PCMC Launches Its First Eye Bank In Pimpri Chinchwad

eye
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC) first eye bank, ‘PCMC Aditya Jyot’, was launched at Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Chinchwad, on Sunday on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the hospital.
The chairperson of Aditya Birla Foundation, Rajashree Birla, inaugurated the modern eye bank facility. Chief executive officer of ABMH, Dr SP Singh, and other staff of the hospital were also present.
Rajashree Birla said donating an eye to an eye bank can result in restoring sight to someone else.
“I am happy at the launch of PCMC Aditya Jyot. The opening of the eye bank fulfilled a long-pending wish as it will go a long way in helping the visually impaired patients regain their visibility through transplanted eyes,’’ she added.
The PCMC Aditya Jyot is an integrated approach, based on PPP (public, private, partnership) basis, between Aditya Birla Hospital and the PCMC. The eye bank will be headed by Dr Ritesh Kakrania.
The standing committee of PCMC sanctioned Rs47.23 lakh for the facility.

PCMC In 25 Years – A Fast Forward Into The Future

Anil-Pharande
 
 
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).
graphAs 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.
WORLD-CLASS INFRASTRUCTURE
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

Poor Response For Budget Suggestions In PCMC

(TNN, Nov 11, 2010)
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PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s move of inviting responses from residents for inclusion in the civic body’s 2011-12 budget proposal has received poor response, with only 53 residents sending in their suggestions for consideration. The industrial township has a population of nearly 15 lakh people and its previous budget was of around Rs 1,000 crore.
PCMC chief accounts officer V T Bhosale said, “The administration had invited suggestions from residents a month ago. The responses were to be submitted at the four zonal offices. Zone D received suggestions from eight citizens till Wednesday the last date for making the submissions.” The suggestions received from citizens will be scrutinised and only suitable ones will be included in the annual budget, he added.
Zone A officer Pandurang Zure said, “Twenty-nine citizens have submitted their suggestions while some have given more than one suggestion. The responses pertain to tree plantation, drainage, lack of street lights and water supply”.
Zone B officer Dilip Gawde said, “Ten citizens submitted their suggestions regarding requirement of gardens, jogging tracks, street lights, etc. One suggestion was regarding the underground drainage pipelines in Pimpri, while another demanded garden, swimming pool, health club and senior citizens day care centre.”
Zone C officer R D Gaikwad said, “Six citizens submitted their suggestions till the last day.”

Chinchwad School Goes Plastic-Free

(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.

Pune’s Cashless Bus Travel Project Nears Launch

(Indian Express, Nov 09 2010)
Pune is set to be the first city in the country to experiment with a common mobility card to enable commuters to travel cashless in city buses. The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is making arrangements for an early launch, but whether the date will be November 14 as announced earlier, will be decided on Wednesday.
The PMPML, in association with the Unit Trust of India (UTI) Bank, is rolling out the plan and a UTI team had recently visited Pune to see how things could be worked out.
As reported in September, the PMPML had made it public that it will introduce the common mobility card in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad as part of a Central government project. The concept of single ticket for all systems of public transport has been envisaged in the National Urban Transport Policy. The funding will be shared by the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
“We have organised a meeting with UTI officials to finalise how the plan can be launched soon. However, details will be disclosed after the meeting on Wednesday,” PMPML Chairman and Managing Director Dilip Band said.
Under the plan, a commuter would be able to travel on trains and buses using a single card and without buying any ticket once transport operators modernise their fleet to make smart card usage possible. The card is used in many developed countries. The Union government had selected Pune for a pilot run in buses.
Another senior PMPML official said, “The UTI team recently paid a visit to see how things could be worked out for the common mobility card. They collected necessary information. We have started preparations to keep necessary infrastructure in place. Hopefully, very soon, the terms and conditions will be finalised and signed.”
As per the preliminary plan, each card will cost Rs 40 and will be sold at authorised outlets. Card-readers installed in buses will calculate the fare from the boarding to disembarking points. Money will automatically be deducted on swiping the card. Cards will be available at around 50 centres in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

PMC’s Proposal To Extend Duration Of Lease Period Faces Opposition

(TOI, Nov 7, 2010)
PUNE: The civic body’s proposal to extend the duration of the lease period of civic properties is mired in controversy with civic activists alleging that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has not prepared a draft for the changes proposed in the policy.
Six years after it became the first civic body in the state to have a land lease policy, the PMC now wants to extend the duration of the lease period from the current 30 years to 99 years. The policy was ratified by the Bombay high court.
The PMC has invited objections and suggestions from citizens to the proposed changes. The suggestions and objections should be sent to the land and property department of the civic body within a fortnight from November 3.
“The PMC has not prepared any draft to seek suggestions and objections on the proposed change. On what basis should citizens register their suggestions and objections?” civic activist Vijay Kumbhar asked. Kumbhar and other activists have approached the municipal commissioner on this matter.
Deputy commissioner (land acquisition) Sudhakar Telang, however, said that the suggestions and objections were sought only to extend the duration of the lease period. “If citizens want to go through the existing policy it is available with the PMC. Suggestions and objections have been invited only on the issue of duration,” said Telang.
At present, the civic land lease policy bans the PMC from selling its properties, but allows it to lease the property for 30 years. The PMC has leased out many of its properties, including open spaces.
Activists allege that most properties have been leased out to organisations and people with connections to corporators and politicians. In 2003, Kumbhar had approached the high court which had ordered that civic properties be leased only through a tendering system.
The civic body owns about 3,500 properties reserved for hospitals, community halls, libraries, schools and other amenities. Many properties have been leased out for various purposes, but there is no system in place to check whether the properties are being used for the purposes they have been leased out for. The PMC has not recovered rent from hundreds of properties for several years.