This report captures a range of developments from hooch smugglers smashing street lights to a government school being demolished for road-widening. Also, state officials appear to be thwarting attempts to amend the state civil services law to give more teeth to the Lokayukta.
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Thursday, May 22
Ever wondered why the streetlights on P S K Naidu road in Cox Town never light up? Because hooch smugglers smash them to carryout their operations under cover of darkness. And what’s more, they are indirectly helped by the BBMP in their efforts. Fed up by constantly replacing the smashed lights, the BBMP stopped the effort altogether. According to a resident of the area, hooch barrels are brought here and stored in some houses in Polaramma and Doddigunte slums.
With the BBMP deciding to upgrade 538 bus shelters in the city, they seem to be in for a new lease of life. BBMP plans to dismantle deteriorating bus stands while retaining 374 old bus shelters. Most of the new bus stands will come up in new areas that were included in BBMP recently.
Bailanarasapura, a tiny place in Hoskote Taluk, 50 kms from eastern Bangalore is the den of illegal activities. Shooting to prominence after the hooch tragedy, the place is the hub for illegal activities, apart from the production of illicit liquor. Smuggling of sandalwood and animal slaughter is also said to be carried out here with political patronage. Hooch kingpin Giddu Sardar, who was brought to the fore after the tragedy, is said to be absconding now. Police are confident that with his arrest, several secrets pertaining to tragedy will be revealed.
Wednesday, May 21
Just twenty days ago, D J Halli, which comes under Pulakeshinagar assembly segment, was abuzz with politicians and their ‘chelas’ sweet-talking the electorate into voting for them. Post elections, the hooch tragedy struck many families in the area, but no politician has bothered to visit the affected families and pacify them. So what’s new, did you say?
Tuesday, May 20
In the wake of the recent hooch tragedy in Karnataka, the government announced various schemes to check further incidents. But most of them are in cold storage. The intention of the government to start special police out posts in 174 Taluks to curtail the hooch business is still on paper. Shortage of manpower in the excise department has made identifying these centers difficult, say officials.
Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde feels that government hospitals are offering yeomen service to society, and is all for granting them autonomy. He was speaking at the inauguration of the new surgery unit at the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology. While Justice Hegde lauded the corporate style of functioning seen in government hospitals in recent times, he cautioned them against minting money out of it.
Monday, May 19
Once regarded as a paper tiger, the Lokayukta has acquired more power in recent times. This doesn’t seem to be going down well with government babus, who are opposing the supreme power vested in it. Though people are happy and in fact demanding more teeth to the Lokayukta, senior officials opposed the draft amendments to this effect brought to the Karnataka Civil Services Act. Even associations of employees of various government departments are said to have opposed the move.
Sunday, May 18
After innumerable glitches, the BIA is finally slated to go operational at 12 AM on 24th May – but its troubles seem to be far from over. The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, an organisation fighting for the cause of Kannada in the state has threatened to blow up the new international airport unless its demands are met. The organisation is demanding the new airport to be named as Nadaprubhu Kempegowda International Airport. The Vedike has submitted a charter of demands and has urged the authorities to implement them before the inauguration of the airport.
Questnet, an internet chain initiative which lured thousands of members to invest money, promising to make them millionaires through the commissions they were to get for getting other members to invest, is in trouble. A case has been registered against them in the Highgrounds Police Station. Authorities are contemplating on handing over these cases to COD inquiry. Though Questnet offered to return money to investors, they failed to do so, which prompted over 200 people to register cases against the company.
Energy Park in the Indira Gandhi Musical Garden near Vidhana Soudha is doing its bit for the environment – it is trying to bring awareness about solar power among the public. The park has a number of interesting features about unconventional power sources.
Saturday, May 17
Bangaloreans may have noticed that during the recent elections, the city was remarkably free of buntings, huge posters, hoardings and cutouts of political parties and their leaders, thanks to election commission’s dictat regarding the same. But no sooner did the elections get over, flexi boards greeting political leaders have sprung up in all parts of the city. Needless to say, these boards are unauthorised, but the BBMP has as yet done nothing to curb the trend.
The layouts in and around Krishnarajapuram are crying for basic amenities like water. Even after they have been brought under Greater Bangalore, numerous problems continue to plague these areas. The only people to get a regular supply of Cauvery water are those who reside in the neighbourhood of ex-Minister A Krishnappa. Private water operators are charging Rs. 200 to 250 per tanker, adding to the woes of the beleaguered population.
Just 18 kms from Vidhana Soudha, Karnataka’s pride and seat of power, a government school operates – in a shed. Once a proper school with a building and good staff, it had to be recently vacated due to road-widening drive. Now the school operates out of a car shed. The school which started in 1981 in a community hall had two rooms added to it later, with the largess by kind donors. The school was reputed to have a good teaching staff too. Instead of making alternate arrangements to help the school carry out its admirable work, a rarity among government schools, authorities went ahead and razed the building to the ground without giving it a second thought.
Ashrayadhama, an old-age home in Rajajinagar, is taking care of old people who are abandoned and unwanted by their families. Started in 1995 with six people, the home is now providing shelter and a new lease of life to more than 30 people. Donors who may want to help the old age home in its noble endeavour may contact:
N. 1760/E, 1st main road, D block,
2nd stage Rajajinagar
(near Navarang theatre)
Phone: 2312 4666, 98459 09777
Dr Vishwanath Kadur is a rare man among those who talk too much and do too little as far as their environmental concern for the city goes. He advocates the importance of growing a garden in every house, and provides consultancy regarding terrace gardening. Kadur has produced more than 50 short films on environment for different seed companies. He can be contacted on 9845627217.
Friday, May 16
Bangalore is home to many illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. After 16 of them were arrested recently for possession of fake currency notes, many fled the city. In the wake of the Jaipur blasts, police say they are keeping a strict vigil on them. There is some suspicion that some members of terrorist outfits based outside India have made Bangalore the hub for their future activities. Police reports however clarify that HuJI, an outfit involved in most of the recent violence in India, has not yet been seen in Bangalore.
On the eve of the elections in Bangalore, citizens in some parts of the city were pleasantly surprised to see the roads wearing a new look and promptly attributed the handiwork to candidates in the fray. But a senior officer of BBMP clarified that these works were undertaken by the department as per budget allocation, and had nothing to do with elections. Some of the roads that benefited are in the areas of Govindarajanagar, Vijayanagar, Kalyananagar, Mahalaxmi Layout, Uttarahalli, Basaveshwarnagar. The cheer was short lived in Kalyananagar and Sanjivininagar, though, as BSNL started digging newly laid roads for their work.