Bengaluru Buzz: Purple line, 37 feeder buses | ‘BBMP first enemy of city’… and more

Other news of the week: Personal2Public campaign, waste processing plants to be shifted, new NIMHANS facilities and loss of Rs 470 crore in cybercrime .

Purple line, 37 feeder buses

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) operationalised the Baiyappanahalli-KR Puram and the Kengeri-Challaghatta sections of the entire Purple Line. Metro ridership rose to nearly 7 lakh on October 9th, the first day of the opening. The BMRCL said it is running 33 trainsets of six coaches each on the Purple Line that makes 180 trips a day. But the rush was so huge that the BMRCL had to run even Green Line trains on the Purple Line.

With the fully operational Line, many commuters said that they preferred the metro to the use of personal vehicles. The ridership breached the 7 lakh mark on October 11th.

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) also launched a metro feeder route from the KR Pura metro station to Silk Board on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) as well as three others for the eastern and southeastern parts. Transport Minister, Ramalinga Reddy, flagged off 37 feeder buses at the KR Pura metro station on October 11th, early morning, and then went on a ride in the first bus with other officials.

The buses will operate on two routes: the Route 1 buses from KR Puram metro station to Silk Board via Marathahalli-Kadubeesanahalli-Iblur. Route 2 buses will travel from KR Puram station and back via Marathahalli-Kundalahalli-Garudacharpalya.

The traffic heatmap shared by the traffic police department showed lower-than-usual congestion in the Tin Factory-KR Puram section, after full operations started on the Challaghatta-Whitefield Metro Purple Line.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald, The Hindu

Read more: Interpreting Bengaluru’s urban development

Personal2Public drive

As part of the Personal2Public campaign to promote public transport usage, many of the top company executives are uniting with civic activists. Their attempt is to promote the use of public transport by offering free passes or subsidies. The BMRCL confirmed that they got enquiries from companies along the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and in Whitefield for bulk purchases of smart cards.

The campaign was launched by Prof Rajeev Gowda, vice chairman of the State Institute For Transformation of Karnataka (SITK). It encourages commuters to switch to public transport at least twice a week, to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

Source: The Times of India, Indian Express

‘BBMP first enemy of City’

The High Court of Karnataka said that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is the first enemy of the city, because its casual approach is leading to uglification due to illegal hoardings and a loss of revenue.

The court has told the BBMP to survey hoardings, advertisement boards and flexes and submit data on the number of permissions and the period for which they were granted, the fee collected, and the number of structures erected without permission in the past three years.

Meanwhile, the government appointed zonal commissioners for five BBMP zones, apart from posting a Special Commissioner for Revenue, Munish Moudgil. He will enable BBMP to mop up revenue from various sources, mostly property tax. Deputy Chief Minister, D K Shivakumar, who holds the Bengaluru Development portfolio, thinks that the annual property tax collection of Rs 3,000 crore was too less.

The BBMP should spell out the line of action proposed by the corporation. The court suggested a timeline to complete the proposed action, including any penal action against such wrongdoers.

Source: The Hindu, India Today

Waste processing plants to be shifted

Deputy Chief Minister, D K Shivakumar, on October 10th announced that the state will relocate all waste processing plants and landfills to uninhabited hilly areas outside the city. Residents living around them have asked for their closure for years.

He directed Deputy Commissioners to find land parcels of 100 acres each in four places, in four directions from the city, to establish Integrated Solid Waste Management Parks, to which all waste management will shift.

These integrated SWM parks will have composting units, dry waste aggregation centres, landfill for inert and rejects, generation of refuse-derived fuel and waste energy plants. However, as the parks cannot be established before three years, the existing plants will continue.

He added that the state government will provide alternative land to the Forest Department.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Read more: How STPs are causing manual scavenging to continue in Bengaluru

NIMHANS facilities

On October 10th, World Mental Health Day, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) unveiled three facilities – Centre for Brain and Mind, Platinum Jubilee Auditorium and Academic Facility, and Administrative Office Complex.

Centre for brain and mind at NIMHANS.
Centre for Brain and Mind at NIMHANS. Pic: Twitter/Dr Mansukh Mandaviya (Minister)

The Centre for Brain and Mind was launched with National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), for which Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies donated Rs 100 crore. According to NIMHANS, the centre will research mentally affected patients, including those diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dementia, or addiction within families. It will focus on understanding the causes, correlates and courses of these disorders and explore potential interventions and treatments. There will be advanced techniques in imaging (with a dedicated MRI scanning facility), genetics and stem cell biology.

Source: Indian Express

Cybercrime lost us Rs 470 cr this year

From January to September this year, the city had recorded 12,615 cybercrime cases, with a total loss of Rs 470.05 crore. The police could recover Rs 28.4 crore and froze Rs 201.8 crore in bank accounts. They returned Rs 27.6 crore to the rightful owners and are waiting for the courts’ consent to return the rest of the money.

The crimes included online job fraud, debit or credit card fraud, gift fraud, loan app fraud, bitcoin cases, sextortion, data theft, matrimonial fraud, card skimming, email spoofing, lottery fraud, online gaming fraud and SIM cloning. The Police Commissioner, B Dayananda, said the local police would be trained to handle cybercrime for time-bound investigations.

The police have identified 18 patterns in cybercrime cases, which have been reported in different police stations. Online job fraud tops the list and scams in the name of courier companies are on the rise.

Source: The Hindu, The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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