Bengaluru Buzz: 3559 trees may be felled | New app for civic complaints | Foreigner Detention Centre from January…and more

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Over 8,500 trees in the outskirts of Bengaluru are to be felled for road widening. File pic: Shree D N

3,559 trees may be felled for roads, Metro

To enable five civil projects, 3,559 trees in the city are slated to be felled. More than 90 percent of the trees would be felled for road construction or widening in south Bengaluru. On Friday, an expert committee formed by the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) started examining the tree-felling proposals submitted by three government agencies. This committee had been formed based on a High Court order.

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The proposals include cutting down 1,822 trees for road works between NICE Road and Magadi Road for a larger two-lane project by Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP). The KRDCL (Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited) has proposed the felling of another 1,116 trees for widening roads in Anekal, Yelahanka and KR Puram. There is a request for felling 377 more trees to widen a part of National Highway 209 too.

The BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) has proposed felling 115 trees in UM Kaval to build the Anjanapura depot as well as the connecting line. Another proposal by the BMRCL is to clear 129 trees in the Kadugodi plantation area to build stations for the Whitefield Metro line.

Many Metro projects are said to be behind schedule due to environmentalists going to the courts, accusing BMRCL of not following due procedure before cutting trees. The expert committee, in its report, is expected to explore ways to reduce damage to the environment.

Source: Deccan Herald

‘Namma Bengaluru’ app to link citizens with civic agencies 

‘Namma Bengaluru’, a citizen utility app being developed by the BBMP, will feature an interface to report grievances to various government agencies including BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board), BDA (Bangalore Development Authority), BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited), BMRDA (Bengaluru Metropolitan Region Development Authority) and BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited). It will also have the option to accept suggestions and feedback.

Services offered by the app include registering complaints related to civic works, giving information about the city and upcoming events, and e-khata registration. BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said the app would be launched in mid-January. He said it would enable citizens to reach out to different government agencies under a single umbrella, and that all agencies would be involved in monitoring the app.

BBMP had launched the Sahaaya app in 2016 as a one-stop platform to register civic complaints. Ridden with technical glitches, this app had turned out to be a failure.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald | The New Indian Express

Foreigner Detention Centre may operate from Jan 1st

A Foreigner Detention Centre (FDC) just outside the city, earlier meant to be a student hostel, may become functional from January 1, 2020. Many link it to the proposed NRC (National Register of Citizens), but Home Ministry officials claim it is just a ‘transit home’ for illegal foreign nationals before they are deported.

Calling it “nationality-neutral” and  a temporary detention home for illegal foreign nationals, T M Vijay Bhaskar, Chief Secretary of Karnataka, said that the process of setting up the centre started in  2009 following directions from the union government, and later the Karnataka High Court.

The Karnataka FDC is likely to host foreign nationals who have registered with the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) but have violated visa terms. It would also host those without valid documents, not registered with the FRRO and those arrested for crimes. At present, FDC can host 24 persons, but it would be insufficient for a detention centre if NRC is implemented, said an official.

Source: The Hindu

NPR to begin by April 

A two-phase census for the NPR (National Population Register) will soon begin in Bengaluru, even as protests continue over the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and the NRC.

State Census Director S B Vijay Kumar said Phase 1 would involve house listings and countings between April and September 2020, for 45 days. Phase 2 will tally the city’s population between April 15th and May 29th. The NPR report is expected to be submitted by 2021.

He said the NPR has no links with NRC. “We won’t be asking any documents. We’ll only be registering the types of documents the individual has,” Kumar clarified.

Most of the entries are expected to be numeric. There will be 34 questions on the condition of the house, such as amenities available, assets of occupants etc. Population enumeration will entail 28 questions in descriptive and coded pattern, including religion, caste, occupation, and so on.

Source: Deccan Herald | The Times of India

Protests against CAA continue

After Christmas Day, protests against CAA resumed in Bengaluru.

An all-women team of 300 gathered outside Town Hall on Thursday morning. The women condemned the law, the government and the Bangalore South MP L S Tejasvi Surya for his comment on CAA opponents being “puncture-wallahs”. The two-hour protest outside Town Hall was organised under the banner ‘Women India Movement’. Elderly women as well as children were present at the gathering.

Surya was slammed again in another protest later in the day at Wilson Garden, where about 300 protestors shouted, “Puncture-wallahs will puncture you.”

Source: Deccan Herald | The Times of India

Work on Sirsi Circle flyover and Dairy Circle lead to traffic congestion

Work on the Sirsi Circle flyover and in the areas around Dairy Circle flyover has led to increased traffic congestion. Regular commuters say they are spending twice as much time on the road as usual.

One part of Dairy Circle flyover is blocked due to white-topping work on Hosur Road. The road diversions provided are not sufficient to handle the huge number of motorists in and around Diary Circle, commuters say. The traffic congestion and diversions have increased fuel expenses too, say cab and auto drivers.

BBMP officials say that white-topping on Hosur Road may take more time, but that asphalting of Sirsi Circle flyover will be completed soon.

Source: The Hindu

Cycle-sharing services to begin at 15 railway stations

Fifteen railway stations in Bengaluru may soon offer two-wheeler and bicycle sharing services. The services may allow commuters to avoid using private vehicles for last-mile connectivity.

Last week, South Western Railway General Manager Ajay Kumar Singh inaugurated the first bike-sharing service at Yelahanka railway station. Bounce, the operator, has announced that it would set up shop in 13 other stations including Bellandur, Banaswadi, Hoodi Halt, Byappanahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Bengaluru East and Bengaluru Cantonment.

Railways had sought Expression of Interest from private agencies for setting up bicycle-sharing services in 15 stations as well, and has received positive responses.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]


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2 Comments

  1. In road widening projects, if we take as an example, the NICE to Magadi widening to 4 lanes, we see that 1800 trees are to be felled . But according to commitments by the GOvt to ADB, the funding agency, we have to plant over 6000 trees by the side of the newly widened road. ( refer the DPR for this project) Why do we not see Govt officials and KSHIP publicising this ? The reasons could be that they don’t want to take up such a commitment and hence avoid telling citizens of this plan. Citizens must insist on a written commitment for such compensatory planting with 3 years maintenance , if such projects are to be allowed.

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