Week’s news in brief: Jan 09 – 15

Business

Labourers affected by global recession

The Peenya Industrial Area employs about five lakh labourers. Out of them 5000 workers have alreadly lost their jobs, the reason being global recession. Most of the industrial units have no new orders to execute since three months. Many companies are asking workers to resign without giving them sufficient period of notice. The bogey of unemployment now haunts many workers. It is said that there will be 25- 30 per cent job cut soon. (Prajavani, Sunday, 11 Jan)

Coffee to brew no more at Coffee House

Sad news for coffee and Coffee House lovers- the favourite MG Road hang-out for many a Bangalorean for decades will shut its doors from February 28th. Coffee House is forced to vacate its premises as it lost a property dispute case in High Court. With this, another landmark in MG Road and the city will pass into the pages of history books. (Prajavani, Tuesday, 13 Jan)

Crime

IGP fined for violating traffic rules

For IGP officer Bipin Gopalakrishna, this Sankranthi was a day to remember. He was fined for violating traffic rules. The officer was stopped by a traffic cop on MG Road as the former drove onto the road violating the yellow line, and was asked to pay the fine. The constable as well as traffic sub inspector did not know that the offender was an IGP officer, until he was identified by someone in the crowd. However Gopalakrishna appreciated the cops and paid the fine. This former additional police commissioner of Bangalore is now working in the State Human Rights Commission. (Prajavani, Thursday, 15 Jan)

Businessman encroaches road

Taking encroachment to new levels, an influential businessman has brazenly constructed a compound wall on a public road itself in Jnanajyothinagar on Ullal main road in Rajarajeshwarinagar. When the public opposed this move, the businessman, Nataraj, allegedly threatened them with dire consequences. He has shown similar scant respect to an official directive asking him to clear encroachment. The public have now filed a complaint in the local police station in this regard. (Prajavani, Friday, 9 Jan)

Education

Bangalore University to split

A committee has been formed to study the possibility of splitting Bangalore University.The government has asked for the report to be submitted in six months, after which some of the colleges under Bangalore University can be transferred to ‘newly formed’ Tumkur University. An earlier attempt on similar lines had failed as Kolar district had opposed the move to include it under Tumkur University. Bangalore University has more than 700 colleges at present, and managing them has become difficult for BU. (Kannada Prabha, Sunday, 11 Jan)

Environment

BWSSB to de-silt Hesaraghatta reservoir

Hesaraghatta reservoir is one of the major sources of water supply to Bangalore. However excessive silt has reduced its storage capacity drastically. The demand for its de-silting has been long pending. BWSSB has now invited short term tenders to de-silt the reservoir. It is estimated that there is 25 feet of silt on the tank bed. The total height of the reservoir is 71 feet. BWSSB is also planning to sell loads of silt to interested people. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, 13 Jan)

Government

Traffic jam hits CM too

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had a taste of Bangalore’s famous traffic jams. The occasion was the CM’s weekly inspection of developmental works underway in Bangalore. Yedyurappa earlier announced that he would inspect various works every Sunday and take stock of the situation. His first inspection was affected by traffic snarls. He preferred to ‘inspect’ many works sitting in his vehicle as traffic was affected by his visit. The situation in Sheshadripuram and Sujata circle near Majestic area went out of control. Though the CM had earlier promised that his movement would not affect traffic, the fleet of vehicles that followed him had no such concerns. (Kannada Prabha, Monday, 12 Jan)

Judiciary questions government’s decision to release prisoners

The government’s decision to release prisoners on the eve of this Republic day has been questioned by the judiciary.Two justices of the Karnataka High Court have asked for an explanation from the principal secretary of judicial department. The latter however expressed his unawareness about the release. Existing laws bar the government from taking unilateral decisions regarding releasing prisoners, and has to consult the High Court before finalising the names of prisoners. With the court objecting to the move, the government has decided not to release any prisoners. (Vijaya Karnataka, Thursday, 15 Jan)

Bidari assures radical changes in police setup

Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari has proposed for two inspectors to be deployed at each police station. He was talking at a function organised by the Jayanagar Residents Association. He said that the additional inspector could deal with administration and provide information sought by various agencies, and eight sub inspectors could assist the two inspectors. Bidari said that city’s police setup will undergo radical changes by the end of March this year. (Kannada Prabha, Wednesday, 14 Jan)

Truck strike affects public

The strike by the lorry association,which is adversely affecting the common man now, may continue for a few more days. Rates of vegetables have skyrocketed in Bangalore as they are in short supply. At least, that is what traders will have us believe. Though the effect is not so severe, small traders have increased prices arbitrarily, taking advantage of the situation. The Bangalore Vegetable and Fruits Wholesale Traders Association too has said that supply is not affected due to strike. (Prajavani, Saturday, 10 Jan)

SAS notification has 700 pages

The 700-page notification on the new SAS (Self Assessment System) on taxes has irked the public. The manual has no brief and simple calcuation of taxes, and the common man is unable to digest this huge notification. However this is apparently the only way to ‘understand’ the new tax structure. Bangalore has 20,000 roads, 12 lakhs properties and 80 lakh population. It’s a pity that there is no simple explanation on the taxes they have to pay. The government, though, had invited public opinion on the new SAS before its implementation. (Kannada Prabha, Friday, 9 Jan)

No housing for Police Housing Corporation

The Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation has constructed more than 400 buildings so far including that of city police commissioner’s office. It has many firsts to its credit. The corporation is famous for it environmental friendly initiatives also. However KSPHC is yet to have its own building. At present it is working from a rented premises on Richmond road. Though the proposal was submitted to the government four years ago, a decision is yet to be taken on that. KSPHC has submitted a proposal to construct a multi-utility building near Queens Circle where an office as well as a helipad can be built. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, 11 Jan)

Health

V
ani Vilas Hospital gets facelift

Vani Vilas hospital near KR Market has got a facelift now. It has gone hi-tech thanks to measures taken by government. Its administrative board has decided to upgrade and showcase the hospital as a model for other government hospitals. Records are being computerised, security upgraded and entry is being restricted to a single door and metal detector installed. Information regarding admitted patients is made available online within a short period. To avoid cases of kidnapping of new born babies, the hospital has decided to tie a band on the hand of mother which bears all details about the patient. (Prajavani, Tuesday, 13 Jan)

Infrastructure

Metro Rail not on track

It is exactly 20 months ago since work on Bangalore Metro Rail started in Bangalore, but it is behind schedule everywhere. Except for some ‘visible’ developments on MG Road, progress in Halasur, CMH road and Old Madras road is not at all satisfactory. These areas come under the East-West corridor, where Metro Rail should start running by March-April, 2010. The big question is, will it? (Prajavani, Friday, 9 Jan)

Buses to other states from outskirts of Bangalore

To ease the pressure on the bus stand in Majestic, KSRTC has decided to start buses to other states from the outskirts of Bangalore. Already buses to certain cities of Andhra Pradesh have started plying from Naidu Layout in Padmanabhanagar. Similarly Rajajinagar, Dasarahalli and other places too will have bus stops where buses to Kerala and Tamilnadu will start. Some private buses are already following this system. The government’s decision is seen as a move to counteract private operators. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, 15 Jan)

New layout in HBR layout

BDA Commissioner Siddaiah has said that a new, well equipped layout will come up in 57 acres of land in HBR (Hennur- Banasawadi Road) layout. This land was earlier earmarked for the Bangalore Animal Feed Company (BAFCO), which was returned to the government by the organisation. Thus BDA has decided to convert this into a layout with playing ground, garden etc, said Siddiah. He was speaking after inspecting various BDA works in the city. (Prajavani, Friday, 9 Jan)

Toy train stopped chugging in Bal Bhavan

The familiar chug-chugging sound in Bal Bhavan has not been heard for over a month now. The Toy Train, which attracted hundreds of children every day to Bal Bhavan has stopped plying, and so has the boating. Though a notice claims that train is stopped due to track repair work, employees say that police department is delaying the renewing of permission to run the train. While children are returning disheartened from Bal Bhavan, the place is now the new destination for couples to cosy-up. (Kannada Prabha, Monday, 12 Jan)

Four for the road, at Ambedkar Road

While many bus stops are crying for bus shelters, Ambedkar Road near Queens Circle has four bus shelters within 100 feet distance, and on same side. BMTC has built two new shelters along with two old shelters by BBMP. All the four shelters are eagerly awaiting passengers. At an estimate, the total number of passengers who use these shelters do not cross 100! BMTC and BBMP have shown great generosity in constructing shelters which are not neccessary at all. (Kannada Prabha, Tuesday, 13 Jan)

Elevated highway near Electronic City to be ready by April

There is a good news for those who struggle to travel on Hosur road. If everything goes well, the elevated highway under construction on this busy road will be ready to use by April this year. The 9 km long highway will connect Silk Board junction and Electronic city. Construction of pillars has been completed and road works have started. Once completed, this modern highway with e-toll, emergency call box, cctv, reverseable lane etc., is expected to provide a new experience to motorists. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, 9 Jan)

Society

City NGO serves flood affected in Bihar

Do you remember the worst ever flood in recent history? River Kosi recently made life miserable for thousands of people in Bihar. City based Jan Sahayog Foundation was one the many NGOs that rushed to their help. Its members worked for more than 15 days in Bihar to provide relief for the flood affected. The foundation, which has its office in Mattikere, has 1000 members who include doctors, MNC employees and students. For details contact Navin 9964030289 (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, 12 Jan)

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