Sunday, February 27, 2011

WAKAD - Quality of Life - A Wishlist - Six Things Wanted in Wakad Pune

Living in Pune - WAKAD



At present, there is Zero Quality of Life in Wakad.

Life is difficult in Wakad as even day-to-day requirements for a decent living are not available. And just imagine, Wakad is touted as a future “destination” and it is supposed to be a posh suburb of Pune. It is only when you start living here that reality strikes you.

I live in South Wakad, towards the Mula river, definitely the better part of Wakad, where at least the ambience is good, the view from my clean well lighted airy apartment is excellent with plenty of space all around and the air is fresh and unpolluted and there is still a bit of greenery around. I like the charming rustic ambience of the clean, serene, spiritual and well laid out Wakad village and once the connecting road is ready I will be able to walk down to the highway.

I really pity those who stay in North Wakad, on the other side of the Aundh Hinjewadi Road – it is a filthy, polluted, congested concrete jungle choking with traffic and terrible infrastructure. Construction activity is on full swing, with all the noise, dirt, and grime flying around, and there is a perpetual stench due to strewn garbage and debris, stray dogs abound dangerously and hapless people working on the construction sites defecate in the open fields.

Let’s hope for the best, stop cribbing and offer some constructive suggestions to improve the quality of life in Wakad. If anyone is listening, here is a small wish list of things urgently required in Wakad in order to alleviate the difficulties of Wakadkars and raise the quality of life.

I will list just SIX THINGS, six very basic requirements of urban life, to start with:


There is an urgent need of some good value-for-money restaurants, eateries and fast food joints because, today, there is nowhere you can go to eat out in Wakad. Yes, you do not even get a decent Vada Pav or Bhel or Pani Puri or Misal or Dosa or Idli or Utthapam or Chola Bhatura or Pav Bhaji or a pastry or ice cream or a quality hygienic affordable value-for-money meal in Wakad. You can't even get a decent cup of tea or coffee. If you want to have a snack, dosa, idli or an affordable meal, you have to go all the way to Aundh or to Sadanand in Baner. There are a few expensive hotels and overpriced “dhabas” on the Mumbai – Bangalore highway and on the Hinjewadi Road but what one needs are clean decent family places, like Udipi Restaurants, which are not too much of a burden on the pocket. Let’s also have some good fast food joints, an ice cream parlour, cafes and street food places (pav bhaji, Chinese etc) too. A Khau Galli (planned by PCMC near the waterfront) would be great. There are no sweet shops or halwais out here in Wakad. We require some home delivery restaurants too. Till then the only option is to order a pizza from Domino or a Burger from McDonalds.

2. BANKS and ATMs

There is just one ATM in Wakad - the solitary State Bank of India ATM in the petrol pump premises. Surprisingly there is not a single branch of any well-known bank in Wakad. I wish ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis, SBI and other big nationalised banks open Branches and ATMs soon in Wakad considering the huge customer base.


Believe it or not!
There is no departmental store, electronic goods store, bookstore, shopping centre or mall in Wakad? There are hardly any shops either. Even to buy the basics you have to go all the way to Baner or Aundh or Chinchwad, which are quite far away. Just imagine the business such commercial enterprises would generate.


If you want to see a movie, you go all the way to ESquare more than 12 kilometres away and on holidays, you may not get tickets. Is anyone planning a multiplex for all those entertainment hungry IT Pros living out here in Wakad? Something like ESQUARE - a decent place to spend a day and hang out.


Let me tell you something you will probably not believe, incredible but true. You cannot get a BSNL Landline or Broadband in Wakad, the home to IT Professionals. Just before I relocated, I made a request via internet to BSNL for a landline and broadband connection at my new apartment in Rohan Tarang and promptly got an SMS that their staff would visit my place and give the connection immediately. I waited for a few days and when no one from BSNL turned up, I enquired with BSNL. I was shocked when BSNL informed me that it was not possible to give me landline telephone or broadband internet connection as there was no optical fibre cable in that area. Well, I don’t live in an uninhabited desolate mofussil area in the back of beyond or deep within remote uncharted forests and jungles – I live in a most modern township just a stone’s throw away from the much hyped “state-of-the-art” Infotech Park at Hinjewadi in Pune, which is being flaunted as the IT Capital of India. And, by the way, most of the persons living out here are IT Pros. That’s “Cart before Horse” infrastructure development for you!


At serial six of this wishlist for Wakad, last but not the least, we need medical facilities, a hospital, clinics, doctors, dentists, even vets for pets. Right now there are NIL medical facilities in Wakad - even for the smallest of ills one has to rush to Pune City.

I hope for the best. 

Maybe this wish list will be realized and the quality of life in Wakad will be elevated to a decent standard. PCMC must be collecting a huge amount of property taxes from Wakad and I am sure they will plough back some of the money into the development of Wakad and make Wakad a happening place to live in. 

A large number of IT professionals employed by top-notch IT companies like Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, TCS etc located in the Rajiv Gandhi InfoTech Park in Hinjewadi live in Wakad. I trust these companies will also do their bit to improve the quality of life in Wakad as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. This will encourage more and more IT Professionals to live in Wakad which is very near their workplaces and will reduce commuting time, save expensive fuel costs and also help in alleviating the terrible traffic chaos on the roads from Hinjewadi to Pune City. I think the IT companies must play their role in the development of Wakad as this will ultimately benefit them in the long run.

Until then, the best thing to do is to STAY INSIDE and STAY COOL and enjoy a life of solitude and contemplation! Just imagine that you are not living in Pune but in some rural setting, a back of beyond mofussil area, and plan your weekly trips to enjoy the delights of Pune City.

Dear Readers, especially fellow Wakadkars, please do comment and add on to the list…


Let me end on a positive note and tell you the best thing I like about Wakad (in addition to the excellent connectivity, which is a well-known fact).

There is a beautiful garden on the banks of Mula where I spend my evenings on the lush green lawns by the waterfront enjoying the sublime spirituality in the air.

I eagerly await the BRTS – once this comes through there will be plenty of space for pedestrians and cyclists like there is on the BRTS Satara Road where one can enjoy one’s walks unhindered. As and when the BRTS sees the light of the day, one can hope to travel in the comfortable BRTS Buses to Pune city, the traffic congestion will ease too, and driving will become pleasurable.

Let's wait and watch - maybe Wakad will become a great place to live in.

To be continued ….


© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. He has written a foodie book Appetite For A Stroll and a book of fiction short stories COCKTAIL being published soon and is busy writing his first novel and with his teaching and training assignments. Vikram lives in Wakad Pune with his family and pet DobermanX girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


MuddassirShah said...

Amazing, amazing stuff at your blog.
I am following your blog rite now.

Keep blogging so that I can keep coming back :)

Yogesh said...

What about parks and gardens and playgrounds? Do they have a plan for these? This is often neglected a lot.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Md Muddassir Shah: Thanks. Do tell me which posts you like - I look forward to your feedback.

@ Yogesh - Hey, you guessed my seventh forthcoming point. There are no parks in Wakad - except the waterfront park in South Wakad quite far away from most new constructions in North Wakad which is a terrible congested filthy dusty concrete jungle where you can't even walk on the roads properly. So if you buy a house there the only park you will have is inside your own township, in case they have one.

op said...

Hi Vikram,
I like your blog on Wakad.
I am living in Eden Towers (another side of road) and experiencing the same as you.

I enjoy my evening at temple and garden at river bank many times. Hope will meet some day and share our feelings. :)
Great writing, keep it on.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ op - yes, we'll meet and exchange wakad notes sometime