A green oasis amid a concrete jungle

Bellandur: This model village is now crying for attention

A green oasis amid a concrete jungle

 Shrinking space:  The paddy fields in Bellandur amid skyscrapers.Situated not too far from the City, near Marathahalli, the fields are a delight amid commercial towers and residential apartments that otherwise leave a mark around Bellandur.

The existing four acres may come as a pleasant surprise for Bangaloreans who are left wanting for greenery, but the sad story is that Bellandur boasted of as much as 70-80 acre of agricultural land just four years ago.

And more, even this piece of green pasture is said to be ‘converted’.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, resident of Bellandur Nagaraj said: “There was a lot of land here but everything was sold by people in their greed to get a  good price, leaving many like me, who relied heavily on agriculture at the mercy of new employers.” Nagaraj was an agricultural labourer.

Bellandur Lake polluted due to discharge of  sewerage. DH Photos/Subhash Chandra N S/Chethan KumarThe existing four acre, he said, belonged to Pappanna Reddy, but has also been sold. The new buyer is continuing with the cultivation but this will happen only until he gathers funds to erect something ‘concrete’.

With the Outer Ring Road hosting many IT companies on one side and the Old Airport Road on the other, real estate in Bellandur has skyrocketed over the years. One of the main reasons for the reducing green cover in the area.

Nagaraj pointed out that the prices are as high as Rs 2,500 per square foot while land in some of the neighbouring areas are not that expensive. “...therefore, people sell of their land here and buy some in another place as it would fetch them a better deal in the coming years,” Nagaraj added.

Not profitable

Further, continuing cultivation here is not a profitable proposition for the quantity produced is not huge, coupled with the daunting labour problems.

Labourers revealed that they get paid as much as Rs 250 per day, much higher than in most other places.

The residents here attribute the higher wages to reluctance of many local labourers (like Nagaraj) to work as there is no stability with all the land disappearing, providing one with more bargaining power.

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