Though self-sufficient now, Bilekahalli has seen more development than it can handle
Bilekahalli, once a farmland, is today a busy IT hub and the transformation has been dramatic. The Bilekahalli village, situated off Bannerghatta Road has gained much importance today due to the boom in real estate and the glitz of IT companies.
The village earlier had around 400 to 450 houses, with a lot of agricultural farms that grew ragi, vegetables and rice. The first major development was the setting up of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in 1973.
The city limits earlier ended with J.P. Nagar 3rd Phase, but now Bilekahalli is considered part of the city.
“I have been living here since I was born — that is, for the last 52 years. What were farms earlier are now mostly houses. Some sold their land and others have set up shops. The area was a peaceful suburb full of trees,” said P. Munikullappa, a resident
The stretch near IIM is dotted with prominent companies like IBM, Honeywell Technology Solutions, Accenture, Softech and Oracle Corporation, among many others. The area also has schools and premier hospitals like Fortis, Apollo and Vivekananda.
Once considered to be an isolated area, it is now teeming with malls, shopping centres and restaurants.
“Once Oracle set up its office here, other companies came in. Earlier, we had to frequently travel to the city to make purchases, but now there are so many malls in the neighbourhood,” said Raksha Bhide, a resident.
This development, however, has come at a cost and the area is ridden with many civic problems. The roads are not wide enough, thus causing severe roadblocks.
The maintenance of the sewerage system is poor and during the monsoons, the roads get flooded. And the lush greenery that it was once home to, is now a distant memory.
“This neighbourhood is not peaceful anymore. Though some of these developments have made life easier for us, it also has its drawbacks. The Bannerghatta Road did not even have a divider earlier. Today, it is packed with vehicles and the noise is unbearable. It now takes triple the amount of time to get anywhere because of this congestion, ” said L.S. Murthy who has been a professor at IIM for the last 20 years.