“Imaginary mills grind no flour” … Tamsen Webster
Tamsen Webster has spent the last twenty years helping experts drive action from their ideas. Part message strategist, part storyteller, part English-to-English translator, her work focuses on how to find and build the stories of partners, investors, clients, and customers! And maybe that’s why Tamsen could put so much of wisdom about attitude towards life in so few words! Though my subject of sharing may not be life but about development yet the attitude is what matters here too & so that’s why the above quote fits perfectly to the subject. And when the subject is development then it’s very closely associated with city, real estate & people as I consider real estate not just as an industry or investment or money making but it’s about homes & it’s the homes which are in a way bridge to growth & prosperity of the people making a city flourish (or vanish). If we build good homes & make them available to every needy family then the families will be at mental peace as nothing better than a comfort (and confidence) to have a home of their own which directly reflects in the output on every front you are facing. This is possible when the homes are backed up with not just internal amenities & luxuries but proper infrastructure of roads, power, connectivity, social places, nature conservation & all these do impact on the costing of a home which is an important aspect for buying that home for any family!
This last part i.e., impact of infrastructure on the costing of home is why I am always concerned about the news (or say developments about the infrastructure) regarding city’s roads, water lines, traffic, garbage, gardens, rivers, hills, drainage, public health & every that thing which is responsible to make a good home affordable. And when I came across the news about Hon. High Court’s judgment regarding the ring road around Pune, (read as one of the ring roads) development then I felt it’s important to make people aware about this aspect of development of the city & that’s why Tamsen’s quote to start the same! Now let me explain to the raised eye-brows of the readers about one of the ring road comments of mine in the bracket, it’s not sarcastic (well, I am getting dried up on that front) but there are two ring roads planned or announced or declared (what differences it makes) & the news was about one of them So one ring road is planned by State Govt i.e. Public Works Dept & another ring road also is planned by the govt only but with a mask named Planning Authority which in this case is PMRDA i.e., Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority & its PMRDA’s ring road which was centre of the news against which High Court has issued an order that too in favour of a real estate company, so there is really justice in this country & Goddess of Justice is really blind as she didn’t rule out a builder without hearing him, in this matter!
Let me clear at the start, this is not to justify somebody right or some govt dept wrong, this is about our attitude towards the development of the city or the region, as the news & the said case is for analogy scale for the cause! Well, as most of you may be knowing (even if you don’t know hardly matters though) that two ring roads have been announced by govt & purpose is to divert the traffic as well heavy vehicles movement coming from out stations & crossing Pune thus reducing load on Pune/PCMC city’s internal roads (blah blah blah). Also, it will save time for people visiting suburbs of these two cities for e.g. I am travelling from Mumbai & I live in Hadapsar or Loni or Kharadi, then instead of going through the present city route I can take the ring road, use the respective exit & go to my home in the respective suburb, which at present is a nightmare actually! As usual no two minds about the utility or concept or need of this idea problem is in execution, so the first mistake, announcing two roads & second mistakes too much delay in announcement, planning, making it part of development plan & last part i.e., making these roads reality (read as actually building them) is like a dream. And in the meantime, the time lapse is too much & no coordination of the various depts' which is a basic characteristic of the gov, right? But why the common citizen (read as builder too) suffers for this no-coordination aspect of govt is the question which has to be answered by the govt (lol, who am I fooling but myself). As if on one side it’s the daily commuting of the citizens who has to suffer losses on three front, time, fuel & health (mental stresses of traffic) due to delay causing in not making the ring road then on other side its planning on paper (read as without considering viability on the ground) is making land owners suffer losses for sanctioning process gets halted!
Here is where, some builder dared to go to the Court & the Court has allowed the already sanctioned project by the authorities to be built, which now the authority is saying has been sanctioned but in the alignment of the said ring road! This verdict is very important, I am not saying right or wrong as if the Hon Court has ordered it then it's right (most of the times) but this raises the question on planning part of the infrastructure itself which is very vital for the city & region, that’s my concern! And such errors are not new, even in Pune city we have a HCMTR, High-Capacity Mass Transit Route which has been shown & being shown on the DP (development plan) of the city for last 30 years & not a single meter length of the said road or route (hardly matters) has been build & it has now built build on its route, so what’s point in announcing or planning such projects, is something I want to ask! By the way about this ring road thing now it’s been made of 65 meters width from original 100 meter width with a note that as already one ring road is planned, this one can be made of 65 meters width, wonderful, but then why not then cancel it in the first place, as who wants two ring roads, making unnecessary delays for the planning procedures! Instead why can’t there be a regular 30 meter wide DP road, as if you study the alignment of the ring road, it’s practically impossible to build it because of topography as well the way its route has been planned, is even a first year urban planning student can tell! At the same time if the second ring road (by PWD) is so effective then why is it not being started yet, at least mark it on the ground so people will know while dealing in the lands getting affected because of these roads, right?
The whole point is as an engineer as well as a developer by myself & as a citizen of Pune region I understand & appreciate the need of the infrastructure but what about the way it’s being executed is the matter of concern. Interestingly, PMC has acquired some 23 villages on the fringe areas of its existing boundary & of which PMRDA has already done DP & now problem is who will sanction the plans as well when & how or the PMC will make a new DP of these villages but then till that time what future of the projects in these areas which are main hope for affordable housing considering the souring land prices in main city! Such many delays & policies in every aspect of development of the city (cities) needs action & answers but who will do it is the problem! Interestingly, there was one wonderful article about the govt's working & delays recently in a news-paper where the common man (most of the times) has to face the grind of delays by the govt systems over simple things such as property tax correction of electric meter change of name & many such. Imagine, if this is about the common-man for one NOC then what must be happening to the businesses like real estate where hundreds of NOC’s & Sanctions are required & if every time a builder has to go to the Hon Court, how the homes will be affordable & where is “Ease of Doing Business'', is my main concern & not to blame any particular entity, till that time “Ram Bharose” is the key-word on which entire country is living, we are just a city, so, Bolo, Siya Raamchandraki Jay!
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