Thursday, March 9, 2017


In this blog on the survey data series, Solid waste management and Sanitation of Ghole road ward residents are discussed. For the previous blogs, check here.

Solid waste management for Ghole road ward shows door to door collection and Ghanta Ghadi as the primary waste collection method.  Door to door collection of waste is above 60% in the higher income groups.  Households also  depend on Ghanta ghadi and street bins for waste disposal. Door to door collection is done by SWaCH. SWaCH is a successful model of  a cooperative of waste pickers, mostly women. It is operational in  Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad since 2008.  The city has a formal partnership with the cooperative and has authorized waste pickers to do door-to-door waste collection.  

In LIG and slums, the disposal is mostly through Ghanta Ghadi, where the vehicle comes near the neighborhood and residents dump the waste into the vehicle. Street bin disposal is also common in slums. One main reason for not having door to door coverage in slums is due to their inability to pay for the service.

One of the survey questions asked people whether they segregate the waste or not. The data shows that while awareness of segregation is high among the HIG and MIG households, relatively large number of people in LIG and SLUMS are not segregating their waste. It must however be noted that the data is based on respondent's answer to the question, and has not been actually verified. This is noteworthy because in most of the HIG and MIG households it is the house maids who handle the waste (who are themselves from LIG and SLUM households) and not the owners, who have responded to the survey. 

There is full coverage of toilets in HIG and MIG households. In the LIG category, 73% had a toilet in their house, 21% were dependent on community toilets or public toilets and 6% were doing open defecation. For slums, only 32% had a toilet in their house, 46% were using community / public toilets and 20% were doing open defecation. Open defecation is more prevalent in slums located on the Mutha river banks and the Vetal hills. It is a serious issue polluting our rivers, hills and deteriorating the environment. 

Under Swachh Bharat Mission, 32,000 toilets are built and more is planned. PMC is trying to tackle open defecation issue seriously and plans to make the city open defecation free within few years. 

However, it must also be noted that the sewage from Pune is flowing into the rivers, untreated. As long as the municipality is not able treat all the waste water before releasing it into the river, all the citizens are equally responsible for the pollution of the river, irrespective of whether they are using a toilet or not! While the Swachh Bharat Mission focuses on constructing toilets, more innovative strategies are required to ensure (a) proper use of the toilets, and (b) 100% waste water treatment at the city level.  

Your comments and suggestions are most welcome! 

Anu Kuncheria

Thursday, February 16, 2017


In continuation to the survey data series, water supply is discussed in this part.  Check the previous blogs here.

Water is supplied by Pune municipal Corporation (PMC). The source is Khadakwasla Dam, across river Mutha constructed in Mawal taluka of Pune district. The dam is located at a distance of 12 km from Pune city. It has replenishments from other dams such as   Panshet, Warasgaon and Temghar, located upstream.

All the surveyed households in Ghole road ward had access to an individual water tap or community tap. In addition to PMC water, 14% HH depend on borewells and 4% depend on tankers for additional water supply in the surveyed area.

The survey was conducted in May – June 2016 and during that time Pune was reeling under water shortage.  PMC was supplying water to the city on alternate days as per the water cut schedule started from  October 2015 citing less storage in dams due to poor monsoon. During the survey period, the official water supply hours were 4 hours on alternate days.

But during the survey, it was found that a large section of LIG and slum colonies get 24 hrs water supply ( as seen in the graph). As per the dwellers, this was unofficially provided by the elected representatives and in low lying areas.

Even though the municipal water supply was only for 4 hours, most of the houses/ apartments/flats store water in over head tanks and get water 24 hrs (more than 80% households) . Some housing societies had self-imposed restrictions of 6-8 hours per day, to properly manage the stored water. But almost all societies had a good number of water supply hours, as far water available through taps in the house is concerned. Overall the level of satisfaction with water was found to be good in Ghole road ward.

Since there is no water meters for domestic connection in Pune, the per capita water usage could not be found for the households. As per PMC report (Smart city document), Pune receives 194 litres per capita per day water supply.

Even though the per capita water supply shows good 194 lpcd as against the standard 135 lpcd, it not uniform across the corporation area. Villages added to PMC in 1997 on the periphery of municipal limits are still suffering under acute water shortage and it is the water tankers that cater drinking water supply on a regular basis.  Also every summer, the problem gets worse. 

Irrigation department has granted Pune a supply of 11.50 TMC water annually against which the city consumes 14.5 TMC. This is a measure cause of tension between the agriculturists in the surrounding area and the city dwellers. The demand for water from the city is on rise and water management should be a high priority in the development issues. 

Smart city mission proposes 24*7 water supply with 100% metering for domestic and commercial connections within 5-10 years. Leakage detection in pipes and water audits are also planned in short term.  Metering is a positive step towards demand management coupled with slab rates that demotivates excessive water usage. Development Plan for Pune proposes measures to augment the supply source and better transmission and distribution. Since 2007, PMC has made rooftop rainwater harvesting mandatory for all new buildings. A 5% concession is given for implementing it. But Data over the last few years shows the above incentive is not lucrative enough to motivate people in that direction. If municipal water supply is to be available 24*7, it further demotivates people from investing in either rainwater harvesting, or waste water treatment and reuse. Another unanswered question in this context is - Is there any relationship between the Development Plan measures to augment water availability for the city with the Smart City Mission target of 24*7 water supply?

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Friday, February 3, 2017


In continuation to the series on survey data, housing is discussed in this part. Housing is analyzed with respect to structure condition, building typology, housing tenure and size.  

Survey Area


Of the surveyed Slum population, 58% has semi pucca houses and 30% kaccha houses. Less than 20% slum has pucca houses. In slums, most of the houses are erected by the family members themselves with temporary/ semi permanent materials.  On the contrary, LIG group shows a good trend with almost 80% living in pucca houses.


Building typology shows an increasing trend towards apartment house culture compared to individual houses as a result of scarce land and rising real estate costs.


Housing tenure shows more than 68% residents of all categories own houses. People with rented housing are migrants to city, either new arrivals or are here for a short stay. For most of LIG and slums, rented housing is mostly temporary and in many cases illegal settlements.


32% households surveyed live in less than 300 sqft house area. A large portion of this number comes from slums, where people live in small one room houses (69%). For HIG, maximum people live in 1000-1500 sqft houses. For MIG, the maximum is for 600-1000 sqft two or one bedroom apartments and for LIG it is 300-600 sqft  apartments.

The above summarises the data related to housing that we obtained from surveys, but there were also some general observations. For example, while slum houses are not very well-built and congested, many of them are equipped with fairly modern amenities inside. The main complaint from the slum and LIG populations is lack of options for housing within affordable budget range, and in the neighbourhood where they are currently located. 

A look at advertisements from construction companies, and general observation of the type of constructions ongoing in and around Pune also justifies this complaint. Housing complexes being constructed in the so-called 'prime' locations (close to city centre, main business areas, etc) are targeted at the HIG and to some extent MIG families. The low income families are increasingly being forced to move to the periphery or even outside the municipal limits if they wish to look for better housing that is in line with their lifestyle and budget. Housing finance options available to these groups are also extremely limited. This, coupled with the poor public transport systems, adds to the hardships faced by these families. 

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Anu Kuncheria

Friday, January 20, 2017


This is part 3 of an ongoing series on Sustainably Smart Pune project Survey Data.  Check out part 1 and 2 of the series.

Expenditure pattern of Ghole Road ward residents of Pune is analysed in this part. Expenditure is analyzed for 2 categories: a) Expenditure on housing (Rent/ Loan) b) Expenditure on transportation. This  is done to understand the affordability of shelter and movement for the different economic classes. Expenses are expressed as a percentage of the household(HH) income. 


Among the surveyed population, more than 55% of all categories do not have any expenditure on housing. For HIG and MIG, this translates to  more than 50% house ownership. For most of LIG and slums, no housing expenditure is mostly due to temporary/illegal settlements, housing provided by employer or unauthorized colonies. The slums and LIG families who own houses, have temporary or dilapidated structures.

In HIG and MIG categories, almost 40%  people spend 10-30% of their income on housing as rent or housing loan. For LIG and slums, 25% spend 10-20% of their income on housing. It is also noteworthy that a comparatively larger proportion of people in LIG and slums are spending 50% or more of their incomes on housing! 

As real estate prices are soaring in the city, it is increasingly becoming unrealistic for people to own houses, especially for the migrants. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yogna , the affordable housing scheme launched in 2015 has Pune in its list of implementation cities. In addition to it, government has also announced tax subsidies for housing loans upto 9 lakhs and 12 lakhs. Even then, the increasing land prices in city has made it difficult for affordable housing projects. Most of the constructions that is taking place is targeted at HIG and to some extent MIG, whereas the real need is affordable housing at accessible locations for LIG and slum dwellers. 

In the ArthaYantra Buy or Rent report 2017, Pune has become more unaffordable than Bangalore. It is advisable for household with annual income upto 14 lakhs, to rent a house in Pune than to buy it. 


For monthly travel, HIG and MIG spend up to 10% of their income on an average. This includes petrol expenses, public transport, taxi expenses etc. For LIG and Slum, the travel expenses are less than 5% as their daily mode of commute is either cycling or walking. More than 20% households of LIG and slums spend nothing on transport.  

The World Bank report on 'Affordability of public transport in developing countries', says: Affordability refers to the extent to which the financial cost of journeys put an individual or household in the position of having to make sacrifices to travel or the extent to which they can afford to travel when they want to. While a family on a low income might be able to afford the necessary journeys to work for the income owners of the family, they might not be able to afford trips to school for their teenage children, or for their children to visit a grandparent in hospital. There is a widely held belief that potential low income passengers are forced to curtail the number of trips that they make, use modes of transport that do not incur a direct cost, such as walking or cycling, or to live in locations that minimize their transport costs.

This is true in Pune’s case as many LIG and Slum households complained of poor service and expensive public buses as a major reason for their reduced commute.  More than 60% of the trips of LIG and slums is by walking. 

It needs to be noted that even though the graph shows percentage travel expenses for the different income groups as almost same, the actual amount is hugely different.

For any queries or comments, do contact us. 

Anu Kuncheria