Friday, January 20, 2017


This is part 3 of an ongoing series on Sustainably Smart Pune project Survey Data.  Check out part 1 and 2 of the series.

Expenditure pattern of Ghole Road ward residents of Pune is analysed in this part. Expenditure is analyzed for 2 categories: a) Expenditure on housing (Rent/ Loan) b) Expenditure on transportation. This  is done to understand the affordability of shelter and movement for the different economic classes. Expenses are expressed as a percentage of the household(HH) income. 


Among the surveyed population, more than 55% of all categories do not have any expenditure on housing. For HIG and MIG, this translates to  more than 50% house ownership. For most of LIG and slums, no housing expenditure is mostly due to temporary/illegal settlements, housing provided by employer or unauthorized colonies. The slums and LIG families who own houses, have temporary or dilapidated structures.

In HIG and MIG categories, almost 40%  people spend 10-30% of their income on housing as rent or housing loan. For LIG and slums, 25% spend 10-20% of their income on housing. It is also noteworthy that a comparatively larger proportion of people in LIG and slums are spending 50% or more of their incomes on housing! 

As real estate prices are soaring in the city, it is increasingly becoming unrealistic for people to own houses, especially for the migrants. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yogna , the affordable housing scheme launched in 2015 has Pune in its list of implementation cities. In addition to it, government has also announced tax subsidies for housing loans upto 9 lakhs and 12 lakhs. Even then, the increasing land prices in city has made it difficult for affordable housing projects. Most of the constructions that is taking place is targeted at HIG and to some extent MIG, whereas the real need is affordable housing at accessible locations for LIG and slum dwellers. 

In the ArthaYantra Buy or Rent report 2017, Pune has become more unaffordable than Bangalore. It is advisable for household with annual income upto 14 lakhs, to rent a house in Pune than to buy it. 


For monthly travel, HIG and MIG spend up to 10% of their income on an average. This includes petrol expenses, public transport, taxi expenses etc. For LIG and Slum, the travel expenses are less than 5% as their daily mode of commute is either cycling or walking. More than 20% households of LIG and slums spend nothing on transport.  

The World Bank report on 'Affordability of public transport in developing countries', says: Affordability refers to the extent to which the financial cost of journeys put an individual or household in the position of having to make sacrifices to travel or the extent to which they can afford to travel when they want to. While a family on a low income might be able to afford the necessary journeys to work for the income owners of the family, they might not be able to afford trips to school for their teenage children, or for their children to visit a grandparent in hospital. There is a widely held belief that potential low income passengers are forced to curtail the number of trips that they make, use modes of transport that do not incur a direct cost, such as walking or cycling, or to live in locations that minimize their transport costs.

This is true in Pune’s case as many LIG and Slum households complained of poor service and expensive public buses as a major reason for their reduced commute.  More than 60% of the trips of LIG and slums is by walking. 

It needs to be noted that even though the graph shows percentage travel expenses for the different income groups as almost same, the actual amount is hugely different.

For any queries or comments, do contact us. 

Anu Kuncheria

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


In continuation to my previous blog, the next series of survey outcomes are below.

A brief of the survey:
As part of the Sustainably Smart Pune project, we conducted a household survey in Ghole road ward. The survey was aimed at understanding how various city services are being used by different income categories of people. It is important to assess the usage of different city functions/services by different income categories if you want to make real changes in the quality of life of those impacted by them.

To get a fair representation of the ward, we selected samples from 4 income categories of people : HIG (High Income group), MIG (Middle income group), LIG (low income group) and SLUMs.  It was an interview survey where our interns went to houses and filled the form online/paper.

In this blog, I will be writing on HH earnings and Occupation of the surveyed group.


HH earning details across the various categories in the surveyed group is  shown below. Large section of people were reluctant to give this data (as shown by no response bar in the graph). 

The number of earning members is 1 or 2 in all the categories, but in HIG, it is predominantly 2, while in SLUM, the families with 1 or 2 earching members is nearly equal. Also, a relatively larger number of families in SLUMs also have 3 earning members compared to the percentage in other categories. 


Occupation was analyzed for the highest earning male and female member for a HH. 

It can be noted from the survey that 53% of the HIG male is into business/ self employed, 33% is into  private service. For MIG, 35% is into some private service, for LIG self employed is the highest followed by private service. For Slums, private service and daily wagers are the highest.

For females, for all the income categories, home maker ranks first, however in HIG, the proportion of families with women engaged in some kind of gainful employment is higher than that with women being homemakers. 

Note: N/A implies no adult male in the family or adult male is not working.

Note: N/A implies no adult female in the family or adult female is not working

More on housing will be up in the next blog. Would love to hear from you.

Anu Kuncheria 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Value Added Products from Renewable Charcoal

Samuchit Trashflasher is an environment friendly technology that allows low moisture biomass waste (e.g., agricultural, forestry, or garden waste, coconut shells, furniture waste, etc.) to be converted into renewable charcoal. But... can we do more with this charcoal than just burn it up as fuel for cooking?

That was the driver behind our experiments with value addition to renewable charcoal. We were very fortunate that just as we started working on this, we connected with 'Green Energy Against Poverty' Through the financial support of Greenap and technical know how of Samuchit, two new value added products have now been created and will be formally launched tomorrow during the KVIFF Eco Bazaar exhibition at Pune. 

What are these products and what is special about them?

Samuchit Organic Incense Sticks (Dhoop Kandi): 

Samuchit Organic Incense being used for worship
Incense or dhoop is a mixture of aromatic dried plant materials. It releases its wonderful fragrance on burning. However, for it to burn evenly and steadily, it needs to be mixed with some combustible material that will not release any aroma of its own upon burning. Such a material is charcoal. However, it has to be emphasised that ANY type of smoke always releases some harmful emissions. The only way you can minimise this is to use as purely carbonaceous charcoal as possible. And this is where the advantage of Samuchit Trashflasher comes in. The way the Trashflasher operates, all the volatile materials in the biomass are driven out and only nearly pure carbon is left behind as char. Thus, if you use the char made by this process to make incense sticks, you will get relative low-polluting product. 

Furthermore, as we use only waste biomass for making this char, you can be sure that your love for incense sticks is not causing any deforestation. FURTHERMORE, at this point, we are using the char made from organically grown rice straw! So, the entire life cycle of the incense stick is environment friendly! 

Samuchit Organic De-odoriser: 

Samuchit Organic De-odoriser
We use de-odorisers in cars, toilets, closed rooms, etc. These are generally chemical products that produce a pleasant smell which masks the bad odors in the air that create a stuffy feeling. Charcoal based de-odorisers work on a totally different principle - they are de-odorisers in the true sense of the word! 

Charcoal has the property of absorbing moisture and organic compounds. This property can be enhanced by following a specific process of manufacturing charcoal, and such 'activated' charcoal is used even by chemical industries as a filter. However, the special manufacturing process adds to the cost of the charcoal. The cost of activated charcoal is at least 10 times more than that of ordinary charcoal. 

We found that when we make charcoal from waste biomass, which is generally more porous than the hard wood used for making charcoal traditionally, we automatically get 'semi-activated' char - char that has relatively higher capacity to absorb organic molecules than ordinary charcoal (although it is not as effective as industrial grade activated charcoal), without any additional expense! Therefore, we have come up with an environment friendly and pocket friendly deodoriser based on our renewable char powder made from waste biomass. Being environmentally conscious we also wanted to avoid disposable packaging for the char powder. Therefore, our de-odoriser is made of cloth bag rather than plastic or paper casing. 

When char powder absorbs organic molecules and moisture from the air, eventually it is going to saturate. We estimate that our de-odoriser will work for about a month. Afterwards, you can open and empty the cloth bag in your garden or potted plant. It will act as an excellent agent for improving your garden soil! Return the empty cloth bag to us, when you buy a new de-odoriser, and you will get a discount on the purchase price. 

So these are the two new unique products that is a New Year Offering to all environmentally conscious people of Pune from Green Energy Against Poverty and Samuchit Enviro Tech! 

And this is not all! We are introducing these products as a livelihood enhancing opportunity in the villages in Mulshi-Mawal area around Pune. At present, there is only one production unit, but if Punekars respond positively to these products, more production centres will be created. Thus, this project has a potential to create rural livelihoods too.  

Do visit our stall at Eco Bazaar between 5 Jan to 10 Jan (5 pm to 8 pm on 5 Jan, and 3 pm to 8 pm on remaining days) and check out these products for yourself! 

If you are outside Pune and would like to introduce these products in your area, we offer technical know how and business development support consultancy so that you can create a local enterprise manufacturing and selling these products in your area. Please get in touch with us by email to

Priyadarshini Karve
Samuchit Enviro Tech