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House-proud: first realty award comes to town

Move over reality show, the realty show is here.

The CREDAI Bengal Realty Awards 2014, in association with The Telegraph, is the “first of its kind in eastern India” to identify and salute the leading real estate players in Calcutta, Bengal and the east.

The mega awards night, bringing together the best and biggest from the realty fraternity, will be held at Hyatt Regency on the evening of March 21.

Harsh Vardhan Patodia, the president of Credai Bengal, said the idea of constituting such an award was born late last year. “We thought the business has come of age and it is now time to honour and recognise some outstanding achievements. Crisil was appointed as the knowledge partner to maintain total transparency and credibility. There are five eminent personalities as jury members and nobody from Credai is involved.”

Credai Bengal, the state chapter of Credai (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India), was established in 1989 and is the singular platform for real estate developers of Bengal. Its objective is to make the real estate space “more organised, progressive, transparent and corruption-free”.

The award, according to Credai, should spawn healthy competition among real estate developers while creating a new benchmark for consumers to follow before they buy a property. “Public recognition from such respected institutions will certainly inspire the developers to do better than others, be it in residential, commercial or office space. I think there will be healthy competition and the consumers only stand to benefit,” said Pradip Chopra, chairman of the PS Group.

The exercise “will encourage healthy competition between the developers, particularly the younger generation”, according to Sushil Mohta, vice-president of Credai Bengal. “We have received 66 entries so far across 15 categories, which is very good. Projects are coming from all corners — Rajarhat to Baruipur.”

For Crisil, the global analytical company providing ratings and research, this success story could serve as an example for replication across the country. “We thought the response has been very exciting and the large number of nominees indicates its success,” said Sachin Nigam, president, business head, Crisil Real Estate Ratings, and one of the jurors for the awards.

CREDAI Bengal Realty Awards 2014 will surely raise public awareness among consumers about short-listed projects. “A consumer has two-three issues when he’s out there in the market. One is, ‘how do you compare two-three projects in the city?’ The consumer is basically a layman who does not know the nitty-gritty of the construction technique. After our evaluation, this becomes some recognition of the fact that a particular project meets certain benchmarks,” added Nigam of Crisil.

Nominees have been short-listed in each category depending on the architectural design, execution and facilities on offer amongst other considerations like compliance with environment and safety norms. What is the role of architectural design? “Firstly, architecture should look good but should also feel good which is often neglected. There may be wonderful-looking projects but they don’t ‘feel’ good,” said Rajiv Mishra, principal, Sir JJ College of Architecture, and one of the jurors. “The second thing is the usable carpet area versus built-up area. How much carpet area a developer gives for living is ultimately what matters. What happens in design is after buying a flat you might realise that you’ve been given 1,000sq ft but got only 750sq ft. The third thing we are considering is amenities and facilities in a project that cause social integration. For example, a gym is an amenity but its users are limited. But because of the gym, more users will be generated. Lastly, we are preferring projects that are environmentally conscious with respect to green building certification.”

CREDAI Bengal Realty Awards 2014 also earned a thumbs up from Harsh Neotia. “The awards will encourage developers to work with transparency and improve the quality of any project. It is a welcome move and the Bengal realty sector would be greatly benefited,” said the chairman of the Ambuja Neotia group.

And just like a reality show, this realty show will have its fair share of entertainment — a dance set by actress Barkha Bisht, songs by Monali Thakur and Mir as the emcee.

recognition for the road to real estate

WHAT The CREDAI Bengal Realty Awards 2014, in association with The Telegraph

WHY The first-of-its-kind awards to identify and salute the leading real estate
players in Calcutta, Bengal and the east

WHEN March 21

WHERE Hyatt Regency

HOSTED BY Credai Bengal

KNOWLEDGE PARTNER Crisil