BBMP’s Rs 12,574 crore budget approved
BBMP’s 2019-20 budget with a total outlay of Rs 12,574 crore was approved on February 23, five days after it had been presented. For three days, 24 councillors had discussed and revised the budget, adding Rs 1,886 cr to the original allocation of Rs 10,688 cr. However, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad stressed on the need for financial reforms, pointing out that even the original allocation was beyond the civic agency’s revenue and receipts. He added that the budget should be “realistic“, reported The Times of India.
On the 18th, the budget had been presented by S P Hemalatha, Chairperson of the Standing Committee for Taxation and Finance, with a focus on welfare schemes. Hemalatha had said that BBMP would stress on “efficient administration” and schemes to “empower women, provide financial security, create a healthy environment, and to implement the Roshni Scheme to improve schools and colleges.” The focus is on the “urban poor”, according to Hemalatha.
The budget takes into account state government grants under various heads, totalling Rs 3,606 cr. Wards in new zones are to get Rs 3 cr each, while those in the old zones will get Rs 2 cr. For this, Rs 465 cr has been set aside overall. Sixty per cent of this amount is earmarked for road maintenance, re-asphalting and filling of potholes, and the rest will be disbursed as per the action plan.
Conservationists welcomed the allocation of Rs 348 crore for rejuvenation of 59 lakes over the next three years. However, there were protests against the allocation of Rs 5 crore to install air purifiers in six locations in the city. It would be more useful if BBMP just planted trees and improved the environment instead, said activists.
Aero Show tragedy
Almost 300 vehicles were destroyed by a huge fire in the parking area of the 12th Biennial Aero India 2019 show at Yelahanka. The fire occurred on the first day of the two-day public show. The cause of the tragedy has not been identified, but there are speculations that a lit cigarette might have triggered off the fire at 11.55 am which spread rapidly due to dry grass and strong winds. Fire tenders rushed into action, but the fire was doused completely only at 2.30 pm. A Court of Inquiry has been asked to investigate the cause of fire, while the local police is also probing into it.
This was the second tragedy to strike the Aero Show. On the 20th, the event was kicked off with combat aircraft flying at low speed to pay tribute to Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi, who had been killed in a mid-air collision during rehearsals for the show. In tribute, the Indian Air Force performed the “missing man” three-aircraft formation.
The Rafale fighter jets and the Tata Aerospace and Defence company’s aerostructures were some of the highlights of the show, reported The Economic Times. Local and global defence manufacturers, investors, corporate and government policy makers were at the event to help make India the “global runway of a billion opportunities”, said the Union Minister of Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman, at the inauguration.
The show also featured Drone Olympics, showcasing the various skills of drones, right from aerial surveillance to dropping food packets.
Water Institute for UVCE
To mark the centenary of University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), Bangalore University will set up a Water Institute at the cost of Rs 1 crore in the engineering college campus, reported Bangalore Mirror. The aim is to provide short-term courses for government officials who are responsible for implementing rules with respect to water bodies.
Source: Bangalore Mirror
HC notice to BBMP over Indiranagar skywalk
The High Court of Karnataka issued notices to the BBMP as well as a private agency regarding the building of a skywalk in Doopanahalli junction near 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar. Residents of 100 Feet Road had filed a petition challenging the construction. They had pointed out that a skywalk already exists 100 feet away from Doopanahalli junction, and hence the new one should be shifted close to a school on 12th Main Road, to benefit students and pedestrians.
Source: Deccan Herald
Rising temperatures cause illnesses
As mercury levels rise, there is a rush of in-patient and out-patient cases in city hospitals due to gastroenteritis outbreaks. Water-borne diseases like typhoid and cholera are spiking as well. Doctors say these diseases are on the rise due to the multiplication of organisms in warmer conditions. Dust is causing allergic reactions too. Citizens are cautioned to maintain hygiene, drink boiled water and avoid eating out.
Source: Deccan Herald
(Compiled by Revathi Sivakumar)