Sunday, January 29, 2017

Redevelopment of Trust!





“I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you're grateful, you'll see God open up new doors”… Joel Osteen.

Joel Scott Osteen is an American preacher and televangelist. He is the Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas. Osteen's televised sermons are seen by over 7 million viewers weekly and over 20 million monthly in over 100 countries. And one might wonder why I used quote by a Pastor when the subject is redevelopment, well let me tell you the very base of any redevelopment is trust! The story started when some five years (in late 2011) back one of my x collogue’s Swati approached me for redevelopment of their society in Patwardhan Baug , an elite area of Western Pune. I wasn’t having any experience of redevelopment then, so I was a bit reluctant at first but she insisted that I should at least have a meeting with the members of the said society, Shreeyash! So I accepted to meet the members & that’s how my journey of redevelopment started!

In next month on some weekend most of the members out of twelve units of Shreeyash came to meet me, they were mostly retired people from LIC, average age nearing seventy & in first meeting only I told them that they remembered me my parents which are of nearly same age group. After speaking with them I clearly put forward that whatever may happens, these people have come with trust in me & if I fail to stand to their trust then I don’t deserve to be in the business of real estate as they will lost trust in any businessman itself! I went through the details they gave to me about the existing building& assured them I will get back with my offer! Back then with TDR  (transfer of Development Rights, which makes base for any redevelopment) rates souring & average flat’s selling rate not all time high like it went later in 2013, I still worked out a fair offer which was barely matching to their existing area but a new building & with parking lot as well lifts & all modern amenities. As the present structure was ground plus two storied, so all the members had to park the cars on road outside the society. Also as there was no lift to the existing buildings so most of the members had to face climbing stair case issue which is a troublesome thing for that age, even it may be first floor occupant! Then, there was no attached terrace or balcony to any of the flat leave apart drying balcony type provisions. Another hurdle was the society had combined property card (ownership document) with two adjoining bungalow unit holders name also on it as co-owner. And on top of it one of the bungalows FSI has been used in this building by the then developer adding it to lots of friction between that bungalow owner & Shreeyash. So it was obvious that those bungalow owners will be hard to cooperate which was important as without their sign the proposal won’t move at PMC sanction level. I studied carefully all these & tried to explain this to the members. One more problem was every time all the members used to come & when it’s a joint meeting often the discussion used to go off-track! I told them to formulate committee of three senior members & they only will coordinate to ease out the things at society front. And the after this committee understood the hurdle about ownership which needed to be sort out first we worked out the offer. I gave them offer in writing asked them to go through with all members along with the new plan & meet again with their comments on it. I won’t bore you with finer details of what went after that as there was series of demands especially about the specifications & they wanted security that I will complete the project, which was bit annoying for me but yes their concern too was important! I asked them to appoint their lawyer but at the same time told them two lawyers will never agree upon one draft, so it’s you & me only who has to finally say yes or no to some agreement draft!

This was the toughest face & I had to keep my calm to face some of weirdest questions like why solar water heating can’t be individual when I was saying it has to be common, for best results & many such. This sure was a patience test for me & at sometimes I even used to think why I have accepted this project! But then the innocence in the questions of the members was genuine & so were their faces & I used to tell myself, think you are dealing with your parents! So after a marathon series of discussions finally the plans, the specifications & the agreement draft was finalized. This has taken nearly six months & the new DP i.e. development plan of PMC came in the meant time. That gave a big blow to entire process as the road in front of the society has been widened by nearly 10’ on either side, which means less plot area to build as well loss of TDR potential as TDR is worked out on the net plot area. That meant two things, first we will have to change the building plans & second I will have to look at viability in first place, as any redevelopment proposal is worked out on TDR utilization only. Obviously there was loss of salable area for me so I put it clearly in front of the members as well another hurdle was design the new plans right from beginning. After new plans sketches we came to know that now height of building is getting increased to accommodate the FSI available as plot area has been reduced so the floor plate also got reduced. Another hurdle was the neighboring bungalow owners weren’t ready to accept road widening & the plans needed to be signed by them also. Then till we convinced the bungalow owners about road widening &  nobody can do anything about it another blow came via one circular,  Urban Dev or PMC put hold on use of TDR on plot area below 10,000sft. This mean end of Shreeyash redevelopment as our plot area was 8000sft & no TDR means no additional built-up area will be allowed than that of existing area & then what I will sale & how I will build the existing building? Again I took the meeting of all the members & told them what has happened & it required me lots of patience & communication skill to explain them outcome of all these policies! As I had to look at their gloomy faces which were silently like asking me, considering our age, can we ever see our new home coming in existence? I had no courage to meet those eyes yet I tried my best them to assure them, that all will be well, soon. One silver lining was there was lots of pressure on UD as well on Hon CM who heads UD for such illogical circular about use of TDR & CM has said that he will rethink about this policy. But then in this country our rulers speaks something; thinks something different & does something else in practice; all three things are like apex of a triangle which rarely meets. My problem was all together different now as I have bought the required TDR by paying full payment & that burden was mounting on me as well I have promised my sister that I will make a flat for her there at top floor, so she has sold her existing flat in nearby vicinity! Once again I cursed myself for touching redevelopment but then what gave me strength is trust of all the senior members of Shreeyash & I told myself as well to them also, this is something you have dreamt for years & even the existing Shreeyash is outcome of your hard earned money & let’s hope something good only will come out of it! So we decided to wait instead winding out the project as well I also kept patience & hold the TDR certificate instead utilizing it somewhere else or selling it in the market!

Frankly by knowing the way our Govt systems works I knew it might take years to get any positive outcome on front of policies but only hope was the illogical way of putting plot size restriction on redevelopment as well the new DP was in making by virtue of which paid FSI would be available. Another aspect was its not just Shreeyash, entire redevelopments proposals of Pune were at stake as most societies are below 10000sft of plot area. So one fine morning the good news came that plot size restriction has been removed for utilizing TDR & in very same week we got our plans sanctioned from PMC! Though the road widening continued but we have changed the plans accordingly & finally we had something to cheer up. Immediately we took meeting of all members appealing them to vacate the building & shift as early as possible. Yes in the meetings only I have promised them to help in shifting. Here will share a small funny incidence; before shifting one senior member asked can he keep the MS grills of his enclosed balconies as he has made that expenditure pretty recently. Before I could reply something another member intercepted & told that he tried to take down ceiling fans in his flat before shifting & to his surprise the electrician charged Rs 200 per fan for removal & the fan isn’t fetching the price of even Rs 100 in resale, so he has to just give away those ceiling fans to the electrician! After this sharing nobody wanted to retain anything from the flat & agreed upon vacating the premise earliest. One thing I did which they realized the importance later, I insisted all of them to gather with families & had one group snap in-front of the building! We also made a group of my concerned team members as well all the Shreeyash members whats-ap group so any issue can be immediately posted on this group & acted up on.

So finally all families shifted & we started demolition of the building by doing a small pooja at site. Before starting demolition we informed to all the neighbors & requested them to keep some patience for the disturbance the demolition work would cause, mainly noise as well dust. We used lots of water to sprinkle on the demolition work so as the dust generation is less & in the bhumipooja function one of the neighbors who himself was civil engineer does mentioned this & thanked us for minimizing the disturbance to them. In fifteen days time the building was demolished & we arranged bhumipooja & that too in the hands of senior most member of Shreeyash as whom else could have been the better choice for such event! So a journey of nearly five years got now really in motion though it’s just start of the work & I hope now the ship of Shreeyash will sail smoothly with every bodies good wishes. Yes one more thing on the brouture as well on invitation of bhumipooja even I used the very snap of all Shreeyash members with Shreeyash old building in background & this gesture has been very much appreciated not just by the members but even those whom we have sent the invites. I think this is something I will like to share for all those who want to get in redevelopment, as a builder as well as members of existing societies!

It’s the smallest of such things like group photograph & whats-ap group, which matters most as redevelopment is not about just building new project but it’s about building trusts & trust has to be from both sides! The members should choose wisely the developer in first place & let’s remember best offer may not be the one which gives you more area for your existing one or best amenities or better package; but the best offer is the commitment towards the development the developer assures & the respect he gives to the trust you put in his team! Also some tips for the developers; the developer should give the offer which is viable, keeping in mind all the hurdles ahead such as changing policies to market scene as every day game of real estate is changing. Just lucrative location & costly specifications is not the thing now which customer looks for. At the same time major hurdle is polices which keeps on changing & can affect the entire viability, so don’t walk on tight rope just to get the deal at any cost! Study bye-laws & rules well & then only work out projects viability. Buy all the required TDR in advance to full potential as well do ask the members to shift from the existing building only after the plans get sanctioned as per final drawings! This will avoid any bitter experience of change in policy which may hamper the project as well awkward situation causing losses. Because it’s the developer who has to bare the rental charges of accommodation of the members till the possession of new building!. Also take members in confidence & be always transparent as well available to them. Remember it’s not just one deal but entire societies trust on real estate is what at stake when we are in redevelopment! In my entire journey of redevelopment I learnt a lot about human psychology & values & I think that was best outcome of the entire effort. No wonder when my marketing team asked me what should be the tag line of Shreeyash on brouture, the only thing came to my mind was, “Redevelopment of Trust!”

Below is my small speech at bhumipoojan ceremony of Shreeyash, do go through.




-- 

-- 
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 !
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Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DP, The Box of Pandora For The City!





“There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans.” … Jane Jacobs

When it come to DP i.e. Development Plan which is directly related to the City who better than Jane can have authority to comment on it! The writer of “Death & Life of Great American Cities” has been my big inspiration for topics related to our city & when the most awaited thing in the decade has happened, once again I took rescue at Jane for getting right quote to start my sharing! Actually what better thing could have been happened to the city as sanction of DP i.e. Development Plan finally got through from State Govt! That too with a sweet surprise i.e. for old limits & new limits of PMC (the term itself is old now) will have same DC i.e. Development Control rules! So at last the joke has been corrected, I said joke because PMC i.e. Pune Municipal Corporation must be only one of its kind for last nearly twelve odd years running the city with two sets of DC rules. The villages like Baner & Dhyari which were merged some twelve years back were having different rules while old city limit areas were having different rules for building new buildings! This was leading to much confusion which finally can be cleared with entire city working with one DC rules. Again joke is DC rules have been arrived or cleared but DP i.e. Development Plan is yet to be received so it will take some time to study actual impact of the DC & DP on city’s real estate as well entire development as a coming Metro & not just City or Big Town. Even in DC also there are gray areas like BDP i.e. bio diversity park reservations as I think now political party want to take any clear stand about it, not at least till PMC elections which are just around the corner i.e. in Feb 17! And the 260 pages documents is being claimed as giving clarity to city planning & practical & logical approach & what not but let’s see what & how it will be affecting real estate in totality on first look!

The best part of publishing DP is its timing; I always respect Hon CM for his wisdom & by choosing the time to publish or clearing whatever you call it the DP he ensured that with PMC elections in just few days no political party of leader will be interested in making any fuss about the contents of the DP. Leave apart from studying the DP, here no one even took any time to comment on DP barring few select names, as most of political personalities including their bosses are busy in securing their future by getting party ticket, so who cares at such time for city’s future. Sure on lines of the fraze, “Sar salamat to pagdi pachas” we can now say “Corporation Seat salamat to DP Pachas”! I really wonder about future of this city as no elected member spared any time to assess the impact of provisions made in DP on city. Rather that could have been great agenda for the upcoming location i.e. to correct the lacunas if any (there are many); as well revel the plans how the DP is going to be executed by PMC which in nutshell is responsibility of elected members also. Though never they accept it & conveniently put it on shoulders of administration is different thing! But at least on this front the so called NGO’s as well organizations like CREDAI & MBVA ie representing builders should take lead, study the DP & make common man aware about its importance so as they can ask the PMC election candidates about DP, is what I expect as a citizen of this city! Though as usual its being painted as DP is high-jacked by the builders as so much millions of extra FSI will be generated & things like that but then one thing I never understand of media as well these so called NGO’s, as we want more affordable homes & we have limited land & we won’t increase FSI, then from where these more numbers of affordable homes will come? But at the same time lets understand DP is not just real estate, DP is backbone of city for next twenty years & right from providing homes to every kind of infrastructure is going to be governed by DP so not only real estate but all industries including hospitality & IT also has got their future tied with DP. But unfortunately all industries other than real estate keep away from DP & its making as well execution part & high time that they too should take active part about DP & its implementation policies!

Real problem is how many people have actually understood the DP & its provisions in first place? As first the DP has been made by PMC & then it’s said to be scratched by the committee formed by State & then what has been sanctioned is mix of both & in addition it’s said that provisions from extended areas DP also has been taken in account & this new version of DP will be in force for entire city! Now that certainly raises many questions as there were many conflicting provisions in new & old city limits & major was provision of 15% amenity space on any plot coming for development in extended areas DP let’s call it as new DP. While the old city limit wasn’t having any such provision of amenity space up to plot size of 3 hectors & hardly there are any such size plots left in old city limit! And it’s this 15% amenity thing which has become major hitch in planning the projects especially on smaller size plot, so now it’s being applicable to old city or its been removed needs to be clarified. Also what is the use of this amenity space isn’t been clarified as thousands such spaces are in possession of PMC already & which are laying idle rather are being used for all wrong purpose making nuisance to surrounding residences is a fact! Also what about the builders who has already bought the plots & the development is yet to start, doesn’t this inducement of the 15% amenity space or 0.75 FSI thing will be a big obstacle for such projects? Same is the story with redevelopment of projects where final plot numbers has not there i.e. plots for which no open space or amenity space has been left in lay out, in old city limits!

Then there is issue of keeping balcony open as well considering stair cases & common passages in FSI; I think we are going one step forward & two steps back on framing DC rules with such provisions! Take example of balcony, last so many years balcony enclose is allowed & leave apart premium it used to generate for PMC but with every sq ft counting why waste space in keeping balconies open? As imagine a room size of 10ft x 10ft with 4ft wide balcony to it & a room with 10ftx 14ft with balcony enclosed; the clients will anyway going to enclose the balcony which was happening back in 90’s & that’s why balcony enclosing was allowed with charging premium. Now again forcing the developers to keep balcony open with repeat the story, not only the flat holders will have to burdened with that expense but the entire buildings elevation gets damaged as individual flat holder will get the balcony enclosed as per his budget & whim! Now the Govt will say doing that is illegal, well it was illegal earlier also but tell me how to stop it after giving possessions to the respective residents?
Same is story with considering common passages & staircases in FSI which are very essential for proper ventilation as well to control the movements of occupants within the building. These too have been freed from FSI & charged with premium so as people can provide wider passages & stair ways which is aesthetically as well safety aspect very important. But now again these will become narrow to save on FSI, I wonder what logic our planners have applied for such reverse stance on such vital issues in building planning!

Most confusion is about Metro corridor & four times FSI & it was not enough so even the four times FSI has been declared (I am not sure about exact provision) along the infamous BRT corridors also. For a while keep away the issue of burden it will create on existing services of infrastructure & focus on logic behind this. Main aspect  which is being pushed by the authorities is making Metro viable & utilize the lands available to its maximum potential making homes available at cheaper rates! To my knowledge there are nearly fifty two odd proposed BRT routes all over the city, is that mean entire city has got four times FSI? I must say, even the builders wouldn’t have dreamt it! Rather in PCMC present provision is such that no one wants to build along BRT due to heavy premium PCMC charges for this additional FSI & demands 50% more parking area in the buildings along BRT route, making it impossible to plan the building. One logic I am failing to understand rather two logics, when its Metro & this FSI as well parking provisions in the DP & that is to increase FSI make the city congested just to make Metro viable, isn’t it wrong thinking? We should decongest the central part of city & give more FSI in suburbs than chocking the already dying city. And then we are ready to give four FSI to ensure Metro runs in profit but the stringent parking (read ample) provisions will make the occupants of these building buy more vehicles, so what’s the purpose of Metro then? As we want to make them travel by Metro or public transport then we should provide less parking place under & within the buildings than making more space for vehicles, which will curb the use of vehicles. This is what cities like Singapore has done & implemented successfully & we are doing exact opposite way as usual! Again this added parking provisions will make the building construction cost go high & end user will be burdened with this cost is one more aspect of such DC rules! Can our planners take a note as making homes affordable if its target then just increasing FSI won’t help, practicality of planning also should be taken in consideration!

Strictly speaking from real estate side all such & many more provisions in DP will be mainly hitting to the land deals which have happened but the projects are yet to be started as in many cases the viability of the project might come in to problem! Also just provision of giving liberal FSI won’t make the home rates go down in overnight, as who will tell the land lords to demand less when their land potential has been increased! Already right from redevelopment keen societies to individual bungalow owners, many deals are kept at hold by the owners considering the rise in FSI policy & expectation of getting more returns in bargain. Ultimately the developer is just a middleman meeting two ends named land lord & flat holder, especially in last few years that’s the reality of the real estate! Rates of flats will come down only if the builders don’t get succumbed to the rat race of buying plots on any cost & by not eyeing hefty profits in future which won’t be there! One more thing is in dilemma  & that is application of this DP & DC rules; as half completed projects where TDR or road FSI is yet to load on above floors, how the new margins or balcony enclose issues can be implemented on just remaining floors? Same is true with widths of common passages & stair cases, so there should be provision to apply these rules only where all new rules can be implemented in totality i.e. fresh proposals, that clarification govt has to issue to PMC.

These are just tips of iceberg named DP as the documents needs to be studied in depth & before it’s too late we have to cure the mistakes or errors whatever we call it in time! Not that all provisions are wrong & impractical, there are many good changes which will play important role in long term such as removing two stair case provision for buildings up to seven stories, giving more liberty for planning buildings on smaller plots & many such. Remember no one will say, keep changing the polices everyday but when we are speaking about twenty years of development then we should be flexible enough to make the necessary changes in the policies to accommodate the practical needs of the industry & do it fast! If we are expecting a better lifestyle for every citizen from the DP then the need is practical approach to the DC rules & provisions in DP or else it will be like presenting box of sweets to a diabetic person & asking him to be happy with the present, such will be the situation of real estate & home seeking citizens of the city!


-- 
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


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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Engineering, Environment & CSR!





“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”… Malcolm X.

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and later also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. And of-late it seems our educationists have grasped the wisdom from above quote of Malcom as this sharing is outcome of one such experience of mine. I have been closely associated with academics in recent times; especially anything related with environment or biodiversity conservation as well CSR. By now environment has been part of school education right from fifth standard yet it’s been restricted to few faculties such as civil or specialization courses in environment & CSR i.e. corporate social responsibility is never official part of any teaching at least I am not aware of it! Environment also comes as either environment engineering which is one branch of civil engineering or pure environment science bachelors & masters’ degree courses are there. Now it seems govt wants to make environment part of all the faculties especially the engineering ones along with CSR. 

Its in this context I have been invited to address the summit of Principals of all Govt Polytechnics of the State which is arranged so as these top bosses of diploma course can discuss various skills apart from the regular syllabus to induce amongst the students & Environment along with CSR is one of the main aspects. It was indeed important moment for me as most of them are not just engineers but has obtained Doctorate in concerned fields & to get an opportunity to address such crowd is one of the biggest honors which has came to my way.

Though it’s always more easier to speak in front of such professionals that too hard core teachers for two simple reasons, as normal students are most unpredictable lot & they can get bored very easily at the same time you have to always remind yourself that instead bringing them to your level you have to go down to their level to make them understand your views on the subject. Here the listeners’ are  already above me academically so it’s me rather who has to reach out to their level & then whatever I say they won’t hoot me out was certainty, on lighter note I mentioned this to them at start only!  Coming to the subject it’s great to know that Supreme Court has given directives to induce Environment & CSR as key subject to ever branch of engineering but that shows our attitude to these subjects as why Supreme Court needs to tell us so, are we so dumb? I asked to the forum. The summit was to identify challenges of future in front of engineers but the biggest challenge in front of engineers is to balance the damage of nature by any creation they will create! Check the headlines of any days news paper of our Pune city, right from Metro route being challenged under the name it’s from river bed & will damage the very river life to the Bal Bharti road which is supposed to connect Symbiosis hill to Paud road stating it will affect biodiversity of hills every project is being challenged by NGO’s & worst is most of their challenges has been upheld by NGT i.e. National Green Tribunal. And these are just two examples, all over the country it’s like a war may it be any industrial product or a road project or some new factory, everything is being hailed as anti environment or anti nature for some or other reason! This makes biggest challenge in front of the engineers is conservation of nature while we apply our engineering knowledge for any new creation, may it be civil or mechanical even computer & electronics branches are under scanner as E-Waste is considered as recent threat to nature! On all this background it’s highly important to in cultivate awareness as well knowledge of nature in the students’ right from primary stage & for that we first have to make them understand what is nature!

To start with I have objection to the name of the subject in itself as either we call it as Environment Engineering or Environment Science; both doesn’t gives the purpose why we are teaching them this particular subject! What I suggest is let the subject’s name itself should be Environment Conservation, so the very purpose will be defined right from the name. They are learning this subject to conserve the nature & then from that aspect they will look at it as at present any branch of engineering, I am from civil so will take example of that branch, students choose the branch for only one reason i.e. to become successful post-education with the degree or knowledge they have acquired & that means to earn more money! Unfortunate but truth is this genre measure success only on the scale of money being earned by the knowledge they have & we only are responsible for such thinking as we failed to make them understand true meaning of being successful as an engineer! And for that let’s start from the subject with introducing the subject with name itself as “Environment Conservation & CSR”! As while we teach them this particular subject, the very purpose is not to earn money or become successful in conventional ways but to make this world a better place!

Whenever we say we have to conserve the nature first we have to understand what nature is & you can’t teach nature just by introducing the subject in syllabus or text books. You learn nature by making yourself part of it & for that open up windows of your class rooms along with your mind & let the nature flows in! Nature has been made of mainly following aspects & once we identify them categorically & the impact of our creations on each of them then only we can conserve the nature in totality. I will try to put in words what we need to make the students learn & adopt about every aspect.

Water: In civil engineering we have entire topic dedicated to water but all it tells us is how to purify water or make effluent treatment plants or water management systems but no where it teaches us waters role as life for not just humans but every living species & their share on the water available to us! Let the student understand water is not just an engineering topic but an essential mean for life & every drop counts.

Power: Here power isn’t just electric energy & wiring but its form of energy which is required to get our mechanical & electronic world going. It’s not just about efficient use of electricity but knowing when ever one unit is consumed somewhere a piece of coal is burnt  & we are poorer by some grams on our natural reserves which one day is going to end. We have to teach them while using wind mills for power some where a species of beautiful bird named “Great Indian Bustards or Maldhok” which is already endangered might lose their last pair as they can’t see the big rotor blades of the windmills during their flight. And while we will be happy as an engineer for using power generated from clean energy source, one of the specie has been wiped out from the earth just because we overlooked that we erected windmills right in the Maldhok’s last existing habitats! On other hand while we make our buildings look-wise great, we should not forget the importance of natural light as many buildings which have been praised from outside are actually nightmares for the persons living within them.

Earth: Let’s remember we are not the only specie on the earth rather we are just one out of millions & every specie has equal right on every piece of earth. We dig roads from midst of forests making lives of thousands of animals under grave threat. We build dams which submerge homes of many species in its backwater & the list of our encroachment on other is unending. Just mind this whatever you are doing for making human life better might end up some other’s life forever, so plan our needs accordingly.

Greens: Whenever any engineer takes charge of any site, he looks at every tree standing on the site as enemy is what my experience is. And I don’t blame him as he has been taught trees because of their roots, are worst enemies of the foundation of any structure! Well, what we can expect from our engineers if such is their education foundation about nature conservation & this is what we need to teach them. Teach them that trees are your best friends & do we chop our best friends just to make our project work easy? Teach them that the way your building is going to provide homes for human beings, in same way a tree is home to hundreds of birds & insects which are like our neighbors & deserve better living. I think the entire approach towards the nature needs to be changed then only they can balance both things.

Sky: Ask them when they have last looked at sky & felt the blueness of it, especially students who have come from rural; & what difference they found in the sky of Pune & sky, back in their town or village?  Like water, the sky is inherent part of nature & a clear blue sky indicates pollution free environment. Whatever we create here is not natural & that creation is bound to create some pollution & as an engineer if we are responsible for pollution then it’s our responsibility only to counter balance the damage we have made to the sky, lets teach them this aspect of engineering.

After nature another important aspect is CSR i.e. Corporate Social Responsibility; I will cut the word corporate out & say just Social Responsibility. It means ability or attitude to share your success, a quality which is vanishing fast from the society. Henry Ford has once said, “Any business which generates just money is a bad business” & I believe him. Times are changing, no more the bosses are supposed to be with harsh words & stern face & keeping all the profits with them. One makes progress only if entire team progresses & right from your collogues to your vendors & yes many more less fortunate segments of the society, we should make party to our success all these. And being an engineer we are best to find out logical solutions to reduce the hardship of living which many have to face. And goodness is something we need to teach as badness comes to most of us naturally!

After sharing this you all might be thinking what are we going to produce, engineers or environmentalists? Well, let me put it clear, we want environmentalist engineers as that’s the key to our safe & healthy future. And that is easily doable as every youngster has got flair for nature much more than what our grown up mind has, all you have to do is make him identify own self a bit better. Right from starting nature club to making them write diary of goodness where they can write every days one good work they think they have done, many simple things can achieve our goal.

To conclude I will ask you all, as a teacher to engineering students, how you rate your success? Is it that maximum students passes out with distinction or goes to higher studies at best of institutes or gets fat salary packages in campus interviews? I think even if one single student pass out with average marks but with a understanding that why he or she has acquired the engineering knowledge & uses it for the society where everyone is able to live at peace & happiness by his or her creations, then I have succeeded as a teacher of that engineer!

As remember none other species except human beings has facility of having engineering colleges & that makes us most responsible to create engineers which will make the world a better place for every living object; if we succeed to do that, then I think we have right to call us as makers of engineers or else like the movie Terminator, we will end up as creator of machines making the world worst than what it was!


-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.


-- 
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, January 8, 2017

Real Estate, City & New Year 2017!






 “It’s not the first step but the direction in which you take it is what decides your fate” … Lao Tzu.

What wonderful words from the great Zen Master, to describe the scene on the horizon of real estate to start another year! And indeed the passing year i.e. 2016 was one that many from real estate will definitely like to forget it as early as possible; such was the scene in the industry. Every possible bad thing has happened in 2016 right from controversies over TDR policy making projects delay to PMC’s inability to get the new DP sanctioned in time to poor infrastructure making flats non-salable to ready reckoner rates hike & then demonetization came as last nail in to the coffin! With due respect to Hon PM’s intentions yet it’s the rumors which was outcome of demonetization, that property prices will fall further even to extent of 30 %, which has hit the industry worst. Because most buyers, even those genuine ones too preferring to wait for the price fall of homes; making sale of flats come to standstill! 

On this back ground while I started writing this sharing, thankfully the 2017 seems to have some real good news ahead for e.g. the Pune’s Metro has been finally seen the day light as bjoomipoojan has been done by the hands of none other than PM himself, so at least to protect his credibility, the State Govt will peruse the project on priority is we can hope! Then with demonetization, banks have been flooded with funds & SBI which is biggest player in home finance as well project finance to real estate has cut down the interest rates by whooping 0.9% & so are following the other financial institutes, making home loans cheaper. This will surely help mid segment where every single rupee counts when EMI is concerned. At the same time DP i.e. development plan of PMC also has been signed by CM at last, as it was become more awaited that Janhavi’s baby, (a popular TV serials character’s delivery news, which has become laughing stock of social media, such was the way the story has been dragged of that serial). Also projects like ring road & air-port, which will be having a long term impact on Pune regions development especially real estate development also has been cleared & PMRDA’s also moving fast of their DP. Another major aspect of 2017 is it will be deciding Pune & Pimpmpri Chinchwad’s rulers fate i.e. elections of PMC & PCMC are due in first quarter of this year so for next five years where the city development will head, is also equally important for the city’s real estate. As if BJP wins then Galli to Delhi there will be same ruler, not that it makes any big difference as it was like that for nearly fifteen years barring last two but it hardly has made any difference to city’s real estate & need of homes!

I really wonder what our rulers thinks of Pune as they want all the advantages they get from the city i.e. right from revenue by IT industries, numbers of skilled hands which passes out every years from thousands of education institutes in Pune, millions of jobs which this city provides through its auto & service industries yet when it comes to provide simple basic infrastructure, the city is getting poorer by every passing year on that front! The city needs homes but so many things right from simple things like getting approval for development plan like basics keeps on getting delayed for reasons known only to the rulers. Then there are pending decisions like merging of fringe villages’ as well giving authority & funding to bodies like PMRDA for essential infrastructure because of which entire development has got stuck in fringe areas which is only hope for providing affordable homes. Even the Zillah Parishad which is oldest public body which is supposedly takes care of civic infrastructure out of PMC & PCMC limit has been failed repeatedly for doing the same. This has made lives of millions of citizens living in & around Pune miserable as they have a home but which don’t have any proper roads, public transport, water supply, drainage, garbage disposal & the list goes on & on!

Though the DP of PMC has been cleared by the CM yet again politically sensitive issues like BDP along with few reservations has been kept on hold, such jokes can happen only in this State & Country! Means it’s like your total body’s city scan has been done but the technician will not give you report of few parts of your body & yet the patient has to be examined by the doctor for diagnosis! How can such jokes the govt system allows, as just it will affect some election you keep on hold entire policy like bio diversity park i.e. BDP which is most important for city’s future as well environment! Same is story with issue of Metro Depot or terminal as earlier on the same location reservation for making Memorial of Shivaji Maharaj was proposed. Now the govt is in fix whether to cancel that reservation as that land is important for Metros aspect but this decision will disturb the caste equations! Actually one has to have guts when you have power in hand & it’s not some caste of person but entire city’s future has to be thought! No one says don’t build memorials but even the Shivaji Maharaj himself while building his forts has thought of citizen’s convenience on the top of everything, let’s not forget this! Though the Metro also has been announced by none other than the PM himself but looking at our past, time lag between the  announcement of any project & coming that project in actual use of the citizens is too much  is a fact! Even the TDR policy along the Metro corridor is in dilemma as there is no clear stand about whether to give 4.0 times FSI along the Metro corridor or use some other means to promote the Metro. AT the same time Metro alignment matter is in Green Tribunal as nearly 1.7 km route is through river bed. I have seen many cities across the world but nowhere Metro or any such development has been done through the river bed; yes under the river there are rails & roads in tunnel form as that doesn’t harm the river bed & biodiversity it has. It will be interesting that even after PM himself has announced Metro, what if NGT doesn’t allow the Metro through river bed? Has PMC or Metro Rail Company kept plan B in hand is the question. Along with Metro the local bus service also is equally important as Metro completing may take at least six years even if its completed in specified time & till that time the number of vehicles will go over six millions & people need to get used to public transport by then. So PMPML has said to get nearly 1200 new busses at their service, thing is they need to carve new routes as well & supporting infrastructure like bus stops, well equipped depot & terminals to park these busses safely.

I think focus of DP hereafter must be around the pollution threat which looms over the city as in long term that will be beneficial for the city real estate. Many won’t agree with my statement but I have repeatedly stated backbone of the real estate in this city is its cultural, social & natural resources rich status which it provides to the citizens! From all over the country people want to come to Pune & make this city their home because there is something in this city which makes them feel comfortable & fall in love with her! And it’s this emotion or feeling we have around which we have to plan the DP or develop the city. Now with DP at least most of it sanctioned second step is more important i.e. to execute it in time bound way. Imagine if it took 10 years to plan the DP & get it sanctioned, then how much time we will need to execute it?

New Year as I mentioned above will decide new rulers also as on all radio FM channels Pune’s Hon Mayor is telling people about various schemes by PMC, most of them we have been listening for more than ten years by now & few we came to know only via these advertises! In one of the advertise Hon Mayor tells us about “Project Light House”, under which PMC will be giving skills training to teen age kids! Which kids? What criterions for selection? What skills & how many of kids by now has been trained under this scheme as well what they are doing after they got training? Many such question which you can get answer only via election polls is what I feel! This city can’t even have clean public toilets & we talk about training younger lot of the city, I really get amazed how blind folded we can be! And suddenly just before election how come Hon Mayor realized that the citizens should be informed about PMC’s proactivenss regarding the citizens! Same is announcement of giving two time water supply, but no one speaks about why it was one time for entire year? I think like the real estate guys, our rulers also should realize that no more fooling to the common man.

On all these back grounds real estate industry must have learnt its own lessons by now. As without literally any infrastructure support whatever growth the industry has seen it has come from the genuine demand the city has generated. Till now there was a phase where every day saw new high in property rates but the scene won’t be same ever. As with demonetization as well sentiments are at lowest level in auto as well white goods. At the same time buying capacity has been reduced for the common man due to day to day expenses. No more people are looking for just high end specifications & plush locations as well the investors are out of market for a while, though by me that is a good thing! The New Year also saw RERA implementation intimation by Central & State govts which is like a sword i.e. it depends how you use it. Clients have become aware about their rights & law is on their side, so better the real estate also follows fair practices. Don’t run behind speculation, may you be a builder or a flat purchaser & look for need than greed! Real estate is hoping that with lower interest rates & banks swelling with deposited funds, there will be up mood in buying which I doubt, because just for cheaper loan no fool will buy the home but there should be right deal in first place! 

I listened to one more commercial on the FM channel, it’s a teaser welcoming New Year & it’s says, “Saal badalnese kuch nahi hoga, khudko badlo”; means our fate doesn’t change by change of some year on calendar but it changes only if we change our-self! The real estate should take a lesson from this commercial as that is what the buyer also expects & I think if it happens then that’s true Happy New Year for the real estate of the city!


-- 
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