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Pune-based redevelopment builder has 48 new projects in line 

Vishal Gokhale of Gokhale Builders is at the forefront of developers involved in the redevelopment business

pune Updated: Aug 08, 2017 15:03 IST
HT Correspondent
Vishal Gokhale of Gokhale Builders welcomes state government’s move to change the required number of members needed to grant permission for redevelopment from 70% to 51%.
Vishal Gokhale of Gokhale Builders welcomes state government’s move to change the required number of members needed to grant permission for redevelopment from 70% to 51%.(HT Photo)

With 75 sites redeveloped and another 35 under construction, Gokhale Builders are fully aware of the challenges and pitfalls in getting members of old housing societies to redevelop.

In the light of the Maharashtra government’s decision to change the required number of members needed to grant permission for redevelopment from 70% to 51%, HT spoke to Vishal Gokhale about the effect that decision is going to have on the city and what lies ahead.

Q. What are the difficulties in getting permission for a building redevelopment? Which difficulties did you face in your redevelopment efforts?

A. Yes,there are lots of difficulties faced by us as redevelopment builders.Emotion is a major part in all this. Generally, people are very emotional about their houses. Belief is another reason. People never easily believe in any builder. Many aged people are not ready to redevelop their houses and to convince them is a big challenge. Alternative accommodation is the biggest hurdle. Society members should be given alternate accommodation, preferably in the same area. Or, the developer should agree to pay the person's monthly rent. Also, society members are entitled to seek the cost of shifting from the builder. The cost would include the amount members have to pay to shift to an alternative accommodation and back to the redeveloped society.

Q.How did you overcame these hurdles?

A. As I already said ‘belief’ is the biggest investment by us in this business.If you give them confidence about their houses it all become easy for you. We have two teams, one is legal and another is a technical team. These teams have experts to deal with redevelopment issues. They will take care of all our clients like family members. On-time delivery and quality of construction helps us to overcome hurdles.

Q.Recently, the state government announced that the consent of 51% of housing society members is now required for a redevelopment. Will this help you?

A. It’s a welcome move by the government,but it will not minimise hurdles because if we get consent of 51% of residents in a housing society and any one from the remaining 49% is not ready for the redevelopment, then we can not pressurisehim/her. The case then goes to the high court which becomes a lengthy process.

Q.Will this decision by the government accelerate the redevelopment industry?

A.Redevelopment of housing societies is totally dependent upon the owner of the flat. As long as they are not convinced nothing will happen. And this require skills. We have completed 75 sites and construction at 35 other sites is going on. We have also taken 48 new sites to redevelop.

Q.How do you deal with the problem of rent?

A. Now we have 425 flats on rent, for which I have to pay rent every month. Based on this people have given me their flats for redevelopment. We have proved ourselves in front of clients hence, they believe in us.

Q.What is the future of this sector?

A.Redevelopment is the future. A few years ago people were preferred the ‘affordable housing schemes’, located on the outskirts of the city. Now they realise the importance of travel time.Hence, people are coming back towards the city and hence, there is scope for redevelopment.