This report captures stories from the polling booths to a new scandal emerging on land conversions and registrations. There are also briefs on the deplorable state at the High Grounds Police station and a new volunteer effort by engineering college students to help with blood donations and finding matches.
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Thursday, 15 May
Two more underpasses will come up in J P Nagar and Kadirenahalli in Bangalore South. The success of underpass near Cauvery theatre prompted BBMP to have such underpasses in different places of city. But new underpasses will be constructed in the traditional style, instead of the ‘phataphat’ (the famous ’72 hours’ timeline) technique. New underpasses may be completed in 10 months.
The Parkinsons Disease Society of Karnataka (PDSK) has been undertaking numerous works to bring awareness about the disease. Started 12 years ago, it is injecting a new hope of life into parkinsons patients. The Director of PDSK Radha Ramaswamy started this organisation after her husband was attacked by parkinsons. She says PDSK organising awareness camps on regular basis and provide free consultancy and treatment to parkinsons patients. PDSK may be contacted on 9916901816.
The series of blasts in Jaipur again brought the question of internal security in Bangalore. The VVIP security wing of the City Police department has been facing many shortcomings. Only 148 personnel against 230 are working here. This has resulted in lot of pressure on existing staff. The wing includes bomb disposal and dog squads. The existing staff also has not been provided with suitable training.
In the wake of blast in a Hubli court, the High Court in Bangalore is getting higher security. Police are checking everyone entering. However the police have no modern armaments and have submitted a number of recommendations to the government which are still under ‘consideration’. Construction of towers with binoculars, CCTVs, provision of phone facilities to the security guards has been proposed.
Wednesday, 14 May
43 sub-registrars in the city were found involved in carrying out revenue land registration using false records. The state government had banned the registration of revenue land after it found rampant conversion of agricultural land. But these sub-registrars violated the government order and caused losses of crores of rupees to the treasury. The Lokayukta is enquiring into the scandal.
A group of engineering students in M S Ramaiah College have formed an association called ‘Sankalpa’ to provide all kinds of assistance to those who are in need of blood. The association has 45 members. Apart from providing blood, they guide patients to get blood without hassles. They meet every Sunday and discuss about problems of blood banks and patients. They even conduct camps in various companies to bring awareness towards donating blood. Sankalpa can be contacted on 9880132850.
Freedom fighters have gotten their due from the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation. The association of freedom fighters has been urging government to reserve seats in government buses, similar to that offered to women and handicapped citizens. KSRTC has issued an order reserving seat numbers 14 and 15 exclusively for freedom fighters. Veteran freedom fighter H S Doraiswamy urges similar reservations in BMTC buses also.
Tuesday, 13 May
A polling booth in Srirampur in Gandhinagar constituency has only 526 voters. Repolling was ordered here due to a faulty voting machine. All the candidates appeared on scene at sharp 7 am here. A candidate did a padayatra with his supporters. Another distributed gifts. Ironically officials who were present turned mute spectators.
An Election Commission poster in all polling booths was founding warning voters to put ‘votes into box’! The posters were visible in all polling booths in the city. This is embarrassing mistake by the EC which uses electronic voting machines for polling. The commission has not updated the posters at all!
Padmanabhanagar constituency registered the highest polling (53.08 per cent) in the city. Sarvajnanagar constituency (35.53 per cent) took the last place. This constituency has the second highest population of voters. K R Puram which has highest number of voters in the city has registered just 43.06 per cent. BBMP has released this list.
The K R Puram hanging bridge has not succeeded in ease traffic jams on Old Madras road in eastern Bangalore. A narrow railway underbridge in Benniganahalli the culprit. Hundreds of motorists are struggling for a minimum for an hour to pass this underbridge every day. This is an important road that connects city with Hoskote, ITPL, Hebbal and Hosur Road.
BBMP euthanised about 4,000 stray dogs in the last one year. The Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry with BBMP Dr Prakash Reddy said these dogs are suffering from incurable diseases. They were killed by injecting Pentathol Sodium. As many as 47,447 dogs were sterilised during this period.
Monday, 12 May
Lalbagh will start a ‘plant exchange’ on the lines of ‘exchange of animals’ between the states and countries. The authorities intend to plant more than three thousand plants from all over the world in Lalbagh. Now the garden has over 7500 plants of 1,854 varieties. Dr M Jagadish, deputy director in charge with Lalbagh, says that an agreement has been reached with Tamilnadu, Pondicherry, Singapore and Malaysia.
Highgrounds Police Station, in walking distance from Vidhana Soudha, is located in a shed now. The newly built station was demolished recently for road widening works. Over 100 police personnel are working under horrible conditions.
Jayant Rao who resides in Prakashnagar in Rajajinagar is known for his affection towards animals. His house looks like a animal shelter. Cats, dogs, parrots, squirrals roam here without any fear. Jayant Rao can be contacted on 94482 74519.
A lengthy weekend, summer holidays and apathy towards political leaders are major reasons for the lower turnout of voters in the city. The city registered just 44 percent. This would have collapsed to 30 per cent if slum-dwellers had not voted.
Sunday, May 11
A booth was constructed in a graveyard in Chamarajpet constituency. Half of the voters feared of going to vote and remaining voted fighting the stench. About 130 people were deprived of voting in Pulakeshinagar slum (in Shivajinagar constituency). BBMP officials claimed the slum vanished!
A JD(S) activist in a booth in Chamarajpet constituency used his laptop to help citizens to find out their booths. Even as reports emerged of missing names galore, Krishnakumar, a candidate of Lok Paritran party in Govindarajnagar found his name listed on the rolls of two booths. In a different incident, Vijay Kumar who contested in Rajajinagar constituency under the banner of Swabhimani Kannada Paksha complained that his name vanished from the voting machines in three booths. He said that tape was pasted on his name there.
The design of Metro railway station in Bayyappanahalli (Bangalore East) has been completed. The Bangalore Metro Railway Corporation is expected to call for tenders on May 25.
Dr M B Shantigiri in M S Ramaiah Hospital is doing a unique service to patients. He ‘translates’ the prescriptions of other doctors into new ones neatly written in capital letters. His intention is to avoid any misunderstanding of drugs by pharmacies. Many patients are taking his help. Shantigiri now wants to add his feat into Limca book of records.
More than 25,000 voters were deprived of their franchise because their names were missing in the voters list. 15,000 in Bommanahalli, 6,000 in Puttenahalli and Bangalore South each and 3,000 citizens in Basavanagudi lost their rights. Similar problems existed in all 28 constituencies in Bangalore.
Four voters in three booths in the city officially declared that they don’t want to vote any of the candidates in their constituencies. The incident occurred in booth 10A and 12 in Bangalore South and a booth in Mahalaxmi layout. Presiding officers initially expressed their ignorance about this option, but later agreed to co-operate with the voters. Article 49 of the People’s Representative Act provides this option to the people.
Governor Rameshwar Thakur himself did not vote. A resident of New Delhi, the governor did not add his name into voters’ list of the city.
Saturday, May 10
On the eve of polling, at Siddapur slum behind Lalbagh, ‘road leaders’ were more in demand. A candidate in Rajarajeshwari constituency distributed nose-rings to the women in Mattikere S C colony, which were later found to be fake rings. Police arrested five in Padmanabhanagar in connection with luring voters with money.
The walkers association in Sankey garden organised a programme called ‘good bye traffic jam’ on May 11. They intend to distribute over 1 lakh stickers bearing an oath of adhering to traffic rules free of cost. Auto drivers association, Bangalore Traffic Police too joined hands with this initiative.
Roads in Guruguntepalya and Kudremukh colony in Koramangala got a new life. There were reports of supporters of various parties distributing ‘coupons’ to voters in various (not specifically mentioned) parts of city. Voters could exchange these coupons in specific shops for television sets, LPG stoves, etc. A case was registered against a party for repairing a borewell in Gulzar Khan layout in Chennakeshavanagar.
Sheshadripuram Ramotsava is 60 years old. It was started in 1949 by a likeminded people led by a grocery merchant, C D Gopalaiangar at Swastik circle in Sheshadripuram. The musical fest is held every year. Artists think getting an opportunity to perform in these festivals is reward to them.
Friday, May 9
Governor Rameshwar Thakur is taking ‘questionable’ decisions regarding several important projects in the city. He tends to run cabinet meetings even up to midnight. He is keeping press in dark about these meetings. His approval to The Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) to go ahead with the BMIC project drew flak from the Election Commission. There are reports of growing rift between him and his advisors.
The BJP is ahead in using technology for election propaganda. The party is using phone, internet, mobile media effectively to reach the people. It has even published the list of all candidates in its website. The websites of Congress and JDS were not working before the elections in Bangalore.
Over 100 criminal cases are registered in the run up leading to the first phase of the state elections. There are more cases in Bangalore as it has 28 constituencies. Money and arrack have been supplied despite strict vigil of Election Commission. 1,456 cases of illegal stock of alcohol are registered. Arrack worth Rs.3.5 crores has been seized. 14,269 anti-social elements have been detained. Director General of Police R Srikumar disclosed this. ⊕