Anil Pharande on his vision and his expectations of the PCMC of the future
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation follows a real estate model that has proven to be the most progressive and sustainable all over the world. The essence of this model is ‘planned development’ or ‘controlled urbanization’. PCMC is a twin city to Pune, but in that respect is uniquely different. Pune’s real estate development has not followed any sort of plan, and it is not hard to see it as a smaller version of chaotic Mumbai in less than 25 years.
A HOMOGENEOUS, MULTI-FACETED MOSAIC
In the same time span, PCMC will have attained its fullest potential as a model city of the future. Obviously, it will look very different from what we see today. It will have grown exponentially, into a harmonized montage of large industrial units, IT Parks, hotels, shopping and entertainment plazas, educational institutes and healthcare facilities – towering above public parks and gardens and crisscrossed with multi-lane roads and flyovers.
Further, the additional 25,000 acres of land that have come within the PCMC jurisdiction by virtue of the last Development Plan will eventually result in the addition of at least 2 million new homes. These homes will cater to every social stratum of property buyers, from the lower to the high income segments.
HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL EXPANSION – CREATING A SPECTACULAR SKYLINE
In other words, there will be tremendous – yet controlled – horizontal real estate growth over the next 25 years. Most spaces allocated for residential use will have been utilized for that purpose. But this will not result in an urban jungle, since the PCMC planning blueprint will enforce the maintenance of vast green spaces at all stages of development.
Moreover, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will at all times endorse self-sufficient real estate developments such as townships and other integrated residential projects. The authorities have long since recognized that these are the most sustainable and progressive models for optimum real estate growth. These projects will ensure a scientific uniformity to the horizontal growth.
However, even these 25,000 acres will not suffice, since PCMC will have to accommodate a massive demand for housing. The following graph illustrates this point – it charts the population growth in PCMC over the last 25 years, and clearly depicts that this growth has been almost ten-fold (from 200,000 to 2 million).
As the graph below indicates, there is reason to believe that population growth is likely to cross 50 lakhs (5 million) by 2035
This growth will be fuelled by several factors. On the one hand, there will be a huge requirement for homes from the rapidly growing manufacturing sectors of Pimpri-Chinchwad and the Chakan-Talegaon belt. Chakan itself, though a burgeoning industrial hub, has little to offer by ways of residential facilities. The onus naturally falls on PCMC, which will necessarily be the residential location of choice for the entrepreneurs and employees of these units.
Simultaneously, there will be the spill-over effect from Pune City (which will have reached complete saturation point in the next 25 years). We further have to factor in the ever-increasing migrant population from all over the country, attracted as much by the excellent education institutions as by the varied career opportunities.
The obvious solution lies in growing vertically as well as horizontally. More land will have to come within the purview of planned development, and building heights will need to increase from the currently permitted 70 metres – approximately 22 floors plus parking – to 100 metres or more. FSI, which still currently stagnates at 1, will need to be raised to at least 2, or even 2.5.
In 25 years, PCMC will be a skyscraper city on the lines of Gurgaon.
In most cities, such growth would mean serious infrastructure challenges. We have already seen what happens in a city like Mumbai, where skyscrapers are being built without sufficient parking, connectivity and municipal amenities to support them. However, thanks to the master plan that PCMC will always adhere to, the necessary infrastructure will precede the building of high-rises. I firmly believe that 25 years from now, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will serve as a national and even international benchmark for planned, scientific vertical real estate growth.
An essential pre-requisite to support this massive growth is an advanced public transport system. With an eye on this future requirement, PCMC has adopted a model similar to Ahmedabad’s Janmarg – a scientifically designed BRT-based public transport system spanning 130 km across 14 routes in PCMC. This system involves 4-lane wide, exclusive roads with grade separators that will reduce the dependence on private transport in favour of more efficient public transport. This, in turn, will result in smooth traffic flow, less road blocks, radically lower pollution levels and a healthier, energy-conserving environment. To ensure that there are no hitches in the development of this lifeline, the PCMC has established an Urban Transport Fund for its funding.
Another pre-requisite for efficient transport is more connecting roadways. A ring road is on the drawing boards, but that will become truly effective only with the implementation of a hub-and-spoke road network. To illustrate this point, there are currently only two arterial roads connecting Pune with Pimpri-Chinchwad, and only two connecting Pimpri-Chinchwad with Chakan. These cannot sustain the enormous increase in vehicular traffic that industrial and residential growth will generate.
Again, it is my opinion that this alone may not suffice to cater to the public transport needs that will emerge over the next two decades. I personally feel that an elevated skybus or monorail network or even an underground rail network will be called for.
THE ULTIMATE GAMECHANGERS
I cannot end these musings without mentioning the new international airport being planned near Rajgurunagar and the International Convention Centre at Moshi, which will cover a sprawling 200 acres. The Convention Centre alone will spawn a huge tourism, hospitality and retail boom which will convert PCMC into a major urban destination both within and outside Maharashtra, perhaps second only to Mumbai. Global hotel chains will have redefined the hospitality sector, and the shopping centres will be populated by marquee retail brands.
In fact, the next two decades are surely going to see PCMC being catapulted into the international Big League, giving it a distinct global identity in its own right.
Anil Pharande is President, CREDAI – PCMC and Chairman, Pharande Spaces, one of the most innovative developers in Pimpri-Chinchwad
(TNN, Nov 10, 2010)
PUNE: The New English School in Chinchwadgaon is going plastic-free with the management and students taking initiatives not to use plastic on the school premises.
The Paryavaran Sanvardhan Samiti, an NGO, took up the initiative to promote use of eco-friendly products. Vikas Patil, president of the samiti, said that this was the first school in Pimpri-Chinchwad that has decided to go plastic-free.
The campaign, no plastic thrown’, was started a couple of months ago. The students do not bring any eatables wrapped in plastic, nor do they use plastic carry bags, Patil said.
According to Patil, the idea was to create awareness about the ill-effects of plastic through lectures and presentations in the school. In turn, the students create awareness at home.
“Initially, there were lectures about solid waste management, water treatment plant, cleaning of rivers, among others. After seeing a keen interest, we decided to start the campaign no plastic thrown’,” he said.
This Diwali, the students were asked not to burst firecrackers leading to noise pollution.
As the next step, the samiti plans to start vermicomposting, water recycling, reuse of notebook and paper, and reuse of chalk powder in the school. The campaign will be extended to other schools also.
While buying property in Pune, most home seekers tend to put their children’s needs high on the priority list. This is because in a typical Indian setting, everything that happens within a family revolves around the requirements of its children. It therefore stands to reason that the purchase of a home is – and should – factor this in.
For us Indians, our kids are our most important consideration. This is why we strive to provide them with every possible good thing – good clothes, the latest and largest toys, a good school, and so on. Providing them with the best possible home is a natural yearning.
It boils down to a simple fact – whether a married couple has children or not while purchasing a home, or the children are still in the ‘planning’ stage, they are a major point of reference. Here are some of the considerations we should therefore take into account while choosing a residence:
Are There Good Schools In The Vicinity?
Pune being the Oxford of the East, it stands to reason that access to the good schools is of primary importance for Pune property buyers. A housing project may offer every desirable facility – but if it does not have a reputable school within easy reach, it does not serve its purpose. The more progressive townships and integrated residential projects have schools within the campus. Even otherwise, there is no shortage of good schools in Pimpri Chinchwad.
Does The Project Feature Children-Oriented Facilities?
Ideally, builders must offer fully equipped children’s parks and playgrounds in their projects. These areas should be free of pollution, since children do a lot of heavy breathing while at play.
While the space constraints and the pollution levels of the central areas in cities like Pune do not permit such facilities, the larger integrated residential projects in areas like Pimpri-Chinchwad do. Remember that children can only thrive when they have enough airy space to play in. Similarly, you should ask about garden areas for family-oriented activities while choosing a home.
Is The Clubhouse Children-Friendly?
If you thought that a residential project’s clubhouse is only for adult entertainment and relaxation, think again. A clubhouse is – and should be – a boon to children. Look for facilities like table tennis and badminton courts, a library and indoor games.
Is There Ready Access To Shopping?
From toddler to teenage years, children have myriad recurring requirements. Fully integrated residential projects such as Culture Crest and Woodsville in Pune’s PCMC area offer shopping facilities within the project’s perimeter. If this is not the case in your chosen project, at least ensure that you have easy access to shopping centres in the vicinity.
Is There A Hospital With Emergency Room/Pediatric Unit Nearby?
Accidents do happen – poisoning, choking, drowning, fractures and bruises, electrocution… children can get into a lot of trouble while exploring the world around them. There are many medical emergencies than can only be handled at a well-equipped hospital. If the project does not have its own hospital, at least make sure that it is within easy travelling distance from the nearest hospital. This is not an issue in progressive, well-planned areas such as the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, but many of Pune’s newer areas still lack such facilities.
How Safe And Supportive Is The Neighbourhood?
One should definitely keep one’s children’s social needs in mind while selecting a residence. By their very nature, the integrated residential projects and townships now coming up in the PCMC area offer social environments suitable to our children (good neighbours) and are also crime-free zones. If you cannot, for some reason, choose such an ideal neighbourhood, at least find out if there is a police station nearby.
Posted by: Avinash Gokhale is Director – Marketing & Corporate Planning, Pharande Spaces – a leading construction and development firm specializing integrated residential projects in the PCMC area of Pune, India.
PUNE: The state government has approved the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s proposal of giving Rs 25 lakh grant to the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha for building a girls’ school in Dehu village.
The proposal was sent to the state government for approval as the grant was meant for an institution which was outside the PCMC limits. The Sanstha plans to construct a three-storied building, having five classrooms on each floor.
The total estimated construction cost is Rs 89.40 lakh. It has collected Rs 20.85 lakh through donations from various sources.
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PUNE: In an attempt to help children be responsible citizens and successful individuals, Bal Chetna, a five-day free workshop, will be conducted in 134 schools run by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). The students will be taught various breathing techniques, pranayam’ and yoga’ to overcome mental and physical barriers in leading a normal life.
The project, being conducted by the Art of living (AOL), Pune, in association with the PCMC education department, was launched last week by Arjun Thakre, chairman of the education board. Around 800 students have completed the workshop at the Hutatma Chaphekar Girls School, Chinchwad. The workshop aims to reach over one lakh students.
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PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will shortly ask the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) to restart the free bus pass scheme for students in the municipal limits.
The PMPML has provided 80 buses for ferrying school students, and the PMC has already implemented the free bus pass scheme for this academic year after resolving all payment related issues.
The civic administration has tabled a proposal to give Rs 2.62 crore to PMPML for payment of arrears. The proposal will come up at the weekly meeting of the standing committee, to be held on July 27. The proposal states payment of Rs 1.64 crore was made to PMPML after receipt of a letter dated April 26. The civic body had to pay total dues of Rs 4.26 crore.
There was no budgetary provision in the secondary education department for the free bus pass scheme, and so no provision for payment of dues. But, there is a provision of Rs 7 crore for students’ quality enhancement for secondary education department, and the deficit amount of Rs 2.62 crore is expected to be paid from that provision with the approval of the standing committee.
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PUNE: The school board of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has sent directives to 327 private and municipal schools in the municipal limits to take measures to prevent the spread of H1N1 among students.
Speaking to TOI, Arjun Thakre, chairman, school board, said, “There has been an increase in H1N1 patients after the start of the monsoon and the patients include a large number of children and students.”
He said, “Two or three suspected cases of H1N1 were found among the students of municipal and private schools recently. The school board will be providing buckets and soaps to the municipal schools within a fortnight.”
“These have to be used by students to wash their hands. Letters have been sent to the principals of 134 primary and 18 secondary schools run by PCMC and 175 private schools to take measures to prevent the spread of H1N1 among the students.”
“A daily check-up of students should be conducted in the schools and teachers should enquire about the health of the students everyday. If a student shows symptoms of cold, cough or fever, he or she should be sent to the nearest municipal hospital for a check-up.”
He said that it was the duty of the principals to maintain cleanliness in the school premises with the help of civic employees and private contractors. The students should be given a break of five to seven minutes after two periods to wash their hands.
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CMS English Medium High School, run by Chinchwad Malayalee Samajam in Nigdi Pradhikaran, now has a 100 per cent pass result in the SSC examination for the fifth consecutive year.
Ever since the first batch appeared for the SSC exam in 2006, CMS has improved the results in terms of distinctions achieved year by year. This year also, among the 100 students who appeared from the school, 10 have scored above 90 per cent marks, 56 got distinction, 28 got first classes and 6 got second classes.
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