Bangalore Buzz: BBMP vs pourakarmikas, new plans to ease traffic, and more

The latest in the controversy over non-payment of salaries to pourakarmikas, objections to certain proposed corridors and a collaboration with Japan to install smart traffic signals across the city -- did you catch all this on the papers over the week gone by? A quick recap of these and other pertinent news from namma Bengaluru.

Pourakarmika kills self due to non-payment of salary for six months:  As many as 3,385 waste-pickers who had joined the BBMP’s workforce recently and have less than one year experience with the civic body, did not receive salaries for the last six months. This allegedly led to Subramani, 37 year old resident of Vyalikaval, committing suicide on July 8th.

BBMP has claimed to have released Rs 27 crore on July 10 subsequently to ensure that others are paid their dues and that such incidents do not recur. Meanwhile, the civic body is also planning on-ground verification of workers, because the list includes several ‘ghost’ or fake workers. Some of them had been employed by the contractors in other roles or supervisors had enrolled them during the biometric drive after taking money from them.

Source: Bangalore Mirror/ The Hindu /The Hindu

Ambulances do not need to stop for VIPs anymore: Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister G Parameshwara wrote to Neelamani N. Raju, the state’s police chief, requesting him not to block the movement of ambulances for the benefit of VIP convoys.  The Deputy CM took personal interest in this issue when it was brought to his notice that an ambulance was delayed by 15 minutes last month because his convoy was passing through the same direction. The rule has already seen a precedence last year when an ambulance going on former President Pranab Mukerjee’s route in Bengaluru was allowed to pass through in-spite of the high security deployed on roads.

Source:  The Times of India

High Court hears petitions filed by the Yelahanka-Puttenahalli Lake and Bird Conservation Trust: A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Krishna S. Dixit gave permission to issue notices to the central and state government regarding the setting up of a power plant between Yelahanka-Puttenahalli Lakes. Members of the trust said that it would destroy the 127 bird species in and around Puttenahalli lake, also destroying the storm water drains connecting the two lakes. If the gas-recycling power-plant came up within 500 metres of Puttenahalli lake, it would cause a major ecological imbalance, not limited to the impact on lakes.

Source: The Hindu

De-congesting Old Airport Road with 17.5 km long signal-free corridor: Top brass from BBMP and HAL have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and officially sealed the deal on July 9th to begin the construction of a signal free corridor from Vellara Junction to Hope Farm Junction. The corridor is meant to serve the HAL employees as well as the general public, who are inevitably help up by traffic on Old Airport Road at peak hours and otherwise. The 109.5-crore project, slated to be completed within the next five months, is being funded out of the Nagorathana scheme. The BBMP has also finished acquiring many public properties around Suranjan Das Road junction, Wind Tunnel junction and Kundalahalli junction to start building underpasses at the three locations.

Source: The Hindu

Activists argue against the six elevated corridors proposed in HDK’s budget:  The project that was not seen in good light by activists three years ago has surfaced again in the newly elected Chief Minister’s budget. In a panel discussion held recently, activists objected to the proposed elevated corridors costing Rs 15,825 crores. The angry citizenry called it elitist and uneconomical, and not fit for the long-term solutions required to help people commute across the city.

Source: India Today

Sudha Murthy offers Rs 200 crore to build Konappana Agrahara metro station: Murthy, the Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, has always been an ardent supporter of the metro rail project and was looking for ways to contribute. When the BMRCL proposed a station at Konappana Agrahara in Phase II it piqued her interest. She met Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy on July 7th and offered Rs 200 crore towards the station’s building and maintenance for the next 30 years according to a contract. The deal will be signed formally by both parties on July 19th.  Her interest stems from the close proximity of the station to the Infosys main gate in Electronic City, which will help thousands of techies in the surrounding areas commute more easily.

Source: The New Indian Express

Pet lovers have another bone to pick with BBMP:  Social media platforms have two hashtags concerning stray dogs trending in Bengaluru: #NoMoreACBFailure and #TreatMyStreetizenRightBBMP. Yangchen Dolkar, resident of Vasanthpura, started the campaign to protest the unexplained death of a stray dog who was being treated for infected intestines at Animal Birth Control (ABC) located in Bommanahalli zone. Animal lovers in the city believe that ACB centres run by BBMP do not provide sufficient care for strays, who are generally let out only after a day’s treatment, even when up to six months is required for full recovery. The Animal Husbandry department, however, said that the blame could not be placed on the doctor alone, who had nothing to with the dog’s demise.

Source: The Deccan Herald

Japanese smart signals to help ease Bengaluru traffic woes: Consequent to an MoU signed last December between the Indian and Japanese governments, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is now set to invest approximately Rs 72 crore in a project that will install smart network signals powered by Japanese technology in the city.  The mainstay of the scheme is that instead of fixed signal timers, the smart signals will be programmed to change according to real time data on the number of vehicles along the road in a particular junction. Currently, 29 junctions along M G Road and Hosur Road have been identified for the installation of these signals. The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) will be the nodal agency for the project.

Source: Bangalore Mirror


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