Week’s news in brief: Dec 26 – Jan 01

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Environment

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A memorial to a tree

Officials of Lalbagh have come up with an idea to construct a memorial to a dead historical tree. If all goes well, Lalbagh will have a pigeon park around this memorial. The garden, which has a number of historical trees, recently lost a 95 year old Neelgiri tree. A beautiful memorial is now planned in its place. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, 30 December)

320 trees on Sheshadri road chopped

Sheshadri road, once considered a cool place to walk, wears a barren look now, as around 320 trees were chopped for road widening works. Officials carried out this operation in the dead of the night to escape from environmentalists’ wrath. BBMP intends to widen this road from Sheshadri road flyover to KR Circle. There is also a plan to construct a phataphat underpass. Environmentalists had earlier opposed the move to cut trees, and had suggested creation of separate lanes to preserve the trees. (Kannada Prabha, Wednesday, 31 December)

Government

Arbito who, asks Bidari

A city court had issued an arrest warrant against Alex Arbito, a spiritual healer from Philippines last year when he tried to hoodwink public in the name of God. However he succeeded in escaping from Bangalore. Arbito has apparently returned to Bangalore and was seen participating in a public rally. City’s chief cop Shankar Bidari however said he was unaware of the matter. When scribes asked him about this, he in turn asked them to produce a copy of the arrest warrant for him! He also answered negatively when asked about whereabouts of Arbito, who is allegedly safely hidden in Pyramid Valley in Harohalli in Kanakapura talluk. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, 28 December)

City Survey project in PPP model

The State government has decided to implement the City Survey project with private partnership to prepare the accurate documents of the assets in the cities. Government nod has been given to this project as litigations regarding the properties are obstructing their sale, resulting in sluggish property registration. (Udayavani, Monday, 29, December)

No takers for Mukhyamantri Chandru’s orders

Mukhyamantri Chandru, Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority, an autonomous body to look into development of Kannada language, is finding the babus at Vidhana Soudha tough nuts to crack. Chandru ordered the changing of all boards that are not in Kannada, but on follow up, found that a number of police barricades still bore directions in English. He says that he has received a number of complaints against the police department for not following the language policy. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, 28 December)

ZP members demand action against Biocon

Biocon is in a soup. Zilla Panchayat members demanded that the government cut electricity to this leading bio tech company, in a recent meeting. Their complaint was that Biocon was polluting the environment in villages in Hebbagodi and Attibele hobli. Stench and polluted water have apparently made lives of people miserable there. Members were not pacified even when environment officers informed them that Biocon had already been served with notice for violations. (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, 30 December)

BBMP neglects government directive

In a gross violation of government order, BBMP has not taken any action in calling back the teachers on deputation in its various departments. In December 2007, the government had directed BBMP to send back all teachers to their schools. However most of them continue in their present postings. This was revealed by BBMP for an application under the Right to Information Act. (Prajavani, Thursday, 01 January)

UPSC interview postponed

Taking heed of the objection to its hastily sent interview letters to senior KAS officials, UPSC had to finally reschedule the interview to a later date. Earlier scheduled for December 3, the interviews were intended to promote non-KAS officers to IAS. UPSC has now postponed the interview fearing court interference. (Prajavani, Thursday, 01 January)

Health

State women birth-control savvy

Karnataka women have awareness about birth control methods, according to a survey report conducted by the Women and Child Welfare Ministry. In Karnataka, 64 percent of women, including rural women, know of the importance of contraceptives, and do not mind spending on condoms and other birth control methods, says the report. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, 26 December)

Key Hole surgery for cancer

The doctors of Columbia Hospital in Bangalore have successfully conducted a rare Key Hole Surgery on a cancer patient. This kind of surgery is very rare in India. The patient was able to walk within one day of the surgery (Kannada Prabha, Saturday, 27 December)

Infrastructure

Metro Rail Project may get delayed

The Metro Rail Project which is under progress in Bangalore may get delayed by six months to one year because of various reasons like slow tender process, delay in construction of wagons and other technical matters. The first phase of the project (7 kms) was to be complete by June 2010, which seems unlikely now. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, 26 December)

Load shedding may haunt city again

Karnataka may again face sever electricity shortage soon. With water levels in major hydro- power generation dams lowering drastically, there is shortage of 1,961 million units compared to last year. At present, the state’s various electricity generation centers can generate about 67 million units every day. However the demand is 130 million units, and purchasing power from private operators may cost the government exchequer very dear indeed. (Vijaya Karnataka,  , 28 December)

20 cases against Namma Metro

There are 20 cases including one PIL against Namma Metro project, which is one more factor adding to the delay. The main reasons for legal battle are land acquisition made through KIADB and the project being implemented under Tramway Act 190f4 instead of Railway Act. (Kannada Prabha, Monday, 29 December)