Week’s news in brief: Aug 1-7

This week's scan of Bangalore's Kannada dailies includes a number of reports from VIP's rush to Akka Sammelana to be held in Chicago to cases against 1,500 officials including IAS and IPS officers for providing fake caste certificates.

Arts and Culture

Govt apathy may cost city the NSD regional centre

The government’s failure to provide suitable a space to the prestigious National Drama School (NSD) may result in the city losing its much hyped regional centre. The centre was sanctioned after activists staged a series of protests. The government has asked them to hold plays in Gurunanak Bhavan in Vasanthnagar (behind the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Comitttee office, near the Karnataka Badminton Association), reluctant to provide land for the centre. Regional director of NSD Suresh Anagalli cautions that all plans of the regional centre may be put on hold if suitable space is not provided immediately. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, August 4 )


Aid to AIDS Society goes missing

A team of CBI sleuths arrived in the city for the second time to pursue investigation into charges of misappropriation of funds in the Karnataka AIDS Prevention Society. On its first visit, the team confiscated all the documents. The World Bank, which aided the AIDS prevention programmes in the state, identified a huge volume of misappropriation, allegedly by a few NGOs. However the CBI has so far failed to make any headway into the investigation. ( Kannada Prabha , Wednesday, August 6 )

Arts and Culture

Government VIPs for AKKA convention

Akka Sammelana, the Kannada convention to be held in Chicago this month is mired in controversy yet again. Every year, the meet attracts maximum participation from government representatives, bureaucrats and VIPs who vie for a chance to visit the US at the government’s (read tax payers’) expense. This year the government is sending a few BJP members to participate in this convention, who are supposedly VIPs. However the final list of participants is not yet made public. A total of 170 people from different walks of life are expected to participate in the convention scheduled for the end of this month. ( Kannada Prabha , Friday, August 1 )


Techies programme for underprivileged kids

A team of software engineers is doing its bit to provide quality education to slum children. The team, through its organisation Ashaye Foundation is helping children enrol in schools and provides them with uniforms and books. Members use their leisure time to host programmes that will be helpful to these underprivileged children. According to Jaybroto Ganguli, the president of the foundation, it was started in 2007 with the aim of bringing awareness about poverty among techies. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Saturday, August 2 )

Bangalore University bans careless evaluation suprevisor

A report published in the Kannada Prabha helped nine students of Bangalore University to pass their exams. The report highlighted the plight of students belonging to BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application) programme at Jain College, who had scored less than 15 marks in a particular paper though they had scored well in other papers. The mistake in the evaluation came to light when they got photocopies of their answer papers. The university accepted the mistake and passed all the students, and even imposed a lifetime ban on the evaluation supervisor. ( Kannada Prabha , Sunday, August 3 )

Solar eclipse? Time to eat peanuts!

The recent solar eclipse generated a lot of concern among the public as usual, with astrologers warning people not to venture outdoors during the eclipse and even advising them to fast the entire day. To educate the public about the same and rid them of these ‘blind beliefs’, a team of scientists distributed groundnuts during the eclipse and encouraged the public to eat them without any fear, near National College in Basavanagudi. ( Kannada Prabha , Saturday, August 2 )


Illegal hoardings attract stern action

The state government has issued an order banning illegal advertisement hoardings and flex boards, banners and buntings. The new order intends to initiate ‘stern’ action against violators. The BBMP, which has been asked to look into this, has divided the Bangalore into four zones and is permitting hoardings and advertisements to be put up only on conditional basis. There appear to be many conditions. For e.g., banning hoardings near Vidhana Soudha. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Friday, August 1 )

870 files go missing in a government commission

Files that often go missing in a government department are not taken seriously, as it is a common occurrence. But when 870 files go missing, it is cause for concern. The said files were found missing in the State Women’s’ Commission, which led to a serious discussion in the recently concluded assembly session. The government has promised the agitated members that stern action would be taken against the employees concerned. Members of the Commission allege that files go missing to cover up certain cases ( Kannada Prabha , Saturday, August 2 )

Officials’ darbar to continue in BBMP

The government’s reluctance to hold elections for the BBMP may lead to the continuation of official raj for some more months. Come October, officials complete two years of tenure in the BBMP. Though the high court has directed the election commission to hold elections for the BBMP within three months, ward classification is taking too long, with the number of wards set to increase from the present 100 to 145. ( Prajavani , Saturday, August 2 )

Lokayukta sends IPS officer packing to Coorg

Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde showed immense integrity in sending back a high profile IPS officer who was transferred from Coorg to Bangalore. B N S Reddy, who was transferred as SP of Coorg district was relentlessly trying to come back to Bangalore. He was rewarded when he was appointed to the Lokayukta office. However, the government had to consult the Lokayukta before appointing any officer to latter’s office according to tradition. Expressing his unhappiness towards government’s favouritism, the Lokayukta sent a disappointed B N S Reddy back to Coorg. ( Prajavani , Monday, August 4 )

City’s top cop intent on curbing land mafia

Bangalore’s new police commissioner Shankar Bidari has sent a circular to all police stations regarding the handling of the land mafia and land disputes. Expressing his displeasure over increasing cases of disputes and police interests in such cases, he warned of initiating stern action against erring officers. Bidari has also promised to print circulars containing legal details regarding various kinds of land disputes and distribute them among the public. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Sunday, August 3 )

Epic mistakes by EPIC

With an eye over the imminent parliamentary and city council elections, the state election commission and the BBMP have launched an Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) movement in 28 assembly constituencies of Bangalore. The special drive was launched to issue ID cards to voters. However, discrepancies abounded yet again, with people complaining of mistakes in gender, address details, misspelling of names, etc. The work, handled by a private firm manned mostly by non-kannadigas is the most likely reason why these mistakes are creeping in again and again, allege voters. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Sunday, August 3 )

Adopt a stray dog’ drive by BBMP

The BBMP’s efforts at dealing with the stray dog menace have so far invited controversies. It has now hit upon a new plan for the same – it is requesting the public to adopt strays. This time around, officials are eyeing schools. Along with representatives of various NGOs and layout welfare associations, they are visiting schools and requesting students to adopt dogs. Officials insist that this exercise is aimed at bringing awareness among students. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Monday, August 4 )

Demand for false caste certificates to avail govt facilities

Over 1500 officials have changed their castes by producing fake caste certificates in a bid to avail of government facilities. The list includes IAS and IPS officers too. These cases are registered in the Civil Rights Enforcement directorate. Bangalore North taluk appears to be in the forefront of providing such fake certificates. Additional DG of the directorate KVR Tagore fears that a mafia is operating in this field. ( Kannada Prabha , Thursday, August 7 )


AIDS awareness programmes by NGO

Contrary to general opinion that truck drivers are more vulnerable to AIDS, people from other walks of life too fall prey to this dreaded disease. ‘Alipt’, an NGO is conducting awareness camps in this regard to hotel workers, to enthusiastic response by the latter. Having held ten such camps so far, Alipt wants to take its awareness camps to other parts of state too. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Thursday, August 7 )


There’s a way but BBMP shows no will

The Krishnayyanapalya road near Baiappanahalli often turns into sludge during heavy rains, thanks to the apathy shown by the BBMP. Though Rs 2 crores were sanctioned to repair this road, work is scheduled to begin next December putting pedestrians and motorists to peril in the meanwhile. ( Kannada Prabha , Monday, August 4 )

Rains bring cheer to city

The recent showers have proved beneficial to residents of Bangalore. It has resulted in raising the water levels of the Cauvery reservoirs, thus putting an end to the city’s water woes for the time being. The BWSSB might as well heave a sigh of relief, as delay in the rains might have thrown water supply out of gear. The Tippagondanahalli reservoir too is filled with excess water, with the level increasing from 10 to 18 feet. ( Prajavani , Sunday, August 3 )

GPS positions BMTC in the red

An audit report indicted BMTC of incurring huge losses to the tune of over Rs.1 crore for failing to make effective use of the Global Positioning System (GPS). BMTC went in for GPS to improve transit system and track the movements of its buses. However it did not make other necessary arrangements like website and online vehicle tracking system. Though the BMTC hired private operators at huge costs, it failed to ensure an effective system. The present GPS fails to identify satellite positioning, trees and huge buildings that come on the way. On flyovers, the GPS hardly works. ( Vijaya Karnataka , Sunday, August 3 )

Cauvery water for all by 2011

Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu, in charge of Bangalore, has promised that the BJP government will ensure Cauvery water for all by 2011. Naidu assures that Phase 4 of the Cauvery water supply project will start from this December at the cost of Rs.3,365 crores. Bangalore can consume 19 TMC of Cauvery water, but BWSSB has so far succeeded in utilising only 12 TMC. ( Udayavani , Tuesday, August 5 )

A Playground for illegal activities

The Kittur Rani Chennamma playground near Madhavan park in Jayanagar 3rd Block is turning into a den of illegal activities. Sheer apathy and negligence on the part of officials has led to this state of affairs. Sports lovers lament that the ground is used for illegal activities by drunkards. Iron gates and everything else, including cricket nets have been stolen from this unfortunate playground. ( Prajavani , Wednesday, August 6 )

Underpass robs Malleswaram’s charm

People now wonder if underpasses and flyovers are necessary for development. The underpass at Malleshwaram circle has turned the once-busy area into a hub of confusion. Lack of traffic directions and adequate footpaths have added to the chaos. Residents feel that this ‘useless’ underpass has robbed the traditional Malleshwaram of its old-world charm. ( Prajavani , Thursday, August 7 )


Bangalore’s superwoman stuns with stunts

A Maruti Omni drives on her stomach, followed by a bike which rides on her legs, yet she smiles. Meet Akhileshwari, Bangalore’s superwoman, who leaves hundreds of spectators speechless with her stunts. A first PUC student in Vishwabharati College and a front runner in extra- curricular activities, Akhileswari says she started playing with danger when she was just 4 year old. She has won gold medals in national kickboxing championship and medals in state level Karate championships. She can be contacted on 9241715299. ( Prajavani , Monday, August 4 )

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