Bengaluru Buzz: HC mulls over dedicating Saturdays to BBMP | 100 BMTC buses to have alarms | Peripheral ring road project resurrected

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Giant potholes and non-functional street lights on the Ramagondanahalli-Borewell Road in Whitefield. Pic

High Court considers scheduling hearings on BBMP’s failures on Saturdays

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The Karnataka High Court’s division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and SG Pandit criticised the BBMP’s careless approach towards filling potholes.  The court criticised the BBMP than BBMP for failure to meet the target of filling potholes in 198 wards, and said the work would be handed over to other agencies capable of doing the job better.

The 43 potholes brought to the judges notice during the last hearing were still present, said the counsel of the petitioners. The HC schedules are delayed due the proceedings on potholes and storm water drains on weekdays, hence other serious cases couldn’t be heard, observed the judges, and proposed conducting BBMP hearings on Saturdays.

The Commission appointed by the high court was told to give the status report by October 25. The Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara Rao told the media that a special sitting with all joint commissioners of Bengaluru is scheduled to take place on October 27.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu | The New Indian Express

IPC Section 289 used against elderly couple for entertaining strays

85-year-old Sundaraman, and his 73-year-old wife Shanta, senior citizens and residents of HSR layout, found a complaint registered against them after the stray dogs they fed inside their compound irked powerful people. One of the dogs ran through the open gate towards JD(S) MP D Kupendra Reddy and irked him while he was on his morning stroll at the time. After a verbal war, the old couple were aghast to find out that an FIR under Section 289 of the IPC was filed against Shanta.

The particular law metes out imprisonment up to six months, and a fine up to Rs 1000 for potentially endangering human life by possession of a pet animal. Subsequently, the dogs were captured by the BBMP, and taken to the ABC centre in Ejipura. Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) Trustee Sandhya Mandappa said the section was not applicable in the situation as the dogs were not pets or harming anyone. She communicated to the Palike to release the animals.

Mayor Gagambike Mallikarjun confirmed to News9 channel that the FIR was indeed filed and that she would need to inquire further to determine the next step. Reports say that a few residents had allegedly complained to Reddy about these stray dogs that were biting people in HSR layout where he resides.

In the last week, Section 289 was in the news for another reason. A mongrel of the Doberman breed was let allegedly loose on an employee of a travel company and  resulted in the man sustaining  injuries. The incident occurred during a fight over the rental agreement with the landlord’s relative. The case was filed at Madanayakanahalli police station in Bengaluru Rural District.

Source: The Times of India |  Deccan Herald | News9 | The Hindu

100 BMTC buses to be equipped with panic alarm to report sexual harassment

Charitable trust Durga India has inked a pact with Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to install panic buttons in 100 buses to help women facing harassment on public transport. Depots in Shantinagar, Jayanagar and Banashankari will soon be equipped with DURGA (Dare to Understand behavior, Respond appropriately and Guard ourselves Ably) alarms on both sides of the panels above the windows. Students of MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology designed the alarms costing Rs 7000 each with funding from The Hans Foundation.

How does it work ?  A series of switches are placed on either side of the bus on the panel between the windows. The alarms are placed in such a way that even a child can access it in times of emergency. A beeping sound is set off for about 20 seconds when pressed. It has to be addressed by the driver who is mandated to resolve the issue by halting the bus at the nearest left spot available on the road. GPS is going to be fitted inside the systems to immediately alert the depot manager and traffic command centre of an untoward incident.

An earlier article on Citizen Matters, a volunteer of the citizens initiative had detailed all the bureaucratic delays encountered while launching the project inaugurated by the former transport minister Ramalinga Reddy. The alarm was installed on five bus routes on a pilot basis in 2015, but faced another hurdle. Four agencies certifying auto parts could not figure out a category to provide certification, as the utility for the technology was the first of its kind.

The organisation had started an online petition to gather support from people in 2016.  The following year BMTC MD Ekroop Caur said it was easier for the newer buses to have the panic buttons. As a result, 50 buses were slated to get the surveillance devices by March 2017. The panic button has come been of some use since then. Ten incidents including chain-snatching crimes were reported from February this year.   

Source: Deccan Herald | The New Indian Express | Citizen Matters | The Hindu | Economic Times

CM confirms tender bids will be opened for PRR project in a month

The 65 km long Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project has been revived 12 years after HD Kumaraswamy issued the final notification during his first tenure as Chief Minister in 2006. The BDA had issued a preliminary notification two years earlier in 2004, but the project could not be executed due to lack of funds. To cut costs of land acquisition costs by 40%, a recent cabinet meeting decided to elevate the PRR project at 5.5 metres. This is set to be integrated with a parallel metro line that is likely to be built for Metro Phase-III or IV at an elevation of 13.5 metres.

Additional Chief Secretary confirmed the developments to the The New India Express. Farmers located around the land connecting Tumakuru and Hosur road through Old Madras Road and Ballari Road demand compensation. The BDA notification restricted them from taking loans, digging bore-wells and building permanent structures all these years.

The CM told the media in Press Club on October 23 that tender bids for technical consultation will be opened in a month’s time, particularly after the PRR project is approved at a cabinet meeting on October 25. The Times of India reported on the CM’s poor health due to which he skipped the Valmiki Jayanthi event n Vidhana Soudha the next day, thus it is unclear whether the cabinet nod was given or not.

About 1910 acres of land is estimated to be acquired to execute the project at an escalated cost of nearly 15,000 crores and is expected to rise to 20,000 crores eventually. The CM said that for this year Rs 2000 crore has been allocated, and added that during the next three years, Rs 6500 crore will be given by the government in installments, reports The Hindu. The Finance Department has agreed to grant this portion of the funding,while Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is giving Rs 3850 crore for the purpose of civil construction.

Source: Deccan Herald | The New Indian Express | The Hindu | The Times of India


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