Saturday, May 23, 2015

Growing up Our Kids!

"There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you'd be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of his or her own life and nature"….Ayelet Waldman

I often wonder about myself as what kind of parent I am, as the true answer lies with my sons only & I try to look at the things from their eyes which indeed is a difficult task! I remember the kind of a kid I was & the treatment I got; well some memories are not that pleasant yet now looking back I feel I deserved it! As the quote says we try to reflect our own self in parenting which sometimes may be right thing to do but it comes at the cost of conflict with our own children! While writing about buildings & nature mostly, there are times when something happens in our life which we haven’t imagined & one such incidence made me pen down this sharing about parent children relationship. Last week my younger son rohan & his few friends were planning to go for a trip to Goa /Tarkarli as they are having holidays. Somehow initially I agreed but later when he told me about the changed plan & night driving, I refused & rohan got very much upset with me & I can understand it yet somehow he accepted (well there wasn’t any option) & didn’t go for the trip. The very same bus of his friends met with accident on way back at wee hours of morning. Many of his friends got injured but fortunately no causality was there. I was equally shocked by the news as rohan but didn’t show my emotions to him. Rohan later said sorry to me as or he else he too would have been got injured had he been on that bus & was very concerned for his friends. I was concerned for the kids as well parents as I am sure most of the parents would have opposed the trip idea but eventually have taken a step back on the insisting child. As we all have gone through the role of being a child & many of us are no in parenting role, so what we do when ours & our child’s demand supply don’t match?  

This genre has everything available at their finger tips but they forget that love & care can’t be shopped online! And one can’t learn to understand emotions at IIN & what parents expect you can’t Google! Let’s understand parents are not mere portals who fulfill your demands by punching your credit or debit card details but are human beings who have emotions & are around to make you a better person by their love & affection along with experience of life they have! At the same time parents should also know that buying gifts & taking the kids to malls is not the way to keep them happy! Sometimes we should be firm to say no & put our foot down when we can see that the demands from the kids are wrong & illogical. I think somewhere a constant dialogue between parents & the children is a must & that’s missing! What we expect from our child & what he expects from us seems never getting meet & today we are seeing the result because of this condition only.

It’s on such background I decided to write my feelings to all rohan’s friends who has gone to the trip as well with their parents. Sharing the same here…

Dear Atharva, Indraneel, Nitin & all rohan’s friends,

I don’t know names of all of you neither I haven’t met many of you yet I felt like writing rather sharing when I read the news about the bus accident in which you were riding. Trust me I didn’t feel happy that rohan wasn’t travelling on that bus with you all but was shocked, worried & sad for what you all have gone through on a fun trip which does turn out so drastic! I am not writing this letter to give one more lecture as by now all of you must have got enough from your parents & seniors in family along with your dosage of medicines! Why I am writing you is I see rohan in all of you & want to share what every parent must be feeling. They must be relieved that there wasn’t any fatal injury though one of your instructor rohan told me is bit serious & may god brings her early recovery!
When rohan first asked me about the trip I did give permission as he told me it will be a camp with Pugmarks or Foliage who are professional people in the field & know how to conduct trips as well chalk out itinerary of the trips. They usually don’t allow night travels as well have a staff which takes care of the campers properly & trained for any mishap. But when later on eleventh hour he told which fortunately he shared truth that your gang didn’t get either pugmark or foliage & going with some unknown guy that too over night travel then I strictly said no for his participation in the trip. Do ask rohan his reaction & the dramas he made on me saying no; it wasn’t a happy decision for me as I could see his displeasure but kids whatever I did it was whatever I have experienced about such trips & night travels. Unknown vehicles & their drivers whose backgrounds we don’t know, I have learnt in hard way not to trust on such people & that was the only reason I put my foot down. 

When I read the news in paper I didn’t knew it’s your bus only, still I whatsapped the news snap to rohan just to show him the outcome of night travel & the boy didn’t tell it was his friends who were victims of the accident. Its only today morning when Nitin Bhatt’s grandfather asked my father i.e. rohan’s grandpa about rohan then I came to know about you all being met with the mishap. For a second I was more shocked than rohan thinking of your parents, kids I don’t blame you as we all learn through bitterness of life but at what cost is the question we should ask our self! Today you all are young & yet to see a lot of life ahead & may be the young age will heal the physical as well mental scars but think just once about your mom & dad’s mental condition when they would have heard about the accident!

I don’t say every trip met with such fate & no one should move out of house ever by one such accident, but then wisdom & experience has its own value lets don’t forget that! Agreed whatever has written in our destiny happens yet we don’t go & jump from top floor of the building to test our luck! All what I want to share is we all, even me also have tested our luck & that’s why we don’t want our kids to try it as we were lucky, this time you all also were lucky but not all time! Do enjoy the life as it’s your age but do it responsibly & some time just obey what your seniors say blindly & with a smile on face! I know you all love some or other sport & in every sport they say learn from your seniors & take guidance from them, don’t they? It’s not because the seniors can play better but it’s because seniors have done mistakes & you can learn from those mistakes instead doing the same mistakes by yourself! And here we are not only your seniors but we are your parents, we have given you birth & we don’t want to lose you so cheaply! God bless that as per what rohan told that no one has got any permanent damage & imagine what would have been the scene if it’s so! It’s not that you would have been crippled for ever but your parents wouldn’t have been ever forgiven themselves for allowing you to go for the trip & just because you guys insisted for the trip!

I am sorry but these feelings & words are outcome of aging & being father of two grown up kids! I have my own reckless life which I have put behind & was lucky to get away with the recklessness but if I continued it by allowing my sons & my nephews’ & nieces to do the same then I am the biggest fool, that’s why shared with you! Please forgive me if you feel it’s one more mental dosage but look in your parent’s eyes & they will also show you the same emotions & value those emotions always! One more thing, rohan is extremely disturbed with what happened to his friends & even I too would have felt same way & is afraid of speed is what he shared with me. What I told him is don’t be afraid of speed just because of one accident but learn to control the speed as fear is good but it should not make you weak rather what I wish for you all is emerge as more strong person from the incidence & use this as your guiding tool in future!

Lastly I am big fan of Spider man, Batman, Harry Potter & all such super heroes & always share their quotes with rohit & rohan, so here too I will share a quote  ...”Choose wisely as not everyone will agree with choices you have made but it’s you who has to live with them.. Dumbledore”; what the great wise wizard has said is applicable to all of us so it’s up to you to choose wisely & what better wisdom there can be which has come with age & care  in the form of your parents! So get well soon & make your parents happy as what all they want to see is not your top scores or how much money you will earn in your carrier but fit, healthy, smiling faces of yours, that’s more than enough for any parent & it doesn’t take much to achieve that wish, is all I will say!

Get well soon & pray for recovery of the more seriously injured friends of yours!


Sanjay Kaka

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

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

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Happiness Index & Happy Homes!

"After a certain count money doesn’t always brings happiness. People with ten million dollars are not happier than the people with nine million dollars"… Hobart Brown

Brown was an American sculptor and the founder of Kinetic Sculpture Racing & believed that grownups should have fun so that the kids will want to grow old! Well this logic along with his efforts to make the society to live along it makes him one of the founders in what today’s USA is! From across the world people want to settle in USA or in western part of the world; it’s because they have understood happiness better than others!

Well when it comes to happiness the opinions can vary person to person yet one very interesting news which was in mostly all the news papers caught my eyes recently & it was about happiness index! Many will think this is some western world especially American’s funda as they are the one who tries to measure everything with some scale may it be wealth or automobiles or even ice-cream consumed per day! But how can feelings or emotion like happiness be measured & that also on a generic basis & create an index out of it? In our Hindu Philosophy we are more concerned with peace than happiness but that’s not topic of ours so let’s keep it for some time next & focus about happiness index. This index decides how happy a particular country’s citizens are i.e. “aam aadami” in our language. Needless to say India was way down on the ladder when its happiness i.e.  we as a country stood at some 117th number in the list of 160 odd countries on happiness index; no wonder first five are mostly European countries but even our neighbors Bangladesh & Pakistan also are above us in happiness index! Definitely not a good sign as a society with such a high level of unhappiness in the citizens of this country! Again many will say what’s new in that? We are a developing country & we have lots of problems to worry so how can be we happy with millions are below poverty line here? Again as the quote says this index takes in account wealth if not actual money but there are many other factors too, on which the happiness of a society is counted & they dealt with the surrounding in which we live. The happiness index news is very much related to the industry of which I am part of i.e. real estate industry as what we call home has to do a lot with happiness in our life. Well, will go in to that topic later, so curiously I went on reading the criteria for working out the index! They were quite simple, obviously per capita income was there & then there are other factors listed as generosity, freedom, average age & yes corruption! Point by point my mind started thinking about every aspect which was mentioned for working out the index.

Let’s take the per capita income; we all know we are developing country means we have millions who don’t have have access to a decent basic infrastructure like drinking water or nutritious food & no own home for living. We are dependent on high end technology like nuclear power generation on western countries & even our defense establishment too is on mercy of these countries. We don’t have road network to many of the cities or towns neither we have power network evenly distributed all along our country so most of the families are deprived from electricity is a fact. Public health situation is too bad & crores of people don’t have access to basic medical facilities. Though our Hindu Philosophy doesn’t believe in materialistic pleasures yet money is important factor in buying our basic needs which in turn is related to happiness. It’s this per capita income which is directly related to our population as well our affordability to buying our own home! This is where real estate industry comes in picture when happiness index is calculated. Imagine a person or a family with no own home so the first worry always in their mind is about getting a rented flat & all the time the tension what if the land lords asks them to move out! On other hand consider a family with their own home however inconvenient it may be yet a debt free home is something giving them confidence that no one can ask them to leave from their home. And when I say no one it means it has to be a legal title clear home so even the Govt can’t ask them to vacate it. Imagine when this basic need is take care then the persons in this family are moving a step closer to happiness index as they have stability of their family, a cause to return to home as it’s their own home. Most of the cases unhappiness is the main outcome of no cause or purpose in life. An individual can’t be happy without a proper surrounding of happy people around & a home of our own where we feel comfortable is the very main aspect of making a group of people staying together happy!

Once you have your own home then only you can think about generosity i.e. habit of sharing or giving! A happy mind which is satisfied with its own needs only can think about others needs & can be generous in his or her acts towards the society! Think of a guy who is worried all the time about buying his own home & behind saving every single rupee for the same; how can we expect him to be in giving mode or helping others when he himself is in need of money, unless he is a saint & this is not age of the saints is a fact!  Again generosity isn’t taught to us in any of the schools or colleges but a home is the best place where they teach it since our childhood. Sharing is other name of generosity & first lessons of it we all recite at the home, provided the home surrounding is happy. And here again role of real estate is extremely important as what we build for isn’t just to sale our flats but to make life of the residents in those flats comfortable which in end is the way to happiness. As if the parents of a kid are not comfortable with the kind of home their builder has given them; if the commitments towards their hard earned money hasn’t been followed then how we expect those parents will teach their kids sharing & generosity like things? At the same time role of the Govt is equally important as a home is made-up of the walls the roof & the surrounding & in the surrounding every factor counts which the builder is unable to provide but the govt is supposed to do that. This surrounding includes roads to water to drainage to schools to hospitals & play areas; this even many big projects also do provide but what about millions who stays in single building type projects? They too pay the taxes & they too have their right on all these amenities of life which are not mere luxuries for the luckier few!

Then comes the freedom; again many will say are we not a free country so what’s role freedom in happiness? Well, ask our self are we really free? Calling ourselves Indians, citizen of a free country, does it means freedom? Understanding freedom is something we lack & that’s main reason of our unhappiness. Freedom is not doing anything what we want to do but freedom is in understanding our responsibilities & following them! For e.g. I am driving a car to my morning game & at a signal seeing the red light I stop my car but many other vehicles seeing no traffic cop zoomed past me  as well the one who is right behind me keeps honking me & yelling at me to go on despite the red signal! This does makes me unhappy as people feel to jump the red signal is their definition of freedom here! So many such examples we see around right from throwing garbage on roads to spitting on footpaths, by doing so if one person is enjoying his freedom then he is making hundreds of others unhappy is a fact! So it’s high time we should learn what it means freedom first & start following it right from choosing our own home. Here again many will think what it has to do in choosing our home? There are all sorts of builders around but if we choose to have our home with all the legal proceeding complete then we need not have to be unhappy looking at others who are staying in illegal homes, which may come a bit cheap in money but is not a product of true freedom! This is main reason why Govt should curb illegal constructions & every developer who is building a legal home should raise his voice against illegal construction as seeds of happiness are in following the law & not in breaking it, the message should be very clear!

Average age is something we are very lucky about as with all the medical assistance the average age has been definitely increased & it’s one sign that the society is healthy which is outcome of the happiness! Here too the real estate should take cognizance of this change as no more the age group of buyers is in their mid fifties but they are in mid twenties! This genre is much more demanding & obviously they will be spending a large part of their life in the homes which we will be building than the earlier buyers. So the needs of this class should be worked properly & fulfilled as that does will help them to have surrounding of their requirements & keep them at peace which ultimately a way to happiness!   

Last but not least corruption also is one of the main factors related to happiness! Even in most developed countries like USA & Europe corruption is there but the common man is rarely exposed to it. In real estate even after getting possession our flat holders have to face corruption at many fronts like from getting his name transferred on electric meter to change of name on property tax or may it be obtaining very basic documents like fresh property card or getting anew ration card with new home address real estate is full of doors to corruption is a bitter truth! And it’s not just money but the grinding in the process through which an individual has to go does cause lot of irritation & obviously one can’t expect to be happy in facing all such grinding! Agreed no one expects a builder to get a ration card but if as a developer we try to complete every such formality at least the ones related to the home of a person then we are directly helping him to gain happiness! Many a times we hear stories of builders giving occupation without completing formalities like electric meter & society formation delays which is adding in unhappiness of the families which depends on us.

Friends it’s very easy to know what makes some one unhappy but frankly it’s very difficult to understand what makes a person happy; so all we can do is try to eliminate the causes of unhappiness as much we can, that’s one sure way to gain happiness. As we can understand from the criteria happiness depends a lot on the surrounding of a person or group of persons & what better we can do than to give a home as well it’s surrounding which will be hassle free & where people will be at peace leading to happy life! After all as a developer we must understand that our own happiness should be in counting how many lives we have made happier through our projects than just counting the money we have earned from these projects!  

The present Central Govt is keen on making Smart Cities across the country & on the same lines State Govt is trying Green Cities too but need of the time is built or plan for Happy Cities instead. As that’s what the outcome of any city you build should be & all it takes is a little concern for human life as well some commitment for the purpose we are building these cities! That’s the way to build a happy country & the day every developer & the govt will realize it then we won’t have to be at bottom of list of all the countries at least when its happiness index!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

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

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Handing Over not just a Home but Emotions!

Friends, recently we had handing over ceremony of our project Davabindu. Many will ask what's new in it as every day hundreds of projects are getting completed & handed over to their owners. Agreed it’s nothing new but then for that every single flat owner it is new &important moment of their life. As a developer I always feel our role isn’t just completing the formalities like possession & finish the deal but we need to understand a home isn’t a normal commodity product. It has a sentimental value & if its makers i.e. me & my team don’t value those sentiments then no one will! And all it takes a little thinking & some few more rupees to make such moments of our flat buyers most memorable. Here I am sharing my feelings which I shared with the flat holders of Davabindu…

It’s not the honor that you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind is what matters… Branch Rickey.

Dear Gyanoday friends these are the feelings which me & my team want to share with you post Davabindu handing over ceremony. In many ways Davabindu is unique i.e. right from we getting together with Gyanoday society & even in handing over where it never felt like mine or Gyanoday’s event but a combine celebration where everybody participated whole heartedly! What better scene the infamous real estate industry could have witnessed than not only the builder got honored but his entire team got felicitated at the hands of the residents! I think that’s what we call togetherness at its best! Here I will take opportunity to share what we feel about what we are handing to you all; as its not just landscaped gardens & decorative lobbies or your flats we want you to see but we want to feel the Davaibindu right from within & for that you need to understand our philosophy in making of it, including its planning. Here  I will try to share in best possible words I can…

How we differentiate a home from a temple? Is it that in homes people resides & in temple the Gods? I think there is no difference between a home & a temple, if at all there is difference then it’s in our attitude or else god is a feeling , a faith which lives in us only. We see that faith taking some shape in the form of a god’s statue in the temple but practically where we live temple is there all one has to do is identify the god within us.

At Davabindu, what we want to cultivate is not just physical luxuries of life but it’s the inner peace is what should be the target of any living & get surrender to that power which we call god. After all however we call our self full of knowledge & technology at our service we haven’t been able to make a small drop of water which falls on the leaf of a tree in morning which we call “Davabindu” in Sanskrit!
What is progress? Is it getting six digit salaries & having a poch car standing in front of a luxurious home? Well, progress means understanding true meaning of life & its lies on far different things than these materialistic subjects & for that one has to be in nature. However progress we make but a trip in the hills with your friends feeling the breeze under the blue sky & sunlight, listening to music of many birds; same is sitting under starlit sky on some night & chatting with your childhood friends! All these come at a cost which can’t be counted in any currency. Few things one has to earn by understanding life & that’s real success. Here you may not get the best luxuries money can buy but you will get something no money can buy & that’s community living which is the key to find peace of life.

But let’s remind our self that possession is just another mile stone in our journey as the real test lies ahead. Many a times I have seen things are fine until a guy gets possession then  it becomes like India- Pakistan, as whatever he finds wrong in the product he ends up blaming us only. Friends a building as you have been closely observing is made out of hundreds of agencies working together & a manual assembling of all their output. So what one may call as defect is in actual outcome of our age-old way of workmanship; for e.g. there isn’t any scale to define a good plaster & bad plaster but visual & it differs from person to person! And one more thing is there is no undo command in civil works like you has in software; once an action is complete then many a times you can’t correct it even by breaking the entire thing which isn’t viable option, best example is tiling!

There are few things which you need to understand about limitations in present construction practices & one of them is wall cracks. The most common problem which has been observed in recent times in Pune buildings is surface hair cracks along the walls inside the home & the seepage of rain water as walls are not water proof. Will be sending a detailed note on these issues just for awareness, don’t think I am scaring you but even if we buy a BMW it too has a maintenance kit & manual, which doesn’t mean that they have sold us a faulty piece!

Similarly all the good things like murals & paintings we have provided in the complex do take care of them & do share its importance with the visitors as it’s our effort to speak with you & maintain the dialogue even after we have left the premise of Davabindu. Remember best way we can support a good act is sharing it with as many we can as somewhere someone will get inspired & will do a better job! What we wanted to deliver to you all is a culture, a heritage of which you will be proud keeper & not just concrete & bricks. We have tried to involve you at every stage so as to understand our attitude towards the work which is more important than the outcome. And one thing I can assure that I & my team have left no stone unturned to give you a home which will serve you as per your wish.
We are satisfied with the outcome & for me it’s more important as at the end you can cheat anyone but your own self when its issue of efforts you are supposed to have taken. In future whenever I will visit Davabindu it will give me immense happiness & satisfaction for the efforts we have put in for every minute detailing. But at the same time the kind of relation we have shared till now & in future is also very much important role to play for that & I want this feeling to be mutual & not just one sided!

I conclude with the assurance that giving possession to all the Gyanoday members doesn’t end my responsibility but to assure that your stay is being comfortable is what we wish & for that we need your trust & support! Lets walk along together as then only the journey will be a memorable one & for good reasons. Will be sending also some moments of the possession in photo form, as for most of us its first & only time of having an own home!
All good wishes…

Team Sanjeevani Parth.


Sanjeevani Dev.

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

Social Side of Sanjeevani ! (Click link below)

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

Think Green, Think Life

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Open Letter to Hon CM by a Middle Class Builder!

Hon. CM Sir

Supply always comes on the heels of demand….
Robert Collier

Robert Collier was an American author of self-help, and New Thought metaphysical books in the 20th century. He was involved in writing, editing, and research for most of his life. His book The Secret of the Ages (1926) was best seller. Collier wrote about the practical psychology of abundance, desire, faith, visualization, confident action, and personal development. And one must be wondering what a builder has to do with an authors quote famous for self help writing, agreed days are bad but not that bad for the real estate & certainly as per our Hon. CM, builders are doing good rather more than good & I am sure as usual our “Mai Baap Janata” will agree to what Hon. CM thinks when it’s about builders. Well without stretching curiosity of the readers in a recent meet arranged by builders only in Mumbai, Hon. CM made a comment or statement which does made headlines & I am sharing those words here (I wasn’t present in the meet but these are the words whatever has been printed in media); “Why builders need any discounts in any policy? Has ever any builder passed his profits to the common man? Why should Govt favor builders? Whenever any builder comes to meet me he only asks for more favors from us i.e. rulers! I appeal all builders to think of making affordable homes first, enough of favors! Wow, “Talia Talia Talia” i.e. applauds by everyone except poor builders, though I know as per many the term poor builder doesn’t exists yet I have used it, not as I am one such but the state in which real estate is has made me say so! Not that the Hon. CM was totally out of his senses & said so neither I disagree that builders are not Raja Harishchandra who went out of the way for charity but then tell me who is Harishchandra in today’s world? This doesn’t mean one should not try to become one but being hungry by oneself one can’t expected to feed others! Here I remember a nice story about communism which I will share….(no hard feelings for communism, it’s just an age old story)
One hard core communists was trying to explain concept of communism to a poor farmer, listen brother had you got two homes would you not parted with one for your poor friend who is homeless? The farmer replied yes I would have! Delighted the party member asked had you not given your tractor to your neighbor farmer if you have got two tractors. The farmer again agreed & said yes he would have! Thinking he has made his point the guy asked would you not have given the shirt you wearing if you had two shirts, to you friend who is shirtless? On this the farmer said no mister I wouldn’t have given my shirt! On the party member was surprised & asked that he was agreeing to depart with a home & a tractor so why not a shirt? On the farmer replied, look mister I have got one shirt only!

Well the story says all, you can share only what you have in virtual state; agreed it’s not about communism we are referring but when Hon. CM expects the builders to share the profit & build affordable homes for the needy common man then it’s high time to look in the actual scene in real estate! Also Hon. CM feels every builder in town is asking some favor from Govt instead focusing on the job at their hand which is building homes for the needy common men in the society! Again agreed housing is the biggest lacuna of modern India & especially State like Maharashtra which is fast becoming urban! But does a home mean just four walls & a roof on it? Well a home is much more than that & unfortunately Hon. CM seems to have mistaken the definition of a home! Here will like to share something with Hon. CM at very personal level; Mr.Devendra Fadanavis, a very promising & young CM of our State is from a typical middle class family & it’s this class which is in dire need of a decent home. Because a super rich can buy his home as per his wish with the money power he has & whereas a super poor adjusts himself even of footpath! So it’s the middle class person who has nowhere to go for his shelter! But CM sir I myself also come from the same middle class from which you have been raised & I have seen my parents struggling for every single bag of cement while they were building our so called bungalow at a small town named Khamgaon in Vidrabha near Nagpur, again from the region from where you are also from! So we both knows what it takes for a middle class family to have home of their own. And where my destiny has taken me to become a builder by myself in city like Pune & it’s your destiny that you have become CM, the top most post any person can aspire in the State & then you only head Urban Development, which is like Supreme Court for any housing policy for the State! As most of my customers are from middle class or higher middle class where budget is always the major constraints & with no family business backup to myself, I too consider myself as a middle class builder!

So will share some of my feelings about what you have expressed regarding the role of builders!  Devenda (sorry to take liberty of getting personal but just felt like) first of all define what is a home i.e. what it takes to make a home out of four walls & a roof. For e.g. we have acres of baron land but can we use it for making home as land is prime factor in costing of any home. But then that land needs infrastructure which includes everything from water to electricity to roads to drainage & many such with today’s needs like Internet etc. Then we need hospitals, malls, schools, play grounds, public transport & many recreational centers. Then on the top of it we need jobs as from where the money will come for a family’s day to day survival? So all these around those for walls is what makes home & now tell me what’s situation of all above factors in the State? Even in city like Pune we don’t have public transport, most of the suburbs don’t have water supply in place, drainages of the buildings is being laid in open, we see every day snaps in the news papers of them! We have one garbage depot for entire Pune city & result is every alternate month there is fight between people residing adjoining the garbage depot about its nuisance & entire city is hold at mercy of these villagers! Public transport is something everybody even all the Ganpati’s & Maroti’s too, for whom the city is famous for have got defeated but no action & traffic jams in every galli & on main roads too is a routine now! PMC’s schools & Hospitals, well only those who have nowhere to go gets admitted here or else ask the MLA’s or PMC’s Elected Members of yours or any party, where their kids go for schooling or where they get treated when they fail ill? I think their answers will tell the story of these so called facilities of the Govt system!

And on this background yet the city is growing because in villages & towns condition is worst than what it is in Pune city or any major city of State! For days there is no power supply, water is on mercy of tanker lobby, these very basic things are absent & so are the jobs. Outcome is every person from these places, like me who has a degree under his name has to leave his town & come in the shelter of big slums like Pune! Because the only reason is at least here I get assured job for my earning & by paying some extra money I at least get water which I couldn’t afford, back in my town. And we call this as growth of the city! And as poor educated fools like Snajay Deshpande are migrating to Pune the specie named builders is surviving here but at the mercy of whom?  It’s high time we should analyze the question!

Refer the recent news in papers in the context of files which has been held up for months due to decision wasn’t getting clear as who will sanction them the Collector or the new born baby named PMRDA i.e. Pune Metropolitan Development Authority! Even a month’s delay for a proposal of mere ten flats building can make the difference of lacs of rupees as the land rates are beyond control of any Govt & no banks provide any finance for buying the land. So the builder like me has to beg or borrow (steal isn’t option open for middle class boys like you & me) & the interest meters keep running with every day! The land prices in the areas where all the infrastructure is available are beyond even builders like myself & where infrastructure isn’t there what’s use of buying lands as I don’t know when the basic thing like a road to my plot will be build & who will buy flats at such place? Yet joke is I have to pay all premiums to every sanctioning authority & they take undertaking from me that they are not responsible for providing any such service but it’s the builders job to make it available to the residents! Poor builder like me has to surrender & gives undertaking as I have no other sanctioning authority to get my proposal cleared! This process also takes months with N numbers of obstacles in which Talathis can be on strike too concerned officer has got involved in relocation of some deceased village, so no one to sign on my file! Then there are things like Environment Clearance which sometimes are illogical yet even if I accept it yet takes minimum six months to get clearance because for entire State there are only two or three committees & all these committees can’t define clear norms of environment conservation & Govt can’t find a simpler way to conserve environment at local body level!

If I get through these hurdle & if I am lucky not to have any legal title issue, as here in our State even if I have got all sanctions & possession of land by all agreements duly registered yet any dead sister or brother can rise from the coffin & claim his ownership on the land & Hon Courts do admits his or her claim & every single Govt authority is too happy to give stop work on receipt of any such claim! Agreed the right of seeking justice should not be denied to anyone but what about the time span to decide who is right & who is wrong in title claims? And who is going to bear the burden of interest on the investment in all this time loss? Obviously a middle class builder like me who has to surrender for some settlement to avoid delay & that’s again increase in land cost!

Well after all such startup hitches when my project starts there is no sand in market as Govt hasn’t issued sand digging licenses! Or there is strike of sand & khadi transporters for some policy dispute about carrying load capacity of these vehicles, so I have to wait or buy at whatever rate these guys are demanding! There is gang, I am delebretly using the term gang as that’s fact of so called mathadi workers who extorts money from every developer & there are many such factors which acts like leakages in the earnings in this business which all has to be covered. Here laying a power network for my project I have to spend as the MSEDCL i.e. MSEB don’t have funds & I only have to pay by ransom to local body for digging of so called roads which are already in bad condition! This expense MSEDCL don’t consider in my estimate as they says it’s not their jurisdiction so here one MSEB meter costs me nearly Rs one lac, but who cares!

And after going through all these grinding when sales is not assured yet I am supposed to complete the project in time or else by the new law I might go behind bars for not following commitment! Now tell Hon. CM sir, what favors the builders have asked to the Govt? I didn’t asked free land, neither I asked supply of cement at reduced rates, no Sir I don’t want any freebees! All I want is a firm & fixed policy in place about my project & in time assured permissions whatever you feel I should have obtained, in place! Is this a favor you feel? If the new housing law can put me as a builder behind the bars for defaulter in commitments I made then what about the Govt who have no limit on any of time span, may it be just water departments NOC or getting the infamous NA permission? What about the commitments by the local bodies about providing infrastructure to its citizen who are paying all types of taxes & the builders who pays premiums whatever has been demanded! Here one interesting fact in real estate is nearly eleven percent of whatever has been flat cost goes to the Govt in form of various taxes like Stamp Duty, Service Tax, Vat & SES; in return what the flat holder gets is one thing no one is bothered about. Here another important aspect is Govt blames or thinks its builders who are enjoying high rates & profits but each year ready reckoner rates i.e. an indicator of minimum sale value are increased by every Govt & it does adds burden on flat holder but along with builders Govt also shares or enjoys the high property values as it generates thousands of crores of rupees through these ready reckoner rates.

Best way is let Govt do the builders job & appoint people like myself as contractors & assure us sale as well a fixed construction cost as right now when I start a project I don’t know what will be its final cost till I finish it & then whatever factor of safety I apply for sale, I am blamed for making excess profit or non affordable homes! Such is the picture painted by every media & ruler that sometimes I start doubting myself, am I the culprit of the common man in fulfilling his dream of owning a home? Sorry Sir I don’t doubt your intentions of serving the society in better way & agree again that there had been people in this industry whose acts does have got a bad name to all of us but then there are few good people too & let’s give a ear to what they want to say! Do consider the fact that each demand isn’t a favor & if we have problems then if not you, where we should go; please tell us that too! All I wanted to share is my feelings which represent many of middle class builders like me so dared to put across strait from the heart! Road to the affordable homes goes through making the real estate an affordable business or industry & for that discounts or favors won’t work but a workable practical strategy needs to be in place for that! You can call any ten people from our industry who has a track record, listen to them to the point, make them sit with you team & let it take even a year but let’s make a concrete policy about every type of home & apply its strictly may it be Metro like Mumbai or a small town in our Vidrabha & then see the results! We are not talking of making  a Taj Mahal but a simple affordable home for every segment in the society but unfortunately we are forgetting Taj Mahal wasn’t built with any budget or policy but affordable homes does need that & the way goes through all of our efforts for the same!

Well, if we can’t do it then everyone will keep blaming each other over affordable housing & in the process like the Panchatantra tell, cats will keep fighting & the monkey will enjoy piece of butter & then we will be left with nothing!
I can only hope that you won’t take this sharing as personal offence, as a middle class builder I can’t afford to take CM of the State head on! But had the words you expressed were said by any other politician, I would laughed & let it go but somewhere we all have high hopes & regards for you & thought what I feel about my business which is like religion for me should be shared with you as there may be some hope after all for affordable housing in this State!

Thanks a ton in advance for listening!

A Middle Class Builder!

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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