Archive for February, 2009

Pune, Electricity, water main concerns

Hi all,
A friend of mine from States dropped in recently. It was an eye-opener to him about how suddenly water and light (power) would go off without giving any notice.
I tried to see if there are any Internet resources which could tell me (either through e-mail/RSS or through going to a website if I can know before-hand if water is not going to come tomorrow or electricity)

I just found one website and a wiki which tries to do something but nothing apart from that.

The first up is Pune Governance Wiki put up at Wikia.com.

While its a good effort, its still in its infancy. One of the things I have found missing is it uses/needs some (unicode utf-8 or utf-16 indian) font for rendering some parts of the page but nothing seems to be mentioned on the page. That should have been mentioned.

The other, it needs to be kept current and updated and also talk about resources not just what they are but also how accessible, how interconnected,secure,trust-worthy and reliable the resources there are.

The other only effort that I found in the electricity domain is of prayaspune. They have this applet called icantrack .

The problem I saw of the site is this. Its basically done for IE rendering. The site itself is historical in context rather than doing anything in real-time. You can look at the page and you are left wondering what the page is about. It takes a while to discover that you need to click on the show report link near to the site name on the extreme right top corner of the web-page. It will open up a child window which needs adobe flash player. While the site renders okish on IE 7 and FF 8 on Windows nothing comes while trying to see the site on Ubuntu 8.10 (firefox 3.0 , swfdec/gnash) . Even on windows the animation is very very slow and the script becomes unsresponsive.

The data (of Warje for example) is pretty old. Also more points need to be covered.

But alas nothing for electricity scheduling/breakdowns/ etc. The Prayas Group hasn’t even listed any resources like MahaTransco who are responsible for electricity distribution in the city.

That site uses a not-much known/used forum which again uses vbulletin.

So, in short a pathetic state of affairs (as far as computerization and providing real-time info. is concerned.)

Don’t get me started on all the English dailies for Pune. Indian Express is pathetic and gives wrong information. Times of India, Sakal (English) as well as DNA India all of them don’t provide this crucial information.

Even if they do publish something by mistake, its always on the third-fourth page buried in-between some other news in small fonts.

If somebody knows of any good resources (online or otherwise) for Pune (concerning water and electricity real-time or daily distribution, breakages etc. please lemme know.)

I have to say though, Hyderabad has much better infrastructure developed then what we have here.

This is all when I’m a tax-paying person. I just can’t expect any information services from the city 😦

The consortium of pubgoing loose and forward women.

Hi all,
I’m sure the mangalore pub incident and the backlash and the backlash to the backlash will continue, I find a saddened state of affairs really.

The way I perceive, see it apart for cross culture, its also a growing culture of intolerance.

I find it extremely hard to support the Ram Sene on number of counts/reasons.

a. The people who were beat up (women in this case) were not under-aged.

b. They were frequenting an establishment which was laid by law.

c. the whole ‘women pub-culture’ thing. I don’t know/understand what they mean by pub-culture.

From what little or much I know of drinking of drinking is from self-experience and things around me. Let’s take popular culture (Indian cinema) as a guiding light for pictures for wrong or right have always been very much a mirror of Indian culture and times.

One of the first movies that come to my mind is Sahib,Bibi and Ghulam from 1962 where you find the first reference of women and alcohol (atleast in my limited cinematic knowledge)

There have been other references in number of movies where a women (other than the vamp has been showing nursing alcohol) . Many of the 70’s experimental cinema showed it.

Another mainstream movie which showed the same is the 1980’s film/movie Kalyug.

The only change from then to now would be that women used to drink within their own homes, now they choose to drink outside the home.

The other big change is that women during those times weren’t financially or socially independent while now they are (atleast much more)

The serious issue which should/could have been taken up is people’s (no genderization) inability to control their drink. I have seen and experienced both men and women loose it (literally) after drinking but then of course that is also their choice.

The only time I would have issue is drunk driving when they will and can hurt people. In fact wikipedia has a good page on the same.

If you look at India, then apart from Gujarat (which is supposed to have prohibition) the rest of the country is merry. In fact, what is/was really interesting is the issue being raked up in Rajasthan.

The worst I have seen of drinking problems is in Kerala as well as this but sadly those issues won’t be touched.

On a personal front as well, I have had drunk, both in pubs and outside and don’t think there’s any difference. The best pubs though I have to say are in Bangalore (specifically the one which is on M.G.Road in one of the by-lanes and plays heavenly 70’s rock music all the day long) . Of all the watering holes, I liked that one the best.

So, in the end hats of to the constorium of pub-going , loose and sometimes forward women, may your tribe increase 😉

PIL mapping and mainstream media

Hi all,

The post would be talking about a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) filed against Google Earth and other mapping stuff happening.

Continue reading ‘PIL mapping and mainstream media’



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