Thursday, June 15, 2017

Conveyance, a Unique Get-Together!




“Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on”… Robert Kennedy.

Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy was an American politician from Massachusetts. He served as the United States junior senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968. Met as same fate like his elder brother Joan Kennedy, Robert was known for his liberal philosophy which is reflected in his above quote! Sad the so called law enforcement system in which he believed couldn’t save his life from assassination! On this background I recollect another quote from Ex. FBI Supremo, J. Edger Hoover, “No law enforcement can prevent the problems arrived from   family”! Now, one will ask suddenly what’s all this about law enforcement;  for such souls, last few days probably three months the real estate is buzzing with only one word RERA i.e. Real Estate Regulatory Act & the RERA Authority which will be controlling this regulatory things! In combination this is the “law & enforcement” for the so called law-less or regulation-less real estate industry! Many, especially my real estate collogues wont like the term law-less for real estate but that’s the way govt, common man & media thinks for the real estate is a fact or else for no other such specific industry oriented Law/Act has been formed centrally in last seventy odd years nor has been pushed through all the States by the “Sarkar” in Delhi. This once again shows how serious & cautious central govt is for bringing “Achhe Din” for owning a home to common man! Whether that’s going to happen coming times only will tell us soon, though real estate has welcomed it (who can afford to not welcome it?) but with caution. Outcome is the day RERA has been implemented i.e. 1st May 17 from that very day all the advertisements or launching of the projects has dried up & so are special editions for covering real estate of major news papers! Month of May is supposed to be the real estate exhibitions period as school holidays are on but this May not a single exhibition has been organized as all were certain that there won’t be any participants. For registration with RERA, time limit has been given of three months i.e. 31st July is dead line & in entire 1st month & one third of June has gone but hardly twenty five odd projects have been registered under RERA all over Maharashtra! That shows cautious approach of real estate towards the RERA.

This sharing is not about RERA as first enough is being discussed all around about it on every forum as well media & I haven’t yet studied it & second reason is I am not afraid of RERA! Agreed we are supposed to respect the laws & not be afraid of them but in our country that’s not the case; unless people are not afraid of the law (read outcome of breaking the law) they doesn’t respect the law is bitter truth & who better than we the Punekar’s knows it. Right from jumping the signal where policeman isn’t there to throwing garbage in river to parking our vehicle under “No Parking” sign or may it be freely entering in “No Entry”, these are just few of the examples of our respect for the law when enforcement isn’t there! As we know nothing will happen & we can get away with breaking the law & when such is attitude of common man in the society, then how come real estate guys will be keeping away from this epidemic type disease of not respecting the law, is a question I will ask! Well let’s keep RERA away as that’s not the topic of our sharing but something else; it’s about story of a conveyance deed! For all those who don’t know conveyance deed let me share in best possible words by entering in flat agreement with the builder you don’t become owner of the flat! That is just a sale agreement but to convey the entire project on the name of the society or apartment condominium is what makes you true owner of your flat along with your share in the land on which the said building is built! Hussshha, I hope tried to put in words which you & I will understand as legal definition of conveyance might be in words totally alien for me at least! By now, thanks to social media & real estate bloggers, people have started to understand importance of conveyance deed & do urge their respective builders for the same which for strange reason is always a matter of dispute! Reasons may be many for e.g. the builder might be developing his project is phases & if part conveyance is done then obviously the society also become land lord needing their signs of every plans revision or many such documents. And in every society there always are few members who may take disadvantage of this authority they got via conveyance. In many case there is some lacunas in title or some bank loan issue or obtaining occupation certificate from the local body like PMC which refrains the builder for executing the conveyance. In many cases there have been some disagreements between the developer & the residents about non fulfillment of commitments which becomes matter of dispute in signing the conveyance & the list goes on!

On this background we recently completed one of our projects in Baner named Sadafulee & this was built in three phases. Like many other cases we have our commitments as well expectations from the flat holders. As the project was in phases we very clearly by taking occupants of first two phases in confidence told we will execute conveyance after completion of third phase which we did receive in committed time. There were certain disputes about clauses as well few pending works (which we have disagreements about). There was war of tongues & at certain points even Police was involved from both the sides, a first of this kind experience for me in my twenty seven years real estate working! Up to here all was going just like thousands of pending conveyance matters happening around; but then both sides realized the futileness of this attitude! And one fine day we i.e. myself along with my project partners & Chairman, Secretary of the said society sat across & decided that if any law agency can resolve the disputes then it lies amongst our own self  only! From that moment we were friends again; we shortlisted the points of conflicts & one by one discussed them with a clear mindset that we have to sort them & sort them now! The target was clear that both sides want conveyance, so if society wants some xxx amount against maintenance of the unsold flats then let’s pay it. At the same time few works which society felt are incomplete then we clearly put it these can be done & those can’t & won’t be done, that’s it! Both parties took one step back & two steps forwards & in next week we signed the conveyance & registered it with smiles!

The story doesn’t ends here rather it starts here & that’s the real fun; as after registration of conveyance execution Ravindra Patange, the secretary of said society called me & said they will be arranging a dinner in which we can hand over them the conveyance documents. This gave me one idea which I am sure no developer or society has ever done as why not to arrange a get together of all flat holders along with land lords & consultants & our staff & in that get together we will hand over the document to the society? And I said we will do all the needful arrangements at our cost as I felt that’s our responsibility (I won’t hide but not to forget few unsold units there, this marketing thought too was there a bit). On phone only we fixed a date, time & venue & arranged a dinner & next day email invite was sent to all flat holders as well on whatsap. Going a step ahead & as per the social culture of our company we invited Dr. Anuradha Shashtrabudhhe, who runs an NGO named Dnyandevi under which she operates a child care help line for kids from every segment of the society, as guest of honor. She not only accepted our invite but spellbound the audience by sharing her experiences while dealing with present issues of child psychology & urged the audience to give more & quality time to their kids, whatever age group they may be in! We handed over the conveyance deed to the Chairman, Secretary at the hands of Dr. Anuradha after heartfelt sharing’ from the Sadafulee residents about their experiences while dealing with us as well their feelings about their home. Residents were so excited that many have come from outstations specially for the event & one flat holder said when he told his friends that his builder has organized a get together for handing over of conveyance deed then they didn’t believed & he has to show them our invite for the event on whats-ap! In addition to conveyance deed we handed over a pen drive to the society loaded with every document related to the project i.e. right from scanned sanction plans to NA order to Completion certificate to Lift noc & all such. Icing on the cake was the society members have called local PMC elected member Mr. Amol Balwadkar also & we felicitated him in the get together. He said he has never witnessed such cordial relations between flat holders & the builder as every time he has been called by some society then it’s to solve the dispute with builder or to attend complaints about pending works by their builder!

In my sharing to the audience I said, “with due respect for RERA this get together is tight slap on the acts like RERA as what more transparency can be shared between the builder as well flat holders where both come on one platform & conveyance deed is executed with smiles on all faces!” The RERA has been bought in with all hohallah for making builders more transparent like they are some criminals. Agreed there have been many instances of real estate clients being cheated by the builders but then what about thousands of people buying flats in the hundreds of illegal constructions without demanding or verifying any of the necessary documents, just because rates of such flats are lower than the legal ones! Any business gets the reputation whatever it has, not by the turnover or profit it makes but by the kind of relations & trust it develops among the concerned parties. The real estate for years has been painted as bad child of the Industry, but let’s not forget it’s because of the people in real estate only & they are or were on both sides of the table! Transparency in the business works effectively only when its respected by the other side of the table & this is why Sadafulee conveyance deed get together is very very special, because we have been transparent as a builder & that’s been respected by our flat holders & the outcome is we don’t need RERA to make our customers happy & at peace! I repeat the kind of information which has been asked by RERA is not a problem neither the audits & commitments nor the punishment it threatens with, as its not by making some Acts or Laws but by the attitude of the buyer & seller towards the deal & trust they develop in each other is what decides fate of the industry! No act or law can stop ill elements as even when death penalty is there still murders’ happens around is a fact! In real estate also we are not afraid of RERA but what we want is a system which will allow the business to flourish & grow & no business can flourish by just protecting one side of the business, high time to remind our govt this bitter fact!

One more thing, RERA or MOFA is not the challenge for real estate but the changing mindset as well understanding exact demands of real estate clients is the main challenge which  real estate industry has to face & high time for the developers to acknowledge this fact. The Sadafulee get together is one sure way to get connected with your clients & strengthen the bond as well carving your image in their minds. Because if you can make your customers happy, then the market sentiments may change but the love & affection which your customers have for your company won’t ever change; what more a builder could ask for than this outcome! I am thankful to Sadafulee residents for teaching me this big lesson of marketing, practically free of cost; a rare thing in today’s world where everything comes at some cost!




Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1415&v=blgni8HSfDU


Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)



http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below) 

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

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

www.punecorporation.org


Think Green, Think Life


www.sanjeevanideve.com

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Real Estate; Making A Team Out Of Staff!





“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future”… George Bernard Shaw.

No need to give introduction to this name as probably one of the greatest writers in English literature Shaw knows how to make use of the words best! In any industry when you are a boss then month of May is nightmare, as its increment month for most of the companies! First thing is its human tendency that however wealthy  you might be yet when it’s to depart with your wealth then you become very calculative & second is you can’t stand to expectations of others from you when its giving, not even your own team, accept these two facts.  And then speaking about real estate the days are already…., well we all know it! But that can’t be the excuse when it comes to increment or facing your own team who is with you during all the ups & down. Speaking about real estate there is RERA for customers & then vendors, consultants as well contractors are in their respective business or profession so they do enjoy the good times when its high tide in real estate but one segment is often neglected that is employees in real estate. In first place not many will chose to become an employee of a builder (commonly referred term so using) as the builder may have got all the lime light but not true about his or her employees. Especially when it’s mid segment builder or a partnership firm. In my twenty seven years of real estate exposure I have rarely come across some builder’s employee who is IIT or IIM pass out or even from reputed B-school rank holder. That doesn’t mean the lot I have seen is dumb or below par rather many of them are street smart & learns very fast whatever you throw at them. What I meant is the so called crème d crème of academics never considers real estate as their first choice for making job career! And that makes real estate a tricky industry as to work with lesser intellects is a fact. The main reason of this situation is most real estate companies even those of big names with public limited tag are in reality are one man show. There are VP’s, Directors & GM’s, but all are of just obedient servants with the fancy tag. Very rarely the decisions which matters are collectively taken by considering opinions from all these posts but only by the boss i.e. the builder! And the result is what we are seeing today, not many real estate companies has successfully running over the generations, rather many of them vanishes during tenure of their entrepreneur only! The builder himself decides which land to buy, what to build there & at what rate it should be sold even what discount should be given! Naturally rarely in real estate firms’ things like HR & any such team building related things happens. As it’s solely the builder who decides the future of his servants, sorry for putting it harsh as a team has to be build out of the servants or else they just remain servants! When I see most of the real estate firms & their employees then I feel that they are still in “Bahubali”, (a recent super hit mythological movie about kings, queens & kingdom) era as whatever the person in the chair (read builder) of King or Queen decides, that becomes the rule or policy for the company!

Now with such legacy how we can expect to develop talent or new ideas or innovations from the real estate employees as all these are supposedly to be done only by the builder himself! I think what situation real estate has reached i.e. run out of new ideas the main reason is the rulers of this industry only as they have developed a culture where we produce not the team members but the slaves of our own self who are best in carrying builder’s orders or call it as whims & they do it obediently! And then if you see the background of the most staffers with the builders they are from small towns or middle class family & with average education! For them survival is most important priority & they are smart enough to understand if they want to survive in a builder’s owned company then the builder is God, is the first rule here! This may not be true for all the real estate firms as I know a few who have a better work culture but such companies are as I say just a  few & even here final word is of the builder. I haven’t ever come across a case where an important policy decision such as building plan or advertise theme, has been taken by the staff or some key person from the staff which is not from family of the builder! Many will say what’s wrong if the builder himself has got all his money at stake then it’s natural that he should take all vital decisions! Well, my view is if a person owns a ship that doesn’t mean he can maneuver the ship also! Any business’s final aim is to make profits but at the same time how many businessmen/women that business has created is also major criterion of the success of that business or the industry & on that account real estate scores pretty poor is a fact! And that’s why migration from real estate to other industries is very less as other industries doesn’t counts experience in real estate much.

Then comes taking care of the people who works with you, here also real estate has poor rating as most of the people in real estate are not eligible for even home loans as well don’t have basic facilities like PF or insurance. The real estate makes the builder rich or poor is different aspect but it seldom makes its employees rich is another fact. This is one main reason of corruption in real estate though it’s a private enterprise as when you deprive a person from what he deserves then he finds the avenues to fulfill his desires! As a team leader the builder should take equal effort on his staff as then only it becomes a team. Make them read, show them path of self development & it doesn’t take much of the money to do so. We at Sanjeevani has some simple ways, I am great fan of movies & I make my entire staff go to the movies which I feel can make difference in developing them. Right from Disney cartoons to Dangal, I make them see many movies. I love reading & I have made a small library at office for my collection & it’s open to my staff also & I urge them to read as much they can. Whatever interesting article in news paper I come across I share it with my team. I write to my staff very often & the writing is rarely about work but about life’s experiences. Some seven years back there was acute shortage of vegetables & rates have gone nearly three times of normal, then I tied up with a vegetable vendor & made him to come to our office & whatever vegetables my staff buys, the company bares fifty percent charges of the vegetables & the scheme is on till today! Every permanent employee of our staff is insured for any illness or accident up to Rs one lac & the company pays the premiums for the same. I am not mentioning this how great we are doing but sharing such small acts makes a team out of staff is what I feel & we can take it to further at any length! Sure many companies might be doing many good things with their staff but unless we share new things & adopt we won’t do better is what I feel!

Real estate is going through a transformation phase as margins have reduced & clients are becoming very selective. Supply will not be as less as it used to be earlier & selling every single unit is going to be a challenge though not impossible. At such times every team member of the firm needs to perform better & it’s not possible unless as a leader you make them do so. Right from peon to driver to marketing manager every person counts as for the customer every person he come across is face of the company only! And this feeling needs to be shared by the builder with his team, as management is not just science but it’s an emotion making every individual feel his or her importance for the company.
On all this background increment is nightmare for every owner & you need to take your teams in confidence about what you expect form them & make them understand the situation your business is in. Here is something I shared with my team about increment we gave. Figures are not important feelings are, so please go through…



1st June 17

"You get a reputation for stability if you are stable for years"... Mark Zuckerberg.

Dear Sanjeevani Team,

I am great fan of people like Zuckerberg not because they are rich, famous & build great business but in the simplicity as well clarity of their thoughts! And these things don’t come to you without knowledge which is their main asset as well strength! In the above quote Zuckerberg has said about stability & I feel he has said it in sarcasm as he is one person who will take stability as no growth! But I will go with plain meaning as in today's market of real estate being stable in itself is great progress! If you remember last year in May I have shared my concerns about not so "Achhe Din" in real estate ahead & unfortunately I was correct. We have survived only as we stick to basics as like in China War our Indian Army used to tell jawans, "Ek Goli Ek Jaan" i.e. one bullet one life, use the ammunition with such preciousness! Same is at our front, it’s a war as with Demonetization & RERA & GST already arrived, and nobody knows what will happen ahead. The sales are down & imagine we have stock of nearly Rs. Fifty Crores, half of our yearly turnover, a rare thing for us!

I don't blame any of you for not being able to sale as even industry like IT which is blue eyed field for most, is on job cutting & in every industry there is unrest. At such times to sale our product which is costliest is going to be more tough for us but not impossible. Rather this is the time when we need to improvise on all fronts of our industry. The marketing team should think of new avenues to reach customers & in cheapest ways. The engineering team should focus on finding vendors & contractors which will deliver in time with quality but keeping tap on spending for the same. All other departments should support these two departments in their best way & most important keep existing customers happy & satisfied & keep connected to us as they are our best brand ambassadors! And you may ask what I should do as your leader; well, I will do my best to keep you motivated as well able to think something different & make you deliver your best!

I know increment is something which each of us expects & will be never satisfied with as that's human tendency & I too am no exception when it comes to earnings! Yet as a team member each of you should understand the situation & this is time where to remain stable is our first priority & earnings will follow. It’s only with your dedication to the job we could remain unharmed even in worst crisis of real estate & sure we will ahead also. But remember one thing, here after the scene will be same in real estate. As gone are double rate increase of the flats in a year's time as well pre-launch bookings; here after the real estate market will be very selective & only those who stick to commitments will survive & we will be just like all other industries where business is done on margins. All over when we are seeing job cuttings, as your leader I too have to face toughest question, less people & more salary hike or lesser hike & no job cuts? Well, you know what I chose as I believe in going ahead with entire team because business is not just about earning more money but progressing together even if it is inch by inch! And one more thing I personally don't like to judge efficiency of any of team members on behalf of sale or production as it's a service we are in & our customers are the best judge for it which they will by responding in booking our homes or scraping us away; our choice what we want to achieve! So be it & lets enter in a new financial year together & that's our main strength, mind it! All wishes!

Sanjay Deshpande 

To conclude I will say what we do as a builder is what going to become image of our industry. And no industry has survived with the image of just money makers, if we are unable to make our own team members happy then the clients now are smart enough to understand what their fate will be with such company!

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1415&v=blgni8HSfDU

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)



http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)
 

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

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

www.punecorporation.org

Think Green, Think Life


www.sanjeevanideve.com

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Connecting People to Nature!









“I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.”  Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Kurt who was an American author as well a mechanical engineer by profession & World War 2 veteran; no wonder he has seen life from all dimensions that’s what made him pen down his feelings about environment is so simple words! And on World Environment Day I think these are the perfect warning words to share my views on the subject as yes we are wrecking, destroying, killing whatever we call, this very planet of ours is fact! World Environment Day (WED) occurs on 5th June every year, & is celebrated by United Nations as its drive to make people aware about the environment as well their responsibilities to conserve or protect the environment. First held in 1974, it has undertaken campaigns for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Each year, WED has a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and celebrities worldwide & use different concepts, events for protection as well aware about environmental cause the theme is on. WED with participation from over 143 countries annually celebrating has become now a global movement though as in our country for most it’s just like another Western Day on lines of Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day! As come WED & many suddenly realize their love for nature & social media like twitter, FB, Whatsap gets flooded with nature  loving messages (mostly forwards) courtesy free 4G packages as well Wi-Fi! But hardly have I ever seen sharing of a personal or self made act of any effort of nature conservation, which is more important. On all such background this year’s WED’s theme is, “Connecting People to Nature’. I think this is very wise step as well most needed as in today’s selfish world which we tag ourselves only with the things which we feel are ours or we are interested in the matters related to our surface needs. So first step is getting connected to the nature as then only we will think doing something about it! Now before coming to the concept of the theme of WED let’s see what’s scene around our Smart Pune city on environment front.

What we see around is every day some tree has been cut under the name of building construction or road widening or some urban infrastructure need or polluted river or vanishing sight of sparrows! Just few decades back when I have come to this city the first lines of my letter to my mother which I wrote were, “This city doesn’t have summer” & it was mid May, can we say it today? Agreed we need to cut the tree for many things under the name of development but what about planting new ones & making them grow? Till few years back, air conditioners were the commodity only for riches & now with ever rising mercury AC’s are common sights even in one bhk flats! In addition we have millions of vehicles exhausts covering our surrounding with carbon monoxide & every such heat effect gas. Public transport has direct link to environment & in this city people don’t travel by public transport due to its poor service & the service doesn’t get improved due to many reasons, main two are no will of our rulers as well that of society to use the public transport! As we are so fussy about our time saving that we are not ready to wait even few minutes or to walk few more meters to use public transport. This is where we should understand importance of connecting people to the nature as when I accept to wait for PMPML bus spending my some time as well agrees to walk to the bus stop from my home or work place, then I am getting connected to the nature only! As by doing so I am somewhere helping our environment to get a shade better by helping in reducing pollution!

Then comes actually helping environment by planting a tree & making it survive as its easy to post a message about tree conservation or scowl others (read builders) about reducing tree cover but how many of us has actually planted a tree & made it survive? I am sure not even one percent of people who shares environment day messages have done it or else we wouldn’t have been required to discuss this topic in first place! We have followed a unique tradition at our end ie to make our flat holders plant tree in the building they have booked a flat. We put a name board of the family near that tree & make them adopt it; this way I can proudly say in last ten years we have planted & made survive at-least five hundred tress & all of native species & fruit-flower bearing which will make biodiversity chain complete! As what we see is just reduced tree cover in city what we don’t see is the damage it has done to entire biodiversity in & around the city. Not many years back there were many birds, butterflies, frogs & even monkeys used to be regular sight in the city suburbs. Now tell me on the roads of our Smart City when you have last seen a butterfly or bird like even bulbul leave apart Asian Paradise Fly Catcher, which also been seen in suburbs in past. I remember those evenings where post rains the entire surrounding used to get filled with frogs calls, so soothing was that sound! Many will say what’s big deal in it; have we not IT parks, Malls, Banks, Industries, Townships to make our life happy? Indeed these all make our life easy & Pune has changed a lot in last few decades but ask our own self, does the life gets complete with just banks, malls & IT Parks? Trees, Frogs, Butterflies, Sparrows & many other species are equal part of our life & if they get vanished then we lose entire link of a life cycle!

On this background WED’s theme has great importance i.e. ‘Connecting people with nature” as here people means you & me only, who can undo the damage we have done to the nature. And for that first understand what nature is as then only we can save it. Well it’s very difficult to define nature in words as it has made of so many things & has multiple dimensions. In holistic words we can define nature is made up of five elements i.e. Water, Fire, Earth, Sky & Air & all this surrounds us. So in a way everything in this world is part of nature & connected to the same but some fools like us forgets that connection & has to make efforts to reconnect with nature. And now look what we are doing to these five elements which make nature; we pollute the water sources like river & oceans with all drainage, chemicals & make life of species like fish miserable with our pollution attack & on top of it we kill whatever remaining fishes for our needs! We dump this earth with every possible garbage as well thrash at the same time we destroy habitats for all other species making them extinct & then run “Save Tiger” like moments to show our love for nature. We remove soil cover & make concrete roads leaving no place for mud or ponds so no frog can survive here! On air front we burn fire crackers & we produce millions of private vehicles instead of improving public transport & we build industries, all of these things emit toxic gases & thus we pollute the very same air which we only breathe! We consume every source of fire i.e. natural resources of coal & oil without caring that one day this all will end & then what? And lastly we even haven’t spared the sky as now to have a sight of stars in the sky we have to go out of our city, as all we look up & we see haze & smog, such is the condition we have made of our sky by every mean of pollution!

I think when we say, “Get connected to nature” then we need to understand our responsibility of our own self towards nature. Because reading after my above sharing people will ask, does connect to nature means stop development? No, it means making nature part of that development! Right from controlling human population which is major cause of nature destruction to allowing endangered species to survive we have to work on many fronts. First of foremost is don’t allow our need to turn in greed as then we eat up what other deserve. And let’s remember nature is not just humans but every species asset, so as most developed specie like a class monitor it’s our responsibility to see everyone has his share of nature on earth! And it’s not difficult a bit as all we have to do is be more sensitive towards whatever we do in our daily routine. May it be using public transport, watering a tree, throwing away a cold drink can or closing a tap; smallest acts like these when followed by millions becomes big conservation movement.

So let’s think about larger picture of a world where industries as well IT parks will grow along with clean rivers & serene mountains. A world where the kids won’t have required to go to a zoo to see a butterfly but can play with it in the backyards. A world where highways will be built but big trees will shadow those highways all along. A world where there will be sky scrapers with forests in the neighborhood & lots of places for frogs to sing their rain song. It’s in this world there will be bright star lit sky which can be seen from anywhere & there will be clear blue sky with sweet sound of chirping of birds & not the horns of vehicles! To build such world where every tree, every sparrow has equal share of the nature along with humans, is what gives us right to celebrate WED & every one of us has a role to play in this task. I think to understand this truth is first step for getting connected to nature as then only we have understood to celebrate World Environment Day or else all what will remain is Environment Day but Environment will be gone forever!
-- 

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1415&v=blgni8HSfDU

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)



http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)
 

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

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

www.punecorporation.org

Think Green, Think Life


www.sanjeevanideve.com

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Smart City Or Accidents City?






“I do take pride in saying that in spite of being in public life for so long, there is not a single case against me, not even for wrongly parking a scooter or driving on the wrong side”… Narendra Modi.

No need to introduce the author of the quote as our Hon Prime Minister is known for many good things & the above quote told us one more aspect of his life i.e. discipline. Well, he can dare to say that he has not even once broke a traffic rule, though in last twenty years I wonder how many times he would have required to drive yet not many in rest of some 120 crore population of his country can be so confident about following traffic rules in their respective cities! May it be Delhi or Pune or my small town named Khamgaon in Vidarbha, two things of we the Indians are same all over the country; they are, our love for the game of cricket & our consistency in not following traffic rules of any sort! I am not sure about exact statistics but nearly one lac of people lost their life in approximate five lac accidents in a year in this country! This loss of life in road accidents is more than any number of deaths by any reason in our country & then there are lot more disabilities which are worst than actual death which the road accidents causes making a healthy person disable for ever & do mind getting called as “Diyvyanga’ won’t get back your lost hand of foot!

For a while keep away highways & expressways as reasons here are altogether different & most accidents are caused due to drivers mistakes like over speeding or lane cutting. We will focus on city road accidents, let’s take example of our Smart City Pune which always is reactive & never proactive on any civic issue & road safety is also not exception! One car bumped in to group of pedestrians standing on divider at baner road & two got killed & three got injured & entire media to govt system started running around. As usual this running around is to find a scapegoat for the accident & not to find any permanent solution or out of some deep soul searching. If any of you has ever travelled via baner road & remembers this particular spot where the said accident has happened, then you can imagine who is at fault! Before we touch the subject sharing a letter which I have sent to Hon PMC Commissioner exactly nine months before this accident & it’s about road condition as well traffic scene at Baner road. I have copied this mail to many of the govt agencies & had this been taken any cognizance then those lives might has been saved as well I would have saved from writing another mail regarding the same subject to Hon Police Commissioner of Pune! So please lets go through my those two emails as it will give you fair idea of traffic scene as well road safety in Pune. The first mail to PMC Comm. as well road dept has been written out of frustration while I got stuck in traffic at baner road for nearly two hours!

11 7 16

To Hon Comm. PMC & Road Dept Officers,

I travel every day from baner road & have done so at every hour of the day, following are my observations… sharing few of suggestions, some of which may look like crazy but so is the traffic scene there :)

Let’s visit in private vehicle at your leisure time just to have an experience as a routine traveler on this road...

1. First the road width shown in DP in itself is too narrow, it should have been at least 200 ft wide road considering it as a gate way to Pune from west side. Tomorrow even the proposed road from Mercedes show-room on highway to hinjawadi IT Park is built then more the baner road will be main connectivity from city to hinjawadi & then the load will be tripled as of now. So make it 200 ft wide wherever possible right from now & make necessary changes in DP for future development.

2. We can plan parallel roads to the same on both sides connecting to service road of bypass to baner road at least till mahabaleshwar hotel chowk i.e. till Symentec. We can plan a road across hill from pan card club & connect it to baner pashan link road parallel to ramnadi, so it will reduce load on baner road right from sadananad hotel.

3. Presently all the buildings along baner road use their front margin for the occupants commercial use, remove every structure in front margin & use it for parking. Same is true regarding the parking spaces shown in these buildings which are being used for other purposes. Restrict any new hotel/ restaurant permissions along the baner road, fronting directly on the road as they are main traffic hurdles. Even think of revoking existing restaurants/eateries license after checking their parking arrangements! (Just a wild thought)

4. Major issue is diagonal parking along baner road’s both side & then vehicles double parking. Make it pay & park at heavy rate at all hours of the day; it is a must keeping in mind importance of this gate way of the city. As well use full time police/traffic warden team always mobile in the stretch from sadanand to national society chowk. Create public parking lots at regular intervals along the lands adjoining baner roads, which are still vacant, make immediate changes in DP right now for this.

5. Try to divert as many vehicles we can from pashan exit at bypass towards university & destinations ahead; for that either make toll on baner road or use Delhi idea, odd -even numbers using baner road & pashan road respectively for all days of week, going towards city center. Promote kiwale BRT terminal route outlet for vehicles coming from Mumbai by expressway or talegaon chakan towards city center as many even doesn’t know such option is available.

6. Remove every puncture /crossing in the present dividers, so allowing U turns or pedestrian crossing only at signals & develop parallel road from signal to signal lengths on both sides. For that make permanent dividers & with flower beds, as it is right now there are no green cover all along or in between on baner road making it extreme dry & heat island!


7. Think of a full length fly over from sadanand to university chowk or mahabaleshwar hotel chowk, like eastern free way from Chembur to Dmelo road in Mumbai, but that’s too long term solution, though we need to think of long term also!

8. Needless to say increase bus frequency with good quality buses running from university circle to hinjawadi, & for that build underground parking lot for commuters’ right at any govt land near university circle, we can think of rural police open grounds for this.

Thanks, will share more, happy to assist! 

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 

*Below is email I wrote to Hon Police Commissioner after the baner accident happen in April 17!


20 4 17

Dear CP madam & jt cp sir,Pune Police

I have seen that clip too & nearly 10 vehicle seen crossing that spot in same speed before this vehicle. I myself walks daily on paud road or baner road & it’s impossible to cross the road such is the speed of all vehicles, even at signals if there is no police vehicles doesn’t stops at red especially PMT buses or private buses. Now as a civil engineer & experience in urban planning let me put clearly that dividers are not meant for standing on them even while crossing but dividers are meant to avoid such accidents fatality i.e. when a vehicle lost control then to restrict it going in opposite lane & causing more damage; refer any accident on express way!! It’s unfortunate that in this case the poor family got victim as they took refuge of divider (I too have done it in past); I am well familiar with the spot & there the road turns on slope, here there must have been speed breakers before vehicles approach that spot but neither speed breaker nor warning boards are present! 

Every such major road like baner road, paud road or karve road, fc road or ganeshkhind road or any main road in city, there must be ample & safe pedestrian crossings in the form of under-pass or over-bridge & every level road crossing has to have signals controlling vehicles, all of which is absent at this spot & there are thousands of such spots in city which every day kills pedestrians & two wheeler's! PMC should undertake survey of every such spot along with traffic branch & the report has to be published along with action plan.

Then there is issue of literally no parking provision for any of commercial establishments on all the main roads of the city which leads to narrow the road drive section on these roads. PMC has to undertake survey of every single building along all the main roads & its parking provisions as well present use of the same & demolish every encroachment done in parking & see that roads are free from illegal parked vehicles.

If you refer the majority accidents took place near pmt bus stops as people get down from bus & the crossing or signal are way long from the bus stop so they tend to cross the road in mid way. First the bus stops must be near to chowk & second every divider has to be of such height or design that neither pedestrian nor animals like stray dogs should cross it! As there has been incidences stray dogs running in between & causing accidents especially those of the two wheeler riders.

One more thing is road cutting as well poor quality road work or digging which makes mostly the two wheelers get slip-down; most simple example is leaving edges of concrete road or tar road unprotected as well chamber covers which are not in level with the road surface.

All these things slows down the speed of vehicles & when people get open stretch of the road they tend to speed up, is the common human tendency. So what we need is hassle free safe driving as traffic police is to control the traffic not to look for such issues which actually increases their work load!

I think police dept should form a team to study lacuna in infrastructure essential for good traffic management & write all these to PMC as well UD, as this is scene in every city where local body's poor planning leads to accidents actually. Happy to assist for same!

Sanjay Deshpande

-- -----

Now after you have gone through both above emails, let me ask you a question, in Pune city alone nearly four hundred people ( read citizens) dies per year & triple number of this figure get severely injured in road accidents, clearly there is no road safety at all in this city. This statistics also makes this smart city as most road accident prone city in the country, I presume; so who is responsible for this situation? Whenever we think of a city roads or traffic first come the proper planning & we in Pune have failed to provide roads with enough width which will accommodate the ever growing numbers of vehicles. Then is the department which is supposedly to build these roads & keep them in proper condition as here I remember to read the statements by officers saying “there is no policy about speed breakers or about road dividers”! Well then who is supposed to make such policy is what a common man like me will ask! And joke is now the very same dept is changing road dividers of the accident spot at baner road, by which policy? Well, we don’t ask such questions in this country!  Same is with the height of barricades or guard rail at fly over as that also is common accident cause, two wheeler riders falling down from the fly-over when the bike collides with the barricades; seems that side-rail policy is also not clear in PMC! Then let’s see who is responsible for keeping all these roads in drivable condition, as right from sudden ongoing road excavation without any warning boards to drainage chamber covers way above road surface level, every possible hurdle is there on our roads. And to avoid these obstacles two wheeler riders often change the course at eleventh moment resulting collision with divider or poor pedestrians who are the worst victim of any road mishap! Conditions of footpaths is so worst that even while walking on them also can cause you topple down thus many prefers to walk on road & then falling prey to the errand drivers! Then comes the dept which is supposed to control the use of shown parking places in the thousands of buildings along all these roads. All these parking places in the commercial buildings are being used for every other purpose than parking & by virtue of which all the vehicles related to these building gets parked on adjoining roads, chocking the existing road width. Lastly come the traffic police dept whose job is actually getting difficult as all above things are not in place & then every person on road is frustrated along with the traffic police, resulting numbers of incidences of exchange of heated arguments of commuters & police; this way entire cities mental health gets damaged, which by me is biggest loss due to poor road safety conditions as well traffic management of the city!

And when every agency is busy on pointing figure on each other about road condition & accidents then on other side is we the society! Here we are equally at blame as we are most useless bunch of animals (I beg a pardon as animals also are way ahead of us in discipline) when it comes to following traffic rules! We think ours is only vehicle on the road & like the WWE show on TV i.e. wrestling mania where no rule is there but only to kill the opponent is the target, we behave same way on roads! For us signals exists only if there is a policemen standing alongside (PMPML busses ranks first on this scale) & we don’t understand simple signs like one way! Most accidents have been caused by people entering in wrong way in one way & jumping signals, about which no system can do anything! We have to be fined for not wearing helmet that shows our level of carelessness regarding road safety. Especially when every other safety factor is against us on roads then at least we can secure ourselves by wearing helmet, even this much we can’t understand, what are we made of, I can’t even imagine! On the top of it we have advertises of the two wheelers or four wheelers saying zero to hundred km/hr in some ten seconds! What we want to achieve by speeding in such way on roads like ours is the question the auto manufacturers should ask to themselves! And even the pedestrians, who keep crossing roads anywhere at their will, should think to save few minutes we are risking our entire life by doing so! What even thousands of CC TVs can make the difference if millions have not been following any traffic rule; civic sense is most rare thing in this country is what I conclude to myself looking at all above scene around!

The solutions are very simple if all the concerned agencies first understand their responsibility towards road accidents as mentioned above in my mails to the authorities & behave as well act considering every pedestrian or two wheeler rider can be their own brother or son or sister then they will realize the seriousness of the job they have at hand. Take one road like baner road & make every agency associated with road safety on above aspects to perform & make them accountable. Had this been USA then I am sure the courts as well police would have made local governing body also party to road accident considering it as crime! Running of year long awareness campaign is another thing which can be taken with the help of NGO’s. Media also need to stand up & dedicate their some space for ever to this aspect & not just run the accident stories after some mishap happens. Make road safety a part of education right from school to college studies as it’s the younger lives which are lost mostly in accidents. Strengthen & systemize public transport to reduce vehicular load from the roads as however bigger roads we build or increase numbers of traffic police if the vehicles keeps on pouring on the roads then accidents will keep happening! A Smart City is not counted by just how many apps it has for the services provided to the citizens but how it makes people feel safe on its roads & I think on that scale we are fast travelling to the tag of Dumb City & unless each of us don’t act then soon we will surely get the tag of Dead City too!  

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1415&v=blgni8HSfDU

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
 (Click the links below)



http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.in/

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)
 

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

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

www.punecorporation.org

Think Green, Think Life


www.sanjeevanideve.com