Bengaluru Buzz: Trader licences revoked, SPV project pushed and 1000 transformers uprooted

Your chance to catch up on news that matters: Here's a quick wrap of some important headlines from your city over the week gone by.

16 traders lose licences for using disposable plastic

At a council meeting held in July, BBMP had declared an ultimatum to traders who do not stop using disposable plastic material (cups, plates and spoons). Mayor Sampath Raj had chalked out a week’s deadline for the shopkeepers to permanently shift to using eco-friendly materials instead, failing which the licences of establishments would be cancelled. True to their word, the corporation’s health department cancelled 16 trading licences of shops in Avenue Road, Bommanahalli and Neelasandra. One and a half tonnes of plastic was recovered through the raids conducted over two days, along with Rs 3 lakh collected in penalties.

Spreading awareness is the next step. BBMP is working with Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and Environmental Management Policy & Research Institute (EMPRI) to hold constituency-wise awareness drives from August 1st. Spanning three days each, the campaigns will educate hotel owners, e-commerce companies, and street vendors among other bulk users of plastic.

Source: The Hindu/ The Times of India

BBMP signs MOU with French company for Mavallipura waste to energy plant

The BBMP is ready to float a tender by August to build a plant in Mavallipura landfill for conversion of 1000 tonnes of waste into energy every day. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been inked between the civic body with a French company to generate 8 MW of energy. To fund the Rs 200-crore project, the civic body is going to avail of government grants, in addition to two subsidies: 25% from the state government and 35% from the Centre.

NS Ramakanth, Chairman of the BBMP Solid Waste Management Expert Committee, however does not believe in the feasibility of the proposed plant. In his opinion, a lot of time will be wasted in separating the moisture, as 60% of the waste produced in Bengaluru is wet waste. Separating non-biodegradable dry waste for the purpose of conversion is not profitable.

Source: Bangalore Mirror/ The News Minute 

CM announces Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) project for suburban rail

On July 25th, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said the Special Purpose Vehicle for the suburban rail network in the city will be set up within a month for the 444 km of already operational tracks. The ownership is divided between the state and railways department, with 51% share and 49% share respectively.  Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) is carrying out the work of setting up the SPV at an estimated cost of Rs 1745 crore. The first phase of the suburban railway project will see doubling of the following routes, for which the electrification is about to begin.

  • Baiyappanahalli to Hosur for a length of 48 kms
  • Yesvanthpur-Lottegahalli-Hebba-Banaswadi-Baiyappanahalli-Channasandra for a distance of 21.7 kms,

Source: The New Indian Express/ The New Indian Express

More than 1000 transformers uprooted, moved out of footpaths

Transformers have long been the bane of pedestrians in Bengaluru, who are either forced to walk on the main roads or tread with fear on footpaths. Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) has found a way out of potential disasters. Out of 7953 transformers currently placed on footpaths, 4035 are soon going to be moved to government premises or Civic Amenities (CA) sites. Up to now, 404 transformers have already been shifted, and 925 were redesigned after uprooting.

This came after Karnataka Electricity Regulation Commission (KERC) framed new rules. It said that new buildings built on space ranging between 500 and 800 sq. ft, with a sanctioned load between 25 kW and 35 kW, will have to reserve space for transformers to be installed free of cost.

Source: The Hindu

“Restore buffer zone around Bannerghatta National Park” : Rajeev Chandrashekhar

The forest department last year had expressed interest in cutting the Eco-Sensitive Zone from 269 sq km to 181 sq km as a buffer area around Bannerghatta National Park. Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar has issued a written communication to the Union Minister in charge of environment and forests. His letter emphasized that mines which had been stopped from being constructed around the park by activists will now have the space to come up if the buffer zone is not strictly maintained.

Source: The Hindu

Tree census work to be taken up by private institutions

BBMP’S forest cell has decided to outsource the tree survey to experts and private groups with better resources so that the census may be finished on time with accurate identification of trees. M K Cholarajappa, Deputy Conservator of Forests (BBMP) said that the eight zonal officers of BBMP’s forest cell do not possess the bandwidth to conduct the Herculean task of the tree census, as they are held up with maintaining the trees in the city. The project was proposed in 2015, but could not be implemented because of the existing communication gaps between forest department officials and BBMP’s forest cell.
Compiled by Seema Prasad

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