Bengaluru Buzz: Language bill tabled | 57% dissatisfied with govt | BBMP demolition drive on

A look at the important news this week across Bengaluru, from the language bill being tabled to the continuation of the encroachment clearing drive.

Government tables Language Bill

The government, on September 22nd tabled the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill, 2022 to provide for reservation to Kannadigas in industries and other establishments as per the state industrial policy. A non-complying company will not be eligible for any government concessions. The proposed legislation will also make Kannada mandatory for employees of banks and other financial institutions. Failure in using Kannada for official and administrative transactions would be considered as dereliction of duty.

Source: The Indian Express

57% dissatisfied with government: Survey

The Bengaluru Citizens’ Perception Survey, released by the B.PAC (Bangalore Political Action Committee) on Wednesday, showed that only 14% of the respondents (8,405 citizens across eight zones) are satisfied with overall governance, 57% are unhappy, while 29% are somewhat satisfied. Road and mobility topped the list of civic amenities with which citizens were ‘least satisfied’, while lake development and rejuvenation generated comparatively more satisfactory responses.

People in Mahadevapura are among the biggest contributors of property tax to the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike), but reported to be totally dissatisfied with civic amenities and services. RR Nagar seemed to be the most satisfied zone.

Source: Deccan Herald

Read more: Cities must focus on disaster resilient infrastructure in the era of climate change

Demolition drive continues

About 61 property owners went to the Karnataka High Court against the BBMP’s storm water encroachment removal drive, but the SWD (storm water drains) Chief Engineer, Lokesh, said that the civic body had filed a caveat and got the order to take steps against 29 properties from Bengaluru East tahsildar. The property owners were asked to remove the encroachments on their own, failing which the BBMP would take it forward.

After a two-day gap, the BBMP resumed its drive in Mahadevapura zone on Monday. It demolished the compound wall of an apartment on an SWD near Garudacharpalya Lake and an RCC bridge over the STP (sewage treatment plant) near Marathahalli. It found that an SWD has been blocked by slabs on the Wipro campus in Doddakannelli.

On Tuesday, the BBMP continued its demolition drive against encroachments on SWDs (stormwater drains) in the Mahadevapura zone. Slabs on the SWD near Wipro and concrete slabs on the drains inside Greenwood Residency apartment were removed. Revenue Minister R Ashoka said that the drive will continue without bias, as they are expecting another spell of rain. On Thursday, two buildings the authorities claimed were built on SWDs were removed.

The Land Department, in a survey, found that the Bagmane Tech Park has covered the upper portion of the drain at a spot on a particular stretch, while at the Purva Parkridge, housing 149 villas, there are encroachments at three places in the SWD. Yet, the High Court on September 20th granted a stay on the demolition. The BBMP said that 630 encroachments across the city have not been removed.

Source: The New Indian Express, The Indian Express

High Court asks BBMP to follow CAG recommendations

On September 19th, the Karnataka High Court directed that its orders will be binding and no authority should conduct a parallel inquiry on the issue of encroachment of stormwater drains (SWD)s. A division bench asked BBMP to form a panel of three officers to ensure the implementation of recommendations made by the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) in its 2021 report on the ‘Performance audit of management of SWDs in Bengaluru’.

Due to poor maintenance of SWDs, the city’s major valleys and watersheds, exposed by the recent floods, are seen to require immediate attention, according to the September 2021 report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). The city has lost almost 50% of its drain length and vegetation cover.

An aerial view of the Bellandur lake.
Many of Bengaluru’s lakes are dying. (Representational image: An aerial view of Bellandur Lake) Pic courtesy: Whitefield Rising Facebook page

Moreover, land use patterns have been neglected. The CAG report showed that the number of waterbodies in the Koramangala Valley has reduced to 8 from 41, and those in the Vrishabhavathi Valley to 13 from 51, mainly owing to the conversion of lakes.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Indian Express

Read more: The story of Thippagondanahalli Dam on the Arkavathi

Namma Metro calls for bids

Namma Metro has invited bids for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, maintenance, testing and commissioning of 318 coaches for Phases 2, 2A and 2B. Training of personnel and comprehensive maintenance of coaches for up to 15 years are are also part of the tender.

The BMRCL is seeking to procure these metro cars in six-car train sets. The biggest chunk of these coaches (126) will be run on the crucial 37-km KR Puram-airport (Green and Purple) line, while 96 metro cars each will be used for the 21.36-km Kalena Agrahara-Nagavara (Pink Line under Phase 2) and the 18.23-km Silk Board Junction-KR Puram (Phase 2A) lines. Bids will be opened on December 12, 2022. The BMRCL will pay for these metro cars from a part of the Rs 3,717-crore loan that it received from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in March this year.

Civil work on the Kalena Agrahara-Nagavara line, which runs 13.92 km underground, is more than 50% complete while the Silk Board Junction-KR Puram-airport lines (Phase 2A and 2B) are only 19% complete. The first coaches would take up to two years, hence, the Kalena Agarahara-Nagavara line would open only by late 2024 or even later.

Source: Deccan Herald

Only 17% of targeted housing units done

Identifying flaws in the implementation of housing schemes in Karnataka, the the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has said that the housing department has completed only 88,395 (or 17%) of the DUs (dwelling units), against a target of 5.17 lakh for the urban poor on March 2021.

Out of Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP) and Beneficiary Led Individual House Construction (BLC), projects were taken up for only 5,17,531 beneficiaries out of the 13,71,592 prospective beneficiaries (38%) identified through demand surveys. Thus, the construction of 3,28,499 DUs has not commenced, making the goal of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 appear difficult to achieve. 

Source: The Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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  1. Kumar Kumar says:

    First of all, I would like to appreciate your contribution of to our society towards unbiased journalism. I salute to some of the key ground breaking coverages.

    I would like to bring your attention to the plight that Bangalore house owners are going through these days because of reckless and merciless demotion done by the munciple corporation body – BBMP in Bangalore.

    Recent, there was widespread criticism of Governance for having inadequate mechanism to handle the rain which caused flooding in many parts of banglaore.
    In response to this criticism, the government has started demolition of houses and naming it as removal of encroachment.

    Whereas, most of the houses are build after obtaining approval from BBMP. The people of bangalore have put their hard earned money in building the houses.

    Now, the government is saying that the houses are encorchment to the rain water drain. The government is very harsh in using their language against its own people and started the merciless and reckless demolition drive.

    How and why was the approval given by the civic body beforehand. I learnt that civic body doesnt look at the rain water drain maps and gives clearance for construction.
    There is a loophole in the system and no body is ready to talk about that.

    The government should address the loophole in the system and pay compensation to the owners loosing their houses for drain construction because this was approved by BBMP.

    There are several other ways of handling the rain water in stead of sticking to the old map of Revenue department.

    The issue is not getting enough attention, therefore, I request you to please be our voice and raise this issue to the national level.

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