Bengaluru Buzz: ISKCON may run Indira Canteens | Bridge course for PUC students … and more

BBMP will ask the state government to hand over 178 Indira Canteens in the city to ISKCON. Read more of this week's news in our roundup.

BBMP gives more powers to zonal commissioners

The BBMP on Wednesday issued a notification, signed by Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath, delegating more administrative and financial powers to its zonal commissioners. Zonal Commissioners had been appointed to BBMP’s eight zones in April 2021 for better coordination during the pandemic. But they have had little control over administrative and financial matters.

The departments of revenue, health, town planning, solid waste management, education, road infrastructure, horticulture, forest, animal husbandry and projects will be headed by their respective chiefs. But all other departments will henceforth be decentralised and will work under the zones.

Housing Minister V Somanna on Wednesday said that each zonal commissioner will be given special powers to sanction Rs 1 crore for emergency use during the monsoon and also to register complaints against officers for dereliction of duty.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu, The New Indian Express

Indira Canteens may be handed to ISKCON without tenders

BBMP has decided to ask the government to hand over 178 Indira Canteens to ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), without calling tenders. Tulasi Maddineni, Special Commissioner (Finance) at BBMP, said Indira Canteen was a social welfare programme and hence couldn’t be run by companies with commercial interests. The cost of meals to be borne by beneficiaries would remain the same after the handover.

Tulasi said that Indira Canteen’s name would not be changed, and bills would be settled soon. The decision was made due to complaints about the quality of food being served in the canteens.

Some have questioned BBMP’s move. Vinay Sreenivasa of Bahutva Karnataka, a coalition of progressive organisations, said that handing over the food supply contracts without tenders would amount to corruption.

Source: The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Read More: Bengaluru lockdown: Indira Canteens will serve three meals a day to low-income groups

Delay in PRR project stresses landowners

The failure of BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) to acquire land for the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) in time has led to stress among the affected people, especially private landowners. About 2,567 acres of land in 78 villages has to be acquired for the project. BDA has left it to the government to decide whether to apply the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Act, 2013, which will more than double the expenditure on the acquisition. During a field survey for the project, land losers had demanded compensation under the 2013 Act.

The project has been delayed by 14 years, during which land owners were unable to either transact or build on their land. They have demanded additional compensation for the delays, while some requested no-objection certificates to sell their land.

Source: Deccan Herald

Bescom assures uninterrupted power supply to businesses

The Bescom (Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company) said that it would waive fixed electricity charges for the hotels and restaurants registered under the Tourism Department. BESCOM MD, P Rajendra Cholan, assured that the waived amount for April-June 2021 would be reimbursed soon. Cholan also said that uninterrupted power supply would be ensured to business establishments, and transformers would be upgraded.

Source: Indian Express

AAP protests shutting of 3 govt schools

AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) members on Friday launched a 24-hour hunger strike in south Bengaluru, demanding the reopening of three government schools in Chickpet. They alleged that the schools were closed so that the land could be given to private real estate firms. The party threatened to intensify its protest, especially outside the home of Education Minister B C Nagesh, if its demands are not met.

Source: Deccan Herald

Read More: BNP, AAP bring issues of transparency, governance, to BBMP poll debate

Bridge classes for PUC students

With the first Pre-University College (PUC) classes about to start on June 9th, Bengaluru institutions are planning to offer bridge courses to help students make up for the learning gap due to the pandemic in the last two years.

A Pre-University College (PUC)
PUC classes will begin from June 9. Pic Credit: sharky 1005/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

SSLC examination results were announced last week. Some teachers said that the science stream was back in demand in PUCs, a shift from the demand for commerce in the last few years.

Source: Indian Express

Study on EV adoption

According to a CSTEP (Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy) study, electric vehicle (EV) uptake in India is driven by purchase price rather than TCO (total cost of ownership). The study recommended provisions to reduce the capital cost of EVs.

EV, public transport and non-motorised transport can reduce emissions, but their adoption require behavioural change. Hence consumer preferences and the factors that influence it should be understood, so as to devise effective interventions, the study said.

Source: Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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