Bengaluru news in brief: 4th – 10th March

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Education

Namma Bengaluru mispresented in ICSC text book

How is Bangalore- it is a city of traffic jams; how does Kannada sound- it sounds like mix of Tamil and Telugu… You will find such startling revealations about Namma Bengaluru in the 4th standard Geography ICSC text book. There are many such derogatory comments about Kannada, Bangalore and Karnataka in this text book called ‘New starting Geography’. The book is published by Oxford Publications, New Delhi. (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, Mar 9)

9 quota seats in MBBS go ‘missing’

Nine MBBS seats reserved for talented poor students are found unaccounted for in the final tally. These seats were reserved between 2004- 2009 for students across India. It is suspected that crores of rupees could have changed hands for diverting reserved seats to others. The state examination authority is the sole agency responsible for the distribution of MBBS seats. No private agencies have a say in this. However, CEO SG Hegde expressed his ignorance over the scam. (Vijaya Karnataka, Wednesday, Mar 4)

Environment

Old woman saves three trees

Cheering news in these days of indiscriminate tree felling due to road widening in Bangalore. 70 year old Almitra Patel has successfully saved three huge trees from getting axed near Kottanuru. She had to spend Rs 27,000 to save these trees. The road to be widened was Bagaluru road, to connect BIAL through Kottanuru. These trees that were to be chopped were near Almitra’s farm house, a century old peepal tree being one among them. Officials and contractors had to finally agree to Almitra’s demand. (Vijaya Karnataka, Thursday, Mar 5)

Lalbag to get modern and healthy walking strips

Good news for joggers in Lal Bagh. The park will soon have one more walkers’ path. An old walking strip will be modernised at a cost of Rs 25 lakhs. This will create a systematic path for walkers. Sign boards too will be installed in different locations so that walkers will know how far they have walked. There is also a proposal to have an accupuncture path where walkers can walk barefoot and get health benefits. (Kannada Prabha, Friday, Mar 6)

Hotter weather coming up

Weather experts warn that there will be an immense increase in temperature in Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka from April. The sun goes northward after 23rd March resulting in increasing temperature on earth. Bangaloreans have already started feeling the heat of summer, with temparature rising by 5-6 degree Celsius day by day. Weathermen say this will shoot up remarkably after March. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, Mar 5)

Government

BBMP’s tax collection not upto mark

The tax accumulation drive by BBMP has failed to meet expectations, with citizens’ lukewarm response to pay property tax under the revised SAS. The government’s delayed decision on SAS resulted in delayed tax payment process too. BBMP expects to collect Rs 650 crores by the end of March this year. However, if one goes by the trend so far, even Rs 200 crores seems remote. Lack of coordination and lack of information in contact centers is also the reason for poor response. (Udayavani, Monday, Mar 9)

BBMP receives dud cheques

About 450 cheques amounting to Rs. 20 lakhs which were given towards self assessment system (SAS) of tax to BBMP have bounced. BBMP has decided to give offenders one more chance to pay the amount. If those who issued these cheques will not pay the amount, criminal action will be initiated, BBMP sources said. Owners are given 15 days time to clear dues. A special cell too has been constituted to look into these cases. (Kannada Prabha, Friday, Mar 6)

Training center for the handicapped shuts down

The only job training center for the physically and mentally challenged in Karnataka has shut shop. The center had been operating in a private building on Hosur road since 28 years until recently . However the owner of the building has gone to court asking for the premises to be vacated. Meanwhile he forcefully drove away all the inmates and machines worth crores of rupees. The machines have been dumped in an industrial training center near Kidwai Hospital. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, Mar 5)

Did transfers affect law and order in Bangalore?

Could the recent series of transfers of police officres be a reason for the rise in crimes in Bangalore? According to some, yes. Many officers had not even settled down in their stations for a week before they were tranferred again. They had no way of beginning investigation into crimes or criminals. This probably affected their morale, resulting in increasing crimes. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, Mar 6)

Police Commissioner’s office in poor state

Cleanliness is the last thing one can expect in a government office. The city Police Commissioner’s office is no exception. There is no rest room for visitors, employees work in a shed that is meant for parking, and the entire office itself looks like a godown. Stench from the toilets adds to its woes. Construction of the new building is in progress and is expected to be complete by 2011. Till then visitors and employees should put up with this mess. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, Mar 8)

Advocates’ Council launches e-registration

Adovates Council in Bangalore has launched e-registration system for young lawyers. This system lets young lawyers register for advocates’ profession online. Rules make it mandatory for lawers in the state desirous of purusing the profession to register their names with Advocates’ Council in Bangalore. This service is the first of its kind in India. The entire activities of the Advocates’ Council has now been computerised. The e-registration will come into effect from April this year. (Kannada Prabha, Monday, Mar 9)

Citizens to elect mayor directly?

Bangaloreans will elect their mayor directly if this decision by the government is implemented without any hiccups. If implemented this will be for the first time in India where mayor of the city corporation will be elected directly. The state government has given the green signal for the BBMP mayor’s direct election, as per recommendation of the committee headed by Kasturirangan. The cabinet accepted this recommendation on 18th February 2009. As regards the proposal to having two mayors, the government has decided to have only one. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, Mar 10)

Bribe money awaits disposal

Apart from finding corrupt officials, Lokayukta has another challenge to deal with. The question of dealing with the money seized during raids is posing a problem. Take for example the seizure of Rs 80,000 from the Karnataka Health System Development Project (KHSDP) office. On a tip off, Lokayukta sleuths seized this amount from KHSDP office recently. However, nobody came forward to claim that money. Though it was proved that the amount was payed as bribe, Lokayukta failed to ascertain to whom it was paid and why. Thus, even an FIR cannot be filed, and the money now lies with the Lokayukta. (Prajavani, Saturday, Mar 7)

Infrastructure

RT Nagar BDA complex to get facelift

Prior to malls, BDA complexes in Bangalore were the shopping centers. The RT Nagar complex is one of the numerous complexes constructed by the BDA. This 20 years old complex is now on the verge of demolition as BDA wants to rennovate it. Traders have been asked to vacate the premises, putting more than 50 traders in a quandry. BDA officials however insist that they are committed to it as the building is in a dilapidated condition, and may collapse any time. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, Mar 10)

Loadshedding to continue

Summer is already here. Apart from rising temperatures, load sheddingis all set to add to our woes. Though the state is getting 200 MW power from Chattisgarh, the present load shedding will continue. The situation is predicted to become worse after April as the supply from Chattisgarh will end by March. Talks with the Gujarat government are on. All power generation units in Karnataka are intact, but lower production from hydro electricity units is the reason for worry. (Prajavani, Sunday, Mar 8)

Power cuts lead to water shortage

Unscheduled load shedding has an impact on water supply in Bangalore- BWSSB is finding it difficult to keep a vigil on the schedule of water supply. Thanks to the power cuts there is a shortage of about 870 million liters of water from filteration centers in Tataguni, Torekadanahalli and Harohalli. The newly added areas of BBMP have more problems. Most of these areas have borewells and powercuts hamper pumping water into the tanks. These areas are now getting water once in a week or ten days. (Udayavani, Sunday, Mar 8)

VMS to lessen traffic woes

Bangalore has one more first added to its traffic friendly services. In an effort to further smoothen traffic flow in the city, traffic police intend to put up Variable Message Sign boards (VMS) system in a few roads. VMS will provide real time information regarding traffic on different roads so that commuters can take timely decisions to avoid traffic congestion. Police have decided to install 20 such boards on BIA road, Old Madras road, Hebbal and Hosur roads. This is the first of its kind in India. Only cities in US, Singapore and Malaysia have this facility. (Prajavani, Thursday, Mar 5)

BMTC to construct 10 Traffic and Transportation Management Centers

BMTC will construct world class Traffic and Transportation Management Centers (TTMC) in ten different places in Bangalore. These centers will provide world class facility to commuters, with extensive parking, shopping malls and 34 allied facilities and services. TTMCs will come up in Koramangala, ITPL, Shanthinagar, Whitefield, Vijayanagar, Kengeri, Banashankari, Domlur, Yashwanthpur and Bannerughatta under the Central Government’s NURM project. The estimated cost is Rs 441 crores. Work is expected to be completed by 2010. (Udayavani, Thursday, Mar 5)

People

Ace novelist in distress

Novelist N. Narasimhaiah (84), who spawned a new era in Kannada detective novels during the 70s, is on his death bed. His detective character Purushottama is well known to avid readers. Narasimhaiah has penned more than 550 detective novels. He is now under treatment for health complications due to old age in a private hospital, and has to spend Rs 10,000 every day for the same. Donors may contact 93412 24957. (Vijaya Karnataka, Thursday, Mar 5)

MLA banks on lucky stars to get MP ticket

There is a story running around press circles in Bangalore. Congress MLA CP Yogishwar is selected as the BJP candidate for Bangalore Rural parliamentary constituency. How did Yogishwar manage it? Well, he did some home work. He knew that BJP leaders had faith in the predictions of well known astrologer KN Somayaji. Yogishwar contacted Somayaji and took his blessings, and approached BJP leaders with the news. The BJP, desparately in need of a powerful candidate in Bangalore rural constituency, agreed to give him the ticket. (Prajavani , Wednesday, Mar 4)

Society

Beggars, hawkers take over flyover

Officials claim that they have controlled beggars and hawkers at Majestic bus stand. However, this is not so in reality, as the public still wrestle through hawkers and beggars before reaching their destination. The flyover between BMTC and KSRTC bus stands is full of them. Beggars show their creativity to attract people, and hawkers threaten the public if they inquire the price and do not make a purchase. The flyover is encroached to the maximum extent by these people. (Vijaya Karnataka, Wednesday, Mar 4)

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