Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DP, Mirror of City Future!







To create architecture is to put in order. Put what in order? Function and objects...Le Corbusier


Many a must be wondering by reading the news about the DP in papers & why so much of importance is given to same & what’s the difference its going to make with the life of a common citizen? Questions like this must be coming to mind of most. Well as the quote says DP i.e. Development Plan is like mirror of what city is going to be in coming years!
It is the simple words planning our tomorrow. Here many typical Punekar may ask "So what happened yesterday that our today is such!" Well, can’t blame them totally as the present DP, in fact the past DP is correct term as its life has already come to an end in 2007, we are not definitely up to the mark in implementing the same. Here one will ask what it means end of life of a DP? For that it’s necessary for us to understand the concept of DP or for instance any planning of the infrastructure which is related to the city. Here consider example of Victoria Terminal which we today know as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminal i.e. Railway Terminal of Mumbai. British have planned it nearly some 150 years back & it’s for the purpose of carrying the Mumbakiars to & fro from the great city. The structure was planned when the city must be having population hardly 1 lac & look today its grown over 1 crore & still the same building is fulfilling the needs for what it has been build & planed for! This is outcome of proper planning.

A DP is made up of accommodating such number of structures & places for them as well their expand & purpose. DP is a master plan of a city or town fixing its boundaries & defining various uses of the spaces which are going or supposed to serve the population of the city for their various needs. We may think what’s so big deal about it, hasn’t the city grown in past so many years when there was no DP from the time of Peshwa's! The answer is yes & no both. Because even the Peshwas have some planning for e.g. look at the way various Peths( Localities) have been build, they have been build around Shaniwar wada as central structure & many of them are as per the use of a particular profession like Bhande aali, Tambat aali, Kumbhar wada & many so. All this hasn’t happened without planning. That was done as per the need of the time & life style then, now we are in different era, the city has not only expanded physically but the social & cultural needs also have changed.

We need clean & big Roads, Play grounds, Medical facilities, Shopping, Cinema halls, Hostels, Parking places, different means of Transportation for going places, Schools & Colleges & above all homes which can be affordable by every segment of society at the same time balancing the Environment of the city! A DP is amalgamation of all such services as well uses. In DP all these uses are quantified in proportion to the growth of population of the city & various land spaces are notified as per the use. For e.g. some area will be shown as residential where you can build houses but not industries. Some areas will be shown as gardens while some as play grounds, such specified land use for the services is called as Reservations! Now its job of the civic body to acquire these spaces for purpose they have been reserved for & give them final form for which they have been planned for. The first DP has been made way back in 66 & it’s life was ten years. Means what ever has been planned was supposed to execute in ten years & by the end of it new DP was to be prepared for coming years. But its got delayed & the next DP took 83 to come in existence & it’s prepared for 20 years. So what ever has planned in this DP was supposed to be completed by 2003! Well the city has definitely grown much more than what has been expected & some where its defeat of the planners that we failed to judge the growth & need of the city. When it’s said that the DP has been executed 50% or 60%, means the services structure which has been planned has been executed in that percentage. For e.g. if the road net work of 100 km has been designed in a DP which is made for 20 years then at the end of the life of DP its decided by the length of road net work actually completed  that how much efficiently the DP has been executed on road front. A properly planned DP should be backed up by an execution plan also; some how in earlier era this fact was neglected is a fact. That’s the important aspect rather challenge for the new DP makers, to go through the reasons of poor execution of earlier DP & cover them in the new one.

The new DP was supposed to be ready by 2003 but some how understanding the fact to make Plan for such a big city & with so less data as that our 'Kamjor kadi “i.e. weak point, is definitely a tough task & it has taken 2011 for finalizing the DP.  We have never been famous for proper data about the information of the infrastructure. Even the basic stuff like number of patients of a particular dieses for defining need of number of medical centers & that’s actually a back bone to make any DP. Because if you don’t know how many old wada’s are there in city or how many educational institutes are there in a particular zone, how you are going to plan the policy for them? This DP consists of many new concepts keeping in mind the changed face of the city. Right from accommodating need for hostels for students of the city which is now known as educational hub to redevelopment of old city wadas many new dimensions have been acknowledged. Water, Drainage, Traffic are very basic issues & indeed they are important but a city needs many more things than that & this is what a DP should identify! Every single aspect in itself is a subject of discussion & going through many such discussion City's Planning Administration prepares a DP which is required to be sanctioned by City Improvement Committee & at last the General Body of Municipal Corporation. Such DP then goes for suggestion objection of citizen & then to State Govt's Urban Development Dept which at end sends it to Chief Minister who is head of UD! Husshh, it’s a long way affair & the journey has just started by civic administration putting forward the DP to City Improvement Committee!

Remember DP is not a magic wand which when unveiled will clear all the problems we face in the city! It’s as I said just a mirror showing us how the things have planned, it’s up us as citizen to make the rulers answerable to perform as per the DP or else we are mere observers & then there is no point & ending up as the famous Marathi fraze "Bail Gela an Zopa kela"!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !

http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/

Social Side of Sanjeevani !

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Kitana deti hai ?"





An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ..Benjamin Franklin.

We are in December & the New year is on the edge now! There is so much to discuss,speak about the various aspects of the growth of this very city that how a year has passed I really didn't noticed but kept writing on this blog!

Recently saw an advertise series on TV , in one of the ad a guy has been shown explaining NASA rocket to bunch of Indian tourists & at end of his small speech, an Indian Tourists asks casually
" Kitna deti hai?" obviously stunning the NASA guy with the question, as this question is about average of the rocket! Moral of the ad was our country is obsessed with mileage of a vehicle & not any other quality it has. Come to real estate & one question haunts every person who is looking for the investment opportunity in the segment & that is " Next year how much will be the rate here?"

Now here the quote of Franklin come in to the picture as no one is interested in investing in knowledge but wants direct result. Investing in knowledge means get the information about the real estate! Many a goes by the stories like "Gold rush" in USA in early 20's where all are thinking the investment just get doubled in some six months in real estate! Well unfortunately its true in some cases but not in most is a fact! One needs to take a close look the way city has grown in past few years & study the pattern of this growth & then should decide how much & where & why you are investing in real estate.


Remember flat,shop or piece of land is one of the costliest investment at any time in compare to other commodities like shares or gold which you can buy in smaller quantity. That option isn't here as you can't buy just one room or few sq fts as per your budget. Rather in our country most people buy home one time in their life span & that what makes its a good investment option, as demand is the key! If on one hand increasing population of our country is a curse on other hand it acts as a boon to real estate. Land we can't create so the more population grows the more scarce land is going to become is a fact. If we observe the last decade, urbanization is a reality & which is going to stay. More & more people are & will be migrating from smaller places to bigger towns, making Towns as Cities & Cities as Metros! In this process one factor will be vital, the city which will offer more jobs & better living standards will have maximum preference. And here on this front Pune is on top of chart in our State!


Now we have to look for the options the city offers for real estate investment.
First of all we have to decide the time span for which we want to invest as well the budget. As in any investment its always better to enter at lower end to get maximum returns. But at the same time we should know that real estate is one of the most unorganized sector in our country so we have to choose real carefully with the people with whom we will be investing. So personally speaking I will give maximum weightge to the pay degree of the developer or builder or the persons from whom you will be buying the flat or piece of land. rather again my personal view is if you are not in real estate development line by yourself then stick up to buying flat/office or shop instead going for a raw piece of land. Here many will judge my opinion but day by day its difficult to maintain a open piece of land is a fact. Its not only physical encroachment but legal encroachments also from which one has to protect the land. Legal encroachment means changing of bylaws or zone or reservations about the land. For eg the current issue of BDP i.e. bio diversity park over the hill top hill slope zones. There are hundreds of cases where when common men have bought small piece of lands few years back thinking of good investment near by city or even for building their own home & now the whole lands has been in jeopardy of making it no development zone or minimum FSI like 4%, making its value far below than what these people might have expected. Similar things happen about road widening as when you buy you may feel its adjoining to existing road & the in regional or development plan the road gets widened & you found your piece of land has gone under road widening! Agreed there is TDR value but its a long process for a common man to get the TDR! So unless you are not in day to day touch position with your piece of land physically as well legally its better to go for something which you can keep in lock & key & ready to use form like a flat! Though one can always think of some thing in plotted sanctioned lay out from competent authority like Municipal Corporation of Collector! There its much safe game. But then the price of investment is obviously higher here.

Once we have zeroed down about going for built in thing then the search mode should focus on time span. Never go for the short cuts is the first principle as in real estate look for minimum of 3- 5 years time span which is ideal to ripe the investment. I haven't yet come across a person who has invested in buying a flat or shop & after 5 years he thinks he has wasted his money! Again in investing flat or row house is ideal option as when you go for buying the shop, the developer has all ready charged the premium on it so you mostly enter at high end. Still look for the kind of growth potential in the neighbouring area & choose the size as well location of shop. In our city mostly only the shop fronting to main road & at ground floor fetch good premium rate is a fact & keep it in mind choosing the one. Big sized show rooms often find difficult for takers latter on & only if you are ready to wait a bit long of looking for giving it rental on long lease then only serves good.

Flats / Row houses if budget permits are the safe bait in compare to any other option. Here don't just look for the rent they will offer as that equation will never match ,rather look at the rent as bonus as your basic investment keeps growing with each passing year & yet you keep on getting some rent as incentive. While selecting residential options look for the trend of growth & rates varied in adjoining suburbs. Rates are bound to go reducing as you go away from city center but its not always true like in Baodhan rates are higher than Bhusari colony or in Baner higher than some part of Aundh Gaothan. Its the physical as well social infrastructure around that decided the demand of any particular area & which in end decides the appreciation in that area. Many a times in our country we find buildings get developed first & infrastructure like roads, water, drainage follows later. So don't just go by the present scenario but make one thing sure that what ever building you have been choosing has a legal/ official road existing to reach the same. As that's one thing which after making no developer can guaranty about making the same.

Similarly take total information of surrounding development as today's open plot adjoining may be tomorrow's reservation which may affect the price of your investment. And this information you can easily get by asking few questions around at proper places & that's why its very important to choose proper developed who will not only provide you a brouture of his own project but will give you detail & true information of surrounding also.Usually a two BHK flat is best for selling as well for rentals as that size has been always in demand is a track record. Three BHK is better if you what to keep both option i.e. selling your existing home & shifting to new one. One BHK is best for sole selling purpose as rent isn't a much attractive issue here.

About selecting location see the way surrounding suburbs have developed in recent past & pattern of their growth i.e. what kind of constructions have come up there. The areas who offers jobs & eduction facilities are the best potential for real estate growth as people prefer to live near by the work place & in most cities especially in Pune public transport is weak naturally all are depending on private transport,so to avoid time in travel people choose near by destinations. That's why at Nagar road first the IT hubs grew & the the residential a growth followed which in turn attracted shopping malls type development & hotels. Similar pattern is being seen on western suburbs around Bangalore-Mumbai by pass as Hinjawadi infotech park lots of educational institutes & PCMC industrial area is on this side of city. Most of the time its seen that any city grows towards the bigger city adjoining to it. Its natural phenomenon, see Nagar, its growing more on Pune-Aurangabad stretch than Kopergao-Solapore stretch. Aurangabad has grown more on Pune side & so is Kolhapur. With same logic Pune is bound to grow along the stretch of Mumbai-Bangalore way,though it has Nagar & Solapur on East & Northen side respectively.

Frankly when this country's millions of people are homeless & needs home as there first basic requirement , looking real estate as an investment option is on one hand means making the homes costly! But to every bright side is there is dark side too, all we need to do is balance the coin!
 
Last but least remember the one who can see tomorrow today ,he only can get best returns on investment in real estate! And for that as the quote says knowledge is the key! So go ahead welcome the New Year with best of the investment & be part of this city's growth & beneficiary too!






Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.


Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !


http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/


Social Side of Sanjeevani !


http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below


http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx
Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letter to Society by Chairman!

Dear Friends,

Water was & always is a matter of concern, though when we face water cut then only we feel the pinch is a sad fact. Here is something I will like to share with you which I have wrote to my society residents as a Chairman of the society, thought of sharing with you.

Sanjay Deshpande


Sub: Regarding Water shortage in the building

Dear All,

Please read carefully what I have written below as this is high time for us to think & act too. We all know about the rain situation in & around our Pune city & the minimal water storage available in the dams which supplies water for our city. Since last 10 days the city is facing acute water shortage & our area isn't exception.

The water pressure in the main line itself has dropped down & so as the supply hours, even the tanker water isn’t available & one tanker of drinking water of 10,000 lit is costing 1,000/- i.e. 10 paisa per litter! And look at this, we can get mineral water bottle at Rs 10/lit! Now u can realize the scenario, every time we are using water for any of the purpose even for flushing or washing clothes, we are buying water at costliest rate, which the most of India considers as luxury!

We are fortunate enough to get the water by at least tanker & that too in a day but there are many who don’t have Municipal Tap water as well even tankers supply is not also possible, think about them & how such people would been surviving! Simple, they use the water at its optimism. They use with keeping in mind that every drop counts. I am not saying don’t bath or don’t wash your clothes but have a proper system, for the same. Preferably bath with bucket water, especialy during the crisis. It assure fixed use of water & 2 buckets of 10 liters are enough for a heart bath, while using shower u never know how much water u are consuming & u end up with wasting more than at least 30 lit of water, which we could have saved without disturbing purpose. If you are insisting on using shower then use an alarm clock with alarm of 8 minutes, you may laugh at this but then that’s the calibrated time in which your shower passes approx 20-22 lit quantity of water which is sufficient for a good bath.

Similar things can be worked out for washing machine use, as its one thing which literally drinks water! Instead of keeping it on for whole day & using like an online laundry, we can plan fixed running time for the washing machine, gather all clothes in the day & get it washed during that time. We can think of buying a commercial washing machine & keep it in parking so we can use it jointly. Most of the colonies in western countries have that kind of arrangement & it makes great saving in water as well electricity. Another major consumption is flushing of the commode/wc. We need not have to flush all 15 lit of the flush tank when we use the same for urine, we can have got dual flush tank which ensures just half flush for urine or use poring water by small bucket. The dual flush comes only at Rs 900/- including fitting & can be fitted in an hour. Most of our projects are fitted with such dual flush tanks but where it’s not done, I request you to get it changed & do contact me or my office for any assistance about the same. This saves a lot of water is my experience.

Small things like keeping taps off while brushing teeth or shaving also can help a lot & this thing are being taught at school level to our kids. It’s unfortunate that we have to remind for the things which even our kid’s follows!

Our complex has bore well supply, let’s decide that we will use that only for washing our cars & for that also we can use a fixed time amongst ourselves so as to avoid excess use of electricity. We are already using the same for gardening purpose.

Like electricity we should get installed the meter on down take lines of our complex. It will make us know how much water we are actually conssuming, so we can keep track of savings needs to be done.

To update you about the global scenario, as per WHO i.e. World Health Organization (for an average well to do urban locality), one person needs 135 lit/day water. So for a family of five it becomes 675lit per day, which PMC is supplying. But mind it even the city like Mumbai can supply only up to 90 lit/head to their residents & look on the background of this how lucky we are & its our responsibility to save water for curtailing our own expenses as well whatever water we will be saving is being utilized for some more needy ones too. Let’s make water saving as a habit & not just an act in crisis.

Till the water supply gets normal you can have a control on operating down take valves & the timings can be as follows…

5.30am – 10.30 am

&

5pm – 10 pm

The water line down takes from overhead water tanks will be on only during these timings & rest hours can be used to let the underground & overhead water tanks filling.

Please share this information in your family members as well in friends too.

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev

Chairman, Envo-Power Committee, PBAP

--
Think Green, Think Life


--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !

http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/

Social Side of Sanjeevani !

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sajja to Terrace & Gavaksha to Grill...








Building homes is a beautiful experience as it gives me pleasure of creating a habitat for the most intelligent specie on earth... Corbusier

And yes you ask any engineer, architect or even a developer who is committed to his job & you will find how true Corbusier is! As it’s not a mere quote it’s a feeling which a creator has to felt from within. And look how the terminology in the home designing has changed from time to time but has the use so?
No is what I feel personally. Now over 20 years associated with making homes of various sizes & for different requirements few things haven’t changed at all. Though the increasing prices as well scarcity of space & the rules have had there impact & for a while we may think a particular aspect of planning is getting absolute or taking a back seat but its a temporary effect. After all from the civilization time the needs of human being towards his residence haven’t changed much.

A home should give you a secure & safe feel with peace as well have a good looks too. Now secure & safe one can make any house by all physical means like durable material, locks, doors etc how one makes oneself at peace & another factor is aesthetic factor of the home i.e. its looks for outsiders. Here the builders as well designers started knowing the importance of making the home more open to nature as that’s one sure way to have peace for the residents of the home & then we need a place from where we can be absolutely in tune with nature without being feel unsafe & there the term "Sajja" came in to the picture which now we call as balcony. But actually speaking it’s not exactly a balcony it’s an open space at upper floor adjoining to the main house which is open to sky & from where you can be in actual contact with nature around. More rightly its terrace attached to the room & not top of the building.

In central India where the summers are extreme hot many a times this Sajja's are protected by " Gavaksha" i.e. sort of windows with ornamental "jali" carved in stones mostly. This served two purposes ,one is giving protection from heat waves & another was the view of the sajja was got protected too, so the ladies of the house also can use it without getting watched by passer by traffic or from surroundings. Many of the Havelis or Wadas use to have central chowk open at ground level but then its has its own restrictions as it does provides the view of the sky but not the breeze which you get at Sajja level as well the view of the surrounding. And the classique example of such protected Sajja's is Jaipur's Havamahal! With ornamental red stone jali work protecting every Sajja at multiple levels an effect of most beautiful facade has been created. In northern India such Sajja's are created at every level so from any floor you can have your view as well breeze. Many Havelies proudly still carry the Sajjas & very beautiful Jalis protecting them at proper places. Many a times an open window like place is created at outer wall of the room where you can sit adjoining to it & enjoy the view around. In Europe also under the name of Balcony or Verandah such spaces have been created from ancient day’s in house building. Many a times such places have been beautifully decorated by plantation creepers like “bogunvllias" giving the whole outline a colorful effect. Rather in many families it’s a tradition to have their morning breakfast as well dinner at such places & get relaxed by being in tune with nature.

In later days of FSI & multistoried building the term Balcony was introduced which was a very similar in concept of Sajja but a wrong implementation in size at many places it was just 4' wide giving you no room to move as well restricted view of surrounding. Because of shortage of space got converted in to room only. Again the need for having your own piece of open sky started bothering designers & the term of Attached terrace come in to the picture. Many a must be thinking its another of developers earning way but what I feel is there is a place which should be in proportion with the size of your home & which should be open to sky or surrounding as that’s the place where your are free from the concept of getting confined by the walls & its this openness which makes your mind also open for the nature. Unfortunately I have seen such terraces getting covered or enclosed in the weirdest ways not only defeating the concept of the same but spoiling the esthetic view of the entire building. People use tins sheets or fiber sheets or use MS grills & things like that under the name of security & try to enclose this also. I am not against safety of the occupants but ultimately safety is in our mind, there are ways to get it in practicality is what we need to understand.

Another important aspect is with increasing concretization around we are forgetting that we are not the only specie which need shelter & protected habitat but there are many around whom we are displacing for our homes! If you have noticed in Pune city or any growing town earlier we were able to see lots of birds like Bhardwaj, Common Sparrows, Bubul, Mainas & even Butterflies but now we hardly se any of these birds. Simple reason is they just don’t have any places left where they to can rest for a while & get some food naturally available & water. They can make their nests on brick walls or concrete slabs or glazing we have for our facades! Here such sajjas ie terraces can provide them a good place to have there habitat for water & food by a little of our attention & support. This can be our support to biodiversity & just a small provision for birds to have water & food with few planters & see the difference! I have experienced it at my own small piece of terrace adjoining to my work cabin. I stared keeping just water bowls & at each after noon there is like get together of many birds for bathing & drinking water & just to watch it is so relaxing for me & each day some new guest comes in form of a bird making the get together more colorful.
It’s a pain to watch the horrible grill structure & enclosing of the adjoining terraces people do in the name of safety with various types of fabrication.!
Frds, make some time out from your busy schedule & spent few minitues in the place called " Sajja" if you are lucky enough to have one & see the change those few minitues brings in your life! We need to understand the importance of such spaces in & around our home & should try to use them for the purpose for what they have been created. After all what’s the use of the safety & luxury if we are not going to be at peace in a place where we reside!

--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo_power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !

http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/

Social Side of Sanjeevani !

http://www.flickr.com/photos/16939159@N05/sets/72157625491480779/

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Think Green, Think Life

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Contributing to "Save Tiger" movement, Sanjeevani way!


Any business that makes just money & nothing else is a bad business... Henry Ford.

Adhering to same we have always tried to play our role on social front & especially wild life conservation! By now whole world & not just country is speaking of "Save Tiger" but as it has been proved you can't save the individual specie but its the entire life cycle around it has too be conserved. That includes forest around the tiger & people living over there. From our various trips to such forests we keep on supporting the people working for forest by various means & there are good friends around who join the hand for the cause. In one such effort we along with few friends of same interest have arranged for nearly 150 pairs of safety shoes for labors working for forest dept & guards at Kanha Tiger Project, Madhya Pradesh. Its been well supported by Hemangi & team from Gift Gallore for co-ordinating the delivery & print work for the same. Also our team mate Ganesh who went along there with Ashwini Deshpande.

On 21st Nov. ie Monday, Ashwini Deshapnde along with rohit deshpande & Ganesh tikone, handed the same to officers of Kanha project at Kanha & they were indeed happy as its rarely any outsider understands their difficulties & try to support, was what their reaction! The labors who are most susceptible for snake bites as they have to work bare foot were thrilled & mostly all tried immediately the shoes as alternate day there is a snake bite case in Kanha forest. Because the  snake strikes mostly at ankle level, these shoes which covers nearly 6" above ankle level will be the best protection & surely will get down the numbers of snake bite. More important is the guards & labor can work more freely in forest & its that feeling in their mind which is the success of what we have been trying for ! To share the truth many a labors have wore the shoes for the first time in their life as the labors are mostly the native tribal around the forest area & their financial condition dont permit them even a slipper leave apart a shoe pair!.

Though the forest dept has their own resources yet any help is always welcome & especially Mr Jasbir Chauhan, Director Kanha park was extremely enthusiastic as well supportive for the entire event & personally along with his team distributed the shoes amongst labors as well guards. After all what is a govt dept? A bunch of few people who are supposed to take care of a particular aspect of life & that doesn't mean we as a society should not do anything on that aspect! Rather its the society's participation which make them more enthusiastic towards their job!

Friends, forest has given us immense moments of joy ,I think each of us has something to pay back to it,whatever little it may be! sharing some moments of the event with you! Plz click the link below for more..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/


( Do share with all ur frds as somewhere somebody may contribute better for the cause by sharing such things)
--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !

http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/

Social Side of Sanjeevani !

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cycle Tracks or Cycle Traps?





This City don't need neither Cycles nor Cycle Tracks but Walking Plazas!

Many will raise their eye-brows & say what else can be expected from a builder! But this I am saying not as a builder or professional but as a citizen who moves around the city with open eyes & from my recent experiences on city streets! When we say we need something, should it not be reflected in our acts? Acts which must be in accordance with our need for eg when a small kid sees any toy, it demands from his/her parents & if not given makes hue & cry until he gets it. And when he gets it the child refuse to part with it,even in sleep we have seen many kids holding their toy. That's the sign of ownership & a sign of act that the child wants that toy. Try to take away that toy from the child & with all its force it will oppose you to do so!

Well its about a child who knows what it needs but come to we Punekars who are grown up & see what we are doing about cycle tracks which we have got with us! Surely not a single act which shows we need it any more! Since last six months approximately because of my work I am coming via Chnadani Chowk via Paud road back to my home at evening time. Its the time when most of the pune is going back from the work & Paud road is a major life line of kothrud & its full up to its capacity with every type of vehicle occupying the space what ever available from the ongoing road works along! And from all such heavy traffic the cyclists also making their way. It made me curious as in the stretch of nearly 3 km ie from chandani chowk to anandnagar the road has got a wide foot path along with cycle track, at least in major stretches its there. Then why not a single cyclist is using the same & put his life in danger in main road traffic?

I used to walk down for nearly 4 km for my own fitness purpose & so many things got unfolded in front of me about the cycle track! Well first thing I didn't understand why the cycle track is only on one side of road, what about people going in opposite direction,how they can cross the road with all along divider are there except chowks. The cycle track is on left side of the road going towards paud which must be making it inconvenient to use in morning hours when the traffic is towards city. Another aspect is if it means to carry the load of two way cyclists then is the width has been kept accordingly? which surely don't seem to be! At evening time I saw every activity right from children playing cricket,garages repairing vehicles, from cobler to fish sale, tea stalls, furniture sales!  Again at places there are PMC shades of bust ticketing by PMPML, MSEB distribution boxes,vehicles parked,people selling plants i.e. mini nurseries & sugar cane juice shades! At last there were cutouts erected in such a way that even walking person has to go by avoiding them & plenty of them. I didn't dare to snap the cutouts from front as then if they got published the angry karyakartas will surely after me for using their cutout for bad publicity! We are shameful or shameless depends on how we take , up to such stage that from paud road cycle tracks even the signage of cycle tracks have been removed! So we are free to say, who says there is cycle track here!

Now look at the scene on another probably the best road with cycle track in stretch of 2 km from mhatre bridge to rajaram bridge. Touch-wood there isn't a single encroachment or commercial establishment in this stretch of road so the cycle track is free of any obstacle but trees & people walking for their fitness. Yet the state of the track is such that no one uses it. The entries from various cross roads to the track are in bad shape with lots of undulations to the surface,so one has to get down from the cycle for entry or exit to the track which no one can do as cross roads are at regular intervals. What more there are speed breakers on this cycle track, when they are required on road ! The biggest joke is the track ends abruptly on boundary of PMC effluent treatment plant near Mhatre bridge which has strait way encroached on road! Now how & who will use this track?

In nut shell every one is having his share of place but cyclists & they are using main track of road without any hastel or complaint & that is why I conclude that we need walking plazas than cycle tracks! As all those activities which are permitted in walking plaza are happening on cycle tracks & yet no one is complaining , what it means? If we love our cycles, care for the city & have a ownership feeling for cycle tracks then like Ranbir Kappor demands in recent flick " Rockstar", why we don't gather & ask " Sadda Haque, Itthe Rakh! " for cycle tracks?

This is clear failure on part of city & the system who runs it to make people aware about their haque. There is a strong need of special task force for cycle track which will ensure the well being of cycle track regarding maintenance of all sort & run a awareness drive amongst the cyclists who don't use the cycle track. Make the survey of one route like Paud road & see how many people use the cycle track & ask to those who don't use it & why?We talk things like Metro & high take solutions for traffic problems where on other side we cant even just clean up our own mess of what we done with what we have ! Even political parties who show their awareness over green DP also keeps mum on this existing problem than focusing on something which isn't in existence! Why cant any political party conduct a cycle rally for appealing to the authorities & ask them to drive to their work place one day by using cycle tracks & then they will realize the facts!

Friends each day so many cyclists risk their lives not only by driving their cycle in heavy traffic but exposing them self to the pollution & many of them are our own kids, friends, relatives! Its high time to wake up & ask for our haque towards cycling & even walking freely in our own city as that's what makes it a good city!

See the snaps along as it's proof of what we think for our cycle tracks & do click the link below for more of them...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157628060349071/



--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !

http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/

Social Side of Sanjeevani !

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tiger, Tourists & Forest!




A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees...William Blake.

Go to any forest especially  popular tiger project like Kanha, Bandhavgad or Corbet, thanks to National Geo & Animal Planet channels & when you are touring through the park when any of the other tourists gypsy crosses you; there are exchange of glances amongst the tourists & dialogues but one question haunts you all over, " Dikha kya?". Obviously this is meant for the Tiger & one look at their expression, the faces tell you the story! The dropped faces, eagerness about the sighting of the tiger & the question tells you they are frantically searching for the tiger but haven't seen it yet. On the opposite side if any vehicle has had sighting of the Tiger then just see the glow on their faces, the whole gypsy is rocking & snaps are being shown to each other & tells about how big the animal was & how they were lucky & how it has made their day getting repeated & on & on! They will tip their driver & guide heartily for the sighting. But at the same time if after a day long ride in forest there isn't sighting of the great king of the forest then they will curse all the system including the forest itself!

This is wrong attitude is what a nature lover or a person who has been through the forests will say as sighting of a tiger or any carnivorous big cat is 90% luck & 10% efforts. But not all rather most of the people who visit forests are wild life or nature lover. Its job of people who are nature lover & the system to make these visitors so & some where here the system is failing to do it & that's why we see such reaction about the tiger sighting from the tourists. When ever I have visited forests I always compare them with such foreign tourists spot & there they give a complete know how of what awaits in front to the tourists, so while actually visiting the place you are aware what you will be looking for. Unfortunately at most of the forests or tiger projects there are tourists interaction center but there isn't any interaction as they are just for name sake. Many won’t like my comment but these interaction centers visit should be made mandatory to the tourists visiting forests especially the first timers!

At such centers there should be wee versed display of what forest offers other than Tiger! And this should be displayed in very friendly manner where tourist can relate himself with the surroundings e.g. not using just biological names to the plants & animals but the native ones. It should be audio visual presentation & explaining expectations of the forest from tourists too! As that's where many a parks are lacking, tourist just don't know that this isn't a routine fun outing & there is lot to do other than eating, drinking, laugh & shout! The first & most important demand of forest is let it unfold its beauty to you & for that one needs to take the forest lead role suppressing our nuisance!

Here it’s equally important to mention the way foreign tourists behave in forests! They come with proper study even at extent not to wear bright & shining color clothes which will disturb the animals to what kind of animals/birds are there in forest. And they ask lots of questions to the guides as well follow every instruction given to them. When the guide says silence as he wants to listen alarm calls around from animals like chital or langoors, these tourists maintain a pin drop silence, giving enough room for the guide to focus on locating the exact calling animal & from that the possible direction of tiger or panther for whom the call is being made. And that's why they enjoy the forest most. I always wonder if people coming from so far away can learn the etiquette's of forest then why our people can’t do it? Our people should also learn from them & ask as many questions they can, not just about the tiger but about the plants, insects, local names of the species, geography as well the people of around. As all of these is what makes a forest & it's really interesting information to know making your forest trip more fun.

Another important aspect is the guide as well the vehicle driver itself as they are the people accompanying you in the forest & these two should be part of interaction centers also their experiences should be counted vital. These are the part of system which is in direct face to face contacts with the tourists. What they have experienced in their past, things like demands & comments of the visitors has to be take in account. My another observation is these people are feeling inert day by day towards the entire show as they feel the system especially forest depth isn't taking them in to consideration neither respects their views about the forests. And this gets reflected on the tourists, either they take a back seat & surrenders to demands of tourists of chasing the tiger or just keep mum & observe what’s going on around, that's it. There is a need of training these guides & drivers about proper communication with such tendencies of tourists, tackle it & put forward the message of what should be seen in forest & how they can enjoy the forest if they listens to the guide.

We should make the visitors understand this, that the forest is most enjoyed if we know how to do it & its very simple, surrender to the forest. It don't want any thing from you rather its ready to give you all the experiences which in commercial world we wont ever that too at free of cost. May it be pack of wild dogs at hunt or a serpent eagle waiting silently on branch of a tree or monkeys & chitals in pack taking care of each others or butterflies gliding all over flaunting their bright colors or even a colorful spider waiting with his web ready! As nothing happens in forest for just the sake of it. Every thing, every act has a purpose behind & to understand that purpose is achieved by not just seeing the forest but experiencing it. And we can only do that by living those moments which will be with us for ever.

And last but not least, do think what we should be giving back to the forest
in return of such wonderful moments it has given to us! As our Hindu Sanscriti 
( Culture) hasn't taught us to take any thing at free & though the forest by itself won’t ask anything ever back yet its our responsibility to do so, in what’s ever way we can! I think then only we have really earned our forest trip not for our self only but for the many visitors who will be visiting after us there. Or else like the quote said we will be ending us as a fool only, for not seeing the forest even after being there!


--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune


Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !


http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/


Social Side of Sanjeevani !


http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below


http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Real Estate & Respect!


If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem…Abraham Lincoln

Recently I read sharing of a fellow colleague in Sakal & he has pointed at very vital issue about the attitude of society towards the builders or developers! That why cant the society look towards the builders with hostile view or friendly view! Sure many a people will wink their nose & say you yourself think on this, what the reputation of your profession is! And no two minds here, most of the people like the glamour or money in real estate but nobody want the dirt it carries along. No business man can with pride say yes I am a builder & even if he says the society don't pay him the level of respect which is being paid to other business or professions is a fact! Some how during past years the rapport between the society & this industry has got broke & I won’t blame society for that. Many of colleagues won’t like this sharing but by turning our face away from the facts, facts don't change!

Look at the names like Narayn Murthi, Azim Premaji, Tatas & even Mukesh Ambani, Sunil Bharti & I am not even taking names from other countries like Bill Gates & list continues! Not necessary that you should be from white collared IT industry to gain respects, Bjajaj's & Mahindars are from auto industry & so are Oberoys who are from hotel industry. Not only they have gained respect in the eyes of the society but they made their business /profession also get respected in the process of gaining them the respect which the real estate industry men are missing. Here we as real estate industry needs to asses the way these people have been able to achieve what they have achieved. Especially when the real estate industry though it’s not even got the status of an industry as yet, provides homes to millions of this country where home is not just scarce but a sacred commodity. In India home comes before any buy & indeed a dream buy it is! Watch the famous TV show " Kaun Banega Karodpati?" & for 90% contestant when Amitabh asks what’s first thing they want to do when they will win the price of some lacs, the answer come as they will buy a home for their family! No one says that he will buy a car or an I-Phone or a Lap top or will go & stay in a five star hotel with the price money! And apart for making homes the industry is probably the second largest job provider after infrastructure & supports n numbers of small scale trades like carpenter to fitters to masons & the list goes on.

So much demand for the product of this industry & so low respect level about the same of towards the people of the Industry! “Bat Kuch Hajam nahi huae!” Jokes apart it’s not about just the owners or rulers but even people associated with this industry. Ask any topper of Civil engineering branch from engineering college that where he wants to make his carrier & never you will get the reply as in construction firm! It’s always in infrastructure or consultancy or going in to computers. Ask any top class fresh architectural pass out & he dreams to design great public buildings or resort but never a housing complex for middle class by working along with a builder. Ask any real estate employee about where he is serving & you don't find the pride like people take in telling that they work for Telco or Wipro or Perssitance or Infosis! And if you feel I am exaggerating then no sir, these are my own experiences. Few years back when I had gone to represent my firm in an Environment seminar at Delhi, the reception desk girl asked for my details & when I said I am  builder, she gave me a look like she has seen Vijay Mallya in Darubandi rally( Anti-Liquor) !  Such was her  reaction that what a builder is doing in environment seminar? I am the one who is responsible for damaging the environment & why I have been called for such seminar! Agreed a lot of water has passed under the bridge by now but yet that look haunts me & that’s why when I read the write-up I realized though years are passing, the gap between the society & real estate men is increasing. And it’s high time to breech it, more by people from the industry as it’s their image at risk.

From many years there is a constant demand by the real estate people to give it status of industry but govt is being deaf & blind on this demand. Some where the reason is the image is not respected in the eyes of common man & that’s why the power or strength is the demand isn't enough to move government. To get the status of Industry we need icons like other industries have got & there are few but they are real few & that's why when we open up the news paper we have to read the news like “Builders are banned from Mantralay by the new CM". Are we criminals or what for being banned from a public place like Mantralay?  Mukesh Ambani goes to Mumbai Corporation it becomes news, so as if any big Industrialist visits CM or any such dignitary. That’s because they have come for development of the society & to discuss issues like that but not builders who actually develop the society. The reason is people don't believe that men from real estate industry can approach Govt for the benefit of the society but for their own! No business can survive by making profit for only one side of the table & unfortunately this feeling that builders are interested in their profit only has made people to look at the real estate by not only disgrace but with doubt. We have lost the trust of common man & even if we try to do something good with good intentions it’s been turned down. For e.g. the latest issue of Hills in Pune i.e. BDP. No builder to my knowledge has officially build building over hill even in old limit where it was hill top & hill slope & 4% FSI was allowed, rather there are thousand time more slums already existing at such spaces yet the BDP issue is related to builders wasted interests! And joke is no builder protest openly about being blamed for the same! It takes courage to stand against allegations even false they may be & courage comes from the self conduct. I think this is what need of the time, to analyze the self conduct. There are organizations like PBAP & MBVP but the segment is much unorganized & hundreds of small time operators are there who are not members of these organizations. And then issue isn't restricted for one Pune city, it’s about real estate development all over the cities in the country. You can’t differentiate one auto industry from other, though the management may be different or place where the industry is but the manner in which the industry operates & gains the respect in the eyes of the society is same all across the country.

This is what we require to achieve for real estate industry & for that from ground level working is required. There is CREDAI i.e. National level confederation of real estate people but apart from that  self improvement approach should be there in every individual developer. As any organization depends on the kind of people it has got  & they help to improve the entire industry by their behavior. Here business should not mean only making money but going beyond that & sharing the good things with entire society. It doesn't mean just lowering the prices of homes or affordable housing. But it means helping to build a strong society by reaching out the needy segments of the society with all means. May it be social front may it be issue of sports, culture or education or public health, the country has too many lacunas presently & real estate men are definitely capable to fill up many with their resources. Giving transparent deals & sticking up to the commitments we make to our customer is very basic & a must thing, what we have to do is stand tall for other aspects of the society apart from just meaning our business.

After all society is like a mirror reflecting our own deeds! If we are acting doubtfully it will look towards us with same eyes & if our actions are full of trust it will look at us with trust! If we understand this and act accordingly then I don't think the day to gain respect for real estate is away as nothing more noble is there than giving shelter to a homeless family, which is our countries main need today. A own home can boost confidence of men like any thing & that's going to reflect at all fronts the man will be working ultimately benefiting the entire nation & what more we want than that!


--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.


Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !


http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/


Social Side of Sanjeevani !


http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627904681345/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below


http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Monday, October 31, 2011

FSI & City Grwoth!





Pune is famous for the cutouts & uncalled birthday hoardings yet few of the cut outs are there for public awareness too & one such caught my attention on FC road. It’s a questioner by an association related to developers/engineers & few questions were asked to the passer by about whether it’s right to increase FSI of the buildings in city & is it wise to let the city grow further more when already the infrastructure is weak & insufficient for the existing population. And is it practical to allow the population grows further & to entertain the new industries as well development which meant the new buildings!

Being an engineer as well developer by profession, the hoarding caught my attention & so as the thought process! After all why & how a city grows? And if yes then can we control growth of any city by just not giving additional FSI? More to add then do we really want our city to stop growing? I think the third question can be the key to earlier two questions! Why we want this city to stop growing? Is it the infamous Train effect? Like in train which is running full, at each station the new comers are not welcomed by the insiders type! Have we got the right to stop the new comers when at some stage we too were new comers in this train? Agreed after a certain capacity it wont be possible for any bogie to accommodate the new comers & the result is disaster for all the occupants but in train there are other bogies or even next train in case. Have we got that kind of alternative for this very Pune city? The migration towards the cities is not new now as it’s not the cities which are lacking in infrastructure it’s the towns & villages which are not even having basics of them. As to lack you need to have something in basic to be existed which isn’t & that’s why more & more people are opting to shift to the cities making them metros! Nobody leaves his native place in will or by choice, it’s the forced decision in most cases as in present times considering the inflation rate, a city life is much costlier than the village life is a fact. Then why a person opts for moving out of his town or village & comes to city is a question to be studied.


Now after accepting that people are migrating to the cities lets come to the issue that how we are going to check this up at city end? Think about the kind of system we have developed here & what it takes to keep this system in operation?
We have development plans for the city & it’s said to be accommodative for coming 20 years. If this is true then why we are worried about city getting over populated! As that must have been considered while making the plan which includes infrastructure for this population too! Thing is we are too slow on making the development plan & then slower ate executing the same. For e.g. take the DP of extended PMC limit, still it’s in process of approval since last 7-8 years & with every segment crying over it! Yet as a city we are failure to get something sanctioned which we only have planned & we are talking about curtailing the new growth by not giving additional FSI.

Here it’s important to understand the concept of FSI, its Floor Space Index which means a factor which decided how much constructed area you can have on a particular piece of land. Usually in Pune city its 1, means we can built as much area of the plot only. In gaothan i.e. old city it’s 2 & in some case where number of existing residents are more its 2.375. Yet it’s less for redeveloping such old tenements which we call wadas. Also above this TDR is allowed which is 0.60 times the FSI permitted on the plot. But presently due to procedural delays TDR is getting one of the scarcest commodities in real estate. Some where this does lead to increase in costing of the homes.

The city has already grown up as a metro of future & so as our demands of life style from the same. And to fulfill these demands we need man power which in end needs residences. Any city which makes new job opportunities available becomes hot destination for real estate is a fact. And Pune has got IT industry, Production/Auto industry, Education Industry & fast growing service industry. All these industries are need of the city as they provide jobs to thousands in this city & in turn these thousands need homes is a fact. And that too in a reasonable costing along with basic infrastructure like water, drainage, power & transportation. Here we are not even thinking about cultural as well social infra like entertainment, education & medical! It’s this front we are neglecting & that’s why people have reached to the conclusion of curtailing the growth of the city itself! As what’s point in expanding if we are not able to cope up with existing demands. Though it will be suicidal attempt is what my personal opinion. Because for development works we need money & its going to come from the revenue coming from various forms because of new development only. We are not doing anything about increasing taxation of old establishments then from where we are going to raise the money if we ban or curtail new industries, it parks or constructions? Today the development charges as well octroy on various items makes the most of PMC inflow in budget. What will happen to that, have we worked out any alternate source of income? Sadly the answer to my knowledge is a big no!

Let the city prosper & for that we can take examples of similar cities around, how they have coped up with the growing population. Problem is there are enough examples around right from Nagpur to Ahemadabad but are we ready to really adopt such things? FSI may seem to be the issue behind population growth but it’s not the real culprit. For e.g. Hyderabad don’t have the concept like FSI, you can build as much as you can by paying premiums to the local body & following the norms like side margins & parking & yet they don’t have infrastructural problems. Rather as the home prices are in control so more & more companies are choosing that city as option. Similar liberal policies about the FSI have been adopted by many cities & they are not having any problems which we are having even with FSI controls are here.


I think need of the time is to plan properly & plan fast and then execute what you have planned. As the quote says we needs to understand the planning concept before we decide on rules/policies which will stop or curtail our growth or else we will be ending up like the infamous “Shekhchily, who cut down the very branch on which he was sitting”!


--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !

http://visonoflife.blogspot.com/

Social Side of Sanjeevani !

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/sets/72157627981139310/

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

http://www.punecorporation.org/GRS/Complaint/LaunchComplaintCitizen.aspx

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com