Week’s news in brief: Jan 30 – Feb 5

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Crime

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Tyre thieves strike Bangalore again

They have returned to haunt vehicle owners in Bangalore. Tyre thieves were active once upon a time, stealing tyres of parked vehicles and make money out of it. The demand for used tyres dropped for while, and these theives looked for other spare parts to steal. Now with used tyres getting a get good price in market, vehicles have started losing their wheels again. Many such incidents have surfaced in Bangalore, and the police have urged owners to take care of their vehicles. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Tuesday, 2 Feb )

Education

Schools gear up to tackle terrorism

The Intelligence Bureau has indicated that militants may target schools next. Some schools in Bangalore have taken measures to tackle the threat. Sophia school, for example, has taken a decision not allow people without ID cards inside its premises. Parents and auto drivers who accompany students to drop and pick them up will be provided with identity cards by the school. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, 1 Feb )

Government

Election Commission bars 5000 politicians from competing in elections

The state Election Commission has barred 4,945 politicians from standing for any kind of elections for next six years. The banned candidates had competed in the Zilla and Talluk Panchayat elections but had not filed accounts with the Election Commission. The Panchayati Raj Act makes it mandatory for every candidate to submit details of expenditure within a month after elections. ( Prajavani , Friday, 30 Jan )

BBMP not yet ready to collect tax

Minister R Ashok announced in the Belgaum assembly session that people could pay taxes from 1st February. But if you go to BBMP offices to pay taxes, you will be asked to wait for a few more days- there are no signs of preperation to collect taxes in any of the BBMP offices. The prospectus of rules and regulations is yet to be prepared. Bangalore residents may have to wait for few more days to pay property taxes. ( Prajavani , Saturday, 31 Jan )

Computer illiteracy may cost dear for govt employees

Close on the heels of government’s decision to make computer literacy mandatory for every employee, one more threat looms large on their horizon. If they do not pass in the computer-literacy test, they may be denied promotion. A new rule makes it mandatory for everybody to pass the examination within a year. A gazette notification is already issued to this regard. If employees do not pass in three years, annual incentives too will be denied to them. ( Prajavani , Monday, 1 Feb )

Bangalore a haven for corrupt MLAs

The arrest of the MLA from KGF in connection with a corruption case has highlighted the working style of MLAs in the city. Bangalore is fast developing since the past decade and huge projects are coming up everywhere. These projects are looked upon by MLAs as geese that lay golden eggs. None of the projects are completed within the scheduled period resulting in escalation of costs, but neither ministers nor MLAs take action against contractors. The public feel that when they complain, they make a show of visiting the site and promise to take ‘stern’ action against contractors and errant officials, which never comes to pass. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, 1 Feb )

Information collection drive by police in cold storage

When Bangalore came under terrrorist attacks, police announced that they would collect information on people who live in rented houses. Commissioner Bidari even promised to put a mechanism in place to carry out this operation. Lodges too were asked to furnish details of their occupants, with the police promising to provide them forms to furnish details. However nothing has come into effect so far. Shankar Bidari says that the proposal is lying with the government, and the police seem to have lost interest. ( Prajavani , Monday, 1 Feb )

Lukewarm response to auction of government land

Government has set a target of collecting Rs 3000 crores by way of auctioning government land in Bangalore. Encroached government lands were identified and last year this exercise fetched Rs 614 crores. This year’s target is Rs 3000 crores. However bidders seem to be reluctant to participate in the auction. So far only Rs 148 crores worth of land has been auctioned. The slump in real estate business too is responsible for this. ( Prajavani , Tuesday, 2 Feb )

Health

Educational institutions ban junk food

Here is bad news for junk food lovers. Many of the educational institutions in Bangalore have banned the sale of junk food on their premises. Recently Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss called for banning junk food in college and school canteens in view of their negative impact on health. City schools and colleges have responded positively to his suggestion. St Joseph’s Commerce College, Mount Cormel College, Baldwin Women Methodist College are among them. Vijaya Karnataka ` Friday, 30 Jan

Govt super speciality hospital to come up soon

A government super-speciality hospital will come up in the premises of Victoria Hospital soon. The hospital, nursing college and hostel will be constructed under the Union Government’s Prime Minister’s Health Care Scheme at the cost of Rs 40 crores. Construction is scheduled to be complete within one year. The hospital will house the branches of neurology, neuro surgery, plastic surgery, cordiology, pediatric surgery and surgical gastro entrology. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, 1 Feb )

God bless the food we eat…

Bangaloreans are used to eating out, but not many bother about quality-control measures taken by the eateries. Nobody seems to care about food contaminants used, like non-food grade colours, sedatives and unpotable water. But if the people wish to complain about it, they have to contend with only one center in BBMP to test food for its contamination, and just 12 food inspectors. Moreover, its officials are always busy with ‘meetings’. Still, there is a toll free number 1800 4259339 and a hotline 155313 to register complaints. Now, don’t ask us if that’s any help. ( Prajavani , Tuesday, 2 Feb )

Infrastructure

JP Nagar and Kadirenahalli junction underpasses on slow mode

The Kadirenahalli junction and JP Nagar underpasses should be completed by March, 2009. However if one goes by the progress made so far there is likelihood of delay. Works have already thrown traffic out of gear here. The JP Nagar underpass is 466 meter long and has four paths, and BWSSB is yet to shift its pipelines. The fate of Kadirenahalli junction is no different. Works are delayed as police have denied permission to blast rocks using dynamites. ( Prajavani , Saturday, 31 Jan )

Eight skywalks for city

BBMP has decided to construct eight skywalks with escalators in the city. BBMP has identified 56 places for modern skywalks. Works on eight places will take off soon. Forum mall junction and Marathahalli junction are two of them. They will constructed on BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) system, under which scheme the construction companies will maintain them for ten years before transferring them to BBMP. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, 31 Jan )

Cox Town market cries for help

BBMP demolished market buildings in Cox Town four years ago, promising merchants that new shops would be built soon. After four years and no action, traders are forced to come to the streets. Most of them have resorted to push carts to continue business. This has resulted in blockage of streets connected to the market. Traffic police add to the traders’ woes by harassing them for fines for trading on streets. Traders are now demanding BBMP to construct new buildings soon. Prajavani , Sunday, 1 Feb )

Mono project likely to be cleared

The conflict between Metro and Mono Rail projects seems to have come to a logical end. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) had objected to Mono Rail as some of their routes clashed. Now, the consortium in charge of executing the Mono Rail project has agreed to make changes in its routes. BBMP, the implementing agency, has invited for objections from the public. Tender process may take off from June this year. ( Kannada Prabha , Monday, 1 Feb )

Setback for Bidadi township project

The much hyped Rs 6000 crore township project near Bidadi is in trouble. Problem in land acquistion is the reason, and DLF, an executive company claims that government should have handed over 2,200 acres around Bidadi for the project by now. BMRDA had invited global tender for this township which will have area of 9000 acres, in 2007. ( Kannada Prabha , Tuesday, 2 Feb )

10 new water storage tanks for Bangalore

BWSSB has mooted ten new water storage tanks to supply Cauvery water to the new areas of BBMP. These tanks will be at ground level and each will have a capacity of nine million litres of water storage. The city will get an additional 500 million litres of Cauvery water every day from 2011-12, and there are no tanks at present to store this additional supply. Bangalore already has 40 ground level storage tanks. The newly added places will get Cauvery water from 2011. Sites for the new tanks have already been identified. ( Prajavani , Thursday, 2 Feb )

People

State has erudite cops

Cheering news for literature lovers. Two writers are occupying coveted posts in the police department. State Director General of Police Dr Ajaykumar Singh and Chief of COD (Corps of Detectives) Dr DV Guruprasad got doctorates in their thesis on literature. Ajaykumar Singh got a PhD for his thesis on Comparative Study of Vachanas of Allama Prabhu and Kabeer. He also brought out two collections of poems in Hindi. Guruprasad got a doctorate for his thesis on letter literature in Indian English literature. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, 31 Jan )


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