Week’s news in brief: 23-29 Jan

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Govt schools up for adoption

The education department has come up with a plan where alumni can help the government schools in which they studied. They can even adopt the schools and solve their problems. The Department has launched a website where regular updates about their schools are provided. For details log on to www.schooleducation.kar.nic.in/SchoolAdoption.htm ( Kannada Prabha , Sunday, 25 Jan )

State govt acts fishy

The Fisheries department is thinking of promoting acquarium fish culture. Decorative fish meant for acquarium will be grown in various places including Bangalore. Rural women are encouraged to cultivate fish suitable to be kept in aquarium in residences. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Friday, 23 Jan )

No free bus ride for police in safari suits

The government allows the police to travel freely on BMTC buses anywhere in Bangalore. It paid a whopping Rs 35,45,901 last year to BMTC for this facility. However not every policeman enjoys this facility, thanks to a minor ‘technical’ requirement- BMTC allows only those police who are in khaki uniform to travel freely in its buses, as per government rules. However personnel of wings like the Bomb Diffusion Squad, VIP Security, Dog Squad etc do not wear khakhi, but wear safari suits. They are asked to pay for travelling in BMTC buses. Will somebody rewrite the rules to end this discrimination, please? ( Prajavani , Tuesday, 27, Jan )

Bangalore to have two corporations?

The government is seriously considering having two city corporations in Bangalore. By increasing the number of wards to 225, the government is mulling on the possibility of two corporations to ease the administration process. Sources clarified that the final decision will be taken after consulting public and experts. The BBMP has already completed two years without an elected body. Though the court had directed the government to hold elections before March 10, it will be difficult to follow the order at this juncture. The government is looking for excuses, and the proposal of two corporations may come in handy right now. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Thursday, 29 Jan )

City’s police control room a ‘model’ one

The police control room in Bangalore is known for its efficiency. City’s top cop Shankar Bidari feels it can be a model even for the Indian military! Recently top officers of Indian military intelligency bureau, CISF (Central Industry Security Officers), RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) visited the commissioner’s office to discuss the possibility of terrorists attack on Bangalore. When journalists, who were aware of the intention of the visit, asked Bidari to comment on it, he claimed that the officers were here to look at this ‘model’ police control room as they wanted to set it up themselves! ( Kannada Prabha , Monday, 26 Jan )

Water mafia holds citizens to ransom

Byatarayanapura, an erstwhile city municipal corporation center, has a brisk and unscrupulous  business going in water supply. Residents pay for water, not to the government but to private contractors who have taken charge of the entire water supply operations in the area. They control water supply and cut connection if people do not pay up. And the ‘hafta’ is a whopping Rs 45 per day! The situation has not changed even after BWSSB has taken charge of water supply here. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, 24 Jan )

Labourers unaware of welfare board

The state government has a board for the welfare of construction labourers, but few labourers are aware of it. The Board has a number of welfare schemes, besides insurance facilities. Labourers can register their names with the board and avail the same. The Board has collected Rs 146 crores this year (collected as cess through builders), out of which only Rs 13 lakhs have been disbursed as compensation. With the number of accidents on construction sites on the rise, the Board can prove to be a boon to labourers, if only they can be made aware of its existence. Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, 24 Jan )

Disciplinary action against seven officers

Disciplinary action has been recommended against seven officers of the revenue department in connection with the sale of agricultural land to a non-farmer. Rajasthan based Mangilal, who is not a farmer, bought 30.22 acres of agricultural land in Devanahalli talluk, in violation of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act. Officers who transferred the khata to Mangilal’s name are also guilty of violation. The Tahsildar has recommended action against these officers. ( Prajavani , Friday, 23 Jan )

Infrastructure

Mono Rail to be back on track?

The Mono Rail project in Bangalore has derailed several times. First, the government okayed the Metro rail project, keeping aside the Mono rail; now it is again showing some interest towards the latter as an alternative to Metro in some places where it will not run. The Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDE) wants to have the Mono Rail on Swiss challenge contract basis. The government has already identified four corridors for the same, spreading across 60 kms. A Malaysian company has shown interest in the project and is expected to submit its proposal by the end of this month. ( Prajavani , Friday, 23 Jan )

Turf club seeks time to shift horse shelters

With BBMP going ahead with the expansion of Sheshadri road, uncertainty hovers over the status of horse shelters in the turf club. BBMP has already asked the club to shift 140 such shelters immediately. Steward of the turf club Srinivasgouda has requested BBMP to give some more time to shift shelters, as doing it on a single day would be a herculian task. In a letter to BBMP he has said that BBMP did not specify the day on which the shelters would be demolished for road widening. ( Prajavani , Monday, 26 Jan )

Wanted- a flyover across Okalipuram junction

The platform junction near Okalipuram is always packed with vehicles. Apart from regular traffic, vehicles that go to NH 4 also pass this junction. Traffic jams are common here until midnight. A small flyover from Vatal Nagaraj Road to Majestic may ease traffic to greater extent. The city traffic police has sent a proposal to the Railways to widen two railway under bridges on this junction, but there has been no action yet. ( Prajavani , Sunday, 25 Jan )

Commuters find road dividers dangerous

The BBMP is constructing concrete dividers on various roads in Bangalore. These dividers will be permanent, and motorists, especially two-wheelers, claim that they could be dangerous, as no warnings are put up. Unlike metal grill dividers, these cover an area of 2- 3 feet of the road. However BBMP maintains that these are built scientifically and they are not dangerous like grill dividers. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, 23 Jan)

Underground drainage for BBMP’s new areas

BBMP has finally taken up the task of providing underground drainage facility in its newly added areas.The project is delayed by about a decade, as erstwhile city munciple corporations did nothing to implement it. Now World Bank and NURM (National Urban Rejuvenation Mission) have provided financial assistance for the project. Work is expected to start from July 2009, and will be completed in two years. ( Prajavani , Saturday, 24 Jan )

Vijayanagar subway under construction for 17 months

BBMP officials appear to have no standrad procedure for constructing subways. With the technology
of phataphat subways being introduced, every subway in Bangalore has its own story to tell. Some are completed in hours, some appear to be taking years. BBMP completed the subway in Nrupatunga road in just 32 hours. However construction of a similar subway in Vijayanagar is going on since 17 months. While the 50 feet long Nrupatunga road subway cost just Rs 45 lakhs, Vijayanagara subway has cost Rs 70.58 lakhs so far. BBMP claims that the delay is because of Metro works, which nobody believes. ( Prajavani , Thursday, 29 Jan )

GPS autos for city soon?

If all goes well, the first ever autorikshwas fitted with a GPS (Geo Positioning System) units will be on the city roads soon.The Sowharda Cooperative Bank will introduce such autos, to be christened ‘green auto’, ‘call auto’ or ‘easy auto’. These autos will be environment friendly, and can be hired by a phone call. The bank has submitted the details to the government and waiting for its approval. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Tuesday, 27, Jan )

Business

VIP guest for small restaurant

Brahmin’s Coffee Bar, a tiny restaurant in Shankarapuram in Chamarajpet had an unexpected guest when Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa decided to visit this hotel for breakfast. He went to coffee bar along with MLC Ganesh Karnik and ordered for idli, vada and coffee, to the delight of its owner Radhakrishna Adiga. Incidentally hotel was celeberating its 45th anniversary on that day. Adiga said that Yedyurappa had been a regular customer at the hotel earlier. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Wednesday, 28 Jan )

Cyber cafes don’t abide by law

Though the law clearly asks cyber cafes to keep a track of browsers, it is hardly followed. One can walk into any browsing center in Bangalore without an identity card. The police express helplessness in the matter as most of the cyber cafes are not registered. But they promise to take action against errant owners in case of a complaint by the public. So far no case has been registered against anybody. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Thursday, 29 Jan )

Health

Free medical facilities for orphans

The Humanitarian Network provides free ambulance and medical facility to the poor and the orphaned. The Network runs a community center on Bannerughatta road. It also has a network with government hospitals where orphans will be admitted. For details contact; 25228000/ 97395 44444. (Prajavani , Thursday, 29 Jan)

Crime

Jails safe for criminal activities?

Parappana Agrahara central jail in Bangalore is turning into a safe place to hatch plans for criminal activities. The CCB (City Crime Bureau) police unearthed a chain of crimes here recently. Nagendra Reddy, an inmate of the jail apparently directs his team to carry out such activities, all from inside the jail, using a cellphone. The central jail has jammers to stop such activities, but obviously ineffective. ( Kannada Prabha , Saturday, 24 Jan )


About Amrith Jogi 15 Articles
Amrith Jogi is a freelance writer and runs a PR Consultancy, SARA Media Net.