Bengaluru Buzz: Siddaramaiah, DKS to take joint charge | BBMP delimitation issues … and more

Other news of the week: Hike in power tariff hits industry, 'Model' road by social venture, Terminal-2 bags green award, and Property Tax rebate.

Siddu, DKS to take joint charge

The Congress finally announced its Chief Ministerial and Deputy Chief Ministerial candidates in Karnataka on May 18th, leading Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar to tweet: “We are united to safeguard the interest of the people of Karnataka”. To 75-year-old Siddaramaiah, leader of the Congress Legislature Party, it is a dream come true for getting the second term after a gap of five years.

He will be sworn-in as the 24th Chief Minister. Congress is also likely to induct 10 to 12 ministers along with him at the Kanteerva Stadium in May 20th. Both leaders will share the CM’s post for 30 months each, with the latter continuing as KPCC chief till the next Lok Sabha polls.

While the Congress won 135 seats in the state, it managed to gain only one seat over its 2018 number in Bengaluru, while the BJP managed to keep its tally of 15 intact.

However, in Jayanagar, where BJP candidate C K Ramamurthy won by a narrow margin of 16 votes, the Congress has filed a written complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI), citing “irregularities”. Congress has lodged a formal complaint with the ECI and expressed hope that the commission would review the result announced on May 13th at midnight. It is said to be consulting legal experts and is likely to petition the High Court of Karnataka.

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

Read more: A relationship of convenience: Why Bengaluru re-elected BJP

BBMP’s delimitation issues

The recent exercise of defining new boundaries for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wards might be reviewed, as the Congress has opposed both the delimitation and the ward reservation as unscientific. It had argued that using the 2011 Census report as reference for redrawing boundaries was flawed and did not accurately reflect the current population distribution in the wards, whose number increased from 198 to 243.

However, another delimitation exercise might further postpone the BBMP elections, which has been without elected representatives for two-and-a-half years. There were many discrepancies in the average population in the wards, with constituencies like Yeshwanthpur and Bangalore South having about 95,000 residents per ward, while wards in Shivajinagar and Rajajinagar had just 35,000.

Meanwhile, buoyed by its success in the capital city, the BJP hopes to retain its cash-rich BBMP seats in the next municipal elections.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Sharp hike in power tariff hits industry

The sudden rise in power tariff by 70 paise per unit has worried industrialists, hoteliers and power-intensive sectors, as it is expected to increase operational costs. Several industrialists have condemned the hike by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) and plan to make a representation to the new government. The hike, which is the highest in a decade, may burden industries by 30% and also affect production costs. As the industries and foundries are heavily dependent on electricity supply, it will also impact production costs and reflect on the commodity prices.

The tariff hike was announced on May 12th, just a day before the announcement of the election results, in the backdrop of a few political parties promising voters 200 units of free power a month.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Read more: Explainer: How Bengalureans can generate rooftop solar power in their homes

‘Model’ road by social venture

A new model road project is being implemented in Peenya Industrial Area, funded by a private company, Radiall, under its CSR initiative and executed by PotHoleRaja, a social venture for improving road infrastructure. It will have an efficient drainage system to prevent flooding during monsoons and utility trenches for cross-wiring to avoid disruption of public utility services.

Clear and visible road markings, as well as reflectors, will be installed to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians. The roads will be made disabled-friendly and 24/7 CCTVs will monitor the security of the model road.

Source: Indian Express

Terminal-2 bags green award

Terminal-2 at the Kempegowda International Airport received the prestigious IGBC Platinum certification by the Indian Green Building Council under the IGBC Green New Building rating system. It adhered to the biophilic design philosophy in order to reconnect people and nature with the urban environment. It has a first-of-its-kind ‘Terminal in a Garden’ concept, 37,500 cum capacity of recharge pond to harvest rainwater, 37% reduction in potable water due to water-efficient plumbing fixtures, rapidly renewable wood, accounting for more than 90% of the new wood-based materials and IOT-based irrigation system.

Terminal-2 of KIA
The innovative Terminal-2 is hailed for being green. Pic: Twitter/ BlrCityPolice

Terminal-2 design and construction follow a number of environmental categories, outlined by the IGBC Green New Buildings rating system, including sustainable architecture and design, site selection and planning, water conservation, energy efficiency, building materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and development. KIA bagged the platinum award for airports, handling between 15-35 million passengers per annum for the project: Plastics circularity at KIA.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

Property tax rebate may be extended

A 5% rebate on property tax payment, which expired in April end, may be extended till June 30th. The BBMP is drafting a request to the government for approval, following requests from former corporators. Usually, the rebate is extended for a month till the end of May. But it was not done this year due to the model code of conduct in effect. BBMP sources said that they are seeking an extension and those who paid property tax in May, can have the 5% rebate adjusted during payments made in the next financial year.

The BBMP aims to collect Rs 4,690 crore from property tax, including other cesses, in the 2023-24 budget. Last year, the Palike collected over Rs 3,332 crore, with a large portion contributed from Mahadevapura and BBMP’s East zones.

The slowdown in property tax collection was due to revenue officials getting busy with elections.

Source: Deccan Herald, TheTimes of India

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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