Mahadevapura Lake gets an eco-friendly STP under CSR

Mahadevapura Lake gets an eco-friendly STP under CSR

Mahadevapura Lake gets an eco-friendly Sewage Treatment Plant as part of a multi-stakeholder initiative with BBMP.

In a unique initiative, leading corporates in Bengaluru have come together to partner with United Way Bengaluru (UWBe), BBMP and Citizen’s Group to construct an eco-friendly Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) of 1 million litres a day (1MLD) capacity at the Mahadevapura Lake in the city.

Mahadevapura Lake :

Mahadevapura Lake is on 22 acres and is located in the east of Bengaluru between Purva Parkridge and Durga Rainbow Apartments. It is frequented by many local residents who enjoy the provided walking path.

There are two wetlands, one in the southeast and the other in the northeast of the lake. In total, there are 4 inlet points and 1 outlet from the lake. Of the 4 inlets which carry sewage, 3 overflow into the lake during any flood event and one enters directly into the wetland area that is to the southeast side of the lake.

United Way Bengaluru – Mahadevapura Lake initiative :

Every city has a plethora of serious, unique, and multifaceted issues — from environment and health to income and education. To truly overcome these challenges and make a worthwhile difference, one must bring together everyone involved — everyone with a common interest and purpose, to work on a solution for a better Bengaluru. United Way Bengaluru do just that.

Established in 2008, United Way Bengaluru is a not-for-profit organization that works with communities to take local action for global impact. They partner with the people, listen to their concerns, identify the problems, and empower them to tackle these challenges head on. But they don’t stop there — they ensure their efforts reap long-term returns by staying connected with the communities.

And that’s how United Way Bengaluru bring visible, lasting change.

Wake the Lake campaign :

Lakes have always been the lifeline of Bengaluru. Unfortunately, years of economic growth and population expansion have had their consequences — in as little as 40 years; the 380 lakes in Bengaluru have been reduced to just 81.

Wake the Lake is United Way Bengaluru’s flagship campaign that aims to make a difference by reviving the dying lakes of Bengaluru. This initiative is a strong demonstration of the collaboration between civic bodies, corporates and citizens for the larger good. That’s not all; the Government of Karnataka has been the NGO’s biggest patron in supporting this initiative.

Over the last decade, Wake the Lake has successfully reclaimed and restored over 20 lakes, which were on the verge of complete collapse. This process of restoration involved clearing them of sewage, improving the quality of water, greening the lake environs and turning them into active community spaces.

Sewage Treatment :

Sewage treatment is the process of removing contaminants from municipal waste water,  containing mainly household sewage-plus some industrial waste water, Physical, chemical, and biological processes are used to remove contaminants and produce treated waste water (or treated effluent)) that is safe enough for release into the environment.

A by-product of sewage treatment is a semi-solid waste or slurry, called sewage sludge. The sludge has to undergo further treatment before being suitable for disposal or application to land.

STP at Mahadevapura Lake :

The STP is an eco-friendly natural solution. It is a chemical free process with minimum dependence on electricity for treating the wastewater. It is an anaerobic process called DEWATS, which aims to mimic natural processes by providing the right conditions for microbial action.

The Bangalore-based Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination Society (CDD Society) have provided the technical expertise for design and implementation of the STP. The construction was led by Revlon Build tech. 

Supporters of STP at Mahadevapura Lake :

The project is supported by Amazon, Mphasis, Dell Technologies, HTC Global and BORDA, the multi-stakeholder effort is aimed at rejuvenating the Mahadevapura Lake, which adjoins their offices at Bagmane World Technology Centre. The STP will tap and treat 1MLD wastewater flowing in an adjoining drain and discharge it into the lake every day.

About Amazon Cares  :

Amazon believes that the most radical & transformative inventions are often those that empower others to unleash their creativity and pursue their dreams. Amazon Cares demonstrates the philosophy of being ‘good neighbors’ through the activities undertaken in areas where employees and customers live.

The Company imbibes this philosophy to empower and engage its employees, customers, sellers, local communities and other stakeholders in its contributions to create opportunities and transform lives.

 Amazon Cares currently runs several programs such as Gift a Smile that is transforming & enabling new ways of giving and Amazon in the Community that is empowering local communities with tools & services that enable them to create opportunities for their growth. 

Speaking on the STP initiative at Mahadevapura lake, Kishore Thota, Director Customer Experience and Marketing, Amazon India says, “We are happy to associate with UWBe and BBMP to align efforts around intergovernmental initiatives to contribute to and preserve the city’s ecological systems to positively impact the local communities. The rejuvenation of the Mahadevapura Lake will be able to restore the rich biodiversity and inspire citizens to create hubs for a vibrant socio-cultural life.”

About Mphasis

Mphasis applies next-generation technology to help enterprises transform businesses globally. Customer centricity is foundational to Mphasis and is reflected in the Mphasis ‘Front2Back’ Transformation approach. Front2Back™ uses the exponential power of cloud and cognitive to provide hyper-personalized digital experience to clients and their end customers.

Mphasis’ Service Transformation approach helps ‘shrink the core’ through the application of digital technologies across legacy environments within an enterprise, enabling businesses to stay ahead in a changing world. Mphasis’ core reference architectures and tools, speed and innovation with domain expertise and specialization are key to building strong relationships with marquee clients.

According to Meenu Bhambhani, Vice President and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Mphasis, “We have a responsibility to give back to the society we reside in and this project with UWBe and BBMP is one such effort. We hope this initiative will bring back the lake its lost glory. This is a classic example of collaboration to safeguard the nature for our future generations.’’ 

About Dell Technologies:

Dell Technologies is a unique family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future transform IT and protect their most important asset, information. The company services customers of all sizes across 180 countries – ranging from 98 percent of the Fortune 500 to individual consumers – with the industry’s most comprehensive and innovative portfolio from the edge to the core to the cloud.

Sarv Saravanan, Corporate Senior Vice President & General Manager, India Center of Excellence, Dell Technologies said, “We at Dell Technologies have always been committed to the good of the people and the planet. The STP initiative at Mahadevapura Lake is an extension of this commitment. We are glad to partner with UWBe, BBMP and other corporates.”

Footpaths to be free of encroachments in Bengaluru

Footpaths to be free of encroachments in Bengaluru

Footpaths to be free of encroachments in Benglauru.  Making footpaths free is an obligation by BBMP.   Illegal footpath encroachment has been narrowing the road, causing inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians.

Everyday we come across a lot of vehicles parked on footpaths and pavements.  Cars and two wheelers are parked on both sides of narrow residential lanes and there is two way movement of traffic and navigating through them. 

It has become a challenge for pedestrians especially those who are handicapped, having physical disability and senior citizens.

High court order on footpath encroachment :

The High Court of Karnataka on 10th June directed the civic body BBMP to file an affidavit within 3 weeks on the steps taken by the authorities to keep footpaths free of encroachment by shop owners.

This affidavit was in the wake of observing the citizens’ rights being affected if footpaths are not maintained in reasonably good condition.  The footpaths must be kept free of encroachments.

Purpose of footpath :

Public streets are made for traffic to move and likewise footpaths are made for the use of citizens for walking.

If the footpaths are encroaches, it will affect the right of citizens.  Footpaths have to be maintained so that citizens are able to walk freely.

Action by Police –  footpath encroachment :

The city traffic police are currently carrying out a week-long drive to clear encroachments of footpaths and make them more pedestrian friendly.

The police aims to ensure that footpaths across the city are free from street vendors, petty shops, illegal parking of vehicles and dumping of construction materials.

Those dumping construction materials like pipes or wires on the footpaths will also have to be careful. The materials will be seized and the offenders will have to pay a penalty to get it cleared.

BBMP unhelpful :

In some areas the traffic police are oblivious of the state of affairs. Despite a clear ruling by the High Court of Karnataka to clear footpath encroachments, the BBMP is not acting tough on the encroachers.

The traffic police have expressed their helplessness as it is the BBMP’s responsibility to clear the encroachment and not that of the police.

The section 288 and 288C of the KMC Act clearly allow the removal of encroachments, either temporary or permanent, on the existing footpaths falling within BBMP’s jurisdictional limits. However, several complaints to jurisdictional Assistant Executive Engineers by citizens have not yielded any results. They pass the buck at each other dodging responsibility.

Conclusion :

There are chances of serious accidents if the issues are not fixed on  road’s footpaths. The BBMP officials and people’s representatives including the Mayor should inspect the busy roads and the footpaths and implement a ‘zero tolerance’ on footpath encroachment. 

500 raised cross walks across Bengaluru :

To ensure safety of pedestrians crossing roads, the civic body BBMP has decided to build more than 500 raised cross walks across Bengaluru city with 15 cm. in height besides bumps.

Infra Boost :

The Traffic Police of Bengaluru city made a presentation demanding raised pedestrian crossings. They will come up on thoroughfare across the city.

The demands of Traffic Police includes :
  1. Pedestrian crossings at 221 locations
  2. Sky-walks/FOB’s at 86 locations
  3. Up-gradation of pedestrian crossings are 213 spots
  4. Relocation of electrical poles at 97 locations and 76 transformers
  5. Amenities at 47 accident black-spots
  6. Solution to water logging at 45 places
  7. Street light functioning at 105 locations

Areas Covered :

The initiative of 500 raised cross walks across Bengaluru City includes facilities along outer ring road, Sarjapur road, Magadi Road and some of the core areas in the city.

The 367 junctions includes facilities like traffic umbrellas, railings information and direction boards, painted cross walks, cameras at important junctions, traffic signage, hazard boards, street lights, removing of trees and widening of roads.

World Environment Day –  theme : Air Pollution – Bengaluru

World Environment Day – theme : Air Pollution – Bengaluru

World Environment Day  – It is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

World Environment Day is the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of our Earth. That “something” can be local, national or global. It can be a solo action or involving a crowd. Everyone is free to choose.

Theme – World Environment Day 2019 :

Environment is the surrounding or conditions in which a person, animal or plant lives or operates. It is necessary to understand the importance of environment and lots of activities are done by the people to preserve and conserve the unique and life nurturing nature.

Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that draws attention to a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019 is “Air pollution”.

The theme for World Environment Day 2018, hosted by India, was “Beat Plastic Pollution”, which was a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time.

This year, China took over the task, choosing ‘Beat Air Pollution’ as the theme.

Air Pollution :

Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances including gases, particles and biological molecules are introduced into Earth’s atmosphere.

It may cause diseases, allergies and even death to humans; it may also cause harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops, and may damage the natural or built environment. Both human activity and natural processes can generate air pollution.

Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world’s worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008  Blacksmith Institute World’s Worst Polluted Places report. 

According to the 2014 World Health Organization report, air pollution in 2012 caused the deaths of around 7 million people worldwide,  an estimate roughly echoed by one from the International Energy Agency.

Air pollution kills 7 million people every year hurting child development, damaging economies and contributing to the global climate emergency.

Why 5th June every year?

World Environment Day is held each year on June 5. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations (UN) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. World Environment Day promotes ways to improve the Earth’s environment, such as conserving forests.

First time World Environment Day is celebrated in 1973 with the theme “Only one Earth”. And from 1974, the celebration campaign of the World Environment Day is hosted in different cities of the world.

What do people do on World Environment day?

World environment Day is celebrated in many ways in different countries.  Activities includes street rallies and parades as well as concerts, tree planting and clean-up campaigns.

In many countries, this annual event is used to enhance political attention and action towards improving the environment.  This observance also provides an opportunity to sign or ratify international environmental conventions.

Background – World Environment Day :

World Environment Day was established by the United Nationals General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.  A Resolution was adopted by the General Assembly on the same day, which led to the creation of UNEP.

It is hosted every year by a different city and commemorated with an international exposition through the week of June 5.

Symbols featured :

The main colors features in many promotions for this event are natural colors depicting nature, the earth and natural resources.

These colors are often in the shades of green, brown and blue.  Images or pictures of snowy mountains, clean beaches, unpolluted rivers and natural flora and fauna are used to promote campaigns. 

Significance of the day :

A Platform for Action World Environment Day is the UN’s most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

World Environment day at Bengaluru :

In a welcoming move, Bengaluru’s civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to plant one lakh trees across the city.

The decision was taken after Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun held a meeting with experts to discuss steps to be taken to avoid trees getting uprooted in heavy rains.

According to BBMP’s plan, the new trees will include varieties of Neem, Mahogany, Pride of India, Nerale, Pongam, Honge, Champaka, Sampige and Tabebuia among others.

Bengaluru Traffic Police celebrates World Environment Day by planting saplings in various police stations in the city.

Politicians participation – World Environment day :

India’s youngest MP in the current Lok Sabha Tejasvi Surya led events held in Bengaluru to observe World Environment Day.  As he planted saplings and painted dividers along Kanakapura Road, hundreds of citizens including celebrities from the film industry joined the initiative. 

Member of Parliament from Bangalore Central P.C. Mohan attended the special World Environment Day programs organized at Ulsoor Lake on Wednesday. Soon after the event, the MP took it to Twitter to thank the staff at the venue.

The South Western Railway (SWR) opened a new vertical garden at KSR Bengaluru City railway station this morning. The inauguration of the same was done by Ashok Kumar Verma, Divisional Railway Manager, Bengaluru Division.

To celebrate World Environment Day, Bangalore International Airport Ltd- operator of Kempegowda International Airport from June 5 will give away around 10,000 plants to people.

Bangalore International Centre :

Bangalore International Centre celebrates the World Environment Day by screening some of the brilliant short films and documentaries. The films that will be screened include Himalayan Waters, Ni Kata Banja (Don’t Cut My Oak’s), Remember The Spring, Chaal Khaal and Parisar Snehi Shauchalaya.

‘Himalayan Waters’ gives an overall picture of the Himalayan waters and efforts put it in by the NGO’s and locals to protect the same. ‘N i Kata Banja’ highlights the importance of Broad leave Species i.e. Oak trees in the water cycle of the Himalayas. Throwing light on the positive interventions such as snow sand filter etc is the short documentary titled- Remember The Spring.

Let’s join hands in being a part of solution for every type of pollution on the occasion of World Environment Day.

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Rs.50 K Crore for civil works at Bengaluru

Rs.50 K Crore for civil works at Bengaluru

Rs.50  K Crore will be spent on civil works at Bengaluru by the civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

The top priorities will be given to Garbage, Water, Traffic, Electricity and Environment management.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike :

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), is the administrative body responsible for civic amenities and some infrastructural assets of the Greater Bengaluru metropolitan area. It is the fourth largest Municipal Corporation  in India.

Its roles and responsibilities include the “orderly development of the city”  – Zoning  and building regulations, health, hygiene, licensing, trade and education, as well as quality of life  issues such as public open space, water bodies, parks and greenery.

The BBMP represents the third level of government (the Central Government and State Government being the first two levels). BBMP is run by a city council composed of elected representatives, called “corporators”, one from each of the wards (localities) of the city.

Top priorities of the Government :

According to Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara,  Garbage, water, traffic, electricity and environment management are the top five priorities of the government in the city.

In the next five years the government is planning is spend Rs.50,000 crore on different civic works in the city. 

Memorandum of Understanding :

An MoU was signed with Sweepsmart, a Netherlands based firm to upgrade the waste collection units/Centres in Bengaluru city.  The total of the initiative will be Rs.4.75 crore.

The initiative includes rebuilding, installation of equipment and design, build, installation and transfer model.

At present BBMP is spending 50% of its total revenue on city’s infrastructure.  To support the civic body the government has sanctioned Rs.8500 crore in the last 8 years and in this years Rs.11,500 has been sanctioned. 

Investment in the project :

The Government and the BBMP will be investing Rs.3.35 crore, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs will spend 0.7 crore and Sweepsmart company will be spending Rs.0.7 crore.

In the next 5 years the government is planning to support the civic body by spending Rs.50,000 crore to provide good infrastructure in Bengaluru city.

Areas covered under the project :

The civic body and the Sweepsmart have identified 12 DWC centres.  Out of which 10 will be finalized during the implementation of the project.

The third three centres will be launched in Kadumalleshwara, Kengeri and combines centre in Nagawara and HBR Layout wards. 

Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCCs) :

Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCCs) facilitate the stream lining of the entire process of waste management in the city, by concentrating exclusively on dry waste.

They are equipped with appropriate infrastructure capable of purchasing, collecting, aggregating and processing both high value and low value dry waste such as plastics, paper, glass, tetrapacks, etc. 

The city has planned for one DWCC per ward of which it has built 189 Centres. However every ward has been assigned a DWCC as a destination for its dry waste. The capacity of these centres varies from 1 TPD upto 4.5 TPD. 

Bengaluru’s SWM Journey :

The build-up of negative impacts of pollution (air, water & soil) due to open dumping (especially for the village communities living alongside) & a rapidly urbanizing metropolis, coupled with a steep population growth had put extreme pressure on our city’s SWM system.

September 2012 saw the shutting down of 6 of the city’s 7 landfills which led to mountains of waste rotting on city streets & large scale opening burning. Collection too had to be stalled for over a week, as there were no landfills available to take waste. The city had barely any infrastructure for processing & nearly no investment in recycling due to underdeveloped regulations and a lack of incentives.

The challenge since then has been to transform the system in a short span of time through initiating decentralized processing instead of dumping of waste.

High Court Order :

In order to enable a self-sustaining & efficient new system that is quick to execute, the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka intervened and set up a specialized SWM Cell & an Expert Committee to work with the BBMP SWM/Health department.

In consultation with think-tanks, experts, civil society groups, waste picker collectives, academicians & private players, since then defined principles to guide the city’s plan that is integrated and inclusive.

27 lakes to be taken up by BBMP – Bengaluru

27 lakes to be taken up by BBMP – Bengaluru

27 lakes in Bengaluru will be taken up by BBMP for restoration.  The project will be taken up on the ‘comprehensive development” plan.

Bengaluru, also known as the ‘Garden city’ of India, was dotted with numerous lakes. Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bengaluru  and his successors built more than hundreds of lakes and tanks in the city which are now slowly fading out from the heart of the city due to rapid urbanization and discharge of effluents in the water bodies.  

Status of lakes in Bengaluru :

  1. Eutrophication of lakes because of nutrient input
  2. Inflow of sewage to lakes
  3. Shrinkage of water body
  4. Solid waste dumping in the periphery of lakes
  5. Encroachment of lake and urbanization in catchment area
  6. Reduced storm water flow to lake body due to interception in catchment area and deforestation
  7. Shoreline erosion
  8. Weed growth

Lakes in Bengaluru :

Lakes in Bengaluru are numerous, and there are no rivers close by.  Most lakes in the Bengaluru region were constructed in the sixteenth century by damming the natural valley systems by constructing bunds.

The effect of urbanization has taken some heavy toll on the Beautiful lakes in Bengaluru. The lakes in Bengaluru have been largely encroached for urban infrastructure and as result, in the heart of the city only 17 good lakes exist as against 51 healthy lakes in 1985.

Urban development has caused 19 lakes getting converted to bus stands, Golf courses, playgrounds and residential colonies, and few tanks were breached under the malaria eradication program.

BBMP to breathe life into 27 lakes :

The BBMP will be fixing inlet and outlets, creating wetlands, island sand repairing the existing bunds.  The work includes desilting to increase the holding of water capacity. 

The State government has sanctioned Rs.348 crore for the rejuvenation project. The BBMP proposed to include public toilets, fencing, children’s park. boating and other small parks.

27 lakes – Zone wise rejuvenation :

The civic body is planning to rejuvenate lakes zone wise.   They zones where lake are identified are :

Mahadevapura zone – 9 lakes

Bommanahalli zone – 13 lakes

Rajarajeshwarinagar Zone – 2 lakes

Dasarahalli Zone – one lake

Yelahanka Zone – one lake

Bengaluru South Zone – one lake

According to a BBMP official the work will be done on stages.  They are going to do entry level revival with respect to storm-water drains. Diversion channels will be revived so that the sewage water is prevented from entering the water bodies.

Tenders have been called for the project and the work will be starting very soon.

Name of lakes – 27 lakes to get new life :

  1. Kaggadasapura lake
  2. Hoodi giddanakere
  3. Nagarabhavi lake
  4. Jimkenahalli lake
  5. Kalkere Rampura lake
  6. Nagareshwara – Nagenahalli lake
  7. Abbigere lake
  8. Shivanahalli lake
  9. Talghatapura lake
  10. Mahadevapura Lake
  11. Mesthripalya Lake
  12. Nallurahalli lake
  13. Byrasandra lake
  14. Gunjur playa lake
  15. Basapura lake
  16. Basavanapura lake
  17. Chikka Begur lake
  18. Devarakere
  19. Doddakallasandra lake
  20. Gowdana Palya,
  21. Gubbalalu lake
  22. Hulimavu lake
  23. Konappana Agrahar Lake
  24. Kammanahalli lake
  25. Vasanthapura lake
  26. Yelenahalli lake
  27. Daddabidarakallu lake

Co-operation with other departments :

The BBMP Lakes department should coordinate with storm water drain department and BWSSB to face any emerging issues to avoid future floods, back-flow pollution etc.

Deep desilting is also needed to resume the original depth of the lake.  Ecologists, environmentalists and hydro-geologists are to be involved.

Private adoption of lakes :

Five firms have signed an agreement with the Karnataka State government to adopt lakes in and around the Bengaluru city a few months back.

India Inc. came forward to adopt 6 lakes in Bengaluru for rejuvenation.  The 6 lakes adopted are Kenchenahalli lake by Meritor CVC India Ltd., Doddathogur lake by Elcia, Shikaripalya by Wipro, Yarandahalli lake and Kammasandra Lake by Biocon and Maragondanahalli lake by Timken India Ltd.

Lakes will not breach this monsoon :

For those living by the lakeside in Bengaluru, the monsoon is always a worry. The risk of flooding or even a breach cannot be ruled out. Surprisingly this year, the BBMP has said no lake is expected to breach or overflow. 

Breaching of a lake

Last year, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had identified some lakes ahead of the monsoon that could pose danger to the residents.

The lakes included Gubbalala Lake in Uttarahalli, Begur Lake, Vasanthapura Lake, Doddakallasandra Lake in Vasanthapura and others. These lakes reportedly had breaches due to weak embankments or had no embankment at all. 

Road flooding

BBMP officials did not rule out lakes overflowing this monsoon if the rainfall is too heavy.

To know more about lake rejuvenation read https://bangalorean.com/blog/45-lakes-revival-in-bengaluru-by-2025/



Monsoon – Is Benglauru prepared for the coming Monsoon ?

Monsoon – Is Benglauru prepared for the coming Monsoon ?

Monsoon – Is Benglauru really prepared to face the coming Monsoon season.  With so many works under process one can imagine the plight of people during monsoon.

Even the best planned cities in the world may not be able to withstand nature’s fury, but all it takes for Bengaluru to crumble is just one rain. 

If the havoc wreaked by the pre-monsoon showers recently is any indication, the actual rainy season is certain to be a real hell, due to the complete lack of preparedness. 

Pre-monsoon showers, which saw houses flooded, traffic disrupted, trees and electric poles crashing and roads developing pot holes has already given Bengalureans a taste of things to come this monsoon season.

Same problems – every monsoon season :

Rapid urbanization lead to depletion of grasslands, draining of lakes, etc.  The population growth happened un-proportional to the Infrastructure growth. 

Pothole-riddled roads, sewage-infested lakes, stinking primary drains, slushy garbage floating on the sides of the roads and people buying boats to navigate roads which have turned into rivers. 

This was Benglauru in a nutshell after monsoon had wreaked havoc in the city in recent years.

Every year it is an all too familiar story of flooding, falling trees and power outages, but the civic and utility agencies rarely take precautionary measures.  They will be caught totally unawares when the skies open up.

With its waving topography, Bengaluru should never have faced the problem of flooding, but unplanned growth and illegal constructions have hindered the free flow of water to the hundreds of lakes that once dotted the city. 

Are Storm water drains Monsoon ready?

Work on building walls for storm water drains was stopped due to election code of conduct. This has also hampered the efforts to conduct survey to identify old and vulnerable trees. 

Bengaluru has approximately 842 kms storm water drain network built specifically to avert flood.  Only 300 to 400 kms. Of this network has permanent walls which are necessary to prevent rainwater from overflowing on to streets.

The reason for flooding in choking of road side drains with debris and silt.  The BBMP removes silt from roadside drains but the silt remains. This leads to usual flooding of roads.

Drains lack walls and overflowing lakes :

Building walls are one problem whereas silt accumulation is another.  This has reduced the carrying capacity of drains.

The existing lakes do not have the holding capacity as they have not been de-silted for years, leading to overflowing and consequent flooding. 

Accumulation of silt has reduced the water storage capacity of the lakes in the city.  Even a short spell of rain can result in choked and overflowing drains.  The city’s drains cannot take heavy rain.

Falling trees :

Once upon a time, Bengaluru was known for its green cover.  But the green cover is its most vulnerable and dangerous commodity when it pours.

Falling trees can cause huge damage.  They cut out power lines and falling trees causes blocked roads.

The BBMP has handed over the task to forest cell to identify and secured old and vulnerable trees.  but conducting a tree survey is a time consuming job and requires co-ordination among different organisations.

BESCOM and BWSSB’s contribution :

The contribution of the water and electricity supply agencies, BWSSB and BESCOM, to the mess is also in no meagre measure. Though monsoon is round the corner, BWSSB is still continuing with its digging activities in many areas.

While BBMP fails to remove weak, old and dead trees in advance, BESCOM’s inefficiency in pruning branches that touch electric lines is one of the reasons for power failure at the first sign of rain.

Reasons for traffic jams during monsoon period :

Eain water logging in the city

People tend to take the main roads to avoid the shorter routes as they get water logged and are not really safe.  This increases the vehicle destiny sharply on the road.

There are trucks and other large vehicles on the same roads which take much of the area and they move quite slow as well.

The rains in here are usually accompanied by strong winds causing trees or branches to be uprooted. This blocks a significant part of the road.

People are cautious and tend to drive slower when it rains so even if the roads are clear the vehicles move slowly.

Water logging : a good chuck of already over burdened roads are rendered useless due to water logging. 

Areas underneath flyover act as a shelter for two wheelers from rain.  Many vehicles parked causes congestion.

Low visibility and safety concerns result in slow driving.

White topping of roads is a major concern in monsoon season :

A new scheme White-Topping under which it was planned to concretize all major arterial roads of the city is still going on. The lack of planning resulted in a very haphazard construction under the scheme.

There are certain two-way roads, only half of those are completed the rest of the half are still dug which will result in further inconvenience to citizens. Even few showers can result in flash floods and bring the entire city to a halt. Sadly, rain readiness begins as the rainy season begins.

Conclusion :

Why is the cleaning works not done on a regular basis, when a full team is employed to do such works. 

The rains will come and go. What we have seen, also, is that governments that promise to improve the infrastructure, clean up the city, and make Bengaluru ‘world-class’ also come and go.

But, for the most part, they don’t have the technical competence to develop the city, the administrative diligence to accompany it, or the political will to actually serve the public. On that front, it has been raining for decades.

Last year several rain-related deaths were reported in the city because of unpreparedness of the authorities. 

Vacant Land owners – fined if waste,debris found – BBMP

Vacant Land owners – fined if waste,debris found – BBMP

Vacant land owner in Bengaluru will be fined if waste and debris is found in their plots up to Rs.25000/- if owners don’t clear debris and vegetation  within 15 days.

Bangalore, the capital of India’s modern economy and home to many of its high-tech workers, is drowning in its own waste.

“Bangalore used to be India’s cleanest city,” said, president of the National Solid Waste Association of India. “Now, it is the filthiest.”

BBMP’s order to clear waste from Vacant land :

The BBMP has turned its eyes on the garbage problem in Bengaluru.  Complying with the directions of the National Green Tribunal, the BBMP has issued a circular under Karnataka Municipal Act, 1976 to warn the land owners of empty sites or will be fined Rs.25000/-.

The civic body has issued a circular to its Assistant Executive Engineers (AEEs) of Solid Waste Management at the ward level.  The circular directs the AEEs to identify vacant sites that have waste, debris and vegetation and to issue notice to the vacant land owners.

The circular has been issued as part of implementing SWM Rules 2016.  It recommend filing a police complaint and pursuing a lawsuit against the concerned land owners.

BBMP Circular on Garbage dumping in Vacant Land :

Garbage dumping in vacant lands s a regular feature in Bengaluru.  A lot of effort has been made t tackle with problem with a trashy end.

The circular has been issued under KMC Act.

Section 256 – Public Notice ordering deposit of rubbish and filth by occupier

Section 257 – removal of rubbish and filth accumulation in large quantities on premises

Section 333 – fencing of building or lands and pruning of hedges and trees

Once the garbage is cleared, the vacant land owners will have to ensure the site is fenced and put up a signage asking not to dump waste and debris.

Circular to Vacant land owners :

The vacant land owners are required to clean garbage and debris in 15 days.  If fail to do so, the civic body will clean the debris but will levy a fine of Rs.25000/- to the BBMP.

The penalty will increase from Rs.50000/- to Rs. 1 lakh if the vacant land owners fail to keep their vacant land free from garbage.  The BBMP has the authority to file  a criminal case against the owners under section 462(2).

According to the circular, the waste segregation should take place at the source otherwise they will be liable to pay penalty under Section 431(A) of the Act.

The circular says :

  • Clear the site within 15 days or pay a fine of Rs.25000/-.  The amount levied from the landowner will be spent by the BBMP for clearing the site.
  • After fencing, put a signage against dumping trash
  • If the land owner fails to respond, the BBMP will clear the waste and  debris and collect a fine.  Extra amount will be collected with property tax.
  • If even after the issuance of circular, the vacant land owner fails to maintain the vacant plot the fine amount will increase up to Rs.50000/- to Rs. 1 lakh.
  • Complaints to be filed against landowners in case they refuse to clean up
  • Lawsuit to be filed against the law owner.

Dengue Menace :

Mr Naik instructed the Health officials to levy fines on owners of under-construction buildings and vacant land owners where fresh water had accumulated.

Against the backdrop of the increasing number of dengue cases, the BBMP is taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Present scenario :

Garbage is Bengluru’s plague. It chokes water bodies, scars meadows, contaminates streets and feeds a vast and dangerous ecosystem of rats, mosquitoes, stray dogs, monkeys and pigs.

Perhaps even more than the fitful electricity and insane traffic, the ubiquitous garbage shows the incompetence of governance and the dark side of the city’s rapid economic growth. Greater wealth has spawned more garbage, and the managers of the city’s pell-mell development have been unable to handle the load.

Conclusion :

As Bengaluru’s population exploded with the success of its technology industry, the stresses in the waste system came close to a breaking point. Now, with Benglauru’s last landfill is to close permanently and the city running out of abandoned quarries to quietly divert a day’s load, the system may simply collapse.

Few expect Benglauru’s municipal government to solve the problem itself. Instead, a network of nonprofit groups has sprung up to carry out recycling schemes; these nongovernment organizations have embraced the thousands of rag pickers who daily paw through the city’s garbage to retrieve valuable refuse like paper, glass and certain plastics.

PG (Paying Guest) – Majority unlicensed in Bengaluru

PG (Paying Guest) – Majority unlicensed in Bengaluru

PG (Paying Guest) hostels –  Majority of the PG hostels in Bengaluru are unlicensed.  Only a few women’s PG hostels have CCTV cameras and round the lock 24/7 security guards.

The PG (Paying Guest) hostels are not monitored by any authority.  Bengaluru police doesn’t have a list of paying guest facilities in the city. And the city administration body, BBMP too doesn’t have a list of authorized PGs readily available online.

What does authorized/ licensed PG mean?

Unauthorized/unlicensed  PG (Paying guest) facilities are the ones not registered with either BBMP or the police, hence not obligated to provide security to the inhabitants. There is no monitoring done by any agency on such PG facilities.

Under Schedule 10 part II of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976, PG accommodations are supposed to procure trade license from BBMP Health Department. License fee varies with the number of rooms that the accommodation has. Even the PG accommodations having less than 10 rooms are supposed to have license.

Lodging and PG (Paying Guest) accommodation :

There is no distinction between both facilities, yet minor contrasts amongst Lodging and paying guest will be there. Large portions of individuals don’t know totally about paying visitor settlement and which is better for their living.

Lodging is a position of convenience, where we can discover diverse individuals from better places to remain for impermanent facilities for a long/brief time.

Lodging – Living with a gathering of companions.

PG (paying Guest) is additionally one of the conveniences. Paying visitor benefit significantly gave by families on a rental premise to share their property.

What is PG (Paying Guest) Hostel?

Paying Guests or P.G. is generally popular with students. As the name indicates, this accommodation is related with the feel of guest. Generally, in a P.G. accommodation a person is treated like guest but it does not mean that one does not have to pay for the accommodation.

PG Scenario at Bengaluru :

A lot of girls and working women get accommodation at PG in Bengaluru in a large numbers.  But it is at their own risk.  A majority of the PG hostels in Bengaluru are unlicensed and unregulated.

There are incidents of men breaking in to steal cash, jewellery and laptops.  Sometimes the breakinf happens with intent violence.

Things mandatory in a PG (Paying Guest) hostel :

According to Chairman of the BBMP Standing Committee on health Mr.Mujahid Pasha, CCTV are mandatory for PG hostels.

The other things must at a PG are a security guard on duty around the clock.  The PG should have a trade licence from BBMP.  Once the licence is obtained it should be displayed prominently in the premises along with the Area Police Number.

Action against illegal PG’s :

Those who are running the PG hostels with no licence can be booked under the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act.  They can be punished by closing and sealing the working of the PG. 

PG (Paying Guest) Owners can obtain a license :

  1. Obtain a trade license for PGs – This can now be done easily online on the BBMP website.
  2. Pay commercial tax for utilities such as rent, water and electricity.

Problems / Issues faced in PG (Paying Guest) :

  1. One will not choose their  flat-mates in PG.  If the resident  don’t gel well with them, they are stuck. Most people staying in PG fall into two groups – a) students b) working professionals. Typically the two groups have different lifestyles and hence if the resident  belong to group a but majority of flat mates belong to group b or vice versa,  it is  likely to be uncomfortable. Even when all flat mates are working professionals, there is no guarantee that they will gel with all of them.
  2. In most PG accommodations residents get Wifi but if a resident is a high data consumer or if  a resident  need very high bandwidth, one will find  most likely the PG Wifi useless. Biggest problem with a PG accommodation is that the resident  won’t be allowed to bring in guests who would stay overnight. That means after a party, even if a friend is too drunk to drive or go home, he/she can’t crash in at PG.
  3. Typically most owners would have a problem with paying guests bringing in guests of the opposite gender especially beyond 9 pm at night. That’s a severe constraint
  4. PG accommodations offer very little space.  So every time a resident  buys something, they  have to consider the space constraint before buying.
  5. In PG accommodations most of the services (like internet, DTH, newspapers) etc are shared and common for everyone. So if  a resident  have special needs, the services can’t be customized.
  6. In a PG, there’s hardly any privacy. The accommodation will be sharedby 1 or two more people.

The only plus point of a PG compared to a shared apartment is relatively low rent/deposit.

Click on the link https://www.bangalorean.com/blog/inspector-takes-strict-action-illegal-pg/

Investment in skywalks on Demand in Bengaluru

Investment in skywalks on Demand in Bengaluru

Investment in 29 skywalks on Demand in Bengaluru city by the civic body BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike).   

Like many cities across India, Bengaluru is seeing an unprecedented building boom, both inside the city and in farmlands converting to suburbs.

There are glass buildings, new roads, gated communities—changing the way people live and work. But one thing largely remains the same—lack of footpaths.

Bengaluru’s municipal corporation acknowledges it has a duty towards pedestrians and not just vehicular traffic, planning several expensive skywalks with escalators across Bengaluru.

Highlights – investment in skywalks :

  1.  Over 29 skywalks are to come across Bengaluru city.
  2. Foot over-bridges or skywalks are meant to ease traffic and avoid pedestrian accidents, but citizens and urban designers say the BBMP is building them at spots where they are not necessary.
  3. Some even allege advertisement lobby in pushing the propoals.

What is a skywalk?

A skyway, sky-bridge, or skywalk is a type of ped-way consisting of an enclosed or covered footbridge between two or more buildings or roads in an urban area.

It is a bridge designed solely for pedestrians.  While the primary meaning for a bridge is a structure which links “two points at a height above the ground”.

Some cities have the equivalent of a skyway underground, and there are also mixed subway/skyway systems.

They are located across roads to let pedestrians cross safely without slowing traffic. It  is a type of pedestrian separation structure,  examples of which are particularly found near schools, busy roads and heavy traffic roads.

To ensure footbridges are accessible to disabled and other mobility-impaired people, careful consideration is nowadays also given to provision of access lifts or ramps, as required by relevant legislation.

Environmental factors – investment in skywalks:

Besides pedestrian safety and convenience, the chief reasons assigned by urban planners for skywalk development are decrease of traffic congestion,  reduction in Vehicular air pollution and separation of people from vehicular noise.

 A number of cities have given intricate analysis to skywalk systems employing computer models to optimize skywalk layout.

Pedestrian safety at peril?

Once a skywalk is commissioned, the maintenance is neglected. Lifts remain dysfunctional for months without the contractor bothering to check and repair.

There is not enough lighting on many skywalks. With added advertisement hoardings on either sides, the pathway looks secluded, which drives away the pedestrians who want to use them.

“The very underpasses and skywalks that are built to keep you safe, end up collecting excreta and become criminal hotspots. They are useless because they are built for athletic young people not for disabled and old,” says a citizen.

According to a software engineer living in Green Garden Layout, who says that ramps for cyclists, escalators and elevators for senior citizens are a must. “Skywalk becomes a nuisance when it has elevators that don’t work and has well-lit advertisement but no light on stairs.”

When are the skywalks required?

Skywalks are required where ever there is heavy and fast traffic like arterial roads or big express highways leading out of the city. The dilemma even in such cases is about the frequency of crossings and the rationale of the exact spots for a skywalk.

 On roads with dense traffic within the city, there should be measures to slow traffic allowing people to cross at grade.

Are Bengaluru’s skywalks a design failure?

There is also a design and maintenance aspect to the skywalk failure story.  Some of the skywalk has moved the bus stop away, making people walk an extra 500 mts to the bus stop.

Some citizens are of the opinion that “BBMP does not know what it means to build scientific skywalks, their design priorities are skewed and they have a free hand since there is nobody to question them.

The engineers and the politicians involved don’t prefer using these facilities themselves, so it is unrealistic to expect usable civic services including skywalks to come out of their minds.

According to some a skywalk should not restrict the pavement space.  This is bad design. The stairs should start adjacent to the pavement

Are skywalks a sustainable option?

As the city cannot provide reliable public transport or pedestrian-friendly amenities as alternatives so people continue to purchase cars.

The government needs to recognize that public transportation and pedestrian-friendliness is a lesson easily learnt from all developed countries.

Are the skywalks are a sustainable option?  We have shortage of cops and even at signals many see people jumping signals.  The BBMP helps pedestrians and their lives by providing skywalks. Isn’t that good enough?”

Can skywalks be made convenient and safe?

With rapidly growing vehicular numbers, traffic congestion in Bengaluru seems unmanageable. Pedestrians, particularly senior citizens and physically challenged persons, are facing grave problems.

Walking on the footpaths has become hazardous and an almost impossible task, due to narrow, uneven footpaths, footpaths littered with debris, garbage, vendors and in several cases non-existent!

The only alternative is to walk on the roads, risking one’s life. And, crossing the roads, especially with heavy traffic, is an adventure, few would dare attempt.

Skywalks in Bengaluru :

The civic body had proposed a number of skywalks. But till date only 37 are completed by BBMP.  Priority should be given to the pending skywalks than proposing 29 new structures at different locations considering huge demand. 

BBMP’s decision to fund the 29 new skywalks is baffling as the civic body is struggling to complete the already taken up project due to cash crunch. 

Pending Skywalk works – investment in new skywalks :

Many skywalk constructions are put on hold and some have not even started yet as there are metro stations coming up in some areas, along with ongoing road widening and white-topping works.

The bidders are refusing to take up certain projects.

According to BBMP Commissioner, N Manjunath Prasad, ‘the skywalks in the city were supposed to follow the public-private partnership (PPP) model initially. “There are no takers for most skywalks. But there are areas that are demanding skywalks.

Hence the BBMP has decided to invest. DPR is ready for the 29 skywalks and work orders have been issued. The project might cost more than Rs 50 crore.

Online Monitoring of skywalks :

BBMP will soon launch online monitoring of lifts and escalators on all the skywalks in Bengaluru city, including the proposed 29, to check if pedestrians are actually using the skywalks.

Bosch has taken up the project to monitor online sensors. It is yet to get the green signal.

When asked about malfunctioning elevators, Mayor says: “I have asked officials for details on elevators in all the skywalks  across 8 zones. I have ordered proper maintenance and called for repair, if any. I will make sure that every skywalk will be equipped with CCTV.”

De-congestion of Bengaluru roads- Japanese Technology

De-congestion of Bengaluru roads- Japanese Technology

De-congestion of Bengaluru roads is in progress using Japanese Technology.  Roads sensors at junctions are expected to reduce traffic snarls by at-least 30%.

Seeing the present scenario the way things are moving, it looks like Bengaluru traffic police will soon  get a magic wand. The State government will soon deploy advanced Japanese Traffic technology to decongest critical junctions across Bengaluru city.

Reasons for congestion :

 Reasons which contribute significantly in making Bengaluru  traffic worst are :-

  1. Common Office/School timingsSchool and offices use busses for their employees and students respectively. These busses come on the streets at similar timings and cram the traffic.
  2. CarsMost IT professionals use cars to travel to work. This takes up a lot of space per person on already narrow streets.
  3. Ineffective public transport:The reason people use cars is because, the public transport is inefficient.
  4. Vicinity of IT parks:Major IT parks in Bangalore are located on single belt, which makes the matters worse on the Bangalore roads.
  5. We the people Yes. Even we are responsible.  There is inefficient traffic management; but if  people would follow road discipline, the situation could become a lot better.


Highlights :

  • QMS sensors will be used.  QMS sensors will analyze vehicle density and share details with the traffic police to adjust the signal timings.
  • Sensors will also analyze the speed of vehicles.
  • Variable messaging signs will be installed in KR Puram, Silk Board and Trinity Circle to provide real-time traffic information.

Problems and Issues – Decongestion of Bengaluru roads :

Bengaluru population has been growing at a rate of 3.25% per year in the last decade. There has been a phenomenal growth in the population of vehicles as well especially the two and four wheelers in this period due to rising household incomes.

The number of motor vehicles registered has already crossed many lakhs. In the absence of adequate public transport system, people are using the personalized modes which is not only leading to congestion on limited road network but also increasing environmental pollution.

An average citizen of Bengaluru spends more than 240 hours stuck in traffic every year. Such delays result in loss of productivity, reduced air quality, reduced quality of life, and increased costs for services and goods.

A checklist for decongesting roads :

Synchronized signal lights, adjusted to a moderate speed level is one of the solution.  Moderate, because all kinds of vehicles ply on our roads and some of them may not touch the speed limit of 40 kilometers per hour.

Heavy vehicles, cargo laden trucks and the like must be barred entry in arterial roads. If this is not possible, they must be allowed to ply only during early morning or late night hours.

Also, Bengaluru city was not meant to be a megacity. So these vehicles could be conveniently stopped at the outskirts and only those carrying a lesser load may be allowed.

It is disgusting to hear and see incidents of ambulances held up in traffic jams. The very purpose is defeated. A concerted effort is the need of the hour, and for the ones who cannot use public transport, a pooling system may be set up with the help of voluntary agencies. This could also be extended to regular office-goers, with regular timings.

Measures to decongest Bengaluru :

Bangaloreans proudly claim their city to be the world’s fourth highest congregation of technology, professionals after Silicon Valley, Boston and London.

With more firms adopting Bangalore as their base, the challenge of meeting their requirements in terms of population is a major concern, including the problem of accommodating them on the roads of the city.

  • Expanding the metro to new routes
  • Allowing more private corporations to operate bus transport system
  • Introducing Congestion zone charge
  • Stringent rules on the issue of Driving Lincese
  • Co-ordination between government departments
  • Car pooling

Japanese Tech to decongest Bengaluru roads :

A Japanese multinational firm is implementing the project.  The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has issued work orders to install Que-Length measurement Sensors (QMS).  The major roads covered are M.G.Road, Old Madras Road, Hosur Road, and other 29 junctions.

Cost of the project :

The project costs Rs.72 crore.  The project will be executed with the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).  The work will be starting in the month of June.

The Japanese system is expected to reduce the traffic congestion by 30%.

How it works ?

The sensors will analyze the traffic density of the road and the automatic traffic counters send the data to Bengaluru Traffic Information Centre (B-TIC).  This helps in streamlining the signals as per the density of the traffic on the road.

The Directorate of  Urban Land Transport (DULT) will be the nodal agency to implement and look after the project.  29 critical locations  have been identified for the project.  They are M.G.Road (12), Hosur Road(9) and Old Madras Road (8).

The QMS sensors will be installed at every 50, 100 and 150 meters of the selected road stretch.

Present scenario – decongestion of roads :

At present the traffic signals are working on pre-set timings.  This method of signal release the traffic based on the actual density on roads to the entire stretch not considering the junctions. 

By adopting the Japanese technology the scenario will change in future.  Bengaluru will be the first city to have Management of Origin-Destination Related Adoption for Traffic Optimization (MODERATO) technology other than Japan.

The project also plans to install Variable Message Signs (VMS) in KR Puram, Silk Board and Trinity circle to provide real time information to riders about the Traffic congestion.  This also includes weather related information. 

The civic body BBMP is planning to float tenders for installation of VMS along 80 junctions for which the Detailed Project Report (DPR) will be finalized within 15 days.

CBD roads-smart look under Smart City Project – Bengaluru

CBD roads-smart look under Smart City Project – Bengaluru

20 CBD (Central Business District) roads to get smart look in 15 months under Smart city Project.  The Bengaluru civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) recently issued work orders.

In simple words  a smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.

Smart city project by Central Government :

Smart Cities Mission, sometimes referred to as Smart City Project, is an urban renewal and retro-fitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country making them citizen friendly and sustainable. 

The Union Ministry of Urban Development  is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the State Governments of the respective cities.

Description of project :

Smart Cities project envisions developing an area within 100 cities in the country as model areas based on an area development plan, which is expected to have a rub-off effect on other parts of the city and nearby cities and towns.

Cities will be selected based on the Smart Cities challenge, where cities will compete in a countrywide competition to obtain the benefits from this mission. As of January 2018, 99 cities have been selected to be upgraded as part of the Smart Cities Mission after they defeated other cities in the challenge.

How project works:

It is a five-year program in which, except for West Bengal, all of the Indian states and Union territories are participating by nominating at least one city for the Smart Cities challenge. Financial aid will be given by the Central and State Governments between 2017-2022 to the cities, and the mission will start showing results from 2022 onwards.

Each city will create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), headed by a full-time CEO, to implement the Smart Cities Project.  Centre and State government will provide Rs.1,000 crore (US$140 million) funding to the company, as equal contribution of Rs.500 crore (US$72 million) each. The company has to raise additional funds from the financial market as a debt or equity.

Smart city features :

Some typical features of Smart cities are:

  1. Promoting mixed land use in area based developments
  2. Housing and inclusiveness
  3. Creating walkable localities
  4. Preserving and developing open spaces
  5. Promoting a variety of transport options
  6. Making governance citizen friendly and cost effective
  7. Giving an identify to the city
  8. Applying smart solution and infrastructure and services.

Strategy of Smart city Project:

The strategic components of area based development in the smart city project are improvement, city renewal and city extension plus a pan-city initiative in which smart solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city.

Smart city concept :

A smart city is a designation given to a city that incorporates information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation and utilities in order to reduce resource consumption, wastage and overall costs.

The objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions.

A “smart city” is one that has developed technological infrastructure that enables it to collect, aggregate, and analyze real-time data to improve the lives of its residents.

The core infrastructure elements in a smart city includes:

  1. Adequate water supply
  2. Assured electricity supply
  3. Sanitation including solid waste management
  4. Efficient urban mobility and public transport
  5. Affordable housing, especially for the poor
  6. Robust IT connectivity and digitalization
  7. Good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation
  8. Sustainable environment
  9. Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly
  10. Health and education.

Central Business District :

The Central Business District is the area with a diameter of 20 kilometers from Vidhana Soudha.  A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and business center of a city. In larger cities, it is often synonymous with the city’s “financial district”. The shape and type of a CBD almost always closely reflect the city’s history.

This is the main commercial area of Bengaluru. It has many high rises including World Trade Center, Bengaluru and UB Tower. The Collection in UB City is India’s first Luxury Shopping Mall of South India.

The Land prices are sky high,  Brigade Road, is Asia’s third most expensive street, Mahatma Gandhi Road (MG Road), Bengaluru  is 13th most expensive in Asia.  It also houses one of Bengaluru’s  oldest continuously operating high street Commercial Street.

Bengaluru as a Smart City :

Bengaluru was selected for the project but the work is being done very slowly.  The 20 selected located within the Central Business District (CBD) will provide the riders and pedestrians advanced scientific facilities.

The facilities include smart signaling, light-controlled crossing, digital information boards, good parking systems, solar charging ports, smart dustbins etc.

Bengaluru Smart city project smart features :

  1. Bicycle points
  2. E-Autos
  3. Smart bus shelters
  4. Digital information boards
  5. Eco sensors
  6. E-toilets
  7. Vending machines
  8. Smart vendor kiosks
  9. Solar lighting
  10. Smart telecom towers
  11. Smart parking systems
  12. Installation of adaptive traffic signals
  13. Pedestrian light-controlled crossing
  14. Smart dustbins
  15. Drinking water points
  16. Vendor kiosks
TenderSure Roads in Bengaluru :

The civic body BBMP will be building 20 roads under the Smart city project. The cost of the project will be Rs.230 crore.

Phase 1 covers the following roads :

  1. Kamaraj Road to Jumma Masjid Road
  2. MG Road to Commercial Street
  3. Dickenson Road to Kingston Road
  4. MG Road to Kamaraj Road (via Dickenson Road)
  5. Infantry Road from Ali Askar Road to Safina Plaza Complex (Main Guard Cross Road)
  6. MG Road to Shivajinagar Bus Stand and up to Balekundri Circle
  7. Bowring Hospital Road from Main Guard Cross Road to HSIS Gosha Hospital
  8. Miller’s Road from Chalunkya Circle to Cantonment railway station via Queen’s Road
  9. Raj Bhavan Road from Minsk Square to Basaveshwara Circle
  10. Magrath Road from Brigade Road up to Richmond Circle
  11. Convent Road from Richmond Road to Residency Road
  12. Hayes Road from Richmond Road to Residency Road
  13. Wood Street from Museum road to Richmond Road
  14. Castle Street from Museum Road to Richmond Road
  15. Tate Lane from Richmond Road to Castle Street
  16. Kasturba Road from Siddalingaiah Circle to Minsk Square via Queen’s Statue
  17. Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road from Richmond Circle to Hudson circle
  18. Lavelle Road from MG Road to Richmond Circle
  19. Brigade Road from MG Road to War Memorial junction.

The only pan-city project being taken up as part of the Smart City project is energy efficiency measures across the public lighting system in the city where Sodium Vapour lamps will be replaced by LED bulbs.  

Sewage into SWDs – Action on property owners – Bengaluru

Sewage into SWDs – Action on property owners – Bengaluru

Sewage into SWDs – Sewage water is being let into the SWD’s in Bengaluru by 497 properties. The Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) has issued notices to 389 of the property owners in namma Bengaluru ranging from houses to business establishments.

Bengaluru Topography :

Bengaluru is draped over the Deccan Plateau at an altitude of 949 meters (3113 ft.) above sea level, which gives it possibly the best climate among all the cities in India. Legend has it that Bengaluru  got its name from the words “BendhaKaaLu” (which means boiled beans in the local language Kannada).

King VeeraBallala of the Vijayanagara kingdom was once lost in a forest and happened to stumble upon a lonely cottage. An old woman that lived there could offer the starving king only boiled beans “BendhakaaLu” and the place came to be known as “BendhakaaLuooru” (ooru in Kannada means a city).

BendhakaaLooru later came to be known as BengaLooru in Kannada and Bangalore in English. However, historical evidence shows that “BengaLooru” was recorded much before King Ballala’s time in a 9th century temple inscription in the village of Begur. Even today “BengaLooru” exists within the city limits in Kodigehalli area and is called as “HalebengaLooru” or “Old Bangalore.”

Bangalore water supply and Sewage board :

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is the premier governmental agency responsible for sewage disposal and water supply to namma Bengaluru.. It was formed in 1964.

BWSSB currently supplies approximately 900 million liters (238 million gallons) of water to the city per day, despite a municipal demand of 1.3 billion liters. Water for the city (with a population of 10 million) comes from a number of sources, with 80% of it coming from the Cauvery river.  Water is also drawn from the Arkavathy river, but the supply does not meet the demand.

Storm water drains – sewage seeping in:

A storm water drain is an infrastructure designed to drain excess rain and ground water from impervious surfaces such as paved streets, car parks, parking lots, footpaths, sidewalks, and roofs. Storm drains vary in design from small residential dry wells to large municipal systems.

Drainage/Sewage and storm water in the same drain

Drains receive water from street gutters on most motorways, freeways and other busy roads, as well as towns in areas with heavy rainfall that leads to flooding  and coastal towns with regular storms.  Even gutters from houses and buildings can connect to the storm drain.

Many storm drainage systems are gravity sewers  that drain untreated storm water into rivers or streams — so it is unacceptable to pour hazardous substances into the drains.  Storm drains often cannot manage the quantity of rain that falls in heavy rains or storms.  Inundated drains can cause basement and street flooding.

In many areas require detention tanks inside a property that temporarily hold runoff in heavy rains and restrict outlet flow to the public sewer. This reduces the risk of overwhelming the public sewer. Some storm drains mix storm water (rainwater) with sewage,  either intentionally in the case of combines sewers, or unintentionally.

Relationship to sanitary sewer systems :

Storm drains are separate and distinct from sanitary sewer systems. The separation of storm sewers from sanitary sewers helps prevent sewage treatment plants becoming overwhelmed by infiltration/inflow during a rainstorm, which could discharge untreated sewage into the environment.

Many storm drainage systems drain untreated storm water into rivers or streams. Many local governments conduct public awareness campaigns about this, lest people dump waste into the storm drain system.

Combined sewers :

Cities that installed their sewage collection systems before the 1930s typically used single piping systems to transport both urban runoff and sewage. This type of collection system is referred to as a combined sewer system (CSS).

The cities’ rationale when combined sewers were built was that it would be cheaper to build just a single system. In these systems a sudden large rainfall that exceeds sewage treatment capacity is allowed to overflow directly from storm drains into receiving waters via structures called combined sewer overflows.

Contaminated water enters storm water drain

Storm drains are typically at shallower depths than combined sewers; because, while storm drains are designed to accept surface runoff from streets, combined sewers were designed to also accept sewage flows from buildings with basements

The BBMP vs BWSSB ‘passing the parcel’ game :

When it rains in Bengaluru, the rajakaluves or storm water drains will overflow as there is no scope for the water to seep into the ground.  The biggest problem is that the BBMP is in charge of storm water drains, while the BWSSB is responsible for managing Bengaluru’s sewage system.

Both BBMP and BWSSB are passing the buck.  It has been decades and no one is bothered to rectify the city’s sewage and storm water drain system.

So many sewage lines are connected to the Storm Water Drains.  People have been ranting about this issue and the agencies are not doing anything.

Notice to property owners – Sewage into SWDs :

The BWSSB has sent notices to 389 property owners and is in the process of puling up the remaining ones.  The details of the violation has been sent to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

Apartment’s sewage water seeping into the storm water drain

The notice issuance is in the wake of the National Green Tribunal’s direction to the Karnataka State Government.  The direction is to take action and to plan to put an end to the contamination of run-off rainwater in SWDs.

Some of the Property owners – Sewage to SWDs :

Many apartment owners like Pebble Creak, Brooke Enclave on ITPL Main road, Chaitanya Prestige Shantiniketan on Whitefield road, Gopalan enclave on ECC road.  `

The educational institutions are also included in the list.  They are Shree Chaitanya Techno School in Mahalakshmi layout and also a number of paying guest accommodations in Ambedkar Nagar.

Apartment’s sewage discharge

The eastern part of Bengaluru top the list with 276 properties violating the rules. The BWSSB board is imposing a fine of Rs.5000 to violators all these time.  But now the BWSSB board wants to take the opinion of the legal cell to take serious action.

Option to property owners – Sewage connection :

Those property owners who are willing to follow the rules, the board will be imposing a penalty and to apply for the sewage connection.    The board is planning to take property owners who are violating to the court.  According to the Board KSPCB (Karnataka State Pollution Control Board) can file criminal cases against violators.

Legal actions will be taken against large apartment owners if found guilty .  Even individual houses will not be spared.

Need of the hour :

The unauthorized, rampant encroachment of marshlands and bugger zones of lakes, obstruction sewer pipes and manholes, encroachment of store water pipes, garbage dumped in the Storm Water Drains have blocked the outlets of rainwater.

What is needed in namma Bengaluru is a need of a shared project with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board to have all the sewage go into trunk sewers on either side of the drain. The reason Bengaluru has faced floods is there is no place for sewage, which flows back into lakes.

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – White Topping of  Roads

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – White Topping of Roads

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) – has been filed by a group of citizens who are living in Jayanagar and Basavangudi in High Court against white-topping of roads in the area.

White-topping of roads in Bengaluru :

This Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is against the white-topping of roads in Bengaluru. White-topping has created a havoc by burdening the citizens with escalating traffic and dust problems.

The deadline for white-topping of 94 km roads under 1st phase which is costing Rs.986.64 crore lapsed in July 2018,with only 15% of the work being completed. 

Glitches in the procedure – Public Interest Litigation :

The Bengaluru city is following a flawed method of white-topping roads, as cement is poured wherever there is asphalt.  

During white-topping of roads, only a part of the asphalt layer is being removed and replaced with cement blocks that are thick by 5 inches.  This in turn is making the road level very high.  Ideally they should remove a layer below the asphalt called sub-grade.

The sub-grade needs to be surface-milled so that when concrete is put, one achieves the similar height as before.   Since the cement blocks are thick in size, they are covering the water drains laid out on the sides of the footpath.  Footpaths are at a lower level when compared to the elevated roads.

Problems at Basavangudi due to white topping – Public Interest Litigation filed :

The problems have multiplied recently at Basavangudi due to the white topping.  The residents are unable to take out their vehicles.  The height of the roads has been increased.  Basavangudi is one of the city’s best-planned area.

Motorists, residents complain that after white topping, they are facing more problems than what it was before.  It has become a nightmare to motorists due to the mess created by BBMP.

Due to the increased height of the roads in Basavangudi, it is causing flooding.  Whenever it rains the water along with garbage enters the houses.  After the white topping done, the BBMP has forgotten to remove the construction debris.

Some of the roads at Basavangudi has turned into one-way after white-topping.  This has contributed to a reduction in the business for the traders.

Woes of the residents:

Traffic jam has become a major problem.  Sometimes parking a car is a big problem.  The wheel gets stuck between the road and the footpath.  For two-wheelers, they can easily slip and fall.  No warning signs are placed anywhere to indicate where the white topping road is being laid in some areas.

Public money at stake – Public interest litigation :

Many roads that are being white-topped are those roads that were either recently tarred or were in good condition.  So the concreting of these roads is simply waste of resources.

The selection of the roads that requires white-topping should be taken locally at the ward level.  As people in the ward are more aware of the condition of a particular road and whether or not it requires white-topping.

white topping road

Those roads which are white-topped lack a sufficient utility duct.  This shows the government’s involvement in building good roads.

What is missing from white topped roads are uniform vehicle lanes, wide footpaths and the entire road geometry.

Citizen’s seeking High Court Intervention :

A group of citizens residing in Jayanagar and Basavangudi has moved the High Court intervention against road white-topping project.  They want to stop work between Madhavan Park and Nagasandra Cricle.

According to the residents of the area the roads marked for white topping is in perfect condition without potholes or any damages.  The work has started 3 weeks back in the above mentioned stretch.  The footpaths are full with pipes. 

According to the residents the water and sanitary lines have not been shifted.  The work has been allotted to a Hyderabad company.  The workers have no idea about the utility pipes lying beneath the road.

Cauvery water pipes –  Public Interest Litigation :

T he Cauvery water pipes beneath the road in this area carry water to many parts of the city.  The water supply is to the eastern parts of Bengaluru and also to the places like NIMHANS,  Ejipura, Jayanagar, Double Road and Siddapura.  These pipes are more than 25 years old and shifting them is a major task.

Any damage to the pipe while shifting will affect water supply to lakhs of people .  there is also the lack of co-ordination between the BWSSB and BBMP. 

Disruption to common man :

The Senior citizens are most affected by the white-topping.  The contractors keep raising the level of the road every time the work is taken and this has increased the road height and is a cause to flooding. 

Materials required for white-topping is dumped on the footpaths, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.  Large pipes are blocking the footpaths.

The road after the topping has become too high.   The residents are unable to take out their vehicles.  The height of the roads has been increased.  Basavangudi is one of the city’s best-planned area.

Motorists, residents complain that after white topping, they are facing more problems than what it was before.  It has become a nightmare to motorists due to the mess created by BBMP.

According to a citizens,”the height of the road will increase and citizens will suffer as water and dirt will enter their homes.  It is unscientifically being done because water and sanitary line should be placed at a distance, here, the workers have no idea”.

Burden to citizens :

The white-topping of roads in Bengaluru has created havoc by overly burdening citizens with increasing traffic and dust problems.   The white topping of 94 km roads which falls under phase 1 costing Rs.986.64 crore lapsed in July 2018.

The  completed work is only 20%.  Despite the phase 1 pending work, the BBMP has floated tenders for an another stretch of 63.25 km under phase 2.  This has increased the enduring of traffic jam to the citizens.

The city is following a flawed method of white topping roads, as concrete is being poured wherever there is asphalt.  While white topping of roads, a part of the asphalt layer is removed and replaced with cement blocks that are 5 inches thick.  This is making the level of the road much higher.

Other areas to be covered under white topping :

Some of the main roads that will be white topped under phase 2 includes the Central Business District, heavily populated Jayanagar Shopping complex and surrounding areas, East end road, Koramangala, Wilson Garden, Gandhi Bazaaar, Madhavan Parrk to Hosur road stretch.

With the ongoing metro construction, the white topping of roads is adding the traffic mess in Bengaluru causing distress and a lot of problem to the citizens.

Loss of Greenery – Public Interest Litigation :

One of the main reasons for the residents to file the Public Interest Litigation is that white-topping will result in the loss of 14 fully grown trees on the marked stretch.

According to the Chairman of BWSSB, shifting of underground sewage lines is a big challenge before them.  The sewage lines are at a depth and are big in diameter. 

The pipes go by the gravity flow so to maintain that flow, the pipes have to be cut deeper at some of the points and that is really a time consuming work.

There should be co-ordination between BBMP and BWSSP while replacing and shifting of underground  pipelines.

White Topping roads – a project taken over by BBMP is posing problems and a nightmare to the citizens in the city.

Status of the Public Interest Litigation case :

The High Court has issued a notice to the civic body of the city BBMP Standing Council for their response to the Public Interest Litigation.

Anti-tobacco circular in vain – Bengaluru

Anti-tobacco circular in vain – Bengaluru

Anti-tobacco circular which was passed last year strictly banning smoking in pubs and hotels in Karnataka State across all urban and local bodies is in vain.

Due to this ban, the bars and restaurants cannot have smoking zones in their premises without prior permission.  The Government issued anti-tobacco circular on November 17 to this effect.

The Provisions of smoking ban – Anti-tobacco circular

Due to smoking ban, the bars and restaurants cannot have smoking zones in their premises without prior permission.  The Government issued anti-tobacco circular on November 17 to this effect.

The establishments can earmark a smoking Zone by taking prior permission but should not provide furniture, seating arrangements or curtains to smokers due to smoking ban.

If any of the establishments violate the rules by not complying to smoking ban/ anti-tobacco circular strictly, the licences will be cancelled with immediate effect.

Loss of Licence :

The IT City Bengaluru’s bars, pubs and restaurants are at the risk of losing their trade licence if they do not provide smoking areas due to smoking ban. 

The BBMP, which is the licensing authority, has issued a circular regarding strict smoking ban.  The enterprises are to close down smoking areas where food and beverages are served.

According to the findings of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, the health of the public in general is affected by passive smoking.  The Government has passed a circular on 17th November strictly smoking ban in public places.

Health risks of smoking :

Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing your risk of developing conditions such as:

  • coronary heart disease.
  • heart attack.
  • stroke.
  • peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels)
  • cerebro-vascular disease (damaged arteries that supply blood to your brain)

Smoking can cause lung disease by damaging airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) found in lungs. Lung diseases caused by smoking include COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking causes most cases of lung cancer.

Results of Passive smoking:

  • premature death
  • increase risk of coronary heart disease by 25-40%
  • 69 cancer causing chemicals
  • respiratory illness in children
  • causes asthma
  • bronchitis and pneumonia
  • lung cancer, heart disease
  • stroke

Studies have shown that blood samples of workers exposed continuously to smoke in pubs and restaurants contain levels of high nicotine and this is a violation of their right to health.

People who have never smoked and who live with people who do smoke are at increased risk to a range of tobacco-related diseases.

The move by the Government by smoking ban is to protect the rights of non-smokers and curb the effects of passive smoking as per Karnataka Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of health of non-smokers Act and the Cigrattee & other Tobacco Products Act. (COPTA).

Real scenario – Anti tobacco circular :

According to Dr. Thriveni. B.S. the project Leader of Smoke-Free, Bengaluru not a single bar in the city has applied for a no-objection certificate from the BBMP to ensure that their smoking zones are compliant with the law.

According to the law the establishments are also not allowed to serve food or liquor, or even water and beverages, at the designated smoking zones on their premises. If these rules cannot be followed, the owners have to clear the smoking zone with immediate effect.

BBMP :

It is the duty and responsibility of the BBMP to issue no-objection certificates.  The certificates are granted after an inspection of smoking rooms in restaurants, bars and hotels. The main criteria is to ensure that they were not a fire hazard and were compliant with the code.

The Excise Department has been asked by the civic body to include the circular into the excise licence in order to strengthen the effort of the BBMP.

Hotels with at least 30 rooms and restaurants with a seating capacity of 30 or more can create exclusive smoking enclosures away from places where food and beverages are served. 

To do that only after taking a no-objection certificate from the tobacco control cell of the BBMP and in strict compliance with fire safety guidelines and a Supreme Court judgement in this regard. 

Health hazards to others :

Smoking in Food & Beverages  outlets harms all customers since there is nothing called a safe level of exposure, according to Dr Rao, consultant head and neck oncology surgeon at HCG. “Studies also show that blood samples of workers continuously exposed to smoke in pubs and restaurants contain high nicotine levels. This is a violation of their right to health,” he said. 

The Karnataka Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Health of Non-smokers Act, 2001, does not permit self-created, designated smoking areas. Moreover, Section 4 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act states that hospitality establishments with designated smoking zones should not provide F&B services there. 

According to World Health Organization, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) mainly Cardiovascular Diseases like Stroke, Diabetes, Cancer and lung diseases are attributed to nearly 61% of deaths in India and in 2008, NCDs accounted for 5.2 million deaths.

Tobacco is one of the risk factors for NCDs and globally 14% of all NCD deaths among adults are attributed to tobacco.

Percentage of smokers die from smoking :

The study of more than 200,000 people, published in BMC medicine, found about 67 percent of smokers perished from smoking-related illness. That rate is higher than doctors previously estimated. Tobacco smoke can boost the risk for least 13 types of cancer. The earlier one quit, the better.

Most statistics look at the overall risk of lung cancer, combining both people who smoke and those who have never smoked. Based on United States statistics, the lifetime risk that a person will develop lung cancer is 6.4 percent or a little greater than one out of every 15 people.

Traffic Mess – Model code of conduct – Bengaluru

Traffic Mess – Model code of conduct – Bengaluru

Traffic mess will be unbearable once the elections are over at Bengaluru.  Once the elections get over, the projects which have been stopped due to model code of conduct will start.

In modern life one has to face with many problems one of which is traffic mess becoming more serious day after day. It is said that the high volume of vehicles, the inadequate infrastructure and the irrational distribution of the development are main reasons for increasing traffic mess in the city.

Why is Bengaluru  gridlocked with traffic mess?

Everyone agrees that it was because of the rapid – and unplanned – growth of Bengaluru city.  Bengaluru  is often described as the Silicon Valley of India as it is home to the IT industry.

Since the early 1990s, global technology firms began opening offices here and a large number of support industries have grown around it, bringing with them a huge influx of people from all over India.

The population has doubled, but the infrastructure has failed to keep pace.  Most people are dependent on private transport. Every day, million vehicles enter from outside the city, clogging its already choked streets.

Temporary solution to traffic mess :

Road widening is being done at some places. At best it is a temporary solution.

Besides it is unfair to the people  who have built houses/buildings and shops legally along the road.  To accommodate a temporary passing vehicle,  that comes from some distant part of the city, asking the permanent residents to move out to make way for them.

 It makes more sense to tell the vehicle owners that they are encroaching on the space legally owned by others. When space is at a premium, and a fixed permanent asset like a building/shop/office/residence has to compete with a moving vehicle, for space, how fair is it to ask the building to get lost so that space for a car is made available?

After the road is widened, after a few years when even more cars are to be accommodated, will it help in start demolishing the fixed structures? When and where will this stop? 

Public transport to ease traffic mess:

Pretty much everyone agrees that Bengaluru’s  traffic problems are to be solved by increasing the usage of public transport options. The question is, what is an actionable plan to do that? Such a plan need to evolve around two cornerstones:

  1. Increase  the use of public transport, and
  2. Decrease the use of private, single occupancy transport.

Reality Check: Bangalore’s rising traffic concerns :

Bengaluru has seen this phenomenon at its worst. “The traffic is definitely a mess here,” says a transport and traffic expert.  “It’s faster to walk than drive.”

Being late to something as important as a meeting or presentation cannot be excused with a reason as trivial as too much traffic. However, that’s often a reality faced by employees and clients after they wade their way through the horrors of the gridlock. 

Understanding the problem – Traffic mess :

To solve, or rather to ‘minimize’, this problem as a collective, one must first understand the problem. The Bengaluru traffic congestion issue is a direct result of there being more vehicles on the road met with the general inadequate infrastructure to handle it. The only logical solution is to somehow reduce this number.

Better public transportation options would definitely help but this issue is not one which can be indolently left to the government alone to handle. It’s up to  the citizens, to reduce the number of wheels on the road.

Carpooling thus becomes an excellent option in this situation as it would not be too hard to find people who share  route to work every morning. It’s cost effective and would ease the congestion on the road. This must be better encouraged by companies.

Cable & Road work contribute to Traffic mess :

Driving on the namma city’s roads are a nightmare once the elections are over.  All the projects have been stopped due to elections model code of conduct.  Once that expires, the civil agencies will launch the work.

Brace yourselves.  Once the work starts it will coincide with the pre-monsoon showers of  May month and monsoon showers from June onwards. This is definitely add to the misery.

The BBMP and Bescom will start its work in most parts of the city from the month of May.   The Bescom work is for laying underground cables in 53 sub-divisions worth Rs.4800 crore. 

The work will start in 19 sub-divisions once the model code of conduct is lifted in the city.  Once the elections are over, the civic body will continue with the Tendersure and white-topping works.

BESCOM & BBMP work :

The first phase of Bescom work will start from May 27 in HSR Layout, Indiranagar, Benniganahalli, Peenya, Mahalakshmi Layout, Malleshwaram, Sadashivanagar, Vijayanagar and other places. 

According to BBMP officials the white-topping and Tendersure work will continue after the elections. Ward work will be taken up in Malleshwaram, Peenya, Shivajinagar, Chamarajpet, Lingarajapuram, Yelahanka and Hebbal.

Public opinion on Traffic mess :

Karnataka road tax charges are amongst the highest in the country. going by this alone, the road users who pay such hefty road tax expect good roads, parking facilities ( may be pay and park), clean roads, strict enforcement of road etiquettes and traffic rules. However, what you find are bad roads with filth lying all around and unruly traffic.  

Bengaluru  cannot be permitted to degenerate the way it is doing now. Hope the Bengaluru  traffic police and the Karnataka government together take appropriate action immediately.

The city’s traffic jams make it the sixth-most painful worldwide for commuters and second-worst for parking after New Delhi.

Any other reasons ?

The reasons which contribute significantly in making Bengaluru traffic worst :

  1. Common office/school timings :  School and offices use busses for their employees and students respectively.  Thee busses come on the streets at similar timing and hinder the traffic.
  2. Cars : Most of the IT professionals use cars to travel to work.  This takes up a lot of space per person on already narrow streets.
  3. Ineffective public transport :  The reason people use cars is because, the public transport is inefficient.
  4. Vicinity of IT parks :  Major IT parks in Bengaluru are located on a single belt, which makes the matters worse on the city roads.
  5. Us/Public : even we the public are responsible.  There is inefficient traffic management, but we can follow road discipline ourselves, the situation could become a lot better.
Plastic cutlery total ban – Bengaluru

Plastic cutlery total ban – Bengaluru

Plastic cutlery ban is coming up in Bengaluru.   BBMP has given  time till March 31st 2019 to food delivery apps to stop sending plastic spoons and forks. BBMP wants the customers to  customers to use their own steel-ware.

The use of plastic carry bags, banners, bunting, flex, plastic flags, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic spoons, cling films and plastic sheets used for spreading on dining table and items that are made of thermocol causes serious environmental hazards.  It also affects health of human being and animals.

Food App co’s – plastic cutlery ban :

Kitchens such as Bowl Company which is attached to Swiggy, send plastic cutlery with their food order.

Many of food delivery companies have their own kitchens.  When food is ordered along with food, they send the plastic spoons and forks.  They have till this month end to stop this.

BBMP (Bruhat Benglauru Mahanagara palike) :

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), is the administrative body responsible for civic amenities and some infrastructural assets of the greater Bangalore metropolitan area. It is the fourth largest Municipal Corporation in India. 

Its roles and responsibilities include the “orderly development of the city” — zoning and building regulations, health, hygiene,  licensing, trade and education, as well as quality of life issues such as public open space, water bodies, parks and greenery.

The BBMP represents the third level of government  (the Central Government and
State Government being the first two levels).  BBMP is run by a city council composed of elected representatives called “corporators”, one from each of the wards (localities) of the city.

Plastic cutlery items banned in BBMP events :

The BBMP has issued an order to ban all single use plastic items and disposable cups, bottles, plates and other single use plastic disposables in all its offices and in all programs.  The BBMP order was implemented with immediate effect.  This ban includes the BBMP head office.

BBMP – Plastic items banned :

The ban holds good even for BBMP council meetings and programs.  The plastic items and materials used for serving food and water, including the single use packaged drinking water bottles are banned.

The BBMP is responsible for solid waste management in Benglauru.  The civic body is trying to enforce the plastic items ban in the city.  In recent months, the BBMP had sent advisories to bulk generators of plastic items including wedding and banquet halls.  But the BBMP was using plastic bottles and disposables in its offices and programs.

Ban of use of plastic in parks :

Beware of discarding plastics. They are banned inside the famous Lalbagh Botanical Garden.  Plastic items will not be allowed inside the Garden following a drive launched by the Horticulture Department in association with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

The range of fine varies between Rs.50 and Rs.500.  Plastic items would be seized at the entrance and the visitors would be handed over a jute bag for Rs.5.  Fines will be imposed on those who manage to sneak them inside and pollute the environs.

Is plastic food packaging dangerous?

Are chemicals from plastic food containers and wrapping safe, or are they slowly poisoning us?  The risk is low, there’s growing evidence that food can be contaminated by harmful chemicals from some types of plastic. Many foods are packaged in these risky plastics – including fresh meat, gourmet cheese, and even some health foods and organic vegetables.

Most food and drink is packaged in containers made from plastics that seem to be harmless. Soft drinks and bottled water are usually in PET bottles, for example, while yoghurt and margarine containers are usually made from polypropylene.

There’s clearly no real need for food manufacturers to use packaging or wrapping made from potentially harmful plastics like polycarbonate or PVC, but there are still far too many products in the supermarkets where the food is in contact with them.

What are the hazards of using plastic cutlery?

Chemicals in plastic which give them their rigidity or flexibility (flame retardants, bisphenols, phthalates and other harmful chemicals) are oily poisons that repel water and stick to petroleum-based objects like plastic debris. So, the toxic chemicals that leach out of plastics can accumulate on other plastics.

Plastic food storage containers or cutlery are filled with more than just food, they’re chock full of harmful chemicals. Plastics are made out of refined crude oil and contain chemicals such as BPA (Bisphenol-A) that function mainly as plasticisers, making plastic more durable and flexible.

Why is plastic bad for human health?

Chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other surrounding water sources and also the ecosystem of the world.

This can cause serious harm to the species that drink the water. Landfill areas contain many different types of plastics.

If humans are exposed to these toxic chemicals for long periods of time, then this can result in dangerous health problems, which include hormonal issues, reproductive issues, and damage to our nervous systems and kidneys.

Food delivery companies – Ban of plastic cutlery :

The BBMP has been raiding shops, hotels and malls using plastic packaging material. Zomato, Swiggy and Freshmenu, apps often used by Bengalureans to have food delivered to their doorsteps, always send plastic cutlery.

Some of the food delivery apps. Encourages customers to return the cutlery.  Food delivery app, chefkraft is encouraging the customers to return plastic bowls but is finding it not very successful.

Another food delivery app. Purple Basil is been adopting the eco-friendly route since inception.  This Co. finalizes a menu only if it suits is packaging.

As for as the bigger delivery app, Zomato says it is adopting biodegradable packaging. The alternatives to plastic need to be robust, leak-proof and reusable.

According to Zomato they are also supplying packaging made from bamboo and sugarcane bagasse, and corrugated paper with coatings.


Tasting alternatives to implement plastic cutlery ban :

Swiggy: Has set up Swiggy Packaging Assist to introduce restaurants to a variety of packaging material.

Zomato: Working with manufacturers to reduce the cost of non-plastic packaging material.

Purple Basil: Zero use of plastic in packaging and cutlery.

Chefkraft: Encourages customers to return plastic bowls and cutlery.

BBMP raids :

BBMP raided top restaurants and bars earlier this week for using plastic and not segregating waste. It shut down four establishments, and seized 1,074 kg of plastic.



BBMP Schools – lack basic facilities

BBMP Schools – lack basic facilities

BBMP schools – in Bengaluru are in short of basic facilities.  The infrastructure is under stress, teachers are underpaid, and the quality of learning is dismal.

With the Right to Education process in place, admission to private schools is being preferred, resulting in limited demand for state-sponsored education in BBMP Schools.

India may be spending 3% of its gross domestic product on education, but the impact of this expenditure is rarely seen.

Schools lacks infrastructure:

BBMP, being the local civic body, also manages its own network of schools with its own revenue. Currently there are 49,500 public schools in Karnataka.

This includes 17,220 schools in Bengaluru that are managed either by the State Government or by the BBMP.

In the case of schools run by the civic body, the fund-starved Palike is unable to meet demands and provide quality education.

The narrative around BBMP  schools remains one of poor accountability and infrastructure, poorly trained or absent teachers, poor attendance and pass rates of students.

Basic facilities – BBMP Schools :

Recently, a meeting was convened by the Palike’s Standing committee on education.  Majority of Schools were represented by their authorities and they aired their opinion of not being able to offer any other activities as the most basic needs are not met.

Bengaluru’s BBMP schools do have basic infrastructure like toilets and electricity, but in many cases the infrastructure is not functional.

Some of the schools under the civic body in the city are functioning without toilets.  It is very important for a school to have toilets, especially when it comes to girls.

It is mandatory for all the schools to have these basic facilities. In fact, despite of the Swachh Bharath mission there are many BBMP schools which have failed to fulfill these essential requirements.

Problems at BBMP Schools :

While shortage of qualified teachers is a major concern.  The  teachers are not respected or incentivized enough in the education system. Teacher absenteeism – i.e., absence without a valid reason – has been blamed for much of the shortcomings of BBMP schools.

Bengaluru’s government schools are also affected by bureaucratic procedures like frequent teacher transfers.

To know more about Microsoft Roshini program please read https://www.bangalorean.com/education/bengaluru-bbmp-schools-hi-tech/

KRIDL – worth Rs. 4400 crore work – Bengaluru

KRIDL (Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited) is a state run agency.  Many Bengaluru legislators are in favour of diverting Rs.4400 crore from the Mukhyamantri Nava Bengaluru Scheme to the state run agency.

KRIDL


Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited – KRIDL :

It is a Government of Karnataka undertaking.  Started as a Directorate of Land army in the year 1971 under the Rural Development Department of Government of Karnataka.

It was incorporated as a company on the 9th August 1974 as Karnataka Land Army Corporation under the full and Complete ownership of Government of Karnataka. It was renamed as Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL) on 6th August 2009.

The state run agency is blacklisted in the past years for the poor quality of work done by them.


The Mukhyamantri Nava Bengaluru Scheme – KRIDL :

The supposed funds are part of the Mukhyamantri Nava Benglauru Scheme amounting to Rs.8015.00.  The amount has been kept to implement different infrastructure works to take place in a period of 3 years.

A number of legislatures in the Coalition government is pressuring Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy to allot infrastructure projects and works to the KRIDL.  The Works also  includes storm water drain development and roadwork.


Exemption from tender :

The MLAs wants exemption from tendering under Section 4(g) of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act.  The netas are of the view that the tender process takes a long time and is time consuming.

Many MLAs are of the view that the work should be completed before the commencement of Monsoon.  The work also should commence before the general elections 2019.

Bureaucrats oppose allotting work to KRIDL :

Many IAS officers oppose the proposal.  According to them all major works needs to be called for tender and cannot be exempted.  The allotted amount is for a period of 3 years and cannot be diverted. 

Many are questioning the reasons for insistence by legislators to  allot the projects to the specific Co.   KRIDL is known for not completing the projects on time

KRIDL – blacklisted :

In the year 2015 it was found that crores of  public money was found in the personal accounts of KRIDL officials. When T.M. Vijay Bhaskar was the BBMP administrator had opposed to give the work order to KRIDL.

The Co. was blacklisted by BBMP in 2010 for bad road works.   In October 2018, the social welfare department had blacklisted for shoddy work.

To know more about infrastructure work read : https://www.bangalorean.com/general/ppp-cant-take-off/

BBMP Budget 2019 – Bengaluru

BBMP Budget 2019 – was presented yesterday.  Chairperson of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance S.P.Hemalatha presented the BBMP Budget 2019 with an outlay of Rs.10687.79 crore.

BBMP Budget 2019 presentation

BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) :

The BBMP is the administrative body responsible for civic amenities and some infrastructural assets of the Bengaluru metropolitan area. It is the fourth largest Municipal Corporation in India being responsible for a population of millions in an area of 741 km.

S.P.Hemalatha presenting BBMP Budget 2019

Proposals in BBMP Budget 2019 :

·         Rs 1186 crore for garbage disposal.

·         Rs 2247 crore for road development were allotted in the budget.

·         BBMP’s Budget has allocated Rs 5 cr to install machines to purify Bengaluru City’s air. 

·         Rs.2 crore allocated for a tree census

·         Establishment of 2 nurseries in each zone at a cost of Rs.3 crore

·         Rs.375 crore to pay salaries for conservancy workers

·         Rs.375 crore for maintaining city’s cleanliness

·         Rs.110 crore for developing areas around waste management units

·         Rs.3 crore for new wards, Rs.2 crore for old zone.

·         Proposal to amend Sec.110 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976 to enable levy of property tax on schools and colleges.

·         Proposes to conduct total station survey of 100 high value revenue generating properties.

·         Proposes an It-BT corridor at a cost of Rs.125 cr.  Allocated Rs.3 crore for preparing a project report.

·         Rs.42 crore for maintenance of arterial and sub-arterial roads, installation of reflectors, road markings, pot hold filling and road safety.

·         Proposal to convert Church street, Commercial street and Brigade road into pedestrian roads.

·         Rs.60 cr. Allocated under Mahalakshmi Scheme, where every girl born in all 24 BBMP Maternity hospitals between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 will be gifted with 15 year Maturity bonds of Rs. 1 lakh.

·         Rs.75 cro, for welfare of differently abled persons

·         Rs.1.50 crore for study tour of BBMP students and Rs.1 cr.  for BMTC bus passes.

·         2 of BBMP’s mortgaged properties will be released this year.

 Multiple welfare schemes – BBMP Budget 2019:

The BBMP Budget 2019 also allocated Rs.30 cr. For setting up of Reverse osmosis plants in localities where SC/ST people are residing in large numbers.

Rs.12 crore was announced for the mid-day meal scheme for civic workers.  Rs.100 cr. Is been allotted for improving he habitual conditions of people working in burial grounds.  The budget includes Rs.19.80 cr. For women-centric welfare programs.

A cash incentive of Rs.25000 to 150 SSLC toppers and Rs.35000 to II PUC toppers. 

BBMP Budget 2019

Medical Welfare schemes in BBMP Budget 2019 :

Different medical welfare schemes were announced in BBMP Budget 2019. They include :

·         Dialysis centres at all the assembly constituencies.  A grant of Rs.25 cr. is made for this purpose. 

·         Providing cardiac patients with free stents at a cost of Rs.4 crore. 

·         Up-gradation of many maternity and referral hospitals

·         Dharmashalas at Kidwai and Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases at a cost of Rs.10 crore.

Overall the BBMP Budget 2019 was a Please-all surplus budget.

 

 

 

 

Temporary hoardings – Aeroshow 2019 – Bengaluru

Temporary hoardings will be used by the BBMP for Aeroshow 2019 ads.  The High Court has given the consent to use 100% non-PVC materials.

High Court permission to use Temporary hoardings :

The Karnataka High court on 14th February allowed the civic body to allow Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.(HAL) to put temporary hoardings.  The hoardings are  for the Aeroshow 2019 from February 15 to 25 at the selected locations.

The hoardings will provide information to the public and participants about the show.   The Aeroshow India 2019 will start from February 20 to 24.

It was made clear by the BBMC to the High court that the hoardings are not for any commercial advertisements.  The hoardings will provide information about the global event.

Court’s specifications to use of temporary hoardings :

The High Court of Karnataka has made it clear to HAL that it should use only wooden structures for temporary hoardings/display.  The publicity/information materials printed should be only on 100% cotton materials.  It should be free from any plastic materials.

An undertaking has been given by HAL and BBMP in this regard to the court.   The court has also given permission for putting up of signages.  The temporary hoardings will be at different locations to guide the public and participants to reach the venue.

Presence of Nodal Officer :

The High court has given directions to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), who will be the nodal officer.  The nodal officer will be monitoring complains about the instances of defacing the city.  

Temporary hoardings – guidelines to HAL :

The high court has directed the HAL to remove all the temporary hoardings, including the wooden structures and display materials.  This should be done soon after the event ends on February 25.

HAL should submit a compliance report to the BBMP about removal of all temporary hoardings and signages.

Places where temporary hoarding will be placed:

HAL had sought permission to put temporary hoardings at:

  1.  Brigade Road – Residency Road Junction
  2. Lalbagh main road
  3. Near Passport office
  4. Yelahanka – kogilu Junction towards KIA
  5. Airport road
  6. Near Kogilu junction towards Hebbal
  7. Yelahanka near NES bus stop
  8. Departure and Arrival terminals of the Airport
  9. The roads leading to the venue.

Know more about aero show 2019 : https://www.bangalorean.com/news/aero-india-2019-show-namma-bengaluru/

Flyover loop – Bengaluru gets Rs.195 crore

Flyover loop  construction is back at Bengaluru again.  The funds allocated for this project is Rs.195 crore in the Karnataka State Budget.

To reduce traffic at Outer Ring Road i.e. Bellari road and Tumakuru road, the BBMP will build additional loops on K.R.Puram and Hebbal flyovers.

Flyover loop at Hebbal :

The construction of Hebbal flyover loop was run into a monetary hurdle.  The project envisaged the construction of a 1.25 km. two-lane flyover along with an underpass.

The flyover loop begins ahead of Esteem Mall and ends at Baptist Hospital.  The work is progressing under a snail’s pace.

This flyover loop will be built along a stretch of 1 km. with 43 piers.  The height will be 16 mtrs.

Additional flyover loop:

The additional flyover loop is part of the elevated corridor project proposed by the BDA.  BDA has handed over the project to the civic body as there are no funds in the BDA.

The BBMP has acquired land for an underpass at Goraguntepalya.  The Government had shelved the project to make way for the steel flyover.

Additional loop

Work on the additional loop on the Hebbal flyover was scheduled to be over by April but due to delay the time may extend until December.  Land for the same is yet to be acquired.  The cost of the project may also increase over the time. 

Brigade Road and Commercial Street :

The State Government in its budget allocated money for making Brigade road and Commercial street reserving for pedestrians.  The same plans is for Church street also. 

Church street was redeveloped as a pedestrian only road.  But due to heavy traffic congestion on the adjoining road, the traffic was later allowed. 

The twin shopping hubs of the city i.e., Brigade road and Commercial street will be redeveloped under the Smart Cities Mission. 

A total of 20 roads in the city will be redeveloped at a cost of Rs.200 crore.

Cycle track – Cubbon road, Bengaluru

Cycle track and pedestrian walkway is open to public along Cubbon road to Cubbon park circle and Manipal centre circle (2 km).  The civic body, BBMP and DULT is planning to set up 80 Km. cycle track network in Bengaluru city.

Bicycle track along cubbon road

On January 19th, DULT held a meeting with bicycle operators to get their suggestions on the permit system floated, inviting private players. They consulted their cycle day core group for advise as well.

Cubbon road cycle track work :

The Civic body has completed 700 mtrs. of the cycle track between Manipal cetnre and Minsk square.  The remaining stretch of 1.3 km  work is under progress.  The work from Manipal Centre to the junction on Kamaraj road is completed. 

Work began in on cycle track in May last year.  Along with cycle track, the BBMP wanted to micro surface the Cubbon road for which it has issued a work order to a Co. at the cost of Rs.1 crore.

Cycle track remaining work :

The remaining work form Kamaraj Junction to Minsk square is in progress.  A private co. is  been hired by BBMP for the maintenance of the cycle track and footpath. 

The private company will maintain the cycle track and the walkway under the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) program.

Cycle parking hubs :

BBMP has identified various spots for setting up cycle parking hubs.  271 locations have been identified in Central, North and East Bengaluru. 

A tender was called in December 2018 to set up parking hubs at a cost of Rs.7.72 crore by BBMP.   Based on the DULT report, the BBMP will start the infrastructure work to construct 3 types of cycle parking hubs.

cycle hub

The civic body is planting flowering plants and planting different varieties of saplings along Cubbon road to maintain the greenery.

Other areas to have Cycle track:

Rs 80 crore is being spent for Phase 1 on building the software, docking stations, maintenance, infrastructure and operation across 28 square kilometeres. The nine areas to benefit are HSR, Koramangala, M.G. Road, Vidhana Soudha, Indiranagar, Banaswadi, HRBR Layout, HBR Layout, and Kacharakanahalli.

The source added that the design of Sarjapur Road is yet to be finalized. It has been kept on hold due to current road widening work. 

Business license renewal – BBMP-Bengaluru

Business license renewal program will be done by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike for the year 2019-2020.

What is a business license ? :

A business  license is a document/certificate that gives the permission to the applicant (person seeking to open a business) to commence a particular trade or business in a particular area/location.

However, the license does not allow the holder to any other trade or business than for it is issued. Furthermore, this license does not pass on any kind of property ownership to the holder of the license.

License

Why a business license? :

Business license has been introduced in the country and is being regulated through municipal corporation acts by the State Governments. This helps in ensuring that no one is severally affected by nuisance and health hazard of any trade or business.

It has been made necessary by the government to carry out any particular business or trade in a particular area and to ensure that no one is carrying out any unethical business practices.

This license creates a harmony in the society that every business is following relevant rules, guidelines and obeying the safety measures.

Business license renewal:

Statically, business licenses in the country are renewed in between January 1st to March 31st. The validity of a license issued by the municipal authority is for a period of one year and required to be renewed every year.

The application for renewal of the license is to be made within thirty days from the date of its expiry. In case the renewal process is delayed, then it may attract fine depending upon the rules and regulation of the issuing authority.

Following are the documents that need to be submitted for renewal of the license–

a. Original copy of the trade License;

b. Previous year challans;

c. Up to date property tax paid receipt.

BBMP – business license renewal:

The renewal of business licenses program is organized in the jurisdiction of the BBMP.  The renewal charges fee will be accepted without fine from 1st February to 28th February. 

Renewal of license

A fine will be charged if the renewal charges are paid after March 1st to 31st.   A fine of 25% on the total renewal charges will be charged.

From 1st April the payment will be accepted with 100% fine on the total renewal charges.

The renewal fee can also be paid online and also by a bank challan at Canara bank.

For further details please visit website : www.bbmp.gov.in

Public toilets – 600 nos. – Bengaluru

Public toilets will be built across the city before Gandhi Jayanthi by BBMP.  The number of toilets will be 600.  This drive is mainly to focus on making the city free of open excretion.

BBMP’s community toilet

Just 600 public toilets for a population of one crore?????

Many people say they are forced to relive themselves in the open. Sometimes it will be on the roadside because of lack of maintenance of existing public toilets in the city.

e- toilet

One has to turn away, cover the nose and make a dash away from the spot every time one come across someone urinating in public, unmindful to the discomfort he is causing around him.

But answering a ‘nature’s call’ is not an easy task in our city.  The exploding city has a few public and community toilets to cater to a population of around one crore.

Existing public toilets :

The existing ones suffer from poor patronage owing to bad maintenance. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has identified locations to construct toilets, mainly to cater to the needs of the city’s floating population.

Swachh Bharat Mission – public/community toilet :

The centre has granted Rs.5 crore under the Swachh Bharat Mission program to construct community/public toilets in all the zones.  The BBMP will sanction remaining funds.

According to the stipulated guidelines set by the mission, there should be a public toilet in every 500 metres.  The civic body has to build at least 2 toilets for the population of 100 make and 100 female and one toilet in 7 km. radius.

Work on community toilets:

The work on construction of community toilet will begin soon after the tender process is completed.   Till date the BBMP has built only 479 toilets in the city. 

The Bengaluru city has fared poorly compared to most of the other metro cities in the country.

The city has to improve the ratings in the Swachh Bharat Survekshan rankings.  The BBMP is building public toilets to end open urination in Bengaluru.

Diversion – Rs.150 crore from BBMP limits

Diversion – Rs.150 crore from BBMP limits

Diversion of Rs.150 crore from BBMP limits goes to four JD)U) constituencies.  The State Government has diverted SWM fund to Devanahalli, Hoskote, Nelamangala, Mangadi and Ramanagara taluks.

Government diverts funds from BBMP limits :

The money diversion is from the money earmarked for solid waste management under the Mukhyamantri Nava Bengaluru’s project.  The amount allotted for this project is Rs.753 crore. 

The five taluks are outside the city municipal limits.  The above mentioned places outside the city municipal limits will get Rs.150 crore for developmental works.  This includes solid waste disposal and processing units. 

According to some this seems like a politically motivated move.

Diversion of funds – JD(S) Constituencies :

The four taluks which is getting money through diversion are constituencies represented by the JD(S) leaders – Narayanaswamy L.N. (Devanahalli), K.Sreenivasamurthy (Melamangala), A. Manjunath (Magadi) and Anitha Kumaraswamy (Ramanagara). 

Hoskote is represented by M.T.B.Nagaraju who represented Congress and is the housing minister.

JD(S) Constituencies

In these areas the Waste management processing units were proposed to be set up in the future.  Instead of using the money for waste processing units which are operational and where locals are protesting the money  has been diverted.

Impact of Diversion :

Developmental work around the areas of Doddabidarakallu, Lingadheeranahalli, Subbarayanapalya, Kannahalli and Seegehalli plants have till date received only Rs.10 crore each.

These are the waste processing units which have met with strong opposition and resistance from residents residing in and around the area.  The problems faced by the residents includes foul smell and mosquito menace.

Solid Waste Management

Rs.15 crore is allotted or made available for the development of villages in and around new landfills and the existing landfills.  The existing landfills includes Bellahalli, Mittiganahalli and Bagalur.

Reasons given by the Government/BBMP :

According to Mr. Mahendra Jain, the Additional Chief Secretary (Urban development) “the allocation to the five taluks was to “mitigate” the effects of sending the Bengaluru city’s waste there.  The waste which goes to these areas will be compensated with better infrastructure”.

Property tax collection data on BBMP portal

Property tax collection data of 198 wards of Bengaluru is just a click away.  The data available is from April 2016 to January 2019 on BBMP portal.

The BBMP has started publishing the ward-wise property tax collection details on its website.

Work available online – property tax :

The civic body has published a list of works taken up by it.  The details includes property tax collected in every ward in Bengaluru on its website. 

Property tax

This move has been welcomed by activists for improving transparency and empowering the ward committees in Bengaluru.  The BBMP commissioner directed the officials to publicize the property tax collection details from each ward.

The move, will ensure transparency and empower ward committees. 

CFB (Volunteers of Citizens for Bengaluru) on property tax portal:

CFB is an NGO working with BBMP.  According to the NGO 28 wards conducted meetings on 2nd February out of 198 wards.

The Committee meetings reviewed the progress from the last 2 committee meetings.  44 meetings were scheduled and 28 wards conducted the meetings.  75 ward meetings are scheduled for the next week.

Ward Committee meeting

The CFB group had in last year asked for a list of works taken up by he civic body along with property tax collected in each ward.  The request was made in a  round-table meeting with the commissioner of BBMP.

Information about property tax in BBMP portal :

BBMP commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said the move is historic as this is the first time in the BBMP history that such details have been made public at the ward level.

The data published on the portal includes ward-wise property tax collection for the fiscal years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 and works taken up from April 1, 2016 to January 31, 2019.

BBMP has published details of works taken up under mayoral grants, major roads and other BBMP and governments projects well, all ward wise.

Conclusion :

The ward-wise works could be improved by adding details of works completed, pending and deadline set.  The civic body can also expose the GIS mapping of properties and color code those who have paid the tax and those who have not.   

This will further empower the ward committee and its meetings to ensure better tax collection in their respective wards.

Meat shops closure – Aero show 2019

Meat shops will be closed from February 13th to February 28 due to Aero show 2019 at Benglauru. 

Ban of sale of mean and fish

The 12th edition of Aero India, Aero India 2019, will be held at Air Force Station at Yelahanka in Bengaluru from February 20 to 24. This is the reason being Meat shops will be closd.

Aero India 2019  aims to provide a significant platform in bolstering business opportunities in the International aviation sector.

Reasons for meat shop closure :

The BBMP has issued a notice to all meat shop vendors and hawkers on roadside near Yelahanka Air force station to shut down their shops for nearly 2 weeks. 

The areas includes Bagaluru cross, Vinayaknagar, Kattegenahalli, Nagenahalli and Puttenahalli.  These meat shops are en-route to Yelahanka air base.

This is in lieu of the 12th edition of Aero show 2019 to be held at the IAF facility.

The curbs on the meat shop vendors is to prevent birds of prey feeding on left-over.  This leaves the aircraft at the risk of bird hits.

Birds disturbing the flight

The civic body has asked the officials to keep a watch and ensure none of the meat shops are open till the Aero Show 2019 ends. 

Restaurants and foot joints around the base have been told to prepare only vegetarian food during the 5 day event.

Precautionary measures :

Waste dumps at nearby landfill will be covered properly.  Spraying of disinfectant and other necessary measures will be taken care of.

Pouramikas will collect the waste daily from residents and dispose it properly. BBMP officials will be visiting each area and will ensure that all meat shops will remain closed till the month end.

Other measures :

Use of low flying objects like Drones will be prohibited along with closure of meat shops.  The passes for the show are being issued after screening the applicants profile in the Aadhaar card by the city police.

Flying Drones prohibited

The security also been scaled up given the sensitivity and international significance of the air show.

Transgender’s shelter home – BBMP

Transgender’s will have a new shelter home set up by BBMP.  The shelter rooftop will be used as vocational training centre.

Depending on the vocational course, they will be staying in the shelters for 3 to 6 months free of cost.

Transgender’s shelter home :

The shelter home for Transgender’s will be a first of its kind.  The civic body has proposed to set up a shelter home for their community.  The shelter is a part of BBMP’s homeless project in Bengaluru.

Shelter home by BBMP

These shelters will provide free food and stay and also vocational training will be provided.

According to the Deputy Commissioner (welfare) Mr. Jagadeesh, “Transgenders are forced out from their homes and families.  They end up on roads and starts begging or resort to sex work.  Event the landlords discriminate them by refusing to rent out flats and houses.  This makes them homeless and unemployed”.

Help for shelter home – Transgenders :

The BBMP is also planning to provide police protection.

NGO Solidarity Foundation has come forward to provide jobs.  Akkai Padmashali who is a transgender rights activist will identify people who can avail this facility.

Training to Transgenders :

They will be trained for vocational courses such as gardening, candle-making, tailoring, computer course, etc. The NGOs will arrange for job opportunities related to these skill-sets. This will give the individuals a moral boost as well.

Depending on the course, transgenders will be able to stay in the shelter for three to six months, free of cost. Around 100 people can be accommodated in the shelter. A public toilet next to the premises was inspected by officials recently and the building is also being re-painted.  

Place for Transgenders shelter home:

The Welfare department has identified a BBMP property near Upparpet police station in Majestic area. The building is a health centre that’s not been used for some time. The building will be renovated and turned into a shelter shortly.

Commenting on the shelter Akkai Padmashali said, “We welcome the move of a shelter home, but demand that it be long-term and not temporary. While it is a good move, we are cautious, as there have been instances of harassment and violence when a vulnerable section is isolated. The BBMP also needs to execute awareness programs for transgenders.”

Akkai Padmashali

NGT Committee – Bellandur, Varthur lake

NGT Committee will visit Bellandur and Varhur lake on 17th February to oversee the revival work.  The Committee by NGT is planning to create a webpage by February.

Bellandur Lake

National Green Tribunal (NGT) :

NGT has been established in 18.10.2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.  It was established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection.   It also includes conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal rights relating to environment.

NGT

The Tribunal also gives relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.   It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental duties involving multi-disciplinary issues.

NGT Committee :

The NGT has newly constituted a committee headed by Justice Hegde to oversee the implementation of the directions related to lake rejuvenation. The NGT Committee has been asked to oversee the timelines and action plans prepared by the State government. 

The State Government has also been directed to transfer Rs 500 crore to an escrow account for execution of the action plans and implementation of Panjwani Committee recommendations.

Varthur lake spewing foam

The Justice Hegde Committee has been given the liberty to decide additional amounts required for setting up of STPs to treat sewage entering into the lake. The State is also made liable to pay interest for delay or non-payment. 

Justice Santosh Hegde – NGT Committee Head :

Santosh Hegde was born in an ethnic Bunt family to former judge of Supreme Court, Justice K.S. Hegde and his wife Meenakshi Hegde. 

Justice Santosh Hegde

Nitte Santosh Hegde is a former judge of the Supreme Court Of India, former Solicitor General of India and was Lokayukta for Karnataka State of India from 2006-2011. 

After completing apprenticeship training, Hegde enrolled as an advocate in January 1966 and was designated as senior advocate in May 1984. He was appointed as the Advocate General for the State of Karnataka in February 1984 and held that position till August 1988. 

NGT Committee report :

Individual members from the NGT Committee have already visited the Bellandur and Varthur lake  and have made observations. The NGT Committee also took note of the encroachments in and around these two lakes.

The NGT committee also pointed out that the rajakaluve have been encroached, narrowing of rajakaluves, laying of pipes, construction and demolishing waste dumping by Minor Irrigation Department (MID) and encroachment on the buffer zone along the Belagere road.

Separate tenders – waste collection

Separate tenders to collect waste was under slam.  The corporator’s took officials to a task over separate tenders.  Tenders were invited to collect wet and dry waste.

Waste segregation

Corporators expressed condolences over the passing of Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swamiji prior to the meeting.

Separate tenders – waste disposal :

Waste disposal is removing and destroying or storing damaged, used or other unwanted domestic, agricultural or industrial products and substances. Disposal includes burning, burial at landfill sites or at sea, and recycling.

Dry & Wet waste – separate tenders :

The separate tenders for collection and disposal of dry and wet waste invited comments from many corporators.  These corporators were  mainly from the sitting opposition BJP party.  They raise objections calling the civic body BBMP as ‘frauds’ during the council meeting.

waste disposal

The main argument of many corporators, including the opposition leader was about how effective different tenders for wet and dry waste would be.

Auto tippers and compactors – Separate tenders :

A few corporators questioned the reasoning behind the unequal distribution of auto tippers and compactors. 

Collection of waste

Commissioner N.Manjunath answers some of the questions in the committee.  The Commissioner stated that the BBMP had received a lot of criticism from the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal for sending mixed waste to landfills and quarries.

Recycle of waste

Bengaluru city generates around 6000 tonnes of waste everyday.

Segregation of waste – Separate tenders :

Segregation of waste at source once stood at 53%.  But the figure has now come down.  With separate tenders for wet and dry waste, the corporation aims to improve the level of segregation of waste at source.

This process helps in preventing aggregation of the segregated waste after collection.

According to the Commissioner the civic body has identified nearly 8000 rag-pickers.  These people along with non-governmental organisations working in the waste management sector will be roped in for collection and processing of dry waste.