Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dil hai Chotasa, Chotisi Aasha!







Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears… Italo Calvino.

Italo Calvano was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy. He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels. Sure he is a keen observer of a city life too & though he isn’t resident of our beloved Pune yet his words seems to be written for Pune only!  Every morning when most of us opens page of Sakal i.e. our news paper what we read is the reflection of what Italo has said in his quote. Most of the pages are filled up with the problems or the fears this city faces on all fronts may it be traffic or water or road condition or cc TVs/cameras or public toilet or water supply or even uniforms to kids of municipality schools, every front of the system seems to be infected with some virus & it’s not working at the level which is expected to be. And it’s the simple desires which we expect from the city which never get fulfilled. Rarely did we read about something good which has been experienced by the citizens of this city by the systems which are there for making our life good if not better!

I always wonder whether it’s our negative attitude that we rarely appreciate good work around or is it a reality that we are so bad on all civic fronts that the negativity is a fact & that’s only thing which is now we have face! Take it a thing as simple as CC TVs. Once the city was supposed to be safe as fortress not just crime wise but with the social environment of the city. Not many years ago while marketing the Pune real estate I myself used to boast to the NRI’s a& outsiders that the  what you look for best social life , that’s security to our ladies & here in Pune at night a lady can drive back home on her two wheeler all alone from the last show of the movie! What better sign of security one can have? Well can I say this now & if I say whether people will believe? With chains from the necks being snatched in broad day light & instead providing security or assuernece the police officers them self appealing women not to wear jewelry while moving on road, what more sign of unsecured life we need? Well that’s not the subject of our write-up but then after bomb blast of German bakery every leader said that there will be CC TV all around the city & now nearly three years later how many of them we see? There are cameras on many traffic junctions & lastly it was heard that there are some one million photographs of vehicles jumping signals but who will maintain these cameras wasn’t decided so all the data is like waste! When have we heard that some signal jumper has been punished from the image of cc TV? Every now & then there is a crime on road & we read that images are being collected by the police & then we know because of poor image quality no use of the cc TV footage! And now again for laying the cc TV cables every new /old paved road is under digging. Its public money by which road has been made & when we knew that cc TV cables has to be laid then who & what has stopped for making provisions for cables of cc TV along these roads? And who guaranties that these cameras will be of good quality & images it will capture will be processed in time & used for the purpose they are being fixed, if at all they get fixed!  

I deliberately took cc TV issue as on prima fascia it won’t be related to real estate but it’s our attitude towards so small topic related to the city which shows what lays for the major issues like water & traffic!

Whenever problems regarding the city are discussed its usually traffic, public transport, water & electricity but rarely we think about other issues like public toilets, public health facilities, education , sports facilities, markets, public gardens as well swimming pools & many such. Well since the news papers are being read by middle class & all these above mentioned facilities are rarely used for upper class there is rarely any cry about them & rulers’ as well governing bodies take advantage of this situation. We are forgetting the city runs of public facilities & not private ones. Those who have got enough money & reside in designer flats need not have to care for gardens or public toilets or public transport. They have private pools, gym & their own cars so all they worry about wider roads for their cars & water to their swimming tanks or water tanks which they can buy at any cost.

But when we say affordable housing, it’s the infrastructure which has to be affordable & on that from we have repeatedly failed & scene don’t seem to be changing. Simple things like having enough public toilets, especially ladies toilet & maintaining them we are unable to do. Nobody from the local governing bodies or political parties, even seem to be trying to make private segment come forward & join hands with PMC. Simple things like making corporate adopt public toilets we are unable to work out, & it’s not because there are no takers, it’s because we don’t have will for the cause. On one side we are trying to make name of the city on world map & on other side we are forgetting we are walking towards giving this city a bad name. As what we are going to show to the visitor of this city, when we can’t even provide clean public toilets?

See the condition of bus stops of our local bus service, with so much of spending for the new stainless steel fabricated bus stops which are most useless for the purpose they have been built for! No bus stop contains even basic information about the bus routes or their timings & we expect people to use public transport! Most of the time the bus stop is built directly on footpath making impossible to use either the bust stop or the footpath. And the busses never stop at these bus stop but at least hundred feet’s before or after the stop is another joke.

So much has been written about the municipality schools & hospitals that many of the newspapers as well journalists have given up writing about these topics. I always wonder why it’s not being made compulsory for all the leaders as well authorities to use these facilities only for their own as well their families , at-least once in a year so they will realize what kind of service common people get in here. A city which can’t provide good education to its future citizen or cant guaranty good health the city is going to be doomed is a naked truth.

We speak about water supply but leave apart technical data like length of water lines & the maps of the same but simple information like what is exact water being supplied to the city, what is city’s actual demand & how much water is actually being supplied to the end user, we are unable to furnish. If as a citizen we are not going to get even correct information about water supply then we don’t need a genius to know what will be future of getting actual water! All sorts of vague statements are what we get to read or listen from the so called bosses of the city.
The more we think the more we tend to get frustration, though all is not end yet. 

As usual many will wonder what all this has to do with real estate is. Well, after all what is real estate but the city? The homes are being sold where people will like to reside & with the kind of infrastructure we are having a day will come when no one will be coming to live here. Need of the time is houses which will make life of the resident easier & that’s possible only with the good basic infrastructure. The city is expanding all the time like cancer cells but it’s not a healthy growth; it’s slow poisoning to the body named Pune which once considered as a healthy. We have expanded by having fifteen villages & now we are on the verge of swallowing thirty five more villages along the periphery! Agreed its essential but then what we have done with what we have already, is equally important to analyze. Unless every one of us, not just from real estate but every common citizen don’t get aware about the true condition & won’t demand immediate attention in form of action, the future of the city is certain & it’s not good!  

Many of us must be remembering the song “Dil hai chotasa , chotisi aasha”, well on the same line the city has very small needs & expectations from all of us to make it survive & prosper, issue is are we sensible enough to feel what city needs? Just blaming each other won’t save the city but coming together & acting along is the need of the time as well of the city & then only we can proudly say that we are Punekar! 

 Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

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

http://visonoflife.blogspot.in/2014/06/a-journey-of-decade-named-sanjeevani.html


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