Bengaluru buzz: Reservation issues | Cybercrimes worth Rs 267 crore … and more

The other top news were the scrapping of the Ejipura-Kendriya Sadan flyover tender and safety inspection of the KR Puram-Whitefield metro stretch.

Reservation issues

The Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill, 2022 was adopted by the Legislative Assembly, with the support of all political members. It seeks to provide reservation to Kannadigas in higher education and private industries to give primacy to Kannada. It also aims for a state-level enforcement committee, led by the Kannada and Culture Minister, V. Sunil Kumar.

Meanwhile, the High Court of Karnataka ordered issue of notice to the state involving a petition questioning the validity of the Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 2023. It has questioned the decision of the State to enhance reservation to 17% from the earlier 15% for the SCs and to 7% from the earlier 3% for STs, as lakhs of jobs reserved for SCs, STs, and Other Backward Classes in the governments and the public sector are lying vacant.

Source: The Hindu

Cybercrimes rob city of Rs 267 crore

In 2022, Bengaluru topped the chart of cybercrimes, with victims losing Rs 267 crore, followed by Mysuru at a distant second (Rs 15 crore) and Mandya district in the third spot (Rs 14 crore). The state lost Rs 363 crore to cyber frauds last year, averaging Rs 1 crore per day, according to the data shared by the state home department at the legislative council.

In January 2023 alone, people lost Rs 36.63 crore to cyber fraudsters. The amount of money lost increased five times in the last four years. Last year’s theft of Rs 1 crore by cyber fraudsters amounted to a surge of 150% of the money lost in internet crimes.

The recovery of money in cybercrime cases becomes difficult due to various factors, including digital wallets, delay in reporting a crime, and lack of coordination among states. Cyber education is essential at schools as internet crimes are likely to increase in the days to come, the officer said.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

Domestic workers fight for rights

Union president of the DWRU (Domestic Workers’ Rights Union), Radha M, addressed workers at their annual general body meeting at BES College. She pointed out how they face harassment at work, and are not paid well.

They called domestic workers to join the union at a cost of only Rs 50 and build a strong community to fight for their rights. “It is important,” said Geeta Menon, founder, Stree Jagruti Samiti, and joint secretary, DWRU. The union is important to fight abuse, sexual assault, and even casteist remarks.

The union proved to be helpful for all workers, especially during the pandemic, as it provided them with ration, books for their children, and even helped them avail financial incentives from the government, said a member.

Source: The New Indian Express

Ejipura-Kendriya Sadan flyover tender scrapped

For the third time, the BBMP has scrapped the Ejipura-Kendriya Sadan flyover tender. Last January, it invited bids for a tender worth Rs 144 crore to complete the project, but scrapped the tender on February 17th over cost estimation. Now, the chief commissioner has directed officials to review price estimation with help from a private consultancy. An executive engineer, BBMP said, has to now calculate revised estimates for which it will engage a private consultancy.

Source: Indian Express, The Times of India

Read more: Sankey road widening: A project that doesn’t die

Tenders for 100 ‘She Toilets’

BBMP floated tenders to construct 100 ‘She Toilets’ in the city. In the 2023-24 Budget, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that 250 ‘She Toilets’ will be built in heavily populated areas, such as markets and mega commercial complexes at a cost of Rs 50 crore.

A photo of a newly opened 'She toilet'
Representative image. ‘She toilet’ at Kukatpally. Pic: Twitter/Zonal Commissioner Kukatpally zone

They will have a state-of-the-art design to include feeding rooms, mobile charging facilities, and emergency SOS services. The project will be built under public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements, using the latest construction technology, with space-saving design elements, and internet of things (IoT) components for water and electricity conservation, waste management, security, and hygiene.

Source: Indian Express, The News Minute

Flex boards continue

Illegal flex boards are sprouting in a big way in Bengaluru before the Assembly elections. BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath said that they have lodged 70 to 100 police complaints against illegal hoardings and requested them to treat the issue under the Public Places Disfigurement Act, though the progress is slow. Every division has been told to book at least five FIRs and the BBMP has warned that action will be taken against senior officers.

Source: Deccan Herald

Safety inspection on railway line

The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS), A K Rai, began a three-day safety inspection work between the 12.75 km K R Puram-Whitefield stretch on the purple line of Namma Metro. The report will be submitted four to five days after the inspection. BMRCL invited Rai to inspect the work of the K R Puram-Whitefield stretch, which is expected to be thrown open in March, according to BMRCL MD Anjum Parvez.

The inspection, a statutory requirement, helps to determine whether the new line is fit to open for commercial operations or not. The CMRS verifies documents submitted by BMRCL on trial runs and does the physical inspection of track, signalling, control rooms, passenger amenities provided, and more. The team is also inspecting each metro station on the line that is going to be opened for commercial operations. 

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

Read more: Explainer: The many noble objectives of the new transport authority to solve Bengaluru’s mobility woes

Only 8 STPs monitored well

Action Aid Association’s study found that only eight out of the 31 sewage treatment plants in the city are monitored properly for chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, pH, total nitrogen, faecal coliform, ammoniacal nitrogen, and suspended solids for wastewater treatment.

The study also found that the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), in charge of the sewage treatment plants, did not follow the limits set by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). Only eight sewage treatment plants, at Doddabele, Cubbon Park, Yelemellappa Shetty, Mailasandra, Kempambudhi, Rajacanal, Agaram, and Hulimavu are properly monitored.

Lake activist Raghavendra Pachhapur, who is also part of Action Aid, said that they had looked at the data available at the BWSSB STP dashboard, which monitors six parameters in all 31 STPs across the city.

Source: Indian Express, The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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