To Cad B or M?

On a recent visit to FC road , I was surprised to see a large # of people gathering towards a shop. Out of curiosity , I looked at its board and it said what appears as a title of this blog. We headed straight to the counter and asked if we can try something good on the shop. The person on the counter said if you have never tried it before ..try CAD -M , its less dark . We ordered and waited for another 25 minutes and then there was a clink on the score board and we knew our order had appeared. It was a large glass with chocolate grated and below it was a shake which probably had cocoa. We had it and felt  as if we had found one of the best flavors in Pune. Yes , it felt like having  Keventer’s shake in Connaught place or Guruji’s thandai @ Calcutta or Beel Sherbet near Ajmeri gate in Jaipur.  I only had a grudge that its too far from Wakad.  Last week when I was returning from Dange Chowk ,I turned and saw Cad – B /M has arrived in Wakad. Its below Wakad center and opposite Ginger Hotel.  I was delighted , my family now doesnt have to drive 20 km to have the best shake.  If you havent tried it give it a shot .. you will love it

New Poona Bakery- A new delight to Wakadites

Sorry , I had been away , shaping my company. In the last 5- 6 months, Wakad is rapidly metamorphosing and I got into tweeting which is more convenient than blogging. Neverthelss I am thinking of parablogging now. This means only one paragraph in a blog. So  NPB is a  good thing, I am so happy has happened in Wakad. They call it a food plaza and it really will become so in a few months. If you are coming from Wakad bridge , this place is reachable if you take left below the underpass and then drive for approx 700m and take the right bifurcation.  The best thing about this place is different kinds of bread you can get. My favorites are Multi grain bread and whole wheat bread. They taste amazing . Multi grain bread has a little more salt than needed but various grains, dietary fiber and a taste of oat, bran, maize , millet makes up for it . Also recommended at this place is Veg puff . There are various varieties of it to relish .Also do not miss out on walnut brownies . They taste amazing with Vanilla Royale from Amul . The fudge browny has an irritating crust so can be given a pass. The store is clean and worth visiting but as far as cakes go, they put an overdose of cream .  No where else I have seen 1.5 ” coating of white cream in a cake before. Can be avoided if you are in to habit of counting calories

Rejoice the opening of Natural’s Parlour and Dominoes

AS you get down from Wakad Fly over towards Hinjavadi, a few 100m will take you to /Natural’s ice cream parlour. Natural’s is perhaps the best ice cream brand in Maharashtra. Its something like Nirulas in Delhi or Vadilal in Gujarat. The only difference is , Natural’s icecreams contain real fruits and test very good. The best flavors are Cheeku, strawberry and tender coconut.

Few 100m further towards Hinjavadi you can see dominoes. It serves real good pizzas. Hope things are going to get even better with more eating joints coming up.

11 Developments which will transform Wakad living experience

Latest Updates :

a) Ginger Hotel near Wakad underpass over is operational now.

b) Natural’s icecream is opening an outlet by Jan 2010 this really helps.near Saundarya Garden ( On the right after you get down from Wakad Fyover towards Hinjawadi

c) Hyundai showroom opposite Sayajii is operational now.

d) CAD -B, CAD-M is operational near wakad underpass.

e) XEON multiplex near Hotel Marriot is structurally complete and I guess should be ready to host movies this spring

f) Dominoes pizzas got operational

g) New Poona bakery got operational , there food plaza is being developed . It will be one stop shop for all eating needs.

h) Hotel Shaurya near to Wakad chowk is operational now. It looks like a good restaurant.

There are some developments in this area which probably can transform  the living conditions of people living here.Some already are Here they are :

  1. Wakad Tourist center(Recreation): This is situated on bank of river Mula and is adjacent to Bombay – Bangalore Highway if you move from Wakad bridge towards Baner. Touted to be made at a cost of approx 2 crores, this place approachable from Wakad chowk will have boating facility, a well landscaped park and snacking center. The nearby Mhatoba temple may alos attract a lot many people. Whats most likeable about this place is the structural design. The pillars for all huts mock a tree trunk. Boating , once operational will really make it a place worth visiting.
  2. Xion Multiplex : This multiplex has its basement and mezzanine floor slab completed as on 7Aug o9. It is located on the right hand side if you drive a km from Wakad bridge towards Hinjawadi Chowk. Currently , the nearest multiplex E Square or Big Cinema multiplex Chinchwad are respectively 7km and 11km away. This will provide an entertainment option to all denizens within 2 -3 km for all wakadkars. Its expected to be operational by end of 2010.
  3. Club 29:   A high end club replete with Squash court, Tennis court, Air Hockey, Banquet hall, Disc, Proper swimming pool is being developed by Mont Vert behind Caprrichio on Wakad Thergaon Road. This club probably will meet all the clubbing needs of the people living here
  4. Omega Mall: This is proposed to be developed in the Omega paradise complex and will be a 4 storey mall . If housing Big bajaar and More will help the Wakad citizens avoid a trip to Baner Aundh for picking quality groceries 
  5. Blue Ridge  and Megapolis Townships: This residential scheme from Paranjpe’s probably is the best planned residential township in Pune. Designed to house Archery Range, Golf course, An Artificial lake, An international school and a multiplex, this will truly bring global living experience near Wakad. The commercial estate and roads are expected to be world class. This society along with Megapolis further in Hinjawadi will provide a lot of sporting, entertainment and shopping options to Wakad residents who are now sick of tastelss Aundh and cramped Chinchwad.
  6. Nasik -Wakad BRTS Corriodor : This besides providing a much sought public transport alternative will help widen the much encroached Kalewadi – Kaspate Wasti road. Road widening will proabably decongest this road and remove the slums . Hope some order will prevail.
  7. Parallel roads to Bombay Bangalore Broadway : The highway often was difficult to approach in view of long redlights and Wakad flyover’s presence . Now with parallel roads to highway on both sides, going towards, Bombay, Bangalore, Dange Chowk and Maruti service center ( My Car)  is very comfortable. The roads are of good quality and add a lot of convenience.
  8. Worldclass dining Options : Thanks to opening of Cafe Momo in Marriott near Hinjawadi chowk and ( Portico , Barbeque nation) Sayaji Hotels, the classy dining experience doesnt require peole to head to Koregaon park. St Laurn, Le royale , Lemon tree, Mezzanine… The options are ever expanding.
  9. Good Home Store Furniture Mall :  This mall in Kaspate Wasti near Kalevadi phata houses and sells really good stuff to decorate your houses . From Wind chimes to paintings to lights to dining tables to Full bar you find everything under one roof. The prices however are most unreasonable and mirror a Mumbai Mall. The price and value conscious would then still be tempted to hit Ishanya  malls or Peths of old Pune.  I was looking for a sparkling red rotating bar chair  for my house. These are imported from Malaysia. The price tag put in Good home store was Rs 3500/=. I scouted for the same in Pimpri market and bought it home for Rs 1800/=. So though the design may lure you here, beware of the prices. Survey and then buy the more expensive stuff from here
  10. Automotive showroom cluster on both sides of the broadway :  Maruti’s MyCar is already catering to car purchase/sales/service and accessorization needs of Maruti owners. We now have Skoda show room open near the Underpass. Tata service center of Bhandari is already operational and Hyundai show room construction is in full swing to pen before Diwali.  Probably , in times to come other 4 wheeler majors will set up shops in this zone. I wish Yamaha, Honda and Bajaj soon catch up.
  11. ????? :  I reserve this para for the time when I see a good book store, Art Shop or an aesthetic place of worship. Lets hope the time comes soon

10 things Wrong with Wakad today

Associated with every growing town or city are certain factors which hold back its growth or are simply an eyesore. Here are are my top 10 reasons which hold back this place from becoming a truly liveable global village.

  1. Lack of good public transport: From Gurgaon to Wakad, this is the single most problem faced by any growing city. We neither have a Bus system, nor  auto rickshaws or even cycle rickshaws in sufficient numbers to connect the most important parts of the village. Just for going 3-4 km one has to cough out Rs 50 or use one’s own vehicle. This is not good for environment and growth of town.
  2. Gardens,Public parks are non existent: There are only two public parks( It appears in this entire village) One at Dange Chowk and another Mhatoba park on banks of River Mula behind Rohan Tarang(Near Wakad Fly over) . The entrance to Shivaji Park  is not inviting in presence of numerous hawkers who infest the entry gates like ugly bees. The Mhatoba park though being developed as a tourist center is behind schedule by an year.Its spacious, green and there are plans of  developing boating facilities here.There doesnt appear to be any other place of public utility in what is being sold as the best inhabiting option for IT professionals working in Hinjwadi.
  3. Proper naming of roads and localities  : The road names are non descripts. What we only have is the format ” Source -Destination Link road ”  like Wakad- Dange Chowk link road or Hinjevadi Aundh road etc . There are so many heores of soils and forgotten messiahs waiting to be immortalised. Lets give them their dues.  There is this place with so many towers coming up but the name will be Kaspate   Wasti  giving an impression that all denizens are living in a slum house.  Similarly ,there are Kalate Wasti  and other Bhangi padas as ear sores. This hardly gives it the individuality of a well thought town.
  4. Absence of sectors and planing there of : The village is fast attaining the the sobriquet of ‘ Chance erected -chance directed township with little vision on dividing it in proper sectors and earmarking roads between them.
  5. Lack of town planing and architecture: Though PCMC ( Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal corporation ) claims to develop it as the best township in India, the commisissioners and townplanners seem to be living in fool’s paradise. There exists little or no architectural coherence in the buildings planned and erected in this townships. The abundance in revenue from property registration and transfers is filling the coffers but there seems little that the administration is doing to make it have a unique look of a modern township.  
  6. Lack of aforestation : There seems little if at all any attempt to plant greens along the roads . Besides the farms and some trees planted by the builders there is nothing which the administration does in making this belt green.
  7. A non vigilant PCMC: The builders do a lot of deviation from the approaved plan for the buildings but there seems to be nothing done to demolish the illegal structures done. All’s not well with the builders as a commmunity who are universally known to build and sell more than authorised limits to mint huge money. Goes an adage – ” If there are no prosecutions under a given law ; the law already has lost its teeth “ In construction terms , if there are no deomlitions ,then the regulating authority is either sleeping, is bribed or is not vigilant enough.
  8. Lack of amusement facilities currently: Other than Cushman and Wakefield multiplex which is planned near Chinchwad there is not a single cinema theater in this area. There is another multiplex whose first floor slab has been completed. This one is near Hinjawadi chowk. This is grossly defficient considering a large population is going to inhabit this.
  9. Absence of traffic lights:  A large no .of vehicles are already traversing this village ,yet we find no traffic light except one at Kalevadi crossing .This leads to chaotic traffic . Hinjevidi flyover and Dange Chowk are specatcles of total traffic disorder during peak times.
  10. Lack of Quality Departmental stores: There is one India Bulls mart in Chinchwad and there is ‘More’ slightly away from it. Reliance fresh is yet to pen. Wakad , per se doesnt have any reputed store worth its name. This calls for immediate attention of town planners . They must acquire suitable land for this and auction it for these essential amenities. Omega paradise is planning to come up with a 4 storey mall on Wakad Thergaon Road. This however , because of recession will probably take 3 yrs to be functional.

In conclusion to above,  I can safely say that PCMC needs to do a lot more to this town than just collect lakhs of Rupees per dwelling unit registration and sit on it.  It needs to involve reputed professional town planners , get a plan developed and publish it on its web site for its denizens to know. In absence of this we have another urban disaster waiting to happen. The culprits again will be the Politicians and Babus who didnt do their job well

5 Best Eating options near Wakad

Having moved over from Delhi, the initial reponse to food on offer at Wakad and adjoining areas is – YUCK. Then you start discovering the good places and your eating prefernces come to harmony in this suburb . Here is my personal listing of fave restaurants and eating joints with Pros and cons .

 

5.Khyber : If you are moving from Wakad towards Aundh you can see this eatery on the left after reaching  Jagtap dairy. This is a pure vegetarian restaurant and part of a chain of restaurants in Pune

USP : The food is descent. The reclinable shades give you a sense of openness . There are some plants dotting the walk in. The restaurant appears well lit.

Downside : The furniture sucks and makes you feel claustrophobic. The decor and interiors are too gaudy and belie good taste. There appears a common gravy for all vegetables and they dont taste different.

Cost :The meal for 2 costs Rs 200- 250  

4 Lemon Tree : Located near Infosys circle in Phase 1 ,the dining hall of this hotel serves food for resident guests and outsiders. The food is in a typical 5 star set up.

USP : The hall has some really funny qotes on table ware and the paintings on wall are creative and hep. The over all ambience is good but sapce seems a little crowded in afternoons. The salads are good and so is the main fare and desserts. The air conditioning is good and staff pretty well dressed.

Downside : The fare doesnt differentiate itself.

Cost : A meal leaves you feeling heavy and purse lighter by Rs 850 if you visit with your partner 

3. Mezzanine  : Conveniently located on the main road leading to Phase II opposite KPIT Cummins building. The eat out has some really cool propositions :

USP : The open huts( Canopies and no walls) really givers the gathering of 8 to 10 people the privacy and togetherness. The food quality is good . There is a small disc which can be used as a dance floor for a group of 15 -20 people. The decor for indoor hall is made of bamboos, fire bricks and white stones. This gives it a classy feel. The air conditioning is good  and cleanliness of a good order. Good play area for children

Downside : The oil content in dishes is always on the higher side. A meal here makes you feel heavy later. The serving size is small/inadequate for most of the dishes.

Cost  :The prices are on the upper end .  A dinner for two costs 600 to 750. 

 
2.Saundarya Garden : The place can be easily noticed by the large array of cars which line up on Friday nights at this place. Situated between Hinjevadi Chowk and Wakad flyover, the restaurant serves amazing Chinese dishes .

USP :THe snacks are nearly perfect for most of the times. Gobhi Manchurian or Veg platter Chinese never disappoint.  They serve good liquor and those relishing Non Veg swear by its taste. A must try dish here is Baby corn tikka. It gives you good smoked aroma and distinct flavor

Downside : The flip side is not so good hygiene. The table cloth are dull, seldom clean . The garden lawn invites a lot of mosquitoes.The staff provides mosquito coils on request. The welcome bridge near entrance has some of the most repulsive fishes floating around. Inspite of this, it beckons you to Manchow soup , beer and some really good Punjabi dishes. Distance 2k m

Cost : A dinner for two can cost Rs 300 to 350

1 Portico : A restuarant on the ground floor of Sayaji Hotel located on Mumbai Bangalore Highway between Wakad Bridge and Wakad police station. This is a delight to be at

USP : The only restuarant in Pune which brings you the real authentic taste of North India. The chaats and Gol gappe are truly  mouthwatering . Typical of Indore, the spices and blending is flawless. The decor retains the loosely concentric theme on beaten sheet metal. They play really cool instrumental music and the high roof ensures that aroma of food is suitably dissipated. The chefs are all behind the Buffet counter and can customize each and every dish to your liking. You can ask for more/less/no onion, less oil or more spicy and every thing is cooked just in front of you. 

Downside : Nothing apparently.

Cost :  A bill of Rs850/= for meal of two is well deserved and not a bolt from blue.

Things todo near Wakad : Trekking Mhalunge Peak

Last Sunday at 0615 hours, we started for climbing the second highest peak in Hinjevadi. This hill is behind Cognizant and the drive to its base is awesome.. The road ends after you go around Blue ridge.. There after, you drive on beaten tracks in fileds for 20 minutes to reach a small bridge.. With little efforts one can get the bike on it. Taking the bike off it is slightly difficult.. ( Chances of falling in the river) The hill for the first half is very easy to climb.. The last 50m are a little scary. A little bit of guts and courage can take you to the peak and the view from top takes the breath away.. The view is much much better than Hinjevadi hill and difficulty level is lesser .. The country side is beautiful .. Mutha looks pretty near the bridge. If you are good at swimming , it might tempt you for a plunge. The pictures are here http://picasaweb.google.co.in/arunpurose/MhalungeHillTrek#

Explore the wild on this side of Pune. You may find this as the best 3 hrs spent on a Sunday Morning. The next trek : The hill higher to this one and further south of it J Everybody is invited

Petrol/Diesel Robbers- Watch out for attendants on petrol pumps

Recently , I received a mail from one of my friends forewarning me not to go for refuelling in a particular petrol pump in Hinjewadi belonging to a famous PSU. He told me that his brand new i10 developed engine problem and when he took it to a service station he was told that the reason was poor quality petrol adulterated with water.

A cartoon from cartoonstock.com  explains the situation

                My wife had sometime back narrated me an incident when she had gone for refuelling in the same petrol pump and the attendant started filling her scooter from reading 2.5l.. She argued why zero was not done.. he said it was zero..After a lot of argument he offered to forego Rs 50.

3 days back , my bike was on reserve and  I went to the same petrol pump and asked him to give me full tank on my Yamaha.  The other guy standing close to him asked me some question and I truned to answer him .. This was all the moment , the other guy wanted to start.. My wife screamed ..why did you not reset the counter to zero before filling . He said when we put the filling gun on cradle , it automatically sets to zero. This was not true.. I had seen the counter to 2.5 l in a second.  The guy was a chor (Thief).. on say a 10 occasions if he is able to start filling with start at 2l in a day, he is able to give 20 litres less ..  I think he submits cash equivalent to meter reading of the pump  owner and walks away with spare cash.

We need to be aware of this and focus on seeing zero before filling .

Also ask them to allow us to do quality check of petrol using the apparatus provided on all pumps for the purpose once in while. 

Some time back , there was a news of cancellation of Petrol pump license of an army widow. She after getting petrol pump allottment had sublet it to a third person in return of Rs20,000 per month. When the third person started doing these ,malpractices and complaints started pouring in, Petroleum ministry cancelled her allottment . The widow then tried self immolation during one of the minister’s meeting.

Some months back, one of my team members who belonged to erstwhile Royal family acquired a petrol pump. I asked him if he was making a lot of money. He said he was not even close to break even because of deep rooted family culture and principles they were neither able to adulterate nor able to cheat by giving less fuel. The business, he said was not honestly viable.

The other day , my neighbour who owns a huge SUV Tata Safari came to me loaded with frustration. He said he had to stand 1.5 hrs on a refuelling station to get his car refuelled with diesel. He had been avoiding standing in long queues but on this day there was not enough fuel to move even 100m beyond the filling station. I tried to analyze this. With large amount of power cuts, many offices, malls, societies,factories are running on generators. This has caused a huge spurt in demand of diesel. The scenes of  a truck tempo having 20- 30 drums loaded on it coming for diesel refuelling is becoming commonplace with the boards ‘ Diesel Samplay Aahe( Diesel stocks are over) on all refuelling. May be pump owners are getting a premium by selling them to Commercial enterprises.

What brings to our notice then is the fact that petrol pumps are under a squeeze because of international events and not so principled owners are resorting to adulteration, improper dispending techniques..

I wish some readers can share how we can be more vigilant in ensuring the quantity and quality of fuel.

Hinjewadi Choking- 7 thoughts to keep the IT village from dying

The IT sub urb of Pune is now getting strangulated because of the lack of foresight on part of Pune’s town planners( If at all they exist). In the last few months the traffic sitaution has gone from bad to worse. The hours 0815-1130 and 1730-2030 are  like nightmare on road. The cars wriggle @  < 10km/hr and there seems little done by administration to improve things. They have only added more copson this route and they have little capacity to match the growing vehicular beelines on this route.

 

 It takes more than 35 minutes to cover the 3 km stretch from Wakad flyover to IT park and frustrates the hell out of people working in this Area . There  are some steps which can be done immediately to imrove the situation. These steps if not effected immediately will lead to disastrous traffic snarls when about a lakh or more professionals( TCS- 30,000Developers, Tech Mahindra 20,000, IBM around 10,000, Infy 30,000more, 10,000 Siemens, Wipro and some biotech companies) join offices in this IT park in an year or Nano hits the road . The time to act is NOW.

  1. Commercial Fuel filling at HP terminal. Stop it : The HP terminal has 10 or 15 buses lined up for filling diesel . Also there are trucks with cannisters for filling diesel( Probably for malls, commercial establishments). This leads to 5-7 LCVs waiting on road to refuel. This creates a bottle neck and throttles the traffic. Refuelling of commercial vehicles on this pump during peak hours need to be stopped immediately .
  2. Making the area near KPIT a no parking/hawking zone : Currently the 7 seater autos line up in front of KPIT and ply from there to phase III. Their parking needs to be moved to some sub lane close to  Mezzanine or by creating a sub lane at the start of Wakad flyover . This would entail more driving space to passenger vehicles. Also the hawkers selling fish/ vegetables occupy half the road thereby causing a vehicular bottleneck.
  3. Creating a Auto / Bus route between Wakad flyover to All phases : This will ensure that people have steady public transport from bridge to all important phases of Hinjewadi. This will ease off no. of  personal vehicles in to the IT park.
  4. Creating a parking space close to Wakad flyover  : People should be able to park their private vehicles for a fee and take public transport from there to the office. This will encourage people to use public transport and save fuel
  5. Demolish Illegal construction on road side : There are a lot of illegal commercial ventures started on both sides of the road. They need to be demolished to widen the road . This is needed to be done right now. Else the park will not be able to meet the demands of expanding industry.
  6. Open 2 more exit routes from Hinjewadi : One exit route to open near Balewadi sports complex ( To cater for people commuting from Kothrud, Bavdhan, Pashan etc to Hinjewadi. The second route opening near  Wakad Police station to cater for people coming from Pimple Saudagar, Pimpri, Chinchwad etc.  Currently there is only one entry/exit route . This is grossly inadequate for more than 2 lakh vehicles which ferry in this IT hub.  
  7. Develop good cycling tracks to office : A large population of IT professionals  working  in Hinjevadi live in adjoining areas ( <10km from Office). A large majority of them are turning obese because od the nature of their work ( Desk work for the whole day ). Currently , the roads are not safe for cyclists and thus they have to drive their fuel guzzling cars. This is bad for economy and also for environment and personal health. 

Chinchwad Ad lab Mall

After 8 months of stay @ Wakad , I discoverd Adlabs Mall. This place you can reach by turning left from Chapekar Chowk and driving approx 3km towards Old Mumbai Pune Highway. After reaching the highway one has to drrive half a km and then take a U turn to comeback.

The Mall is worth the drive of approx 6km from Dange Chowk. Reaching here the following things catch your attention :

  1. MacDonalds : The crowd all around this joint immediately puts you at ease. You say, THank God its here and I am not at some god forsaken small town. You dont miss having relocated from Delhi or Noida
  2. The Levi’s store : This is adequately stored and staffed has good mannequins You can shope for your Jean and Tees. A good store over all
  3. The Big Bajaar : The mother of all stores is avaialble here in probably one of its biggest avatars . A cool place to shop for monthly groceries and  household items. It also has a good variety of fast food stalls at its exit doors for Pani puri, Chaat, Corn etc
  4. The Cross words : A wide spacious Cross word can take care of almost almost all books of non academic interests.
  5. Yo China : THis is for all the people with craving for azino moto. This serves dimsums for Rs 55 a plate. This is disappointing considering that in Delih Momos are avaialble for Rs 10 -20 /plate.
  6. Parking : It has hude covered underground parking and the best part is : its FREE till date.
  7. Loot mart : THis is a cool casuals shope where you get stufff at good bargain.
  8. Electronics : ho,e appliances are galore @ Krome and Dass. THey give good bargains on durables.
  9. South Indian : Authentic chain ” Sankalp ” has a shop here. THey are Guiness holders for biggest dosa ever.    
  10. Adlabs Multiplex : Last but not the least This has probably 5 screens and hosts latest Bolly/Holly wood pot boilers along with the current Marathi hotties.

This discovery has added a lot of Zing to life in Wakad,  No more do I have to run to Aundh for Shopping needs. This is a cool hangout and can be made hotter by  :

  • Putting some really hot street food.
  • Some street shops selling good casual clothes.
  • Some street side magazine shops.
  • Some handicraft selling vendors.
  • A performing LIVE  band

 

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