Saturday, August 07, 2010

Despite niggles, Koramangala is the best address in town, say its proud residents

Despite niggles, Koramangala is the best address in town, say its proud residents

There are frequent power cuts, roads are not maintained properly and are filled with bumper-to-bumper traffic, some neighbourhoods are troubled by the noise coming from the large number of educational institutions, but those who have been living in the area for decades say they have no 'major' complaints

Shilpa CB

The city has seen dramatic changes in the last two decades, and within the city the changes have been quite rapid in Koramangala. Chock-a-block with commercial establishments, the neighbourhood is losing the environment that was once conducive for quiet living. While residents say they have no choice but to accept change, they insist that there must be some order, too.
The people of 6th Block enjoy living in their beloved neighbourhood and would not move out for anything. The proximity to all kinds of amenities and access to novel leisure activities is a luxury they cherish. They don't have the usual complaints that most others around the city would have. Even water supply is not an issue. But one woe figures in conversations repeatedly. "The only problem is the frequent power cuts. We just cannot complete any task on time," says Lakshmi Govindraju, a homemaker.
"Almost every alternate hour, the power is cut. We are unable to cook, or work on the computer. My husband, who has an office upstairs, is forced to delay work because of this," she says.
Absence of power is hitting business here hard. The countless offices, shops, clinics and schools are left high and dry without power for many hours in a day. "Power is as essential as water or garbage clearance to this locality. Its absence is eating into valuable productive time," says Preeti Bajpai, an employee of an accounting firm in Koramangala. "We've already been without power for two hours today," she says. It's only the 6th Block that sees so much electricity outage, the surrounding blocks are not as affected, say the residents.
Educational institutions are aplenty here. Those living around them complain of a few problems that come with the institutions. "The noise emanating from the school nearby is our only problem. Otherwise, all is well," says Girija MC, homemaker. Sandeep Vasan, a student, also has no major complaint. The attitude is that the problems are minor compared to those plaguing the under-developed wards of the city.
There, however, is one issue that is common to all blocks of Koramangala — traffic and the condition of roads. With commercialisation came thousands of vehicles. Now, the vehicles occupy road and footpath space, besides creating noise that residents have grown accustomed to.
"We're used to the noise. Occasionally, we also have to bear with the incessant barking of street dogs at night," a resident says. But these niggles are no reason for her to contemplate changing her address. "We're well-settled here. My children have friends, there are playgrounds. We're happy."
While the area scores high on most amenities, it still lacks a few basic things. "A few roads are very bad," Shakuntala Prakash, a resident, points out. "The cross roads could be maintained better," says Prakash, who has been living in Koramangala for 20 years. Construction work is still on in the many bylanes and, as a result, heaps of sand, stones and other debris occupy footpaths. Koramangala is still a work in progress.


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