Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Is vertical growth the way for the city

Is vertical growth the way for the city
Vijay Times

Even as the State government is planning satellite townships around Bangalore, the "vertical growth" mantra of real-estate developers is set to change the Citys skyline radically.

Balakrishna Hegde, president of Karnataka Ownership Apartment Owners Association (KOAPA), says, "Only vertical growth is the answer to a growing city like Bangalore. Moving away from the City is not feasible since far-off places dont have the infrastructure a buyer needs." Bangalore has already seen several highrises in recent years. While UB City is one of the latest, residential skyscraper complexes have sprung up near Hebbal, Kanakapura Road and other peripheral areas which are to come under Greater Bangalore.

J C Sharma, managing director of Sobha Developers, which has 15 high-rise projects around the City, says, "Highrises are a perfect way to mitigate the skyrocketing land prices in the City. It is a win-win situation for both the developer and the buyer." Real-estate developers feel highrises are the perfect answer to the congestion plaguing the City.

Ravi Purvankara, chairman of the Purvankara group, says, "The advantage of vertical growth is that there is a lot of land available around a building. There is a lot of space available for people. Also, highrises encourage community living." He notes, "Real estate brings in more people and generates more funds for civic bodies. The increase in funds can be used for infrastructural development in the City. Also, we develop infrastructure when we build highrises. We aid the government with infrastructural development." B M Jayeshankar, Chief of the Brigade group, feels the available land in the City is insufficient for the existing population. "The future is in vertical growth...and highrises are the best way to dodge air and noise pollution." However, low ground water levels in the City are a growing concern and skyscrapers and multiple dwelling units would add to the pressure on existing resources.

The nay-sayers

Leo saldanha, Environment Support Group

"Most developers in the City flout the norms in on other. Most highrises are energy, water and land-i will definitely have a telling effect on the City. highrises are not meant for the salaried class and middle-class as they are extremely fancy and cater customers, pushing the needy out of the city. This called development in the field of housing."

MR Srinivasamurthy, Former BMP Commissioner

"The main problem lies in the way vertical growth mented in the City. Vertical growth, as it is happ means progressive densification of the City. The p when highrises spring up in an area meant for inde houses, resulting in a mismatch in the facilities those required by the increasing population."

Sridhar Babu, Professor of Environment Science, Bangalore UNiversity

Certain areas in the City have progressively ground water reserves. The City has seen a decreas number of lakes, from approximately 130 to just 30 Also, agricultural lands which used to help in the of ground water are now being widely used to build and comemrcial complexes. We are also stopping the seepage of rain water as most of the roads are asp


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