Bengaluru Buzz: Now, sinkhole in Mahalakshmi Layout | BESCOM proposes hike in power tariffs… and more

In other top news from Bengaluru, BBMP budget presentation preponed to February 15th and launch of the city's first evening post office.

BBMP’s annual budget preponed

The BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) will present its annual budget day for the next financial year on February 15th, in anticipation of the start of the model code of conduct before the Assembly elections. Last year’s budget, presented on March 31st, was delayed as the budget copy was released at midnight. This year, the BBMP is in a hurry to present the budget as it wants to get the state’s approval before the code of conduct sets in.

Meanwhile, former mayors and corporators have demanded that the allocation made in the name of corporator and mayor funds be stopped, as no one is occupying the posts. 

Source: Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

Lalbagh flower show

The Lalbagh Botanical Garden is hosting the 213th, ten-day, annual, Republic Day flower show at the Glass House till January 30th. It is based on the theme ‘Bengaluru’s history & evolution’. The show will also highlight the journey of Bengaluru from a small fort city to the Silicon City of India.

This is the first time that the Horticulture Department has distanced itself from the Mysore Horticulture Society. Horticulture minister Munirathna said that they expect close to 12 lakh visitors. The police has put up 100 CCTV cameras, organised for 500 police persons to be on duty and made arrangements for five ambulances, a first aid hospital, and a police helpdesk to be set up.

The city’s 1500 years of history will be reflected in the artwork. There are replicas of milestones, such as Giri Durga, symbolising the city, the Beguru inscription that first mentioned the name ‘Bengaluru’, a 300-million-year-old Labagh rock, Roman era coin artefacts, Dodda Basavanna, Kadu Malleswara temples and the artwork of Vidhana Soudha. Flowers like anthurium, lily, gerbera, sevanthige, orchids, and carnations have been used in the installations.

Source: The Times of India, The Hindu

BESCOM moots huge hike

BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) has proposed a huge increase in fixed charges in its tariff revision petition submitted to the KERC (Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission) for the upcoming year.

It stated that for domestic consumers, the charges for the first kW may be increased from Rs 100 to Rs 150. For every additional kW after that to 50 kW, the charges will be hiked from Rs 110 to Rs 300. Following every kW after 50 kW, the hike will be bigger, from Rs 175 to Rs 450. Sources said that while energy charges might be reduced, fixed charges will be raised due to increased purchasing cost of power. It will be applied to both low tension and high tension consumers. 

Meanwhile, to manage the problem of power theft, the vigilance wing of BESCOM imposed fines up to Rs 2.59 crore between September and December 2022 after inspecting 10,908 power installations. While a total of 1,781 cases were registered across eight districts, 1,721 cases have been disposed of. The officials have also collected Rs 358.3 crore out of the pending amount of Rs 1,417.45 crore and has disconnected 23 lakh installations for not paying arrears, according to sources.  

Source: The Hindu

Read more: How renewable energy production can affect what you pay for power in Bengaluru

Sinkhole on newly asphalted road

Just a few days after a huge sinkhole formed on Brigade Road, another one appeared in Mahalakshmi Layout near Sapthagiri Kalyana Mantapa. All that civic agencies do is just blame each other.

The BBMP officials said that a BWSSB’s (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) leakage had caused the sinkhole at 11 am, just a few days after the road was asphalted.

A photo of a sinkhole on a road.
Representative image of a sinkhole. Pic: Scott Ehardt/Wikipedia

On the other hand, a BWSSB engineer said that a heavy BBMP truck on the nine-foot pipeline, which was more than 40 years old, had caused the road to cave in. The old road has been replaced with a new one and the leftover, cracked part of the road will be cleared, added with crushed stones (wet mix) and kept ready for BBMP to asphalt. However, AAP leader and retired KAS officer, K Mathai, said that the sinkhole on Brigade Road had appeared because of corruption and negligence.

Source: The Hindu, The Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Criticisms against Rapid Road project

According to media reports, a BBMP official said that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has given a thumbs down to the Rapid Road project for now. The Opposition had criticised the government on the cracks on the Rapid Road, among other infrastructural issues. Last week alone, the Rapid Road had developed cracks, even before the pilot project of a 500-metre stretch between Old Madras Road’s Binnamangala-100 feet road junction and Adarsha Theatre-Petrol Bunk Junction could be completed.

Meanwhile, the ‘Fix My Street’ app for the public to report potholes got 2,500 complaints in just 15 days. The BBMP officials said that of the 2,500 complaints received from the public, 1,500 have been resolved. Overall, since May 2022, a total of 40,000 potholes have been reported on the application.

Source: Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

Read more: After one year as minister for Bengaluru, CM Bommai has many promises to keep

Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield Metro line to open in March

The BMRCL (Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd) has invited the commissioner of metro rail safety to inspect the metro work between KR Puram and Whitefield. The inspection would include checking of tracks, station safety, signalling, and electrical establishment on the stretch. This stretch is part of the phase 1 metro work of the Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield stretch, which will benefit around 3 lakh passengers.

If the Namma Metro project is approved, the commercial operations will begin and might be accessible to the public in March, said BMRCL MD, Anjum Parvez. But the phase 2 metro work, between KR Puram and Baiyappanahalli, will begin only by June.

Commuting will become easy for over 55,000 employees of the ITPB (International Tech Park Bengaluru) in Whitefield, as the campus will be directly connected with the nearest Metro station at Pattandur Agrahara, between Sadaramangla and Kadugodi stations. This is the first such agreement to be inked on the Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield line.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

First evening post office

India Post inaugurated Bengaluru’s first evening post office on Museum Road. It will undertake on a number of services, ranging from speed post to Aadhaar. It will be open six days a week from 1 pm to 9 pm, offering services of speed post, parcel booking, parcel packing, Aadhaar services, picture postcards, and stamp services. It was introduced mainly for working professionals so that it could make services more accessible. The post office has been refurbished at a cost of Rs 3 lakh.

Source: The Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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