Bengaluru Buzz: BMTC losses, water woes, HDK’s push for Metro Phase II on Hosur Road

As you wind up for the week, take a quick look at some of the headlines that have caught Bengaluru's attention over the last seven days. Don't miss the buzz in your city.

State transport department in dire need of funds 

Transport Minister DC Thammanna has said that the state transport corporations BMTC, NEKRTC, and NWKRTC have run into annual losses worth Rs 600 crore, and a fare hike may be inevitable if operations are to be continued.

The decreasing fuel efficiency (mileage) of buses caused by halting in congested, traffic-ridden roads and additional taxes for fuel have only added to the debt, the minister complained. In order to make profits and generate some revenue, a proposal for a 20% hike in bus fares has already been made. The matter is being considered by the government, but Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has to take the final decision, he added.  

Among other things, the minister considered the issue of free bus passes to students as one of the contributing factors to the department’s debt. According to him, if 50% of the cost could be shared by the Primary and Secondary Education Departments as well as the Transport Corporations, and if the state could reimburse the remaining 50%,  the free ticket policy for students could still be managed.

DC Thammanna even pleaded with student union groups, explaining to them the practicalities involved as they threatened to hold a strike for non-issuance of free bus passes.

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

Frothy Bellandur lake water flows to Kolar district

The Bellandur lake is carrying froth, contamination and an unhealthy stench along its charted course while flowing into 126 irrigation tanks in Kolar district, to serve the needs of the villagers grappling with water-scarcity there. Presently, the Koramangala-Challaghatta (KC) Valley project costing Rs 1400 crore transports 100-125 MLD of treated sewage water to the Lakshmisagar Lake, considered the entry point to pump-water in Kolar district.

On July 18th, residents grew anxious at the sight of froth developing in the canal due to its marked similarity with the froth generated from the infamous Bellandur lake. Bengalureans are worried about the creation of a problematic cycle of toxicity: polluted water that goes into rural Karnataka from Bengaluru, eventually affects the quality of vegetables bought from the hinterlands and sold here.

Source: Wion  / The Hindu

HDK requests Centre to release NICE property for timely completion of Metro Phase-II

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) is ready to extend metro lines further at Kanakapura and Mysuru road by 2019, with construction-activity going on in full force.  On the flip-side, the other two stretches, Tumakuru and Hosur road, are presenting a bit of an obstacle. Roughly 8 acres belonging to Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises ( NICE ), of which 2.03 acres is needed for the construction of the metro station and a corridor on Hosur Road, has not yet been signed over to BMRCL.

To speed up the progress of the delayed metro-work,  Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy on his first visit to New Delhi after assuming office brought up the issue and elicited a positive response from Union Mininster  Nirmala Seetharaman.

Another cause for concern among both passengers and officials are the unforeseeable technical glitches. Within the first eight days of the six-car coach’s inauguration, the train was interrupted for a whole day on July 9th and for two hours on July 16th.  On a positive note, BMRCL’s recent tender announcement included the opening of a unique 1925 sq.ft bookstore at Vijaynagar metro station, exclusively for Kannada books and souvenirs.

Source: The Hindu/ Times of India/ The New Indian Express/The Hindu

BBMP violates NGT order barring dumping of waste in Bagalur quarry

On July 18th, the National Green Tribunal’s  Chairperson criticised the BBMP for not following previous orders prohibiting the dumping of municipal waste into a quarry located in Bagalur, in the northern outskirts of the city. It was announced that the BBMP Commissioner should be present at the next hearing on August 8th and should submit an explanation for repeated violations.

On January 17th, the tribunal had asked the BBMP to come up with a concrete plan according to the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, regarding the transport, disposal and overall management of the waste that is causing great harm to residents in the area. Despite the order, the negligent attitude of the BBMP continued and the NGT had imposed a Rs 10 lakh fine for non compliance on March 9th.

Source: The Hindu

Electric Vehicles proposed at railway stations for easy navigation

Bengaluru has many firsts to its credit, including being the buggy capital of India with 600 vehicles in usage. The buggy vehicle resembles a golf-cart, the only difference being that it can accommodate 14 people and is powered by electricity. Infosys is known to have used it for years on its Bengaluru campus.

Six months ago, the service started at Sangolli Rayanna railway station in the city, and ferries 1000 senior citizens and the disabled people daily to their respective platforms on the fastest route. Installed by the Maini Group, the buggy vehicles are proposed to come up in seven more stations, including the Bengaluru Cantonment, Yelahanka, and Baiyappanahalli stations.

Source:The Deccan Herald

Increased turbidity in water due to heavy rains; BWSSB releases less water

The increased spells of rain in Karnataka has flooded river basins, eased farmer woes and consequently also increased the level of turbidity at the Thorekadanahalli water treatment plant. This is problematic, as this plant is where raw water for Bengaluru is drawn from.

Turbidity refers to the level of invisible particles present in untreated water and its increase indicates a worsening of the quality of water. According to BWSSB officials, the reading is normally at 100 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU). On July 15th, it increased to a surprising record level of 230 NTU. Thus, BWSSB withheld supply to the city and distributed 100 MLD lesser than the usual supply of 1460 MLD per day to the city.

Sources: The Deccan Herald

[News compiled by Seema Prasad]


  1. Ramachandran M says:

    Are they the only reason for BMTC’s loses? I am sorry to say that many simple practices that are followed by fleet operators to cut down losses and increase revenue are neglected by BMTC Management and staff. A year ago the same newspaper (The New Indian Express) published a concocted, illogical, irrelevant article (Cash Cow) and I wrote a point by point letter to the Newspaper marking a copy to the MD of BMTC. A few days later I was called to BMTC’s HQ at Shantinagar, and I could “see” the CME (who was busyon his cell phone) offered me a lunch in their canteen and sent away promising that they will organise a seminar of Depot Managers will be called I shall be given an opportunity to present my remedies. I am one more year older and nothing has happened.The MD who invited me has been moved out. End of story.

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