Week’s news in brief: Feb 6-12

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Grapes festival at HOPCOMS

The festival of grapes organised by Horticulture Producers Cooperative Marketing Association (HOPCOMS) is attracting large crowds. ‘Drakshimela 2009’ took off on 4th February and will continue till the end of April. It provides an opportunity for tasting a variety of grapes and their processed goods.The Mela is on in 263 HOPCOMS outlets out of which 239 are in Bangalore. HOPCOMS has the target of selling 750 tonnes of grapes during the festival. A discount of 10 per cent on MRP too has been announced. ( Prajavani , Saturday, 7 Feb )

Volvo bus cost BMTC dear

BMTC has succeeded in earning a profit from its various unique schemes. However its recent leaning towards Volvo buses seems to have boomranged, as it is becoming a losing proposition. Thanks to traffic conjestion and poor response from people because of its costly fares, Volvo buses cause BMTC a loss of Rs 1.5 crores every month on an average. Most of the buses run with an average of just 15 passengers for a capacity of 45 passengers. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, 9 Feb )

IT industry opts for buses over cabs

Software and BPO companies in Bangalore are looking for opportunities to cut costs in the wake of recession. Cabs are losing and private buses are gaining from this strategy, as most of the companies are opting for buses instead of cabs. Sources say there has been a 20 per cent cut in cab useage. The parking problem in electronic city has been solved, thanks to the cabs which no longer stand there. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, 9 Feb )

Crime

Filter sand degrades quality of construction

Construction accidents have become very common in Bangalore, thanks to the use of filter sand instead of normal sand. Scarcity of sand has pushed builders to opt for this alternative, even though the former is in no way as effective as the latter. It is ultimately the hapless residents who pay the price for this adultration in construction. Good news is that Lokayukta officials recently busted a network of filter sand production near Devanahalli. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Tuesday, 10 Feb )

Education

Corporation schools face shortage of teachers

More than half of the teachers posts in schools and colleges run by BBMP have remained vacant since many years. 415 out of 912 posts are yet to be filled. BBMP requested the government to fill these posts on many occassions, in vain. These schools and colleges mainly have students from weakers section of society. Though they are getting all other facilities, quality education remains a mirage. Part time teachers are appointed, but they allegedly show little interest in teaching. ( Prajavani , Sunday, 8 Feb )

Self defence classes for students

The Vivekananda Education Trust in Jayanagar 4th block has started teaching technics of self defence to its students. Increasing crime in Jayanagar since two months prompte the trust to take up this initiative. Students are taught to deal with unexpected danger to their lives. Pamplets are distributed to boost confidence. Principal Jessi Joseph Fernandis hopes that this will help students in their future also. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Thursday, 12 Feb )

Government

Police in non-khaki too get free bus rides

The state government has finally corrected its order to BMTC to allow everybody in different wings of police department to travel freely. It may be recalled here that government’s earlier order allowed only men in khaki to travel. BMTC did not entertain police working in other wings like dog squad, bomb diffusal squad, intelligence bureau etc as they did not wear khaki. The new order has put this right. ( Prajavani , Saturday, 7 Feb )

Doctor at Narcoanalysis Center in controversy

The Narcoanalysis center in Bangalore gained national fame in recent times as criminals and suspected criminals revealed many secrets during the tests. Its assistant director Dr Malini too got her share of fame. Now the good doctor herself is in a soup, with allegations of tampering with records to get a job in this center being heaped on her. Former DGP R Srikumar recommended her suspension as initial inquiries revealed the truth behind the allegations. DR. Malini was working with a private hospital too. The DGP’s recommendation is lying with the home ministry since two months, and Dr. Malini has denied all these allegations. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, 7 Feb )

BBMP says no to Bangalore One centers

The government has set up a chain of Bangalore One centers as a part of its e-administration. However it looks like BBMP has no faith in them, and has clearly instructed Bangalore residents to pay property taxes through its help centers. Their argument is it takes lot of time to get information on tax payers if it is paid in Bangalore One centers or in banks. Bangalore wants the tag of IT city, but the BBMP seems to say ‘no, thank you’! ( Prajavani , Monday, 9 Feb )

Dr Raj statue in BBMP premises awaits installation

It is almost three years since matinee idol of Kannada film industry Dr Rajkumar passed away. BBMP announced that a statue of Dr Raj will be installed in its premises along with a glass house. The glass house was inagurated last year, but the place where the statue is to be placed has not been finalised, thanks to difference between politicians and BBMP officials. A one-and-half tonne statue is under construction, which will be ready for installation in three months. ( Kannada Prabha , Tuesday, 10 Feb )

BBMP sleeps even after lease ends

Prime land in Sheshadripuram was leased out to a school by BBMP in 1978, for a period of five years. Ken school requested an extension which was rejected by the state government in1983.Even after 26 years of the contract’s termination, BBMP has not taken any action to take its land back. Moreover, all the documents regarding the land are missing in BBMP. Though the government clearly instructed BBMP to take back its land in 1999 itself, it took two more years to just to issue notice to school to vacate premises. The school has not yet replied to the notice, and continues to operate on the premises. ( Prajavani , Wednesday, 11 Feb )

Heritage

Ancient temple in danger

The historic Gavi Gangadhareshwara cave temple in Gavipura Guttahalli in Hanumanthanagar, Bangalore South is in danger. The Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (VYAS) which has its office in the temple’s neighbourhood started breaking rocks in its cellar. The work resulted in some cracks in Gavi Gangadhareshwara cave too. Officials of VYAS did not heed the requests of temple priests. Based on the complaint of priests the endowment department officials directed VYAS to stop work till the next order. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, 7 Feb )

Infrastructure

BBMP takes over underpass and flyovers from BDA

Many of the flyovers and underpasses built by Bangalore Development Authority will be handed over to BBMP soon. Extension of BBMP is reason behind this move. among them are grade seperators in Jayadeva and Dairy circle, flyovers in Airport road, Anandrao circle
and Benniganahalli lake. BBMP will maintain these flyovers and in turn generate income from advertisements. However BDA has decided to handover Hebbal flyover to National Highway Authority. More flyovers and underpasses will be handed over to BBMP in next phase. (Kannada Prabha, Friday, 06 Feb)

Development galore for new assembly segments

12 newly added assembly segments in Bangalore will have many developmental projects soon. Apart from developmental works by government and BBMP, BDA too has announced many projects. According to sources, BDA will spend about Rs 623 crores to provide infrastructure facilities in these areas. Works are likely to begin soon. Construction of new roads, schools and ward offices, among others, come under these projects. Kannada Prabha , Sunday, 8 Feb )

Toll fee proposed for BDA’s peripheral road

Commuters may have to shell out a toll fee if they want to use the new 116 km peripheral road of BDA. The road is under construction on BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) system. Unlike other roads which have a toll fee for 30 years, BDA’s road collects toll for 20 years. The fee is one fourth of what NICE is charging commuters. The company which will undertake the constructing will get the toll fee collection. The new peripheral road will connect all major roads of Bangalore like Old Madras Road, Hosur Road, Kanakapura Road and Bannerughatta Road. ( Kannada Prabha , Monday, 9 Feb )

Jakkur-Yelahanka road neglected

Many of the roads of Bangalore have been repaired, and new roads laid in most of the areas. However the important Jakkur- Yelahanka road that connects these two places, is neglected. This road has not been tarred since many years. Boulders on the road act as detrrents to two wheelers and autos. Artificial lakes grace the road during the rainy season. BMTC buses from Shivajinagar use this road to reach Yelahanka. MLA SR Vishwanath however assures that repair work will start within a week. ( Prajavani , Tuesday, 10 Feb )

City rail projects await sanction

With the central railway budget round the corner, there are many proposals of new rail links from Bangalore that are yet to take off. 10 intercity trains that connect Bangalore with other 10 cities, five trains to connect Bangalore and Mumbai and 10 other new trains have been proposed since many years. It is felt that the railway ministry always shows a step motherly attitude while sanctioning new trains to Bangalore, because of which the city has lost many projects to Chennai, Hyderabad and Trivandrum. ( Kannada Prabha , Wednesday, 11 Feb )

Green transportation inside Vidhana Soudha premises

Vidhana Soudha will soon have small battery operated vehicles running around in its premises. The transporation department in collaboration with Administrative Reforms department has tied up with the company Reva to ply five battery operated vehicles to ferry ministers and senior officers. ( Kannada Prabha , Thursday, 12 Feb )


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