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Construction of Ebute Meta railway station in Nigeria to begin in December

Construction works on the Ebute Meta new ultra-modern railway station in Nigeria is set to begin in December. This is according to Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).

Mr Yakub Mahmood, the corporation’s Deputy Director (Public Relations) who revealed the reports said that the contractors handling the project, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), has commenced the demolition of affected staff quarters, to give way for the modern station.

“All is set for the Ebute Meta station to host the new and ultra- modern railway station. The station will be one of its kind in the country; it is going to be an up-to-date station, with many features going with contemporary technology,” said Mr Yakub Mahmood.

The the Ebute Meta new ultra-modern railway station, in line with the ongoing construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge line, is aimed at curtailing the lingering gridlock crisis along the corridor, thereby decongesting the seaport.

“The problem is that there are too much congestion at the seaport, and gridlock in Lagos. The moment we finish this rail, nearly almost all the cargoes will be on the track. This will equally create employment and economic growth and that is what the government is targeting,” said Mahmood.

Additionally the government is also set to take delivery of an automatic aircraft firefighter simulator equipment. Sirika, in a statement by the Deputy Director of Press, Ministry of Transportation, Mr. James Odaudu in Abuja, stated that, the builders, Messrs Alpine Metal Tech. Company had carried out the factory acceptance and pre-shipment inspection test of the simulator in presence of top Nigerian functionaries.

According to him, “The simulator, the first of its kind in Africa, is a modern- multi scenario fire fighting simulator capable of delivering training for different types of operational incidents involving aircraft in the aerodrome and its vicinity.”

Source: By Teresia Njoroge

Why you should invest in property sooner rather than later

If you want to set yourself up for long term financial gain, investing in property is an excellent way of ensuring this and the sooner you start climbing the property ladder the sooner you start creating wealth. For a first-time property buyer, the younger you are when you enter the property market the better.
If you can take the leap, investing in property in your twenties or thirties is an ideal method of forced saving. It puts you in the position of not having the disposable income to spend on things that are probably not that important, which is not necessarily a bad thing, whilst simultaneously ensuring that you’re building capital.

An investment in property sooner rather than later, will set you in very good stead, especially once the compounded nature of an early investment kicks in. Even if it means buying a home that you yourself cannot afford to live in but can rent out, whilst you live with your parents or in a commune, the asset that you are building up on the side will pay dividends in the long term.

The time effect on money means that with a property investment, the sooner you commit and the quicker you can pay off your bond, the better the effective return earned will be. In other words, the moment you no longer owe the bank, you can start enjoying the full potential of passive rental income.

Never too late

While younger is better, it’s never too late to get onto the property ladder. Investing in property at any age, if done with knowledge and foresight, will generate good revenue. Talk to an estate agent and start looking at the market and what you may be able to purchase. Have a plan.

The benefits of owning property are numerous, so invest wisely.

Property can provide investors with a steady rental income stream as well as capital appreciation. However, it is important to assess the market and the investment carefully. Do your homework, shop around and get advice.

Location and the future of the location is the first and foremost factor to consider when purchasing an investment property. Does it show potential growth or does it show a propensity for decay? What is happening within the immediate surroundings and in the suburb and area as a whole?

Take stock of fixtures and fittings. Are they durable enough to keep maintenance costs at a minimum? Will they look dated in five or ten years’ time?

What is the demand for the property? Are prospective tenants looking to move into the area because it’s close to schools or a business district?

Take a five-year view and calculate your costs and your return, but also consider a longer period. A ten-year view is preferable as this will generate a more valuable return on investment because it should give the best capital appreciation on a well-located and pristinely maintained property.

Owning property to let not only generates passive income, it has tax benefits too.

From a tax point of view, rental income forms part of income and you would pay tax accordingly. However, there are certain expenses that can be deducted on your tax return. These include:

  • Advertisements,
  • Agency fees of estate agents,
  • Homeowners insurance (not household contents insurance),
  • Garden services,
  • Repairs, and
  • Security and property levies.

If you are ready to take the leap and if you are ready to start creating wealth, talk to your estate agent about a property investment that will work for you, your budget and your needs. Start looking at the market to have a more concrete idea of what your money will buy.

Source: By Grant Wheeler.

Kenya begins construction of US $168m Western Bypass

Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHa) and the Ministry of transport has announced that construction of US $168m Western Bypass has begun with the project being the fourth and final ring of the Nairobi Ring Roads.

The bypass project is set to kick off in Gitaru, Kiambu county connecting the Southern bypass in Kikuyu town and will terminate in Ruaka connecting the Northern bypass. It will will have a four lane expressway with a total length of 16.79Km and seven interchanges at Lower Kabete, Gitaru, Ndenderu, Ruaka, Wanginge, Rumingi and Kihara.

Western Bypass

According to Transport Cabinet Secretary Mr James Wainaina Macharia, the project will also have noise control barriers in all human settlement areas. The Western Bypass will have eleven traffic bridges and pedestrian underpasses on the entire length. Pedestrian barriers will also be installed in the midst to ensure that no pedestrian crossings occur at the non-authorized areas, apart from the provided for facilities such as footpaths and underpasses.

The separate footpaths and cycle tracks will provide an enhanced safety feature to ensure no direct conflict between motorized traffic and road users. Additionally it will have paved deviations along the construction route to ensure smooth traffic flow and reduce environmental hazards.

hina Road and Bridge corporation were tasked to undertake the project and to complete in a period of 39 months. Upon completion the project is expected to ease traffic congestion around Nairobi City, ensure rapid economic growth around the areas near the road, Improve safety for pedestrians and other non-motorized road users and ensure a smooth flow of traffic in the area.

Moreover there will be construction of a bus park at Wangige which will also enhance public transport efficiency and ensure that traffic congestion and interruptions occasioned by public transport vehicles is reduced. Provision of adequate bus bays at all the major existing commercial centres and settlement areas will be provided.

Source: By Linus Kemboi

The pockets of Britain bucking the Brexit backlash

Concerns about Brexit have taken their toll on Britain’s property market.

After ‘almost grinding to a complete halt’ at the beginning of the year, the annual growth in house prices remained subdued in February, according Nationwide Building Society.

It said the average value of a home in Britain was £211,304 last month, down from £211,966 a month earlier.

Most commentators attribute the sluggish housing market to the uncertainty around Brexit, arguing that many of those looking to buy and sell properties are delaying their decisions until the country leaves the EU.

Zoopla reveals the rise in house prices since the Brexit vote in June 2016

 

Zoopla reveals the rise in house prices since the Brexit vote in June 2016

But amid this doom and gloom for the property market, there are pockets around the country that have seen a surprising rise in values.

Indeed, several cities have performed especially strongly since the Brexit vote in June 2016.

In particular, Leicester and Manchester have seen price growth of 17.2 per cent and 16.6 per cent respectively since the 2016 vote.

A further 10 locations around the country have also seen double digit house price growth during the period.

The list produced by property website Zoopla is dominated by spots in Scotland and the north of England, including Nottingham, Edinburgh and Leeds.

The only place in southern England in the top 10 locations is Bournemouth, while Cardiff is the only location in Wales.

HOUSE PRICE RISES IN PAST YEAR

House prices in Britain’s largest cities have risen for the first time in three and half years, according to Zoopla.

Zoopla’s UK Cities House Price Index report claimed that all 20 of Britain’s biggest cities saw values increase year-on-year.

It is the first time all 20 cities have seen positive growth since August 2015, primarily due to Aberdeen seeing prices lift year-on-year with a 1.8 per cent increase in February.

Annual house price growth ranged from 6.8 per cent in Leicester to 0.2  per cent in Cambridge last month.

Annual house price growth in stood at 5.8 per cent in Manchester, 5.6 per cent in Belfast, 5.1 per cent in Birmingham, 5 per cent in Cardiff, 4.6 per cent in Edinburgh, 3.5 per cent in Newcastle, 2.6 per cent in Bristol and 1 per cent in Oxford.

House prices in Leicester have increased by an impressive 17.2%

London has been hit harder than most areas of the country as this is where prices tend to be higher than elsewhere in Britain.

It means the growth in house prices has been relatively low in the capital, increasing by only two per cent since the Brexit vote.

However, the outlook is changing according to one expert. Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: ‘House prices in London are starting to firm.

‘Buyers who have stood on the side-lines since 2015 are starting to see greater value for money, seeking out buying opportunities amidst the uncertainty of Brexit. This is supported by greater realism on pricing by sellers.

‘We do not believe London prices will rebound but it is a positive for sales volumes, which are still 25 per cent lower than in 2016.’

House prices in London have grown by 2% since the Brexit vote in June 2016

He added: ‘House price growth has remained strong in regional cities over the last three years rising as much as 17 per cent since the Brexit vote but signs of weaker growth are building as affordability pressures grow.

‘While the Brexit debate reaches fever pitch, data on housing sales and demand for mortgages shows buyers are largely unmoved.

‘Transaction volumes over 2018 remained in line with the five-year average. The latest data shows that housing transactions have increased slightly in the first two months of 2019.

‘With unemployment at a record low and mortgage rates still averaging two per cent, buyers appear to be largely shrugging off Brexit uncertainty until there is a material change in the overall outlook.’

House prices in Edinburgh have grown by 12.6% since the Brexit vote in June 2016

Zoopla said house prices across the country had climbed 8.8 per cent since the Brexit vote, or the equivalent of £17,624, from £200,444 to £218,068.

It follows Nationwide saying last month how prices had dropped 0.1 per cent between January to February as Brexit approached.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: ‘After almost grinding to a complete halt in January, annual house price growth remained subdued in February.’

‘Indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of property transactions and the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable in recent months, but survey data suggests that sentiment has softened.’

Source: By  MYRA BUTTERWORTH

The five property pitfalls that are most likely to scupper your house sale

It’s easy to make mistakes when buying and selling homes, according to industry experts.

Data shows that almost half of all sales fell through before completion in the final three months of 2018. The problem was highlighted recently in a report by NAEA Propertymark focusing on reasons for this trend.

Below, they highlight the five major setbacks that prevent deals from going through and some of the blunders people make in choosing homes which results in them later regretting their purchase decisions.

1. Nuisance neighbours

Boundary and shared access to driveway disputes or anti-social noise can all result in arguments and fall outs with the neighbours and adversely affect the sale of a property.

If you don’t get on with your neighbour it’s not something you can hide though. You are legally obliged to disclose information about any arguments you’ve had on the ‘Seller’s Property Information Form’ provided by their solicitor.

Omitting or providing false information could lead to legal action taken against you by the buyers.

2. Structural problems

If your home has any serious structural defects which aren’t visible on first inspection, this can put serious doubt in the minds of buyers.

For example, if the survey finds there’s something wrong with the foundations, they may wonder about safety and be hesitant to make an offer for fear of their mortgage provider rejecting their application.

Structural problems are, however, what 13 per cent of people compromise on according to the Which? Survey, but 30 per cent regret this decision later on (see below).

Tips when looking for a new home

Focus on what you want: Use a house viewing checklist as a reminder of the issues that matter the most to you to help keep you on track. You can download one free of charge here.

Try to keep your emotions in check: Do not let excitement make you overlook any problems or make allowances over matters that are important to you.

Consider the future: Things like changing jobs or starting a family could all make you regret your choice of home. Ask yourself if the property you are buying will support your future plans.

Keep location top of mind: The area may not be ideal now but regeneration projects could transform an area in a few years, meaning an initial compromise may pay off in the long run.

Compare your options: Consider your options together, creating a list of pros and cons to help assess what the best decision is for you.

If you’re aware of a major structural problem with your property, try and fix it before putting it on the market.

If you don’t have the money, get an appropriate contractor to give you an estimate for repair and be transparent about it with potential purchasers.

Doing this leg work, could eliminate any concerns the buyer may have.

3. Japanese knotweed

Knotweed is commonly found during site inspections and can cause major problems.

The plant can grow up to nine feet in height and roots up to three metres deep.

Hire a professional to deal with this invasive plant to prevent the property sale from falling through and before it causes any major damage to your homes’ structure or foundations.

4. Rail timetable changes

Properties in commuter towns can fetch high prices, but changes to train timetables result in travel mayhem it could negatively impact the saleability of your property.

Keep abreast of any timetable changes and find out when these will iron themselves out before putting your property on the market.

5. No planning permission

Buying a property without planning permission is a huge risk.

If you’ve had any work carried out while you’ve been living in the property, such as extensions or conversions, make sure you obtained appropriate planning permission in accordance with building regulations, and have access to these documents.

If you haven’t got the right documents, you may find that you must pay for them retrospectively before agreeing a sale.

Five most common regrets after buying…

When it comes to purchasing a property, many may not be able to tick all the boxes on the wishlist, so many settle on what fits close to what they believe is an ideal abode.

While compromising may seem a noble thing to do, it’s often this exact action that typically leaves home buyers regretting their decision.

Settling on key factors such as location, price and structural integrity are some of the worst mistakes property buyers can make, according to a survey by Which? Mortgage Advisors.

David Blake, principal mortgage adviser at Which? Mortgage Advisers, said: ‘Buying a home is a very emotive purchase. In an ideal world, we would be able to find our dream home in a great location, ticking everything off our list – but for most of us, some compromise is to be expected.

‘But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for somewhere that will leave you unhappy.’

1. Compromising on location

While there’s a Channel Four show dedicated to the importance of a property’s location and most industry experts agree that choosing the area to live in is crucial, many buyers fail to follow this sage advice – only to regret it later.

Which? Mortgage Advisors has found that one in five had compromised on their preferred area and that a quarter of home-owners who settled on location when buying their current property say they now regret it.

Families with children were particularly likely to feel remorse over compromising on location, with 38 per cent of those who had chosen a different location now ruing their decisions.

2. Paying too much

Nearly one in five of those who paid more than they had planned now wish they had not.

But many make this mistake with researchers finding that 26 per cent of respondents surveyed compromised on price.

3. Size of property

The size of the rooms (20 per cent) and the garden (17 per cent) were also factors people had often made compromises on when buying their home.

People who compromised on their garden were more likely to regret it, with 26 per cent of those who did so now kicking themselves.

4. Compromising on structural integrity

The structural condition of the property was also something people were particularly likely to regret making compromises on.

One in seven had made compromises on the structure of the property when they bought their home – and three in 10 regretted it.

Decor was also something that 23 per cent settled on but with far fewer (only five per cent) ruing their decision.

5. Not comparing enough homes

Which? Mortgage Advisors found that too many people make snap decisions and don’t take time to look at more options.

One in 10 people surveyed admitted to only viewing just one more property before settling on a home choice. Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) viewed fewer than 10 homes.

Which? Mortgage Advisors surveyed 1,200 home-owners who had bought their property within the past two years.

Source: By ANGELIQUE RUZICKA

Electricity: Abuja Residents, Others Flout Safety Laws, Live Under High Tension

In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasarawa and Niger states, residents are flouting extant safety laws in the power sector as they build structures and conduct businesses under electricity lines’ Right of Way (RoW).

There are others whose wired connections contravene the specified heights and rules, a Daily Trust inquest shows.

A law is being flouted

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) safety regulation titled: “Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards Regulations 2015”, stipulates that for a 330kV transmission line, a 50- metre distance split equally must be maintained on both sides of the lines before erecting structures. For a 132kV transmission line, the distance is 30 metres. For the power distribution side, 33kV and 11kV lines must have on both sides distance of 11 metres.

“For safety reasons, no structure shall be built under the overhead line’s Right of Way (RoW). Where such structures are built after the construction of the lines, the licensee shall not be liable for any mishap caused by contact with the lines,” the law further states.

It also mandates the Distribution Companies (DisCos) to comply with certain sections. For instance, where overhead lines with bare conductors are routed across sites used for public recreation and work activities other than farming, they shall be protected with cradle guards or nets.

Dawaki, Dutse residents dare high tension

At Dutse Zone 7, a subsurb that is some 20 minutes’ drive from Abuja’s city centre, some residents and buildings are under a 132kV transmission line. Some of the residents gave reasons for their action.

Abdulazeez Olabayo, a house owner in the area, said: “I bought this land genuinely from the indigenes and built on it. When NEPA (now AEDC) connected it, they said it was not dangerous even though it is close to a high tension tower. They are the experts.”

Asked if he is aware of the danger of electrocution, Olabayo said: “It is clear now, they put danger sign on the tower. We don’t allow children near it.”

Mariam Audu sells roasted yam under the 132kV line but is unaware that the line could snap and pose a risk to her.

She said, “I don’t think it can snap because they said the white men built this line. But we don’t stay here all day, I come out from 10:00am and leave by 05:00pm.”

At another section called Dutse Alhaji Zone 4, many houses are built into the 50-metre distance of the 330kV transmission Right of Way (RoW). There is a provision store leaning by the high tension tower, while dozens of 400V line carrying cables zigzag on lean short poles as they make their way into houses in the slums.

AEDC workers with their ladders were Dutse Alhaji to confirm electricity payment under the shabby networks when our reporter visited.

At Awoyinka Crescent, there are infractions as people ignorantly run their businesses under the 132kV power line. At Dutse Sokale in Bwari Area Council, welders and other businesses are operating within the RoW and some directly under the power lines.

Daily Trust observed that AEDC complied with the regulation as it provided a cradle net for a major 33kV line crossing a street at Dutse Sokale and directly under a 132kV transmission line. However, that is only one among the many 11kV lines that crisscross many streets across Dutse, Suleja in Niger State, Mararaba in Nasarawa State and other places where our reporter visited.

Block industries are on the rise under power lines in Dutse and Dawaki areas of the FCT. Right under a combination of 132kV and 330kV transmission lines, our reporter counted seven block industries with people working, trucks delivering sand and the moulders setting blocks.

Abubakar Ismail works in one of the block industries around City Polytechnic, Dawaki. He said: “This is an open space, apart from the tax we pay to revenue collectors from the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), we don’t pay for ground rent, so it is cheaper,” he said in Hausa Language.

Still in Dawaki where the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) recently broke ground for the construction of a 132kV substation, a number of small businesses are operating. A block industry owner who chose not to be named said, “This is an expanse open space. We have to use it here. We are not living under it. When we mould the blocks, we don’t stay there, so I think we have nothing to fear.”

Katampe, Kuje, others take turns

There are such breaches in parts of Katampe, Kuje, Lugbe, Jikwoyi, Karshi, Waru and Kabusa areas of the FCT where this investigation covered. At Katampe near Abuja city, a section of the equipment yard of a construction firm is directly under a 132kV transmission line with no insulation or cradle net as stipulated by the NERC 2015 Regulation.

Within the RoW, a car sales stand operates at Katampe. That also is an infraction in line with the extant safety laws in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

At the entrance to Kuje Town, there is an open market of fruit sellers, phone accessories and other items directly under a cluster of 33kV distribution power lines. Arrays of low hanging wires were noticed around the market area.

Mrs. Ijeoma Onyeka sells provisions at the Kuje junction and feels safe because she said she knew when the 33kV lines were constructed.

“The work was done about five years ago. It is not old and I don’t think it poses any risk to us, but we are careful too,” she said.

Niger, Nasarawa communities in same act

At the Kaduna Road area of Suleja in Niger State, houses are scattered across the rocky terrain with some near the 330/132kV transmission lines. Farming activities are also being conducted across these places where the high tensions pass through.

However, the most worrisome of these cases are the siting of unfenced transformers across many communities surveyed.

Amos Chijoke, a resident of Madalla in Niger State, raised concern over how a transformer near his house sparks at night and the splinters fly towards people because it is unfenced.

In Nasarawa State, there are many houses and businesses sited under 33/11kV lines and 400V lines that are loosely strung to rickety poles. Many structures along the Abuja to Keffi expressway were marked since 2017 by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing for removal. It was also learnt that the marking was also for the purpose of highway expansion works which the Minister, Mr. Babtunde Fashola, flagged off in 2018.

Daily Trust observed that the work has begun from the Kugbo axis of Abuja and would take off those marked structures up to Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State.

453 persons electrocuted in 3yrs

While people continue their activities under power lines, there are recorded figures of lives that this practice has claimed through electrical accidents. A report on electrical accidents obtained from the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) shows that 453 persons were electrocuted between 2015 and October 2018.

A breakdown shows that 113 deaths occurred in 110 accidents in 2015; another 140 persons died when they were involved in 124 accidents in 2016. In 2017, 95 accidents caused the electrocution of 113 persons; from January to October 2018, NEMSA reported 87 deaths recorded in 82 accidents.

Disconnect faulty structures – NEMSA

The Managing Director of NEMSA, Engr. Peter Ewesor, told this paper that the agency was working to ensure operators in the power sector attained “zero target” for accidents and electrocutions. NEMSA traced cause of electrical accidents to unsafe use of power by the public (55 per cent) while others include encroaching on RoW, poor adherence to safety rules by the operators and the ageing networks.

In 2017, NEMSA issued a directive to the 11 DisCos to disconnect buildings that are under the Right of Way (RoW) of power lines.

A record from NEMSA shows that between June 2017 and December 2018, about 1,205 buildings found to be close to power lines were disconnected nationwide. Ibadan DisCo disconnected 607 structures, Port Harcourt DisCo disconnected 352. Ikeja and Benin DisCos disconnected 100 houses and 74 premises respectively.

Under Jos DisCo, 99 houses were disconnected, Kaduna DisCo disconnected 11 buildings, and Kano DisCo disconnected two. There are no records for Abuja, Eko, Enugu, and Yola DisCos disconnecting defaulting structures.

We enlighten customers, rehabilitate network – AEDC

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) was contacted on the breaches across their franchise area comprising Kogi, Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger states. The General Manager, Corporate Communication, Mr. Oyebode Babs Fadipe, said the issue of trading under power lines was a multi-sectorial one.

He said, “We have worked with government agencies like NEMSA and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to rehabilitate the network and make them safe.”

 

Fadipe gave instance of Gishiri community in Abuja where the DisCo “killed down the network and rebuilt it. We also installed new meters there.”

He also said there was an aggressive enlightenment of customers and all those trading under electricity lines.

“We go to market places and schools to educate customers. The power to bar people from trading under electricity lines resides in the law enforcement agents and other relevant bodies,” Fadipe concluded.

Simon Echewofun Sunday

Power Generation Slows Down, Collapses Twice in 9days

Power generation has continued to wobble, as the data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Monday in Abuja showed that the country’s electricity grid collapsed twice in the past nine days.

Figures from the FMPWH showed that electricity generation crashed from the 2,548.5 megawatts recorded on April 14, 2019, to as low as 18MW on April 15.

Another collapse of the grid was recorded the next day being April 16, as power generation crashed to 19.7MW.

This, however, moved up to 3,964.8MW on April 17 and continued to fluctuate, as the grid posted the highest power generation figure of 5,154.4MW on April 19 and by April 21, the figure dropped to a low of 3,897.1MW.

The latest power generation figure on the grid was recorded on April 21, according to data from the power ministry.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria often announced that it had been working tirelessly to avert grid collapses by fixing and building power stations across the country and other facilities to stabilise the system.

It also stated on Monday that it had completed and energised the first phase of the ongoing brand new transmission substation in Ekim, Akwa Ibom State.

“This phase comprises a 60MVA 132/33kV power transformer and three outgoing 33kV feeder bays. The transformer was energised early this month,” TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, said.

She stated that although the first phase had been completed and energised, the 2x60MVA capacity substation would be completed with the execution of the second phase, which also comprised one 60MVA power transformer and three feeder bays.

According to TCN, the Ekim transmission substation project was being executed in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Government.

“While TCN provides and installs the transformers, switchgear and gantries using its in-house engineers, the Akwa Ibom State Government is providing all the civil works associated with the execution of the project,” Mbah added.

She noted that having energised the first phase of the project, TCN now had additional 48MW of bulk power supply for the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company to off take, through the three feeders to its customers

The power transmission firm listed the customers as the Akwa  Ibom State University, coconut oil refinery, meter manufacturing factory, syringe factory, Ikot Abasi and Onna Local Government Areas, as well as Mkpat Enin.

“It is expected that with more supply to PHEDC through the new substation, these customers would experience more hours of stable and sustained power supply,” Mbah said.

She said the Ekim transmission substation was one of the new transmission substation projects which the TCN had successfully executed within the last one year.

Source: By Okechukwu Nnodim

7 best satellite towns in India to invest in

Satellite towns, which started emerging around 15 years ago, to ease the mounting pressure on major Indian cities, are fast turning into real estate hotspots. We list some of the major satellite cities in the country, which are worth investing in

The most important aspect that encourages the development of satellite towns, is the presence of good connectivity. Once easy accessibility is in place, other things like infrastructure, amenities, residential areas, etc., tend to follow. During the growth phase of satellite towns, property rates are lower than the prime areas and when the satellite towns themselves become prime areas, the rates increase.

According to Sunil Aggarwal, associate dean and director, RICS School of Built Environment, “Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have benefitted the most, from the emergence of satellite towns. However, there is a need to utilise the land within cities more effectively. There is a lot of good quality land within cities that is either unutilised or underutilised and this has to change.” Given below, are some of the prominent Indian satellite cities that property investors can consider.

Gurugram

This started off as a satellite town of Delhi and over the years, due to its excellent link via the Delhi Metro and highways, Gurugram has emerged as a prime city real estate destination. Now, it has surrounding areas – for example Sohna – which have become satellite towns to Gurugram.

“It is a continuous process of growth and development. When the prime city gets saturated, people start looking out for cheaper and better avenues. As soon as the connectivity with the surrounding areas improves, these regions start emerging as satellite towns. This way, satellite towns help in decongesting the main cities also,” says Parveen Jain, CMD of Tulip Infratech.

Sonipat

While real estate prices in the NCR remain high, satellite towns like Sonipat offer retail, residential and commercial properties at a much better rate, leaving considerable scope for investors to make profit. Another major reason for this area to emerge as a favoured destination for realty investment, is the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, which is close to completion and will offer speedier access to the international airport and enable the growth of a new financial corridor.

New Town, Kolkata

This neighbourhood town of Kolkata is an evolving satellite city, which offers commercial spaces, entertainment hubs, high-end planned residential projects, central business centres and IT and business parks. A robust public transport system, including major arterial roads and the planned metro line that runs from Garia to Dum Dum, will add value to this destination.

“The residential property market in the Rajarhat-New Town-Barasat stretch is flourishing. It is well-connected to the city and gives buyers a variety of reasonable property options,” says Aditya Kedia, managing director, Transcon Developers.

Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Vasai and Palghar

Areas around Mumbai city have witnessed tremendous growth, with many of them emerging as established commercial, IT/ ITeS and residential hubs. With this growth, the city limits have expanded into what is known as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), encompassing Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Ambernath, Vasai, Palghar, etc. “This shift has given rise to the development of large land parcels that are being transformed into self-contained townships. These townships have better amenities and facilities, thus, giving customers an opportunity to lead a better lifestyle,” says Deepak Goradia, vice-chairman and managing director, Dosti Realty. Areas like Wagle Estate, Ghodbunder Road and Thane-Belapur Road, have become focal points for commercial and IT/ITeS developments.

Amravati

From being a well-known industrial destination, the city is now becoming a residential hub because of its aesthetic and pleasing architectural marvels, future plans for a smart city, presence of industries and educational centres and tourism. Experts point out that areas like Nandgaon Peth and Badnera, are expected to witness maximum development. The city also boasts of a robust rail network and airport, which will benefit its property market. Amravati enjoys connectivity to major cities like Nagpur, Mumbai, Raipur and Pune, while the NH-6 from Amravati to Jalgaon joins states like Gujarat and Maharashtra to the eastern states like Odisha.

 

Yelahanka

Yelahanka is a part of the northern suburbs of Bengaluru. Similar to other parts of Bengaluru, the growth of the IT sector, was the driving force behind the development of real estate here.

“The property prices in Yelahanka have remained within a reasonable range, as compared to other parts of the city. Although Yelahanka started as a satellite city project, it has now turned into one of the most sought-after zones in Bengaluru, not just on the residential front but also on the commercial front,” adds Kedia.

Pendurthi

The real estate market in Pendurthi, a neighbourhood of Visakhapatnam, received a major boost with the formation of the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor, which has been a major growth driver in this region. This infrastructure project has brought with it various benefits, like improved connectivity and power transmission and delivery networks. This could further push industrial development and encourage IT companies to set up bases in the vicinity, thus, paving the way for residential real estate development.

 

Advantages of satellite cities

  • The growth of satellite cities, augurs well for the real estate market in and around metro cities.
  • Residential projects in satellite cities are often based on the integrated township model, offering its inhabitants with all comforts and infrastructure services within the locality.
  • Besides being in the neighbourhood of major cities, satellite cities also offer most of the amenities and facilities that major cities would deliver.

Source: By Anuradha Ramamirtham

Can landlords dictate terms for tenant’s guests?

Tenants’ guests, can at times, become an issue for the landlord but can a landlord control this, once he has rented out the house? We look at how landlords and tenants can handle the issue of guests, in an amicable way

A lease or leave and licence agreement, determines the relationship between a tenant and the landlord. While most tenancy agreements do not contain clauses dealing with the tenants’ guests, this can often be a source of friction between the landlord and the tenant. In flats, guests and visitors may not be an issue but in houses where the landlord himself lives, there might be some restrictions.

Aishwarya Jayaraman, a PR executive from Bengaluru, feels that since it is the landlord’s property, he has the right to decide the rules, for letting long-term guests stay.

“Landlords often tend to question the stay of friends and the best way to deal with it, is to have a mutual understanding with the landlord and take prior permission for the same.

When scouting for a rental house, ideally, choose a place that suits your lifestyle but in case you end up in a place which is a hindrance to you, try abiding by the rules of the place and live your life, without affecting or hindering the other occupants or the landlord,” advises Jayaraman.

Legal view on restrictions on guests
There are no specific legal restrictions that are applicable, in the case of visitors and guests, points out Shubika Bilkha, director, the Real Estate Management Institute (REMI).

“However, the specifications will change, based on the agreement between the landlord and the tenant. The housing society may have their own stipulations, with respect to visitors and longer stay relatives, which need to be adhered to by all society members and tenants. In the event of any misuse of the property or illegal dealings, the landlord can evict the tenant and their guest, if they are found in breach of the terms of the agreement,” Bilkha explains.

Amit B Wadhwani, managing director of Sai Estate Consultant, agrees that landlords have some legal rights but this does not include rules for guests or friends, as the house is rented by tenant.

“Restrictions are seen in some societies, where the society decides such rules internally but there is no rule in particular from the government, with respect to guests or friends visiting or staying at the rented place. The landlord cannot charge extra or above the pre-decided amount, when guests come but if the landlord has a problem, they can surely discuss it with the housing society and get a solution that is mutually beneficial,” states Wadhwani.

How landlords and tenants can maintain a healthy relationship

The relationship between the landlord and the tenant, needs to be transparent and one of mutual respect and concerns, if any, need to be outlined and agreed upon, prior to entering into the tenancy agreement.

“While it is difficult for a landlord to put any restrictions on guests of the opposite gender, it is equally important that the tenant adheres to the terms of the agreement and informs the landlord in advance, if any family members or guests will be staying for long durations.

Respecting your neighbours and maintaining a cordial relationship with your landlord, is recommended,” adds Bilkha.

Like all individuals, tenants have the right to privacy and to live with their spouse, or close family members. While this means that tenants do not have to tell the landlord, every time that have guests, make sure this does not become a practice.

As tenants are legally permitted to have guests, landlords should also refrain from raising an issue over short-term visitors. Landlords and tenants can also add a clause pertaining to long-term guests in the lease agreement, in case the tenant’s relatives or friends would be staying in the flat for long durations.

Dealing with guests in shared accommodations

If one is staying in a shared accommodation, the tenant cannot have visitors all the time, as it can disturb other co-tenants. “Always respect your roommate. Inform them and get their consent, if you plan on inviting guests over. Living with an unknown person creates awkwardness and can hinder the way the co-tenant lives,” says Jayaraman.

According to Akash Khurana, who has rented out his flat in Mumbai, “Renting out a house to a family, is not a concern but one has to be slightly more vigilant, when renting out a home to youngsters.

I made it clear to the girls who rented my house that their families can come and stay with them and while their friends can also stay for a few day, they cannot stay for months together. It is natural for a person to have friends and families over. As a landlord, one should be tolerant, as as long as there is no nuisance created by the tenants.”

To avoid disputes, the landlord should state all the conditions in the tenancy agreement. The contract should be legally registered and signed by both the parties.

There should not be any hidden clauses in the agreement and tenants should file a complaint, if the restrictions on guests are unreasonable and go beyond the agreed contract.

Tips, for landlords and tenants to avoid conflicts over guests

  • Landlords should specify all the clauses and restrictions decided by the housing society, to their tenants.
  • Tenants and their visitors/guests, should adhere to the society’s policies and regulations.
  • No party can force their demands and expect other to follow the same.
  • Rules should be mutually agreed upon.
  • Tenants should ensure that they or their guests, do not disturb others in the neighbourhood

Source: By Purnima Goswami Sharma

Masterplan Key to Building Stronger Cities in Nigeria – RICS

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Nigeria group has called for the development of stronger cities that easily absorb urban shocks and take into cognizance lives of residences irrespective of their physical challenges.This was the submission of experts who gathered during the group’s Continuous Professional Development series (CPD), entitled, “Building stronger cities, a review of the revised Lagos masterplan” which held in Lagos.

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Dapo Thomas at the forum, explained that building stronger cities is actually more than having a master plan but having master plans/designs that take into cognizance the lives of people. She stated that as an operative development plan, masterplan is a living document, hence, the need to keep revising and reviewing it.

“Building stronger cities would also mean building communities. Lagos Government recently created the Lagos State Resilience Office. That means, we are building against shocks and stresses that could militate against the growth of cities,”she said. According to her, Lagos is one of the 100 resilience cities of the Rockefeller foundation. This, she said, places more pressing demand to keep building and changing things in line with the dynamism of human existence.

“We need to look at all facets of life, it is not only about the master plan, the master plan is actually a cross cutting issue with all of our ministries because they must have an input. Right now, the Ministry of Works has inaugurated what is called, the Masterplan Champions and this is because we recognize that there would continue to be changes in governance and in life”.

“We must be thinking about other people, particularly the disable, how can they live a well and meaningful life and achieve their goals despite their disabilities. We have to incorporate them in all our master plans. We also need to think about how to put hospitals in place, where they are easily accessible.

These are the things that we keep reviewing in our master plans”, she explained. Contributing, a town planner, Ayodele Adediran said if the cities must be built, it must build on something. He said master plans are not popular in the sense that they look restrictive, suggesting that they must be making flexible.

“As far back as 1928, master plans became popular because of the plague that broke out, claiming lives just like the building collapse. Since then, we have been the one planning while others take care of sanitation or environment and schemes of development. We used to have stronger institution framework”.

In the last 20 years, Lagos has been faithful in ensuring that regimes of preparing master plan is operational. We have to give credit to the state. Every part of Lagos is almost covered with some documents that could form basis of master plan”, he said.

Adeniran who is also NITP National Legal Adviser, said masterplans must be in relevance with the new urban agenda, inter-modal challenges of the cities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as plans will not stand in isolation but inter-connected with other goals.Expounding on the issue, a former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos State, Toyin Ayinde said like most designs, master plans must start from the general to the specific and give the whole view of development.

“If developments on a master plan tilt to a particular side, you will see a shaking and the design would fall. This is what happens when you develop Lagos Island more than Alagbado.

You think of a masterplan as a plan, but it is not a physical thing but also deals with economic issues, social and sociological issues in the city system. We must bring our plans to the level of neighborhood that people could easily identify their house from the land use plan,” he said.

Ayinde who doubles as NITP first Vice President, added, “master plan can be changed because a city is a living organism subject to an origin, growth, a decline and death and that is why we must take the right decision. There is nothing that can’t be changed. That is why some uses would change over time.

A good master plan must take into consideration law and order because if you don’t have law and order, you can’t really implement your master. Probably this is why you have some break down of law and order in some places. The masterplan itself is a law passed and gazette.”

Earlier, the Chairman, RICS Nigeria Group, Mr. Gbenga Ismail explained that the CPD focused on reviewing the planning challenges and effectiveness of the master plan in Lagos State.“The theme “Building Stronger Cities” therefore represents learning points that draw on failures, challenges and solutions. Lagos is currently challenged, and if we can solve the issues prevalent then this can be taken to other states. It is important that our cities begin to work for us,” he said

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