Indira Canteen contractors not paid for seven months
Contractors of 198 Indira Canteens, including mobile canteens, find it difficult to operate as the BBMP has not paid their bills for more than seven months. The contractors include Chef Talk Food and Hospitality Services Pvt Ltd, Rewards, and Adamya Chetana.
Udaykumar of Rewards used to operate 88 canteens, but is now managing 50, according to the new tenders which came into effect on August 1. The government subsidy (for three meals per day) was earlier Rs 37, but has been reduced to Rs 30.3 (Rs 9.8 for breakfast and Rs 10.25 each for lunch and dinner), he said. Citizens pay Rs 25 for three meals a day (Rs 5 for breakfast, and Rs 10 each for lunch and dinner).
Many canteens have not been able to pay water and power bills as well. BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said the state government had not released money for maintenance of the canteens, which has affected payment to contractors.
Source: The Hindu
Govt mulls separate agency for solid waste management
The state government wants to take away SWM (solid waste management) from the BBMP, and institute a parastatal agency along the lines of the dedicated agencies for power, water, bus and Metro services. However, BBMP wants to propose the formation of a Bengaluru Solid Waste Processing Corporation that will be tasked with waste processing, even as it retains street sweeping and garbage collection. The government is yet to take a final call on the issue, sources said.
Abdul Wajid (Congress), former leader of Opposition in the BBMP Council, termed it yet another instance of the state government eating into the autonomy of BBMP. Shanthala Dhamle of Aam Aadmi Party said that an autonomous agency for SWM would end people’s right to question.
Meanwhile, eight non-profit organisations have come together to launch Saamuhika Shakti, a multi-year project funded by Sweden-based H&M Foundation. The project hopes to enable higher and more stable incomes for waste-pickers, improved working conditions, recognition, access to alternative professions, support systems for domestic violence victims, and so on. BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad said work was on to identify waste collectors, give them identity cards and bring them under SWM rules.
Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald | The New Indian Express
BBMP promises e-khata
With e-Aasthi, a new digital records management system, the BBMP promises to make it easier for citizens to get their property papers including khata. The e-Aasthi system is already operational as part of a pilot in three wards — Shanthalanagar, Neelasandra and Shantinagar. It will be extended to 100 wards within two weeks. Under the system, every property holder with an Aadhaar card can also get a digi locker in which their digital property documents can be stored.
Meanwhile, the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore has proposed a complete stamp duty waiver for low-value housing in a recent report. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has accepted and released the study report, which had been commissioned by the National Housing Bank (NHB).
Source: Deccan Herald
20 trade unions join nationwide protest
Almost 20 trade unions and organisations went on a rally from Majestic to Freedom Park to stage a protest on Thursday, November 26. Protests were also held in industrial areas such as Peenya, Bommasandra and Jigani.
S Varalakshmi, State president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, said they were protesting the Union government’s amendments to labour laws that have deprived the labour class of their rights in order to appease industrialists. The protesters have demanded that the government give at least Rs 7,500 per month for six months to families below the threshold of income tax limit, which will also help revive the economy.
Source: The Hindu
Bengaluru chosen for pioneer cities programme
Bengaluru is among four Indian cities selected by the World Economic Forum, a Geneva-based not-for-profit organisation, to pioneer a new global policy roadmap for smart cities, developed by the G20 GlobalSmart Cities Alliance. The other Indian cities are Faridabad, Hyderabad and Indore.
In a statement, the World Economic Forum said these “pioneer cities” would adopt policies for privacy protection, better broadband coverage, accountability for cyber security, increased openness of city data, and better accessibility to digital city services for the elderly and people with disabilities.
Source: The Hindu
Survey of manual scavengers
A recent survey indicated that in the eight city zones excluding Yelahanka, Bommanahalli and Dasarahalli, there were 1,139 manual scavengers. But the final details are not yet known.
BBMP has asked the joint commissioners of all zones to do another survey to identify people pushed into manual scavenging. It will cover areas within the BBMP, with particular focus on the 110 villages recently added to the Palike. These villages have no underground drainage and hence manual scavenging is known to be prevalent there.
Source: The New Indian Express | Deccan Herald
COVID reinfection cases suspected
Seven out of 28 government and private hospitals in Bengaluru have reported 35 cases of “possible COVID reinfection”, which raise questions for health workers battling the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the dip in temperatures, made worse by rain due to Nivar, has led to an upswing in viral infections that are probably not COVID-19. However, with symptoms being common, doctors find themselves dealing with patients’ fear of COVID-19. People are rushing to doctors if they develop a cough, sore throat or even if they feel cold, fearing they have contracted the illness.
Source: The New Indian Express
Metro services to Anjanapura to start in December
Commercial operations of the extended Green Line of Namma Metro, from Yelachenhalli to Anjanapura, will start by mid-December. The 6-km line with five stations will help residents living on either side of Kanakapura Road and NICE road.
Residents had demanded that BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) and BBMP ensure easy access to Metro stations and robust last-mile connectivity prior to commissioning the line.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]