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Old 1st May 2011, 23:39   #61
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
"Should a few of us stop owning cars?"

Well...speak for yourself. If you (OP) have done the math and it doesn't work for you, as you say, please go ahead and sell your car. I resent the implication that I am somehow incapable of working out the cost-benefit analysis of owning and operating a personal vehicle- with due respect, the arguments made here have been made ad nauseum by several well-intentioned people, but in the end it needs to be a choice that an individual makes.

In Singapore, my choice was clear: I did not feel the need to spend 1200-1500 dollars every month when I could easily get a comfortable cab, bus or MRT train to wherever I needed to go. In Pune, unfortunately, as in Bangalore before that, this is not an option. And thankfully my company provides convenient parking at a reasonable price and I have reserved parking at home. Everywhere else, I assume responsibility to find a parking space and don't blame the universe if I don't find it.

Just my opinion- no offence meant to anyone.
+1 to that. I agree fully - sanity should take precedence over dogma everywhere and especially in this case. For some the conditions merit getting one and for the other they don't.

In fact if you just want a car to enjoy long-drives/off-roading on weekends or whatever, you should have a right to.

What people need to keep in mind is that since it is their choice to buy or not all the attendant problems are also, to a good extent, their choice.
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Old 1st May 2011, 23:48   #62
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

@Mods: Can the thread title be changed to "Option of not owning a car" please? It will avoid more confusion
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Old 2nd May 2011, 07:36   #63
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Lightbulb Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
However, I also agree that we are a joint family of 8, 7 of whom can drive and then we have 6 cars. Although, 800 and santro finds its place where ever it can, the other four cars civic, cedia, polo and swift, are priority to park in front of the house.


But in all this, I would also blame our system to some extent. First see this picture of the park in front of the house.

Attachment 537746

The was a just a piece of land till about 9 years back (we're living here for over 21 years) with cows gazing, trucks being parked, wedding ground etc. Its was 9 years back when a few of us neighbours came together and made this park what it is today, with time, money and effort all gone into it and we also left a part of the park (15%) for parking (see parking area in picture). The gound was last year handed over to horticulture and a babu came and instructed to cover complete land and make a boundry wall to it.
Gaurav,

Don't take this negatively but your post partly exemplifies what has really gone wrong atleast in Delhi and will continue to get worse.

a. I am sure when 21 years back you started living there, there was only 1 max 2 cars in the family, right? When you bought the house, you knew what it could support. And possibly, when the government would've masterplanned it - some 40 or maybe 50 years back depending on the area in Delhi - NO ONE could've imagined 6 cars in a household. Why blame the govt?

b. I dont know in your case, but in most cases, people don't plan for parking any cars in the house - everyone assumes that God/government will freely provide parking when rates in South Delhi are at 30k-50k/sqft, which is blaming the universe for one's ills, as pointed out by Noopster. When all cars are outside the home boundary, then chaos is bound to happen. It gets worse in other colonies. My folks have a 250sqyd house in south delhi, whose front has become a parking lot because the folks in the 125 sqyd 4 storey house have 6 cars while we have 2! The core issue is that our sense of entitlement far outstrips our willingness to pay the true costs.

Like someone said - the land under a car costs 40-50L min, no way would any sane person make a parking! Good pts by prasadee too!

c. I don't know about you but having good knowledge about Gurgaon HUDA plots, I can tell you that the empty plot you describe was an ill managed garden (as per the masterplan). There is no way the horticulture babu would've overstepped his bound if that extra 'parking space' did not originally belong to the government. I'd suggest using RTI to understand things. Should get you more parking space if you're lucky but I would wager against that.

PS: Gurgaon is no better. Flats are easily over a crore in any place. Flats ONLY have 1 parking except the new launched ones. Folks like gd/suman etc rent the 2nd parking for ~2.5k/month or such. My society has a useless maint agency and there are so many families with 3-4 cars. Parking in gurgaon is a train wreck in slow motion!
PPS: Assuming a MLCP costs 350-400 cr all in, would you be willing to pay about 300-400Rs a day?
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Old 2nd May 2011, 08:30   #64
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
In Singapore, my choice was clear: I did not feel the need to spend 1200-1500 dollars every month when I could easily get a comfortable cab, bus or MRT train to wherever I needed to go. In Pune, unfortunately, as in Bangalore before that, this is not an option. And thankfully my company provides convenient parking at a reasonable price and I have reserved parking at home. Everywhere else, I assume responsibility to find a parking space and don't blame the universe if I don't find it.
Good point. I have been staying in Singapore in 10 years and still resisted the temptation to buy a car (1) because of the efficient public transport system (2) high initial investment. Cannot digest the fact that I need to pay 3 times the cost (compared to other countries) for an entry level car.

Now, coming back to our context, I definitely prefer to have a car in India, even if I need to go round and round looking for a parking spot. India is shaping up a bit like the US (with satellite towns booming in big cities), and relying on public transport may not be a good option, with the distance one have to cover around.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 10:18   #65
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Dogma or not, it is high time we started considering some rules, around when a car can be owned and when not. This should become the basis for eligibility to get into a car purchase decision:

1. The person needs to show that he has sufficient parking space, within the bounds of his own property / rented property. Parking space on public land is not acceptable. In case of Shared parking spaces, a similar rule, would apply for the entire address.

2. The person needs to demonstrate reasonable justification for more than one car in a family of four. For example, two people working in two different places, without reasonable recourse to public transportation, can be a reasonable ground.

3. The person needs to justify why he cannot use a two wheeler, instead of a four wheeler.

In addition, some of these might be helpful:
1. There should be an incremental registration charge after the first car, for each car that a family acquires. I know this is a bit complex to implement, but some rules are concievable. The second registration should cost at least 50% more than the first, the third should be around four times, and so on... The idea is to penalize people for taking up more road space, and causing environmental impact, for the sake of luxury.

2. All Toll Plazas to implement a differential rate system, that depends of number of people in a car. Single occupancy is charged at least 4 times, the standard rates, and full occupancy, can be given a discount (say 50%).

3. Firmly implement a steep Congestion Charge in central areas of all metros.

4. Incentivize heavily, those who go in for small fuel efficient cars, and tax heavily those who go in for fuel guzzlers. Remove all Tax on Two Wheelers, and Electric Vehicles.

Just my thoughts....
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Old 2nd May 2011, 10:39   #66
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Very interesting discussion. I live and drive in Bangalore every day and trust me this thought has crossed my mind atleast once every day!

Economically its a no-brainer. Owning and driving a car in the city for daily commute is far more expensive than using public transport or even autos.

Practically though, the problem is the over-crowded bus system. When one is carrying a laptop, mobile & wearing polished shoes, white shirt etc - it is very difficult to use the bus. People trample all over you, thieves abound and the commute time doubles because the buses do not keep their timings.

For weekend shopping and travel, the taxi system is unreliable. Meru and EasyCabs are both extremely unreliable for travel within the city - they are much more interested in rides to/from the airport rather than taking people around the city. Autos are difficult for a family of four and the pollution/dust is not enticing either.

So until we have a better public transport, I don't see any alternative for people who can afford cars..
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Old 2nd May 2011, 10:50   #67
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
"Should a few of us stop owning cars?"

Well...speak for yourself. If you (OP) have done the math and it doesn't work for you, as you say, please go ahead and sell your car. I resent the implication that I am somehow incapable of working out the cost-benefit analysis of owning and operating a personal vehicle- with due respect, the arguments made here have been made ad nauseum by several well-intentioned people, but in the end it needs to be a choice that an individual makes.

In Singapore, my choice was clear: I did not feel the need to spend 1200-1500 dollars every month when I could easily get a comfortable cab, bus or MRT train to wherever I needed to go. In Pune, unfortunately, as in Bangalore before that, this is not an option. And thankfully my company provides convenient parking at a reasonable price and I have reserved parking at home. Everywhere else, I assume responsibility to find a parking space and don't blame the universe if I don't find it.

Just my opinion- no offence meant to anyone.
You put it perfectly. IMO as long as you are not externalizing the costs of owning a car (like parking for example) feel free to own 2/3/4... as many cars.

My only grouse always has been with people who buy cars without having parking and then claim it is Govt's fault that there is no parking space.

IMO linking car registration to parking is the simplest solution to the woes. But given the strength of SIAM lobby I am sure this rule will never see the light of the day.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 10:56   #68
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

This may be slightly off topic but I felt I can share my views on the traffic chaos.

I was attending the SIAT 2009 (Symposium on International Automotive Technology) at ARAI in January 2009. A speaker was comparing the automotive scenario in US, Europe, Australia, China and India. He was concluding on the growth opportunities for Automotive industry in India based on comparative figures of "Cars per family" and "cars per head", collectively termed as "car density".

India was (and is) not even close to all the other nations on those counts. So, Indian Automotive Industry has a bright future and we as part of that could see more greens coming to our pocket; almost everyone under the shamiyana cheered.

Then a fool of me got up and asked a very stupid question. "Sir, have you compared the population density of the regions mentioned in your presentation. As in India, we have a small problem, particularly in metros and big cities, that is of space. Space to live and to move, bumper to bumper traffic. So, if we are going to grow in comparison to the 'car density' of other regions, every city and town of India will move no better than a crawling speed".

Everyone gave me looks as if I shattered their dream. The speaker still searched for answer. I added "Also, most of the cities in the other regions have a planned layout as they came up much-much later than most of Indian cities and can not be compared. One good example is Chandigarh, a well planned city, the traffic issues are much less compared to others. But then how many cities can grow to replicate Chandigarh."

The speaker informed me "I'll study that aspect as well and come back to you". It's been more than 2 years and I am yet to hear from him. Oh ! I forgot, he didn't even took my contact details afterwards.

Being from the clan and looking for big fat appraisal every year, I somehow contribute to the chaos we see on the road. But the "families" who own multiple cars, just because a new model was launched or they could afford to buy more for "kids" are equally responsible.

Here in Chennai, I've seen on big person (politician actually), who owns 2 SUVs, 1 MUV and 3 cars. Members in his family : 4. Here I am not pointing to any particular person or class, just giving a real life example.

I admire the vision of Mr. Tata for the Nano, because he was worried for a family of four riding a bike in rainy season. But I hate that dad who gifted his two daughters two Nanos on their birthdays for commuting college .

We should "own a car" as necessity or even luxury "for a family", but should not indulge in buying another, just because we can.

Last edited by AutoNoob : 2nd May 2011 at 10:57.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 11:04   #69
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by aby View Post
You put it perfectly. IMO as long as you are not externalizing the costs of owning a car (like parking for example) feel free to own 2/3/4... as many cars.

My only grouse always has been with people who buy cars without having parking and then claim it is Govt's fault that there is no parking space.

IMO linking car registration to parking is the simplest solution to the woes. But given the strength of SIAM lobby I am sure this rule will never see the light of the day.
knee jerk laws with good intentions often lead to problems later.

Requiring the buyer to "prove" anything - be it availability of parking, or need for two or four wheelers as someone suggested will only lead to more corruption without actually helping anybody.

A system where parking rights are made crystal clear, parking at reasonable rate (not cheap - but a rate that can be sustained without subsidies of any kind) made available and then rules enforced. Corruption will exist in this system too, but this system will at least give a chance for other alternatives to be tested economically without trampling on anyone's rights.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 11:27   #70
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Bokes,

In general, my suggestion is to keep a little frustration aside (take it in your stride) and get on with it. I mean, there is little parking at tight spots. No official allotted areas, indifferent attitude of Traffic Police guys towards Junta involved, ridiculous parking charges at times etc. All that is true. However, should we stop owning cars? Absolutely not! Also, I think that our frustration levels must be different based on the parking facility and state of infrastructure in that city. For e.g. Delhi seems to have much better infra than Bangy. However, in general, all our city infrastructures are BAD!

Another thing I noted are the parking charges. Some of the mediocre parkings charge tend to charge a lot of money. For e.g. a Parking at Brigade/Residency road junction in Bangy will set you back by Rs 50/- for 3 hrs, on a holiday. And you get to park in unpaved barren mud. Clearly, the govt doesn't have a clear standing instructions for how much the junta should be charged. If the private owner is charging so much, why should the govt allot him the contract anyway. All this coz the govt is a party to all what happens.

We can have this discussion all day long and at the end of the day we'll come to a conclusion that our 'system' has many flaws. I'd say just get on with it, will ya!

Last edited by Abhi_Automobile : 2nd May 2011 at 11:30.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 11:34   #71
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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knee jerk laws with good intentions often lead to problems later.

Requiring the buyer to "prove" anything - be it availability of parking, or need for two or four wheelers as someone suggested will only lead to more corruption without actually helping anybody.

A system where parking rights are made crystal clear, parking at reasonable rate (not cheap - but a rate that can be sustained without subsidies of any kind) made available and then rules enforced. Corruption will exist in this system too, but this system will at least give a chance for other alternatives to be tested economically without trampling on anyone's rights.
It makes sense. But given our current sense of entitlement, especially with parking, I really doubt it can be implemented without some heavy handedness from the top.

Take for example multi-level parking which everyone seems to gladly espouse as the solution to our parking woes. Simple math tells us that you need about 250-300 Sq. Ft per car (including the driveway). Given the costs of construction today, you are looking at upwards of 3 Lakh PER PARKING SLOT, which incidentally is nearly twice the cost of an entry level Nano. Add maintenance and operations, are people willing to shell out close to Rs. 3000 per month for parking? And this calculation doesn't take into account land prices, which in prime area (where there is maximum congestion) would be astronomical.

Now what would be the REASONABLE parking amount here? Nothing less than Rs. 500 per day. How many of us are willing to pay that cost? Anything less and you are looking for handouts from Govt. which all of us claim to abhor.

It is easy to blame the system, which incidentally allows us to transfer a lot of costs associated with owning the vehicle to the society at large. The problem is that we are not willing to pay the costs. The day the system imposes real cost of owning a car on the buyer, I think this topic will become redundant.

Last edited by aby : 2nd May 2011 at 11:39.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:05   #72
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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It makes sense. But given our current sense of entitlement, especially with parking, I really doubt it can be implemented without some heavy handedness from the top.

Take for example multi-level parking which everyone seems to gladly espouse as the solution to our parking woes. Simple math tells us that you need about 250-300 Sq. Ft per car (including the driveway). Given the costs of construction today, you are looking at upwards of 3 Lakh PER PARKING SLOT, which incidentally is nearly twice the cost of an entry level Nano. Add maintenance and operations, are people willing to shell out close to Rs. 3000 per month for parking? And this calculation doesn't take into account land prices, which in prime area (where there is maximum congestion) would be astronomical.

Now what would be the REASONABLE parking amount here? Nothing less than Rs. 500 per day. How many of us are willing to pay that cost? Anything less and you are looking for handouts from Govt. which all of us claim to abhor.

That's exactly what I meant and that is what proponents of "govt. should do something" do not understand a lot of times (contd. below)




It is easy to blame the system, which incidentally allows us to transfer a lot of costs associated with owning the vehicle to the society at large. The problem is that we are not willing to pay the costs. The day the system imposes real cost of owning a car on the buyer, I think this topic will become redundant.
I fully agree with you - the reason Gaurav's neighbours complain about re-building the whole house (even though they have the cash and the will to own 6 cars) is that they would rather take a free ride on the society then pay the true cost of parking.

In most apartment buildings in Bangalore today, you can actually buy (and more often rent) parking space - and the numbers do come close to what you have mentioned.

People very often complain about Rs.50 parking on Brigade road, without realising that even this is probably a subsidised price - just account for the price/rent of land in that area!

At commercial real estate going for Rs.50/sqft/month in Hyderabad (and no doubt much more in Bangalore, even assuming that parking space should be cheaper by 50% (less amenities like toilets, AC ...) a 200sqft area - barely able to accommodate a car would come to Rs.5000/month.

It is more the unwillingness of people to pay the true costs (rather than govt. planning - which is bad too) that leads to the problems of congestion.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:35   #73
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aby View Post
Take for example multi-level parking which everyone seems to gladly espouse as the solution to our parking woes. Simple math tells us that you need about 250-300 Sq. Ft per car (including the driveway). Given the costs of construction today, you are looking at upwards of 3 Lakh PER PARKING SLOT, which incidentally is nearly twice the cost of an entry level Nano. Add maintenance and operations, are people willing to shell out close to Rs. 3000 per month for parking? And this calculation doesn't take into account land prices, which in prime area (where there is maximum congestion) would be astronomical.

Now what would be the REASONABLE parking amount here? Nothing less than Rs. 500 per day. How many of us are willing to pay that cost? Anything less and you are looking for handouts from Govt. which all of us claim to abhor.
While I followed you (and tend to agree) till your calculation of 3 Lakh Per Slot (Capex excluding Land), I would like to elaborate and understand the maths that leads you to say 500 Rs/day.

My understanding and assumptions are as follows:
Treat an MLCP as Social Infrastructure (while we are not looking at the government subsidizing parking, we are'nt expecting them to earn an unreal profit either) - thus we can safely assume a life (and payback period) of 15 years
An EMI for a 3 lakh rs loan @ 12% interest for 15 years works out to be 3600 Rs/Month
Lets add 10% for maintenance and overheads (in reality it will be around 3-4%) - This works out to 3600+360 = 3960 Rs/Month or 130 Rs/day
Now, I would expect the government to recover this in two parts - one a parking fee of approximately 1500-2000 Rs/Month (steep but not unreal) and the balance as a congestion tax levied on all cars using the roads and therefore parking infrastructure of a given area.

This would effectively mean
1) EMI's go up by ~ 2500 Rs/month due to an annualized congestion tax being charged
2) Users pay hefty rates for parking in specially developed MLCP's
3) Any surfeit is not adjusted with other budget heads, but is used to improve parking infrastructure in non chargeable areas (visitor parking within residential colonies for example)

Hope this makes sense..

Cheers
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:38   #74
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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In most apartment buildings in Bangalore today, you can actually buy (and more often rent) parking space - and the numbers do come close to what you have mentioned.
Quote:
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While I followed you (and tend to agree) till your calculation of 3 Lakh Per Slot (Capex excluding Land), I would like to elaborate and understand the maths that leads you to say 500 Rs/day.
Decision on Civil Appeal No. 2544 of 2010, dated August 31, 2010 by Honourable Supreme Court of India says parkings in apartments can't be sold (and thus be reserved for specific residents).

Few definitions :
Stilt Area : Area where tall posts or pillars used as support, as for a dock or building.
Stilt Parking : In a typical residential apartment complex, car parking provided for in the basement or stilt floor.

Excerpts from the judgement (full text is available on Welcome to the Official Website of the Supreme Court of India) :

"It was argued that under MOFA it is for the promoter to prescribe and define at the outset the ‘common areas’ and unless it is so done by the promoter, the parking area cannot be termed as part of ‘common areas’. We are quite unable to accept this submission. Can a promoter take common passage/lobbies or say stair case or RG area out of purview of `common areas and facilities’ by not prescribing or defining the same in the `common areas’? If the answer to this question is in negative, which it has to be, this argument must fail. It was also submitted that by treating open/stilt parking space as part of ‘common areas’, every flat purchaser will have to bear proportionate cost for the same although he may not be interested in such parking space at all. We do not think such consideration is relevant for the consideration of term ‘common areas and facilities’ in MOFA. It is not necessary that all flat purchasers must actually use ‘common areas and facilities’ in its entirety. The relevant test is whether such part of the building is normally in common use. Then it was submitted that if a parking space is sold to a flat purchaser, it is to the exclusion of other flat purchasers and, therefore, logically also it cannot be part of ‘common areas’. This submission is founded on assumption that parking space (open/covered) is a ‘garage’ and sellable along with the flat. We have, however, held in our discussion above that open to the sky parking area or stilted portion usable as parking space is not ‘garage’ within the meaning of Section 2(a-1) and, therefore, not sellable independently as a flat or along with a flat. As a matter of fact, insofar as the promoter is concerned, he is not put to any prejudice financially by treating open parking space/stilt parking space as part of ‘common areas’ since he is entitled to charge price for the common areas and facilities from each flat purchaser in proportion to the carpet area of the flat. MOFA mandates the promoter to describe ‘common areas and facilities’ in the advertisement as well as the ‘agreement’ with the flat purchaser and the promoter is also required to indicate the price of the flat including the proportionate price of the ‘common areas and facilities’. If a promoter does not fully disclose the common areas and facilities he does so at his own peril. Stilt parking spaces would not cease to be part of common areas and facilities merely because the promoter has not described the same as such in the advertisement and agreement with the flat purchaser. Although there is some merit in the contention of the appellant that High Court erred in placing reliance on the two aspects—namely, that the area of stilt parking space is not included in the FSI and such area is not assessable to the corporation taxes - in reaching the conclusion that stilt parking space is part of ‘common areas’ but in our view even if these two aspects are excluded, in what we have discussed above stilt parking space/open parking space of a building regulated by MOFA is nothing but a part of ‘common areas’. "

"We have now come to the last question namely— what are the rights of a promoter vis-ŕ-vis society (of flat purchasers) in respect of stilt parking space/s. It was argued that the right of the promoter to dispose of the stilt parking space is a matter falling within the domain of the promoter’s contractual, legal and fundamental right and such right is not affected. This argument is founded on the premise, firstly, that stilt parking space is a ‘flat’ by itself within the meaning of Section 2(a-1) and in the alternative that it is not part of ‘common areas’. But we have already held that ‘stilt parking space’ is not covered by the term ‘garage’ much less a ‘flat’ and that it is part of ‘common areas’. As a necessary corollary to the answers given by us to question nos. (i) to (iii), it must be held that stilt parking space/s being part of ‘common areas’ of the building developed by the promoter, the only right that the promoter has, is to charge the cost thereof in proportion to the carpet area of the flat from each flat purchaser. Such stilt parking space being neither ‘flat’ under Section 2(a-1) nor ‘garage’ within the meaning of that provision is not sellable at all."

More in next post.

Last edited by AutoNoob : 2nd May 2011 at 12:41. Reason: Last line added.
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Old 2nd May 2011, 12:56   #75
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Hey Autonoob

before you post another SC judgement, what is your point? I know about this one because my colleague Sobha Developers to court over this.
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