The goddesses of Mavalli; US NGO’s grand plan for Bengaluru’s lakes; KCDC in trouble

 

Bengaluru this week

June 18th 2015

 
 

CITIZEN MATTERS
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Last week, we had featured the Under-23 Ultimate team and how for the first ever time, India was set to send a team to London for the Under-23 Ultimate Frisbee World Championships, provided they raised sufficient funds… And here’s the good news. The team has raised enough funds and will be making it to London! We wish them the very best. You can follow the team and their journey here: Team India U23’s long and hard road to London.

Here are the top stories from Bengaluru for this week:

  • There are thieves on the prowl on St Marks Road. While the new Tender SURE road has opened for public use, miscreants have stolen around 30 granite bollards, which were installed along the pedestrian pathway. Each of these is said to cost Rs 6,500.
  • The transport department is at the heels of cab aggregators once again, and seized close to 100 taxis belonging to Ola, Uber and others. Officials said that the drive was conducted following complaints of private aggregators resorting to differential pricing.
  • Two coaches of the Bangalore Mail derailed near Basin Bridge junction in Chennai. Thankfully, there were no casualties.
  • Four alleged militants belonging to National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) were arrested in Bangalore last Friday. They were allegedly hiding in Bangalore in the guise of factory workers at a plastic factory. They are suspect of being involved in a 2014 attack on adivasis in the Assam.
  • Though results are yet to be announced for the Bangalore University post-graduate exams that took place in January 2015, students are all set to take the next semester exams which will commence this week.
  • Owners of domestic animals may have to get a licence if they want to keep them if BBMP’s proposal to the urban development department comes through. This is in light of the BBMP having a tough time locating the owners of the many stray animals, including cows and goats, that roam the streets of Bangalore.

This week’s highlight: Ooru Habba, the festival of the village

Pic: Venkatesan Perumal 

In early June, the village of Mavalli, close to Lalbagh, was witness to Ooru Habba. Celebrated once in three years, the festival is a call to invoke the blessings of the resident deity, Mariamma. Here are some snapshots from this year’s edition of the festival.

Read: When four goddesses walk around Mavalli, the heart of Bengaluru.

What’s happening with Bengaluru’s waste?

KCDC is accepting extra garbage than it can handle, due to the pressure from the BBMP and the High Court. Pic: Akshatha M

KCDC has stopped the composting process since the retirement of the managing director has resulted in unpaid bills. This has led an unbearable stench emanating from the composting plant. Meanwhile the plant continues to accept mixed waste, as the city lacks facilities to dispose of the waste. Read: KCDC in trouble as bills remain unpaid.

Even though it has been over 10 days since it was reported that burnt garbage was being sold as vermicompost, the culprits in the scam are yet to be identified. When KSPCB officials visited the spot, the site was empty barring a few rag-pickers picking the leftover waste. Read: Culprits remain unidentified in vermicompost scam.

The High Court took serious exception to the absence of the BBMP Administrator M N Vijay Bhaskar during the hearing of a batch of solid waste management PILs last Friday. The court has now asked him and the commissioner to attend next hearing. Read: HC objects to BBMP admin’s absence in garbage PIL hearing.

Living in the city

BWSSB had issued a circular in May 2015 to monitor apartment STPs and improve their working with added microbes. But the new Chief Engineer is considering withdrawing it. Read: BWSSB rethinks its plan of monitoring treated sewage.

In January 2015, the BDA had called for tenders to construct pedestrian skywalks, complete with escalators, at 25 locations on Outer Ring Road. However, the plan seems to have hit a deadlock, with no nids for 23 of them. Read: 23 of 25 skywalks planned by BDA still up in the air.

The lives of others

Elderly people need security. Pic: Abhishek Angad

June 15th marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Here’s a guide on how you can recognise elder abuse, and extend help. Read: Elder abuse: What can you do about it?

June 16th is designated as International Domestic Workers Day. While they play a vital role in most middle and upper class families, most domestic help continue to work on the fringes of society. Read: Workers in the shadows.

Experts met last week to discuss the functioning of special fast track courts in Bengaluru with respect to sexual abuse, and plan the way forward. They recommended designated courts for women, sensitisation training for judges, police and media as steps to be implemented.

The Federation of Street Vendor Unions of Bengaluru had called for a bandh on June 15th to protest against the atrocities meted out to them and against FDI in retail. Read: Street vendor unions ask government to implement law protecting their rights.

Living by the lake

A report that proposed that lakes be rejuvenated and used as sources of water, is purportedly gathering dust at the BDA office. What makes the matter all the more complicated is that several stakeholders mentioned in the report, including BDA, claim to know nothing about it!

Read: US NGO’s grand water plan for Bengaluru: Developers interested, BDA ignores.

Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust turned five on June 11th. We wish Puttenahalli lake an infinite supply of water,greenery,birds and love. Read: PNLIT turns five.

Along with raised water levels in Bengaluru’s lakes, the rains brings with it yet another wonder – birds. A birder shoots the ones that visit Puttenahalli Lake on her camera. Read: Birds captured after the rains.

Voices

Touts stopping non-KA registered vehicles opposite Kadugodi police station on June 8th 2015. Pic: Kathikeyan

A citizen writes to the Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, urging him to help negotiate a pact with Karnataka, to put an end to the harassment of non-KA registered vehicle owners by RTO officials. Read: A letter to Nitin Gadkari from a harassed commuter.

In the face of the recent allegations that the RTO uses touts to stop non-KA registered cars, a citizen tells the Transport Commissioner telling him that his faith in the government has been shattered. Read: An open letter to the Transport Commissioner.

After a close call on the road, a commuter shares her opinion of Bangalore’s pothole-ridden roads in the form of a poem. Read: An ode to our global roads.

A walk down memory lane

Our roots are not always clear. And sometimes, it is quite all right for things to be that way. Chandra Shekhar Balachandran reminisces: Whence come you?

Events this week

  • Watch Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel), a German film based on Nobel Prize winning author Günter Grass’s first novel at Goethe Institut on June 18th.
  • Visit Green Bazaar, a green consumer fair to find solutions to managing water, energy and waste in your homes and offices, on June 20th at Lalit Ashok.
  • Alliance Francaise is organising the Fête de la Musique to celebrate International Music Day on June 20th and 21st. Bands of all genres, amateur and professional and music fans will be gathering for a cheerful celebration of music.
  • Make your way to Johnson Market on June 20th for a Food Walk and learn more about the area through its food.
  • Celebrate the sport of skateboarding at Cubbon Park and Vivekananda Metro Station as skateboarders from across the country come together to showcase their talent on June 21st at Go Skateboarding Day.
  • Girish Ramachandra will be releasing his first novel, A Report on the Lost Soul, a unique story of an Indian IT Professional at Sapna Book House on June 21st.
  • Carnatic singer Abhishek Raghuram and mridangam player Anantha R Krishnan have teamed up to present A Voyage of Sound and Silence on June 21st and 23rd.
  • Bangalore International Centre is organising a discussion, Taking Stock of the Indian Economy with Dr Arvind Subramaniam and Nandan Nilekani on June 22nd.

Click here for the complete list of events happening in Bengaluru.

 

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