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Nowadays, newspapers are full of real estate advertisements which tout Pune as the destination of tomorrow. In actual fact, Pune may be aptly called the destination of yesterday, or destination of the past, certainly not the destination of the future.
Here are six reasons why Pune cannot be touted as the “destination” – yes, six factors you must consider before making Pune your destination.
1. ELECTRICITY SHORTAGE
Pune suffers Irregular, Unregulated and Erratic Electric Power Supply. There is planned Regular Load Shedding for a number of hours every day and there is no electricity for the whole day on every Thursday and frequent unplanned power cuts every few hours. This not only damages electronic devices but deprives you of a basic necessity of modern life – electricity. Yes, you can get an inverter or a genset, but then it is very expensive andburns a big hole in your pocket. With hardly any new power projects being completed or planned in the near future, things are only going to get worse.
2. WATER WOES
If you live in the heart of the city, in a low lying area, in one of the Peths, you will be lucky to enjoy good water supply. But in the fringe areas where modern townships are proliferating, and new developments are taking place, there is a severe scarcity of water, so be sure to check this out before you plan to buy a house there.
3. TRAFFIC CHAOS
The best way to travel in Pune is to go nowhere. Commuting is a nightmare. Roads are in terrible shape and overcrowded and it may take you hours to cross the city. Traffic jams are a rule not an exception. Public transport is pathetic so you have to buy a vehicle. That’s why everyone is driving around and there is no place to drive or park. Have a look at the Hinjewadi Road in the evenings whenthousands of IT Techies go home – it sometimes takes almost an hour to cover the three kilometre stretch from Hinjewadi to Wakad. And it is the same story almost everywhere in Pune. Like I say the best way to live in Pune is to stay at home – stay inside and stay cool, for it you venture out for a drive you are sure to lose your cool.
4. SAFETY AND SECURITY
There was a time when Pune was a safe place. Not any more. The crime rate is high and rising. A look at the newspapers or the news on TV will tell you how bad things are. Once known as a pensioners’ paradise, Pune is certainly not safe for senior citizens anymore.
5. POOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND INADEQUATE FACILITIES
For a city of its size, and being touted the destination of the future, Pune has very poor infrastructure and there is a glaring lack of basic facilities. There is just a small domestic airport and you have go to Mumbai most of the time to catch a flight. No one knows when the international airport will see the light of the day. The railway station cannot cope with the rush and hardly any major trains start from Pune – most important trains start from Mumbai. Though they call it the “Oxford of the East” Pune is not even an UPSC exam centre. So if you aspire for the civil services or want to get into the defence services trough the NDA or IMA you have to go all the way to Mumbai to appear for the examination. There is no High Court bench here, though Aurangabad and Nagpur have them. They opened a Small Passport Office a few years ago but you must pay a visit there to see the chaos. Infrastructure development is hardly happening, progressing at snail’s pace whereas the population is rapidly rising. You can see garbage strewn all over the place, rubble from the roads perpetually dug up for repairs as the existing facilities are not able to cope up with the unplanned development and rapid rise in population. I think Pune has reached its saturation point on the S-Curve and will soon reach a point of stagnation.
6. NO VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY
Pune is one of the most expensive places in India. Everything from petrol to food is more expensive than other place, and, of course, real estate prices have gone through the roof, especially after the IT Boom. The quality of life is not commensurate with the amount you invest or spend. You do not get value for your money in Pune.
So if you are thinking of relocating to Pune, do consider all the above factors. And even then if you decide to come – welcome to Pune. You must have a really strong reason or maybe the place where you live right now is much worse off than Pune. Quality is a relative and comparative factor, you know. Pune is a much hyped up place. Before you decide to take the plunge, it is best to try a “dry run” in order to experience first hand the pros and cons. Wish You All The Best.