Bengaluru Buzz: City up in Swachch Survekshan, Smart City rankings | SC sets aside NGT’s order on green buffer zones | Varthur Lake froths … and more

Improved Swachh Survekshan rankings, FIR filed against BWSSB, relaxation in lake buffer zone - here is the latest from Bengaluru in our weekly recap

City up in Swachh Survekshan, Smart City rankings

Bengaluru was ranked 194 out of 425 cities in Swachh Survekshan 2019, with a score of 2351.81 out of a total of 5000. This was a marginal improvement over the city’s ranking of 216 in 2018, and 210 in 2017.

BBMP had reclaimed black spots, overhauled transfer stations and organised compost santhes in an effort to improve the city’s ranking this year. But factors like the lack of new garbage tenders and of ODF (Open Defecation Free) certification worked against the city. Many citizens had also given negative feedback during the survey, said D Randeep, BBMP’s Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management).

Mysuru and Indore were the top-ranked cities in the Sarvekshan. In the state rankings, Karnataka stood 14th.

Meanwhile, the city has also improved its Smart City ranking from 74 to 30.The ranking is based on the number of projects for which tenders were floated, and the number of work orders issued. The actual work on projects is yet to begin in Bengaluru. Civic officials said that work cannot be started if the Lok Sabha elections are announced, as it would be a violation of the model code of conduct.

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said that Bengaluru was the last city to be chosen from the state for the Smart City Mission. BBMP has drawn up projects worth Rs 2156 crore, of which the centre’s contribution would be Rs 500 crore.

Source: The Hindu

SC sets aside NGT’s order on green buffer zones 

The Supreme Court set aside a 2016 National Green Tribunal (NGT) order that had extended the buffer zone limits around lakes and water bodies in the city.

NGT had fixed the buffer zone limit as 75 metres around lakes, 50 metres around primary rajakaluves, 35 metres around secondary rajakaluves and 25 metres around tertiary rajakaluves, with retrospective effect. It had asked Karnataka authorities to demolish constructions within the expanded buffer zones.

The state government had challenged this order, on grounds that it went against the Revised Master Plan 2015, and would lead to demolition of 95 percent of the city’s buildings. Government also argued that the order was against the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Act, Planning Act and the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. SC eventually quashed the NGT order in a judgement on March 5th.

Source: The Hindustan Times

Case against BWSSB for employing manual scavengers

An FIR has been registered against the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for engaging three labourers to clean raw sewage in a manhole. JC Nagar police registered the FIR based on information given by M C Srinivas, Vice-President of Madiga Dandora, who had seen the labourers descend into the manhole. Srinivas had also learnt that the workers were being paid Rs 500 by a BWSSB employee to do the work.

Incidentally, the same day, a 25-year-old man died while cleaning a septic tank in Jaihind International School at Hongasandra.

Source: The Hindu

Varthur Lake froths

Huge amounts of froth have collected in the inlets and outlets of Varthur Lake. The froth rose so high so that it even spilled on to the road. Lake warden Jagadish Reddy from Varthur Rising said that froth has been seen during the rains so far, but never in summer.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said the froth has been triggered by toxic pollutants from nearby apartments that were not installing or maintaining STPs as mandated. Varthur lake has earned the title of ‘burning lake’ since the froth had caught fire many times.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

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