Bengaluru Buzz: BBMP releases draft voter list | City gears up for Ganesha fest… and more

Weekly round up of important happenings in Bengaluru.

Over 79 lakh voters in draft list

The BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) and State Election Commission published a draft voters’ list recording 79,08,394 voters, with 41,09,496 male, 37,97,497 female and 1,401 transgenders. S Basavaraj, Commissioner of Karnataka State Election Commission, said citizens can review, make corrections and file objections before September 2nd. The list for the BBMP election, 2022 was published on About 5.20 lakh new voters have been added.

Source: The Indian Express, The New Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Contractors complain of graft in BBMP

The KSCA (Karnataka State Contractors’ Association) has levelled allegations over the demand for a 40% commission from them in all government contracts. The opposition has demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and the government has set up a committee headed by a retired judge to scrutinise tenders. However, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai questioned the credibility of the allegations.

Civil contractors have also alleged that they are being forced to pay 50 per cent commissions for BBMP projects. The association of contractors, or Karyaniratha Guttigedarara Sangha, said that with increasing corruption, clearance of pending bills of the last two years has been delayed and there is an increased demand for higher commissions to clear files. On Tuesday, the members submitted a memorandum to the BBMP Chief Commissioner and warned of a protest.

On the other hand, the BBMP said that it has decentralised the process of clearing payments, the zonal commissioners have been given powers to clear files and an in-house cell has been given powers to probe complaints. Meanwhile, there is a growing demand for a dedicated minister to focus on city development.

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

Steps to improve healthcare

On Wednesday, following complaints against the lack of good health facilities at government and BBMP-run hospitals, 10 Lokayukta teams went on a surprise visit to 11 hospitals. Checking if there were enough doctors and assessing the cleanliness and waste disposal measures in place, the officials submitted a detailed report, checked the documents and interrogated some doctors to collect details about the functioning, machineries, staff, beds and facilities.

Ministers at the inauguration of the Healthcare Vision Document
Vision document inaugurated. Pic Credit: Facebook/Chief Minister of Karnataka

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has also unveiled a vision document for holistic development of the healthcare sector. Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that 250 experts have provided their inputs, good practices and policies from other countries have been recorded and was prepared after a year of thorough research. Meanwhile, the government plans to open 243 ‘Namma Clinics’ within two months.

Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu

Squads to check property tax

BBMP has formed two “revenue intelligence teams” to cross check property tax. Revenue officers need to see whether the owners are paying the right tax, especially at eight high-revenue generating wards: Thanisandra, Bellandur, Peenya Industrial area, Hemmigepura, HSR Layout, Gandhinagar, Koramangala and Shantalanagar.

Source: The Indian Express

Read More: Why you should pay attention to “home inspection” during property handover

No to plaster of Paris Ganesha idols

BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath said that criminal cases will be filed against persons making Ganesha idols with POP (plaster of Paris). Girinath said that a team comprising BBMP, police and Bescom officials should visit places to check for banned items such as PoP, thermocol and harmful chemicals. If shops or manufacturing units violate rules, officials will issue notice.

Idol makers should use clay to avoid polluting the lakes. Zonal commissioners will appoint nodal officers in 63 sub-divisions to monitor preparations. People need to get NOCs to keep idols and immersion tanks should be deployed to avoid traffic.

Police commissioner Pratap Reddy said that it is not possible to deploy police or security for every Ganesha idol. People have to volunteer and install CCTVs to ensure that the programmes run smoothly. 

Source: The New Indian Express

Action for govt schools

Karnataka school education and literacy minister B C Nagesh inaugurated five renovated schools on Wednesday, as part of the government’s school adoption programme. They are run by the BBMP and the government, and were renovated by the Indian Academy Group of Institutions.

Meanwhile, the school education department expressed strong objection to the revenue department’s move to sell Rajatha Complex in Chickpet area, which houses the Chickpet Government High School, without prior permission of the education department.

Source: The Indian Express

Read More: Preschools reopen, but parents are still hesitant

Contention over monitoring of madrasas

On Wednesday, the government said that it would look into madrasas to check whether students get proper education. Nagesh said madrasa authorities had not been cooperative with government inspectors. The minister said he would seek reports on the quality of education, progress of students and the implementation of the Right to Education Act in government-aided, unaided and private madrasas.

However, Athavulla Punjalkatte, state president of the CFI (Campus Front of India), criticised the move to set up a board to monitor madrasa education as violative of Articles 29 and 30 and part of a bigger conspiracy to control Muslim educational institutions, which is a hidden agenda of the RSS.

The CFI on Monday announced that it will start a month-long ‘Detox Education Deport Hindutva’ campaign, from August 25th, including campus talks, seminars, corner speeches and street dramas. It said that the calls for installing Ganesha idols will only cause divisiveness. Calling the National Education Policy 2020 ‘unconstitutional’, members said they would expose the ‘loopholes’ of NEP 2020.

Meanwhile, the government announced implementation of the National Education Policy in early childhood care and education (pre-primary stage) at 20,000 anganawadis and schools from November.

Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu

Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar

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