No to elevated roads; Out of jail and into life; Now, waste segregation must across India

Will elevated roads help make Bengaluru transport sustainable? Where does your sewage go? What's has the Central Government decided with respect to solid waste management? How do released convicts cope with life outside prison? All this and more...

Bengaluru this week

April  7th 2016


Bangalore’s own interactive newsmagazine
Speak up, it’s your city!  


We’re glad to report that our Journalism Workshop went well. Around 40 citizens came forward to understand city issues and learn to use journalism to share their ideas and experiences. We also managed to raise some funds for the journalism published on Citizen Matters. But what really has us over the moon is that there are so many active citizens keen on doing their bit for a better Bengaluru. A big thanks to all the participants. Click here for pictures from the workshop.

We also continue our Summer Fundraiser with the TCS World 10K that is coming up on May 15th. If you are running in the event, we urge you to partner with us to raise funds to support our work. We already have five people who have committed to do so. Look out for our mailer with updates on the same or write to for more information.

This week’s highlight: Say no to elevated roads

Elevated road on Hosur road. Pic source:

What does it take to make Bengaluru transport sustainable? Is building more elevated roads helping the cause? Sathya Sankaran of Citizens for Sustainability (CiFoS) explores the problem and solutions. He also responds to frequently used excuses like, “Bangalore isn’t Amsterdam, ok?” and “India has tried stuff like bicycle lanes and BRT. All these projects have failed.”

Life outside prison

On Republic Day, around 98 prisoners from Bangalore Central Jail were released prematurely by the State government for good conduct. With many of them having been behind bars for over 14 years, life outside prison is challenging. Our Staff Reporter, Akshatha M spoke to a few of them to understand what life is like outside. Read: Out of jail, life is a roller coaster for these released prisoners.

From waste to wisdom

Even as citizens of Bengaluru are still getting used to mandatory source segregation of waste, it looks like all of India will soon be following suit. The newly notified SWM rules mandate source segregation of waste for all urban and rural areas. Read: Govt of India follows Karnataka; mandates divide and rule for managing garbage.

A green Ugadi is what the BBMP is gunning for this time. This is the first time that the BBMP is trying to systematically address the problem of organic waste produced during festivals. Read: BBMP plans for a cleaner and greener Ugadi.

Here’s a story of hope, about how committed officials working with concerned citizens can reclaim a city that seemed to be down in the dumps. Read: How you can implement the plastic ban in your area.

On the sewage trail

A vegetable vendor on the roadside near Maragondanahalli Lake sells vegetables grown in the village. Pic: Perumal Venkatesan

Where does Bengaluru’s sewage go? What happens to it? Perumal Venkatesan embarks on a photographic journey along the sewage trail, and finds that what goes around comes around. See: The sewage that you let out may feed the veggies that you eat…

Property tax hike

New hiked tariff, changed zones and tariff change; and because of it, no upgradation of property tax calculator. BBMP doesn’t seem to be ready to collect property tax for 2016-17. Read: Dear BBMP, please give us 10% rebate in property tax payments!

FixMyRoad protest: A lookback

Remember the #FixMyRoad protest of December 2015, where citizens of ORR and Whitefield came out in hordes to protest against the abysmal state of the roads in these areas. Here’s a video that shows why it helps to work together.

Standing tall for trees

On 31st March 2016, a 40-year-old African Tulip tree in Indiranagar 1st stage, home to hundreds of parakeets and scores of nests nurturing young ones, was felled down. Here’s how residents came together following the incident. Read: When a tree falls, a community bands together.

The Politeness Project

When you are nice to people who are doing you a service, you can be sure that they will be nice in return. After acting as a voluntary doorman and not being thanked for it, Divya Sreedharan is now following the Politeness Project

Travel diaries

Bas-reliefs depicting the Tirthankaras at Chikkabetta. Pic: Vanila Balaji

ASI Bangalore is working on archaeological excavations of ancient Jaina vestiges at Arthipura near Kokkare Bellur. Photographer Vanila Balaji who recently visited the site, shares a snapshot. Read: Jaina site near Maddur fascinates visitors with 1000 year old inscriptions.

Imagine you’re harmlessly playing a game of cards on your trip to Karwar, when someone tells you that you are gambling. What would you do? Read our new intern, Noah’s account of his misadventures. Read: Game of cards that fell apart!

The week that was

  • The Central Ground Water Board has warned that groundwater in several parts of Bengaluru urban and rural areas is contaminated with carcinogenic nitrates. In most areas of Bengaluru, the presence of nitrates ranges between 45 to 100 milligrams per litre, as against the permissible limit of 40 milligrams per litre, a CGWB official has said.
  • In the latest development in connection with solid waste management, BBMP has signed memorandums with five compost manufacturers and fertiliser firms. In the agreement, BBMP has ensured that it will deliver a fixed quantity of solid waste to the compost manufacturers for turning waste generated in the city to compost.
  • The BBMP’s original budget outlay of Rs 8,991 crore has been revised and hiked by Rs 370 crore. The revised budget of Rs 9,360 crore was approved in the council on Tuesday, amidst opposition from BJP corporators.
  • A team led by the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety, SK Mittal, has begun the testing the underground metro stretch of 4.8 km, connecting Mysore Road and Byappanahalli, this week. Commercial operation of the underground metro will start once the CMRS gives the clearance certificate.
  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has topped the list of best in university category in the ‘India Ranking 2016’ by the Union HRD Ministry. IIM Bengaluru has been ranked the best management institute in India.

Events this week

Bhumika, A Smita Patil retrospective – April 8th, 9th and 10th

  • Many summer camps are in progress in Bengaluru for those of you looking to enroll your child in one. Have a look here.
  • If you are a Smita Patil fan, don’t miss Bhumika, a film festival celebrating the yesteryear actress’ legacy. The festival is taking place at Alliance Francaise and other venues on April 8th, 9th and 10th.
  • Make your way to Alliance Francaise on April 9th for Sursagar, a Hindustani vocal recital by musicians from the Gwalior Gharana.
  • On April 10th, go on a Spring Walk in Lalbagh to remember the legacy of Rao Bahadur HC Javaraya.
  • Learn to cook several yummy pasta dishes from Chef Alexandre of Cafe Noir at AF Cookout on April 12th at Alliance Francaise.
  • Bangalore International Centre is hosting a talk, Great Triumphs and False Stories, an analysis of the chequered histories of science in India and Europe, on April 14th.
  • Watch Pierrot le Fou, a French movie directed by Jean-Luc Godard at Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy on April 16th.

To know more about events in Bengaluru, click here





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