Bengaluru Buzz: Sankey road protestors oppose FIRs | BBMP’s monsoon plans … and more

Other news of the week: More than 1,200 trees to be axed for suburban rail, Hebbal flyover work stalled, and hunt for cow vigilant.

Withdraw FIRs: Sankey road protestors

The Sadashivanagar police’s FIR against 70 people, who protested peacefully on February 19th against the proposed Sankey Road flyover, has drawn ire from citizens and Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs), activists, and civic organisations.

The group wrote to the Police Commissioner C H Pratap Reddy, and met him on April 5th, demanding the withdrawal of “baseless allegations against the citizens”. The letter was endorsed by over 500 citizens and almost 100 organisations. The case has been transferred to the Halasuru Gate police station.

The citizens have been charged with crimes under Sections 143, 341, 283 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, indicating that charges relating to unlawful assembly, wrongful confinement, dangers or obstruction in a public way.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had planned to widen the Sankey tank bund road and build a flyover from T Chowdaiah Road to 18th Cross.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu, Indian Express

Read more: Changemakers: What citizen movements can learn from the pioneering activism of Environment Support Group

Over 1,200 trees to be axed for suburban rail

The KRIDE (Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited) has got permission to axe more than 1,200 trees for the Bengaluru suburban rail project (BSRP) and rail doubling project.

In the first phase, it will implement the Corridor-2 project from Baiyappanahalli to Chikkabanavara. In February, it got permission to remove 1,234 trees that obstructed alignment between Baiyappanahalli and Lottegollahalli. Now, it can remove 596 trees for the rest of the stretch till Chikkabanavara, after the BBMP gave the permission. The total length of the Corridor-2 is 25 kilometres.

For the Yeshwanthpur–Channasandra rail doubling project too, the agency has got the permission to fell 698 trees and translocate 38 trees. KRIDE calls the suburban rail project ‘much needed’ to reduce vehicular traffic and pollution.

Source: The Hindu

Preparing for rains

After the Mahadevapura zone floods, due to a 58-mm deluge, the BBMP Commissioner, Tushar Giri Nath, said at a monsoon preparatory meeting, that the first round of stormwater drain cleaning would be taken up by the month-end in all zones and repeated in May. In an agreement with the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) , the BBMP will set up rain gauges in 200 vulnerable points. Each gauge will send an alert if the level indicates possible flooding, so that officials can be sent for timely action.

A garbage clogged stomrwater drain adjacent to Bangalore International Centre
Stormwater drains across the city to be desilted. Pic: Pragathi Ravi

Officials have also been asked to take up desilting of stormwater drains by April-end, while the second level of cleaning will be undertaken in May, before the arrival of the monsoons in June. He explained that incidents of flooding were caused by civic agencies working on a war footing before the monsoons and leaving the utilities and material on the roadside. The BBMP has currently taken up 512 stormwater drain projects, including desilting and strengthening of rajakaluves, at an estimated cost of Rs 2,000 crore.

Source: The New indian Express, Deccan Herald

Hebbal flyover work stalled

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has again halted its work of adding loops to the Hebbal flyover. In January, it had been adding lanes to the existing flyover to benefit motorists entering the city from the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).

Initially, the project was proposed in 2015, to add more lanes to the main ones on the flyover. It involved building a unidirectional underpass for traffic from Tumakuru Road and moving towards K R Puram at an estimated project cost of Rs 74 crore. However, after it began the work, the BDA set 2018 as the deadline, yet did not execute it.

Source: The Hindu

Read more: The great election inauguration: State govt capitalises on unfinished, poorly done projects

Hunt for cow vigilant

Puneeth Kerehalli, accused of murder in an act of cow vigilantism in Kanakapura on April 1st, posted a video on his social media handles, on April 4th, denying that he or his associates had killed Idrees Pasha on the pretext of illegal cattle trade. He said that he had been live on Facebook and at the police station, which helped them to transport the illegally herded cattle to a religious mutt. He heavily criticised Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy of being in collusion with “cow killers”. Syed Zaheer, the driver of the container, and Irfan, who was in charge of loading, were physically assaulted.

The police had booked prominent pro Hindutva activist Puneeth and four others in the case. 

Meanwhile, a preliminary post-mortem report showed that Idrees had died due to cardiac arrest, according to police sources. Pathology and other forensic reports on body tissues are awaited from the state Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to determine the reason for the heart attack.

Source: The Hindu, The News Minute, Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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