Chennai case studies on what it takes to keep communities closed without accidents

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A The road in a gigantic gated community can be the equivalent of a green, coiled up and largely hidden in water anaconda and therefore its size and potential threat is not alarming.

These closed communities have their work cut out for them, as the roads can turn sharply in places; have access ramps to the basements of the cars leading there; and at certain times, roll residents over them, dangerously rubbing the bumpers with motorists.

“If all the roads in our community come together to form one road, we will have a road approximately 2.5 km long,” says Raghavan Murti, president of the Union of Tower Association at House of Hiranandani Upscale in Egattur . “To manage such roads, closed communities should have a full-fledged road safety and regulatory system in place. In addition, members of residents’ welfare associations will need to distinguish between education and regulation.

Raghavan illustrates this with two examples: children skating and cycling on the roads; and try the ramps in the basements of cars.

“Every time kids skate and cycle on the roads, our hearts are in our mouths. We advise them and parents on how to be safe. Since parents want this outdoor activity for their children, we cannot ban it, ”says Raghavan. “However, we play the role of a strict control officer, when a child tries to cycle down a ramp to the basement parking lot, due to the high degree of risk associated with it. We posted security personnel just to watch these ramps for such a breach. “

At DLF Garden City, a huge community of 1,750 units in Semmancheri with huge open spaces and a wide array of roads, the safety and security team did not accept requests from parents that school buses come up. in their turns.

“It was a case where the request had to be rejected out of hand and it was. If this request were granted, there could be 20 school buses entering the community, and the safety of other children in the community who cycle to their schools would be compromised. So this obviously could not be allowed. However, the community has done everything it can to help parents and their children in school: they have built bus shelters outside so that parents and children can wait for the school buses, ”explains PVS Janarthanam, resident and member of the security subcommittee. and Security.

John Praveen, secretary of the Vaikund Sundaram Apartment Association, points out that his community is distributed horizontally, with a mix of villas, duplex apartments and regular apartments, and has roads that add up to one kilometer. Thus, by default, traffic management is one of the major components of security.

This means there will be complaints of speeding and reckless driving, and as Praveen explains, the Association seeks to deal with them quickly, fairly and at times with an iron fist.

“People will be called out for exceeding speed limits and reckless driving. We also like people, ”Praveen says, adding that this requires the establishment of an evidence-based system. “When parents complain about reckless driving, we watch the footage and go to the people in question with the evidence. We can be firm but not aggressive about this.

The point, says Raghavan, is that residents need to be continually reminded that their driving behaviors are monitored. “We ask security personnel to instruct and correct those who break traffic rules. When residents submit video evidence of a traffic violation, we act accordingly and this ensures their continued confidence in the system. ”

Raghavan points out that the effectiveness of humor disarmingly conveys the importance of unbreakable rules, citing the example of how the community partnered with a group of students from Padma Adarsh, a school on Old Mahabalipuram. Road managed by the Punjab Association, to organize a helmet campaign on site, but also outside on the artery, including at the Navallur checkpoint.

“With Yamaraj’s clothing and demeanor, one of the students would forbid anyone from riding a motorbike in the community without a helmet and would say, ‘Come on! To come! To come! You’re just the one I was looking for! ‘ These campaigns may not yield immediate results, but when they are carried out in a sustained manner, the results will surely follow, ”he said.

Praveen and Raghavan both understand that the basic handicap faced by residents’ associations cannot be overcome. Because, they cannot do so without losing their essential character, which is that of a facilitator of rules, and not of a relentless enforcer of them.

Therefore, an infrastructure intervention – such as the installation of an adequate number of circuit breakers and reflectors; having convex mirrors around bends and traffic signs – should be of the utmost importance, making it nearly impossible for residents to engage in risky driving behavior. In addition, communities should also have clear road safety guidelines given to security staff, and they would get things done from there.

With these, gated communities can breathe easy at a time when they simply cannot leave things to the common sense of residents.

“At House of Hiranandani, it’s 7:45 to 9:00 am and 5:30 to 7:00 pm,” says Raghavan. This is obviously not the time to sit idly by and see if the safety campaigns have had an impact on residents. It’s a time of heavy traffic, made up of people in a hurry – and haste and power can be an unsettling combo.

Says Raghavan, “During these hours we deploy our security personnel who regulate the traffic with whistles and firmness.” Janarthanam points out that at DLF Garden City, the Safety and Security team does not like people who drive in and around the community without a driver’s license. He specifies: “The security personnel are responsible for carrying out regular and random checks, and therefore, they ask the salesmen to present their driving licenses. They are also asked to report to the subcommittee any young resident who drives a motorized vehicle when they are not old enough to drive one. Having clear instructions from the subcommittee, security personnel are able to make the right decisions on their own.


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