HC asks govt to halt elevated corridor project
Karnataka High Court has asked the state government to halt work on the elevated corridor project until it decides on a case related to the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC). MPC, the statutory body responsible for city planning and approving major projects like the elevated corridor, has been almost dysfunctional. A few citizen activists from the Namma Bengaluru Foundation and Citizen’s Action Forum had filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) after government hurriedly called tenders for the elevated corridor project, without public consultations.
A bench headed by the Acting Chief Justice Narayana Swamy and Justice Dinesh Kumar told the state government “not to precipitate matters” and to put its activity on the corridor on hold. The next date of hearing is March 19th.
Meanwhile, civic groups led by Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) have organised a protest rally on Saturday, to demand that the government cancel the tenders called for the first phase of the 102-km-long elevated corridor project. The rally will be held under the slogan ‘#ElevatedCorridorTenderRadduMadi’.
The Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) had floated tenders for the first phase of the project on March 4th. The first phase comprises the 22 km-long North-South corridor, from Baptist Hospital on Bellary Road to Silk Board Junction.
Bannerghatta National Park’s Eco-Sensitive Zone trimmed down
Thousands of citizens had objected to the trimming down of Bannerghatta National Park’s Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ), which provides a regulated buffer zone around protected areas. Yet, the ESZ Expert Committee of the centre’s MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) has recommended that the park’s ESZ remain at 168 sq kms, reduced by about 100 sq kms (37 percent) from the original proposal. The first draft notification issued in 2016 had marked 268 sq kms as ESZ.
The new ESZ will range from 100 metres (towards Bengaluru) to one kilometre (in Ramanagaram district), from the periphery of the protected area. About 150 to 200 elephants have been spotted in the park, according to estimates by the ESZ Committee.
Source: The Hindu
HC to media: ‘Don’t cross Lakshman rekha’
The Karnataka High Court cautioned the media not to cross the “Lakshman rekha”, or encroach into others’ privacy. Justice B Veerappa said that the right of the media to publish facts or opinions should only be to foster public interest, without invading into an individual’s personal life. The media should toe the line, especially since laws relating to matrimonial disputes and divorce, and offences against children and women, have imposed “reasonable restrictions”, he said.
Justice Veerappa made these observations while allowing a petition filed by a software engineer, a woman who lives in Cardiff. She had sought that a Kannada TV channel be restricted from telecasting information about her marital dispute, which was pending before a family court.
E-rickshaws in IISc campus
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is launching a campus service of 10 electric autos on March 16th, to help transport students, staff, faculty and visitors within the 400-acre campus.
Called Pick-E-Rick, the autos will ply on five routes with distance ranging from 1.94 kms to 3.3 kms. They will operate between 8 am and 7.30 pm, Monday to Saturday. A flat fare of Rs 5 will be charged from each person for a one-way trip. The fare can be paid only through digital mode via an app or e-wallet. Transvahan Technologies India Pvt Ltd will be operating the e-rickshaws on an ‘Own, Operate, Maintain’ basis.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Sivakumar]