How to get more water for Bengaluru | Silent death of BRTS | How to catch officials hiding data

Dear Reader,

The last one month, water has been on our minds. While most talk has been about Cauvery water, are we forgetting the real issue? What does it take to support the water needs of a city of 10 million?

Our many stories over the years have brought you stories of scarcity, depleting groundwater levels, disappearing lakes, monsoon floods and water quality issues. It is time to really understand the city’s water stresses, how they are being addressed and what action we need to take NOW! We invite you to a special session that brings together a panel of experts to answer these important fundamental questions.

The event is organised by Co Media Lab – our new initiative in partnership with Radio Active 90.4 MHz Community Radio (licensed to Jain University).

The lab, an independent and convergent community media platform, serves as a resource centre, newsroom and a space for dialogues and discussions, for community / citizen contributors. We also train and mentor community producers/ journalists through workshops, and internships.

Watershed Moment: Bengaluru’s Water Problems & Solutions

Saturday, 1st October 2016, 9 :30 am onwards KSPCB, Parisara Bhavan, Church Street.

Register here: bit.ly/bengaluruwater

More details: Understand Bengaluru’s water problems and solutions better

There is also a special session on Sunday October 2, 2016—a workshop for students/ journalists interested in writing about environment issues.

This week’s highlight

The State cabinet has decided to introduce Metro on Outer Ring Road, pushing aside the long pending ambitious BRTS project. Why did the government decide to drop BRTS? A behind-the-screens story: Why was the BRTS plan for Outer Ring Road killed?

Bengaluru gets new mayor

Bengaluru has got it’s 50th Mayor, G Padmavathi, Congress corporator from Prakash Nagar ward. Like every year, this year too the election scene witnessed high drama, with BJP councillors boycotting the election. Here is how the event unfolded: G Padmavathi is Bengaluru’s new Mayor.

Lessons in RTI

It’s a lot of work to get authentic data from government or administrations, even for journalists. It’s a lot of hide-and-seek – it’s important to know where to strike, how to appeal, how to compile proofs! Here are some lessons on how to chase RTI queries.

Community action

CSTEP has initiated a study to estimate the present day climate resilient strategies in per-urban areas of Bengaluru and Chennai. The team of researchers has made interesting observations. Read: How one community is managing water scarcity on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

How a landowner, in a bid to unlawfully unblock the inlet to let sewage into Kaikondrahalli lake, goes on to destroy public property and injure BBMP men at work: A citizen report.

A coalition against Genetically Modified food crops has planned a citizens’ awareness and call-to-action campaign to be launched on October 2nd. Read: Bengaluru activists plan satyagraha campaign against GM mustard.

Read: How will you celebrate the joy of giving this year?

How do you make use of “waste” materials? Repair Cafe shows the way! Read: Whitefield learns to repair old stuff.

News highlights

  • The meeting organised by Central Water Resource Ministry between Karnataka and Tamilnadu failed to reach a consensus. The ball will reach the Supreme Court again. Meanwhile Central Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati has threatened to go on a hunger strike if violence erupts in any of the two states.

  • Citizens staged a protest at BBMP head office premises on Tuesday, to oppose what they allege an ‘unscientific’ felling of trees for TenderSURE projects. They have asked the BBMP to ensure that not a single tree is cut for infrastructure-related work.

  • Following continued protests, the BBMP has reportedly cancelled the tender for auctioning of trees on Nrupathunga road for TenderSURE work. The BBMP has decided to cut only five trees, as against the previous plan of removing 18 trees on this stretch.

  • The Karnataka High Court has granted four months time to BWSSB to submit a fresh status report on the lake rejuvenation work taken up in Bengaluru. BWSSB has so far submitted 6 status reports on the works undertaken.

  • A recent drive carried out by the RTO found that BMTC plies the buses which emit excess smoke and are not fit to be on road. The RTO, reportedly made a third party inspection of BMTC buses and found that five of the 15 buses were not fit to be on road.

  • K J George who resigned from his post as Minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning following the suicide of DySP M K Ganapathi, has been reinstated to the cabinet after the CID filed a ‘B’ report in the case and gave him a clean chit.

  • The BDA has newly handed over additional 60 lakes to the BBMP as it is unable to maintain these lakes following fund crunch. The list of lakes include Bellandur, Varthur, Hulimavu among other lakes.

  • BDA will construct a brand new steel flyover that’s being termed as being done for the first time in India. The State Cabinet has approved the project at a cost of Rs 1,791 crores.

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