I was born and brought up in Delhi. This city exudes an eclectic mix of the old-world charm and some heady contemporary transformation. Not at any point in my life, did I consider leaving this city. My family and the entire lot of cousins and relatives are well settled across all corners of the city and every day brought along its unique set of challenges but more importantly quaint joys, some expected, the bulk of them, pleasant surprises. This was until my little child started facing serious breathing issues. Unfortunately, and it is so difficult to accept this reality that Delhi has become a highly polluted region and it is affecting one and all, especially children and senior citizens.
The visits to the doctor became frequent, this coupled with regular medication and the absence from school disrupted my child’s schooling considerably not to mention the number of times either of us had to pick her from school. This became a traumatic experience for us and we were reconciled to the knowing that we simply had to shift to another part of the country which was an IT hub, would possibly allow me to work from home and simultaneously provide for a range of education options that we could opt from. Fortunately enough, my husband’s company had a major development center here in East Pune and my colleagues Pune gave me the trust that moving to Pune would be the best decision taken to primarily take care of my child’s wellbeing.
And so our search began. I specifically, was inclined to move to a quieter, peaceful, serene and an environment-friendly location. I wanted a place where travel would not be a bother as well. However, our most important criterion was the sort of community and the sort of living facilities that we would have for our child and for ourselves as well. I always wished that our child experiences the joy of nature, not just when we are vacationing but every single day. And therefore an ideal abode for us would be where there is lots of open space, a lot of greenery and the space and time to take leisurely walks within the campus.
When I began my search for a home in Pune, I was more than happy to come across a few options that completely fitted my picture of a green home.
- Close to Nature: A home can assume the meaning of green a little more comprehensively when it is proximity and complemented by nature. As far as I am concerned, a perfect location means the sort of equidistance or balance maintained while being close to nature and simultaneously having other necessities like hospitals, schools, shopping malls, and offices also within reach. Luckily, we came across a location that was off the main hustle and bustle of the denser part of the city and just a little off the main road yet connected through so many arterial roads. This was also so much cleaner and calmer amidst nature, that one would just feel so much better. We could instantly feel a cleaner air in Kharadi by the riverside along with all the necessities including the hospitals as well as the movies being within a 5 Km radius.
- Sustainable Development: The entire project right from the entrance till the exit was conceptualized to be sustainable and aimed at not just conserving natural resources but also replicating the riverside habitat into the landscaping at the campus. The common areas use solar-powered lighting. There are rainwater harvesting systems, and water treatment plants to conserve and reuse water. It was impressive to see a separate zone for recycling waste building construction material.
- Lower Power Bills: The building design had large windows that would maximize natural light coming in and the large windows allowed for maximum cross ventilation, thereby reducing reduce electricity consumption.
- Green landscaped areas: Large landscaped garden areas were a highlight of that project. Besides the surrounding greens, there was sufficient green cover in the form of landscaped lawns that brough visual relief and ensured a cooler environment.
- A nice kids play corner: In addition to the varied vegetation, trees, plants etc, there was this nice little corner as a designated area for kids to play.
- A library lounge place: Within the clubhouse, there was this really well designed and furnished library with a really cool range of books for the little ones to browse through to some more serious stuff. I found my favorite author when I was a child in paper-back, Enid Blyton here and couldn’t help myself from reading a couple of chapters. I have now decided to finish all the books by this author.
- Car Free premises: There were separate visitor car parking and residents’ car parking in designated areas away from the towers to ensure safety and smoke-free atmosphere. All the towers had small green areas instead of car parking in front of them. We were being instantly reassured that our child’s safety was well taken care off given that there would be no vehicles on the premises.
- Information Boards: One of the other more often features which is commonly ignored were the information boards carefully placed along vital intersection points within the community. Signboards were also placed that instructed the residents to follow healthy green habits and keep the environment clean. There were separate trash bins for recyclable and non-recyclable waste that gave me a great topic to introduce to my little one.
My child could be a free bird, playing outside without the fear of getting breathing attacks. We quickly paid the essential amounts and shifted over the next few weeks to our new home. I am happy that besides being sustainable, this investment has been enriching in terms of value. It's been only a year around and the appreciation is note-worthy. With more and more people getting cautious of the need to give back to mother nature, sustainable homes are the future of modern lifestyle. I feel so happy and gratified that my husband and myself have taken the right decision to buy a home here at Heights at Kharadi. Riverdale has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for my daughter and our family. This township, we believe will be one that will be one of the most sought after in this part of East Pune.
As an aware citizen, I know that Green Homes are not just a concept or a marketing gimmick now. An acquaintance who is a small developer told us that the government and civic bodies are encouraging the builders to develop green living projects by providing incentives like cheaper property taxes etc. I have also researched that private bodies like sustainable housing leadership consortium (SHLC) are closely working with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India to create awareness and frame policies to encourage 100% green development.
- Mr. Kalyan Chakravarthy Malla, Resident of Riverdale, Pune.