Once you move into the peaceful and self- sufficient Sahakar Nagar, you wouldn't want to move out, say residents

The analogy goes like this: if Koramangala and Jayanagar are the centres of high residential and commercial development in the south of the city, then Sahakar Nagar is fast becoming the Koramangala of north Bangalore. This is the popular opinion that reigns among residents and shop owners in the area after it has witnessed an escalation in residential complexes and commercial outlets over the past three years.

A promise of profits

Jagadish Babu, a partner in a dry fruits shop on 60 ft. road talks of how there was very little commercial activity in Sahakar Nagar around three years ago, when his partner, a long time resident of Sahakaranagar, and he decided to set up a shop in the area. But the acceleration of commercial activity in the last two years, he says, has offered investors a promise of profits. “This is the right time to come to Sahakar Nagar. It is going to become a high-end market in the next two years. Once the construction of the metro and expressway are completed, the area will become much more accessible,” he explained.

The area was planned for the employees of the Ministry of Communications of the Government of India who were allotted land to build independent homes. The telecom employees were housed in co-operative housing societies. Today, towering behind these old houses are apartment complexes that have become home to IT employees and those migrating to Bangalore in search of work. The catalyst for this recent expeditious growth in the area is undisputedly acknowledged to be the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), which is located around 30 kilometres from the area. With the completion of the construction of the airport, a network of roads and flyovers were installed and Sahakar Nagar gained better access to the rest of the city.

Spoilt for choice

What followed is, of course, heightened real estate activity with skyrocketing property prices. “It has become another Koramangala with a 30 x 40 site costing up to Rs. 50 lakh and a 40 x 60 site being as expensive as Rs. 1 crore,” said Shruthi, who has been a resident of F-block for 14 years.

From an area that had one provision store and one pani puri stall, it has now become a self-sufficient hub with its residents being spoilt for choice.

But there are others who would ideally like to hold on to the Sahakar Nagar of the past. “I have been here since the time when there were just four homes in the entire locality. Today, the number of people settling in the area is phenomenal. Of course, it has become easy to travel around and buy things, but the overall change is not a change that I enjoy,” said Theerthak Rajashekar, an architect, as he reminisced about the time when the area was less noisy and peaceful.

He recalls how the location of the GKVK campus, with its vast green landscape close to Sahakar Nagar, cooled the area considerably.

“The road in front of the temple today has become the main road and it was not such a busy road in the past. Evidently, there is a crunch of space in the area, with vegetable vendors and rickshaws pushed to gather there,” he explained. He also talks of how the parks that have been developed in the past four or five years have made the temple area more pleasant.

“The evenings are really nice around the temple area with people gathering at the parks, even participating in laughter clubs and children playing in the ground nearby,” he said. Whether the transformation of Sahakar Nagar into a ‘second Koramangala' is welcomed or not, the popular sentiment in the neighbourhood can be summed up in the words of Aparna, a relatively new resident of the area. “I wouldn't want to move out of Sahakar Nagar at all. It is peaceful and self-sufficient,” she says.

Keywords: Sahakar Nagar