Greenery – Food For The Soul

A brand new apartment complex, when handed over by the builder to the first batch of residents look shiny and glitzy. However, a lot of effort has to be put in to make these fresh out of the oven gated communities into a home.

Mallika Malancha Housing Complex, from the City of Joy, has done an exemplary job of turning their apartment complex into a comfortable and green home in just three years. The first owners’ association of the community took some steadfast steps to optimise their administrative functions within the community.

What did they do?

Well, quite a lot. However, two things that stand out are – optimisation of manpower used in the community and tree plantation.

Staff Optimisation

They have 13 security staff members on a full time basis providing 24X7 security services and 2-3 relievers. All staff work in 12 hours shifts. During the day, 4 security members man each of the towers and 2 man the main gate. They also have 1 female security staff at the main-gate. For night shifts, they have 4 security members, one each for every tower and 2 stationed at the main gate.

Initially, Mallika Malancha had 10 house keeping staff providing 8 hrs of services during the day. They optimised the staff and brought it down to 7 staff members. One staff providing services inside each of the 4 towers, one dedicated for ‘Abasar Club’ (‘Abasar’ in Bengali translates to free time), and 2 others for outdoor cleanliness. House-keeping staff are provided with required tools and utilities to perform their jobs easily and faster. They have invested in Trolley-Buckets for mopping floors. Investing in simple, sharp tools (sickle, shapol(crowbar), hand-hoe etc. ) made performing regular housekeeping work easier.

Mallika Malancha takes their fire safety seriously too with two certified fire safety personnel providing support 24X7.

Tree Plantation

MMAOA took lot of initiatives toward beautification of Mallika Malancha Complex. Fox-tail palm trees planted around central lawn and swimming pool area. In swimming pool area, the creeper plants on the fencing has provided the required privacy for the swimmers, especially women. Some frequently leaves shedding plants were removed as the leaves used to choke the swimming pool water filtration inlet at bottom. Planning of seasonal plants are done and executed annually and it turns out to be a feast for the eyes. Big roses- big enough to fit in the stretched palm of an adult human is achieved. This size of roses has been achieved after careful pruning and eco-fertilizer (mustard seed mix) application. They created 3 exclusive gardening zones:

  1. Herbal garden in the backyard of Mallika Malancha Complex
  2. Paradise Garden near Mahua-Madhabi/ Mallika border gate
  3. Aroma Garden surrounded by four varieties of Canna flowers. This is near the Krisnachura (Royal Poinciana) seating zone and the fragrance of the Himalayan Michelia tree ( Champaca ) flower is supposed to captivate anybody sitting in “adda zone” : with wind blowing from south eastern side due to the tunnel effect in between the towers. It is the oil of this michelia that is the essence of JOY, the world’s most expensive perfume. Another hasnuhana flower (Raat ki Rani/ Queen of Night) also provides the nocturnal charm of sitting nearby.

For years flowers of the twin sloped garden at the entrance has gained the appreciation of the passers-by. Some photographers do visit just to capture the poppy flowers as its not frequently available in nearby parks. These plants ( Poppy- March/April, Sunflowers- May/June during peak summer) are selected as its tall enough to attract the attention growing over the bamboo barrier. Designated area, with flower plants to perform pujas at home, for residents were also created.

Over the years, tropical fruit garden now have 7-8 good varieties of well grown plant and some have started producing fruits. This initiative was taken before the handover process from BDCL aligning with the SMART city initiative of encouraging fruit bearing plants in gated communities in Newtown. These plants do not ask for more ground water and provides ecological balance feeding bees, birds ( which neutralizes insects, pests) and excellent source for humans to connect with mother nature and appreciate. Bottle palm trees planted in the backyard (in between outer walls and canal), steps to protect soil erosion from canal water and beautification, also prevented snake menace.

What lies ahead?

Mallika Malancha shows no signs of stopping to make their gated community a green and sustainable paradise. Solar power, rainwater harvesting are already on the verge of successful completion with baby steps being taken toward the aim as we pen this down.

Mallika Malancha Housing Complex – Rise High Awards 2019 Nominee

Category : Green Initiatives

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About the Author: Karnika Roy

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