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