Bhrigu's question

कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

Location: the valley, California, United States

Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Monday, April 24, 2006

Loss of neighbourhood

This post is a response to this one, in the superb Churumuri joint blog.

I have also lived in Shankarapuram, in fact, a stone's throw away from Ranga Rao road. At least four generations of my family have lived there. A 100 year old coconut tree planted by my great-grandfather stands testimony to that fact. Recently, my neighbour a 105 year old gentleman, who played soccer with my grandpa in the 1920s on the National college grounds, passed away.

And I bring that up because it is on topic.

I disagree that it was the IT boom that changed Shankarapuram. Old gents like my neighbour and others, who owned (what in today's terms) are vast plots in Shankarapuram, have unfortunately passed on. Their children, grandchildren, who no longer subscribe to the joint-family system, for practical reasons, have had to sell those homes. Well, given the prices of such central properties, the only people who can afford them are builders. They buy them, demolish the ancient homes and build flats.

My Shankarapuram, a pristine area of bungalows, carnatic music, madhwa sangha meetings in nearby Chamarajapet, kacheris during Ramanavmi, still exists for those who want to live that life.

But the bliss of the quiet, civil life is no longer available. It has become a hustling, bustling neighbourhood, and for that I blame greedy local authorities, who have given permits to these builders to build flats in a neighbourhood where trees and bungalows flourished. I do not dislike growth- or as they call it in the US, urban sprawl. However, this sort of unplanned growth is disquieting. I had invoked Joni Mitchell when I had faced such a shift here, in the Bay Area.

I do not think Mr. Murthy is to blame for this. Au contraire, it is the inept administration, that milks us of our hard-earned money which, has to own up to the majority of the blame. And you and me, for not protesting enough.


Anonymous Satya said...

Blaming an industry is not the issue here. It is really the lack of enforcement as well as lack of complete civic sense in general in India that contributes to the breakdown of a neighborhood and infrastructure. Builders build on every available piece of their acquired land. That goes for home owners too who jut their houses all the way to the sidewalk sometimes even on it. They conduct full fledged businesses so that residential streets turn into a huge parking lot. The irony about Shankarpuram is that most of the new house owners are not in the software industry at all. Contrary to popular myth the vast majority of land acquistion is being done by businessmen and builders. Zonal regulations are routinely flouted.

However this is not endemic to Bangalore. It is an Indian phenomenon.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Venky said...

if you are an old time Bangalorean, I am sure you would agree that Bangalore has undergone a sea change... sometimes feel very bad for the state it is in

11:32 AM  
Blogger Quizman said...

Venky: Oh, I do agree that Bangalore has changed for the worse. Terrible city planning.

11:07 AM  
Blogger virgo said...

Its getting worse.unplanned flyover projects,frequent one way rule changes and what not.Today Seshadripuram II main turned oneway in the reverse direction!Have you seen any city where o going traffic is on right corridor? Its after Platform road,sehadripuram.Everyone agrees no flyover required at National College? But look what happens.
Enough to write about.Where is the salvation?
I am trying to scram back to my Mysore soon!

3:01 AM  

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