Week’s news in brief: Sep 12-Sep 18

Business & Economy

No deadbody, no insurance

Basavanna, a retired KSRTC driver from Malavalli, lost his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in the 2004 Tsunami, when they were on tour in Chennai. However he was not able to get their dead bodies. The insurance company denied compensation, contending that there was a possibility of them being alive as the dead bodies were not recovered. Basavanna argued that he had performed the last rites of the dead. He has now filed a writ petition in the High Court against the insurance company for their refusal to release compensation. (Prajavani, Tuesday, Sept 16)

Dearer vegetables this season

The festive season brings bitter news for Bangaloreans. After a short lull, prices of vegetables are back to being nearly unaffordable. Prices of Beans, Capsicum, Carrot and Cabbage in particular have doubled, thanks to untimely rains. According to Horticulture department officials, decrease in vegetable cultivation (due to decreasing land) around Bangalore is the cause behind the low supply. At HOPCOM (Horticulture Producers Cooperative Marketing Society) outlets, however, prices are relatively lower. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, Sept 14)

Crime

Fake recovery agents harass debtors

As if recovery agents of various financial institutions were not harassing people enough, there are reports of fake agents cheating public to the tune of lakhs of rupees. Police arrested two such persons who collected money from debtors impersonating agents from finance company Bajaj Alliance. Police have alerted the public to take note of it. (Kannada Prabha, Sunday, Sept 14)

Education

Bangalore University to start diploma for HIV counsellors

The Psychology Department of Bangalore university will start a PG diploma course for HIV counsellors to give them recognition and status for their compassionate service. The department is likely to begin the course from this academic year itself. Head of the Department Dr G Mohan Kumar said that course was formulated after five years of research. (For details contact 080 22961501/ 507). (Udayavani, Sunday, Sept 14)

Kitchens turn science labs

The state education and research training centre (DSERT) has initiated a unique way to teach science to teachers- not through laboratories but kitchens. DSERT has developed a number of experiments in the kitchen where science can be taught easily. The curriculum has some interesting experiments on understanding why spilt lemon juice creates a white patch, and how potatoes in sambar absorb excess salt, etc. DSERT claims that these may create interest in science among children too. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, Sept 16)

Environment

Commercial activities near lakes opposed

In his affidavit to the High Court, the Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) has opposed commercial activities in the vicinity of lakes. The affidavit is likely to have an adverse effect on the privatisation of lakes in the city. The government action has been questioned in the court by a few environmental groups. Replying to a notice issued by High Court, the CCF has opined that commercial activities near tanks may harm environment and destroy sensitive atmosphere. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, Sept 18)

Government

Sand mining policy yet to be promulgated

The sand mining policy, which may curtail increasing illegal mining of sand, is still to become a reality. The Lokayukta submitted a proposal to the government recommending a policy over sand mining 10 months ago. Increasing demand for sand for construction has led to a proliferation of illegal sand filters. Artificial sand produced from these filters result in low quality buildings in Bangalore. (Prajavani, Wednesday, Sept 17)

Minister starts meeting without CM

This minister had the guts to start a meeting without waiting for the Chief Minister who was to chair it. In a refreshing departure from sycophancy, Wakf Minister Mumtaz Ali Khan started the meeting called to discuss the forming of a task force to safeguard Wakf property, without waiting for the CM, as the latter was busy with a series of other meetings. Minister Khan thought it was pointless to wait as the others were already present. (Vijaya Karnataka, Wednesday, Sept 17)

Health

Doctor, alleged fake, exposed

Dr S Iqbal, alleged to be neither qualified nor registered, had a clinic right in front of police station in Wilson Garden. However his lucky run ended with activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, an association that fights for the cause of Kannada language. They exposed the doctor and got him arrested. Hailing from Maharashtra, Iqbal had some documents that claimed that he had procured the qualification from a foreign university. ( Kannada Prabha, Friday, Sept 12)

Rare surgery conducted in government hospital

The Sanjay Gandhi Trauma and Orthopaedic Centre in the city conducted a rare surgery of the spine in the neck region on a labourer from West Bengal recently. The 50-year-old was tormented by severe pain in the neck and had lost strength in his right hand. Dr H V Suresh Babu of the Centre successfully conducted a three-hour long surgery. The entire treatment, which could cost around Rs.3 lakhs in a private hospital, was done for just Rs.15,000 at the Sanjay Gandhi Trauma Orthopaedic Centre. Details can be obtained from 080 26562500. (Kannada Prabha, Sunday, Sept 14)

Insurance for families below poverty line

Families below poverty line are likely to covered by a health insurance, if the government is successful in promulgating a plan in this regard this November. Families are likely to be covered upto Rs 2 lakhs under this scheme, which is on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh model. A proposal to this effect has been submitted by the Health and Family Welfare Department to the Finance Department. (Udayavani, Wednesday, Sept 17)

Infrastructure

CM opts for Metro over high-speed trains

Chief Minister B S Yedyurappa is likely to finalise a proposal for Metro rail to connect Devanahalli to the city, instead of high-speed trains. A review meeting for the same chaired by him concluded that high-speed trains proved very costly and would not benefit the common man. Financial advisor Dr K V Raju convinced the Chief Minister that government could save huge expenditure if the present Metro extended to Bangalore International Airport. (Prajavani, Friday, Sept 12)

Work on Mattikere flyover drags on

The story of the Mattikere flyover near Yeshwanthpur is an unending saga. Soon after the Chief Minister inaugurated it, the flyover was closed to the public. It was opened again when the press and public started mocking the BBMP, but work on it is still incomplete. The flyover was redesigned to accommodate a place of worship, but requires a couple of houses and commercial establishments to be demolished. (Prajavani, Saturday, Sept 13)

Wheeler road flyover works stopped

The BBM
P started constructing a flyover near Wheeler road in association with South Western Railway in June, 2006, scheduled to be ready by December 2007. For reasons best known to BBMP, work on it stopped completely. Needless to add, the incomplete flyover is making lives of surrounding residents miserable. Several shops were forced to shut down due to the dust from the damaged road. (Prajavani, Sunday, Sept 14)

Probe into BIA likely

The state government is likely to appoint a committee to look into allegations of poor infrastructural facilities at the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIA). This is the first initiative taken by the government to look into the standards of BIA. A prominent member from Congress Party is likely to chair the committee. The committee’s mandate is to analyse if the airport is built as per plan, whether sufficient infrastructural facilities are provided to commuters and whether BIA has the capability to sustain an increasing number of passengers. (Kannada Prabha, Wednesday, Sept 17)

Society

Garden to be dedicated to Siddaganga Math seer

The state government is planning to dedicate a garden to commemorate the birthday centenary of the seer of Siddaganga Math Dr Shivakumara Swamiji. The Siddaganga Math in Tumkur is known for its yeomen services to society and education in particular. A committee has been appointed to look after this garden project, to come up in Tumkur. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, Sept 12)

His eyes light up another

Arjun, a 14 year old boy from Basaveshwaranagar showed compassion even in death. He was electrocuted while trying to catch a pigeon, and admitted to Victoria hospital where his condition worsened. Arjun donated his eyes to Narayana Netralaya before he succumbed to death. (Prajavani, Monday, Sept 15)

Ghostly affairs at High Court

If you thought high courts harboured only criminals and lawyers, think again. They have ‘ghosts’ too, according to people work there. Some Bangalore High Court employees claim to have experienced their presence when they visited the toilet in the basement. They say that once they go in, they are locked from outside by the ‘devil’ himself, as no human is apparently playing the prank! Now people have stopped using the toilet. (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, Sept 15)

No garlands on this former minister’s birthday

You might have noticed politicians organising bashes to celebrate their birthdays. However M V Rajashekharan, former Union Minister in the present UPA government proved to be an exception; he organised a seminar to discuss terrorism, poverty and corruption to mark his 80th birthday. The function was free of garlands and speeches extolling the birthday boy. VIPs like Dr Karan Singh participated in seminar. (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, Sept 15)

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