Monday, November 27, 2006

REPORT ABOUT PUNE IN CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Hi,

Pune is emerging one of the fastes developing city in India. Its said that its oxford of the east. Forget about that but it is Cultural and Educational Capital of India. This city gives many Social Revolutionary, Freedom fighters, Educationalist and Thinkers to India.

Automobile and Mechanical Industries are the backbone of the Pune and its twin city Pimpri-Chinchwad. After that now Pune is emering as Cyber city and many companies are coming to Pune. Many international companies are running towards Pune. It includes software and Automobile industry also.

Though we have not good roads and our infrastructure is not as good as foreign countries, we love Pune and we are trying to change the face of the city. There are many obstacles in it. But many peoples are trying hard to maintain the face of the city.

Here is one interesting story compiled by foreign journalist. She spoke to only IT people and herself filed a story. Everyone should go through this story and mail ur comments to my blog and Chicago Tribune also.

Sleepy city in India goes boom

India : Once a slow backwater known as Pensioners' Paradise, this small Indian city is now bursting at the seams. It is at the forefront of India's economic boom, a microcosm of both the country's incredible growth and its struggles to overcome ramshackle roads and baffling bureaucracy.

At the same time, Pune seems stuck between old India and new India: More people here use computers than in any other city in the country, and it hopes to be India's first city with high-speed wireless Internet service for all. Yet Pune has no road rules, no taxi service, only one airport runway and signs in sleek corporate buildings that show people how to use Western toilets.

"Pune was once a sleepy, sloppy city with no growth," said Darius Buhariwalla, general manager of the Hotel Sagar Plaza, where rooms are guaranteed only by booking a month in advance. "Now, every day there's such a lot of change going on, that we ourselves don't know what's going to happen next. But we do know one thing--people are just not willing to say `stop.' "In its sheer numbers, the growth of Pune is staggering.The city is spilling over its limits, with a population that grew from 2.54 million in 2001 to an estimated 3.19 million this year.

Every day, government officials say, people register more than 400 new vehicles in Pune. About 4,000 people fly in and out daily, compared with a year ago, when only 1,800 people did.Land prices have shot up, doubling in certain neighborhoods in the past two years. The skyline is a series of construction sites, where more than 40 million square feet of building space is being developed this year, the equivalent of the space in about nine Sears Towers, according to government figures.Twenty shopping malls are now being built.

Fueled by an influx of information-technology companies with gleaming new buildings and the promise of biotechnology, Pune now has the highest per capita income in India, about $1,030 per year. With 126 small colleges, each teaching an average of 150 students, the city is described in India as the Oxford of the East, churning out thousands of information-technology graduates.

The city, near India's west coast, has developed so explosively for a combination of reasons. It's close to the major business hub of Mumbai while offering a milder climate and a qualified labor pool to fill new jobs. Unlike congested larger cities, Pune has had room and inexpensive land for companies to grow. Government incentives helped build Pune as a manufacturing hub in the 1960s and then as an information-technology hub in the 1990s.

But at certain points, Pune's identity problem is all too evident.At the Best Western Pride Hotel, under serious, sleep-disrupting renovation, clerks make the mistake of sending guests to their rooms with electronic key cards although the rooms can be opened only with actual keys.And some instruction is needed about the new Western toilets for residents more accustomed to traditional Indian ones. "Please do not use it if you are not aware of its utility," a sign says above the Western toilet at Persistent Systems, a software development company."The way I would describe [Pune] is a village turning into a bigger village, turning into kind of a town, and wanting to be a city," said Girish Wardadkar, the president and executive director of KPIT Cummins Infosystems Limited, a consulting and information technology company.

If Pune does not make improvements, it runs the risk of turning into Bangalore, the country's original information-technology darling, where traffic and infrastructure snarls have forced some companies to flee.Hotels are strapped. With an average occupancy rate of 84 percent between April and June, Pune had the highest occupancy rate in India, according to industry figures.There are only 1,100 decent hotel rooms in the city, said Hotel Sagar Plaza's Buhariwalla, also the treasurer of Pune's hotel association.

By 2012, there will be 4,500 rooms, if all the planned construction happens. At least 13,000 new hotel employees will be needed. "I don't know where they're going to come from," Buhariwalla said. Amritaksha Chatterjee, the front office manager for Le Meridien, one of Pune's two nicest hotels, said he was shocked by one run-down hotel that was charging up to $150 a night."Forget it, we won't talk about such rooms," he said.

The Pune Airport, one of the only ones in India shared between the public and the Indian air force, has only one runway, which served about 10 passenger flights a day four years ago and now juggles more than 30. The airport is being renovated, but it's unlikely the government will be able to find land nearby for another runway. A second airport may have to be built.

Traffic on the city's narrow roads is occasionally at a standstill. Hand-painted trucks with "Horn OK Please" painted on rear bumpers play chicken on crowded roads with new SUVs. Chaos rules. On a Wednesday evening at 7:30, driving 1 mile took 40 minutes.

Pune Municipal Commissioner Nitin Kareer said traffic is the worst problem. Three years ago, the city spent almost $11 million to build and repair roads. This year, it will spend five times as much, Kareer said.Huge bureaucracy Change here, as in much of India, often happens in spite of government, not because of it.That's not necessarily because officials lack vision. Kareer, the area's top official, is well-regarded in the business community.

Instead, this is largely because of the huge Indian bureaucracy and the glacial pace it takes to accomplish anything.For instance, in October, just when the city's wireless project was about to start, the central government announced new rules for going wireless. But these regulations have not yet been approved. Meanwhile, the project waits.Private companies paid for the expressway between Mumbai and Pune in 2000.

After the increasing demand on Pune's power system, leading to power cuts of five hours a day, 20 top companies agreed last summer to generate their power for six to eight hours a day, lowering the demand on city power." Anything here that is private is among the best in the world," said Kerman Kasad, the head of corporate communications for Symantec Corp. in Pune. "But whatever the government tries to do is among the worst in the world. ... The moment you talk about government, the first thing that comes to mind is run away."

5 comments:

FASHIONABLYSLIM said...

Garbage! The woman has not done her research thoroughly! It is one-sided, inaccurate and completely biased.

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