Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Living Together !

Living Together !

Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's
addressed to someone else….Ivern Ball

While coming in the final topic of the eco housing, this sentence
always amazes me! As most of the times we are part of the readers of
the walls as the great man has said! We discus so many issues authoritively,
especially we Punekar have pride in it that even a new born has his
opinion on any of the topics & its birth right for the citizen of this
very city. But when it comes to deliver we always wait for someone
else to do it! May it be wearing helmet or buying subji from the
street hawkers & then hailing all other world for encroachments of the

Now, one will say what’s in it for eco housing? Well eco housing as by
now we know isn’t something directly imported from heavens! Its good
houses made by good people for your good living in them, is the
simplest definition I can provide or have done for myself. And when we
say good houses made by good people, here comes the Social Awareness
factor in picture! How you define someone good when the eco housing
front is the criteria? Rather put it other way can you book the flat
in a project made by the so called Union Carbide (? forgive me for
using specific name but it’s for illustration) However cheap & nice
houses they built. Well the answer will be a big NO by most aware
citizens. And it’s because the deed of a group or maker of the homes
will have to be counted when we call them good & precisely this deeds
we call as Social Awareness!

This particular factor is very less considered in our country while
buying any product why just homes! Because we are poor in
understanding the writing on wall! In western countries the buyer is
very much alert about the manufacturer’s activities on social front &
any single wrong step or even wrong advertising f the product can
hamper the sale of the product. That's why many of corporate giants joins
hands with NGO's or with persons who undertakes tasks of social welfare. One
may call it as social bribing too! We are not talking about
compensating bad deeds but it's to balance the business profits with your
social duty! I often wondered from where huge expenses like research
for wild life or tribal’s come & when I started watching National Geo
or Discover or Animal Planet then right from funding to such
expeditions too broadcasting them is funded by many of the well known
corporate like Shell, Toyota ,BMW etc. Now they know their product is
a automobile which is going to burn fuel & pollute surrounding however
little it may be but they can’t stop making cars neither people can’t
stop buying them! But what they can do is use their resources at least
some apart of it which is generated from making the cars for some noble cause & they just do that!

Look at the scene here in our country, the basic things like counting
trees in Pune city isn’t been possible because of lack of funding! We
say PMC collects enough money from builders & PMC sys builders are
making enough money from continuous rise in land prices! Have ever
anybody listened what the City says! Why we have a good real estate
scene in Pune? Because the city has pleasant atmosphere which comes
from lots of greens around, we have one of the best water resources
here, we enjoy almost uninterrupted electric supply next best to
Mumbai, we have finest medical facilities  for all emergencies ( if
one has money in pocket), We have PMC to pick our garbage however
waste we generate ,we have 20 lacs vehicles & we have petrol to feed
them, we have roads & flyovers to run these vehicles , we have
multiplexes & restaurants of all types for our entertainment ,we have
schools with best environment for our kids to get good education ,& we
have builders who takes care of all our amenities & give us a warm
cozy home to sleep in when we are back home and watch Kanha tigers
roaming in the forest on various channels !

Well well! Just look around & see what lies outside of our 50 km
radius of coziness or even outside of our compound wall of the well
secured complex! Millions don’t have a roof on their head leave apart
education or even basic medical facility! Many don’t have even
drinking water keep apart bathing luxury! We don’t have money to count
the trees in this very city & we are talking up on saving the tigers
in jungles which are hundreds of miles away from us! Have we ever
thought what kind of infrastructure the people there are getting? The
maximum snake bites happens in Chandrpur district where Tdaoba tiger
project is located & they don’t have vaccine arrangement as it has to
be protected at a particular temperature & lights are off most of the
time because of load shading! Don’t think of the arrangements like
rain coats or winter wares where temperature is extreme in changing
seasons! And by sitting in our living room we say Govt has to do
something to save Tigers!

The rural around Pune city are getting supplied by tanker water once
in  2 or 3 days & here we harass our cooperator for minimum 2 tankers
of potable quality in a day that too just when PMC water supply is
kept shut for maintenance! We have invertors fitted by our builders
even for our AC's & TV's & in rural one by one small scale businesses
are closing down because of non availability of the power!
We have school buses to collect our kids from our door step for school
& millions of kids don’t have even proper sitting arrangement in their
schools. Our kids school trips goes to various destinations even out of country too & have we ever thought there are thousands of school goers who couldn’t manage even PMPML’s bus pass also! And we expect the country to prosper & compete with countries like China!

May it be builders or buyers, how many of us have given a thought for
these issues & tries to do something for the same?  The ace badminton payer Saina Nehval who is delight of many Corporates now, wasn’t getting a sponcerer even for her routine training earliear! Sponsoring a
Sangget Rajani or a Race is surely important for business & is one
side of the coin but what’s more important is the approach towards the
less unfortunate side of the life! In this country only it happen  & its shame that an Archer broke her arch during practice & couldn’t go to Ashiad for not getting a sponcerer for buying the new one! Agreed there are good fells in the business but they have to be searched for & that's irony of the
society! It’s a most common fraze “ If there is will there is a way”, so it’s not important to describe what help an individual or a group can do but just keep doing our own share a bit. The need of the time is more & more developers should come forward & make their efforts seen to the society about so many issues which 90% population of the country is facing! And more & more flat
buyers should ask their builder about his contributions for such cause
& not just about the amenities or rate negotiation while buying theflat.

Here media’s role is equally important as many a times it’s been seen that they give step son treatment to real estate as when we give front page to land scandles then we should at least give some space to good deeds happening in real estate too, though they may be few right now but appreciation is a great tool to make people do better! There are people like Azim Premji in IT who can donate their all worth for the primary education via their foundation. Imagine what we can do if the whole real estate industry comes forward for the two very basic aspects i.e. Education & Child Health Care!

Again many will say what’s this to Eco Housing? Well guys all those
who claims to build eco housing & who wants to live in them, they all need
to look beyond our houses first to all these realities around,
acknowledege our own responsibility towards them & then we might be
able to do something about them & then only we will be entitled to call
ourselves eligible for living or making Eco Housing! As Eco housing isn't just building the buildings but it’s building a society!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev
Envo_power Committee,Credi,Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !




Think Green, Think Life

Monday, November 22, 2010

Speaking Hi Tech!

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense...Gertrude Stei

With due respect to Mr Gertrude he must have skipped the real estate industry while writing this famous quote!

As recently a study was undertaken via a renowned Management Institute in the country for a US software giant corporation. Its about use of software as well hard ware in Real Estate /Construction industry or call it IT ie Information industry in the country. As being one of the largest employment generating industry & turnover even higher than Automobile industry yet the use of computer & related services is not even 2% of its turnover!
Many will be surprised but as  with whatever limited exposure I have in last 20 years in real estate industry, I will say its failure of Computer Industry as well the Real Estate Industry combined! If Computer Industry hasn't been able to understand the exact needs of this business then Real Estate Industry wasn't ever truly open for the newer technology & laid their demands clearly!

Basically software industry is indirectly is a parasite in itself! No offence all software guys but it needs a customer industry to adopt their knowledge which in end is used to improve the parental industry! Here what has happened as the real estate has been never standardized so naturally IT industry has never been able to understand what this industry needs! And as the land prices is the only thing in world which keeps on rising without doing anything they never have been keen on improving the business with assistance of IT industry. Also real estate has got least of technical personals & don't required any licence or that sort of thing so obviously they prefer to stick to orthodox methods of construction !
I remember even in my Eng college days civil guys were more comfortable with T square for drawing than using drafting equipment,which other branches were frequent with!
Frankly the topic is so vast as well covering many aspects that it’s pretty difficult to cover all of them in a single paper. Till now the real estate stands as the largest revenue as well employment generating industry of the country also it has the honor of most unorganized industry too!
Its this Unorganized status of this industry makes it most potential for the IT industry & I think studying this particular aspect gives maximum opportunity to any management student of both the faculties to cover up the lacuna.
Such is the irony that after spending nearly 15 years in the industry I am unable to give concrete figures to any of my statement, simply because no official guaranteed statistics is available on the data I will be mentioning below, for e.g.

We don’t know exactly
1. How many houses we need leave apart city wise even in total country.
2. We don’t know what kind of houses we need.

3. What is affordability for the same in terms of money to fulfill this demand?

Above two basic questions leads key to many answers such as what kind of technology we are looking for to build these houses as well the infrastructural need these housing will require.

I think here is where IT can play a major role along with networking as such type of information will require a huge data collection which has to be backed up with the networking for the collection of same. Right now take example of a simple term in present housing development “Rain water Harvesting“!

Now RWH is being practiced in India since from ancient time, right from Mohanjaro-Harappa establishments & ask any person in the field, he can list hardly a few techniques. This is because of communication lacuna & no networking as well poor data storing facilities every local area developed its own techniques. And this technique got restrained to not even that State but that District only.
Consider Chennai in Tamilnadu, Surat in Gujarath , Sicar in Rajasthan & Pune rural in Maharashtra .All four have different needs & so have different systems of Rain water Harvesting. Now show me a single platform which gives such information and now consider the time wasted in collecting the information before finalizing any system. That was just one aspect of at least 400 activities involved in real estate housing.

Presently IIEC ( International Institute of Energy Conservation, USAID arm) made an Environment Impact Assessment Criteria for Pune real estate development. It has listed 88 main heads & nearly 200 subheads which are to be analyzed.
Now tell me with no single data providing network available of software for the same how one is going to do the job!
 Leave apart Environment data, I am sure there wont be hardly 10% developers who knows exactly how much money they have to pay to the various Govt agencies under different heads as no central data of that kind is available! We pay as the concerned consultants brings the chalans! This is the scenario & we talk about affordable homes! Affordability is knowing first at what cost the home has been manufactured or will be manufactured!
Right from identifying the potential land for real estate to hand over the finished product to the customer we can break the act in following 10 stages:

1. Identifying the demand of housing.
2. Zeroing down the piece of land as per demand
3. Acquiring the land (Including legal transaction)
4. Planning the housing as per the needs.
5. Procuring Material
6. Procuring Labors
7. Maintaining quality in construction process.
8. Providing physical Infrastructure such as road, water, power. Providing social infrastructure such as school, medical, commerce, recreation.
9. Marketing of the houses
10. Handing over and post occupational activities.

Now as in most of the actions except planning that to restricted the drawing part where support like AutoCAD software is there, rest all actions took extraordinary time either due to manual systems involved or no data base available.
 Like RWH a single plastering to masonry is being carried out by at least 7 known ways. Which will be cost saving where? How we are going to answer this?

Here I think we need the fusion of It Industry & Construction Industry. You have mentioned use of graphs & Charts in the paper! It’s unfortunate that we never bothered to keep record of even site accidents in the Industry leave apart Quality checks!

Major reasons is at many places there is no demand for housing or there is excess demand or demand is there but lack of knowledge restrains the demand on affordability reasons. Also there is a myth that application of IT in Real Estate will create un employement in the industry.

I thing firstly we have to acknowledge the lacuna on this front, then work out the reasons & then access the system to overcome it by developing the IT products which will support the existing system as well strengthen it on data base building. This will be the biggest task. And its high time for the Builders as well the Real Estate Industry as a whole to take this job which in end is a key to lower down the construction cost & making homes more affordable for the end users.

Sanjay Deshpande
Sanjeevani Developers,
Gharkool Lawns,100’ DP Road,
Patwardhan Baug, Off Mhatre Bridge,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kachara Kachara bahati hai...

There's so much plastic in this culture that even the vinyl leopard skin is becoming an endangered synthetic."Lily Tomli
Joke apart the above statement humorously shows the mentality of our society & ignorance about the biggest problem ever the mankind has faced,                  the Garbage or Waste!

Most important aspect of the Eco housing rather this aspect makes any new home not to get tag of Eco friendly & that is Garbage! One may ask why so? Simple, if you don’t build houses no new garbage creating centers will be created in Metros but that’s not possible as we all need houses to live, so all we can do is to understand the process of garbage generation & try to minimize it's production!

In early nineties there was a beautiful movie naming Ijajat... There was a song  " Katara katara bahati hai... jindagi hai..." when ever I move on the streets or any public place I just remember these lines except the word "Katara replaced by Kachara"! Yes we are flowing with Kachara i.e. garbage! When ever we visit foreign countries we are zapped by the cleanliness over there & that’s the first thing comes to our notice & yes the stale smell of air isn’t there rather we are not uses to such clean & fresh air. Those who are from rural must have experienced it when they come to any big city. And why rural even when we go by Deccan queen to Mumbai, immediately after crossing Kalyan the air fragrance changes & we try to reduce our intake of the same & then at the end of the day feel dizzy or giddy while coming back to Pune.

The basic difference in our & western culture is in the concept of cleanliness. Many American houses may be extremely filthy from inside but outside of the home when in public they give utmost important to this aspect. Exactly reverse is the case here, we may live in a filthy surrounding but most of the times our homes are chakachak! The easiest way of removing garbage for us is throw it out of our door! Just don’t bother what havoc it’s making outside until your own doorsteps are clean! This is where we are going wrong. As with increasing urbanization the generation of garbage is also on rise & for using any formula to find out the solution on garbage issue first we need to understand the society's mentality on this front. As in our mythology story, we all like Parijat flowers but we don’t want the tree in our premise!
Few years back when there were not so many companies’s selling there ready made products. And now right from pizzas to refrigerators (thanks god they don’t deliver cars in gift packing) every thing gets delivered in pack form & the packing in itself has own importance! And do mind once you open the pack & done with your product the packing is now junk in other words "Kachara'! And it’s increasing in multiple of the population as every ones need something & so does the packing of the same thing!
Now along with this our food as well eating habits have been changed. Earlier we were supposed to clean up every thing whatever has been served in the plate & still if it’s any leftover the house lady usually used to gave it to people who couldn’t afford even a day’s meal or to cows & animals of that category. But with the time earning has increased but our values has decreased & we feel shame in following such acts instead we just dump the left over in our garbage bean! The need of the time is make the end "Kachara maker" aware" ,here the end kachara maker is a common man living in any Metros of the country & assisting to generate more garbage by his daily activities ,may it be any Jarda pouch or CD's i.e.  E waste!

Even look at the way our definition of celebrating has been changing! No one says don’t celebrate but the times are changing, earlier the fire crackers weren’t that common & only at Diwali we use to bang them up. But now in any marriage or smallest of the election result or any get together we saw people using loads of firework. Who's going to look at the hip of burnt thrash after such show?  The festival like Ganpati with all due respect to the efforts of many NGO's about reducing "Nirmalya" i.e. the waste material of Puja,isnt getting reduces instead after the procession its impossible to pass from the place where the idols are being immersed! Is this the cause for which we started celebrating such festivals at so large scale! Here no law or any prohibiting act of the govt isn’t going to help us is a fact.

Best way for any garbage issue is try to disintegrate the same at the source only. But it depends on lots of thing such as quality of the society we are dealing with & their exposure to these kind of knowledge as well their understanding of their own responsibility! Mostly they are reluctant as they feel ok till the garbage is out of their eye site. Rather each grownup person as well children of the schools should be made mandatory to visit the garbage dumping yard of the city i.e. " Kachara Depot" & see the life of people living surrounding it. And this should be at least once in a year as then only one will realize how he individually is also responsible for this problem!
About setting systems there are many for wet garbage, right from vermicomposting to mechanical treatment & each can be adopted as per the site condition of individual establishment. But important is our approach towards the same. Many a places I have seen people are reluctant to segregate dry & wet garbage. Many don’t want to take efforts to collect it & then nobody is interested in maneuvering the vermi plant on daily basis. In addition to this at many places because of outer pressure the Municipal Corporation them selves collect the garbage! Now who will take effort if the garbage is getting taken care by outside agency!
Such systems should be banned rather provide such services at very high property tax so each society will be taking care of their own wet garbage. The PMC has made Vermicomposting mandatory to all new upcoming projects since last 3 years but who is going to keep check about actual using of them as well are they of adequate capacity? Does the Builder have set a system amongst the residents before giving them possession for maintaining them? For bigger townships maintaining a vermi pit is a difficult job so one has to think of setting up a mechanical plant for treating wet garbage & converting the same in maneuver. Many developers have done that like in Magarpatta city. More & more builders should do such thing & more customers for such colonies should demand it from their developer!

Similarly who is taking lead of incorporating such systems of treating wet garbage & segregation of dry garbage too in existing development. The PMC along with the Developers can try for some solution for their existing schemes.

Aware & educate but at the same time use proper methods of colleting as well treating  i.e. recycling & reusing of the generated garbage and filter these systems to the end level. Because it’s not only PMC's or any other Govt dept's job but it’s for our own better living we need to take care of our garbage.

Sanjay Deshpande
Sanjeevani Dev
Envo_power Committee,Credi,Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
Think Green, Think Life