The recent spate of robberies in so called secure and posh localities of Belgaum has shaken Belgaumites badly. Belgaum is no longer a peaceful and secure city that it used to be. A “Pensioner’s Paradise” it was called once, but not anymore.
What could be the possible reasons for this change is an issue to be discussed at length. A major reason is the growing economic status of the citizens. The real estate sector in Belgaum has seen a tremendous growth in the last 2 years. The pleasant climate and its proximity to major cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Goa and Hyderabad has always attracted outsiders to settle down in Belgaum. A robust local economy thanks to the foundry industry, agriculture and several quality institutes offering education in medical, engineering and even management has helped the city grow by leaps and bounds. Rising incomes coupled with the absence of quality housing projects has made the affluent class find their own solution, buy a plot in a posh locality and then spend a fortune to build palatial houses by hiring the best in the industry. But one important element that is often ignored is security. Rarely do you find a proper security guard manning the gates of a plush bungalow (which by the way are quite common in the city!)
The solution to this problem is a Gated Community. Gated Communities are a rage in metros and other bigger cities, as they provide all amenities that residents can possibly think of along with 24 hours security and beautifully designed residential units. So what exactly is a gated community? A gated community is a residential area with controlled access, used to protect the privacy and safety of residents. Special security personnel man various entry and exit points. A closely connected set of security personnel feed information on visitors entering the premises and save residents the pain of answering umpteen doorbells rung by salesmen or other unwanted visitor on the premises. With many professionals who keep travelling a lot, security of their homes is a big challenge, “An independent house or just a regular apartment does not offer that security. But in a gated community, these residents can leave their house for months without fear of being broken into or tampered with”, says an NRI.
Commonly, a gated community will offer residents services and accessible features. These may include playgrounds, pools, shops, laundry facilities, gyms, health spas, private security workers, and even golf courses. Some gated communities are so elaborate and offer so many services that residents have little reason to leave the area for necessities.
Gated communities are debatable, as they are often depicted as an elitist escape from an actual city or community that includes those too poor to afford the finer lifestyle. Critics suggest that residents of a gated community are detached from their locale, and do not see the problems of their town or city because they are gathered together in a homogeneous wealthy area. The actual physical gates keeping people out of the area are seen by some as an obstacle to personal freedom, and a means of discouraging interaction between economically different people.
Yet the rationale for creating secure housing for the famous or notable is clear: it ensures some privacy and safety for those most in need of it. For security purposes, guards and even private police firms may be necessary to protect famous people from violent crime in their homes. High-ranking government personnel in particular are in need of a gated community lifestyle, if only to protect them from threats to their privacy and their person.
Quite a few real estate companies from Belgaum and even from cities like Pune and Mumbai have already started offering the residents this kind of projects in Belgaum. Lotus Landmarks Pvt. Ltd., a renowned developer from Pune is all set to launch such a project in Belgaum. Named “Lotus County”, it is a 10 acre township hardly a kilometer away from Tilakwadi 1st Railway Gate.
The other gated communities planned in Belgaum are Bella vista and Noorani Corbel.