Bengaluru Buzz: City’s no to bandh | Challenges from 5 poll schemes … and more

Other news of the week: Hotel prices may rise, 3 months to redo BBMP delimitation, steps to battle rains, and 72% of translocated trees survived.

City’s no to statewide bandh

Leading industries and associations in the city opted out of the state bandh called on June 22nd and assured people that it would be business as usual They were following Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s assurance that he would meet the industry’s associations.

Members of various trade and industry bodies held a protest in other parts of Karnataka against the hike in power tariff, called by the Hubballi-based KCCI (Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industries).

Source: The Times of India, Indian Express

Read more: Explained: Did the Karnataka government really increase electricity rates by Rs 2.89 per unit?

Challenges from 5 poll schemes

The Congress party staged a protest in all districts, over the ruling government’s refusal to supply rice for the Anna Bhagya scheme. The government is facing a challenge in implementing the scheme, a poll promise to provide 10 kgs of rice every month to BPL families. There is shortage of the cereal, as the Centre’s Food Corporation of India (FCI) has stopped its sale to state governments from June 12th. Food and Civil Supplies Minister KH Muniyappa said that the state may not be able to implement the Anna Bhagya scheme from July 1st, but will implement the scheme before August 1st.

Meanwhile, the government is under pressure to mobilise funds for its five pre-election guarantees. The development and water resources departments are in focus, as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah gets ready to present the budget. The total ticket sales under the Shakti scheme touched a new record of Rs 13.99 crore on June 18th. The total ticket value from June 11th to 18th was Rs 84.28 crore, as 3.63 crore women travelled free in buses. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus crew will face strict action if they do not pick up women passengers. The corporation received complaints that the bus crew avoided women.

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

Hotel prices might rise

The Bruhat Bengaluru Hoteliers Association (BBHA) is apprehensive about the rise in the prices of essential items, including vegetables, electricity and other commodities. Rumours about the hike in the price of rice and milk too is creating anxiety.

If the hikes cannot be contained, hoteliers may be forced to revise the rates of food items accordingly, said sources.

Source: Deccan Herald

HC: 3 months to redo BBMP delimitation

The Karnataka High Court has given 12 weeks to redo the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) delimitation exercise, completed under the BJP Government in July 2022, which had increased the number of wards from 198 to 243.

The appeal was filed by former Mayor Manjunatha Reddy, arguing that the process had been carried out contrary to guidelines, including maintenance of average populations. According to the BBMP Act, the wards should be demarcated within the boundaries of the existing assembly constituencies and there were issues with the time limit by which the Delimitation Commission should have finished its work.

Source: Indian Express

Steps to battle heavy rains

There were heavy rains in many parts of the city on June 20th, disrupting the commute to schools and offices, leading to poor visibility, waterlogged roads, and slow-moving traffic throughout the city. The intermittent rain that began in the early morning are part of monsoon showers that are likely to last for the following five days, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Bengaluru.

The BBMP said that it is geared to keep the city’s roads smooth, filling over 900 potholes from April 1st to June 19th. While it concedes that more potholes will emerge due to rains, it also claims that all the measures were in place. It is using cold mix asphalting technology to fill potholes, a procedure that BS Prahlad, Chief Engineer (Road Infrastructure), BBMP, says is more efficient than machines and lead to hardier roads.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu

Read more: Better design, bigger budgets for footpaths: Can this prevent pedestrian accidents?

Interactive website for development

On June 21st, the state government launched the Brand Bengaluru website:

DK Shivkumar at the launch of Brand Bengaluru website:
Launching the website. Pic: Twitter/DKShivakumar

It will enable users to give inputs on traffic management, governance and solid waste management, part of extensive consultations with various stakeholders on development, said D K Shivakumar, the Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister. Through the website, the government seeks feedback and ideas from people across the world.

Source: Indian Express

BMRCL: 72% of translocated trees survived

The survival rate of trees removed and translocated from Namma Metro construction sites is 72%, said the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL). Officials said that 1,800 of 2,524 trees shifted from its work sites — Phases II and II A and B — still remain.

Meanwhile, a world-class tree park will be set up on the campus of the New Government Electrical Factory (NGEF) for Rs 30 crore, maintaining the existing greenery, said the Medium and Large Scale Industries Minister M.B. Patil. It will happen in two phases: Phase 1A, with works worth Rs 11 crore and Phase 1B, with works worth Rs 15 crore.

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

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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