Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pune builder Runwa caught in Land fraud

How many Runwal's are still roaming the streets of Pune ??

The Runwal Group is one of Pune's biggest builders and developers of townships, multiplexes and malls in one of the country's fastest growing cities.

But on Friday night, the facade cracked.

Big fish, Pradeep Runwal was arrested by the Pune police on serious charges of forging the power of attorney of over 270 farmers, both dead and alive, to allegedly secure a bank loan worth a staggering 450 crore rupees.

And Pradeep Runwal wasn't alone, along with him, two of his secretaries were also arrested by the Pune police.

With 300 crore of the loan already sanctioned, Runwal thought it was business as usual, till a former employee began to blackmail him. Runwal would have to cough up Rupees 50 lakhs or be exposed.

When Runwal refused, these men upped the ante. Approached by Runwal's ex-employee, they began to blackmail the developer. When matters threatened to spin out of control Pradeep Runwal himself approached the police and was himself arrested.

It's a curious cast of characters in the custody of the Pune police. And in the midst of that, a poignant irony is visible in the form of the Runwal Group's vision that 'building structures does not take long, building integrity does'.

Apparently Pradip Runwal was just a little too impatient.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

BMRDA Master Plan may hit realty prices

Bangalore: The Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) will invite bids for consultancy services to prepare the final Master Plan for five planning areas of Bangalore. This could temporarily stall land conversion and construction activities.
The Interim Master Plan (IMP), which was notified in June, will be effective for only a year. The planning authorities of the BMR region — covering over 2,600 km across Anekal, Hoskote, Kanakapura, Nelamangala and Magadi — will have to prepare a master plan by June 2008.
BMRDA officials said orders have been issued to the planning authorities to invite global tenders for preparation of the master plan.
“We need to have a master plan in place for all the five local planning areas within one year of the interim plan coming into being. Once the plan is prepared we will evaluate it and send it for approval,’’ the officials said.
The Master Plan has to be proposed up to 2021. Currently, the region has a population of 8 lakh and by 2021, it is expected to grow to 30 lakh. This will have to be taken into consideration. The BMRDA will act only as a monitoring authority and not involve itself in planning and development for these planning areas.
“There are many cases where certain real estate projects have come up, which is not in tune with the IMP itself. The infrastructure there is inadequate so it is inevitable to revert to its designated zonal usage. All these changes have to be now made in the Master Plan,’’ officials explained.
During the preparation of the IMP, the government had banned land conversion in the region. The realty sector was badly hit, leading to wide spread protests. The BMRDA office was often flooded with developers, associations and individuals as land conversion and layout approvals were banned for over a year. The authority had stopped land conversion and layout plan approvals from July 2006 till June 2007.
If that was the scenario for the IMP, will the realty sector be hit for the second time with the BMRDA preparing to put the final master plan in place? That is the question worrying all those concerned