Week’s news in brief: Oct 31- Nov 06

Business

Iron ore transportation trucks hit by slump

The steep fall in demand for iron ore has affected the resale value of trucks used for their transportation. Earlier these trucks had a resale value of Rs.13-15 lakhs. Now they are available for Rs.8-10 lakhs. Trucks owners are now feeling the heat as income from ore transportation has fallen drastically. More than 12,000 trucks were involved in this business during 2004-2008 when iron ore was in huge demand. (Prajavani, Monday, Nov 3)

Onion prices to increase further

Onion growers have reason to smile and buyers have to reason to cry. The price of onions is increasing everyday. A quintal of onion fetched as much as Rs.1800 to Rs.2000 to farmers in Yeshwanthpur APMC on Monday – the highest in the last three years. Officials say prices may increase further due to shortage of supply. A kilo of onion may cost up to Rs.25 in the open market soon. (Kannada Prabha, Tuesday, Nov 4)

Crime

80 year old alleges dowry harrasment

If you think that only young women fall prey to dowry harassment, think again! 80 year old Lakshmi recently registered a complaint of dowry harassment against her husband at the Rajajinagar police station. Lakshmi and Varadaraj got married in 1945. Varadaraj got married again in 1957. Lakshmi alleges that since his second marriage Varadaraj and his second wife Chandrakantha have been harassing her to transfer her assets to their name. Varadaraj and Chandrakantha are absconding. (Prajavani, Friday, Oct 31)

Dogs to beware of thieves!

The popular song ‘who let the dogs out’ might well turn out to be a question asked by dog owners when they find their canine companions missing from their premises. City thieves in Sididenahalli in Peenya police station limits drove away with a car along with a Labrador dog in it. Apparently the dog’s frantic barking could not wake up the sleeping owner. (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, Nov 3)

300 prisoners to be relocated

Officials of Central jail in Parappana Agrahara have decided to relocate about 300 prisoners to newly built cells due to increasing in-fighting among inmates. New jail cells are built in three blocks inside the existing central jail. The present cells have a capacity of 2000, but are accommodating 5028 prisoners. The overcrowding has led to regular in-fighting among inmates. 30 additional personnel have been deployed in Central jail to avoid untoward incidents. (Prajavani, Tuesday, Nov 4)

Culture

Three generations of theatre actors share stage

Enagi Balappa is the senior-most dramatist the state has ever seen. The 96 year old veteran donned make up after a gap of three years, and took centre stage at Ranga Shankara’s ongoing theatre festival for the play Jagajyothi Basaveshwara. What is so special about this, one might ask. His son Nataraja Balappa and grandson Rajesh too had the privilege of sharing the stage with him. The three enacted a scene together. ( Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, Nov 2)

Government

BBMP auditorium gets face lift

The central auditorium of BBMP, the meeting hall of members, gets a face lift in view of its increased membership. The earlier auditorium had a capacity of accommodating 100; the new one can seat 250, as new wards have been included in BBMP. Earlier, the Paalike had just three zones and now it has eight. The extension work was undertaken at a cost of Rs.2 crores. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, Oct 31)

Operation Kamala’ continues at the panchayat level

The BJP, which created a flutter in the camps of JDS and Congress parties earlier by poaching seven MLAs from them, is now eyeing their local leaders. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had earlier said that Operation Kamala would be stopped, in the wake of criticism. However now it seems that such activities are continuing at the grassroot level. Zilla Panchayat members in Mandya, Mysore and Gulbarga recently joined the BJP. The CM probably seeks to strengthen his party keeping in view the upcoming parliamentary elections. (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, Nov 3)

City police chief warns against blackening boards by Kannada ‘activists’

Come Karnataka Rajyotsava and shop owners fear of ‘activists’ blackening their boards. This time Police Commissioner Shankara Bidari warned of taking stern action against those who indulged in such activities. He sent a circular to this regard to all police stations and instructed officers about taking serious action against ‘anti social elements’ acting as Kannada ‘activists’. No organisation or individual should take law into their hands and blacken boards, he clarified. (Vijaya Karnataka, Saturday, Nov 1)

Efficient judge transferred in just four months

Judges too may be transferred in quick succession, like police officers. Karnataka has the highest number of divorce cases in India, with 11000 cases in the Family court alone. Judge (second additional magistrate) S Mariyappa of the court cleared as many as 7000 cases in just four months. On an extension for the second year after retirement, he is now transferred to Bijapur, allegedly because of his efficiency which was not appreciated by a few colleagues. There was a public protest in front of court opposing the transfer. (Kannada Prabha, Tuesday, Nov 4)

KSDL to be shifted to Dabaspet?

The Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL) factory in Yeshwanthapur will be shifted to Dabaspet soon, according to Managing Director Anil Kumar. Industries minister Murugesh Nirani however denied the same. JDS leaders allege that the shifting was to aid real estate lobbies with an eye on the 42 acres of land belonging to KSDL. 850 employees of factory too have opposed the move. Nirani made it clear that there was no proposal of shifting KSDL at any level of the government. However Anil Kumar said that factory would be shifted as per instructions from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. (Kannada Prabha, Tuesday, Nov 4)

No God’s grace on ‘Anugraha’?

This government bungalow once hosted a number of chief ministers. However Anugraha, meaning God’s Grace, has no takers now. It was the official residence of the state’s chief ministers earlier. Yeddyurappa too is reluctant to shift into it thanks to alleged Vastu problems with the place. Erstwhile chief ministers Dharam Singh and H D Kumaraswamy had spent lakhs of rupees to rid Anugraha of Vastu Dosha. The inner circle of the BJP believes that the place has a negative impact on its residents. Even Home minister V S Acharya politely declined the CM’s offer of shifting into it. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, Nov 4)

Health

One more polio case traced

A second case of polio has been traced in Siddapura in Coorg district. This comes as a shock for Karnataka, which is gearing itself to become a polio free state by 2010. A stray case was traced in Bangalore some time ago. Now a 11 year old boy in Oorukoppa village in Siddapura is diagnosed with polio. Doctors suspect that he was infected by a virus called ‘P 1’ which spreads through contaminated water. (Kannada Prabha, Sunday, Nov 2)

State ahead in mother health car
e

A National Family Health Survey revealed decreasing fertility ratio among women in cities. Reports say that the TFR (Total Fertility Ratio) fell from 2.1 to 1.9 in recent times. Women are now more interested in family welfare schemes as their percentage has increased from 58 to 64 in Karnataka. The national average is 54 per cent. The state is ahead of national average in mother health care too. However, 35 per cent of deliveries are still happening at home in Karnataka. (Vijaya Karnataka, Wednesday, Nov 5)

Infrastructure

45 days deadline for Freedom Park completion

The state government has set a deadline of 45 days from now for the completion of Freedom Park which is coming up in the erstwhile central jail location in Gandhinagar. Reviewing the progress of the much delayed park, senior ministers R Ashok and Katta Subramanya Naidu took BBMP commissioner Dr S Subramanya to task. They alleged that the nexus between contractors and some BBMP officials was the reason behind the delay. Work on the park which started in 2006 should have got over by now. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, Oct 31)

Yashwanthapur market becoming a garbage dump

The Agricultural Producers Marketing Corporation (APMC) market in Yashwanthpur is literally becoming a garbage pool these days. There are no proper roads, cleaning and even supply of drinking water. Traders and customers are expressing their unhappiness at the state of affairs. Though the market has a ‘raitha bhavana’, a retiring place for farmers, it is not maintained properly. Like in other APMC markets, there are allegations of malpractice in weight and rates by traders. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, Nov 4)

Power shortage returns to haunt state

Shortage of electricity has pushed KPTCL again to impose untimely load-shedding in the state. Bangalore is no exception, and the city is already feeling the heat with unscheduled power cuts. There is a total shortfall of 775 megawatts of power with the 2nd and 5th units of the Raichur power plant being shut down for repairs. Inadequate rains during the season has resulted in shortfall of 3000 megawatts of electricity. (Prajavani, Tuesday, Nov 4)

Safai Karmacharis live in crumbling quarters

Depleting residential space and lack of infrastructure facilities are driving residents of Bhakshi garden (near Aralepet) up the wall. This layout-turned-slum has 32 quarters for safai karmacharis of BBMP and the health department. The quarters are 48 years old, and crumbling. No official has ever visited this place to take stock of its status even after repeated complaints by residents. Some even demolished their houses and built new ones. But the ones who cannot afford it continue stay in these dangerous houses. (Prajavani, Tuesday, Nov 4)

Satellite training for hostel employees

Employees of state government hostels now learn cooking, cleaning, and even serving through satellite training. The training has so far been provided to 30-40 employees of 200 hostels, in two phases. The social welfare department announced three prizes for hostels which kept their premises clean and provided good food to inmates. The department has decided to provide training once in every three months. Principal secretary to social welfare department Bharatlal Meena can be contacted for details. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, Nov 4)

Continous power supply for domestic use

The state government has completed the pilot project Jyoti Grama in just 45 days. The project was initiated to install separate feeders for supplying power. This will allow KPTCL to provide uninterrupted supply of power for domestic purposes. Taking a cue from the Gujarat success, Karnataka implemented this as a pilot project. However power to the agriculture sector may still face load shedding. (Prajavani, Wednesday, Nov 5)

KHB, BDA to build over 7000 houses

The Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) has joined hands with BDA to meet the increasing demand for houses in Bangalore, and plans to build 8000 houses soon. KHB is already coming up with a layout called Sooryanagar on Hosur road. It is planning to build 400 houses in the second phase of Sooryanagar layout at a cost of about Rs.34 crores. Similar projects are coming up in Marasur, Hinnakki and Lingalur in Anekal. About 7000 houses will be built here at a cost of Rs.500 crores. (Prajavani, Thursday, Nov 6)

First phase of BMIC ready for motorists

Phase 1 of BMIC (Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corrido) is finally ready for use. NICE (Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises), the implementing agency of BMIC is planning to charge a toll of Rs.2 per kilometer. Roads are expected to be thrown open for public officially during the first week of December. Phase 1 of BMIC includes the peripheral road, which runs partially around the city outskirts and link road. (Vijaya Karnataka, Thursday, Nov 6)

Society

Techie cycles 42 kms everyday

Ravi Rajan has found a way to beat the fuel price hike. This software engineer owns neither a bike nor a car, but cycles 21 kms to his office in ITPL in Whitefield. He has been doing to this 55 minute ride each way on his sports cycle for the past three years. (Prajavani, Sunday, Nov 2)

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