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The middle-class slums?

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Literally no peace or silence. Hear it all loud and clear when any of your neighbors talk. So called 'individual' houses, most of them joined with one another at hips. No air or space between them. 8 to 10 feet wide roads (practically speaking), dotted with cars, and cobwebbed with cables of all sorts - tv, telephone and electricity in that order.

Except for these narrow passages called streets, children have little space to play. Few grounds that are available host a hundred simultaneous cricket matches every evening. Abundant commercial ventures (bike mechanics, boutiques or eateries) in so called residential areas.

One can make it sound far worse, and produce uglier pictures. But isn't this how you would describe most new - new as in those that either expanded, or started in mid/late 90s - suburbs of Bangalore? How do you like this new life being lived in places that seem more like middle-class slums than residential layouts?

The 'individual' house and layout culture which has been Bangalore's model of growth is fast getting to a point where it won't be fun anymore. Right now, I might be in a minority that thinks that way. Alright, the family-centered indoor-driven life that we Indians are used to would want individual houses even on 20 x 30 plots and ignore all surroundings for some more time. But for how long?

[To be continued]

Comments

madhava_prakash's picture

Excellet thought shared

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This is an excellent post i have read in over a couple of months. Yes we live in middleclass slums.
tsubba's picture

sprawl

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wall to wall houses on 30x40s are not necessarily undesirable, provided a lot of other things get simultaneously solved. and they will never get solved. i like the direction this post is headed :) #1. Since land is at such high premium does it make sense to acquire lands from farmers and waste it on sites? When there is so much chest beating about acquiring farmers' lands for industry and roads, why is there no chest beating about acquiring farmers' lands for layouts? How much do you think BDA has paid or will pay farmers for these layouts? #2. Is it not easier to lay and maintain large pipes(sewage, water) over a 1/2 a km than lay small pipes for 4 kms? ditto roads. if the city were denser would it not make be easier to provide utilities? #3. So how to make it denser? DDA messed up dilli. layout is planned but RE is/was messed up. But if you leave it entirely to private you get marathahalli and that waiting to happen disaster on vittal mallya road, why entire whitefield area. #4. how did pune solve it?
RameshS's picture

This post read my mind

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Brilliantly captured. Having 15 to 20 people staying on a 20x30 plot you can imagine the pressure on the underlying drain pipes, the demand for water. Can't imagine how the cars will be parked if 5 of these 20 or more happen to purchase cars. Landlords (with exceptions) have become greedy. Their concern is to construct 3 floors and let it out. It is not just suburbs this can be seen even in well developed layouts of old Bangalore. Yes we are indeed living in middle class slums!
silkboard's picture

thanks ...

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... for the encouraging comments madhava, TS, Ramesh. I have more thoughts to share. If I could get hold of a soft copy of the Masterplan/CDP-2015, can really discuss this thing well. Anyone has that? Do they have the latest version up on BDA website now? I think not.
RameshS's picture

I remember reading that in

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I remember reading that in DH. Not sure of the soft copy. Will send it across if I see it
silkboard's picture

Group housing incentives

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Not that I expected any, but since making this post, don't think anything has changed. More and more middle class slums continue to be created - cramped roads, houses rubbing shoulders with each other, through traffic ruining peace and quiet of residential areas, misfit shops (like bike repair shops) popping up everywhere. Most important, in these fast paced time, that thing called neighborhood feeling is getting lost. Nobody really wants to see others, or wants to be seen by others. One realistic way out is to promote group housing. Encourage 10 or more 30x40 plot owners to pool in for multi-story building with space for amenities parking etc. This would essentially make people to rub shoulders via sharing walls and foundations. This sort of movement would bring an end to Bangalore's "house on a plot" era. But its a demand of the times we live in. We should be encouraged to share more, and interact more for everyone's benefit. Those who can afford can build houses, and they would. But the costs are two high if you are willing to create space for your family, your cars and yet have some air to spare. I bet that in these days, most new middle class families prefer well equipped apartment communities over house on a plot (with no real community) things. Security, safety, chaos in the neighborhood, and last but not the least, cost are the prohibiting factors.
psaram42's picture

BDA should consider doing a better job in future

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BDA should take a lesson from the gated communities like those of Adarsh developers in particular. BDA communities are Open Communities I am in the process of writing the above article in my blog.

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