GENRE: In Focus

In an obese, overgrown metro, some symbols still endure. One of these is the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), almost a subconscious icon that IT Bangalore has inherited from its 'garden city' avatar. Bangalore Development Authority Headquarters (courtesy: BDA) There is a mixed reaction to the BDA. There appears to be a slight inclination to appreciate its new IT-savviness. On the other hand, there are charges of corruption. And finally, more civic conscious citizens find its development plans to be grossly unbalanced, with the wrong emphasis on all the wrong areas. So firstly, is there really a new IT look? K…

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Oasis is the name of the new swanky and slick shopping mega mall that's sprung up on the corner of Koramangala 80 feet road and Inner Ring Road intersection. It's quite strategically located, on one of the busiest crossroads of Bangalore, also a prime residential area. Drain view apartments: Multi-storey buildings along the storm water drain (pic: Samuel Jacob) Just behind the mall on a gentle gradient is the Shinivagulu Tank Bed (S T Bed) residential layout. Not so long ago when humans were kind, it used to be a tank bed. In 1989, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), converted…

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The advance of the Internet, and the technological advances in digital photography have come together to impact our lives in many ways; but few would have thought, a few years ago, that it would result in a major innovation in a field - wildlife -- where until now, enthusiasts were never near a net connection. Yet a team of four people, all from Bangalore, have, in a short time, managed to build up a strong association and bond between diverse people, by starting India Nature Watch (www.indianaturewatch.net), an online resource for Indian wildlife and photography lovers. Seven Spot Burnet Moth…

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Suresh lives in the Victorian Avenue apartment block in Indira Nagar. After a day's work in the office, he comes home and cooks his food. Till recently he was using the water from a tap provided in the flat's kitchen for cooking. In February this year he noticed that the rice he cooked used to turn dull yellow in colour. First he thought it was the rice, but changing the rice did not change the colour.I used to boil the water for drinking and there would be a thin white film of something on the surface. When I asked my…

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Which one of us has not seen the abandoned hack-horse, the milch-cow left on the streets, the pet dog bought on a whim and ignored or starved once the novelty wears off? Which one of us has not seen a sloth bear being made to dance by the "madari", been concerned about the parakeets that fortune-tellers put in tiny cages, or seen the plight of circus animals? Add to these the animals that are routinely injured or tortured in the name of festivals or religion, and you begin to see a sad picture of survival against the odds. Brahminy Kite…

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As monsoon clouds brood over a parched city, a few harassed citizens gear up for an interesting harvest this season. Water. Since May 1st, 2007, the government has been forcing rainwater harvesting (RWH) techniques at new constructions in the metro. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), has made it mandatory for applicants of water connections to implement RWH, even though there is no formal announcement. Was this force necessary? “Certainly!” says A. R. Shiva Kumar. Principal Investigator and Scientist, Karnataka State Council For Science & Technology (KSCST), who is advising the BWSSB on these techniques. He adds that…

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Created in 2002 to check the deterioration of lakes in the city, the LDA has identified 30 lakes for ‘development’. One of these, Nagvara Lake, has already been turned into an amusement park. Next on the list are Hebbal Lake and Agara Lake.The LDA has signed an agreement with East India Hotels Pvt. Ltd, which operates the Oberoi chain of hotels, for the ‘development’ of Hebbal Lake. The privatization of Hebbal Lake has created a storm of protests from environmentalists and concerned citizens who fear that a precious community resource will be out of bounds for all but a select…

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Every morning, Mahadev rises and soars with the soggy monsoon sun as orders surge. It’s boom time in IT city, after all. “I haven’t seen such a busy season for three years,” he smiles, as he wends his way over the half-manicured streets of HSR Layout. Mahadev is 12. He doesn’t know, therefore, that his princely wages of Rs.70 per day earned for moulding iron gates and grids is a shameful secret. That his earnings are a breaking story of sorts, though not for the same reason as those of IIM-B graduates. His salary is invisible as his employment violates…

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Lying between bustling Koramangala and H.S.R. Layout in South Bangalore, Agara lake is a picture of tranquility. Its 39.58 hectares of greenery and water, which attract a variety of birds, make it valuable lung space that many area residents cherish. But, if recent developments are anything to go by, it could be under threat. Vigilant residents are aghast that this green oasis could soon be turned into an amusement park. The last thing they want is for Agara lake to be lost to big money and pollution. They are determined that they will do all they can to preserve the…

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