Bengaluru Buzz: Ways to manage water | Nod to Metro Phase 3 … and more

Other news of the week: Drive to prevent blindness, Kannada signage rules enforced and deadline for rebate on property tax extended.

Ways to manage water

To tackle the water crisis , the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has banned using potable water to clean vehicles, gardening, construction, fountains, swimming pools and entertainment other than drinking water in cinema halls and malls. It imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 for violators.

It is now mandatory to take prior approval ahead of drilling borewells in the city’s limits, as over 3,000 borewells have dried up. The transport department has been asked to impound private water tankers.

The water shortage has hit citizens in various ways. Many reverse osmosis (RO) drinking water plants that were constructed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are inoperative, while private RO drinking water plants are closed. Many plants draw water from borewells, which are now dry or with reduced water levels. The BBMP had set up more than 600 water plants for subsidised drinking water to the public, where residents can buy 20 litres for just Rs. 5.

On March 12th, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) launched four new apps — Jalasnehi, Jalamitra, Jalasamrakshaka and Antharjala. Through ‘Jalasnehi’, consumers can request treated water from the BWSSB. ‘Antharjala’ eases the process of applying to drill borewells. The other two apps were launched to invite support from citizens and help them to raise complaints.  

The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) is confident that the issue may not stall the hosting of the Indian Premier League matches at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. It is meeting the demand for ground maintenance through the sewage treatment plant (STP) and will not require groundwater.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Read more: How water meters saved time and money for this Bengaluru apartment

Yes to Phase 3 of Metro works

The Karnataka Cabinet, on March 13th, cleared Phase 3 of Metro works along the Outer Ring Road (ORR) stretch in Bengaluru. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 15,100 crore.

Under Namma Metro, 44.65 kms of the new line will be added by 2028. It is expected to link Hebbal with JP Nagar via Goruguntepalya, Magadi Road, Mysuru Road and Kanakapura Road along the Outer Ring Road for 32.15 kms. Another line connecting Hosahalli and Kadabugere via Magadi Road for 12.5 kms has also been approved.

The eastern part of the ORR metro line, through Silk Board and K R Puram to Hebbal, is under construction and will be completed in two years.

Around 80-85% of the project cost will be funded by the state government, while the remaining amount is expected from the Centre. A feasibility study was carried out and the Centre has cleared the project.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

Read more: ORR-Sarjapura gridlock: Govt, IT sector, commuters must collaborate for solutions

Drive to prevent blindness

Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao launched a comprehensive Eye Care Programme with innovative, health technology. It will be in line with the Vision Care Programme called Asha Kirana, under the National Health Mission’s National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment (NPCBVI).

The programme seeks to deploy ophthalmic devices for digital solutions and cloud-based technology to eliminate preventable blindness from five years to over 70 years.

Representative image. Pic: Wikipdia/Kamil Sitov

The programme will take on challenges through technological solutions, such as a handheld auto refractometer with wavefront aberrometer-based technology to screen refractive errors and an AI-based Fundus camera that will capture retina images without pupil dilation, targeting adult population with retinopathies, glaucoma, and macular edema. 

The programme will be included in 24/7 PHCs, CHCs, taluk hospitals and bus depots for transport personnel screening.

Source: The New Indian Express

Kannada signage rules mostly enforced

On March 11th, the deadline for adhering to the 60:40 language ratio on signboards ended. Hence, the BBMP is getting ready for enforcement. On March 12th, about 1,116 establishments could not meet the requirement of 60% of space on signboards containing Kannada text. Still, the BBMP is confident that it would be able to meet the rule in a fortnight.

About 49,732 of the 50,357 establishments violating the rule in December 2023 complied. That leaves 625 to conform.

Portraits of late Shankar Nag and Puneeth Rajkumar
Artwork at an auto stand in North Bengaluru showing late Kannada actors Shankar Nag and Puneeth Rajkumar along with a Karnataka map. Pic: Bhanu S

BBMP officials have sealed many establishments after revoking their trade licenses. 

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Read more: Stronger state support needed for ‘Kannada Gottilla’ to ‘Baruthe’ journey

Deadline for rebate on property tax extended

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) extended the last date to avail the 5% rebate on payment of property taxes till July 31st. BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath said that residents could receive the rebate if they paid the property taxes for the fiscal 2024-25 by April 30th. It is now extended by three more months.

He explained that as the Revenue Department officials and staff are involved in poll-related work, it will be difficult to process the payments at the time.

Due to several public holidays in April, tax payers would not be able to pay them at select bank branches. Hence, the rebate period for tax payers has been extended from May 1st to July 31st.

Source: Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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