Garbage being sold as compost; What’s happening with Tender SURE?; 53 more skywalks in Bengaluru

 

Bengaluru this week

June 4th 2015

 
 

CITIZEN MATTERS
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Here are the top stories from Bangalore for this week:

  • Solid Waste Management Round Table, Bengaluru has won the state-level environment award for 2015, along with many other organisations. The Chief Minister will present them a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh on June 5th.
  • The State government met on Wednesday to review how the ban on the sale of loose cigarettes was working in other states. Health and Family Welfare Minister Khader stated that a decision would be taken only after assessing how the interests of tobacco growers and petty-shop owners could be protected.
  • BBMP Commissioner Kumar Naik asked the people of Bengaluru to be ready for a major transformation in the way they handle their garbage, with a system to handle segregated garbage in place.
  • BBMP has kicked off the system of RTGS money transfer to contractors. Payments will be made on particular dates of the month, after a field work officer inspects the work done by the contractor after the submission of the bills.
  • Though BESCOM incurred losses to the tune of Rs 432 crore in FY ‘13, it is once again in the black after reining in losses, with a surplus revenue of Rs 76.1 crore for FY ‘14.
  • Following BPAC’s complaint to the Upa Lokayukta about debris not being cleared under the Metro lines, the Upa Lokayukata has directed BBMP and BMRCL to submit an action taken report by June 18th.
  • The Railways plans to introduce a non-stop train from Bengaluru to Mysuru, which will cover the distance in 40 minutes. Rajkumar Lal, Divisional Railway Manager, Mysuru division stated that the train would be operational once the ongoing track-doubling work on the stretch was completed.   
  • Bengaluru South Tahsildar Dr Dayanand was fined Rs 50,000 by the Karnataka Information Commission, for not providing information about the public land in two villages under his jurisdiction, in response to an RTI application.

This week’s highlight: Compost, or burnt garbage?

Bags filled with burnt and sieved garbage. You can also see the burning garbage. Pic: A concerned Bangalore resident

Here’s Bengaluru’s newest garbage scam!

Toxic powder produced by burning and sieving mixed garbage is sold to farmers in the name of superior vermicompost. And get this: the bags used for this belong to a government composting firm – KCDC. This is only the tip of the iceberg! Garbage management companies are involved in this scam, as KCDC apparently has agreements with them to supply vermicompost. What is the end result of all this?

Read:

Tender SURE or not so sure?

The Forum for Urban Commons and Governance is opposed to the Tender SURE project for a variety of reasons. Citizen Matters spoke a member of the group to understand their concerns. Read: Protesters see problems with process, cost.

Amid this opposition, Swati Ramanathan of Jana Urban Space Foundation (Jana USP) clarifies the various aspects of the project that have come under fire. Read: Tender SURE is not against motorists, it is for a walkable city.

Safer roads

The number of accidents in Bangalore involving pedestrians trying to cross roads could reduce in the future, with the BBMP opening tenders for skywalks. The skywalks are to have elevators, and be fitted with CCTVs. Read: 54 skywalks coming up in Bengaluru.

Planning a trip out of Bangalore via Mysore road? Look out for the expandable gates and for cops who will fine you if you are driving over the speed limit. Read: The travails of a driver on Mysore Road.

In other news…

KSRTC buses at the Shanti Nagar depot will now be cleaned by a new washing machine, one that has been built in-house. Read: If buses could talk, they’d be squeaking clean!

Living by the lake

A fisherman casts his net. Pic: Sanchayan Nath

If you live near a lake in Bengaluru, you’re sure to visit it for a variety of reasons – birding, exercise, photography, fishing – the list is endless. Sanchayan Nath documents the various activities that happen around Vibhutipura lake. Read: The things people do around Vibhutipura lake.

Food for thought

The theme for World Environment Day 2015 is sustainable consumption. Wondering what you can do? Here are some of the events that you can be a part of in Bangalore. Read: Here’s how you can celebrate World Environment Day.

Should a memorial commemorating someone have to be built from cement and bricks? Gadadhar Prem Kumar believes otherwise, and shares his ideas for an eco-friendly, sustainable alternative. Read: Keeping Dr Vishnuvardhan evergreen in memory.

A New York Times article stated that mothers who work contribute to the economic, educational and social well-being of their children. Divya Sreedharan wonders if working mothers necessarily make happy mothers. Read: Working moms, happier moms?

A trip back in time

How many of you have kept in touch with your old school teachers? Here’s a post from Chandra Shekhar Balachandran about how he met an old teacher of his after 40 years. Read: Nutrimentum spiritus (Food for the soul).

What do you remember of the Bangalore of yore where bungalows had large gardens, a loaf of bread from All Saints cost only Rs 3, and Brigade Road, Jayanagar Shopping Complex, and Commercial Street were the places to ‘hang out’. Read: Some facts about Bangalore that might have been forgotten.

The heroes among us

Enthusiastic volunteers at a sapling maintenance drive. Pic: Say Trees

Volunteering pays off; not only do you help further a social cause, you also gain immense personal satisfaction. Here’s some inspiration from CMCA and Say Trees, two NGOs that have made it to the list of finalists for the iVolunteer Awards 2015. Read: Bangalore NGOs nominated for India’s only award that commends volunteers.

Events this week

  • Bangalore International Centre is hosting a talk, Why black money will rule India, on June 5th. The speaker is Balasubramanian, Former Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka.
  • Watch Du and मी (Marathi)  and Guest is God (German), two plays based on a German exchange student who falls in love with the daughter of his Indian host family at Rangashankara on June 5th and 6th.
  • Cycle Day makes it way to Indiranagar this Sunday, June 7th. Join them for a morning of street games, dancing and of course, cycling.
  • NGMA is playing host to Celebrating Art & Natural History, a three day event featuring workshops, conversations and films from June 5th to 7th on the occasion of World Environment Day.
  • Watch Sex ke side effects, a comedy drama play that deals with Indian society and its view of sex at Alliance Francaise on June 7th.
  • Sustainable Tourism – the Bamboo way, an event that will highlight the role of bamboo as an essential part of eco-tourism initiatives, is being held at swissnex India on June 10th.
  • Watch the screening of Avec Dédé, a French film at Alliance Francaise on June 10th.

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

 

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