Articles by Harshitha Padmavinod

Harshitha is a reporter with Citizen Matters, Bengaluru. She is interested in covering issues on women's rights, environment, crime, and civic concerns. Her work has been previously published in The Hindu, The Logical Indian and Deccan Herald.

Devaragunda Venkappa (DV) Sadananda Gowda represented Bangalore North Parliamentary constituency in the 17th Lok Sabha elections, marking the fourth term of being re-elected in the Lok Sabha elections since 2004. He has represented Bangalore North for two consecutive terms since the Lok Sabha 2014 elections. He served as the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka in 2011.  In 2014, he was sworn in as the cabinet minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first elected government and held the position of Ministry of Railways and other cabinet positions. He also served as the Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation of India from…

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One of the youngest MPs elected in the 17th Lok Sabha elections, Tejasvi Surya from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) represents Bangalore South Parliamentary Constituency. He also continues to be the National President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha-a post he has held from 2020. Since 2014, Surya has been an active contributor to BJP, by organising rallies and campaigns. He also represented many BJP leaders as a lawyer, and helped B S Yediyurappa in defending him in corruption cases.  Since September 2019, Surya has been a member of Joint Committee on Offices of Profit and Standing Committee on Communications and Information…

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Traffic congestion and and mobility are among Bengaluru's topmost concerns today. In the run up to the elections, as the spotlight turns on how the city's sitting MPs have performed over the last five years, their actions and stance on this issue certainly deserves some scrutiny. How have they engaged with the issue? Did they propose any solutions? The major traffic & mobility issues In 2019, Bengaluru recorded the second highest number of vehicle, with over 80 lakh. Nearly 84% of households have motor vehicles. Lack of first and last mile connectivity, reduced bus ridership, under-completion of metro connectivity across…

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The theme for Mount Carmel College's Platinum Jubilee last year was ‘Herstory'. However, starting from this academic year, the college will not entirely be 'hers' since Mount Carmel, which has been a women's college for 75 years, has opened admissions to boys. Dr. Lekha George, principal of Mount Carmel College, says this decision was not taken overnight. "It was in discussion for a few years and the management took a call to start it this year." Mismanaged communication The students have expressed disappointment over the way the announcement was made. “It was posted on social media, even before we, the…

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The traffic congestion at Outer Ring Road (ORR)-Sarjapura Road has been a long-standing issue. To address this, Citizen Matters held a panel discussion, ‘Solving Sarjapura-ORR Gridlock’ on February 26th. Moderated by Meera K, co-founder of Citizen Matters, the panel included G T Prabhakar Reddy, Chief Traffic Manager, BMTC; Vivekanand Kotikalapudi, Urban Mobility Advisor; Mukund Kumar, Managing Trustee, Iblur Environs Trust; and Srinivas Alavilli, Fellow- Integrated Transport and Road Safety, WRI India.  Sarjapura Road is an integral connection to the IT corridor of south-east Bengaluru. ORR is completely developed with a focus on tech parks. There is currently a surge in…

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The delusional bubble of our so-called ‘progressive society’ is broken every year on International Women’s Day. Irrespective of how far we have developed, we still struggle to comprehend and respect simple concepts of freedom and equality, especially concerning women.  A woman's identity is not tied to a man The identity of a woman is somehow still rigidly bound by her association with a man, be it her father or her husband. A single woman is often judged. It is not just society that ties a woman to a man’s name, but also the government with some regressive policies. The recent…

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Citizen activism in Bengaluru has been an example of perseverance and driving change. There are citizen groups that serve as an inspiring example that not all development initiatives need to be government-led. Sustained citizen action can play a huge role. These groups have demonstrated that the city can advance through hyper local intervention by citizens. We profile a few of these groups that mark their milestone years of being changemakers. Whitefield Rising: 10 years of citizen action The question of responsibility for addressing everyday issues, like garbage and traffic, prompted Nitya Ramakrishnan, founder of Whitefield Rising, Mahadevpura constituency, to contemplate that…

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According to the recently released 2023 Bengaluru Crime Data, there is a significant gap between reported and detected crimes in the city.  In 2023, 12,627 cases of total crimes were reported, of which only 3,603 crimes were detected. This shows a gap of 71.48% between reported and detected cases. From 2022 to 2023, there seems to have been a 36% rise in crimes across the city, driven by various motives. However, sudden and grave provocation topped the list for motives. “We can never definitely say that crime has increased or decreased, because crime is always there, only the trend in…

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With the aim of bringing the government to citizens' doorstep, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister, D K Shivakumar organised a 10-day Janaspandana programme in 10 constituencies, starting from January 3rd, this year. Grievances are registered on the spot and Shivakumar has promised to address the issues himself.  As per reports, nearly 4,000 complaints were registered from only two constituencies: K R Puram and Mahadevapura. The programme included access to officials from civic agencies like Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), among…

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This year marked several developments in Bengaluru's public transport, from the introduction of the Shakti Scheme ensuring free bus travel for women in Karnataka to the completion of the Purple Line and the launch of the 'Personal2Public Campaign' to encourage metro use in the IT corridor. However, even as there is optimism about improving public transport in the city, the progress of the suburban rail has been quite slow, the urban poor find using the metro unaffordable, and much more needs to be done to improve bus connectivity in the city. We look back on our coverage of public transport…

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