undergoes a makeover, he believes it is all for Mumbai’s better future. Hiranandani, spoke to Free Press Journal’s Jescilia Karayamparambil on the sidelines of ‘A Speaker Series’ organised by Rotary Club of Bombay on the revamp of Mumbai. Apart from infrastructure projects in the city, he also shed light on the affordable housing sector.
Is there a clear definition for the affordable housing today?
There is a definition. It is anything that is less than 60 sq metres but it is slightly different in Mumbai and Delhi. But for rest of the country it is 60 sq metres carpet area that is the area that is being defined for tax purposes, funding (loan) and stamp duty benefit purposes. All these benefits are given to that segment of the affordable housing category. It covers 90 per cent of the country as such. The target is to see at least this section of the country is taken care of in the next five years.
In terms of pricing, the upcoming projects (that are tagged affordable) especially in Mumbai are not affordable?
Mumbai has not been able to produce much in the affordable segment. But in the peripheral areas it is definitely happening. For instance, if you look at beyond Thane and Dahisar, you will find the affordable housing segment being created. In the MMR region, (in peripheral of Mumbai) definitely affordable housing is happening.
How much investment will the affordable segment attract in the next 2-3 years?
I think the segment will attract Rs 3 lakh crore in the affordable housing segment. If you see government is putting in Rs 150,000 crore in the next three years.
Will commercial attract more investment or residential?
The opportunities in terms of commercial will always be attracted towards major metros and towns. The opportunity in terms of growth is definitely there in commercial. There is employment potential in the cities too. Hence, the change that is taking place in the city is basically on infrastructure side. As the infrastructure grows it will obviously generate employment in the cities and ultimately the affordable segment will come over here. That is what the demand is. For instance, low cost airline like Indigo is making profit by attracting masses and it the same model that Jio followed. Affordable segment will witness huge demand too.
Which projects in MMR will bring in a change in the region?
Look at the metro, we have 170 kms of metro lines under construction which will be completed in five-seven years. That means you are doubling the railway line. Then you have the Navi Mumbai airport. Today, they are saying 2019 but even if it comes up by 2021, Navi Mumbai airport will bring change. We will have the RoRo services which will happen this month. Then you will have cross harbour bridge that will come up in five years. Then there is coastal roads. All these are projects not just for Mumbai but for Mumbai’s peripheral. There are passenger lines and many highways that are coming. I think we have a huge amount of infrastructure projects.
As a group, are you planning to venture into anything other than real estate?
My son, Darshan Hiranandani, has put in LNG terminal in Jaigarh which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister Anant Geete that is happening. My son has entered into oil and natural gas. We are looking at resorts and planning to do warehousing, logistics and industrial housing in Pune, Nashik and Chennai as well.
Will we see you look at North for expansion?
No, we are concentrating in west and south at the moment.
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