Power cuts turn posh Gurgaon areas into ‘urban chaupals’!

June 14th, 2008 - 10:21 am ICT by IANS  

By Mamta Sharma
Gurgaon, June 14 (IANS) Long and frequent power cuts have brought them together and how! The residents of some posh neighbourhoods of Gurgaon have reaped an unexpected bounty after pooling in money for captive power plants - the joys of community living. These community captive power plants (CCPPs) set up jointly by the residents of select pockets in the DLF City and Sushant Lok areas have made neighbours interact, something the residents were not doing otherwise.

Earlier the highly busy and successful residents - mostly MNC honchos, successful businessmen, their spouses and children - would hardly interact and socialise.

“But ever since we set up a CCCP by pooling in money, we have started to know each other more,” Rajan Dhawan, a chartered accountant-turned-businessman in DLF City, Phase IV, told IANS.

“Now we along with our children socialise quite often, play cricket matches in the colony lawns, organise high tea parties and share good as well as bad moments and worries.

“Our locality has now turned into an urban chaupal (a term used for community interactions in villages)!”

Privately developed neighbourhoods such as DLF City, Sushant Lok, Southcity, Palam Vihar and others in Gurgaon have people from all parts of the country. Coming from different walks of life, these residents hardly have social life and do not interact much.

But a residential block flanking the DLF City Club shows that things can change. It all began in early June last year when some enlightened residents of this block woke up to a unique idea and reached a consensus on setting up a CCCP as frequent and long power cuts had made their lives miserable.

Eight- to 12-hour power cuts were forcing the residents to run their individual generators, filling the place with noise and polluted air.

“With great difficulty, there was consensus among 13 out of the 27 families in our block about pooling in money. We bought a big silent generator to get round-the-clock electricity supply. The experiment picked up after this and is spreading fast,” R.K. Sharma, another resident and the man behind the new concept, told IANS.

“Not only have almost all the families in our block joined the CCCP after doing away with their individual generators, in last one year the model has been replicated in eight other blocks of DLF City and Sushant Lok.”

Sharma said that CCCP gave the residents of the block 24X7 power supply and immunity from long power cuts.

Said Krishna, another resident of the locality: “It’s a blessing in disguise. It is because of the CCCP that the lifestyle of the people here has changed.

“Earlier we would not know even the next door neighbour and get face to face only in clubs. Our interaction was formal and restricted to clubs only. But we now celebrate functions like Holi and Diwali together. Recently, we had organised a cricket match between seniors and juniors.”

One of them even organised a high tea and brought delicious chhole puri from Chandni Chowk of old Delhi for all residents!

Nageen Arora, a top executive with an MNC and a resident, said the socialising had brought a sense of security.

He said, “Many of us travel around the globe quite frequently, leaving behind our children and elderly parents at home. We used to be worried about their security earlier. But now our fear has gone as neighbours care for each other.”

With the popularity of the area growing due to round-the-clock power backup and cordial relations among neighbours, the block has attracted many a foreigner from the US and Britain who are employed with top MNCs, Dhawan said.

The residents are next planning to get connected with each through an intercom telecom system.

“As we interact quite often now, we feel the need for a landline phone-based intercom for which we have already contacted telecom company BSNL,” Dhawan added.

(Mamta Sharma can be contacted mamtareporter10@gmail.com)

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