Monday, November 16, 2009

This B’lore locality is safe with hired guards

This B’lore locality is safe with hired guards
— Aditi Gaitonde

Bangalore: If you still feel insecure in the city, fend for yourself. Keeping watch on the neighbourhood at 44th Cross 7th Main Jayanagar 5th Block are hired common security guards. And it has been a theft-free area for 50-odd houses, for 15 years now. In 1994, residents of 44th Cross complained of a spate of thefts, like break-ins, stolen manhole lids and steel water pipes. The 44th Cross Residents’ Welfare Association was formed to solve the problem. The solution was simple: hire security.
“We get a sense of satisfaction... There has not been a single robbery on our street since 1994, after we decided to go in for our own security,” says B Bhaskar, a local resident. If you are a stranger in the area, you are viewed with suspicion. The guards question all non-residents. Another prime reason to employ guards was to keep salesmen without ID cards at bay. Says Sharada Muthanna: “More than security, we are buying peace of mind. Mothers now send their children out to play in the street, without worrying too much. Women can also go on walks and feel safe.”
They have built a shelter at both ends of the road for the guards. The two pairs of guards work in day/night shifts, keeping a close eye on the road. The Association collects Rs 300 from every house and Rs 250 per flat in apartment buildings.
Recently, the core members of the association — K S Krishnamurthy, K A Muthanna and T P Subramanian — successfully got Bescom to instal more streetlights. With bright lights and two guards, no one dares to mess with this street.
Inspired by their neighbours, residents of 6th main on 5th Block and 10th A Main on 4th Block, Jayanagar, have also adopted this security measure.


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