J & K to Emerge as Big Real Estate Destination

Torbit - January 09, 2022 - - 0 |

With real estate companies from across the country signing over three dozen MoUs to invest Rs 18900 crore in Jammu and Kashmir and the union territory taking several key policy initiatives to promote ease of doing business, facilitating investments, Jammu & Kashmir is set to emerge as a big real estate destination, spurring employment and economic growth….Vinod Behl

That the J&K government is giving a big thrust to the development of real estate, housing, infrastructure, hospitality and film and entertainment projects was clearly evident from the scale of the first ever Real Estate Summit 2021 organized in Jammu on 26 December 2021.

Besides Union Housing & Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep S Puri and MoS, PMO, Jitendra Singh, J&K Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha, Union Housing & Urban Affairs Secretary (now Chief Secretary Uttar Pradesh) Durga Shankar Mishra, besides top bureaucracy of J&K participated in the summit. Several real estate luminaries including Niranjan Hiranandani, Vice Chairman, NAREDCO, Rajan Bandelkar, President, NAREDCO, Sanjay Dutt, MD, Tata Realty & Infrastructure, Anuj Puri, Founder Anarock, Mrs Tara Subramaniam, President NAREDCO, Mahi and Director JM Financial Services Home Loans, Khair Ull Nissa, ED, WTC and WTCA and VP, NAREDCO Mahi, Pradeep Aggarwal, Chairman, Signature Global and Gaurav Jain, MD, Samyak Properties and Infrastructure   were part of the summit.

At the summit organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the government of Jammu & Kashmir and NAREDCO< participating real estate companies signed 39 MoUs worth Rs 18900 crore with the UT government, expressing their intent to build 19 residential, 8 commercial, 4 hospitality, 3 infrastructure, 2 finance and 3 film and entertainment projects. The signing of the MoUs, according to Rajan N Bandelkar, President, NAREDCO, will help explore new development opportunities in untapped locations that hold huge potential for real estate development in residential, commercial, hospitality, retail, warehousing and logistics and healthcare segments.

One such prominent MoU has been signed by Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder Chairman of Signature Global, a leading affordable housing group. His group has planned to invest Rs 2000 crore in J&K to develop 10000 housing units. Aggarwal says that there is end-user demand for affordable housing here, like in other parts of the country and the sustainable growth is possible through the promotion of affordable housing by incentivizing real estate developers. Mohammad Shahid Saleem Dar, MD, J&K Housing Board says there is affordable housing demand of 80000 units, besides demand for MIG and HIG housing. ” Land, free from encumbrances and with clear titles, is available in Jammu. There is a special cell to facilitate private investments, especially as policies like PMAY, Affordable Housing have been put in place”.

In J&K, there is demand for second homes due to Vaishnodevi pilgrimage and several tourist attractions, Says Niranjan Hiranandani, Vice Chairman, Naredco, ” There is good demand from people in Srinagar for investing in a second home in Jammu, the summer capital of J&K. Also, there is a demand from people in other parts of the country to buy second homes in Jammu, which will accelerate housing and real estate growth in J&K”.

Sanjay Dutt, MD, Tata Realty & Infrastructure concurs that there is a huge opportunity for second homes. “Rather, J&K is a first home market. Lot of local developers will be motivated and they will take first mover advantage”. Pankaj Magotra, Vice Chairman, Jammu Development Authority says that they are reviewing the Jammu Master Plan to ensure a balanced development-oriented plan. There is a good deal of land lying idle in Jammu. We will be putting 2-3 big land parcels on the auction portal. We will move forward to have green buildings and vertical development”.

In order to realize the full potential of real estate housing and infrastructure in J&K, key portals like Assets Auction Portal, J&K RERA Portal, J&K Housing Mission Portal were e-launched by Union Housing & Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep S Puri.at the summit. The idea of launching these portals is to provide a one stop shop facility to property buyers who can apply online for allotment of plots, houses, apartments from various housing schemes of J&K Housing Board, Jammu Development Authority and Srinagar Development Authority.

For the all-round development of the region, the J & K government is giving a big focus on promoting tourism infrastructure. According to Mohammad Ahmad Shah, KAS, Director I&C, Kashmir, 75 new tourism destinations have been identified for development. ” At Manaltas, near Jammu, a 100-acre wellness center will be set up. We are working to create assets facilities for high end tourists for which there is a big demand. Big hotel chains are partnering with local hoteliers because of the huge opportunity. Soon, we will invite private players to partner with us”.

J&K government is giving further push to tourism through the development of a brand-new tourism policy with built in security. Says Rohit Kansal, Secretary, Information Department, J&K, ” We have a one-point contact online facility providing access to talent, shooting locales, permission for shooting. Our intent is to build an ecosystem for film production providing studio facilities OB Van, equipment, houseboats etc.”

With the support of the Centre, the J & K government is also working to get foreign investment to develop real estate and infrastructure. ” All erstwhile laws in J&K which were impediments in the progress and development of the region have been either repealed or amended”, says Jitendra Singh, MoS PMO. The UAE government recently signed a deal with the J & K government for real estate and infrastructure development. Under the MoU, investment will be made for development of industrial parks, IT towers, real estate, multipurpose towers, logistics and healthcare infrastructure.  The J & K government is also tying up with the UAE for a dry port. DP World Dubai, one of the leading logistics companies, has already announced plans to connect J&K to the rest of India and the world in terms of logistics services, to realize the true potential of the region. Clearly, J&K is set on the path of real estate and infrastructure development, paving the way for speedy economic growth.


Demand for real estate construction in J&K goes beyond housing

Hardeep S Puri, Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs

The J&K presents a big opportunity on the housing front, with an estimated demand of 2.5-3 lakh houses. However, the demand for real estate construction in J&K is not only in housing but also in tourism, hospitality, warehousing. There is a land and ready demand and the process has been accelerated to capitalize on it. RERA and the Tenancy Act have been implemented in J&K which will help in the ease of doing business.  Already, high priority has been given to decision-making, removing impediments in development with upgradation of land records. There is encouraging progress in the central government’s schemes like PMAY and Smart Cities Mission. The Metro project is in its final stage of approval and it will open up new development and investment opportunities. 

We will bring Rs 60000 crore of investment 

Manoj Sinha, Lt Governor, J&K

The multiplier effect of the first-ever historic real estate summit in J&K will be felt across the entire UT in the coming years. The launch of many portals will facilitate a transparent and accountable framework in the real estate sector, helping developers and home buyers. The regressive land laws have been amended providing relief to many sectors including real estate. Several progressive policies and procedural reforms have been implemented on the ground including a single window clearance system. We have made changes in the land use policy so that the companies eager to set up industries do not face the problem of land. Within a year, we have received the proposals for investment worth Rs 46000 crore, We will ensure every possible support to facilitate the investors. By March 2022, we hope to bring an investment of Rs 60000 crore to J&K.

We will have single window with many open windows

Arun K Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K

For ensuring ease of business, we have already brought all necessary services under a single window mechanism. For further ease, we will have a single window with many open windows. We are going for end-to-end digitization of all services. We already have electronic tracking of files to remove bureaucratic hurdles in decision making. To facilitate ease of business, the basic infrastructure of power, water and roads is there, with 100% power access. There is excellent road connectivity between Jammu and Srinagar. Jammu-Srinagar rail connectivity will be there soon. Air connectivity is also being further strengthened with the upgradation of airports in Jammu and Srinagar. Srinagar airport has already started international operations. Policy initiatives on the land front are paying dividends. Land records are becoming transparent through an online process. Land passbooks will be completed by August 15, 2022 and further 3-dimensional property mapping will change the face of urbanization in J&K.

New development corridors are coming up in J&K

Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary, Housing & Urban Development, J&K

We have opened up access to land through refurbished laws and online registration of property. We are creating an enabling environment for business through constitutional and regulatory changes. Further boost is being given to organized development and urbanization through private and PPP mode, with incentives. Uniform building laws and building code mechanisms are being adopted for a regional approach to development. New development corridors are coming up and large parcels of land are coming up for real estate development in both Jammu and Srinagar. There is big unlocking of opportunity in housing and commercial real estate, besides industrial infrastructure. We are targeting 1 lakh EWS/LIG/MIG houses over the next 5 years. There is an immense appetite for capacity for high end housing. Land is already available for a 500-acre integrated township.

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