Yeah, that was my WTF reaction when I came upon this article in the Mid-Day.

It says that Pune, which has 8 multiplexes now, is expected to have around 37 in 3-4 years, and these will be a combination of malls and theatres.

Hello? Are these great civic honchos totally off their rocker or what?

We are in the midst of an economic slowdown right now, but more importantly, is Pune’s crumbling infrastructure ready to support these 37 glass housed air conditioned power and space guzzlers?

There aren’t enough places to park, basic civic amenities are lacking, condition of roads is pathetic, with some digging work always going on, traffic is chaotic as always and the worst of all, there just isn’t enough bloody space !!

During the power crisis last year, these multiplexes had got a wake up call when there was shortage of diesel to run the gensets which powered their ACs and other electrical units. Since they do not have ceiling fans and proper ventilation, people visiting these malls and multiplexes had a horrible time inside. It was pretty claustrophobic in the trial rooms, not to mention the stink of body odour with hundreds of sweaty people all over the place. 🙂

I’m not against malls or multiplexes per se and they’ve indeed been a convenience to quite an extent. It is the number that boggles the mind, however. We already have mini townships all over the city where people have everything available to them at close to walking distance. Gone are the days when one had to specifically visit Camp, Laxmi Road or Deccan for an outing or to buy something. Now each ‘pocket ‘ in the city has it’s own Reliance Fresh / More outlet, a McDonalds, a mall, a multiplex etc etc.

Pune is already losing it’s sheen as a preferred place to live in and is a far cry from the ‘pensioners paradise’ it once was. At the time, even ceiling fans were not needed, and now, it is unbearable without an AC. Each year is hotter than the previous one and a city that rarely saw temperatures in the mid-30s is now witnessing temperatures exceeding 40 degrees. What’s more, the increase is happening right from end of February onwards.

I think so many multiplexes are a bad idea and the civic administration would be better off improving facilities and amenities that are already there before considering such whacky proposals.

Listening, guys?