Week’s news in brief: 18-24 July

Business

Multiplexes prop up film industry

With a series of movies failing at the box office in recent times, experts opine that developing multiplexes may be help in salvaging the situation. Multiplexes are already doing good business in metros like Bangalore. Even as a number of movie theatres are facing closure due to low business, multiplexes seem to be surviving, as they attract a different audience. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Sunday, July 20 )

Bangalore gets its own Dabbawallahs

Mumbai’s Dabbawalas got international fame when Prince Charles showed interest in their operations. Taking a cue from them, Bangalore’s Papastiffin has gone into a similar business. While Dabbawalas merely carry meals from homes to offices, members of Papastiffin also cook the food they supply, which is mostly north Indian fare. Papastiffin can be contacted on 94804 93872, 9343309269 and www.papastiffin.com. ( Prajavani , Thursday, July 24 )

Crime

Increasing cases of rape

The rape and murder of a minor girl near Jalahalli indicates that such cases are increasing in Bangalore. So far at least 10 such cases have been reported since January 2008. In most of the cases people close to the victims are themselves perpetrators of the crime. Workers from other states are other suspected culprits. Ineffective laws, however, make it easy for them to get out of jail within a short period. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Wednesday, July 23 )

Education

Unpopular engineering courses face closure

The government is contemplating on closing those engineering courses which have no takers among students. Courses like silk technology, polymer technology, mining, textiles, which were introduced during the hype of IT and BT, have been ineffective. The demand remains for electronics, computer science, mechanical engineering, automobile and architecture. Professors express their difficulty in teaching one or two students who enroll for the unpopular courses. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Wednesday, July 23 )

Environment

BWSSB to drill 5000 more borewells

"Struggling to supply sufficient water to the increasing population of Bangalore, BWSSB has set its eyes on borewells. Plans are afoot to recharge 13,000 borewells, apart from drilling 5,000 new ones. Most of them will come up in new areas that merged with the corporation recently. However officials are not sure of charging fee for borewell water. " ( Udayavani , Tuesday, July 22 )

Veerenahalli struggles with ‘development’

Veerenahalli is a small village of 150 houses close to K R Puram in east Bangalore. It is in the vicinity of CIPLA, a pharmaceutical unit, and is subjected to multiple problems. There are no schools or proper bus connectivity to the place. People have to fill drinking water by keeping pots in the open drainage. Even that water is contaminated with fluoride. Apart from acute water shortage, villagers have to contend with the stench from the pharma wastage. All memoranda submitted to officials and people representatives have so far fallen on deaf ears. ( Prajavani , Saturday, July 19 )

Government

Employees can’t take two bosses

There is only one office, but two officers. KAS officers Ramakrishna and Gangadharswamy have both been appointed to the post of Assistant Commissioner’s office of Bangalore north (state revenue department), the former by the KAT (Karnataka Administrative Tribunal), the latter by the government. The two have been fighting over the chair and have been issuing separate orders on files. Caught in the tussle between the two officers, employees went on a mass leave in protest. The Deputy Comissioner (district) has submitted a report to the government about the situation. ( Prajavani , Saturday, July 19 )

Well equipped lab under-used

The Infosys foundation donated Rs.3 crores to set up a modern, well equipped laboratory at Victoria hospital. The so called 24 hours working lab now closes at 4 PM every day. It is not open during afternoon, forcing poor patients to use private labs, thus defeating the purpose of this government facility. However the director of Bangalore Medical College Dr G T Subhash says this is because lab technicians have brought a stay from the court against working in night shifts. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, July 19 )

Golden Chariot’ name runs into Intellectual Property issue

Golden Chariot is the name of the special train developed by the Karnataka tourism department. However an American company has submitted an application to patent this name. Luxury trains-Luxury holidays, a company from Milton is the partner of Golden Chariot. However the company wants to extend its business using this name. Taken aback by this move, Karnataka’s tourism department has hired a team of advocates to argue the case. ( Prajavani , Sunday, July 20 )

Parking mafia rules the roost

The parking mafia is growing without any check in the city, thanks to police officers and politicians with an agenda. Sometime ago the BBMP withdrew the parking fee to do away with mafia. But except for losing income, nothing else was achieved. An SI who had close links with this mafia was transferred recently. The situation has become grim in some places, where people who decline to pay the fee will have to contend with vehicle damage and group fights. One such incident happened in the parking space in front of Safina Plaza on Infantry Road. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, July 21 )

Taxing advertisements

The BBMP is planning to levy tax on advertisements on autorickshaw covers and boards hanging outside residences. If this order is implemented those auto drivers who display ads need to pay a certain amount to BBMP. Similarly BBMP will levy tax on tiny boards like ‘No Parking’, ‘Beware of Dog’ that carry small ads. A team has been constituted to look into it. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, July 21 )

Police station inundated in rain

There is no dearth of areas that go under water during heavy downpours in the city. And a police station is no exception. An outpost police station in Victoria hospital felt the fury of it when rain water came in uninvited. Police on night shift had to spend the entire night removing water. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, July 21 )

Protest against levy on hotel waste

The BBMP seems to be looking for any opportunity to levy fee. This time hotels are asked to cough up a special fee of Re 1 per kg on wastes. Hotel owners are up in arms against this additional burden, as they feel they are already facing numerous problems. But the BBMP is firm, and feels that hotels are free to dispose of their own garbage if they feel that fee is high. ( Kannada Prabha , Tuesday, July 22 )

Mrs HDK owns a TV Channel but no TV set!

Last heard, a minister who owns a granite company declared that he did not own a TV or a refrigerator. Now it is the turn of ex chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. His wife owns a Kannada television channel. However Kumaraswamy, in his affidavit to Lokayukta, says that neither he nor his wife own a television set! ( Prajavani , Tuesday, July 22 )

Power shortage leads to fuel shortage

What is the relation between electricity and fuel? Shortage of power has led to load-shedding, which has in turn affected the availability of diesel. Fuel dealers have reported sales of diesel shooting up, as they are used to run generators in the event of a power cut. Diesel vehicles, especially trucks are the worst affected. ( Prajavani , Wednesday, July 23 )

Infrastructure

Mini Jog falls in Sirsi flyover

Now Bangaloreans need not go to Jog for a glimpse of waterfalls – they get to see one right in the middle of Mysore road. A hole in the Sirsi flyover showers water on unsuspecting motorists below during rains. BBMP officials say that tenders have been invited to repair the flyover. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Thursday, July 24 )

Sports

Carom champion struggles for two square meals

He has brought glory to the nation as a carom champion, but is struggling to find two meals a day. R M Shankar has won a number of prizes at the national and international level carom championships, including the world championship at New Delhi in 2000. His tiny house on a busy Kalasipalya road is full of trophies. But unlike other sports persons he sells bamboo products for a livelihood. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Friday, July 18 )

Karnataka athletes get better deal in other states

Heptathlon athlete Prameela Ayyappa is originally from Karnataka who trained under the Sports Authority of India in Bangalore. But protesting the negligence shown to sports persons here, she moved to Jharkhand. She has now qualified to represent India in the Beijing Olympics. There are a number of such sportspersons who have left the state for greener pastures, like J J Shobha who now represents Andhra Pradesh. ( Kannada Prabha , Saturday, July 19)

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