National Games Village - A mini-India
Today where the National Games Village in Koramangala stands was a lake bed - Koramangala Lake. The place used to be the favourite haunt of pheasant-tailed jacana, wobblers, and several others species of birds.
With the boom in construction activities around the lake by the government institutions and private, all these creatures have simply vanished.Now that stands tall is National Games Village (NGV) housing complex having around 2,541 flats. This was developed by Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) and is maintained by them as well as the residents too. There are 14 blocks which are named after the great rivers of the country barring a few. To name them are: Kapila, Ganga, Yamuna, Krishna, Nethravathi, Godavari, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Tungabhadra, Cauvery, Shimsha and Sharavathi, Kumaradhara and Judicial blocks.Several corporate, government bodies as well as defence and the individual own these flats.The judicial block is exclusive for those from the judiciary. KAS and police officials reside in Sharavathi block, while Army officials are in Nethravathi block. Besides, officials from the Reserve Bank, SAIL (Steel Authority of India) Union Bank, Allahabad Bank, State Bank of Patiala, Canara Bank, Archaeological Survey of India, Accountant General staff, BBMP, BEML and many others reside here in various blocks.
It is like a mini-India with people from all over the country, right from Jammu & Kashmir in the extreme north to Manipur in the far north-east including people from Kanyakumari in the south are living here.This NGV housing complex is located in a sprawling campus and is one of the finest places in the recently developed area of Bangalore. With wide roads for entry as well as exit points, to a visitor the campus is greeted by avenue trees all along. The residents are gifted with plenty of light, air and space, besides the greenery.The central park has become a famous destination for movie makers as one could see frequent film shootings being held here. In the mornings as early as 4.30 am you could see residents utilising this park for jogging, walking, doing exercises, pranayamas and yoga. In the evenings the same becomes a common meeting place for ladies and playground for kids and teenagers.
Some of the blocks have their own children's park in their blocks e.g Kumaradhara, Judicial block and now the Yamuna block. Residents have enough scope to carry on their sports activities and an opportunity to hone their sports skills such as basketball court, cricket, skating, karate etc. There is a Builders' club which offers for its paid members a lot of activities like tennis court, swimming pool etc. Benches fixed in front of each and every block provide resting place for the residents. Even some parents who come to take their wards from the nearby school often sit here.
It is a free place for the teen couples to show their PDA as well those who ferry people take a nap in the noon. Besides, people from the neighbourhood take a stroll in the mornings. Several flats offer PG accommodations. Many girls working in various BPO, IT companies prefer this place to stay as they regard it as a safe place.The campus itself is self-contained with a lot of stores catering to the needs of residents like groceries, vegetables, medical stores, beauty saloons, gift shops, stationery mart, cyber café, video parlours, tailoring shops and mini refreshment stalls, added to the government's HOPCOM and Nandini milk parlour. The missing links are courier services and a permanent library even though a mobile library comes for an hour on Fridays with lots of books in different languages. A public health centre is housed at the judicial block for the residents.However, almost every block has grocery & vegetable shops and laundry facility. There are eat-outs in some. Even there are beauty parlours.
To mention, Vijeta Beauty parlour in Yamuna block. BMTC plies buses from this place to Shivaji Nagar, Vijayanagar, City market and Majestic. But the residents want it to ply buses to Indiranagar, Ulsoor and Airport too, besides increasing the frequency.KHB has opened a big shopping complex with the Bangalore One Centre, BSNL, Syndicate Bank and other banks ATMs. Airtel has extended the intercom facility to all its subscribers. With this facility the subscribers can call up anyone within the complex for free. The security is at the two major entrances apart from the individual blocks to provide safety for the residents. On the whole, it is a self-contented housing area. (With inputs from Mrs. Mathangi.K.Kumar)