Week’s news in brief: Oct 24-30

Business

Iron ore mining no longer lucrative

Global recession has its cascading effect on iron ore mining in Karnataka. This business once changed the face of Karnataka and its politics. With the price of iron ore going down, the huge machines at the mining sites have now stopped working. A ton of iron ore from Bellary which cost Rs.3000 until recently, has now dropped to just Rs.350. The possible closure of mines may throw thousands of families to the streets. (Kannada Prabha, Saturday, Oct 25)

Pay and Park rule to return

The ‘Pay and Park’ rule by BBMP is all set to return to haunt motorists again. BJP, which earlier opposed this agreed to reinstate this system in 37commercially prominent streets of Bangalore. According BBMP sources, an hour of parking may cost Rs 20 for two wheelers and Rs 25 for four wheelers. However there is a condition that BBMP should reach an agreement with local traders seeking their cooperation. BBMP has also decided to install vending machines in all these streets. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, Oct 30)

"Traders prefer footpath to well furnished market "

"After the new complex fiasco in KR Market, BBMP has constructed another new market on Magadi road to allow traders to continue their business. However there are very few takers for the new complex. Traders prefer to do business on footpaths as they feel it is better to attract people. Earlier, BBMP fixed a daily charge of Rs.6 for the new complex usage. Now even traders do not know what the fee is. Though footpath trading is curtailing the smooth flow of traffic, neither the BBMP nor the police pay attention to this problem." (Prajavani, Thursday, Oct 30)

Culture

Lalithakala Academy to record traditional arts

The new president of Karnataka Lalithakala Academy J S Khaderao has said that he will give priority to record all traditional arts as it may help preserve dying arts for posterity. Knowledge of fine arts is practical and has no books to fall back on, he said, adding that the government should appoint arts teachers in every school. (Vijaya Karnataka, Saturday, Oct 25)

Education

Gurubhavans’ to house govt teachers

The education department has come up with one more welfare scheme for teachers. It envisages constructing ‘gurubhavans’ close to schools to provide accommodation to teachers. Allotment of houses will start from the next academic year. Teachers of north eastern part of Karnataka will be benefited in the first phase of the new scheme as these districts are identified as educationally backward. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, Oct 30)

PU students’ monthly attendence to be sent to parents

The state PU Board has developed a programme where monthly attendance details of pre university students will be sent to parents regularly. Principals are asked to send those details to parents every month so as make them aware of shortage of attendance. Increasing absenteeism in PU colleges has prompted this action. Though it is mandatory for students to get a minimum of 75 per cent attendance to be eligible for exams, students hardly follow the rule. (Vijaya Karnataka, Thursday, Oct 30)

Government

IPS braveheart empowers Lokayukta

Most IPS officers are reluctant to rally together against corruption, and hence working with the Lokayukta would be their last priority. However Roop Kumar Dutta is different. This 1981 Karnataka cadre IPS officer has been successful in evoking fear among corrupt government servants. Joining the Lokayukta office as ADGP (Additional Director General of Police) in November 2007, Roop Kumar Dutta has so far carried out 94 raids, arrested 271 corrupt officials and seized assets worth crores. He even raided the Vidhana Soudha to arrest an official in the Home ministry. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, Oct 24)

More than 1,500 aspirants for Rajyotsava award

The Rajyotsava awards make news for the wrong reasons every year. With just a few days left for the final announcement of the list of awardees, the number of aspirants has crossed the 1,500 mark this year. The first round of meetings of the selection committee headed by the CM scanned 550 applications. The Committee says that the list will not have more than 60 awardees. (Kannada Prabha, Saturday, Oct 25)

Pressure on to recall Hindi-challenged ex-IPS officer

Soon after the BJP came to power, Subhash Bharani, former IPS officer, was appointed as special representative of the Karnataka government in Delhi. His task was to get speedy approvals to the state’s projects. However there is growing pressure on the CM to remove him as the latter had failed ‘miserably’ in his tasks. Bharani’s lack of linguistic skills in Hindi is apparently the culprit. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, Oct 26)

Lake in Kengeri to get face lift

Chief Minister Yeddyurappa visited a number of places in the outskirts of Bangalore on his city rounds on Sunday, including a number of encroached lakes. Yeddyurappa vowed to develop new areas that were included in the BBMP recently and promised to change the scenario within three years. He announced plans to develop the encroached Herohalli lake in Kengeri on the lines of Sankey tank. (Kannada Prabha, Monday, Oct 27)

Bhagyalaxmi’ affects other welfare schemes

Many welfare schemes of the Woman and Child Welfare Department have suffered due to the Bhagyalaxmi scheme. Government intends to extend this scheme of keeping fixed deposit in the name of new born girl babies, and proposes to double the amount. The budget for Bhagyalaxmi scheme has thus increased by Rs.75 crores, and is cutting into other schemes. The department is as it is struggling to continue with the existing projects, with the 40 per cent budget cut. (Udayavani, Monday, Oct 27)

80 employees suspended for irregularities

Minister for Food and Cvil Supplies H Halappa said that 80 government employees were suspended in the last three months for various irregularities in public distribution system (PDS). Criminal cases were filed against 38 people and 781 cases were filed against errant employees. They were involved in irregularities in PDS and BPL (below poverty line) card distribution. More than 80 PDS shops were seized, the minister informed. (Prajavani, Wednesday, Oct 29)

High Court fails to mind its own business!

The High Court is yet to give clearance for a proposal to beef up security in its premises. All security equipment are at hand but are lying in the office of a police officer as the court has not yet given the green signal to install them. The government decided to extend tight security in the wake of series of bomb blasts in Karnataka, including a court in Hubli. Additional police personnel were appointed for the purpose. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, Oct 30)

Health

Teenage girls are customers for I-pill

I-pill, an emergency contraceptive tablet from Cipla is mostly patronised by teenage girls, who are students to boot. Though the tablet is to avoid pregnancy after intercourse, girls have started using them as a precautionary measure, even before the act! They apparently consume five to six
tablets regularly in a month. Doctors caution against this practice as tablets may lead to dangerous side effects. They even warn of developing AIDS related serious health problems. This article was written by a doctor, Venkatesha Rao. (Kannada Prabha, Wednesday, Oct 29)

Infrastructure

Modern bus terminus, still a dream

The project of constructing a new modern terminus at the Kempegowda Bus Stand in Majestic has been around for three years. However no file has yet moved towards implementation of the same.The government had envisaged this dream project in 40 acres of land. As per plan work should have started three months ago, but it now seems as if it will not take off till the end of 2009. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, Oct 24)

Rain plays spoilsport pre-Diwali

Two days of continuous rain before Diwali threw Bangalore out of gear and also cast a shadow over the festivities. Most areas of the city were marooned and layouts in Bommanahalli, Hongasandra, Begoor, Garvinavipalya were the worst hit. Rain water flooded more than 1500 houses, and traffic was disrupted too. (Udayavani, Sunday, Oct 26)

New power cess on industries

The government is contemplating on levying a new power cess called ‘green cess’ on industries and commercial establishments. Through this cess it intends to collect Rs.200 crores every year. Green cess will be towards environment protection, and is already being levied in Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Maharashtra. (Kannada Prabha, Sunday, Oct 26)

Work on new bus stands to start soon

Works on four new bus stands in Byappanahalli, Peenya, Hebbal and Kanakapura road will commence within five months. KSRTC proposed these bus stands to ease pressure on the existing lone bus stand in Majestic, and decentralize traffic flow into four directions. This proposal was with the government since many years but initiative has been finally taken now. (Kannada Prabha, Monday, Oct 27)

Highrise buildings to get NOC from police?

If the city police department has its way, new high rise buildings will soon have to approach them to get a no objection certificate. City police have submitted a proposal to the government in this regard. They want it to be made mandatory before constructing buildings other than for residential purposes, in more than 40000 sq ft area. The proposal empowers the assistant commissioners of police of the respective regions to issue the NOC. (Kannada Prabha, Wednesday, Oct 29)

Metro claims yet another expensive building

Metro rail construction has claimed yet another expensive building, and the Byappanahalli police station now operates from a rented premises, like its predecessor High Grounds police station. Karnataka police housing corporation constructed new Byappanahalli police station two years ago spending lakhs of rupees. Now this police station is working in a rented building in Suddeguntepalya in C V Raman nagar. Lack of space has prompted personnel to dump all furniture in a room. (Prajavani, Thursday, Oct 30)

Society

Neglect not the MLA!

A funcion which was organised to felicitate an award winning teacher in a government school in Nagashettihalli near Hebbal was cancelled for allegedly neglecting the local MLA. Activists of both BJP and Congress were quick to react as organisers invited an MLA from another constituency. Workers of both parties did not allow the function to continue. The Education Officer had to intervene and cancel the function. (Kannada Prabha, Sunday, Oct 26)

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