PUNE: Every evening, homemaker Sanjana Patankar has to coax her eight-year-old son Shriyans to leave the play area nestled in the midst of the six towers that stand tall at the Golden Petals residential complex in Warje. And very often she herself strolls on the neatly cropped lawn adjacent to the play area, chatting up neighbours, before she goes home.
In a city hurtling to a breathless state, thanks to unbridled increase in the number of vehicles and traffic congestion, open spaces that allow cycling and other outdoor activities have become a premium attraction at residential complexes.
Not surprisingly, real estate developers have made it a point to throw in bicycle tracks, landscaped stretches or play areas for children in their projects as an added attraction. Importantly, the shift of most residential development towards the city’s outskirts has made it possible for developers to offer these features as large tracts of land are available for constructing clusters of residential buildings.
Quite a few developers have created facilities for residents to use bicycles within the residential complexes for fitness reasons or for local commute. Township complex Magarpatta City on the city’s east, for example, encourages its residents to use bicycles and has started a Cycling Club with the intention to encourage people to use cycles within the gates of Magarpatta City instead of two or four wheeler. “Cycling not only helps keep the air clean, it also benefits our health and is especially good for children. Besides, being a gated community it is very safe for them,” says Ajay Mohan, a resident and cycling enthusiast.
Satish Magar, chairman and managing director of Magarpatta City Development Corporation, says, “The layout of the township has laid great stress on open spaces, trees and plants. We also encourage outdoor exercise activities, such as cycling, in addition to making available a gym which is open round the clock.”
Magar is also spearheading development of 700-acre mega township Nanded City where more than two hundred acres is going to be open to sky, earmarked for greenery. The project has proposed a boat club and an international styled riverside resort in addition to an adventure park, a health and nature cure centre, a horse-track, an eco park and more will add to the countryside flavour of development. He says that each residential cluster has its own garden plot where cycle tracks can come up.
Director of Darode Jog Associates Anand Jog said the company’s housing complex Crossover County does not have earmarked cycling track, but residents are encouraged to use cycles as they like and especially for internal movement.
A spokesman for Amanora Township said the project does have plans to create a dedicated cycle track across its sectors though it will take time to get started with the idea. “This is a very large development which has to reach a certain stage when we start laying out the cycle track,” the spokesman said.