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palash_royIt has been a profound journey thus far, full of revelations. Among them, as we take stock after an year, is the happy fact that our estimates have fallen short of our actual performance. A special thanks to all who associated with us is definitely in order.

Amid the festive euphoria as this issue was going for print, came big bang announcements from the Housing and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on October 1 when he announced that his ministry was working on a mechanism for single window clearance and an infrastructure status for the real estate sector. On the wish list of the realty sector for eons, the industry could not have wished for more. As it is, there was some disappointment among the industry captains when the Union Budget 2014 was mute on these two issues.
Nor did Naidu stop just there. He announced that the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Bill will be tabled in the forthcoming Winter session of Parliament. Naidu also declared that the Smart Cities’ concept will be taken up by the Union Cabinet by November.

While on smart cities, we have a big-impact story on how the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) has decided to develop four new smart cities along the Yamuna Expressway. YEIDA’s draft Master Plan for these four cities is already in place. This is over and above the YEIDA plan to develop dedicated entertainment zones along the high-speed link to the Taj Mahal.

Move yonder and lira senior correspondent Ayesha Shirin Roy takes us on a tour of the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, which arguably is going to be the hub of all residential, commercial and economic activity of NCR in the years to come — a view shared by developers, experts and the babus.

Starting this issue we are introducing a new series—Agents of Change — focusing on the core work-profile of key public personalities who are spearheading the government effort to develop lebensraums or living spaces in our cities in general and the NCR in particular. We start with Santosh Kumar Yadav, Vice-Chairman of the Ghaziabad Development Authority, who has taken up the challenge to do the undoable — make Ghaziabad a realty hub and a buzzword for development and world-class infrastructure.

Coming to the air of festivity all around, electronic, print and even the audio media are replete with advertisements from builders on various schemes and offers. senior correspondent Shelly HA writes on the crucial significance of this year’s festive season and the bonanza of special offers and whether if at all anyone gains from such offers? Do such offers really build up the topline of the builders? What is the bottomline then?

Diwali is also a celebration of decorations and illuminations and we have a story for you on a few ways and means to go about it smartly and without digging too deep into the pockets. Also in an analytical piece on whether this is the right time to buy your dream house, Siddhartha Upadhyay, founder, Interactive Forum on India Economy, gives you reason as to why further procrastination is not advisable. Also find your regular reads on property rates of key cities, home loan rates of leading lenders, upcoming and new projects across the major cities, the monthly dose of Vaastu, and horoscope by bejan daruwalla…. Enjoy reading & Happy Diwali!!!