City Buzz: Cash crisis in ATMs, India’s best paying cities and new role for Delhi Metro

What is making news in Indian cities -- from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and Delhi to Hyderabad? A quick look at some of the most important and interesting headlines for urban India.

Cities relive cash-crunch crisis as ATMs run dry

In an unpleasant reminder of the demonetization days, ATMs across Indian cities and towns reported running out of cash, creating panic among the citizenry. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh appeared to be the worst affected, though reports and social media posts came in from all corners of the country.

The government attributed the shortage to a sudden spike in demand over the last three months amid regional elections (or the run up to it) in several states.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the “temporary shortage” in certain states is being “tackled quickly” and that there is “more than adequate” currency in circulation. Jaitley, who has been away from office since April 2 due to kidney ailment, said he has reviewed the currency situation in the country.

“Overall there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ (in demand) in some areas is being tackled quickly,” he said in a tweet.

The RBI meanwhile put it down to ‘logistical issues.’

Following the introduction of Rs 200 notes by the RBI, it was decided that recalibration of ATMs (automated teller machines) for new notes would be done at a faster pace, sources said, adding the drive was soon started but got delayed in some parts of the country. The RBI said shortage “may be felt” in some pockets largely due to logistical issues of replenishing ATMs frequently and the recalibration of ATMs being still underway.  Meanwhile, the printing of Rs 2,000 notes has also been halted for a past few days.

Source: Firstpost | Moneycontrol | DNA

Want better pay? You may have to head to Bengaluru or Pune

According to a recent report from Randstad Insights, the research and analysis division of Randstad India, Bengaluru, often called the India’s IT Capital and Pune are the two cities which offer the highest average annual salaries to Indian professionals.

The IT capital of India, Bengaluru, pays the highest with an average annual Cost to Company (CTC) for talent across all levels and functions at Rs 10.8 lakh, followed by Pune at Rs 10.3 lakh, NCR (National Capital Region) at Rs 9.9 lakh and Mumbai at Rs 9.2 lakh.

Chennai (Rs 8 lakh), Hyderabad (Rs 7.9 lakh) and Kolkata (Rs 7.2 lakh) are the other three names on the list of Indian cities paying the highest average salaries for professionals.

In terms of sectors, pharma/healthcare, professional services and FMCG top the charts, with the much sought after IT sector jobs coming fourth. Consulting/Advisory is the highest paying functional role.

Source: The Quint

Kolkata, Bengaluru home rentals highest, says property portal

A recent report from property portal Magicbricks, based on a study of 14 major Indian cities, finds that Kolkata and Bengaluru have the highest residential rental yields in the city.

The rental yield in Kolkata is 3.9%, and in Bengaluru 3.7%. This is followed by Hyderabad (3.6%) and Ghaziabad (3.3%). The national average across all residential asset types is 3%. Markets with cheaper real estate (capital values) were found to have higher yields. The four cities which top the yield have an average capital value of about Rs 5,500 per sq ft while cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai, where average capital value is more than Rs 9,000 per sq ft, produce yields of between 2.5% and 2.8%.

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The report also said that other things being equal, furnished properties command higher rental and yield is disproportionate to investment made towards furnishings. At the pan-India level, the yield on furnished properties is 3.3%. Semi and unfurnished have yields of 2.9% and 2.7%, respectively.

Source: The Times of India

Delhi Metro lends helping hand to other cities

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), commended globally for its expertise and efficient execution and management of the country’s largest metro network is now extending a helping hand to several other Indian cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and even consulting for international projects in Jakarta (Indonesia) and Dhaka (Bangladesh). In Mumbai, the DMRC has been entrusted with the task of preparing Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for 118 km of metro network, of which 91 km is complete.

We are helping in the execution of detailed project reports (DPRs) for Hyderabad Metro Phase II, Jaipur Metros Phase I(b) and a number of corridors for Mumbai. From a high-speed corridor connecting the new airport in Navi Mumbai to the existing Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport; from a 33-km line from Dahisar to DN Nagar, we are working on projects that will change the face of Mumbai, Mangu Singh, managing director, DMRC, told MAIL TODAY.

We have deployed a project director, four chief project managers and a number of officials to facilitate drafting of DPRs and also execution of corridors.

Source: India Today

Sabarmati Riverfront may not get Narmada water from 2019 end

In the face of harsh criticism from environmentalists and civil society over the continuous diversion of Narmada waters to the Sabarmati Riverfront, the Gujarat government has reportedly told the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation that by 2019, it must ensure that the riverfront is fed by tertiary treated water from STPs instead. Narmada waters meet 70% of the state’s drinking water and irrigation needs, and has already reported alarmingly low levels.

Municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar said, “The Union government has already approved the five STPs under the National River Conservation Plan. The project is worth Rs 400 crore and will arrest any release of untreated sewage water in to the river front.”

“We are hopeful to commission all five STPs by December 2019,” said Kumar.

A senior AMC official revealed that on an average the Sabarmati riverfront stores close to 10-12 million cubic meters of water (1 cubic meter equals 1,000 liters), which could have been used for other key requirements.

Source: The Times of India

Mumbai NGO objects to FSI provisions in city Development Plan

Mumbai-based NGO Citizen Civic Solutions Foundation, comprised of a group of resident associations, has written a letter to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, voicing staunch opposition to a particular section in the proposed Mumbai Development Plan 2034.

Section 33(19) of the DP explicitly specifies the amount of additional floor-space index (FSI) that can be provided to big projects in a Central Business District (CBD). But rule 5 in that section also provides for additional FSI in residential areas, which citizens fear may lead to many such areas being commercialized.

The rule states that if the municipal commissioner deems necessary, any plots, irrespective of their private or residential status, can be provided an additional FSI on the basis of the CBD on that plot,” the NGO stated in its letter.

The section, if implemented, will transform the residential areas into commercial and business zones and also lead to lesser revenues for the government, the NGO said.

“Thus, it clearly appears the government can allot or deny allotment of an additional FSI on whichever projects it wants. This has given way to possibility of corruption, leading to lesser revenues for the government,” it added.

Meanwhile, the urban development minister of the state, Ranjit Patil said that a constitutional process had been followed in the finalization of the DP and that the NGO should have raised its objections when the draft had been opened up by the municipal corporation to public comments and suggestions. However, he indicated that he was still open to considering their objections/suggestions and would convey the same to the scrutinizing committee.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

1000-crore makeover announced for Hyderabad Old City

Post a review of the Old City of Hyderabad, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced that infrastructure projects costing Rs 1000 crore would soon be launched to give the city a makeover, and completed on war footing. A comprehensive plan would be put in place that would ensure, among other things, that there were no power cuts and the city was flood-resistant. In addition, three new bridges would be constructed in the Old City under the Strategic Road Development Programme.

Besides these development works, work on beautification and purification of the Musi river would also be taken up at a cost of Rs 1600 crore while the Rs 1200-crore Metro Rail project would be completed on a fast track.

Source: The New Indian Express

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