All about Agara-Bellandur SEZ ruling; How to get khata without bribing; BMTC says no to safety alarms on buses?

In this edition: NGT orders demolition of encroachment on Bellandur wetlands, fines developers; Paying property tax for 2016-17 (updated); BMTC says no to safety alarms on buses?; Getting khata without paying a bribe... all this and more!

The National Green Tribunal has delivered a landmark judgment against the massive SEZ project coming up on the wetlands of Agara and Bellandur lakes. The Tribunal has imposed a penalty of Rs 130 crore on Mantri Techzone and Core Mind Software Services, along with passing other important orders related to the case. What’s more, they have also pronounced orders to regulate construction near lakes.

A picture of the construction on the lake bed as on April 6th 2016. Pic: Shree DN

Presenting a detailed report: NGT fines Bellandur SEZ developers; orders demolition of encroachment.

Today, with this judgment, as citizens feel a little more hopeful about saving Bengaluru’s lakes/wetlands, we look back at the past few years of solid journalism behind these stories: The full saga here »

Something not just our tiny team, but the large number of people who have been supporting Citizen Matters over the years, can be truly proud of. Thank you all and keep supporting Citizen Matters!

Living by the lake

Meanwhile another real estate project coming up on the wetlands of Kaikondrahalli lake got the go-ahead from the National Green Tribunal, after the developer modified the project plan. Here’s an update »

Also read:

It is yet to be seen if and how the Agara SEZ judgement will affect this and other such projects.

Getting a khata without paying a bribe is possible!

Multiple calls and visits to BBMP offices, tackling multiple subtle and direct demands for bribe… Long and tedious as the process is, this group of citizens proves that getting a khata without paying a bribe is indeed possible. Here’s how »

Property tax

With citizens of Bengaluru queuing up to pay property tax, the system has many issues – most importantly, the payment database has not been updated. S Srinivasan talks about the problems with property tax payment system.

Also read: How to pay property tax for 2016-17. (UPDATED for rollback of zonal change classification)

BMTC says no to safety alarms because ‘BMTC buses are safe’

In early 2015, a safety alarm that allowed women notify fellow commuters about harassment was piloted in five BMTC buses in 2015. Since then, it has been waiting for a go-ahead from BMTC to install it in other vehicles. Here’s why »

The lives of garment workers

It’s all work and no fun for garment workers – they have no entertainment other than TV, and no savings too! A survey provides insights into the lives of garment workers. Read: How much do garment workers earn and what do they spend on?

KSPCB’s new norms for STPs

KSPCB recently introduced new norms for STP treatment that is going to affect apartment STPs. Why incur a huge cost, when there is a simpler, cheaper option, asks Dr Ananth Kodavasal. Read: Managing sewage at no cost – biogas is the answer.

Changemakers in the city

Bengaluru is witnessing citizen-led campaigns to end the plastic menace in several wards. Hagadur and Donnakeundi are the latest to join the bandwagon.

Many a time, unmaintained plots become spaces for dumping garbage. Here’s how a citizen ensured that one such plot didn’t go that way, and became the children’s playground it was supposed to be. Read: B.CLIP participant helps convert a garbage dump yard to a playground.

New Public Policy course in Bengaluru

With its new postgraduate course on public policy for working professionals, Takshashila Institution hopes more individuals choose public policy as a career option.

In the footsteps of the teacher

You probably would have heard the song Krishna Nee Begane. Do you know who composed it? Read Chitra Srikrishna’s post on Vyasarya, the composer and the man who was his guru, Sripadaraya.

News you can use

  • Do you love Bengaluru? If yes, here’s a chance to help the city solve the garbage problem. BBMP and Bangalore Eco Team are working together to create a pool of master trainers who will dedicate two hours per week in their area to set right garbage problems by way of supervision. If you’s like to help, sign up here.

  • Bengaluru’s first skywalk with an escalator was opened near Forum Mall on Hosur Road on Monday. Two more skywalks with lifts were inaugurated, one at Yeshwanthpur in front of Govardhan Theatre and another in front of Gopalan Mall on Mysore Road. The skywalks will be open from 7 am to 10 pm everyday.

  • With the inauguration of the much-awaited 18.2 km East-West Metro Corridor on Saturday, on an average one lakh people have been travelling by Metro every day. The corridor connects Baiyappanahalli in the East and Mysuru Road in the West with 4.8 km underground stretch.

  • A person lost his eye when a stone hit him near Baiyappanahalli, while he was travelling on the Mailaradurai Express. A group passengers have complained to the Railway police and local police asking them to take serious note of the issue.

  • To prevent further exploitation of water, BWSSB has planned to install water metres for borewells in residential and commercial establishments. According to BWSSB Engineer-in-Chief, S Krishnappa, the capacity for drawing groundwater is not more than 150 million litres a day.

  • In a study conducted by the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru stands in the fourth position among five Indian cities in the urban sustainability index. Bengaluru has low sustainability scores for water pollution and stands in the last position in this parameter.

  • A girl was abducted when she was talking over phone and an attempt to rape made in a residential area at Katriguppe last month. The incident came to light this week, after the girl approached media citing police inaction over arresting the culprit. The incident was recorded on CCTV and the police have now arrested the culprit.

Events this week

 At Home at the Zoo, Jagriti, May 6th, 7th, 8th

  • 21st Century Russia, a talk on the implications for Indo-Russian relations is taking place at Bangalore International Centre on May 6th.

  • British Council in association with Nritarutya is organising a workshop for children on Contemporary Dance on May 7th.

  • Emil was the nickname given to Adolf Hitler. Watch Emil’s Enemies, directed by BLT’s Vijay Padaki at Alliance Francaise on May 7th and 8th.

  • Watch At Home at the Zoo, Edward Albee’s acclaimed play being directed by Arundathi Raja on May 6th, 7th and 8th at Jagriti.

  • Go on a heritage walk of Nagarathpet with Silk Tales on May 8th.

  • Make your way to Alliance Francaise for Blurring Boundaries, an exhibition where fashion designer Priyanka Ella Lorena is showcasing miniature versions of her creations as 3D installations. The exhibition is on display till May 10th.

To know more about events in Bengaluru, click here

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