It’s still a life of struggle for Magarpatta slum dwellersInfo Guide — By The Desk on March 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Indian Express: Ten years ago, when malls and townships were emerging concepts, a group of farmers in Hadapsar got together to conceptualise a township with modern amenities called Magarpatta City. Today, it houses 42 companies, including IT and ITES organisations, and is home to over 16,000 people.
Over the decade, the township has seen highrises, towers and big housing projects like Amanora Park Town coming up. “When we were putting the concept together, the IT and ITES boom had not yet come, but there were many inquiries. There was a 50-50 allocation for residential and commercial space and even two years after we constructed the commercial buildings, there were no takers until EXL, the first company, started operations with about 3,000 staff. It has been the success of this township that instilled confidence in realtors to invest in big projects in Hadapsar,” said Rishi Bhosale, VP, Vendor Management and CBD, Magarpatta City and Nanded City.
The IT wave created an amalgamation of highrises and slums in Hadapsar and many believe it worked in favour of development of the suburbs. Despite its resemblance with other suburbs such as Sinhagad Road or Katraj, what makes Hadapsar unique is the existence of multinational companies. “The IT crowd had high spending capacity and it created opportunities for the lower middle class, the original residents. It created a huge worker- class that served as servants, security personnel, dabbawallas, vegetable vendors for companies and so on, lifting the standard of living,” said former Mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale and corporator of the area. The high property prices, however, keep these projects beyond the reach of many residents.
Besides high-end residential projects, there is a 10,000-flat MHADA scheme shaping up in Hadapsar.
Visible is the stark difference between well-planned roads and amenities within townships and the bumpy rides outside. While the township provides swimming pools, gyms, theatres, jogging tracks, colleges and hospitals, those outside struggle with pollution, insufficient hospitals and water problems.
Deepak Waghmare, a social worker, said, “The townships created job opportunities and increased flow of people to Hadapsar. It created a stark difference in classes and I feel the common class was neglected… Ten years ago, if there were specific number of public transport buses coming to Hadapsar, it is the same today. Almost every bus is packed… There are water problems, safety issues, accidents that no one wants to address.”