Monday, 24th June, 2019

Tata Ariana Review

Tata Housing Ariana LogoI am one of the flat owners at Tata Ariana apartment complex. We have been residing here since taking possession in September 2017. We invested in the project way back in 2014, were one of the very first owners to move in here & 2nd occupant in our tower.

Following is my heartfelt, unbiased review of the project.

Build Quality

The towers are built strong. Tata Housing, unlike many other builders does not compromise on quality, willingly. And if any aspect of the flat is found to be faulty such as tiles, glasses, wall plaster cracks, sanitary & electrical fittings they correct or replace them.

Amenities

Apart from the cosmetic things which are visible right away above the surface such as club house, swimming pool, children’s play area, leisure & green areas, there are several technical strong points to this apartment which are under the ground or hidden inside the buildings.

There is a functional water treatment plant, well built basement parking which has ample space for cars to go around, high ceiling and well lit, well ventilated with huge exhaust machines to draw out toxic air of vehicles. Covered drains in the basement for extra underground water surfacing during rainy season to channel them towards a deep soak pit.

Water pipes, electrical, telephone, tv cables are cleverly hidden from sight, well built electricity rooms under each tower, good amount of lifts, 2 fire exit staircases in each tower, solid metal water pipes that won’t burn down in case of a fire.

Lots of water sprinklers in basement, every floor corridor, inside every room of every flat, fire fighting alarm, pipes & systems in every floor.

Direct power connection from 33 KV Chandaka grid due to which power cuts are very rare, with solid power backup which was evident in the recent cyclone Fani.

And many more such features which I am forgetting.

Location

Unlike many large housing projects in Bhubaneswar, Ariana is very well connected. It has 2 approach roads (with road dividers) in opposite directions, so much less possibility of traffic jams stopping you from getting in or out. From here one can easily reach old prime areas as well as new growing, happening areas of the city. Local farmer’s market, shopping mall, hospital, fuel station & other market areas nearby mean you’re never far from getting the goods & services you need.

Maintenance

Now this is one aspect which I am sorry to say is not upto the mark. The reason being local maintenance staff are highly incompetent. They don’t do half of the tasks assigned to them, and when they do, they do a very poor job.

But I realize this is not a stain on Tata Housing’s reputation as an apartment builder, but rather a sad reality that every other apartment has to face in my city. And I have come to accept this fact that my apartment, however well built, will never be as clean or well maintained as well as we the apartments we see in metro cities.

So is it worth the price?

Absolutely. Many local builders skimp down on important aspects which are absolutely required in a large scale housing complex, thus being able to offer flats at a much cheaper rate. But Tata Housing has followed all govt. rules & regulations, done due diligence in constructing a solid, secure project, hence the high cost.

This is not a flat which will fetch you good returns upon reselling, not atleast in a recent few years, as the prices are already very high as per the local real estate market, but this flat gives excellent value for money if you want to make it your primary residence.

Considering various aspects such as build quality, amenities, safety features, location this is a unique apartment in the city likes of which don’t come by very often and a must buy.

Conclusion

I am lucky to call Ariana my home & if you’re considering buying a flat here you should go ahead!

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

What are the charges on HDFC bank debit card if I swipe it abroad?

If you are wondering about the fees incurred when you do shopping by swiping your HDFC bank debit card at some merchant location / point of sale (POS) machine during your travel abroad then it will be:

3.5% (cross currency mark-up charges by HDFC) of the amount you spend in Indian rupees + 18% (goods & services tax by Indian government) on that 3.5%

Example:

You spend 1000 rupees:

Fee 1: 3.5% of 1000 = 35
Fee 2: 18% GST on 35 = 6.3
Total = 35 + 6.3 = Rs 41.3

So if you spend 1 lakh rupees either in a single transaction or spread across multiple transactions outside India, the bank will charge you 4130 rupees in total.

Each time you buy something using your debit card, there will be 3 lines for that purchase inside your netbanking account, you just need to be able to clearly identify them.

1. The amount you paid to buy something, converted from the foreign currency into Indian rupees as per that day’s exchange rate

2. FCY CONVERSION MARKUP FEE = Fee 1 mentioned above, which is 3.5% foreign currency conversion markup fee on the amount you paid

3. IGST-VPS………….-RATE 18.0 -21040 = Fee 2 mentioned above, which is 18% Indian GST on the 3.5% foreign currency conversion markup fee

And in this post I have explained the charges HDFC bank will take from you when you withdraw cash in foreign currency using HDFC ATM/debit card in a foreign ATM outside India.

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

Why I don’t share my future plans

At any given point of time I usually have one or more future plans under the pipeline, something to look forward to, something to work on & achieve. But I don’t really share them with others until those dreams have actually materialized.

I harness the power that comes with keeping it to myself, it gives me the energy & focus required to properly plan & execute the goal, big or small. The struggle to get there, the stories along the path, all that is mine to remember.

I am not competing with anyone, not trying to one up anyone, I certainly don’t want to make anyone jealous. I just want to get my thing done the way I want it. But I don’t like to talk about it until it is done.

And when it is complete, I feel proud of myself. And often I keep the happiness of success to myself too. It keeps the joy of achievement pristine.