The heights of danger

Scary View

The heights of danger

Beautiful landscaping, 24-hour security, swimming pool, and host of other facilities make apartment life predominantly a comfortable affair, where most of the basic amenities are taken care of by resident-run associations.

These large apartment complexes from outside look like safe havens where families mix and mingle.  However, those living in them say that there also exist some grievances that need immediate attention.

One of the major grievances are the balconies. Most apartments in the City have either very wide grill spacing or are not high enough.  People with kids and pets are irked by the height and the gaps in the grill, which in recent times, have led to serious mishaps causing death or serious injuries.

Sarita Koujlagi, a resident of an apartment in Tippasandra, says, “Residents need to exercise great caution with the balcony. It poses grave risk to kids and pets who tend to fall off it. My cat too fell off the balcony but luckily it survived. There was a pup that shared the same fate. We are now considering installing extra grills for better safety.”

Grills and glass panes are used to cover the area, making that space safe for kids.  Roopa Shivapura, the mother of three-year-old Anoushka, residing in an apartment near Bannerghatta Road, says, “Our apartments are only four-storey high and the grills are very widely spaced in the balcony. We, however, have covered our balcony with glass panes that are movable to avoid the noise and pollution as our balcony faces the road.”

Talking about another common grievance, she says, “Our apartment is close to a forest area. Hence, monkeys and bats are a big nuisance. We usually have nets in the common utility areas to avoid monkeys and keep lights on to avoid bats.”

Are the builders to be blamed for these concerns? “Getting grills or glass window panes is the owner’s choice, the builder needs to be blamed if the quality of construction is poor,” adds Roopa.  However, the residents say that even the big builders have ignored safety standards by leaving wide gaps in the balcony railings.  

Moreover, isn’t designing common spaces efficiently and making them safe the prerogative of the builder? The residents of an apartment complex of a renowned builder on Outer Ring Road couldn’t agree more.

One of the common areas in question is the club house, which has grill-less door-sized windows on the first floor. “A fall from one of these windows could be fatal. All it requires is a grill but the association has banned kids from using the area,” adds a resident.

Shafts are also a major nuisance in some of the apartments. These shafts, which are of considerable depth – housing switches, pipes and wires – are covered by a door which is usually unlocked. Kids out of curiosity have the tendency of hovering around them making these areas prone to mishaps.

However, there are others like Chetan G, who think otherwise. “I have not faced too many problems in my apartment. There is usually a 24-hour-guard and in few
cases, CCTV surveillance as well, which provides a sense of security. Furthermore,
because of staying in adjacent blocks, the harmony among residents increases. If there are any problems with electricity, water or any other issues, all one needs to do is to report to the management and they get it fixed,” he adds.

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