Bengaluru news in brief: Apr 22 – 28

This week's scan of Kannada newspapers have a number of reports from candidates flooding voters' cell phones with messages, to the possibility of Lokayukta probing irregularities in Bangalore University examination processes.


No demand for photographers

Photographers who click pictures for tourists near Vidhana Soudha, Lalbagh, Cubbon park and other places are leading a life of uncertainty these days. The number of tourists during this summer is decreasing. Adding to their woes, digital revolution has reduced the demand for photographers. With digital cameras, people themselves can take pictures. Photographers accept the fact that their income is going south. (Prajavani, Saturday, April 25)

Recession ups demand for smaller flats

Real estate is the worst hit due to global economic recession, and Bangalore is no exception. The demand for flats is nosediving. Those who want to have a house of their own could can now afford only single bedroom flats. Similarly those occupying two and three bedroom flats seem to be moving to single bedroom flats. Owners have reduced the cost of security deposit and dare not increase the rent either. Hundreds of houses are still lying vacant. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, April 26)


Lokayukta to probe Bangalore University irregularities?

The Bangalore University Syndicate has recommended a Lokayukta inquiry into alleged irregularities in the examination and valuation processes. In a meeting, the Syndicate also sought government cooperation in this. Students have been complaining against valuation since many years, but as the answer papers are now made available to them, they are able to prove their allegations. Financial irregularities have also been hinted at. The Syndicate has unanimously agreed to go with Vice Chancellor Dr Prabhudev’s decision about the Lokayukta. (Kannada Prabha, Monday, April 27)

Helpline for PU students

Education deparment has started a new helpline especially for PUC students. The Pre University board will run the helpline for five days around the time results will be announced. Well known psychiatrists will answer students’ questions. Depression is high among the students during results. They often have many questions which they can neither share with parents nor cope themselves. NIMHANS and Samudra, an NGO have joined hands with the initiative of the PU board. (Vijaya Karnataka, Saturday, April 25)

Privatisation of Bangalore open university on cards

Bangalore University is trying to privatise its open university wing. Though some of the members opposed this proposal during a senate meeting recently, there is an attempt to place it again in the next meeting. Bangalore university claims that privatisation is necessary to boost the economic conditions of the university. However privatisation will definitely make impact on courses. Education could become so expensive that it will become unaffordable to the common man, fear educationists. Already, a committee headed by university registrar Sanjay Veer Singh has recommended two private bodies to act as nodal agencies to look after the study center. (Vijaya Karnataka, Sunday, April 26)


Betting on election results rampant

Voting is over in Bangalore. However bookies are busy with betting, which has escalated post elections. Betting is high in three parliamentary constituencies in Bangalore- south, north and central- which are witnessing a close fight. Police express helplessness in curtailing these illegal activities since no third person is involved in it. Political betting is purely on personal confidence. (Vijaya Karnataka, Saturday, April 25)

SMS flood on the eve of voting

The three candidates in Bangalore South constituency competed with each other to harass voters. With just a day left for voting, these candidates indulged in last minute frantic attempts to reach as many voters as possible. The result was a flood of messages on voters’ cell phones. Voters continued to get barrage of SMS’ throughout the day. It is learnt that candidates got subscribers’ details directly from the service providers, promptly denied by the candidates. (Prajavani, Wednesday, April 22)

Different election, same demands

Water, road, street lights. These are the demands that voters place before candidates who approach them for votes. The demand is not from far away rural places, but from Bangalore residents. Interestingly these were the same demands during the previous elections too. Candidates promise to solve water and road problems, and conviniently forget the assurances. But nobody seems to realise that it is the duty of local administration to meet these demands, and one wonders what an MP has to do with water woes. (Prajavani, Wednesday, April 22)

Polling booth terrorises voters

Residents of Chamrajpet had complained against a polling booth set up in a graveyard during the last assembly elections. However, officials did not pay heed, and went ahead and set up polling booth (No 202) in the same place, keeping many voters away from voting. Public usually do not like to visit graveyard either for fear or for orthodox beliefs. Especially pregnant women would not dare to visit a graveyard. Moreover the plight of polling officials was horrible. They were forced to spend the whole night in the booth which had only one bulb lit by a temporary connection. (Kannada Prabha, Friday, April 24)

Elections come with public transport woes

Roads wore a barren look on election day. Traffic police too were on election duty, with very few manning the roads. Commuters paid little attention to traffic rules. With BMTC reserving over 1,500 buses for election duty, public transportation in Bangalore has been thrown out of gear. Scarcity of buses has forced the public to opt for other options. Promptly misusing the situation auto drivers have started demanding double the meter fare. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, April 24)


NGO suggests two alternative routes to Metro

Hasiru- Usiru, an NGO which is fighting to save Lalbagh from the Metro has proposed two alternative routes. In an attempt to protect Lalbagh, the NGO will approach the public and collect their views before approaching BMRCL officials. BMRCL has acquired 1,135 meters of land from Lalbagh to connect KR road to Banashankari. Though BMRCL has invited objections before notifying the area, nobody cared to file their views against acquiring Lalbagh land for Metro then. (Kannada Prabha, Saturday, April 25)


Dr Raj Memorial underway

Finally, construction of a memorial to late matinee idol Dr Rajkumar has started. The construction of pillars was started on the day of Dr Raj’s birthday, after a prolonged delay. The memorial is coming up near Kanteerava studio in about 2.5 acres of land on Tumkur. Memorial will include a museum, open theatre, garden and a library. This is expected to be completed by the end of this year. (Kannada Prabha, Friday, April 24)

BBMP’s tax collection drive successful

BBMP has almost achieved its target of collecting Rs 750 crores in the form of taxes. So far Rs 550 crores have been added to its treasury. On March 31 alone, the last day to avail 5% discount, Rs 175 crores was credited to BBMP account. More than 1.25 lakh people paid tax on that day. Officials carried the cheques in bags. BBMP has set a target of reaching 14 lakh potential tax payers. So far 7 lakh have paid. There are more than two lakhs vacant flats in Bangalore. BBMP expects least collection from this segment. (Prajavani, Thursday, April 23)


Metro to run through Labagh afterall

BMRCL has refused to alter the Metro route to avoid it running through the Lalbagh premises. It also cautioned any attempt to alter route may put the whole project in distress, leading to further burden on Bangalore residents by way of increased ticket fares. As the plan has been finalised joinlty by the Central and State governments, the latter alone cannot undertake any change in it. Delay in the execution of plan would escalate costs warns BMRCL. It may be recalled here that Hasiru- Usiru, an NGO has asked BMRCL to look for alternative routes for Metro besides proposing two of them. (Kannada Prabha, Sunday, April 26)

First rains bring woes yet again

Come monsoon, and Bangalore’s worst dreams come true. The first rains have again exposed the state of the city’s faulty drainage system. BBMP has again failed to desilt drainages resulting in storm water flooding the roads. BBMP cites a Lokayukta inquiry for this lapse. It may be recalled here that over Rs 500 crores were misused during the JDS government in the name of desilting drainages. Lokayukta has asked BBMP to submit all the details regarding desilting including upto date details of quantity of desilt that is transported. This has delayed the desilting works, BBMP says. (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, April 27)

Sheshadri road underpass to take shape by April 30

The underpass under construction near Maharani’s college on Sheshadri road is expected to takel shape by the end of this month. The work was delayed because of an unexpected rock structure and slow pace in changing pipelines by BWSSB. Meanwhile ramp construction on both sides of underpass is in full swing. BBMP sources say that the underpass in KR Circle too will be completed by April 30. (Prajavani, Thursday, April 23)

Delay in flyover works irks public

Works of the flyover over the Yeshwanthpur junction has been delayed by more than two years. This flyover was taken up during April 2006 to ease traffic flow between Maleshwaram and Tumkur road. The work should have been completed in18 months. However the work is still going on, continuing to trouble the public with dust and regular traffic jams. BBMP says that the delay is due to absence of an alterative road to the flyover. Land acquisition process too has delayed the construction. (Prajavani, Sunday, April 26)


Techies surrender to astrologers

World financial recession has affected employment generation and stability. Fearing losing their jobs, techies are trying to find solace in astrology. Techies are trying to findout whether any ‘Doshas’ are there in their ‘janma kundali’ so that those mistakes can be rectified. Most of them prefer to know about their future through emails. This is not only the case of employees, their employers too stand in queue to know about the company’s future. (Vijaya Karnataka, Friday, April 24)


Private operators (mis)rule BBMP pools

BBMP has handed over maintainance of many of its swimming pools to private operators. More than 5000 children use these swimming pools during summer vacation. Pools in Sanjaynagar, Sadashivnagar, Basavanagudi and other places are under private control. The private operators, though, show scant respect to safety measures that need to be in place, and BBMP seems to be least bothered about it too. Users have been complaining about the quality of water (causing alergy) and trainers (who do not pay any attention to their young wards). (Vijaya Karnataka, Monday, April 27)

Documentary on Pankaj Advani

Pankaj Advani is one of the finest billiards players that Karnataka has ever seen. At the age of just 18 years, he won the World Billiards championship, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padmashri awards too. Soon Pankaj Advani will appear on the silver screen with a docudrama on his life in English. To be shot in the near future, the drama will be based on his real life achievements and will have exciting accounts on Advani’s life, promises the cinematographer HM Ramachandra. (Kannada Prabha, Thursday, April 23)

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