Bengaluru Buzz: Zonal committees in BBMP? | Safety audits in schools | Unseasonal rains batter roads..and more

State government plans to set up 'zonal committees' for further decentralisation of BBMP. The committees will include citizens and senior officials, and will decide on zonal works. Read more on what else happened in Bengaluru over the past week, in our roundup

Govt considers zonal committees in B’luru

State government is considering promoting zonal meetings at BBMP, to further decentralise the powers of BBMP Commissioner. The zonal committee will involve special commissioners, engineer-in-chief, ward officials, officials from all civic agencies, MLAs, nominated representatives from citizen groups, and ward committee members of the respective zones.

As per a draft brought out by the government, the committee should clear proposals and works in the zone, before these are sent to the BBMP Council for approval. The draft also recommends including the committees in finalising the zonal budget for 2020. As per a recent government order, each zone is to have its own budget.

The committee meetings, on the second and fourth Monday of every month, will discuss constructions, waste management, electricity, planning, housing, education, social welfare, forest, health etc in the zone. The committee can also supervise property tax collection, lake rejuvenation, building plan violations etc. The draft says this would minimise the workload of the Commissioner and would further involve the public in decision-making.

Source: Deccan Herald

Safety audits to be conducted in schools

A joint team comprising the Department of Public Instruction and the city police has decided to conduct safety audits in private, aided as well as government schools in the city.

The decision was made after a sample survey by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in August discovered that overall safety in schools in Bengaluru as well as Kolar was just 50.8 percent of the expected level. School managements paid least attention to fire and road safety, the survey found. This June, an eight-year-old body was killed on coming in contact with a live wire on a flight of stairs in his school.

In 2017, state government had mandated all schools to ensure the safety of students; schools that don’t comply can be fined up to Rs 10 lakh. K G Jagadeesha, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said a circular would be sent to the jurisdictional Block Education Officers (BEOs), instructing them to make necessary arrangements and coordinate with the city police.

Source: The Hindu

Unseasonal rains hit city roads

After 40 years, the delayed withdrawal of monsoons has extended into October. Usually monsoons withdraw by the middle of September but it’s still active this year, resulting in heavy rains across Bengaluru. There was about 24 mm rainfall on Tuesday night alone, according to sources at the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC).

Due to heavy rain, citizens are faced with clogged roads and basements. BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar is touring the city to check civic infrastructure that’s been battered by three consecutive days of rain. The main roads that are affected include Thippasandra Main Road, Tin Factory, B Narayanapura, Ballari Road, HSR Layout Sector 6 and 7. Those living in BTM Layout, Bommananhalli, Byatarayanapura, Koramangala, parts of Banashankari as well as HSR Layout, say water is leaking into their homes or basements.

According to BBMP officials, the civic body has attended to 54 rain-related complaints. Kumar has asked engineers to visit the worst-hit areas to see if they could find a lasting solution.

Source:  Deccan Herald | The Hindu

Facial-recognition cameras at railway stations

The railway police will soon install 150 facial-recognition cameras at the city railway station to identity potential criminals. A pilot project was run for four months from May to September, using nine cameras from nine different manufacturers to gauge their effectiveness. Each camera could identify an average of 42 criminals everyday, including pickpockets and thieves.

The government is now floating a tender to adopt a single system across railway stations in the state. But expectations for the new technology are steep; it would be capable of identifying faces in moving crowds and not just in queues, according to the RPF.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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