Bengaluru Buzz: Mics seized from religious establishments | Digital passes for bus users … and more

City police acts after azaan row, hijab-wearing teachers taken off of exam duty, BMTC to introduce digital passes - read more of this week's news in our roundup.

Azaan row

Bengaluru City Police has seized microphones from many religious establishments, on the charge that they defied court orders on noise pollution. The police have booked cases and will monitor the prescribed decibel levels. Notices had been issued to 301 shrines, including temples, churches and mosques, with strictures to stick to KSPCB (Karnataka State Pollution Control Board) guidelines.

Many right-wing Hindu organisations had launched drives against azaan in mosques, vowing to counter it by playing Hanuman Chalisa and bhajans through loudspeakers. The Imam of Jamia Masjid, one of Bengaluru’s largest mosques, said they have installed a decibel meter to keep the volume of azaan within legally permissible limits.

City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said that police officers would be deployed around religious establishments to prevent untoward incidents. At least two cops have been deployed near every mosque from the start of Ramzan.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Hijab disallowed in II PUC exam halls

Students wearing hijab might not be allowed to write the II PUC exam later this month, as per an order issued by the education department. The order says that II PUC examinees must wear the uniform or dresses safeguarding equality and integrity, maintaining public order. It also refers to the orders by the state government and the High Court prohibiting hijab in schools and colleges.

Teachers who wear hijab have been taken off SSLC examination duty, and will not be drafted for the II PU examinations too.

Source: The Times of India

New trains to Tumakuru and Dharmapuri

South Western Railway will introduce eight pairs of trains, including Memus, from Bengaluru to Tumakuru and Dharmapuri from Friday. These will include KSR Bengaluru-Tumakuru-KSR Bengaluru Memu, KSR Bengaluru-Dharmapuri-KSR Bengaluru Memu, KSR Bengaluru-Channapatna-KSR Bengaluru, KSR Bengaluru-Hassan-KSR Bengaluru Demu, KSR Bengaluru-Marikuppam Memu, Marikuppam-KSR Bengaluru Memu, and Marikuppam-Byappanahalli Memu.

Source: The Times of India

Read More: New trains bring hopes of faster commute in Bengaluru

BMTC introduces digital passes

The BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) has launched mobile-based digital passes. Passengers can buy daily, weekly or monthly passes through an app provided by a company named Tummoc.

The facility is aimed at creating “a hassle-free pass purchase experience with cashless, paperless and contactless transactions for passengers,” according to a senior BMTC official. Passengers can show passes on their phones to the conductor, who will validate these. The pass can be activated before or after boarding, and should be validated within the next 30 minutes.

BMTC officials are also working to finalise the tender for electronic ticketing machines (ETMs), to enable the automatic fare collection system. The project has been introduced on a pilot basis.

Source: Indian Express, The New Indian Express, Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Bulk waste generators should take responsibility: BBMP

BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said that bulk waste generators (such as large apartments, commercial establishments, etc) should adopt decentralised waste management to tackle the city’s garbage problem. Bulk waste generators account for 1,500 tonnes out of the 6,000 tonnes of waste generated within BBMP limits daily.

If they don’t have space in their premises to set up composting or small bio-methanisation units, they should hand over the waste to empanelled vendors who will process it at their own units, Gupta said.

Source: Indian Express

Read More: Solid waste management: BBMP budget prioritises the worst solution of them all, more landfills

Campaign to make Cubbon Park a no-honking zone

About 50 C4C (Citizens for Citizens) activists and Mount Carmel College students stood beside roads in Cubbon Park with placards during peak traffic hours, from 9.30 am to 10.30 am, requesting that Cubbon Park be notified as a honking-free/silence zone. Rajender Kataria, Principal Secretary for Transport, Horticulture and Sericulture, accepted the petition they submitted.

Activists campaigning to make Cubbon Park a honking-free zone
Activists campaigning to make Cubbon Park a honking-free zone. Pic credit: Rajkumar Dugar/Facebook

Rajkumar Dugar from C4C said that honking is a major source of noise pollution which could lead to hypertension and hearing problems. Cubbon Park is a lung space, so the area should be notified as a ‘silence zone’, where visitors can go for peace and relaxation, he added.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

BWSSB’s expenses increase due to power tariff hike

The expenses of the BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) has been rising due to frequent hikes in electricity tariff. With the recent electricity tariff hike of five paise per unit, BWSSB’s monthly expenditure could increase by at least Rs 2 crore.

Whereas, the BWSSB had last hiked the water tariff in 2014, and its revenue has been stagnant since then. According to a senior officer at BWSSB, the Board’s monthly spending on electricity was around Rs 30 cr in 2014, but now this has increased to Rs 70-75 cr.

Source: Deccan Herald

DA hike for government employees

State government has approved a 2.75% increase in the Dearness Allowance (DA) for its employees, with retrospective effect from January 1, 2022. The DA has been revised from 24.5% to 27.25% of employees’ basic pay.

According to the finance department, the hike would benefit around six lakh employees and 4.5 lakh pensioners in the state. It would lead to an additional annual expenditure of Rs 1,447 crore for the government.

Source: Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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