A Shangri-La in the suburbs - dnaindia.com
A Shangri-La in the suburbs
PK Surendran / DNA
Monday, December 21, 2009 8:39
“At the tail-end?” sneers Banaswadi (KR Puram) MLA Nandish Reddy with disbelief. This was in response to the DNA-IMRS survey of top localities of Greater Bangalore where Banaswadi stands 19th. “We are on top for two reasons: we are one of the few localities in New Bangalore which still has the space and will to develop, and we’ve the locational advantage.”
As a people’s representative, Reddy has every right to react this way. And, his perception, it was found, was widely shared by prominent people residing in this North-Eastern part of the city.
New Banaswadi today broadly consists of Ramamurthy Nagar, Kammanahally, Kalyan Nagar and surrounding layouts. Its locational advantage is that it has the quickest access to the south and north of the city, like Whitefield and Bangalore International Airport, thanks to the Ring Road.
“A suburb with all the trappings of the core city,” is how a resident friend described Banaswadi. “The world,” he says, “is coming to Banaswadi, not the other way round.” He points out how a lot many commercial ventures such as Megamart, Koutons, Nilgiri’s and a host of others are moving in to Banaswadi. Bringing brand movement is a good indication of the growing status of a city, he reasons.
“We are at least on par with Indiranagar today,” protests Srinivasa Raju, a builder and old resident. “Not one of the 20.” He goes on to explain why. In 2000, the new Banaswadi, now developed by BDA, commanded a property price of Rs300-400 per square foot. Today, it is Rs3000-4000, and in hipper places it goes to Rs5000. And, even today, if you buy a flat here, it is going to bring you a windfall, mind you.”
“True,” vouches Jiji Johnson, an executive living near Kasturi Nagar. “Today, we don’t have to go to Brigade Road or Shivaji Nagar to shop for garments or utility items. We have almost all the big brands here, starting from Fresh vegetable store to Levi’s jeans.”
Banaswadi is synonymous with the Anjaneya temple whose presiding deity, say believers, has blessed this place so much so that women can go strolling at 10 pm. Sarvagna Nagar MLA KJ George too agrees that Banaswadi is one swell place that has a future.
Banaswadi’s exposed nerve—lack of sewage and water supply—are being solved with projects in the offing. “With the Metro terminals coming up near Kasturi Nagar, this place could be as rich and famous as MG Road,” he says.
Banaswadi’s arterial road however faces a traffic jam at peak hours. But it has enough lung space in the form of at least six parks and a thick foliage of green spread over six square kilometres. Banaswadi has nine big restaurants and a dozen bistros where one can hang out for an evening.
“Even a restaurant to serve Arabian food! Can you beat that?” asks Ramesh Raju, a medical representative at old Banaswadi. He says besides the major hospitals, Cenesis, Sathya Sai Baba Hospital, Dewan’s Hospital and Narayan Nilaya Maternity Hospital, there are 10 other clinics and hospitals that provide to the health requirements of the people here. “It’s not claustrophobic, living here, you know. There’s enough open space and free air.”
Banaswadi does not claim to have many celebrities as with Jayanagar or Indiranagar has but it has made up for it with the super crooner of a bygone era—Manna Dey—who lives in Kalyan Nagar. “We want to be known as a middle-class paradise,” says Reddy, when asked about the shakers and movers living there.