Bengaluru Buzz: BBMP ward reservation | Heavy rains | Lalbagh flower show…and more

Weekly news recap: Why five ex-mayors can't contest BBMP polls from home turf; rain fury and its aftermath; costly trash transfer plans, and more.

BBMP ward reservations announced

The government announced the notification for the reservation of all 243 BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) wards. Objections can be filed in writing, from the date of notification up to a week, to the Urban Development Department at Vikasa Soudha.

A significant number of the BBMP wards have been reserved for Backward Classes and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Of the 243 seats, 81 seats have been reserved for the OBC, 28 for the SC and four for the ST communities. A total of 130 seats have been reserved for the candidates from the general category. Half the seats in the above-mentioned reserved categories have been further reserved for women.

Meanwhile, senior ex-councillors, including five former mayors, cannot contest in the upcoming BBMP elections from the wards they represented, since the recently-notified reservation list has changed their ward categories. Many deputy mayors, ruling party and opposition leaders in the Council may also not be able to contest. The list has prompted many to file an objection petition before the court.

Source: The New Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Read more: How have BBMP wards been redrawn in delimitation draft?

Record rains submerge many neighbourhoods

Due to excessive rains and underground drainage flow and pressure, about 103 manholes have been forced open in the last eight to 10 days. Bengaluru Traffic Police officials are partnering with the BWSSB officials to fix them and drain out excess water with about 200 jetting machines.

In the last week, Bengaluru Urban district saw 124% excess rainfall. The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre records show 396.2 mm of rainfall between July 28 and August 3, with South Bengaluru receiving 168.5 mm, against a normal of 38.3 mm. Since June 1, Bengaluru city has received 525 mm, as against the normal of 309 mm. The highest in the last five years for August was 63.3 mm, recorded till Wednesday, according to the IMD (India Meteorological Department).

Although the Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath had assured that there will be no waterlogging issue like last year, several localities such as Horamavu, Sarjapur, Bellandur, Nandini Layout, M S Palya, K R Puram, Jnana Bharati, Kaggadasapura, and Jakkur reported waterlogging on roads, while even houses were marooned.

The stormwater drain connecting the Seegehalli lake in K R Puram overflowed and flooded residential areas in Whitecity Layout. Mahadevapura MLA Aravind Limbavali had promised – but has not even started – to construct a drain to flush out rainwater at the mouth of Rainbow Drive Layout in Sarjapur, leaving residents stranded.

The BBMP control room received several complaints of water flooding houses and tree falls from Banashankari, Dollar Colony, Nandini Layout, S S R Layout, Sankey Tank Road, and Richmond Town, although no casualty has been reported.

The unrelenting rainfall flooded over 1,000 homes, with 201 lakes overflowing and stormwater drains inadequate to contain the rush. Water overwhelmed 270 residents in Sai Layout, 14 residents in Pai Layout and 12 residents in Nagappa Reddy Layout, all in Horamavu. Flooding was reported in houses of 250 residents in HBR Layout, Horamavu Main Road, CV Raman Nagar, Panathur, Carmelaram, Belathur and Gunjur.

A large number of flooded roads held up traffic for hours, especially in parts of Outer Ring Road between Agara and KR Puram, a stretch near Haralur leading to Sarjapur Road, near Trinity Circle on MG Road and Doddakannelli. There were traffic jams in many parts, especially in the Central Business District (CBD) and key arterial roads. The Bengaluru Traffic Police reported traffic snarls in Outer Ring Road, Manyata Tech Park, Hebbal, Yelahanka, Airport Road, Tumakuru Road, Mysuru Road, Yeshwanthpur, Bannerghatta Road, Hosur Road, Bellandur, HSR Layout, and Kanakapura Road.

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

Lalbagh show from 5th to 15th

The Lalbagh Botanical Garden’s annual Independence Day flower show, based this year on Kannada film thespian Dr Rajkumar and his son Puneeth Rajkumar, is being held from August 5th to 15th, after a two-year-gap. There are a number of statues of the actors, and officials are expecting a footfall of 10 to15 lakh people over 10 days.

All beehives from the 240-acre park are being removed, as a seven-year-old was reportedly killed in 2015 after she was attacked by a swarm of bees. Almost 50 varieties of flowers from abroad and another 50-60 varieties of local flowers would be part of the show. The tickets will continue to be priced at Rs 70 on working days and Rs 75 on holidays.

Source: The Hindustan Times, Deccan Herald

Kithaganur Lake deteriorating

The 100-year-old Kithaganur lake at KR Puram, spread over 25.7 acres, is covered with hyacinth and polluted with garbage, mainly because it has no fencing. Although it is completely rain-fed and has no underground drainage system, the lack of maintenance has taken a toll on the lake. It was once a source of drinking water and a swimming spot, but has now become a urinal.

Gram panchayat member, Ramesh Babu Reddy, said that in spite of funds to revive the lake, political pressure from the local MLA and urban development minister Byrathi Basavaraj has caused the inaction against encroachments.

Source: The Indian Express

Trash transfer stations may be expensive

The government has agreed to the BBMP’s proposal to build three large garbage transfer stations at a cost of Rs 305 crore, in order to stop the shifting of garbage from auto-tippers to compactors that deface public places. However, it does not include waste processing, which might financially cripple the BBMP. It is trying to spend an average of Rs 38 crore annually to transfer just 10% of garbage collected.

BBMP garbage compactors trucks in a row
BBMP’s compactors. Pic:

Read more: Reasons why garbage marshals are ineffective in Bengaluru

The Rs 305-crore project, awarded to a private firm, Parishudh Ventures, involves commissioning and O&M (operating and maintaining) transfer stations with a minimum capacity of 150 tonnes per day for municipal solid waste. The cost of installing three stations is estimated at Rs 36.91 crore, while the O&M cost for seven years would be Rs 267.65 crore.

Each transfer station will cover at least 10 wards, so hundreds of auto-tippers that travel less than 3 km to shift garbage to the compactor, might now have to travel up to 10 kms to transfer the garbage.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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