75,000 illegal properties may be regularised
State government may regularise about 75,000 unauthorised properties in BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) layouts. Law Minister J C Madhuswamy said that the illegal properties are located in 5000 acres of BDA land spread around the city. They are paying neither taxes nor development fees. The government is planning to levy penalties based on guidance values, so as to regularise them.
A cabinet sub-committee has been formed, which will suggest some amendments to the BDA Act, 1976, for regularisation. The buildings can be regularised if Section 38(c) of the BDA Act is amended. The sub-committee will soon finalise the extent of fines – it could be 75 percent of the guidance value for properties on 30×40 sites, and 100 percent for larger properties.
While the scheme would help some builders who have deviated from government-approved plans to obtain an Occupancy Certificate, there are concerns that it may lead to corruption.
Moreover, the earlier Akrama-Sakrama scheme by the previous Yediyurappa government to regularise property violations had been challenged in the Supreme Court. Hence, going ahead with the current plan might pose a number of legal and political issues to the current government.
Source: Deccan Herald | Indian Express | The Times of India
Bus lane on ORR has reduced travel time by 16 minutes: BMTC
The BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation) said that the bus priority lane has helped bring down travel time on ORR (Outer Ring Road) by 16 minutes. One month has elapsed since the lane was introduced on the ORR stretch between Silk Board and KR Puram.
Last Wednesday, the citizen groups CfB (Citizens for Bengaluru), Bus Prayaneekara Vedike, Whitefield Rising, and Bellandur Jothege organised #NimbusExpress Yatra to encourage people to travel by bus.
The ORR Bus Priority Lane Commuter Survey conducted by CfB between November 19th and 23rd found that 55 percent of commuters experienced reduced travel time despite several issues affecting smooth functioning of the bus lane. The survey also found that the number of people spending more than two hours everyday on bus commute had reduced by 62 percent. However, about 53 percent of evening commuters on the lane felt no difference as they continued to get stuck in peak-hour traffic.
Source: The Hindu | Indian Express
Namma Metro trains timings to be extended
From January 1st, 2020, the timings of the last trains of Namma Metro will be extended by 35 minutes, according to the BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd). The last train from Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Station Majestic Interchange will leave at midnight in all four directions.
The last train will depart from Mysuru Road station at 11.40 pm, from Baiyappanahalli at 11.35 pm, from Nagasandra at 11.25 pm and from Yelachenahalli station at 11.35 pm.
Source: The Hindu
BBMP aiming for ODF status
The BBMP is aiming for full ODF (Open Defecation Free) status and higher ranking under centre’s Swachh Survekshan 2020. Though the Palike declared itself ODF in the past few years, it has not got ODF status under the Swachh Bharat Mission. But officials are confident of getting the status this year.
BBMP officials said that a major criteria for getting ODF status is to ensure that the construction of Individual House Hold Latrines (IHHLs) crosses 90 percent of the accepted applications. They claimed that the Palike was close to achieving the target. Of the 4470 applications they received, the BBMP has approved 3131. Based on this, 2643 toilets have been built.
Another criteria for ODF status is to ensure that public and community toilets are maintained as per parameters. A December 6th circular by BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said that the management of community, public and e-toilets would be taken up by Health Department under the supervision of SWM (Solid Waste Management) Cell.
Source: The Hindu
App to test water quality of lakes
A new mobile app called ‘Mira’ will be launched in its beta version in mid-January 2020. The app would enable citizens to collaborate to keep a check on the quality and ecological aspects of Bengaluru lakes. ‘Mira’ is linked to a dashboard using technology for field use and to resolve water-related issues with community participation. It will be an extension of the ‘Bangalore Citizen Lakes Dashboard’ (blrlakesdashboard.org).
Currently, the dashboard has information on Jakkur, Rachenahalli, Kaikondanahalli, and Kasavanahalli lakes; these lakes are being monitored monthly. The dashboard has information on the levels of nitrates, phosphates, dissolved oxygen in the lake, quantitative aspects like water volume and flow, and so on. Mira aims to bring all lakes under its functioning soon.
Source: The Hindu
High levels of methane may have led to Bellandur lake burning
Exceptionally high levels of methane gas from untreated raw sewage is the likely cause for Bellandur lake catching fire, shows a study by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK CEH). The research was conducted in collaboration with ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment).
The study shows that methane stocks in Bellandur lake is more than 1000 times the levels seen in less polluted lakes. The researchers say that such high methane levels are a fire hazard to residents and also a major source of greenhouse gases in the city. Methane is 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. Hence improving the lake’s quality would also reduce the city’s carbon footprint, the study says.
Source: The Hindu
Businesses not following Kannada board rule may lose licence
Mayor M Goutham Kumar has ordered that commercial enterprises that do not display their name boards in Kannada should have their licenses suspended. He told BBMP officials to organise surprise inspections and educate businesses on displaying name boards with 60 percent content in Kannada as mandated.
Source: Deccan Herald
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]