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However, as per all the “experts” standing around me, I was hopelessly outdated and this all this was obsolete technology, and it was high time I kept myself abreast with the latest things or else keep my mouth shut.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