Week’s news in brief: Jul 25-31

Business

With rise in prices of raw materials, hotels have jacked up their prices as well. All dishes at the Darshini hotels are to become dearer by Re 1 and by Rs 2 in other hotels. Idly-vada-dosa aficionados are unhappy with this increase, feeling that a raise of 50 paise would have been sufficient. There are an estimated 6000 Darshini hotels in Bangalore (source for numbers not cited). ( Prajavani , Wednesday, July 30 )

City Life

Fuel price hike no deterrent for bikers

Despite inflation and rise in the cost of fuel, bike craze among the youth remains. More and more two wheelers are hitting the roads of Bangalore, as bigger and better models of bikes and other two wheelers for men and women are entering the market. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, July 28 )

Education

Education dept catches them young

The state government has started ‘0’ grade classes in 620 schools in Bangalore, to take on the competition by pre schools run by private schools. This is equal to a nursery class of private schools. The education department has decided to have only 25 students in a ‘0’ grade class. Classes have already commenced for this academic year. ( Kannada Prabha , Tuesday, July 29 )

Government

Lokayukta shuns functions in favour of work

Lamenting the slow progress in the investigation of illegal mining cases, Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde has gone into a self-imposed ban on participating in functions. Sources close to him say that he spends the whole day going through records pertaining to various mining cases. His several deadlines to finish the inquiry and submit a report to the government have proved futile. So far ten officials have been served with notice, and 12 more have been identified. ( Prajavani , Friday, July 25 )

Old areas face waste disposal problem

"Places like Akkipete, Cottonpet, Sultanpet, Kilari road, BVK Ayyangar road, Tulsitota etc are right in the heart of the city, yet they lack basic amenities. These places of historic importance as well are now turning into slums, with waste disposal being a major problem faced by residents. The BBMP collects relatively high taxes here, but has failed to ensure basic amenities. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, July 26 )

Vested interests play spoil sport again

Vested interests in a government owned Agrocorn firm have successfully managed to lose a contract of supplying nutritious food to hostels, anganawadis and schools run by the women and child welfare department. A private company has succeeded in getting the order. The loss of the contract, worth crores of rupees, may have dire consequences on the future of more 500 employees of Agrocorn. ( Udayavani , Monday, July 28 )

Land grabbers loot beggars too

Social Welfare minister D Sudhakar made a startling disclosure at the state council that an acre of land belonging to the Beggars Rehabilitation Centre had been encroached. The Centre, located in Srigandhakavalu on Magadi road, has 308.03 acres of land. It carries out various rehabilitation programmes for beggars. Its land has been encroached in Sajjepalya and Srigandhakavalu villages. ( Kannada Prabha , Tuesday, July 29 )

Ration cards come to life

Rising prices has had its direct impact on the public distribution system. People who hadn’t used their ration cards so far, have started visiting public distribution system (PDS) or ration shops, where rice, wheat, sugar are priced lesser compared to the open market. In the meantime, a study conducted by CIVIC Bangalore, an NGO, shows corruption in the operation of the ration shops. Joint Director of Food and Civil Supplies Ramesh says that 20 employees have been suspended in the last one month in connection with irregularities. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Tuesday, July 29 )

Illegal foreign residents in city find it a cheap option

The recent serial bomb blasts in Bangalore has again brought to the fore the ambiguity in the number of foreigners living in Bangalore. None of the government agencies appear to have kept track of the same, giving the impression that nobody cares about it. According to police sources there are about 20,000 foreigners including tourists in Bangalore. 40 per cent of them reside here illegally. The fine an illegal resident has to pay (if caught), is a royal fine of $40 for every 10 years. ( Kannada Prabha , Thursday, July 31 )

Health

Shortage of lab technicians

If you thought there was a problem of unemployment in Bangalore, think again, for there is apparently a serious shortage of lab technicians in the city. Most of the hospitals and clinical laboratories find it difficult to recruit the right personnel, resulting in grave mistakes in diagnosing illnesses. There are over 300 diagnostic centres in Bangalore, and shortage has led to a situation where one technician ends up doing the work of five. Doctors blame the shortage of colleges providing Diploma in Medical Lab Technician (DMLT) for this crisis. ( Prajavani , Saturday, July 26 )

Doctors to heal environment

Did you know that qualified doctors are entrusted with the task of waste disposal in the city? Bangalore has the mammoth task of disposing 3,500 tonnes of solid wastes every day. Health department officials say that doctors have been hired by BBMP to adopt environment-friendly ways to dispose of this waste. They are required to process the wastes collected from houses and create awareness about the environment among the public. ( Prajavani , Sunday, July 27 )

Infrastructure

Cattle contribute to traffic woes

Apart from vehicles, cattle too contribute to traffic jams in Bangalore. Rules allow officials to catch animals which roam on roads, and release them after fining the owners. But the BBMP does have not a beat between 8 AM to 4 PM to ensure this. However, officials lament the lack of awareness among owners of animals, cattle in particular, that lead to messy situations. The cattle-on-roads problem is felt more in the areas of Chamarajpet, Lingarajapuram, Banasavadi, Mysore road, Jayanagar 9th block etc. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Friday, July 25 )

Tenders invited for Bangalore Metro project

The metro rail project has taken another step forward with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) inviting tenders for undertaking the 6.57 km long subway work. Companies from China, Spain, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai are participating in the tender. Work is likely start by next February. The subway will pass through the city railway station, Vidhana Soudha, Majestic and K.R. Market areas, says BMRCL, and assures that enough precautionary measures will be taken before launching the project. ( Prajavani , Friday, July 25 )

Alernatives to BESCOM prove costlier

Load shedding by BESCOM has made people opt for alternative methods of lighting, like candles, generators, solar and battery operated lights. However these sources are proving expensive too. Shop owners have increased the prices of battery operated torches. Some have started hoarding diesel and candles. Kerosene, once a favourite with the common man, is not available easily either. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Sunday, July 27 )

Rains challenge BBMP’s new roads

The much touted roads built using plastic waste and modern technology have been washed out with just two rains. The newly laid Chowdiah road and Bellary road have already developed pot holes, exposing the low quality of work by the BBMP. The Palike has used the plastic waste technology to lay (parts of) the Mysore road, Magadi road and Nagarabhavi main roads as well. Experts had said that this technology would lend additional life to roads. But it looks as if the rain gods are not impressed with the same. ( Prajavani , Tuesday, July 29 )

Automated car parking in Bangalore

As a solution to the city’s parking problems, Suvidha Park Lift company is introducing automated car parking facility. Embassy Golf Links on Domlur-Koramangala road, is expected to have this facility in the next two months. In all, 94 cars can be parked here at a time and construction cost of each parking lot may come to around Rs 1.7 lakh. Machines will be used to lift the cars and place them in the right slots. ( Kannada Prabha , Wednesday, July 30 )

Japan bank to fund BESCOM

This is one more addition to the numerous reforms that BESCOM has undertaken in recent times. It is implementing the automated repair system into the electricity supply network at a cost of Rs.568 crores. Japan’s cooperative bank KIMA is extending financial assistance to this project. BESCOM is one of the first electricity boards in India to have taken this initiative. The new system will automatically set right small problems that might surface in the power supply within no time. ( Udayavani , Thursday, July 31)

People

A real mannina maga

In these times of IT and BT when local Bengaluru hudugru speak the queen’s language, or liberally pepper their Kannada with English/Hindi and words from other assorted languages, it is a rarity to come across an individual who speaks only in chaste Kannada. T Vijayakumar, an employee with HAL, makes it a point to speak only in Kannada in any situation. He has started a Kannada Sangha in HAL and heads central committee of nine such organisations. He can be contacted on 94803 32161. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, July 28 )

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