Tribune exclusive
Ecology, ethics & economics

Chitleen K Sethi comes up with a list of industrial units that lie adjacent to housing projects in Punjab

Two wrongs never make a right. But that is precisely what the Punjab government is trying to do.

Desperate efforts are on to somehow retain the investment made by the promoters of housing projects in the state whose change of land use (CLU) approvals have been cancelled following interim orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. These projects have been put on hold and all operations have been stalled till the court gives further orders.

While the reaction of the newly elected government, facing a financial crunch, is understandable, few are ready to look at the situation in social or ecological terms. And fewer still realise that housing colonies neither give a fillip to industrial development nor lead to employment generation.

A division bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rajive Bhalla of the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the operation of a circular of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) that allows residential colonies to come up next door to polluting industrial units. What shocked the court more, however, was a clause in the circular that stated that residents of such colonies will never complaint against the polluted environs they were living in.

The Board had started with a norm that no housing project will be set up within 500 meters of an industrial unit. In May 2005 the Board diluted this norm to 100 meters. A host of promoters, who would have otherwise not been able to procure the all-important no objection certificates (NoCs) from the PPCB, benefited as a result from this dilution of rules.

For reasons best known to the then Congress government in the state, in January 2006, the Board did away with the 100-meter rule also. All that now separated a residential colony boundary wall from, let’s say, a highly polluting chemical industry was a 50 feet wide green belt buffer. Twelve housing projects in Mohali alone benefited from this progressive watering down of anti- pollution norms. (see table on page 3).

The January 2006 circular further stated: “The coloniser will put in a condition while making registered deeds with the buyer of the flat, that the buyer of the flat will have no right to make any complaint against the intensity of industrial pollution caused by the existing industries even if the industry is meeting with the prescribed standards.”

Taking up a petition filed by residents of Mubarakpur village Patiala, the division bench noted that all norms had been thrown to the winds by the PPCB. “To say the least the Board instead of controlling pollution is encouraging pollution by relaxing norms,” stated the bench adding that no authority or State has the power to pass an order taking away the rights of the citizens to make a complaint in case of intensity or increase of pollution.

Following the court orders the Congress government ordered the cancellation of all NOCs issued on the basis of this circular. The newly-elected Akali government had no option but to implement these orders.

But instead of taking on the former Congress regime for virtual extinction of all anti-pollution norms to benefit builders the Akali government chose to placate the colonisers. The Badal government was worried about the “adverse message” that cancellation of CLUs will send out to other potential investors in the state.

Does the new government intend to work with the same logic as the Congress government that showed scant regard for the environment or the health of those who will make homes in these colonies just to lure more and more investment in the state? Does such investment really amount to industrial investment in the proper sense of the terms? Or is it the same old saga of realtors masquerading as industrialists?

With the new government obviously fighting shy of realities, the fate of the inquiry ordered by the High Court into how the PPCB issued the January 2006 circular in the first place also remains unclear. Unless the High Court keeps a close watch on the inquiry, its report could well turn out to be a faint echo of the government’s weak-kneed reaction on the issue.

With the High Court on one side and the government on the other, the position of the inquiry officer N.S. Tiwana, the Managing Director of the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology appears to be rather an unenviable one.

In the ultimate analysis, it might require yet another dose of judicial activism to force the probe to its logical conclusion — the unraveling of the nexus between builders, officials of the PPCB and the state’s bureaucratic and political elite. Ecology and ethics, or the lack of both, often go together.



Flamboyant villas

Cash-rich NRIs set up flashy abodes in Punjab’s countryside, says
Varinder Singh

A ‘dream home’ in Authaula village, Jalandhar

With dollops of dollars, NRIs are flocking Punjab to invest in real estate. They are setting up ultra-modern bungalows, worth crores, in the lush green countryside of the state.

As an outcome, the Punjab’s hinterland is studded with awesome and beautiful houses, which are mushrooming in villages.

The motive behind their love for plush and colourful bungalows is both — long-term investment and ego massage. Believe it or not, they find a sense of pride if they have huge houses in their native villages.

Big houses also brings along a degree of satisfaction as by possessing these, NRIs and relatives back home can boast about their achievements abroad, among the community. So obsessed are the NRIs with their villages that the neo-rich do not like to build houses in cities. They dump their dollars at the place of their origin instead.

These bungalows, in fact, have become more like symbols of success of NRIs in foreign countries like the USA, the UK, Canada, Norway, Australia and Holland. Such is the obsession of the NRIs with huge bungalows that they easily spend a hefty amount, ranging around Rs 2 crore on construction alone.

“ I love my village and it has always been my dream to have a palatial house in my own village. Now, this long-cherished dream has come true with the completion of my bungalow after a long time of over two years. Though, I won’t have much time to enjoy my own house as I come here for just a month every year, yet I have taken extra care to ensure that it is full with all modern amenities, like a central air-conditioning system and a swimming pool, apart from 24-hour water supply. Italian kitchen and wooden floors are a must for me. For a perfect setting, I have not only engaged an architect, but, have also made my friends to make their assessment about the choice of colours and materials,” says Tarlochan Singh Sohal of Authola village near Jalandhar. He is a police officer in Merced county of the USA.

Sohal has not forgotten to use bright colours like crimson red in plenty on his Rs 1 crore house. “Since, land was ours already, we have not included the cost of land in the project,” he says.

Similarly, Mohinder Singh, a Norway-based businessman, has come up a big house in his native village near Adampur Doaba. “ I feel proud to have a big ‘haveli’ in the village where I used to work as a kid along with my father. My house is fitted with all modern gadgets like huge plasma TV to a gym. I did all the hard work in Norway, along with my two sons, to get a dream house here,” says Mohinder Singh, who visited his village recently after a long time.

Satinder Singh, a New Jersey-based NRI and owner of gas stations there, is not different. He has come up with a palatial house in his native Bale village of Hoshiarpur district with the help of his brother Jangveer Singh. Similarly, Sham Singh, now settled in the USA, is satisfied to have his own ‘kothi’ in Miani village of Hoshiarpur district.

“Our home is adored by one and all. Why not? My brother has taken such a keen interest and has spent big money on it,” Jangveer says.

“Why does a man toil hard abroad? A nice home is the weakness or more of a dream of one and all. We have realised our dream. Me and my brother have done a lot of hard work in Canada to provide all possible comforts to our parents back home,” Dr Dalwinder Singh, a Canada-based veterinary doctor hailing from Pattar Kalan village of Jalandhar district, says.




Satish Narula talks about aquatic features that can soothe tired nerves

Come summers and water features, like falling water or static ponds, are a feast for the eyes. Those residing on upper floors may think this may not be for them. Hold on! We have something for all. Just be ready to enjoy the ‘liquid refreshment’.

After a hectic schedule, one likes to sit in the garden and relax.

Nothing can be more refreshing than the sight and sound of flowing water in summers. Such an ambience, created with water features, also is an ideal place to meditate or study.

A garden is incomplete without a water feature. It may be recirculated water in a waterfall or a pond with aquatic plants and fish. Those with green thumbs living on upper floors also use tubs, barrels or small pots to create water features.

Small water-related structures, made of light material, like fibreglass, in which water can be stored, are also available in the market. Some miniature water plants can also be added to it. Above all, there are gardening accessories available to create miniature fountains for miniature gardens. They can be created on tabletops, ground, or even displayed on the study table.

For those who can enjoy the benefit of open garden land, the options are creation of recirculated waterfalls or static ponds. One can go in for waterfalls, with underwater lights, and structures like pond or bridge made with RCC, carved to give the shape of a bamboo, depending upon the financial resources.

However, proper planning should be done beforehand for this. If you have some trees in the garden, it would be worthwhile to let the water flow from behind them, coming down the slope. This will give the feature a natural look.

For those, who do not want such an elaborate feature, small pond can be created in a zigzag manner. This can be done by spreading a water hose on the ground for reference. Such ponds can have a three-feet depth and can be lined with black or blue polysheet, which can be used till the brim of the pond.

Place stones or grow some ground-cover plants like buddelea so as to hide the edges of the sheet on the ground. Buddelea gives tiny yellow flowers almost all the year round.

Soil can be added at the base of the ponds, which can be about a foot or so as to enable growth of water plants like nympheas or lotus, typha, floating water plants like hydrilla and salvina. Azola and pistia are the others that can make the pond look natural. To top it all, one can leave some hardy fish species like golden fish, mosquito larva-eating gamboochia and the pond cleaning grass carp that thrives on algae and other green waste matters to keep the pond clean.

Those with toddlers at home should not make the pond deep, or else should provide safeguards like a matching fence.

One can go in for small water structures created with tubs, barrels or even drums on upper stories. Polysheets can be used here too. Those who have terrace garden can create a small water pit, lining it with blue bathroom tiles, making them water proof.

For such features and also for miniature water bodies, there are small silent water pumps available in the market that can be used to recirculate water through a small fountain. Running water can also be used to drive a light wooden or aluminium wheel.

The writer is a senior horticulturist. His e-mail is



Delineating SEZ units

Corporate giants may shift infrastructure out of the earmarked area, says Shiv Kumar

Hit hard by the new government regulations, which restrict the size of SEZs to 5,000 hectares, promoters of some of the big projects like Reliance, DLF, Mundra SEZ and Omaxe are brainstorming to find loopholes in the new rules.

According to the observers in the realty industry, the promoters of the jumbo SEZs are planning to shift some of the infrastructure outside the SEZ limits.

Sources say, Reliance Industries, which is building a twin SEZ spread over 143 sq km outside Mumbai and a 10,000-hectare SEZ in Haryana, is planning to shift crucial infrastructure like power plants and airports outside SEZs.

“With the new rules stating that core activities of the SEZ take 50 per cent of the land allotted, everyone is back to the drawing board,” an analyst said here.

Land acquisition for Reliance’s Haryana project is almost complete with 9,000 of the 10,000 hectares required in various stages of acquisition. Observers say, the SEZ may be restricted to 5,000 hectares with a lot of non-core infrastructure coming up on the periphery.

The company will, however, face a tough time for its twin SEZs outside Mumbai.

State government officials feel that Maharashtra may quietly begin acquiring land on the periphery of the Reliance SEZ on the pretext of setting up power plants and other infrastructure. Just days before the restriction came about, Mukesh Ambani met with the Chief Minister where permission was granted to the Ambanis to set up a 2,000 MW gas -fired power plant.

Sources say land for the Ambanis power project may be acquired by the government on the grounds that it was an essential project. Under the new rules, promoters of SEZs will have to buy land directly from farmers without any government intervention. By taking the power plant out of the SEZ, the Ambanis may actually benefit by getting land at throwaway prices, say critics.

At the Mundra Port SEZ of Gujarat, for instance, the promoters planned to set up a housing complex, an education complex and research facilities within.

Similarly, DLF SEZ along side the Reliance in Haryana has also been hit.



TAX tips
Tax depends on possession
by S.C. Vasudeva

Q. I have acquired an immovable property, paid the entire consideration and am in actual possession of the property. I am entitled to use the property in the manner I like and also have a right to alienate the property. However, the sale deed in my favour has not been executed as the owner’s son, who is residing abroad, will be able to come in December since he is not a position to take leave from the organisation where he serves. I had let out the property and the rental income from such property had been declared by me as “income from house property”. The department has, however, not accepted my contention? Could you please let me know the correct legal position in this regard?

— A.K. Parsad

A. Section 27(iiia) of the Act provides that a person, who is allowed to take or retain possession of any building or part thereof in part performance of a contract of the nature referred to in section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act 1882, shall be deemed to owner of that building or part thereof for the purposes of Section 22 to 26 of the Act. Section 22 to 26 of the Act deal with the computation of ‘income from house property’. In view of the above provisions the income from the aforesaid property is to be taxed in your hands as ‘income from house property’. The Supreme Court in R.B. Jodha Mal Kuthiala (82 ITR 570) had sometime back held that for the purposes of taxability under section 9 of the Income-tax Act 1922 (corresponding to section 22 of the Act) the owner must be person who can exercise rights of the owner, not on behalf of the owner but in his own right. The facts given in the query clearly indicate that you have all the rights of an owner and, therefore, the income should be assessable as ‘income from house property’ in your hands.

Spouse’s name

Q. I purchased a flat and got it transferred to my name in Improvement Trust. Is it possible to change it in my wife’s name?

— Pardeep

A. The change of name in case of a flat sold by Improvement Trust to you will depend upon the terms of agreement entered into with the said authority. In case the flat has been leased by Improvement Trust under a 99 years’ lease agreement, normally the transfer in the name of your wife will require the approval of the Improvement Trust. In case the property has been sold to you and a sale deed has been executed in your favour, any transfer, even if it is to your wife’s name, will require the execution of a sale or gift deed as the case may be. Such deed will have to be registered with the registering authority after payment of stamp duty.

I may add that the change in the name of your wife will not affect the computation of your income as income, if any, from such flat would be assessable in your hands in view of the provisions of Section 64 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (The Act).

HUF property

Q. My husband’s grandfather had constructed a house in Delhi, specifically for his grandson and registered it as HUF property in 1968, with my father-in-law as karta. Over the years, my in-laws have sold off most of our ancestral property. Now they want to sell this house also.

1) Can they sell the house without our knowledge or my husbands signatures.

2) Is my husbands married sister an equal beneficiary

3) Can the house be willed completely to my sister in law.

— A.B.

A. The answers to your queries are as under:

1) An HUF property can be sold only with the consent of all member of the HUF.

2) After the amendment of Hindu Succession Act 1956 in 2005 (w.e.f. September 9, 2005) the daughter’s have been given equal rights in a joint family property as the sons have. Accordingly, the married sister of your husband will have an equal right in a joint family property.

3) A bonafide gift of joint family property is only voidable and not void ab initio, when a gift is given to a member of the family. However, such a gift can always be contested by other members of the family. In view of the decided cases, therefore, even if your father-in-law makes a gift to your sister-in-law (a member of the family), your husband has a right to contest such a gift.

Tax and arrears

Q. I had let out a property to a bank, for which I had raised a claim against the bank for the increase of rent. The increase was not paid immediately. However, after a lot of persuasion and great efforts, I was able to recover the arrears of unrealised rent to the extent of Rs 3 lakh in November 2006. Please let me know as to how the arrears can be reflected in the return of income.

— Arvindn Sethi

A. The Act contains a separate section for dealing with the taxability of the arrears of rent. Section 25B of the Act in brief provides as under in this regard:

1. The taxpayer is (or was) the owner of any property consisting of any buildings or lands appurtenant thereto, which has (or had) been let to a tenant.

2. He has received any amount, by way of arrears of rent from such property, not charged to income tax for any previous year.

3. The amount so received (after deducting a sum equal to 30 per cent of such amount) shall be deemed to be the income chargeable under the head “Income from house property”.

4. It would be taxable in the previous year in which it is received.

5. It would be taxable even if the assessee is not the owner of that property in the year of receipt.

Accordingly, the above amount of Rs 3 lakh, after deducting 30 per cent thereof, will be taxable in the assessment year 2007-08 (financial year 2006-07) and therefore you should include the same in your total income in the manner explained herein above.

Officer not right

Q. We are a partnership firm carrying on the business of manufacture and sale of agricultural implements. We had purchased a piece of land and constructed a godown. The godown could not be used for the purposes of the business and has been let out. The assessing officer has assessed the income from letting out the godown as ‘income from other sources’. Is the action of assessing officer correct?

— Murari Lal Gupta, Panipat

A. The action of the assessing officer is not in accordance with the provisions of law as well as in accordance with the decided cases on the subject. In accordance with the decision of Bombay High Court in the case of Maharashtra Fertilisers & Chemicals vs. CIT (150 ITR 317) in a similar circumstance, the income from letting out the godown has been held to assessable as ‘income from house property’. According to the Hon’ble Court, the income derived from property must be computed under the specific head even if the property at one time had been utilised by the assessee for the purpose of the business. You must take up the issue before the appellate authority. You are bound to succeed in your efforts.

The writer can be contacted at



Dwelling units for blue-collared

Realtors have started offering serviced apartments in Baddi, notes
Ambika Sharma

The serviced apartments for middle-rung company executives have emerged as the latest fad in the housing sector in Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh industrial areas. Equally significant is the demand for housing for the supervisory-level company executives who comprise nearly 30 per cent of the entire workforce. Since the demand for this section is immense, realtors have now shifted focus towards this direction.

Nearly 15 different projects are in the pipeline. While a few have already procured licences, others are finalising the nitty-gritty of their projects. In the absence of proper and adequate accommodation, this section of the workforce commutes from the adjoining Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. With thousands of industrial units already in operation and similar numbers being slated to come up within the next few years, there is immense need to set up such units.

According to an estimate, about 5,000 low-cost housing units are immediate requirement in the region with the total demand being pegged between 15,000 and 20,000 units. With monthly salary ranging between Rs 6,000 and Rs 20,000, it is this section of the workforce, which is being targeted.

“The need for these low-cost units stems from the spiraling rentals and the demand far surpassing the supply in the region. One, if either forced to commute from Panchkula and Chandigarh and pay rentals of as much as Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,000 per room or compelled to stay in shanty rooms available locally. Offering little in terms of quality these apartments would serve the needs of this workforce,” says Sachin Shridhar a realtor associated with Apna Ghar project.

Providing the basic necessities the project encompasses one or two room units replete with a toilet and kitchen. Apart from a dedicated parking for at least a two-wheeler available for at least 30 per cent of the dwellers the project promises to provide a decent place of sojourn. Further at least 70 per cent of the space has been left vacant as green place. As many as 256 such units are poised to solve the basic housing needs of the supervisory class in the next 16 months.

“Instead of paying huge rentals, a modest EMI ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 for these units appear to be a sound option,” observes Shridhar.

Providing serviced apartments to the middle-rung company executives drawing salaries ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 is the endeavour of other realtors now. Lalit Jindal, another realtor venturing into the service apartments, says: “There is a ready demand for thousands of such units where a bachelor can be accommodated decently. An arrangement is being worked out with reputed banks like HDFC to provide easy finance where EMI of Rs 4,000 is being worked out.”

Targeting the prime areas like Export Promotion Industrial Park, Phase I, Jindal plans to construct 640 service apartments providing community mess, laundry and other essential facilities along with a single room tenement. To add to the facilities community centre and a banquet hall too have been added to the project.

To cash on in the trend, single-room tenements have been brought by the companies. They have been further rented to the company executives. A realtor, while estimating such trends, says the companies as well as the end-users, both benefit from this arrangement.

With nearly 15 such projects in the pipeline realtors feel this sudden shift has been propelled by the immediate need to provide ready accommodation. Since the high-end apartments, targeting the top-rung company executives, do not serve the immediate need, it is these dwelling units, which are catching realtors’ attention.

Quality dwelling is also the need of the hour to ensure that the area doesn’t fall prey to ill-planned development. With no sewage disposal system existing in the region the shanty dwellings are adding to the pollution. While providing a hygienic and decent residence these units are being keenly awaited by the industrial work force.



Window dressing

Devendra Malik provides a peep into various cover-up methods

Not only are windows meant for permitting natural light and ventilation, they also give a character to the façade of the building. They balance the mass and void in the volume of the frontage.

Windows have to be treated with utmost care in any interior design. Selection criteria for the dressing of a window depends on the size, its dynamics (openable, fixed or a mix of both), their shape, cill and lintel levels, space available on the size of windows for overlaps and gathering of curtains. It also depends on the space for pelmet or any other sliding or rolling system and probable locations for curtain holders.

Various types of window dressings are available that are suitable for different situations. These are:

Venetian blinds: They give horizontality to the window profile, give a formal and stiff look, can be made of metal or wood, be cleaned on site and are most suitable for offices and business premises.

Vertical blinds: They give verticality to the window profile, project a formal appearance, are made of synthetic stiff fabric, can be cleaned at site and are suitable for offices and business premises.

Roman blinds: These can be used for formal as well as informal interiors. They fold themselves upwards when the attached string is pulled and unfold downwards when the string is released. They can be made of natural fabrics or synthetic film. They are most suitable for small windows as they cannot have a large span.

Roller blinds: Rollers can be used for formal as well as informal interiors. They roll themselves upwards and downwards. They are available in electrically motorised version too which can be operated with a remote optionally. Generally synthetic fibre films are used for roller blinds. Natural fabrics, too, can be used which give a very artistic appeal. Such blinds are suitable for large spans such as theatres.

Curtains: Used universally, they lend an informal look to the windows and are ideal for homes. These are available in polyester, cotton, silk, and almost in all kinds of fabrics as well as synthetic films. Curtains can be stitched in various fashions like single pleat, double pleats and straights. Weights are added to the bottom ends of each curtain panel so that they don’t sway with the fan air. Pasting is added to the edges of the sides of each panel to give it a neat ending. Sheer curtains, which are translucent, are used where vision should not be fully blocked. Curtains are available in plain weave printed fabric and also in jacquard ones. Crafted curtains are in vogue nowadays. These are especially designed for a particular interior and are crafted with techniques like embroidery, appliqué work, patchwork, hand dyeing, hand printing and painting.

Another major issue for window dressing is the crown on the top of blind/ curtain, which can be a wooden pelmet, curtain rod, balances and frills depending upon the interior environment and the type of dressing.

Curtain holders, along with holder knobs, should also be selected or designed according to the window dressing.

Venetian blinds, roman blinds and roller blinds are suitable for fixed windows whereas vertical blinds and curtains are suitable for fixed as well as openable windows. In certain situations where air conditioners/ air coolers are fixed within a large window a combination of curtain and roller blind can work wonders.

— The writer is a New-Delhi based interior designer



Oops! Britney slashes her mansion’s price

Pop diva Britney Spears has reduced the price of her Malibu mansion by $1.6 million in order to woo prospective buyers.

Sources involved in the real estate business have revealed that the seven-bedroom house was put on the market on January 18 for $13.5 million, but owing to a sudden slump in the market value, Britney had to cut the price to $11.9 million.

The house is built in an area of 9,000-sq.-ft, and it includes a garden, pool with spa, tennis court, and gym.

Britney had purchased it in October 2004, shortly after her marriage to aspiring rapper Kevin Federline.

President of Westside Real Estate Agency Kurt Rappaport believes that Britney’s celebrity status might have hurt the value of the property.

“The pricing was aggressive. It’s an expensive piece of property and sophisticated buyers are looking for the best price,” People magazine quoted him as saying.

“Wealthy persons don’t want tour buses stopping at their front door,” he added. — ANI



Buzz on Bourses
Hirananadani in Chennai

Chennai: In an attempt to cash in on the booming real estate industry, realtor major Hirananadani Group has announced foray into this teeming metropolis, with the construction of a world-class residential and commercial complexes with a total investment of Rs 2,000 crore. Group Managing Director Surendra Hiranandani told reporters here that the project, Hiranandani Upscale will be completed over a seven period in three phases in a total area of 110 acres in the IT corridor of Old Mahabalipuram Road. “It is a premium project that will redefine the concept of urban living,” he said. — UNI

Choice inks deal

New York: Choice Hotels has entered into a deal with Royal Indian Raj International Corp to build at least 12,000 budget hotel rooms in India, Royal Indian Raj has said. Royal Indian Raj said it entered into a contract with Choice Hotels India to build hotel rooms under the Comfort Inn, Quality, Sleep Inn and Clarion brands. — Reuters

Johnson Tiles’ network

Chandigarh: Johnson Tiles is all set to traverse new grounds in this part of the region. The company is planning to strengthen its distribution network in the North with special focus on increasing penetration in the region’s rural belt. In a press note issued here, the organisation’s Managing Director Vijay Aggarwal said: “The company is currently inducting new distribution partners in towns as well as in villages.” Countrywide, Johnson Tiles has over 1,200 dealers and more than 15,000 retailers. — TNS

Course in construction

Chandigarh: The Ansal Institute of Technology (AIT) has introduced a postgraduate program in construction management in collaboration with the real estate giant Ansal API for engineers and diploma holders in civil/ electrical/ mechanical streams, aspiring to take up techno-managerial roles. The program for graduate engineers is one year PG diploma with nine months of academic training (two semesters) and three months paid industry internship. For diploma holders, it is for two years with 18 months academic training (four semesters) and six months of industry internship. — TNS

TDI ties up with banks

Chandigarh: The TDI Group has entered into an association with 11 nationalised and private banks in the country to offer loan solutions for residential and commercial properties to the customers. The banks include PNB Housing and Finance Ltd., ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, UTI Bank, Birla Home Finance, Bank of Maharashtra, Union Bank of India, Indian Bank, LIC Housing Finance Ltd., State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and ING Vysya. The loans are available for TDI’s major residential, retail and commercial projects, Kshif N Usmani, GM, Marketing, stated. — TNS

Shopper’s Stop

New Delhi: Retail chain Shopper’s Stop has said it expects to clock revenues of $240 million from its joint venture with Germany’s Nuance Group AG in seven years. The company stated that the joint venture, Nuance Group (India) Pvt Ltd, has been awarded a contract to operate retail business at the Hyderabad international airport. The contract will commence in March 2008, when the new airport is scheduled to open with this concession, a statement said. — UNI

Home Town

New Delhi: With the retail sector grappling with the real estate issue, Future Group has said it will tie up with realty firms for space for its latest home retail venture, Home Town. The group has tied up with construction major Unitech for its first store in Noida, to be followed by eight more stores at an investment of over Rs 180 crore. “The upcoming outlets could be on standalone basis or in malls like our first store in Unitech Mall,” Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani said. — UNI

Centre for workers

Coimbatore: With acute shortage of workers in the construction sector, the local chapter of Builders Association of India would set up a training centre in the city for construction workers. As there was a huge demand for certified workers, the proposed Rs 50 lakh centre would provide training in masonry, carpentry, plumbing and electrical works, G. Ramamoorthi, Chairman of BAI, Coimbatore told reporters here. It was also proposed to open a school of construction management, to train engineers in project management. — PTI