Saturday, September 3, 2011

WATER WOES IN ROHAN TARANG - Living in Pune - Life in Wakad


Wakad Pune
03 September 2011

It is raining heavily all over in Pune. Lovely weather. Awesome view from the balcony of my 9th floor apartment in Rohan Tarang Society - rains, mist, clouds, green hills in the distance, the Mula River overflowing - water water everywhere but no water to drink. Unbelievable isn't it? But it is true. The high falutin sophisticated hydro-pneumatic water supply system in Rohan Tarang has failed us again and there is a big problem of water supply in our society. I had an inkling that this high technology was not suitable for our indigenous Pune conditions but no one listened to me, then. 

Read on, especially if you are thinking of buying a house in Pune ...


“Where are the water tanks?” I asked.

“What water tanks?” said the sales guy who was showing us the brand new apartment in the upmarket township.

“Overhead Water Tanks. There are no overhead water tanks on this building,” I observed.

The sales guy and the property manager looked at me as I were a relic of the prehistoric era, “Sir, this is modern high rise building. There are no overhead water tanks. There is a sophisticated water pumping system.”

“But at least there should be a small Sintex water tank in the balcony of each home for emergency use in case the main water supply fails,” I said.

“An ugly looking black plastic water tank in the balcony? It will spoil the whole show of the house. Sir, you are living in old times. This is a modern complex and we have an advanced water management system. It is the latest – we have it in all our projects. You will have assured 24/7 water supply,” the sales guy said and the property manager gave me a contemptuous look as if implying that I was probably unfit to live in this elite posh township.

Now my wife and son were looking at me as if I were a big embarrassment to them because of my old fashioned attitude, middle class mentality and archaic views.

I had learnt in school that water finds its own level. In my earlier home (a simple old fashioned bungalow) the main water tank was atop a hill. Twice a day they opened the valves of the huge main water storage tank and water flowed down by gravity into our overhead tank and we always knew how much water was there in the overhead tank on top of our house on the terrace.

However, as per all the “experts” standing around me, I was hopelessly outdated and this all this was obsolete technology, and it was high time I kept myself abreast with the latest things or else keep my mouth shut.

So, despite nagging doubts, I kept my mouth shut.


I wonder why we paid so much for an apartment which has such erratic water supply. Water is a basic need. Property prices in Pune are very expensive. In fact, the dismal infrastructure and the almost non-existent amenities certainly do not justify such exorbitant prices. And if they want you to pay so much, the least they can do is to ensure proper water supply.

With frequent regularity, as you are about to have a bath in the morning, the sophisticated water management system fails due to one reason or another and the water suddenly disappears and the taps dry up. And then, as desperate crisis-management patch-work repairs are carried out, we have to do without water for almost the whole day. All sorts of excuses are given – pipes burst, motors burn, pumps fail. And whenever the electric power supply fails (which happens very frequently, many times a day, and load shedding every Thursday for the whole day, in Pune) the water supply is affected (They do have a back-up generator but that doesn’t seem to help much as far as water supply goes). And this is a beautiful aesthetic brand new township called Rohan Tarang in Wakad is built by one of Pune’s leading builders, Rohan Builders, who have won prizes for their various projects. There seems to be something wrong somewhere if such failures occur in the first year itself. I hope Rohan Builders will live up to their reputation and brand name and find a lasting solution to our water woes problem.

It is all a question of appropriate technology. Why go in for sophisticated technology when we cannot provide basic inputs like proper uninterrupted electric power supply, quality material, reliable equipment and high-class workmanship which are sine qua non for efficient functioning of modern systems. Whenever I raise this matter with all concerned, including all those who scorned my old-fashioned ways, all they can do now is give me sheepish grins. One guy even told me that they have decided to have overhead water tanks on their new buildings from now on. But what about us?

Dear Reader, whenever you are buying a house, don’t forget to look for the overhead water tanks. Of course, in some parts of Pune, like Kondhwa for example, even if you have overhead water tanks they will be empty most of the time and you may have to buy tube-well or bore-well water from water tankers. But that is another story.


SuKupedia ™ :) :) said...

see that is why I say old is gold :) :) no modern tech can beat your experience :)...

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Sunita - Yes, Old is Gold (Who knows it better than an Oldie Goldie like me!)

Rahul_Menon said...

Hi vikram. Read your blog. Even I was planning to but a 3 BHK flat in Rohan Tarang - Phase 2. I have been told that there would be no water problems. But after reading your article now I have become nervous. Also the news about load-shedding is a surprise to me as I was told that it happens for only about 2-3 hours on Thursday. Is the water problem true for all projects in Wakad or only for Rohan Tarang? What about Hinjewadi township projects. Do you feel that they would be better than the Wakad projects?

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Rahul
Hi Rahul,
I suggest you visit the place before taking a decision. The only plus point of Wakad is proximity to the Infotech Park at Hinjewadi and connectivity to Mumbai. The amenities, facilities for living and quality of life are zero. Of course within Wakad, Rohan Tarang is the best location and also the best society, since all the other projects are on the other side of the main road and that area is undeveloped, dirty, filthy with rubble all over and roads are narrow and terrible to travel on.
The best is to wait for some time as prices are likely to fall. Why don't you rent a flat in Rohan Tarang or somewhere else in Wakad for an year and see for yourself before taking a decision to buy. Hinjewadi will take many years to develop and will be worse off than Wakad. Lets hope Wakad improves with the road being widened and some facilities coming up.
All the Best

Anonymous said...

Just for your info, phase 2 of Rohan Tarang does have overhead water tanks. Guess its the learning from phase 1 :)

Sandeep Darvekar (Punery) said...

today I was at Tarang and people were rushing for enquiry and bookings..I wonder, if I wait, I will lose on the opportunity. Anyway, I dont want to get into water problems for sure. Can you provide me the link where they explain the new water system?
Also is this problem regular or you get once in a while?

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Sandeep - It all depends on whether you intend to live here or give the flat out on rent. Touch Wood, the water supply has been okay for the last few days but then one never knows when it will start being erratic again. Why don't you talk to a few residents to get an authentic picture.
And by the way, don't worry about losing opportunity to buy a house - from what I hear the real estate market is pretty static now and there are plenty of new projects around here. So maybe, if you are not in a hurry to relocate, it makes some sense to wait for a while and do a bit of market survey. Of course, location wise, Rohan Tarang is the best in Wakad area.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Anonymous - It's not the tanks but the piping system which keep failing.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Looks like we will have to live with this water problem.
The pipes burst yesterday afternoon too and water supply was cut for six hours.
The only solution is to change all water pipes and refurbish the water supply and pumping system - but is Rohan Builders willing to do that?
Why should they, when buyers (mainly from IT Sector) are lapping up flats despite knowing the problem.