Saturday, November 26, 2005

Going round in circles? No way!

Going round in circles? No way!

People living around the Ring Road are happy being there and find it a relief not to come into the city
The Times of India

THEY live near the Ring Road, work in the same locality or nearby, their lives not having too much to do with the city. Theirs is a Ring Road life — more by choice than by chance. And these Bangaloreans love it.

Alak Nanda, graphic designer, works from home, after working in the city for 10 years. It was a conscious decision. Her husband, also a graphic designer, works from home too. Says Alak, “I’d had enough of traffic jams. We now have a lovely place off the Sarjapur Road section of the Ring Road. I want to enjoy the lake nearby. Most of our needs are met — we come into the city more for convenience than by compulsion. I call the local store and have groceries sent over. I call the restaurant and have food delivered. My son’s school bus stop is close by. We catch a movie at the entertainment complex down the road. As for work, I can e-mail my concepts to clients and get the brief from them over the Net. I don’t miss the city.”

Theatreperson Ritwik Simha, who lives on the Ring Road near Banashankari, says supermarkets around meet their domestic needs. “Clothes too, of all brands, are available. Also, plenty of coffee houses. We have a small amphitheatre in our garden for our practice sessions. We use the Net for communication.” His father, actor CR Simha, is thrilled living there. “He hates driving and is happy walking about on his errands.”

Priya Shankar, a buying agent in the garment industry, moved to the suburbs 11 years ago and to Haralur Road, off the Ring Road, two years ago and is not complaining. She says, “I work from home. My production work is done in Mumbai and Tirupur; I find it easier to travel outside Bangalore than within the city! A lot of my work gets done on the Net. For the basics of day-to-day life, there are supermarkets; for movies, we go to the multiplex close by and there are enough hotels in Koramangala nearby.”

Traffic expert MN Sreehari says areas around the Ring Road should be developed into self-sufficient localities. “Government offices in Sweden are located along peripheral and ring roads. Employees live nearby, so the city business district isn’t congested. So also, in Bangalore, if those working in Electronic City live in its vicinity, it will decongest Hosur Road. Our city’s growing radially and circumferentially: the concept of satellite towns along the Ring Road must be maximised,” he says. Sreehari adds that Kengeri and Yelahanka failed as satellite towns since they are not self-sustaining — without enough schools, colleges, shops, malls and medical stores. “So, the residents still come to the mother city for their needs.”


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