Unlatching Gated Communities!
Vikas, an IT professional, moved back from New Jersey, USA along with his wife and two kids. He had a plum job in one of the leading IT Companies and decided to invest in a villa in an exclusive gated community in Bangalore. While driving around he and his wife were impressed with the community, which had amenities similar to what they had in the US – a clubhouse, with swimming pools, a coffee shop, gym, spa, grocery stores and children’s play area. The layout was beautifully designed with paved footpaths, biking paths, manicured lawns and landscaped common areas. The brochures highlighted the exclusivity and security of the gated community. Vikas knew that such a development would cost a fortune and was willing to invest in it as it meant a secure lifestyle for him and his family – free from the noisy and chaotic Bangalore traffic!
However, a year later, he along with all the others who had bought villas in that gated community where in for a big surprise, when city officials came in with bulldozers and demolished the main gate demanding access to the roads inside. It was learnt that the developer had relinquished the roads to the city authorities. Most of the people who live in gated communities are not aware that as per the Bangalore authorities, there is no concept of “gated communities” in Bangalore. According to City authorities, these gated communities are nothing but layouts and residents cannot claim exclusive access to roads and open spaces within the community. In most cases, the developer takes permission to form layouts and construction of residential blocks, but they are not allowed to block part of the layout from public access. Unfortunately, developers in their enthusiasm to market and sell the villas highlight the security and exclusivity of these communities and do not inform potential buyers that roads and common facilities rests with the city authorities. It is therefore important for potential buyers to see the approved layout plan before investing in a property.