Bengaluru left shivering after cold wave
According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the city observatory at Sheshadri road recorded a minimum temperature of 13.1°C during the 24-hour period that ended at 8.30 am on Thursday. HAL Airport and KIA recorded 11.6°C and 11.2°C, respectively, Hesarghatta had recorded a minimum temperature of 9°C — the lowest temperature recorded in the city in a decade. This is attributed to the cold wave sweeping across north and south interior Karnataka, and the conditions are expected to remain for the next couple of days. City doctors say the number of patients with upper respiratory problems has increased by 25 per cent, compared to this time last year. They have advised people to stay warm and eat a balanced diet to boost immunity levels.
Of flyovers and roads
Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister G Parameshwara said the government is reconsidering the steel flyover project, adding that the project was very useful to the citizens as it would reduce congestion from Basaveshwara Circle till Esteem Mall in Hebbal, on Airport Road.
However, an IISc study shows that a steel flyover would be saturated even if it was ready now, and suggests that the government should instead build a metro line that would last till 2049. Besides felling over 800 trees, the vehicles on the steel flyover would only add to air pollution in the city. In stark contrast, a metro line with a narrow viaduct to hold a track on each direction would be able to carry 69,000 people per hour, and would not exceed its capacity for a few decades.
In related news, the BBMP has planned to construct a flyover and a grade separator at Old Mysuru Road (Magadi Road)-Vatal Nagaraj Road (Sujatha Talkies Road) junction. “The ‘Y’ junction which connects Rajajinagar, Vijayanagar and Magadi road to the city centre is where commuters and motorists are most severely affected especially during the peak hours,” said an official from the BBMP Road Infrastructure Division.
The BBMP is also looking at issuing the work order for development of 20 Smart Roads in the city in a month’s time. With this, the civic agency believes the work of developing the roads under the Smart City initiative will start by mid-February. These roads will have electric autorickshaws and charging points, pedestrian light controlled crossings, solar lighting and environment sensors among other facilities.
In the meantime, white topping work being done on selected roads, the ones first listed by BBMP in 2016 under package 1, is expected to be completed by September 2019. The BBMP wanted to complete the work in nine month’s time, but delayed the work due to denial of approvals from the traffic police initially. Then the work started on half the carriageway in different stretches to make way for motorists.
Advocate among those sentenced in land-grabbing case
A practising advocate was one among three persons who were convicted in a land-grabbing case by the Land Grabbing Prohibition Special Court in Bengaluru on Thursday. The three accused persons fabricated documents, grabbed the government land, and constructed a farm house. A complaint was lodged against the three persons in 2016 at a land-grabbing prohibition special court in Bengaluru.
In an attempt to curb crime in the city, Bengaluru City Police have decided to invoke the stringent Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA) against history-sheeters and drug peddlers. Under the provision, police is empowered to confiscate all the properties earned by an accused by indulging in criminal activities.
KSRTC buses to stop plying to Kerala for now
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) had stopped its bus services from the State to cities in Kerala on Wednesday, January 2, as a precautionary measure and service would only resume following clearance from the police. This follows after the vandalisation of two buses in the Kasaragod district and various organisations in Kerala in the violence that followed after two women entered the Sabarimala temple on Tuesday.
Chitra Santhe to be dedicated to Gandhi
The 16th edition of Chitra Santhe, the street art festival organised by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (CKP), to be held on January 6 Sunday, will be dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi to mark his 150th birth anniversary. Students and staff have made decorations related to Gandhi at the Parishath. Rare photos of Gandhi, sourced from Gandhi Bhavan, will be displayed. Over 2,500 artists from across the country are expected to participate. The 1,500 stalls will stretch from the Parishath campus to Shivananda Circle. Apart from display of art work, such as drawing, paintings, graphic prints, miniature art and sculptures, the Santhe will see performances and on-the-spot sketching and caricature drawing.
(Compiled by Rahna Jacob)