I am back to Pune after almost two years and seems things have changed a lot. Property prices are quite high, traffic has increased many fold, sky looks bit blackish. All bad signs of growth are also looking quite visible apart from the growth, opportunities etc.

Are we loosing the advantage of benefits city used to offer few years back?
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  • Interesting that finally folks are discussing pollution and thinking seriously about it.

    Pollution in India will keep on rising as there is no awareness nor any strict norms to fight it. The entire Indian real estate model is a classic example of how our cities get polluted. Inadequate town planning, no green zones, FSI manipulations, no restrictions on commercial spaces within residential areas, no push to stop burning of garbage & trash, dependency on tankers, no traffic control & above all, insensitive Indian commuters all add to pollution.

    We, consumers, are largely to be blamed because our demand for housing close to commercial market is a strong contributor to pollution. Most of us buy houses at walking distance to shops & then drive to those shops to buy items. WE simply do not want to change our lifestyle to live a pollution free life. Has anyone ever wondered how we drive? Changing lanes randomly & trying to occupy every inch of the road, stalling other commuter's progress by cutting lanes just supports stop and go traffic, thus causing pollution. A classic example is when hundreds of software engineers heading to Hinjewadi drive their two wheelers on the wrong side of the road thus stalling progress for incoming traffic. Yes, well educated software engineers. The Hinjewadi police once blamed the IT folks for the traffic mess and I tend to agree with them.

    What can consumers do? Invest and stay in green projects, reduce dependency on commuting - next time you want to take out the car, question yourself whether is it needed? Shop in bulk, use online grocery (most of it is free delivery), subscribe to newspaper and milk - I know people who drive everyday to get newspaper and milk - why, to save those 20 rupees per month delivery charge. They do not realize that they are probably spending way more in fuel & time. If you notice folks burning garbage near your residential area, immediately stop them and report the activity to corporation authorities. It is not allowed to burn trash and garbage. Even societies do these a lot and should be stopped.

    Anyways, pollution is here to stay & will only increase till we do not put a control on our lifestyle. It is dangerous - 5th killer. It is surprising to see people jogging, walking in Baner, Balewadi areas right on the side of the road. Exercising is bad in such conditions. Mothers take their children in a stroller in the evenings when pollution is heavy exposing their babies. When confronted, they say - what are their options? There is no choice. That is why I always tell folks to think about their family members when buying property. You may be sitting in an AC office for 8 - 10 hours a day but your family members could be the ones suffering due to excessive pollution. Lower floor flats are the worst affected, especially the ones near the roads as pollutants tend to settle down in the evening. If you live in the city, just slide your finger on the windowsill & you will notice the black sediment caused by pollution.

    Some 10 Indian cities are in the top 50 list of most polluted cities in the world and India is doing nothing about it. That just shows what we can expect from our Government.

    Anyways, we can keep complaining about pollution but the only way to control is to fight it ourselves be changing our lifestyle. If you have a choice to buy property away from the city, then go for it. Mark my words - you and your family will be happy.
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  • Originally Posted by pnq2012


    Some 10 Indian cities are in the top 50 list of most polluted cities in the world and India is doing nothing about it. That just shows what we can expect from our Government.


    They are lowering the emission norms so that more and more Indians can afford polluting vehicles.
    Banning polluting vehicles like autorickshaws, and six seaters, is too politically sensitive. Cant be done

    Originally Posted by pnq2012

    If you have a choice to buy property away from the city, then go for it. Mark my words - you and your family will be happy.


    to cite an example, a colleague of mine had persistent respiratory problems and doctor advised him to relocate. He couldn't as the job was in Pune. He moved to Talegaon (about 40 mins from Pune by local train), and has been enjoying pollution free living for last 15 years, and commutes to Pune daily for work.

    I do not know where Talegaon stands today w.r.t. pollution, but should be better than Pune even now.
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  • Originally Posted by BaagadBilla
    I find the rickshaws and SUVs to be the worst offenders. Worse than buses if you see the per-head emission rate.

    I wonder how Bajaj and Tata pass the Euro norms emission tests ??


    The norms are actually lowered for them as they are low cost carriers.
    It is political as rickshaw and six seater organizations will protest.

    Few years back they banned six seaters from plying on inner city roads. So are people in the suburbs not humans?
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  • It is all about priorities. You need to add "pollution free environment" in your own priorities & not just think about living in one but also think about how you can help in keeping the environment free of pollution. It requires a complete different level of thinking and a disciplined mindset which many of our citizens do not care to possess.

    Like I always say (and many folks get offended), you can sum what most of our Indians believe in by two sentences: "Hum Nahin Sudharenge" (We will never improve) & "Sab Chaltaa Hain" (All is well & anything will work in India). When you confront someone if they do anything wrong, they will double it up. That is the attitude which is killing our country too.

    I know that not all may have the choice to move away from their existing homes to a pollution free environment, so I would only suggest that they get more involved in the society affairs and put necessary restrictions. Responsible citizens can improve the environment by working together. When looking for a home, don't just go with area, see the place where you are buying. Define your priorities and then look for a home. Remember, if you buy property close to shopping centers, malls or commercial complexes, you are living in a highly polluted area. So don't look at convenience but think about your & family's health. Wherever you live, you should be able to go out for a walk in a pollution free area like a park or ground or open space.
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  • Originally Posted by pnq2012
    It is all about priorities. You need to add "pollution free environment" in your own priorities & not just think about living in one but also think about how you can help in keeping the environment free of pollution.


    This is the only reason I am losing trust in relocating to any city in India. I feel stupid in front of any one discussing pollution. The moment you bring the topic, you get the answer "lakhon crore log reh rahe hain, kuch nahi hotaa". Things are starkingly different in other countries, including so called polluted China where people are highly conscious of air pollution. Indians seem totally dumb on this it seems. HEPA filters which should be high selling commodity in India are seldom found here and need to be imported !
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  • Guys, that is why in future I am thinking of buying land and building a home in Saswad (near Pune). I actually lived in this small town for 3-4 months and I found the air very fresh and cool.

    It won't be soon though, as I am just at 3-4 years into my career but may be after 4-5 years, I will definitely invest here.
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  • Originally Posted by Hairpin
    Guys, that is why in future I am thinking of buying land and building a home in Saswad (near Pune). I actually lived in this small town for 3-4 months and I found the air very fresh and cool.

    It won't be soon though, as I am just at 3-4 years into my career but may be after 4-5 years, I will definitely invest here.

    Well do you think in a small town in India you can get basic infra - reasonable medical facilities, primary education, medium to high speed internet, cleanliness, etc. ? That's the paradox I am facing.
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  • Hey dsharma9, I live in Mumbai and will live in Mumbai till my retirement (no option as the Govt Job I work in is only in Capital cities, with majority work in Mumbai). Saswad is just 30 km from Pune. And its one of the sweet places I have seen. I was saying that I would invest now for retirement. And may be on holidays and weekends, I can go there to enjoy the surroundings.
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  • FYI...land prices in Saswad have gone up by 5-7 times in the last 10 yrs. Its not going to be easy buying land.
    If you work in Kharadi or Hadapsar, living at Saswad is a very viable option.
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  • Originally Posted by dsharma9
    This is the only reason I am losing trust in relocating to any city in India. I feel stupid in front of any one discussing pollution. The moment you bring the topic, you get the answer "lakhon crore log reh rahe hain, kuch nahi hotaa". Things are starkingly different in other countries, including so called polluted China where people are highly conscious of air pollution. Indians seem totally dumb on this it seems. HEPA filters which should be high selling commodity in India are seldom found here and need to be imported !


    +1.

    I think it is important for Indians to evolve as per the times. There is a big drawback we Indians have - we stick to traditional things that have been followed for years. This applies in all aspects of life. In some cases, that may work but when it comes to real estate, it is important to look at development that is right for the community & the only way to do that is break the protocol or the tradition and learn from other developing countries.

    I do see some shift in this thinking but will take time.
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  • USA - worst polluters in the world

    USA..talks big about pollution but,,they are the worst polluters...maximum paper usage (paper industry is nost polluting) ....oil spills (Exxxon etc)..just because of their military and economic powers no country complains about them
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  • Originally Posted by mmulye
    USA..talks big about pollution but,,they are the worst polluters...maximum paper usage (paper industry is nost polluting) ....oil spills (Exxxon etc)..just because of their military and economic powers no country complains about them


    It is all about power, isn't it. Everybody wants it but don't want to use power responsibly. Not quite sure how blaming US helps us. Pollution has direct relationship with population and growth. This affects India more than US. What concerns me more is the ignorance about such serious issues as there is no awareness. Just take your example - you put the blame on US.

    One of the strong causes of pollution is the burning of garbage. PMC actually bans burning garbage or dry leaves near residential areas but they do not enforce it. In fact, the PMC street cleaners are the ones who burn trash most of the times. If you confront them, then they do not listen. Many societies do it too within their premises. I have appealed to many societies to stop this ritual of burning trash and dry leaves, some listen and some don't. There is a big ego problem too where when you try to advice for something good, then they will do it intentionally.

    My whole point is - why can't we change? These same people who burn trash, will they do it in US or in Singapore? Why only in India then? Why is it that we can do whatever we want to in India? And then, if someone blasts us for the wrongdoings, we do not like it and try to put the blame elsewhere.

    Same is with water - I still do not understand why we Indians like to wash cars daily. Car manufacturers actually suggest once or twice a week depending upon the use & that too with the right car washing agents. Not only water is wasted but we are also ruining the car and environment. When confronted, we say - it is because of the pollution. :-)

    By putting the blame on others is not going to help. Each one of us have to act responsibly and tackle this problem, maybe not for us but for our children.
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  • Originally Posted by pnq2012
    It is all about power, isn't it. Everybody wants it but don't want to use power responsibly. Not quite sure how blaming US helps us. Pollution has direct relationship with population and growth. This affects India more than US. What concerns me more is the ignorance about such serious issues as there is no awareness. Just take your example - you put the blame on US.

    One of the strong causes of pollution is the burning of garbage. PMC actually bans burning garbage or dry leaves near residential areas but they do not enforce it. In fact, the PMC street cleaners are the ones who burn trash most of the times. If you confront them, then they do not listen. Many societies do it too within their premises. I have appealed to many societies to stop this ritual of burning trash and dry leaves, some listen and some don't. There is a big ego problem too where when you try to advice for something good, then they will do it intentionally.

    My whole point is - why can't we change? These same people who burn trash, will they do it in US or in Singapore? Why only in India then? Why is it that we can do whatever we want to in India? And then, if someone blasts us for the wrongdoings, we do not like it and try to put the blame elsewhere.

    Same is with water - I still do not understand why we Indians like to wash cars daily. Car manufacturers actually suggest once or twice a week depending upon the use & that too with the right car washing agents. Not only water is wasted but we are also ruining the car and environment. When confronted, we say - it is because of the pollution. :-)

    By putting the blame on others is not going to help. Each one of us have to act responsibly and tackle this problem, maybe not for us but for our children.


    And there was this guy in my building who would use PMC water to wash his car daily. According to him, washing with PMC water instead of borewell water makes the colour shine better. In any case, the car wont last more than ten years.
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  • Another example of why we always dont ignore the Root-Cause !
    (this is pollution related)

    Bullet owners face the music for noise pollution in Pune - The Times of India
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  • Noise pollution is in our culture. Loud music in weddings, festivals, bursting of fire crackers after midnight, late night noisy work & excessive honking even at night to tell friends that you are down to pick them up & the list goes on. The bullet story was a new addition that I wasn't aware.

    Anyways, on noise pollution, I read an interesting story that I would like to share. A bit long but worth a read:

    The sage Mandavya was in deep meditation when some thieves entered his house, hoping to escape the soldiers who were chasing them. The soldiers caught them and accused Mandavya of wrongfully sheltering them. The king ordered that Mandavya be impaled. Mandavya wondered why was he was suffering for a crime he had not committed. He questioned Yama, the god of death and justice, who said that he was paying the price for torturing insects as a child. ‘But I was an innocent child then!’ he protested. Yama said, ‘The insects did not think so.’ Nevertheless, an angry Mandavya cursed Yama that he would be born as Vidura, who though worthy of being a king, would never wear the crown.

    The story from the Mahabharata draws attention to how the law of karma works. And I thought of this when I heard the blaring music during Republic Day proclaiming children’s patriotism in my ‘posh’ residence complex. It was awful to endure such torture. But we could say nothing as eager parents were obsessed with teaching their children ‘good values’ — declare your love for the country even if it means torturing other people’s ears. No one can complain. Those who do will be accused of being value-less unpatriotic child-hating kill-joys. So we quietly suffer. Year after year after year, convinced we too are suffering for crimes committed when we were children. Did we torture insects too?

    How are these awful parent-child-nation bonding events different from the noise pollution during Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Navaratri or the daily Azaan from mosques calling on the faithful to pray? Can we mock these very upper-class parents of being uneducated shantytown residents under protection of slumlord politicians? We cannot. This proves the idea that secularism and nationalism can be as cruel as religion, the rich are as cruel as the poor, and housewives can be as nasty as political goons. No one is stopping the festivities — but why is there need for such loudspeakers in open public spaces? Even law tiptoes around so as not to offend the loud lout.

    But then, I think of the other extreme. My friends in Europe told me that in some parts of Switzerland you are not allowed to flush your toilet after 10 pm as the sound of the flush can disturb other residents of the building. My friend in Japan told me how the only sound in a Japanese busy street is the sound of birds above. No one speaks. Everyone moves silently. This creepiness is high culture, I am told. A place where you speak softly and loud music is allowed only inside closed doors, enclosed by sound proof walls. The other extreme.

    It comes down to how much the other matters. The insect did not matter to Mandavya. And the ears of neighbours do not matter to the parents playing nationalistic songs during Republic day, or the administrators of the mosques who call the faithful every day, several times a day, or to the organisers of religious festivities who scream louder and louder to get the attention of deaf gods. All that matters is their devotion, their patriotism, their enjoyment and their piety. The other does not matter. Selfishness is justified, even valourised. The other is expected to endure. This is the ‘value’ taught by parents to children in resident complex after resident complex in every festival and every patriotic day.

    Hopefully, Yama is keeping accounts.
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