Tuesday, December 01, 2009

An alcove of peace

An alcove of peace

The DNA-IMRS project surveyed 1,100 residents across Greater Bangalore, coming up with the definitive list of the city's livability index. This quality-of-life metric is defined by a respondent's experience and perception of facilities like housing, education, entertainment, infrastructure, and security, among other things

PK Surendran. Bangalore



CV Raman Nagar is more an idea than a physical entity; famous by name but contours indistinct. This is the reason maiden visitors trying to discover CV Raman Nagar will find that the effort is as futile as one who peels an onion for its seed.
One of the most preferred residential localities of Bangalore, CV Raman Nagar was born in the 80s when Rajiv Gandhi, who came to inaugurate the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) near Kaggadaspura, christened it after the Nobel Laureate. The idea caught on and many residential areas such as Byrasandra, Bhuvaneshwari Nagar and Varsave Layout began to cash in on the name. Soon, they all came to be known as CV Raman Nagar. But the core area consists only of the DRDO township and Kaggadaspura. Today, the whole of CV Raman Nagar could be within a four to five kilometre radius.
What defines CV Raman Nagar is one magic word: safety. The defence organisation lent a veneer of psychological safety which comes out clearly when one talks with the residents. From Vani N, a housewife at Bhuvaneshwari Nagar to Santhosh Dev, a vegetable stall owner at Kaggadaspura, link the word safety to DRDO.
"I'm here since 1995," says Ahobala Sastry, a retired policeman. "But I've not heard or seen a serious crime taking place here." The impression that the presence of the military in the vicinity keeps the surroundings clean, green and crime-free is somehow deep-rooted, agrees many residents of CV Raman Nagar.
The USP of this top-notch locality is that it retains its sanity as a peaceful residential area. "Unlike nearby Indiranagar," says RVR Suryanarayan, a divisional head with DRDO, "CV Raman Nagar has not seen spiraling skyscrapers or commercial ventures. So if you are looking for a home to unwind in after a tough day at work, it is CV Raman Nagar."
No, he won't trade up his house here for any other in Bangalore, because he believes there is no place as good as CV. Fifty per cent residents in CV Raman Nagar today comprise of IT employees and officials.
On the flip side, the locality does not have the flamboyance of Koramangala or Indiranagar. No glitzy hotels, no pubs or anything else for someone who would enjoy a late night out. "But all the essential requirements are amply available," points out Dinesh Kumar, a banker. "Kaggadaspura is a market hub where everything is available for one to lead a normal life." There are some 25 educational institutions. Yes, air connectivity is a problem—45 km to BIAL— but it was pretty close to the old airport. Rail link is better, with KR Puram just 4 km away, and the bus service good, Kumar agrees. CV Raman Nagar does not boast of showbiz celebrities either. But, half a dozen retired police officers and a score or more top executives form the creamy layer here.
Residents point to a flurry of upcoming constructions that make for a crammed skyline in the area. But infrastructure woes haven't quite turned investors in land and properties off. But everybody agrees that CV Raman Nagar has, by and large, maintained its residential characteristics.
What the future holds
But, CV Raman Nagar may not bask in its glory forever, Dhananjay Reddy, a prominent builder in CV Raman Nagar says. The Metro terminal at Byappanahally is just two to three kilometres away, and the inter-state bus station is also coming up there. With these high growth engines, CV Raman Nagar may be following Indiranagar in the near future. And, he for one, wouldn't be sorry. Today, plots are hardly available. And, property too is comparatively affordable (Rs3,000/sq ft). But commercial development, he reckons, would bring windfalls to the owners as it did in areas like Indiranagar, Jayanagar and Koramangala. "Now is the time to buy property here," he advises, adding, "for one, the recession is tapering off, and for another, Byappanhalli rail-bus development will set off a spiral in commercial activity."

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