Bengaluru Buzz: Anti-CAA protests | Mission to create mini-forests | CSR for lake revival…and more

Arrests at CAA protests, citizen mission to plant a million trees, demand for Ambedkar Veedhi to be parking-free - read more on news over the past week in our roundup

Anti-CAA protests

In spite of Section 144 of the CrPC being imposed on the city, thousands of students, activists and citizens protested against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), 2019, and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) on Thursday, December 19th.

Police detained about 1000 people from various parts of the city on Thursday. Of them, 255 were arrested in eight cases and later freed on bail. Additional Police Commissioner (West) Umesh Kumar said they had been arrested under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint).

Eminent historian Ramachandra Guha was also arrested, triggering national outrage. Later, the police changed their tactic and allowed a gathering outside Town Hall, which crossed 2000 by 2 pm. After multiple talks, those detained were freed.

On Friday, over 200 students from colleges across the city gathered at the Government Arts and Science College ground to protest. Many students said that they joined the two-hour protest despite upcoming exams.

Protests were held at several other places on Friday. A large number of police personnel were deployed at sensitive spots such as Town Hall and Mysore Bank Circle. Though different organisations gave out calls for protests on Friday, the situation remained normal.

At Town Hall, there was an eerie calm as the police stood at all corners and stopped those who arrived to join the protests. Police security was increased near Jama Masjid in KR Market too.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Government explores CSR to revive lakes

BBMP is exploring different avenues to fund the restoration of lakes, including CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). This comes after Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa met officials from BBMP and other departments to discuss joint efforts and alternative financial resources for lake restoration.

BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said that the Palike would focus on CSR and crowdfunding. BBMP had placed a proposal to the government for Rs 1253 cr to restore lakes, and would request more funds as another 38 lakes had been handed over to it, Kumar said.

Senior civic officials admitted that tapping into CSR didn’t yield expected results earlier, but that it could be successful if streamlined.

Meanwhile, state government has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with private companies for developing six lakes. Of these, only one – Doddakallasandra lake – falls under BBMP limits.

Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed BWSSB (Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board) to not discharge effluents into Bellandur, Varthur and Agara lakes, until the establishment of STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants). It also said that interim remediation plans should be put in place until the STPs are ready.

Source: The Hindu | Bangalore Mirror

A ‘million trees mission’ launched

An entire army of experts, volunteers, citizen groups and NGOs are getting together to create mini-forests in several areas in the city. Called ‘Koti Vruksha Sene’ (million trees mission), the initiative has the support of elected representatives, bureaucrats and government bodies such as the BBMP and the Forest Department. It was started by Surabhi T V, a resident of Vittal Mallya Road.

The programme is inspired by an initiative of the Vasanthnagar Residents Welfare Association to plant saplings and distribute ownership to residents. In this exercise, 93 percent of the saplings had survived – much higher than the survival rate of saplings planted by government agencies.

The Sene has signed an agreement with the BBMP to plant saplings around 10 lakes, including Sarakki, Harohalli, Uttarahalli, Rachenahalli, Kothanur and Ulsoor lakes. The organisers plan to launch the initiative in January and start plantation in June before the monsoons.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

Demand for Ambedkar Veedhi to be no-parking zone

After dividers were installed on Ambedkar Veedhi in front of City Civil Court, vehicle parking on the roadsides is leading to traffic gridlocks. Though the dividers have brought about lane discipline, it has underlined the need to end arbitrary parking of vehicles, which is narrowing the road. Due to the increasing number of hawkers here, there are more pedestrians on the road as well.

The situation gets worse when heavy vehicles use the stretch. Hence commuters are demanding that Ambedkar Veedhi be made parking-free.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva  Kumar]

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