Bengaluru Buzz: Marshals catching litterers | Civic Saturday at High Court | BMTC pilots e-wallet

From BBMP to waste management to air quality crisis, all the important happenings in the city over the last week that matter to you, in one place.

Palike appoints marshals to catch citizens dumping garbage

BBMP Counsel D N Nanjunda Reddy informed the High Court during the hearing held on November 5 that throwing of garbage in black spots beautified by pourakarmikas for Kannada Rajyotsava still continues. In response, the HC bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, directed the Palike to file criminal complaints and fine the litterers as per the guidelines under the Karnataka Open Spaces (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act 1981. An affidavit with specific details of the violations is to be submitted before the next court hearing on December 15. 2018.

Over the last week, more than 250 marshals have been deployed by BBMP to catch the violators. They patrol at night, identify the violators and seize plastic bags wherever found. So far about 1120 two-wheelers, 136 three-wheelers, 91 Light motor vehicles, 24 trucks and 33 tractors were caught dumping garbage between November 1 to 8, says The Hindu. Offenders discarded hotel, medical, construction and animal waste, said the BBMP’s Chief Marshal, retired Colonel Rajbir Singh. The bench asked Advocate General Udaya Holla to study the legal options against repeat offenders. The HC emphasised that maintaining police records is important.

In a coordination committee meeting on October 15, the Chief Secretary agreed to revise the penalties under Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Act, 2013. The penalties will henceforth increase by 20% every year.

Source: The Economic Times | The Hindu | Bangalore Mirror| The Deccan Herald |

Civic Saturday begins at the High Court

Garbage and debris being dredged out of the SWD around midday on August 15, 2017. Pic: Ammu Joseph

At the High Court of Karnataka, Saturdays are meant for BBMP issues on garbage, hoardings, drains and potholes. First such hearing was held on last Saturday, November 3. During the hearing on Storm Water Drains (SWD), senior advocate Aditya Sondhi conveyed to the court that Rs 42 crores had been allocated by the state government to clean the drains one-time. BBMP counsel V Sreenidhi said the tender had been floated on October 27, the last date being November 24. This is a first step towards establishing a regular maintenance system of the drains. Otherwise, the clean up is restricted to every pre-monsoon season.

Out of 1700 illegal hoardings that were splashed across the city, Sreenidhi told the court that only 55 are left to be removed by next week with help of mechanical intervention, while the rest were removed voluntarily. BBMP has sent sample material of biodegradable cotton from two agencies to Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) for a test to determine the least damaging cloth material for displaying advertisements on sky-walks, public toilets, buses and other public utilities. The court criticised the KSPCB and Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET) for not submitting the result sooner.

Potholes were also up for discussion. The coordination committee has decided to release funds to BBMP for the damage caused by BWSSB to road infrastructure. In a letter, the committee has suggested a more coordinated approach between BWSSB and BBMP.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Hindu

Air Quality worsens post Deepavali; SC’s time limit flouted

The aftermath of Diwali celebrations has been marked by the rising Air Quality Index from November 1 to 8 in Bengaluru. Five areas were monitored, out of which Hebbal and Jayanagar recorded an AQI of 147, NIMHANS and Silk Board recorded 134, and Mysuru road recorded 145.
A few disturbed residents from HSR Layout, Yelahanka and Mahadadevapura took to tagging the police on social media when the Supreme Court’s deadline to burst crackers between 8 pm -10 pm was ignored by their neighbors. However, no FIR was filed, confirmed Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar. He said that bursting of crackers had reduced compared to previous years and most people have stuck to the window given to them this year.

However, 55 cases of Deepavali-induced burns have been reported this year. Some of the victims have been treated at Minto Eye Hospital and Victoria Hospital. Among them are two children who lost their eye-sight.

Source: The Hindu | The New Indian Express

BMTC ups tech game, pilots digital wallets in 200 buses

Pic: Vikhyath Mondreti

BMTC is planning to introduce an android-based system to purchase tickets. BMTC MD Ponnuraj said that this e-walllet facility is currently in the piloting stage in 200 buses, and depending on the response it will be incorporated in more buses. This is not to be confused with paying by debit cards as it is not allowed for the purpose according to RBI guidelines. The bus operators will be given QR codes by passengers who have the digital wallet on their smart phones.

The system is meant to replace the 10,000 Electronic Ticketing Machines (ETM) that are outdated as they do not operate with QR codes and have no record of passes. The long process of the Namma Pass project which involves paying and uploading a selfie online has proved to be inconvenient for the tech-savvy crowd in Bengaluru.

Source: The Economic Times | The Deccan Chronicle

[Compiled by Seema Prasad]

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