BENGALURU BUZZ

September 29th bandh Normal life came to a halt during the one-day statewide bandh over the Cauvery water-sharing dispute on September 29th. Hundreds of pro-Kannada protesters and farmers were detained and more than 40 flights were cancelled. Many raised their voice against the government’s decision to release water to Tamil Nadu. The bandh was called by the Kannada Okkoota. Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code was imposed, prohibiting the assembly of four or more. Shops, eateries and theatres were shut down, even as schools and colleges declared a holiday as a precautionary measure. Kannada activists barged into a press conference…

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60 accident black spots The Bengaluru Traffic Police have identified 60 accident-prone locations or “accident black spots” in the city and have outlined some measures to enhance safety. The list will be submitted to the civic agencies. The black spots have been identified on the State Highway, National Highway, Ring Road, and other roads. Remedial measures include installation of accident zone signboards, construction of skywalks, placement of cat eyes and blinkers, CCTV cameras, rumbler strips, road markings, road humps, street lights, raised centre medians and speed limit signage boards. The report showed that over the past three years, the number…

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BWSSB: Set aside city's share of Cauvery waters The level in the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) reservoir has come down due to low rainfall this year. However, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) Chairperson N Jayaram, on September 8th, wrote to Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) requesting to keep aside the city's share of water in Kabini and KRS reservoirs. The sharing was asked to be done on a 'priority' basis reserve'. BWSSB, which supplies Cauvery water to almost 70-80% of the 1.3 crore population in various phases, sources the required Cauvery water from Shiva anicut in Malavalli…

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BBMP works held up About 25.2 mms of rainfall on September 5th flooded roads and homes, uprooted trees and caused traffic jams. The maximum impact was seen in areas where Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) are undertaking civil works.  Even after 100 days in office, Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister DK Shivakumar is accused of holding up civic projects with incomplete works on roads, primary drains and lakes. Only the Congress-represented assembly segments have completed some work, while the BJP-ruled constituencies remain inactive. Initially, the contractors had halted work, protesting…

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Hits, misses after 100 days For only this month of September, electricity bills by Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) will get dearer by Rs 1.15 per unit, due to the revision by Fuel and Power Purchase Cost Adjustment (FPPCA). However, the beneficiaries of the Gruha Jyothi scheme will be covered by the government. On August 30th, the Gruha Lakshmi guarantee scheme, which will provide financial aid of Rs 2,000 to women heads of families in the state, was launched. This key pre-poll promise will benefit 1.1 crore women. Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi said that the party will launch the Gruha Lakshmi…

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City soars with ISRO A new video of Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan-3 Rover ramping down from the Lander to the Lunar surface, as well as a photo of the moon’s surface, were released on August 24th. Hundreds of Bengalurians celebrated ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 completion of soft landing on the moon's south pole. There were jubilant screenings and scientific commentaries at the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Indian Institute of Astrophysics campus, Century Club at Ambedkar Veedhi and Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM). A special screening at the Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Park in ISRO Layout had many former…

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Rs 3,400-cr plan for lakes In his 77th Independence Day speech at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah promised a Rs 3,400-crore action plan to preserve and revive lakes and invest Rs 1.4 lakh crore every year to achieve a 15 % to 16 % growth rate. He said that the plan to revive lakes and waterbodies is being drawn up to ensure that pure drinking water is supplied to urban areas. However, ecologists were sceptical. Ram Prasad from Friends of Lakes said that it is only an announcement, just like those of earlier governments. He suggested…

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BBMP governance issues The government has set a two-month deadline for ward delimitation. Even the previous government reduced the number of wards from 243 to 225. However, senior Ministers are now debating whether civic polls should be organised at the end of this year. As there is no clarity over restructuring the city’s governance structure, the worry is that the civic polls may push reforms to the background. Meanwhile, on the Working Contractors' Association complaint that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has held up its bills, the Governor, Thaawarchand Gehlot, summoned BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath. The contractors said…

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HC: Govt should pay for illegal hoardings The Karnataka High Court said that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the state government would have to deposit Rs 50,000 each in the court for every instance of unauthorised hoarding in future. There are too many unregulated and uncontrolled illegal hoardings, banners and flexes, mainly due to the callousness and negligence of BBMP officials, it said. Even though 59,413 illegal hoardings were identified in the past four months and 58,429 of them were removed by spending BBMP’s funds, or taxpayers money, why hadn't the BBMP collected any penalty? the court asked.…

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Building Brand Bengaluru The ‘Brand Bengaluru’ project spurred the state government to sign an agreement with Canada-based World Design Organisation (WDO) for suggestions to the BBMP to build the city. Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said that 200 engineers from the WDO will study and give suggestions on infrastructure, including roads, flyovers, footpaths, junctions, and more. D K Shivakumar had earlier launched a ‘Brand Bengaluru’ campaign and an online portal to invite suggestions by the public on the city’s development. He received 70,000 suggestions from the public, experts, and schoolchildren. Students from 17 schools in a special function spoke…

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