Dealing with imperfect competition in Cochin
Proper planning coupled with a local authority backed by powers of compulsory purchase will always provide an overriding authority when the owner of a particular property stands in the way of a comprehensive development. By using his monopoly position to demand an extortionate selling price, in many cases, such people always caused many of the development projects from getting completed on time. Indeed, once the need for planning has been established, the logical step of allowing the planning authority to exercise powers of compulsory purchase makes coercion more acceptable. This aspect is seen with respect to the developments in Real Estate in Cochin , in certain localities.
Planning powers is also likely to be used to deal with underdevelopment of a landed site. For instance, the owner of a vacant half-hectare site in a built up area may find it more profitable to restrict building to three executive town houses, whereas the need of the district is for a more intensive development of smaller houses, a development which would result if building of new housing units were pursued to the perfect competition position where price equaled marginal social cost.
With rising demand and declining supply, the issue of imperfect competition is difficult to tackle in Cochin. In some areas, the local bodies had to bow down to the wishes, whims, fancies and demands of the local people and also the landlords of earlier times. No one had the guts to challenge these people who were much influential in local circles.
In the future more developments are likely to be witnessed in Cochin, if the present trends continue. To prevent a repeat of the bad housing loans and the subsequent sub prime crisis that overwhelmed the American economy, the local bodies and the Cochin Corporation authorities will have to keep a watchful eye on the various developments in the hot property market. Or else the slide from the present heights may take place all too suddenly.
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