Bengaluru Buzz: Global Investors Meet in city | Restoration of 150 lakes …and more

Weekly news recap: High Court directs NHAI to inspect pothole-filling work ; Commuters buy tickets on Namma Metro App and WhatsApp.

Rs 5.20 lakh cr MOUs signed at Global Investors Meet

On the inaugural Wednesday (November 2nd) of the three-day Invest Karnataka 2022 – Global Investors Meet, the government signed MOUs (memorandums of understanding) worth Rs 5.20 lakh crore, while many industry leaders assured further investment. Seven companies invested Rs 2.9 lakh crore in the ‘Manufacturing – Green Hydrogen and Derivatives’ sector.

MoUs worth Rs 25,024 crore were signed with six companies in the core manufacturing sectors such as mining, iron, steel and cement, while MoUs worth Rs 22,906 crore were signed with nine companies under the e-mobility, aerospace and defence categories, among others. Other MoUs worth Rs 4,705 crore included companies related to FMCG, sugar, biofuel and optical systems industries.

In the last three decades, the IT industry has grown and contributes nearly 8% of India’s GDP, while it was only 1% 30 years ago, said Wipro Chairman, Rishad Premji. Karnataka contributes nearly 1/4th of India’s IT exports, he added.

Source: The Indian Express, The Times of India

Restoration of 150 lakes planned

The DPRs (detailed project reports) of 74 out of the Zilla Panchayat (Bengaluru Urban’s) list of 150 lakes have been completed by the EMPRI (Environment Management and Policy Research Institute). Its aim is to increase the groundwater table and improve the quality of lakes. The DPRs of the other lakes will be completed by the end of November.

After the DPRs are done, 11 lakes in Bengaluru South, 13 lakes in Bengaluru East, 15 lakes in Bengaluru North, 38 lakes in Yelahanka, and 72 lakes in Anekal will be restored.

An official said that the DPRs for 462 lakes will be prepared at a cost of Rs 11 crore. The Zilla Panchayat has allocated Rs 3.51 crore, but the rest will be borne by the government. Out of 150 lakes, about 76 are polluted and the rest are above 25 acres.

The DPRs are expected to give the cost estimation of the core and non-core areas for lake development. Under the core area, issues such as improvement of the lake bed and sedimentation pond are listed. The non-core areas cover issues related to beautification of the lake.

Source: The Indian Express

Read more: When ride-hailing apps fail commuters, what could be the alternatives?

Auto unions switch platforms

Autorickshaw unions are switching to new aggregator platforms to offer rides, as existing cab aggregators are being accused of overcharging passengers and drivers.

Hence, Peace Auto Union’s mobile application, Rook, will be launched on Autorickshaw Day, November 9, the birthday of the late Kannada actor, Shankar Nag. About 6,000 auto drivers have already registered. Peace Auto Union said it will not charge any service tax for two months, to know the cost to run the application. It has also launched a customer service centre, employing family members of drivers.

Meanwhile, Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union sees about 500-1,000 rides every day through the Namma Yatri app launched two weeks ago. It plans to deduct a service tax of Rs 30-40 from drivers every day. Ola, Uber, Rapido and MYn are currently operational in Bengaluru.

Source: The Indian Express

High Court asks NHAI to inspect pothole filling work

BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath said that all potholes will be filled by November 10 and roads that have been badly affected by rains will be asphalted, under the Amrutha Nagrothana funds.

Meanwhile, the High Court of Karnataka on November 2nd, responding to a 2015 PIL petition by four citizens, directed the Chief Engineer NHAI (National Highways Authority of India), to inspect the works of pothole filling, road repair, and resurfacing of the roads by the BBMP (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palika). It should gauge whether the terms of work orders were adhered to by the private contractors and whether it meets the quality of work. The NHAI has also been asked to make an independent assessment and give suggestions for improvement.

Potholes on a road in mahadevapura zone
Potholes across the city have put citizens’ lives in danger. File Pic: Meera K

The condition of roads, even after six years of filing the PIL, has not changed positively, making citizens suffer, said the court. The roads have led to many unfortunate incidents of people losing their lives. Most repair works were awarded to private contractors.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Read more: Should caregiving of street dogs be encouraged?

Ticket booking on Namma Metro app and WhatsApp

Nearly 2,000 passengers bought QR tickets on the Namma Metro app and WhatsApp on November 1st, the first day of the facility. The BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) said that 1,669 commuters bought QR tickers via the platform till 8.45 pm. About 14,400 used the WhatsApp chatbot.

The app was recently started, in both English and Kannada, to help commuters book tickets and recharge their cards. It is the first metro service in the world to offer WhatsApp end-to-end ticketing system, so that the users would no longer need to carry tokens or smart cards while travelling. Ticket buyers through the chatbot get a 5% discount on the base fare.

To start off, you can add BMRCL’s WhatsApp number, 8105556677, to your contact list. Then send a ‘Hi’ and see three options – ‘QR Tickets’, ‘Card Info and Recharge’, and ‘More Options’.

Meanwhile, the Finance Department has given in-principle approval to the Rs 16,368 crore Phase III (A) project to fast-track approvals, before submitting the proposal for the central government’s final nod. The Phase III (A) project comprises two lines: west of Outer Ring Road (32.16 km) from Kempapura to JP Nagar 4th Phase and along Magadi Road from Hosahalli to Kadabagere (12.82 km).

Source: Deccan Herald, The Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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