It is a positive development that many new gated communities in and around several Indian cities are more organised in planning and implementing the sanctioned layout in accordance with the original intent of high quality living, writes Gita Dendukuri

A park within 200 metres of every residence to improve the quality of life and productivity of individuals was the prescription for ideal living recommended by the Executive Director of CII – Sohrabji Green Business Centre a few months ago.

This recommendation sounds like a dream in today’s concrete-dominated urban areas. Modified to present day unplanned urbanisation, the prescription was revised to ‘a park for every 2 km’, which would include larger Public Parks in towns and cities. With rapidly increasing vertical living lifestyles, open spaces or lung spaces in urban areas have become a luxury and are rapidly on the decline. But what about the smaller park areas of up to 1,000 to 1,200 sq yds within residential areas?

The worrying feature is that such open spaces which are clearly ear-marked for common use as parks in the layouts approved and sanctioned by municipal authorities, have been misappropriated and sold as living areas or commercial centres. Regarded as “no-man’s land”, these minor open spaces which could have been developed as green spaces are easy targets for encroachers to usurp and misuse, even in ‘posh’ localities.

Individual plot and building owners are so preoccupied with acquiring and constructing their own dwellings, that they notice/realise the loss of precious open spaces only when it is too late and the ‘might-have-been’ lung spaces intended for common use are now part of the concrete jungle. It is a positive development that many new gated communities in and around several Indian cities are more organised in planning and implementing the sanctioned layout in accordance with the original intent of high quality living.

Secretary (Parks)

Methodist Colony Welfare Association, Begumpet