Pune Versus Bengaluru – an unbiased analysis of the ‘liveability’ factor. I’ve had experience of both the upcoming metros and cultural hubs of India with a 15 years long span of stay in Pune. Many of these points will be subjective to different readers.
Red – Bad
Amber – ‘Close competition’ (+1)
Green – Good (+2)
1. Traffic and congestion: Bengaluru Pune
Bangalore has full red. Pune won’t be too far behind though. Both cities have bad traffic conditions with Pune being one of the largest two-wheeler population city in the country. The bikers are everywhere. If viewed from above, a traffic signal in Pune looks like a Dam gate which just opened! Pune is slightly smaller than Bangalore and owing to the new development plans, the roads are wider than those in Bangalore. So Pune get’s the amber but no increment. Bangalore is intractable!
2. Mass transit/Public Transport: Bangalore Pune
Neither cities have a fully developed Metros or a Mono-rail but Bangalore has an existing Metro system called the ‘Namma Metro’ which has finished phase I and is growing towards completion like the Delhi Metro. Although Pune has been sanctioned an underground/elevated metro system, none of them seem to be materializing in next 5 years. But, Bangalore takes the brownie here. The public transport busses of Bangalore have Air-Cons installed and are spacious with plenty of routes to traverse. Pune on the other hand has rusty, ill-maintained, overcrowded busses and the new BRT lane concept seems to bring more problems than being useful.
3. Professional Opportunities: Bengaluru Pune
Bangalore is the larger IT hub than Pune and offers jobs to a larger population of people. Owing to the size and population factor, Bangalore wins this round. But Pune is pacing up, and it certainly is a worthy face-off opponent for Bengaluru over professional opportunities.
4. Cost of Living: Bengaluru Pune
Pune takes this round. Bangalorean set-up is – ‘more proffessional opportunities, hence more employers and even more employees’. This in turns raises standards of lifestyle. Pune is lesser expensive out of the two. Bangalore is at least 15-20% more expensive on commodities ranging from food, public transport, services, hotels, lounging, night-life etc.
5. Weather: Bengaluru Pune
Pune and Bangalore are both reputed cities for excellent all-year round weather. However, owing to the greater distance from the Tropic of Cancer and a higher elevation of 3000 ft above mean sea level, Bengaluru has a better all-year climate than Pune, the latter sits closer to the Tropic line at an elevation of 1990 ft MSL. Both the cities are subject to strong South-West monsoons and hence exposed to a lot of natural greenery than most other major cities of India. However, Pune summers are extremely hot with temperatures hovering around 42 degrees in months of April and May.
6. Education: Bengaluru Pune
Both the cities are top education centers of our country. While Bangalore has the IIM-B and IISc, Pune is filled with popular Engineering colleges like COEP, MIT, VIT, BVP and PICT along with the famous Symbiosis for management, Fergusson college of arts and various other reputed colleges for medical sciences which also includes the AFMC. Pune is easily the better educational hub between the two.
7. Night life, Pubs, Malls: Bengaluru Pune
When it comes to Clubs and night-life, we can have a balancing act. Bangalore is the city famous for its pub-culture. The sheer numbers of pubs, clubs and malls in Bengaluru overwhelms Pune. But Bangaloreans seem to be more upset about the night-life becoming almost non-existant after 11 pm. The scene in Pune seems to be more relaxed if not liberal. Pune still can hold binge nights until 12:30 am. Bangalore wins this round however.
8. Weekend Getaways: Bengaluru Pune
During the monsoons, various exotic destination are proximal to Pune. Some of the famous ones are Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, Ajanta caves, Singhad fort, Matheran and Lohgad fort. These destinations are so popular that people from various parts of India come to visit during the monsoon months of July and August. Bangalore opens up to places like Coorg, Chikmaglur and Gokarna. The inflow to areas around Pune are relatively higher than Bangalore. However both the cities offer amazing weekend getaways during season time.
9. Lifestyle: Bengaluru Pune
Pune seems to be a relaxed, laid back, chilled out city as compared to Bengaluru which seems to be harder hitting than Pune. Bangalore is more about traffic and corporatism while Pune seem to be more on the cultural side. Both cities have a fast pace of life as compared to other Indian cities, but between the two, Bangalore is faster, busier and harder on the pockets than Pune. Which lifestyle is relatively better is a subjective issue, so I will give both the cities a green.
How do they Fair?
Banglore marginally wins.