Bengaluru Buzz: Hits, misses after 100 days| Public grievance cell lauded … and more

Other news of the week: Hottest August day in a decade, Namma Yatri's success story, and biomethanation plants to recycle.

Hits, misses after 100 days

For only this month of September, electricity bills by Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) will get dearer by Rs 1.15 per unit, due to the revision by Fuel and Power Purchase Cost Adjustment (FPPCA). However, the beneficiaries of the Gruha Jyothi scheme will be covered by the government.

On August 30th, the Gruha Lakshmi guarantee scheme, which will provide financial aid of Rs 2,000 to women heads of families in the state, was launched. This key pre-poll promise will benefit 1.1 crore women. Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi said that the party will launch the Gruha Lakshmi model throughout the country.

The Karnataka High Court stayed the transfer of 17 BBMP officials, including health inspectors and engineers. In 2021. The court had observed that interference in transfers is like politicising public office, leading to dangers in efficient and good administration.

The BBMP has decided to build permanent restrooms for pourakarmikas (civic workers) at 56 locations, much more than the 240 makeshift Suvidha Cabins. Pourakarmika unions have been demanding permanent restrooms at all the 600-odd mustering points through the city for years. For the first time, the BBMP is complying.

As the state government completed 100 days in office, the opposition BJP brought out a booklet on the “100 failures” of the ruling party to fulfill its promises.

Source: The Hindu, Bangalore Mirror, Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Read more: Shortfall in cash transfers: Anna Bhagya fails to reach all beneficiaries

Public grievance cell lauded

The public grievance cell of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) is getting applause from citizens. Unfulfilled complaints that were raised a year ago, are now getting tackled by government departments in just a few hours. Public grievances through social media, letters, calls and emails are collected and sent to the cell, which quickly transfers them to the relevant departments for quick resolution. Even news articles are routinely checked to register public inconvenience, so that suo motu complaints can be filed. The idea is to have a huge base to receive grievances, said the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the chief minister.

For each grievance, the cell creates an e-file on the e-office, while the departments are held accountable. The grievance redressal portals transfer the complaints to the concerned departments or officers. The OSD follows up with the departments to see that the issues are resolved.

Source: Deccan Herald

Hottest August day

On August 28th, the city sizzled with its hottest August day in a decade, with the temperature rising to 32.6°C, about 4.5°C away from normal, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Earlier, on August 24, 2012, the maximum temperature was 32.4°C. The mean temperature in August is about 28.1°C, based on available climatological data from 1991 to 2020. In the past week, the city has shown a temperature above 30°C. It has been mainly due to monsoon deficiency and the absence of westerlies.

But the temperature is unlikely to jump further and might gradually come down in the next few days. Light to normal rainfall is expected later this week.

Vidhana Soudha
Representative image. Vidhana Soudha. Pic: Pragathi Ravi

However, Bengaluru received just 24 mm of rain this month, which is an 80% deficit against the month’s average of 123 mm and the worst since at least 1971, reported the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC). Earlier, the lowest was again in 2012, with the deficit at about 36%.

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

Read more: How urban and peri-urban farming can play a small role in reducing carbon footprint

Namma Yatri’s success

From September 1st, developers of Namma Yatri, India’s first open mobility app for auto rickshaws, will be levying a subscription fee for drivers. The Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union said that the app will offer one ‘Daily Unlimited’ plan, at just Rs 25 per day, but only the first ride would be free. Alternatively, the ‘daily per trip’ might levy the drivers Rs. 3.50 per trip for up to 10 trips daily. After that, rides would be free.

Currently, Namma Yatri drivers are collectively earning over Rs 100 crore. They have not paid any commission since they were launched last November.

Meanwhile, a state autorickshaw union filed an application, requesting to be a respondent in a case pertaining to prices charged by ride-sharing platforms. It also referred to licenses for three-wheeler rides on those platforms. The application refers to the 2022 interim order of the Karnataka High Court, which had held that ride-sharing platforms could only charge 10% over and above the basic fare as a service charge.

Source: Indian Express

Biomethanation plants to recycle

The city’s upgraded biomethanation plants are gearing up for operation. The biomethanation plant located at Pattabhirama Nagar is expected to be commissioned on a trial basis. It would be a significant step towards sustainable waste management. The plant has the capacity to manage five tonnes of wet waste. The engineers have been directed to take steps to convert the biogas generated into electricity and light street lights as well as nearby parks.

The BBMP initiated the process of upgrading seven biomethanation plants through a a tender in December 2020. However, the upgradation of seven out of the 13 biomethanation plants was delayed due to the pandemic.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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