Pune in 2010: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The year clock has been moving fast and in two days time, all the sand will have run out. The past year took Pune through an interesting ride and has undoubtedly given to its residents many memories to treasure and several lessons to learn.

The Good

#Pune Joins The IPL
Pune IPLIn March this year, the Pune team franchise for the Indian Premier League was bought by the Sahara Group for a neat $370m bucks. 2011 will see Pune make its cricketing debut in the hugely popular IPL series. Let’s hope we can look forward to plenty of cricketing cheer. All the best Pune Warriors!

#Uruli Devachi No Longer A Garbage Dump
What had long been a persisting problem was finally resolved in May with the Pune Municipal Corporation waking up to old promises. Open garbage dumping at Uruli Devachi has been stopped for good. Work for capping the area is in progress. The villagers are seen wearing happy smiles and happy for sure is the little village.

#Pune Jumps On The Fashion Week Bandwagon

Refusing to be merely Mumbai’s underbelly any longer, Pune came out with its own style statement in January. ‘The Westin’, the city’s hot new five-star witnessed the week long proceedings. Some fashion experts claim that owing to way too many fashion weeks, the scene last year wasn’t too inspiring. And of course, we never know if Puneikars will give up their favourite roadside boutiques to splurge on designer wear. But nevertheless, the world now knows that Pune is not just about business schools and software firms.

#FTII turns 50
To commemorate FTII’s fiftieth year in contributing to Indian Cinema, a five day event was organized in September where students from various top film schools participated. The International Film Festival, inaugurated by film maker Govind Nihalani, saw participants from all over the world come together with some brilliant films of genres including fiction, documentary and animation.

#PCMC gets set for new classrooms
Under the Union Government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Vishnu Jadgav (education officer) confirmed this December the construction of several new classrooms, benefiting almost 20,000 students in the process. Pune, it seems, has decided to entirely live up to its Oxford of the East title.

#Pune becomes Cyber Safe
Ever confronted the my-account-has-been-hacked horror? Or exemplified the that-ain’t-my-photograph syndrome? The Pune police has been trying to ensure you are spared the pain. The Cyber Safe Pune mission in December educated people about various aspects of cyber safety: social networking, lottery sites, net banking the works.

#Weddings on the rise, several fall prey
Band Baaja Baraat 2010 turned out to be a year of love and togetherness for the Pune people. In Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited, a good number of employees either got married or engaged to suitable partners. Yash Raj Films’ Band Baaja Baraat promotional contest awarded Puneikars Pravin and Priyanka an enchanted honeymoon. Several singles nearing the 30 benchmark were flown to Pune by harried parents in search for suitable mates.

The Bad

#To move or not be move: Dadoji Kondadev’s Statue
How can Maharashtra endure the removal of Shivaji’s mentor’s statue? When the PMC dared to do as much (from the Lal Mahal), agitation arose in full splendour. Shiv Sena and BJP jointly called for a shut down and went as far as disrupting rail traffic at Lonavala. So much for a peaceful year end.

#Lavasa still on the Fence

Lavasa

With the environment ministry throwing a slow cause notice in the face of Lavasa Corporation, the designer hill station’s problems have been rising. They allegedly started work without the required environmental clearances under their sleeve. Pune hopes that Hindustan Construction Company’s picturesque venture stabilizes soon and the proposed month end decision seals the stamp.

#Prices shoot, your pocket burns
In a city where vegetables and fruit prices sit on the can/cannot buy border, the excessive monsoons only cook trouble. Onion prices shot up to 70 a kilo in December, making them a treasured possession. House rent has also been increasing exorbitantly and newcomers find it harder to find accommodation. Landladies cite ‘oh it’s been a year since I did’ as reason for rent hike and prospective clients pay more and more to middlemen.

The Ugly

#The German Bakery Bombing, where’s the security?

German Bakery

Tragedy struck Pune barely a month or so into the new year. The German Bakery, located near the Osho Ashram in Koregaon Park, became the target site of a fatal bombing attack in February. Not only did the incident take away the lives of seventeen people but also left several others injured, to say nothing of the damage done to one of Pune’s most popular tourist hubs.

#Daylight murder in Court
One bright afternoon in May, the Shivajinagar court stood mute spectator to a broad daylight murder. Rahul Ravindra Nayar, a 25 year old lad from Dehu Gaon, was attacked by sharp weapons  right on the busy court premises. Allegedly, the police men mimicked the court’s silence even when accomplices of the murdered misbehaved with advocate Rekha Nishant Karande.

The countdown is on… lets hope the 2011 sun dawns nice and bright in the Pune sky.

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