Restore Water Body – Shenoy Nagar/ Anna Nagar

There was an excellent article in Anna Nagar Talk this morning. – ‘Restore Water Body with a picture of an open land’. This caught my attention and also to me it was an excellent article because as a neighborhood resident this affects me and  each one of us living here on a daily basis. There is a huge vacant land right next to the Shenoy Nagar park (also called as the skating park). My kids skate in this park and I also use the park to run twice a week. There used to be Government Housing quarters right next to this park. However, one fine day, (about 6 months to a year ago), this entire building was demolished and the residents were relocated to another neighborhood. The Government did an excellent job without a lot of chaos. This is an excellent location (few minutes walk to the metro) and could certainly be converted to a pond (or) a water body to store water. One could store water and also use it as a walking trail. 

Anna Nagar Shenoy Nagar

Anna Nagar Talk Restore Water Body

Anna Nagar Talk Restore Water Body

When work is being done in such locations of prominence , it is a good idea to ask the residents in the neighborhood for their feedback. I tried to ask several folks near the park on what will be constructed in the open land and they have no clue. 

Based on the article published today in Anna Nagar talk, there used to be a water body in the same location. Feasibility of water body in the location should be carried out (or) The Government should detail its plans for the location. Let us assume that they have great plans and it will make a positive impact to the residents of the area and beyond. I would love for the land to be used for the public (not just for the residents of the Anna Nagar/Shenoy Nagar) , but also for people in the nearby towns. 

Here are some options based on the feasibility:

  1. Water Body (based on Anna Nagar Talk’s article)
  2. Extend the Shenoy Nagar park with a Sports Stadium so more people can stay healthy
  3. Library
  4. Government may have bigger and better plans which may benefit all of us

These are great opportunities for the Government to make an impact and Good Luck. Thank you for reading.

Imminent Death of BSNL

BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) provides telephone and internet services to people across India. The  Chennai floods in 2017 left the entire city in shambles. Most of the internet service providers took months to restore their service. However BSNL was at the top of its game. Even though the private operators were not able to provide connectivity to the city, BSNL rose up to the disaster and ensured connectivity and minimal disruption.

BSNL

BSNL

I decided to take up BSNL connection at home. However the experience was not so pleasant. I had the connection for about 2 years. The connection was never stable and it hardly worked. I made several attempts to reach out to the concerned authorities. They would take the complaint and sit on it. The cable is cut, there are cable issues in your area are the constant responses you would hear from them. My home is not too far from the BSNL office and they are unable (or) not willing to fix this problem. When you talk directly to the technician, he would recommend switching providers.

I gave up and chose a private provider and in less than 24 hours the connection was installed the internet speed is amazing. If you talk to folks at BSNL, many private operators lease lines (not sure what the technical word is) and resell BSNL services. You will not be surprised to learn that BSNL is not able to pay salaries to its employees.

Doordarshan, the State run television network was killed when the private television operators came into play. It is not rocket science to figure out the nexus between Doordarshan and the private operators. The same is the fate of BSNL.

The Government of India should exit providing such services to people if they are not able to provide quality. It is a drain on the public exchequer and the funds can be effectively utilized for education (or) healthcare. I can empathize with the BSNL officials and the Government of India with the numerous challenges (opportunities) we have. With the rapid changes happening in the telecom space, I hope we can fix it or kill it. 

How to get to Downtown Toronto from YYZ Airport

I recently visited Toronto for the Shopify Unite conference. The first place you land via Air is the YYZ airport. We were staying in a place called Yorkville (in the middle of Downtown). I was planning on taking the Uber to go to Downtown and also looked at the UP Express. In the baggage claim area, happened to have a chat with a fellow passenger. Uber costs about CAD $40 (dependent on the time of the day) and UP Express was a little over CAD $12. The fellow passenger I was chatting with was also heading to Downtown. I landed at around 9 pm, not much traffic and the route the fellow passenger suggested worked out perfect.

Step 1: Take the 900 Airport Express (You will have to pay in Canadian $ and the bus driver also accepts USD) – However payment needs to be made in cash.

900 Airport Express

900 Airport Express

Step 2: Get down at the Kipling Station

Kipling Station

Kipling Station

Step 3: Board the train to Downtown Toronto

Cost: $3.25

Yes. all for CAD $3.25  You will be looking at a travel time of little over an hour.  If you are not travelling with a lot of luggage and looking to save costs, this is a great way to get to Downtown Toronto from YYZ airport.

What is ULIP and Investing in Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)

Three years ago, I invested in an Insurance plan in India hoping my money invested over a period of 5 years will double in 10 years. Honestly, I did not do enough research and did not even know I had invested in an ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Plan). No surprises, the money invested over a period of 3 years did not grow and it was also negative(less than my total investment) at times.

After 3 years, since my money did not grow and since the fund value was less than what I had invested,  I did some research and found out that I had invested in an ULIP.

What is ULIP? ULIP is Unit Linked Insurance Plan – Linked to the market and also they provide you with an insurance cover. The wikipedia page can give you more insights.

Should I invest in ULIP? Here is my experience. With the hope that my money would double in a period of 10 years and I will have a tax free income, what happened was not so positive. Caution: I did not wait 10 years (Like they ask you to wait). However let us assume I invested Rs. One lakh a year for a period of 3 years, at the end of year three, my fund value was less than Rupees 3 Lakhs. On more research on why my money did not grow, I found out the following:

When you invest in an ULIP plan it is important to understand the charges.

Charges Percentage E.g (Invest Amount of Rs. 1,00,000) per year
Premium Allocation 5% Rs. 5,000
Policy Administration 2.1% Rs. 2,100
Mortality Charges 1.1 to 1.52% Rs. 1,100 to Rs. 1,520
Fund Management Charge 1.35% Rs. 1,350
Applicable Taxes 1.7 to 2.7% Rs. 1750 to Rs. 2750

As you can see, the charges for a Rs. 1,00,000 investment is Rs. 12,000 or more *during the first 5 years. These are not exact numbers and can vary based on the plan. As you can see, on a Rupees 1 lakhs investment for a year, you are paying about 12% to someone to manage your funds. I did not want to pay someone 12% to manage my money and hence decided to drop out after year 3.

Here is a youtube link if you want to hear my experience.

If you are interested in the Tamil version of the same, here is the youtube video.

Should you consider investing in ULIP, do you research, understand all the charges and then if it makes sense go for it.