Mall of Fame
Multiplexes, big brands, a food court & lots more. The Doon Valley readies for its first mall: 1.25 lakh sft of luxury
S.M.A. Kazmi

THE landscape of the once serene Doon valley is in for a major change. In the next three months, its first shopping mall with multiplexes would be ready for the people. Work on the first mall of Uttarakhand has been going on at a feverish pace.

“We expect to start operations by the year-end. We want it to be our New Year gift to the people,” architect Hem Joshi of Ramkay, the company executing the project, told The Tribune.

Spread over an area of 1,25,000 square feet, the fully air conditioned mall adjacent to the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) is a joint venture of the Mussoorie- Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) and Ramkay, a Hyderabad-based company. While the land has been provided by the MDDA, Ramkay has been executing the construction on built transfer operate (BOT) basis.

The triple-storey mall will boast of three multiplexes, a children park, playing areas, cafes and a food court with interconnecting walkways. It will also be home to nearly 70 outlets of major national and international brands, all under one roof. “Big Bazaar, the retail chain, will be a major attraction for housewives of the city,” said Shyam Mohan Sharma, spokesperson of MDDA. The mall will have its own dedicated parking and it would be possible to park nearly 1,000 cars at a given time.

If MDDA, a state government undertaking has taken the lead, others are not far behind. Parsvnath Developers has also started construction of a mall-cum-multiplex on the city’s fashionable and central Rajpur Road. The realtor will invest Rs 40 crore in developing Parsvnath Eleganza. The mall would have the added advantage of a four-screen multiplex within the complex.

Fully air conditioned and spread over 1.5 lakh square feet, the four-storey mall will also boast of a hundred per cent power back up. Glass capsule lifts, aesthetic architecture and modern design will provide for complete comfort and a pleasurable shopping experience. The mall is also designed for optimum space utilisation for its shop owners.

One stop venue for branded lifestyle products, the mall will boast of premium national and international brands, departmental stores, retail chains and fashion stores.

The entire complex for which the construction has commenced is expected to be completed and operational within the next six months. Three other shopping malls and multiplexes are also coming up in various parts of the city. “We are constructing a mall at the end of EC Road having a covered area of over 60,000 square feet with a provision for nearly 60 shops,” Inder Singh, owner of the proposed mall said. Two other malls on Mahadev Singh Road and Indira Nagar locality are in various stages of completion. So, Dooniites get ready to experience malls and multiplexes!

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USE of the term shopping mall is predominant in Asia and North America. In most of the world malls are calle shopping centres. The concept of the fully-enclosed shopping mall did not appear until the 1950s.

The first purposely-built shopping mall in the world is Gostiny Dvor in Saint Petersburg. Opened in 1785, it consisted of more than 100 shops covering an area of over 53,000 sq metres. The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul was built in 15th century and is still one of the largest covered markets in the world with more than 58 streets and 4,000 shops.

Similarly, the Oxford Covered Market in Oxford, England, was opened in 1774 and still runs today. Isfahan’s Grand Bazaar, which is largely covered, dates from the 10th century A.D. The 10 km long covered Grand Bazaar in Tehran also has a long history.



Visual extravaganza
Home theatres are passe, writes SANJEEV SINGH BARIANA. Mini theatres are the latest fad in homes & boardrooms. The price: Rs 15 lakh upwards!

NO more skipping dinner or speed racing to the movie hall. No more battling your way through to the ticket counter, no parking hassles and definitely no sad face if the counter says House Full! It’s not a home theatre we are talking about, it is an actual theatre, a little small in size, but real.

More and more people are investing in home entertainment. Everyone dreams of a special entertainment zone within one’s surroundings and what can be a better way of getting entertained than having one’s own mini-theatre? The highly-specilised service has led to acoustic interior design companies launching an advertising blitzkreig, organising conferences and opening full-fledged consultancy offices.

H. Kumar’s Mini-Theatres, a Delhi-based company, is planning to capture the North Indian market — mainly Punjab and Haryana — shortly. When questioned about the market of mini-theatres, its managing director Himanshu Kumar says, “When I conceived this concept of custom-designed theatres for homes, there were almost no takers. Today, we have more than 150 installations.”

Kumar’s team comprises trained and experienced acoustic interior designers and technocrats who have worked in unison for a number of such theatres and creations all over India and even in neighboring countries. (Yes, they even did a theatre for the King of Bhutan!) Projects range from small intimate spaces to large environments that can accommodate the entertainment and corporate business activities of even the most demanding hosts.

So, how did it all start? The first theatre made by the compnay was around 16 years ago in Ahmedabad. “We converted the basement of a bungalow into a theatre. It took seven months to complete, but everybody loved it. And there has been no looking back,” says Kumar. “Nowadays, most bungalow are made without the provision of a mini theatre.”

The ‘listening room’ is siolated from external noise and vibration. “The process involves acoustic customisation of the room by treating the walls, the ceiling and the flooring acoustically and aesthetically. Then comes lighting design, dimmer control, seating system from regular push back cinema chairs to Italian leather-clad motorised recliners, mounting of screen in the correct size and aspect ratio, creating right sight lines, integration of the audio equipment with respect to acoustic interiors and many more nuances,” explains Kumar, adding that the choice of interiors is solely the client’s perogative.

What it takes

A MINI theatre takes three to eight weeks to complete depending upon its size and time taken by the client to decide on design and, of course, adherence of payment terms, tells Kumar. Smaller theatres of around 400 sft can be completed in three weeks while it can take around eight weeks for those larger than 800 sft.

The minimum space needed for this extravaganza is about 10-12 feet by 18-20 feet and there is no upper limit. “Naturally, the bigger the theatre, the more moolah you will have to pump in,” says Kumar, citing varuious options in terms of sound, power and acoustic interior’s surface area. Talking about the hole in the pocket, creditable installations can cost anything beyond Rs 15 lakh upto Rs 1 crore!

Avilable is a baffling variety of sound systems. However for a mini theatre, certain systems which that aesthetically pleasing as well as performance oriented work best with the overall acoustic treatments.



Built to suit
Uttarakhand industry selected for World Architecture Festival Awards
Vikrant Parmar

IMAGINE going through the tedium of constructing a building at a particular site, requiring years of hard work, cement, brick and loads of cleaning up. But how about a structure that can come up overnight, is eco-friendly, provides a solution to growing space needs and, above all, saves one the precious time that is money in today’s world?

With pre-fabricated buildings — essentially used for making factories, commercial spaces, warehouses, military establishments, aviation hangers, recreational facilities et al — this indeed becomes a reality. And, when the structure is steel, strength, safety, longevity and durability are guaranteed.

Everest Industries Limited has made a foray into this sector and that too in grand style. Its Bhagwanpur unit in Uttarakhand is one of the eight projects shortlisted from more than 700 entries worldwide for the first World Architecture Festival Awards in Barcelona. The building houses the administrative block and café and was recently completed. Executed by Delhi-based Matra Architects & Urban Planners, it was built at a cost of $ 1,35,000. It comprises a fully glazed, but lavishly shaded foyer, meeting rooms and a small auditorium on the ground floor communicate with the surrounding garden dominated by a large, oval water-harvesting pond. This area has proved to be a highly interactive space and is frequently visited by all workers during breaks from the otherwise very rigorous work schedule.

Executive director Manish Sanghi is ecstatic. “Steel buildings are a relatively new concept in the Indian market and our building has been shortlisted for the awards, which celebrate the finest work from the world’s greatest architects. It’s an honour,” he says.

The company’s products include pre-engineered steel buildings and smart steel buildings. “We offers design, manufacturing and installation solutions, saving considerable on-site work,” he says, optimistic about the newly- floated division. “We are targeting Rs 1,000 crore in sales by 2010.”

The Bhagwanpur manufacturing unit, established at an investment of Rs 90 crore, manufactures pre-engineered and smart steel buildings. The plant can manufacture up to 60,000 MT of steel buildings a year, further expandable to 1,00,000 MT.

“Since our entry into steel building solutions, Everest has already bagged 69 projects for providing over 85 buildings, worth over Rs 85 crore in 14 weeks flat. These 100% customised buildings are the fastest method of constructing all types of low-rise structures. Steel frames reduce structure weight by up to 30%, resulting in fast and standardised installation process,” Sanghi explains. Apart from Bhagwanpur, the company has manufacturing facilities at Kymore, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Nashik.

As far as the road ahead is concerned, Sanghi is confident there’s no looking back. “We have commenced a major expansion programme to increase our production capacity, in step with the growing demand of the rapidly expanding construction sector, and thereby contribute to the growth of the Indian economy as a whole.”



Tax tips
If there is gain, there is tax
S.C. Vasudeva

Q. One of my friends got a six marla plot in HUDA through lottery draw in 1995. He was not very financially sound and so he gave the plot to me through a power of attorney empowering me to pay dues, installments, sell or gift in any manner. On getting the power of attorney, I sent a copy of GPA to HUDA office and they accepted it. I continued to pay all installments but later on came to know that GPA is valid only till the executor of GPA is alive. Therefore, I sold this plot to my wife for a premium of Rs 16 lakh plus the arrears till October 2006 paid by me (total sale price of plot Rs.20 Lacks). Please advise on:

n My wife intends to sell this plot for about Rs 40 lakh. With the proceeds, which will be considered as STG, she plans to construct a new house in Ambala City on another plot owned by her. Will my wife have to spend Rs 20 lakh STG on the new house construction or the entire Rs 40 lakh to avoid any tax liability? Also, it is my understanding that the construction needs to be completed in a timeframe of three years.

n My wife already has a house in Panchkula. Can she construct another one from the sale proceed of the plot as mentioned in the previous question or are there any legal restrictions to construct second house in Ambala City?

n If at all, my wife does not construct a new house in Ambala City; will she have to invest the STG of Rs 20 lakh in REC or NHAI bonds or does the entire proceeds of Rs 40 lakh have to be invested in bonds? What is the rate of taxes for STG?

— G.S. Bhatia

A. The answer to your queries is as under:

n The profit on sale of the plot intended to be sold by your wife within a period of three years from the date of acquisition thereof will be a short term capital gain. Such a gain will be clubbed with the other income of your wife and would be taxable at the slab rate applicable to the total income of your wife. No exemption from the taxability of such a gain is available, even if the entire sale proceeds are invested in the acquisition or construction of a residential house within the specified period.

n Your wife can construct one more residential house inspite of her owning one residential house as on the date of construction of a new residential house. However, in view of the fact that short term capital gain cannot be considered for exemption, the buying of capital gains tax saving bonds or constructing a residential house within the specified period would not entitle her to claim any exemption from the taxability of the short term capital gain. As explained herein above, such an amount of the short-term capital gain will be added to her other income and taxed at the prevailing slab rate applicable to her.

Q. I had received an advance of Rs 5 lakh towards the selling of my residential house in Gurgaon and purchased a residential flat in Delhi. I am informed that for the purposes of computation of capital gain, the circle rate will be taken as the rate for computing capital gain. Is the information so given to me correct?

— Sher Singh

A. Section 50C of the Act provides that where the consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer on the capital gain being land or building or both is less than the value adopted or assessed by any authority of state government for the purposes of payment of stamp duty in respect of such transfer, the value so adopted or assessed shall, for the purposes of Section 48, deemed to be full value of consideration received or accruing as a result of such transfer.

Therefore, the information given to you is correct and the capital gains on the sale of your house will have to be computed on the basis of the circle rate if any, notified by the state government in case the consideration received by you is less than the value adopted or assessed for the purposes of the payment of stamp duty.

Q. In 1974-75, I purchased a plot in Shimla for Rs 7,500 and sold the same for a sum Rs 6 lakh on June 06, 2008. I have put the amount in one year FDR as I wish to purchase land with it later. Kindly advise on capital gain and capital gains tax liability on this amount. How much must I invest and by what time to avoid capital gains tax? 

— Shishu Patial

A. On the basis of facts given in the query, it is evident that you purchased the plot in 1974-75. For computing capital gains you have the option to adopt fair market value of the plot as on April 1, 1981 instead of cost incurred in 1974-75. AS the figure has not been provided in the query, the computations have been made on the basis of the cost of plot incurred by you.

On such basis, the indexed cost would work out at Rs 43,650. The long-term capital gain after deducting the said indexed cost from the net sale consideration would work out to Rs 5,56,350. The capital gains tax @ 20% plus education cess @ 3% thereon would work out at Rs 1,14,608. The above amount of tax could have been saved if you had invested the amount of net sale consideration (i.e. Rs 6 lakh in this case) in the acquisition of tax saving bonds within six months of the date of transfer.

You now have an option to buy a residential house within two years or construct a residential house within three years of the date of transfer of the plot and invest the above amount of Rs 6 lakh in such acquisition or construction. However, so much of the above amount of Rs 6 lakh as is not utilised for either of the above-prescribed investments before the date of filing the income tax return should be deposited with a bank in a capital gain scheme account to avail the benefit of above exemption.

Q. We are a partnership concern and are manufacturing plastic materials for household needs. The factory building and machinery was completely destroyed by a fire that broke out due to a short circuit. Is the amount received from the insurance company with regard to the destruction of these assets exigible to capital gains tax? I am advised that there has been some change in law, which brings such an amount to taxability.

— V.S. Negi

A. In Vania Silk Mills Private Limited vs. CIT, the Supreme Court had held that insurance claim received on account of destruction of asset is not chargeable to tax as the destruction does not amount to a transfer. The judgment has been nullified to some extent by introduction of a new sub section (1A) to section 45 of the Act w.e.f. assessment year 2000-01. According to the said sub-section where a person receives during the previous year, any money or other assets under any insurance from an insurer and the compensation has been received because of damage or destruction of a capital asset and such damage and destruction is as a result of following circumstances:

n flood, typhoon, hurricane, cyclone, earthquake or other convulsion of nature; or
n riot or civil disturbance; or
n accidental fire explosion; or
n action by any enemy or action taken in combating an enemy (whether with or without a declaration of war)…

…then any profit or gain arising from the receipt of such money shall be chargeable to income tax under the head “capital gains”. The amount received from the insurance company shall be the deemed full value of consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer of the asset.

Accordingly, in your case, the amount received from the insurance company on account of destruction of factory building and the machinery will be treated as full value of consideration accruing as a result of the transfer of such capital asset. The amount received in excess of the written down value of such capital assets would be taxable as a short-term capital gain in view of the provisions of Section 50 of the Act.

You have a strong case

Q. I belong to Haryana and my parents own some agricultural land there. It comes from my grandfather and he received it from his father. My father sold some 20 acres approximately 15 years back and also purchased around 15 acres land same time from sold money. We are four sisters and three brothers. There is no love lost with my brothers.

Now, the government has acquired some of the land for Rs 2 crore. My brothers control my parents and have divided the money amongst themselves. My aged parents wanted us four sisters to get a share of the money but were helpless. I fear that my brothers might have got land worth Rs 25 crore willed in their names.

Currently, my parents have some property in their name, some is my brothers’ name and the remainder in their grandchildren’s name. My grandfather and grandmother had also directly willed some land to my brothers’ children.

My question is that if I go to court, will I get a share in land or cash even though my brothers don’t want to give it? I am a normal housewife but if you think we have a case, my sisters and I are willing to move court.

— Balwant Kaur

A. In accordance with the provisions of Hindu Succession Act, 1956, you are a legal heir. You and your sisters are entitled to a share in the property of your father equivalent to your brothers. However, the right to such a property will be available only after the death of your father. This position applies to self- acquired property of your father.

In case land inherited by your father from his ancestors is a joint Hindu family property, you can claim the partition of such joint family property in view of the amended provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. You are entitled to a share equal to your father, mother and brothers in such property.

This column appears weekly. The writer can be contacted at



Homing in on EXOTICA

You don’t need to spend a fortune on an Anthurium or a Lilium stalk. Grow these in your very garden. All you have to do is follow what Satish Narula has to say and you can’t go wrong!

GONE are the days when one used to visit an ill person with fruits. With changing times and lifestyles, fruits have made way for flower bouquets and bunches. Even patients feel flowers bring more cheer! While buying flowers, many of us have often wondered about their names and the journey they undertake to reach the florist shop near you. The normal thought that comes to mind is — these are exotic flowers coming from some far away land.

However, the mind of the keen and curious gardener works a bit differently. An additional thought that crosses his mind: Can I grow these exotic flowers in my green patch? Try some of these and you will be definitely rewarded.

The best flowers to carry to a patient are those that have a long vase life. A sureshot winner in this category is the Anthurium. The blooms are admired for their varied colour range, a very showy spathe and excellent vase life. These were known to come from Nederlands where they were mostly grown under controlled conditions.

The Anthurium has its natural home in India in Kerala and also grows well in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and on the Eastern coasts. But do you want to grow it here? Go ahead. The bloom may not be big in the initial stages but as the plant matures, the bloom size also increases. The plant is very hardy and hardly has any specific demand. The only thing it needs is shade, good amount of humidity and watering and a well-drained soil. A few hours of morning sun helps.

Red blooms are the most sought-after. However, the plants of red flowers are comparatively shy bearers. Other colours commonly available are pink and white. A few hybrids with mixed spathe colour of white, green, pink, and red have also arrived. The foliage is also very attractive as the new emerging heart-shaped leaves are very shiny and look delicate. However, working with this flower over the years, I have found that removing leaves induces and increases flowering. More the number of leaves, lesser the flowers. Another thing, the plant flowers almost through the year!

Lilium, another frequently used flower, is another one of the expensive flowers. It is meant to grow on high altitudes, as cool temperature is its primary requirement. It also does well in mid- hills but it is not uncommon to find reasonably good quality blooms in the plains, especially in the sub-mountain tracts where there is comparatively high humidity. Some innovative growers are growing and selling blooms that appear in bunches at premium rates.

In Chandigarh, Lilium can be grown under the shade net and also in the open. The plant that grows to two-three feet height and needs support, as it is weak-stemmed. Its bulbs are planted at a depth nearly twice its size. They enjoy a light textured leaf mould mixed soil rather than animal manure. The plants also like a fairly good amount of moisture, but they do not like wet feet. The drainage has to be thoroughly examined.

Lilium can be grown as bed plants or in pots. Giant-sized blooms appear at the terminals and even a few of them fill up the bunch. They come in many colours like red, pink, yellow white mixed blooms with stripes and so on.

Go on, grow these exotic beauties in your backyard. But remember, for your fiancé or friend, the colour of any flower should exclusively be red, particularly if choosing roses!

This column appears fortnightly

The writer is a senior horticulturist and can be contacted at



Retire in style

CHD Developers has announced plans to build four exclusive townships across north India named the Active Senior Lifestyle Township. These would offer senior citizens villas and apartments in one, two and three bedroom options. The first is slated to come up in Karnal over 100 acres, where the company intends to build 2,000 villas. It has already acquired land and will start construction by end October. The project is to be completed by 2011.

The projects will comprise only ground floor construction and only individuals above 55 years of age would be allowed to own a property here. Those younger than 55 years can book, but shall be able to move in only when they turn 55. To be designed by Australian architects, facilities would include anti-skid flooring, panic buttons and no sharp edges. Panic buttons will enable the elderly to call for emergency services. Prices of these villas and apartments will be between Rs 27 lakh and Rs 76 lakh. Battery buses will operate in these townships and all vehicles will have to be parked at a centralised place on the outskirts for a pollution-free environment. — TNS