Bengaluru news in brief: Mar 11 – 17

Business

IIM-B grads no longer hot property

IIM Bangalore graduates were sure to get plum jobs in foreign countries until recently. But this year only 25 students have got jobs in foreign companies thanks to global recession, as against 75 last year. Many students were not keen on joining MNC banks. Compared to the 2008 batch, the salary levels are low this year. (Kannada Prabha, Wednesday, Mar 11)

Civic

Forcible inspection by gas agency agents

Residents of many parts of Bangalore are now hounded by agents of different gas companies. Agents of cooking gas companies like BP and HP have taken to visiting houses to check the status of gas stoves and pipes. They do not bother to request you for permission, and charge Rs 40 to 50 as inspection charges. Companies have not informed public about these inspection drives either. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, Mar 13)

Playground in Koramangala stirs up controversy

BBMP’s decision to build a cricket pitch in the playground in Koramangala 3rd Block has kicked up a controversy, with local residents opposing the plan. They allege that BBMP is trying to lease this out to private sports clubs which will deny others the use of the ground. Plus, the BBMP did not take them into confidence before taking the decision. Leaders like Rajiv Chandrashekhar, Ramalinga Reddy and others, too, are supporting the public cause. However, the commissioner of BBMP has denied these allegations. He clarified that the ground will not be given to any private parties. (Kannada Prabha, Friday, Mar 13)

Education

Schools increase admission fee

Many schools in Bangalore have made a habit of increasing the fee every academic year. This year, too, schools have increased the fee with no regard to global recession. There is an average increase of 25 per cent in admission and tuition fee, and more in CBSE and ICSE boards. The average increase in fee in international schools is 36 per cent. Parents in many schools did protest, but in vain. (Vijaya Karnataka, Thursday, Mar 12)

Election

Minorities deciding factor in Bangalore Central

The new parliamentary constituency Bangalore Central has eight assembly constituency segments. Congress has four MLAs and out of three BJP MLAs, two are ministers. This is fourth biggest constituency in the state. Minorities here are likely to play a deciding role in the coming election. Jaffer Sharief and Jameer Ahmed are the likely candidates for Congress and JDS respectively. BJP has not yet decided over the candidate. All parties indulge in caste based politics. (Kannada Prabha, Monday, Mar 16)

Kanakapura makes way for Bangalore rural constituency

The erstwhile Kanakapura parliamentary constituency was the biggest constituency in India, but not any more. It is renamed as Bangalore rural constituency and includes Rajarajeshwarinagar, south constituencies of Bangalore and Anekal, Magadi, Kanakapura, Ramanagar, Channapattana and Kunigal constituencies. Congress and BJP have three MLAs each here and JDS has two. Except during 1996 (when JDS won) and 1998 (BJP), Congress has won all the elections here. Bangalore rural constituency is likely to grab attention this time as former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy (JDS), Congress working president DK Shivkumar and former Congress MLA CP Yogeshwar may contest. (Kannada Prabha, Tuesday, Mar 17)

Government

Endowment minister nags temples for money

Endowment minister Krishnaiah Shetty likes to stay in the news. After gangajal for Shivrathri and laddus for Vaikunta Ekadashi, the minister’s order to temples who received the latter to cough up money toward laddus is making news. Krishnaiah Shetty earlier announced that the distribution of laddus would cost Rs 16 lakhs and temples would have to bear the cost. Without proper tender process, a private agency was entrusted to supply the laddus. As per notice by the endowment department, 20 temples in Bangalore paid the money which came to Rs 16.36 lakhs. Now after a few months, the minister has again asked them to pay up some more which many temples claim is unfair. The minister wants to collect Rs 8.25 lakhs this time. (Vijaya Karnataka, Saturday, Mar 14)

Bangalore forensic lab in news again

Bangalore’s forensic laboratory is again in the news. On 26th February, its Assistant Director Dr Malini was suspended for producing fake documents to get the job. However, neither Malini nor the Director of the laboratory seem to be aware of this, or pretending not to be. Malini had requested for three days of leave from 3rd to 5th March in a formal letter even after suspension. More interestingly, the Director of the laboratory, Dr Mohan, sanctioned the leave. (Vijaya Karnataka, Wednesday, Mar 11)

Major changes in Bangalore South constituency

BJP leader Ananthkumar has a major task if he wants to win from the Bangalore south parliamentary constituency for a record fifth time. Delimitation has resulted in major changes in the constituency. The caste equation too has changed. Malleshwaram, Rajajinagar, Gandhinagar, Binnipet and Chamarajapet legislative constituencies have now disappeared from Bangalore South constituency. Instead, Govindarajanagar, Vijayanagar, Padmanabhanagar, BTM layout and Bommanahalli constituencies have been added. Ananthkumar has been representing this constituency since 1996. (Kannada Prabha, Wednesday, Mar 11)

Minister preaches, doesn’t practise

Minister for Power KS Eshwarappa is busy expressing his helplessness in dealing with the present power crisis and is giving advice on saving power. However, little does he care about saving power at his own house. Recently, he organised a cultural evening by the artists from his home town Shimoga at his residence. Lights were on during daylight also. Upon enquiry, personnel at his residence said that lights were to be switched on by 5 PM every day. Too much to expect the minister to lead by example? (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, Mar 16)

Government cuts aid to BBMP

The government has cut its aid to BBMP by Rs 100 crores. It had earmarked Rs 300 crores in its last budget, and has reduced it to Rs 200 crores this year. BBMP is already struggling for resources with the poor response to the tax collection drive. With new areas added to it, BBMP now has more responsibility. With the cut, government has reiterated its faith in BDA rather than on BBMP as the former is getting more aid. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, Mar 15)

Courts demand prompt action by bureaucrats

The biggest problem the government faces as far as the judiciary is concerned, is the slow progress in filing information sought by courts. Courts have been hammering the government for not filing information on time. Now the judiciary department has decided to take this matter seriously, and will take stern disciplinary action against those officials who fail to submit information to courts on time. The Chief Secretary and Secretary to the judiciary department have already held talks with the Chief Justice of High Court. The government is expected to issue a circular to all departments in this regard soon. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, Mar 12)

Health

Research reveals lead in cosmetics

A research by a group of students of Maharani Women’s College in Bangalore has revealed that most of the brands of cosmetics contain the deadly component of lead in them. Use of these cosmetics may lead to allergies and loss of concentration. Students conducted the study over a period of one month. 32 brands of cosmetics like eyebrow pencils, lipstick, kajal, eyeliner et cetera were studied. They were sent to a national research centre in Kolkata. The report said that lipsticks contain more lead. (Prajavani, Wednesday, Mar 11)

Infrastructure

Load shedding to continue until monsoon

The committee headed by Minister for Power KS Eshwarappa has decided to continue with the present load shedding until monsoon. The committee has also decided to extend the power cut in rural areas by one more hour. With this, rural people will have access to electricity only for 11 hours a day. Gujarat has been supplying 100 MW electricity to the state since March 10. However, it is not sufficient to meet the demand. Minister Eshwarappa claims that finance is not the problem to purchase electricity, but nobody is willing to supply power. (Kannada Prabha, Wednesday, Mar 11)

BIA to be surrounded with ‘parks’

The state government is trying to boost business around the newly built Bangalore International Airport (BIA). It has decided to set up three parks viz., aerospace park, software park and hardware park. The land acquisition process of 3,000 acres has already started. 2000 acres will be earmarked for companies to set up offices. The Karnataka Industrial Development department has said that land will be taken over only after pacifying farmers. However, a paltry amount of Rs 60,000- Rs 70,000 has been earmarked for every acre. Despite recession, a number of companies have shown interest in setting up offices in these parks, the department claimed. (Udayavani, Thursday, Mar 12)

Bharatinagar continues to get polluted water

Contaminated water is nothing new for residents of Bharatinagar. Though BWSSB takes up measures to solve the problem now and then, clean water continues to be a mirage. People residing on Armstrong road, Makan compound and surrounding areas have again complained about the contaminated water flowing from their taps. Cases of water borne diseases have already surfaced in local hospitals. Last year the same problem resulted in the death of a baby. (Vijaya Karnataka, Wednesday, Mar 11)

Water woes return to city

Come summer, Bangaloreans feel the heat in its true sense. After load shedding, now it is the turn of water supply. BWSSB has decided to supply water only on alternate days and that, too, just for four hours, as against 8-10 hours at present. BWSSB blames BESCOM for this. Increase in temperature has also resulted in increasing use of water. Newly added parts of BBMP will get water once in 5 to 6 days. (Prajavani, Thursday, Mar 12)

Political parties not net savvy

Bangalore is known for its software industry. However, political parties do not seem to be bothered on using software for their development. Though the BJP and Congress have websites, they are not updated regularly. State Congress’ karnatakapcc.com just greets you on the eve of ‘new year’ and assures about a soon to be launched new website. BJP’s bjpkarnataka.org is better. It has in depth information on the party. It has background information about its all leaders and candidates in the forthcoming elections. Interestingly, it does not contain any details about ‘controversial’ candidate of Shimoga constituency Raghavendra, son of Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, except his photograph. JDS does not have a website at all. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, Mar 15)

Society

Multi tasking Auto Rani inspires TV serial

Gayatri of Malleshwaram is a shining example of self reliance. She studies computer science in a private college, and nurtures the dream of becoming an IAS officer. She wants to make a name in modelling, too. However, poverty has driven Gayatri to take up auto and omni driving as part time work. The eldest in a family without a father, she has donned the role of bread winner. Her success story has even prompted a Tamil director to shoot a tele serial, and has offered the lead role to Gayathri herself. The extraordinary woman is now thinking of using her weekends for shooting. (Vijaya Karnataka, Tuesday, Mar 17)

Pizza ajjis’ social service

‘Vishranthi’, a center founded by senior citizens Padma Srinivasan and Jayalaxmi Srinivasan is teaching aged people, orphans and the handicapped to lead a confident life. Padma, a retired ITI officer, came up with the idea of serving society and launched ‘Vishranthi’. Her relative, Jayalaxmi also joined her. Both decided to prepare pizzas and sell them to software companies. The income they earn is being used to train needy people to lead a life of self sufficiency. Now the center conducts training in tailoring, preparation of bakery products, house keeping, learning English, et cetera. For details, contact 99807 39289, 27921145. (Prajavani, Saturday, Mar 14)

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