Friday, August 06, 2010

All they demand is more private space

All they demand is more private space

Also stop unbridled commercialisation in residential areas and chaos on roads

Bosky Khanna



While most residents of Koramangala are happy with facilities like wide roads and old trees, many are planning to shift from there due to unplanned commercialisation, mounting traffic jams and lack of space for a comfortable living.
Residents who moved to the locality over a decade ago are complaining that many shops are coming up in their vicinity and the footpath at their gate is gradually becoming a parking lot. This is apart from civic problems such as lack of proper garbage collection and regular water supply. They allege that civic agencies are not paying much attention to the locality where a large number of decision makers, IT employees and senior citizens live.
Residents say this is a self-sufficient layout, always abuzz with activities. It, however, lacks cultural shows like those staged in old layouts of Jayanagar and Malleswaram.
Pansy Parmar, a resident of 3rd Block Koramangala, moved to the layout from New Delhi 11 years ago. She chose this place because of the tall, old trees, smooth flow of traffic and quiet surroundings. She is now planning to move to suburbs like Whitefield.
"Now there is no demarcation of commercial, residential and apartment complexes here. Parking is a major problem due to the increasing number of vehicles. No wonder, the once calm locality has become noisy. I had chosen the area as the approach roads of other areas like Old Madras Road indicated that they would become noisy. In Koramangala, the issue is traffic jams inside the layout than outside,'' says Parmar.
She blames the civic agencies for lack of planning and foresight. Adding to this, Gayathri Murthy, a resident of Koramangala 2nd Block, says that there is no tab by the government or the civic agencies on the number and locations of apartment complexes. In many places, large apartment complexes can be seen in places where the road is not even 30 feet. There is no space for cars to enter or park, resulting in traffic jams. The government should sanction plans only after a proper study is done. They should also stop the upcoming small apartments on 30x40 and 40x60 site which does not have proper parking facilities and connectivity.
Vandana Pandith, a resident of 3rd Block, says parking is a serious issue. "I blame it on unbridled commercialisation. I don't say new shops should not come up. They should be confined to specific areas. We want convenience but we cannot be choosy. Offices should not come up randomly in residential areas,'' says she.
She does not want to move anywhere else as, according to her, most places have the same story to tell. She shifted to Koramangala from Malleswaram which still retains its old-world charm while the former is losing it gradually.
Businessmen say that their earnings are coming down as fewer shoppers visit them due to lack of parking space. They had chosen this area considering the large number of residents living here.
Sidheequl Akbar, manager of Aishwarya Stores in Koramangala 1st Block, says the shop set up in 1995 is now facing problems due to lack of parking space.
"Customers complain to us on parking problems. But we are helpless as there is no alternative space in the vicinity. They often park their vehicles in far-off places and come walking here," says Akbar.
Abhijeet Gupta, marketing manager of Learning Edge India Private Limited, is upset that residents do not complain much of parking. Parents are more bothered about how far the school is located from their homes. They complain only when big events result in rush of vehicles leaving little parking space for visitors.
Gupta is also concerned about drivers who drive rashly and use the shrill horns indiscriminately. That is dangerous and should be tackled as the safety of pedestrians, especially schoolchildren, is at risk.
"The parking on road sides is a menace to deal with as they occupy a major part of the road leaving no room for commuters. The situation is worse at Koramangala 8th Block where I stay. There are a lot of shops and restaurants in commercial areas adding to the worry of the residents," says he.

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