Friday, September 30, 2005

Hardware and apparel parks to take off (finally?)

Hardware and apparel parks
These are two projects that promise to drive another growth wave
The Times of India

There could be hiccups and start-up troubles. Despite all that, Karnataka has always been a proactive State when it comes to nurturing the growth of emerging and existing businesses. For instance, the State has been taking a lot of initiative to improve the conditions of its textile and garment industry that employs over a couple of lakh people - skilled, semiskilled and unskilled.

Another sector that has been reeling under a lot of pressure is hardware. Both these segments have huge potential to attract domestic and foreign direct investments. "However, the government has been under-estimating them and ignoring their potential so far, by promoting only IT", says an industry source. Now that the government has firmed up plans to set up exclusive clusters for hardware and apparel, that too in the closer vicinity of the proposed airport, the industry observers say, it would actually give a major facelift to these segments.

Apparel Park

The State Government is in the process of completing the acquisition of almost 500 acres of land to set up a state-of-the art apparel park at Doddaballapur, through Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).

The total cost of the project is Rs 69 crores where the Central Government would contribute Rs 22 crores, the State Government would bear a cost of Rs 11.56 crores, while the remaining Rs 35.44 crores would come in from KIADB. Around Rs 20 crores has already been invested.

According to the State Industries Minister P G R Sindhia, around 60 textile and clothing companies have picked space in the first phase of the park, which is around 200 acres. Some of these companies include Bombay Rayon Fashions, to set up a Rs 160-crore integrated textiles and garment project, Raymond, to set up two large separate units for suits and trousers and another for denim wear. Other companies would include Bangalore-based Gokaldas and Himatsingka Seide, Binny and Mudra. The project would be expected to be on stream by end 2006.

The minister said: "The State has a special focus on improving the status of its existing garment industry and also on attracting more externally". During the fiscal 2004-05, the State exported apparels worth Rs 4,500 crores, compared to Rs 4,038 crores in the previous fiscal".

Hardware Park

After a series of deliberations, discussions and debates, the State Government has taken a decision to go ahead with its Hardware Park plan to support the growth of the industry. The Government has identified over 1,000 acres of land near the Bangalore International Airport project at Devanahalli. The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board would be responsible for developing the park and a government notification to this effect is expected within a month.

The State IT Secretary M K Shankaralinge Gowda said the government would make efforts to get a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status for the proposed park, as such a status would facilitate various incentives and tax concessions.

Momentum picked up after the Bangalore International Airport Area Planning Authority (BIAAPA) gave its nod to allocate land for the park. This governmental initiative might mean a lot to technology firms in the State, both in software and hardware segments considering the fact that many of them have began looking at hardware options.

According to Manufacturers' Association of Information Technology (MAIT) Secretary Vinay Deshpande, the Hardware Park would help build Karnataka as a hardware State. "So far we have been focusing only on software, thereby ignoring the hardware sector completely. We never looked at hardware other than manufacturing computers. Areas like IT and telecom hardware, and products like modems, set-top boxes or simputers can be ideal for India".

MYSORE ROAD Development on a large scale

MYSORE ROAD Development on a large scale
The Times of India
This sector has grown over a period of time and has captured the imagination of investors in a big way

Timber Yard, Kwality Biscuits factory, SSIs, Rajarajeshwari Nagar Arch, Bangalore University and of course RV Engineering College summed up Mysore Road. The century old road, one of the oldest state highways that connects Mysore and the city was largely tagged jinxed because this sector hadn't lived up to its expectation with respect to real estate. Cut to present: four-lane road, BMICP, townships, top of the line resorts, amusement parks, industrial estates, professional colleges, international schools, and hospitals stand tall in the midst of hectic real estate activity.

The fact that Bangalore is going through another haul of real estate high has struck the minds of investors, developers, realtors, home seekers et el. And the indications are clear and sound. The burgeoning city has one more direction to look towards to satisfy its real estate needs.

Tracing development

One of the first few developments on this sector was the well-planned Kengeri Satellite Town, a selfcontained township concept, which is currently in the center of the tremendous development this sector has witnessed. The Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) have been instrumental in merging this satellite town into the folds of Bangalore City.

The second significant development in this sector was BEML's township in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. Situated on a higher plane, this serene locality saw home buyers queuing up for plots that were considerably lesser priced when compared to those in other localities of the city. Today, Rajarajeshwari Nagar has grown so much that it touches Banashankari VI Stage.

All these developments weren't that catalytic for further development until the announcement of Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), an integrated road project that is aimed at reducing the distance and traveling time between the two cities. Then followed the KIADB's Bidadi Industrial Area and subsequently the Toyota Kirloskar plant, Coca Cola's bottling plant, ancillary plants, among many other companies pitched their base here. The KPTCL's Bidadi power plant is the latest in the offing.

While the industrial developments started scaling new heights, the spin off was significant as it added variety to the real estate landscape. Next came townships, hospitals, professional colleges, international schools, and amusement parks.

Future prospects

This sector is all set to witness parallel development. While the four-lane road touching taluks on the way to Mysore is on the anvil, a part of BMICP between Bangalore and Bidadi is also on the cards for opening. These two roads will run parallel and open up many corridors for development all the way till Mysore.

While the BMICP will consist of an industrial park, IT parks, residential options, tourism centres, and eco centres on this stretch, the old Mysore Road will be a fitting platform for other private entities to try their luck here.
With Mysore getting closer and with IT companies showing keen interest in setting up offices in Mysore, massive developments are on the cards. Such is the demand here for land that sellers talk rates in terms of sqft and no more in acres, which was the practice here till recently.

Road work after rains

Road work after rains
The city’s roads will get in shape with this project
The Times of India

The Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) will take up strengthening, asphalting and pothole filling of major roads in the city after the monsoon. Around Rs 100 crores will be spent for this purpose and the World Bank will fund the work.

Sources in the BCC said, apart from strengthening, asphalting and pothole filling works, the project also includes improvement to shoulder drains, pavements, upgradation of signals and improvements to street lighting, providing bus b ay s, street furniture, barricading, and landscaping. The major arterial roads in the city need regular strengthening as they carry heavy traffic. Just asphalting will not suffice. The three packages of road work covering all the wards under east, west and south zone will be taken up. This time around we have warned the contractors that no time extension will be given and our engineers through regular inspection and monitoring will see the work through, say sources. The World Bank officials who had met them had proposed to fund the projects.

The city has a road network of 3,800 km, of which nearly 500 km are arterial roads. The BCC had taken up strengthening of 130 arterial roads running upto 270 km under the Municipal Bond Scheme at a cost of Rs 231 crores. After the Municipal Bond works, these roads have not been asphalted and hence we have decided to take up their strengthening, the sources say.

This apart, the BCC has taken up asphalting of 1,000 km of sub-arterial roads at a cost of Rs 106 crores. Of this, 496 km in 27 new areas are kachha roads and 504 km are e x i s t i n g roads. Apart from the roads in its jurisdiction, the BCC has also proposed to take up works on the major roads coming into the city that fall under the CMC jurisdictions.

It may be recalled here that Bescom and BSNL had dug up roads and footpaths to lay telephone cables, OFCs and UG power cables. However, the Karnataka Land Army Corporation Ltd (KLACL) is carrying out relaying of footpaths at a cost of Rs 7 lakhs per km on behalf of Bescom. After the monsoon and relaying of footpaths the road works will start.

Citizen Self-Action



Rathna Avenue
This is a story of residents getting together to turn a potholed lane into a pretty avenue
The Times of India

Right in the heart of the city, this little lane that meanders along, with homes and apartments on either side, has its own culture. Interestingly, it stems from the little road that needed some tar on it. Rathna Avenue, off Richmond Road, was a narrow bumpy lane that turned difficult to negotiate after a downpour. Today, the road presents a different picture and the story of its transformation makes interesting reading.

It all began when A Balakrishna Hegde, Managing Director, Chartered Housing, whose house is on Rathna Avenue, proposed a comprehensive scheme for refurbishment, upgradation and beautification of the road. The response from the other residents was overwhelming. It hardly took any time for the Rathna Avenue Association to be formed with Balakrishna Hegde as President. And development of the avenue began in right earnest.

The road was asphalted till the drain line and a slope created to ensure rain water drains off. Kerb stones were put on either sides of the road, and painted green and yellow. Next came some greenery. Lawns and shrubs were planted along the sides. An overflowing dustbin at the entrance that was an eyesore was removed and door-to-door garbage collection introduced with the help of the Bangalore City Corporation (BCC). Each building was given two plastic bins to segregate garbage.

Sodium vapour lamps replaced the existing tubelights. This brightened up the road and also made it safer at night. Attractive signage incorporating all the door numbers was installed at the entrance of the avenue. For orderly parking, car parking bays have been marked.

The association has also put in place a system for disposing garden cuttings and debris, a security system at the entrance of the lane, arranged for maintenance of the greenery and sweeping of the road daily.

"We live here and wanted a clean and orderly neighbourhood," says Balakrishna, adding, "We found the response encouraging and there is bonding between residents." Farnaz Zal, treasurer of the association, says she keeps a watch on the lane daily to ensure it remains the beautiful avenue it has come to be. "People here see the work being done and contribute too," she says. Meeru Pai, secretary, believes this should spark off more such initiatives.

All the maintenance works are funded through contributions of Rs 1,200 per house as annual maintenance charges. The association has more plans like getting all cables (power, telephone and TV) into underground ducts and devising a system for disposing of debris at new constructions.

A pretty avenue apart, the Rathna Association's initiatives show another dimension of the city's multifaceted culture. Getting the road in shape has brought together people willing to put in time, money and knowledge to bring back beauty to their neighbourhood. "We need to demonstrate that it is possible", says Balakrishna. "His knowledge of architecture and construction has helped us a great deal," says Farnaz. They feel such efforts demonstrate what residents' associations can do for the city.

Rathna Avenue is a story of how people got together to wave the magic wand of involvement, dedication and ownership and turned a potholed lane into a pretty avenue. It now lives up to its name.

Issues and the IT city

Issues and the IT city
There are signs of the authorities changing gears to meet the issues before this IT hub
The Times of India

Even as the city sipped from the high of the IT economy, the downsides came cascading in. The city's roads just could not handle the growing numbers of vehicles. Parking spaces were no longer there for the taking. With malls came the traffic snarls. And even as Bangalore hurtled towards a pride of place as a global destination, the not-soromantic flooding and potholed roads vied for a share of the headlines.

Who is to blame? Consider this. The city's roads were meant to handle a load of seven lakh vehicles. There are around 21 lakhs on them today. Their number is growing by around 750 everyday. The sewerage system is half a century old, meant for a sleepy little town, not a burgeoning IT nerve center. There just isn't enough space to widen the roads. Flyovers fall short of expectations as the demand gets out of hand almost even before they are completed. Power, water or maintaining civic amenities for a city that's reaching for the stars at a meteoric pace has never been tried before. The resulting pangs of growth are but natural.

However, the planning that is going into solving some of the major issues before the city is beginning to take concrete shape. While the implementation stage is still some way away, many projects on the anvil will bring relief and create the sort of infrastructure this IT hub needs. The success of these projects will spell another major thrust in the city's development rate as they will make Bangalore more efficient and conducive for the 24/7 business environment global organisations look for in these days.

North Corridor

This project that envisages a six-lane expressway to the proposed international airport will translate into major development in the northern belt of the city. With a large number of localities there suddenly coming within easy reach of the city, the implications are huge. From another IT/BT belt that the State IT Department is pushing for to a gamut of segments to back the international airport, the possibilities are many. This project will pitchfork an entire region of the city into the limelight for its potential in both commercial and residential value. It will make commuting easier and quicker.


While it is being increasingly felt that flyovers are solutions only at specific points and 'corridors' are the long-term solution that the city needs, the projects in the pipeline will take the pressure of some of the city's busiest intersections. The State Government's move to get the works going is a step towards smoother traffic conditions. The Airport Road project getting off the ground again, for example, will come as a boon to those using this busy road daily.


The BWSSB's project to supply drinking water to the seven CMCs and TMC localities will be a major catalyst in the development of these areas. With housing being in great demand and the outskirts drawing many with improved connectivity, these localities will see considerable growth in the days ahead. Both entrepreneurs looking for a base and developers putting up residential projects will find these localities good.


The planned Peripheral Ring Road apart from the development of the existing arterial and sub-arterial roads will translate to considerably improved connectivity apart from large scale development potential. Even as the Outer Ring Road snaked around the city, the localities in its wake witnessed development. Layouts and commercial hubs sprung up even as the paint on the Outer Ring Road's pavement was beginning to dry. The Peripheral Ring Road will take considerable pressure off the Outer Ring Road and parts of the city with trucks finding it a better alternative to the city's roads. The road network in the city will be more efficient with the planned development. The parking lots too will be needed to take the pressure in the days ahead and the plans falling in place is none too soon.

Mass transit systems

Even as the metro rail debate rages on, there have been efforts by the traffic police to get the concept of mass transportation going. Their efforts to get large corporates employing a heavy workforce to use buses was a welcome beginning. While a metro rail may take some pressure off, a combined move comprising such initiatives to get vehicles off the roads is the need of the hour. With a lesser number of vehicles on the roads and the traffic monitoring infrastructure such as synchronised signals and master controls in place, commuting will be far easier.
Bangalore has come a long way from the days when it was known only for its weather. And it's on its way to greater heights. As the city scales peaks not many forecasted it would scale, its infrastructure needs to back it. The plans that are on paper right now will make the difference people in the city want to see today.

BCC to take up storm water drain work

BCC to take up storm water drain work
There are both long-term and short-term measures on the cards
The Times of India

The Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) has proposed two plans to remodel, widen, cover and set right storm water drains (SWDs) in the city that have created problems for the residents of the city along arterial, sub-arterial, and main roads.

The authority drew a lot of flak during the recent rains as flooding across the city due to incapacitated drains had created havoc for commuters, pedestrians and residents in the low lying areas of the city. Now, the BCC is putting into action a project of setting right the drains.

"As a short-term measure over 200 km of SWDs have been identified that will get desilted and covered in the city and for this purpose we have divided the project into six packages costing a total of Rs 18 crores with each package costing Rs 3 crores. The work will be over in six months from the date of commissioning", says a senior BCC engineer, adding that tenders have been called and soon the project will be commissioned with an approval from the BCC Council.

He said Malleswaram, Gandhinagar, Mahalakshmipuram, Rajajinagar, Binnypet, Chandra Layout, Basavanagudi, Jayanagar, Shantinagar, Bharatinagar, Shivajinagar and Jayamahal and the surrounding localities will be taken up under the six packages. This time a third party inspection will be carried out and strict action will be taken against contractors who don't stick to agreed standards. "We are carrying out a study on encroachments to SWDs and immediately we will press our task force to evacuate the encroachers", he says.

Mayor R Narayanaswamy says, "this project was long due. Since the project is mammoth in exercise, it took a lot of time to prepare a detailed project report. The funding for the project had to be worked out and the designs for remodeling were another tough task. But at this juncture we are ready with the plans and soon the project will be executed".

As a long-term measure a comprehensive plan has been chalked out to remodel the Koramangala Valley, Hebbal Valley, Challaghatta Valley, and the Vrishabavathi Valley, and BCC has already allocated Rs 450 crores for this purpose. The Koramangala Valley is being commissioned first and subsequently the Hebbal Valley will be taken up. Till these mega projects are over the BCC will carry out temporary works to ensure safety to the residents, the Mayor said.

"Once the SWDs in the city are remodeled and completely separated from the sewage drains we will see a free flow of storm water. At present, with RCC slabs covering the drains, we are ensuring that debris are not dumped into them. When there is clogging we remove the slab and clear it. Also, the covering of these drains will prevent health hazards and diseases like malaria and dengue", he adds.

The project envisages covering of drains with pre-cast RCC slabs and fixing of chain link fencing and guardrails along the drains. The slabs will be two metres wide and will have perforations. They can be removed to desilt the drain and put back. The BCC has also planned to carry out minor repairs on storm water drains like restoring the walls of the drains. Drains that pose a threat in different areas have been taken up on a priority basis.

PRR: Another ring road to ease traffic

PRR: Another ring road to ease traffic
The PRR will set the stage for another round of real estate development
The Times of India

The much sought-after 109-km Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) circumnavigating Bangalore City is closing towards realisation. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), which is in charge of scripting this allimportant Rs 1,190-odd crores ring road circling the Outer Ring Road, will start the project soon.

Speaking on the project, the BDA Commissioner M N Vidyashankar says, "we have issued the preliminary notification for land acquisition covering 2,049 acres across 104 villages dotted around the city. We would be issuing tender notification shortly and simultaneously final notification will be issued. The cost of the project would be raised through our internal resources and institutional borrowings".

He adds, "with rapid urbanisation in the past few years, there is tremendous increase in the city's population. While the enormous pressure on Bangalore's infrastructure is persistently increasing, transportation is one of the worst hit. The city's road network is ringcum-radial in fashion. All highways and district roads are radially converging into the core area. More than two lakh vehicles enter the city from major highways (NH-4, NH-7, NH-209, and SH-17) and another one lakh from other radial roads (Varthur Road, Magadi Road, Bannerghatta Road, and Tannery Road). The road traffic on national highways is increasing by 12 percent each year and while on State highways it is 15 percent. Trucks which are not heading for the city will pass by without entering the city once the PRR opens". He added that identifying the feasible alignment of PRR was done through remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS), which is fast, as well as a proven modern technology.

The 8-lane road will be on par with IRC standards with 1.5 metre central median and two metre earthen shoulders on either side with truck terminals at every 10 km totaling 100 metres width. Since the PRR runs in a semi-urban belt for the major length, BDA has proposed to develop service roads only at urban limits and at junctions, keeping buffer land on either side in rural stretches for developing service roads at a later date.

Except bits in conurbation areas, the alignment runs in the green belt. It runs in cropland predominantly (60 percent) and to a lesser extent in agriculture plantation (17 percent), commercial plantation (16 percent).

Road to development

PRR runs around the periphery of the Bangalore Metropolitan area. BDA has taken enough precaution in planning PRR to avoid other developments around PRR which will defeat the very purpose of this ring road. PRR has a green buffer on either side thereby reducing the possibility of any developments on the sides. Most of the intercity heavy trucks obviously prefer this corridor instead of ORR, in view of quick, safe traverse and also marginal increase in distance.

The ORR was an instant hit when it came a full circle in 1994. However, the traffic on this road grew due to urbanisation. With the PRR forming the outer road after IRR and ORR, much development will follow in terms of real estate. With the city growing in all direction this road will certainly provide a platform for another round of real estate realisation. The BDA is clear on the kind of development it would facilitate. It is keen to make sure they are in tune with the new CDP. What comes as a clear and thoughtful step is that Bangalore will see many such concentric circles (roads) in the years to come to put in place infrastructure, transportation, housing and commercial needs.

Some villages among the 104 villages on the edge of the city that are touched in the PRR project: Gangodanahalli, Varthur, Anjanapura, Uthralli, Doddabele, Challeghatta, Kodigehalli, Venkatapura, Agara, Gottikere, Bellandur, and Avalahalli.

What the PRR entails…
Length: 108.96 km
Cost: Rs 550 crores
Feature: 8-lane, two ways, 4-lane service roads
Location: 14-22 km from the city center, 2.8-11.5 km from the existing ORR
Crossing: 12 major roads, six railway lines, three water supply lines
Land required: 2,049 acres

Bangaloreans are as bad as the Welsh when it comes to parking rage

Bangaloreans are as bad as the Welsh when it comes to parking rage
The Times of India

ROAD rage is now spilling into parking lots in the city. If overburdened roads, insolent motorists and driving stress aren’t enough to deal with, now there’s someone grabbing your parking space or even booking parking space in a public parking lot. A recent survey conducted by an insurance group in the UK found Welsh motorists the most ill-natured in Britain when it comes to parking. BT found that Bangaloreans too lose their cool where parking’s concerned.

Jimmy Amrolia, director of a life enhancement centre says he regularly experiences parking rage on city roads. “Getting parking is so difficult in Bangalore. And when you have motorists with no regard for others, you’re bound to get angry when they park badly. And that can inconvenience other road users no end.”

D McCauley of the insurance group that conducted the survey said, “Parking spaces are now priceless and we are clearly marking our territory. It’s obvious that with the battle for space in the neighbourhood, tension will be rife.”

What makes language consultant Rani Joseph lose her cool is when someone parks so close to her car that she can’t get it out of the parking slot. “You’re stuck. You don’t know where the driver of the other vehicle is, you may damage other vehicles around,” she says.

Some feel that after the authorities did away with parking attendants, parking rage is even more common. Says Chandrkantah Reddy, jewellery expert, “Now that there’s no one to monitor how people park, it’s getting worse. Attendants were troublesome, but they did help you park properly.” Men are also more likely than women to see red for bad parking. They are also quicker to react by arguing, escalating the dispute or calling the police.

Sangeetha S, assistant operations manager at a multinational says, “I get parking rage when I see someone’s car parked right in front of my gate. Despite ‘No-Parking in front of the gate’ boards, people just assume that they can park there. When I’m driving, it’s worse. I can’t take the car into my house as there’s someone’s car right across my gate.” She’s lost her cool, spoken to the owners of the neighbouring store whose customers park in front of her gate, even called the police for help, but to no avail.


• Someone’s car parked in front of your home
• Absolutely no place to park
• Another driver stealing your parking spot
• Poorly and haphazardly parked vehicles
• Parked vehicles that block your exit

Unauthorised revenue sites to be regularised

Unauthorised revenue sites to be regularised
The TImes of India

Bangalore: The state government has decided to regularise unauthorised revenue sites by collecting penalties after studying the magnitude of violations.

The decision, applicable throughout the state, was taken at the cabinet meeting held here on Thursday.

Briefing reporters, information minister B Shivaram said a cabinet sub-committee headed by deputy chief minister M P Prakash will be constituted to frame guidelines to determine the nature of violations and to fix penalties for the same. Appointing members to the subcommittee is CM N Dharam Singh’s discretion, he said.

“The sub-committee has been given a month’s time to draft guidelines. After it submits the report, a government order will be issued to that effect. Subsequently, the ban on registration of sites will be lifted,’’ Shivaram said.

The sub-committee will fix penalties for the following reasons: nonpayment of land conversion charges, not leaving space for parks and other civic amenity sites in private layouts and non-payment of betterment charges.


Low life breathes in Suddaguntepalya
Garbage Cleared Once A Week, More Canines Than Humans

The Times of India

Bangalore: A stink unfit for human habitation, no roads at all for most parts, and Heaven help when it pours. Better be ginger in this narrow land of potholes, you never know which pile of garbage you will trip on and fall. That’s Suddaguntepalya in C V Raman Nagar, for you.

Roads in the area, which start
bang opposite the LRDE (Electronics and Radar Development Establishment), have not been asphalted for decades and a huge uncleaned drain runs alongside the roads. A common sight is of people carefully treading with kerchief and scarves pressed to their noses.

Some 3 tonnes of garbage originate from this entire ward of C V Raman Nagar — which is actually a cluster of villages like G M Palya, Malleshpalya, New Thippasandra, Suddaguntepalya etc. LRDE is surrounded by slummy areas with the entrance being a narrow 7-foot stretch perennially blocked by lorries and other transport vehicles. The pavements here are a joke, just tiny stretches of land bare enough to accommodate one person at a time. Constant complaint of working women is that autorickshaws refuse to ply to this area, as no roads exist.

Residents complain that the power supply is erratic and that voltage fluctuates between 175 v to 290 v. A 2kv transformer, installed here about 11 years ago to cater to four to five houses then, is still running to a population that has grown manifolds, engineers reckon.

“Bescom says the fluctuation is due to maintenance,” say residents.

In a pith, the area lacks everything that hurt the most — roads, water, electricity.

A joke among LRDE employees is that the canine population here exceeds the human population. Still, no canine vans have made trips here in ages, a fact supported by BCC records and the residents.

To all the woes, corporator Prathima Raghu’s husband, MLA Raghu (who apparently handles the problems and peeves of the area) says, “We started concrete roads 15 days ago. The area was added to the corporation limits only in 1997, so it will take some time before it develops fully. After all, it is a cluster of villages.’’ On the garbage menace, he says only 95 workers cleared garbage, while the requirement is for 300.

A filmy twist
Frustrated by the inaction and inspired by media attention on civic issues, M R Nair, a retired naval officer, has made a 20-minute film capturing the life and times of Suddaguntepalya. The film captures how people walk about with cringed noses and the garbage piled up opposite the road leading to LRDE.

Sky Walk in Jayanagar hangs in air with no users

Sky Walk in Jayanagar hangs in air with no users
Vijay Times

THE Rs 50 lakh ’Sky W alk’ at Jayanagar 4th Block, which was inaugurated a month ago is yet to find ’walkers’. The sky bridge, sponsored by Selvel V anatage Company , was constructed to help pedestrians easily cross the road between Jayanagar shopping complex and the bus stand and to ease the burden of traffic police.

But one finds very few users of this Sky W alk even on busy evenings during weekends. People find it convenient to cross the road at the manually monitored traffic signal which is less than 100 metres away from the bridge rather than climbing steps to get on to the Sky W alk.

W alking along the Sky W alk is strict no for senior citizens of Jayanagar . "I have arthritis. I cannot climb the steps. I prefer to cross the road," says Shantha, an elderly woman residing in Jayanagar 4th T block.

The trick to force pedestrians use the Sky W alk lies with the traffic police. "If the manual signal is converted to automatic one, limiting the time for pedestrian crossing, it would force people to utilise the Sky W alk," says a shop owner at Jayanagar complex.

According to sources, a plan has been formulated to construct such bridges in 27 other locations in the City . But the question is will there be any takers for such bridges.

City’s tryst with traffic-free roads

City’s tryst with traffic-free roads
Deccan Herald

Thanks to nearly 80,000 autorickshaws that remained off the road in support of the strike call on Thursday, Bangalore was reminiscent of the 70’s with the roads looking their actual size-devoid of chaos and pollution.

Bangalore roads witnessed better lane discipline and smooth traffic flow making many old timers of the City go nostalgic.

It was a rare sight to see the normally jampacked B V K Iyengar Road, K R Market and Kalasipalya main roads breathing free like never before. The luxury was however was short lived as autos hit the city roads after 6 pm and traffic was back to its pathetic state of affairs.

Earlier in the day, a handful of autos were found parked at the Majestic bus stand, railway station and the Bangalore Airport fighting the temptation to gain from the desperate passengers who were prepared to pay the extra bit.

However, this did not become a reason for taxis to fleece passengers, as BMTC had upgraded its services with 200 additional buses. While BMTC bus stand at Majestic was flooded with passengers, the buses were not overcrowded. Additional buses were also pressed into service at Bangalore Airport.

A senior citizen Sheshadri who was bound for Chennai said the heat of the protest had not caught up with him, thanks to the contingency measures by the BMTC. On the whole, not many were complaining about the protest. Effective police bundobust in every nook and corner of the City also came in for appreciation by citizens.

Most government offices were either closed or had a handful of staff working. Though the General Post Office wore a deserted look with minimal staff, Speed Post, register post and parcel bookings were being accepted.

Dip in air traffic

Passenger traffic at Bangalore Airport dropped by 50 per cent following the strike.

While all the fights from Bangalore to Kolkata by both public and private sector domestic operators were cancelled, flights to other destinations were either merged or rescheduled, said Airport Authority of India sources. King Fisher Airlines cancelled nearly 25 per cent of its total domestic flights. Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Air Sahara and Jet Airways rescheduled many of their morning fights to Delhi and Mumbai, the sources said. The passenger traffic was only 50 per cent of the normal day average but air traffic continued to function normal throughout the day.

Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Bangalore Airport were handled by both the ATC officers of HAL and Indian Air Force, the sources added.

More showers in store for Bangaloreans

More showers in store for Bangaloreans
Deccan Herald

If you were a bit taken aback by the sudden and long-winding spell of light showers that Bangalore received since Wednesday night, then arm yourself with an umbrella or suitable rain gear to save yourself from similar nasty surprises.

According to officials at Meteorological Centre, for the next two days the City will witness spells of light showers with occassional heavy spells. “A low pressure area has formed in West Bay adjoining North Andhra coast. This is the reason behind the occassional drizzle and light showers. However, this weather is not expected to last for more than 48 hours,” officials said. As per the records maintained by Met centre till 8.30 am on Thursday, the City had recievd 16.2 mm of rainfall (City) along with 58.8 mm (near airport area) and 23.8 mm (Bangalore University area).

Infrastructure: High-level panel constituted

Infrastructure: High-level panel constituted
The Hindu

BANGALORE: A high-level coordination committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary B.K. Das has been constituted to oversee the development of infrastructure.

The principal secretaries to the departments of Urban Development, Home and Information Technology, and information technology industry representatives such as Mohan Das Pai, R.K. Mishra and Som Mittal are members of the coordination committee.

The commissioners of the Bangalore Development Authority, the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and the police are special invitees. The committee will hold its first meeting here on Friday at 10.30 a.m.

BMP survey makes owners suspicious in Koramangala

BMP survey makes owners suspicious in Koramangala
The Hindu

Property owners served notices asking for sanctioned plans

# A team of 20 engineers formed to conduct the survey
# Residents fear harassment from officials
# Over 300 buildings have deviated from sanctioned plan

BANGALORE: Residents of Koramangala are a worried lot. They fear that the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BMP) ongoing survey of all buildings in the locality will lead to a "neighbourhood war".

Following a direction from the Karnataka High Court, the BMP has set up a team of 20 engineers to conduct the survey. The engineers have started issuing notices to property owners asking them to furnish sanctioned building plans within three days of the receipt of notice.

This has caused panic among residents, who fear that the officials may harass them even if they have deviated slightly from the plan. Besides, most of them, who had built their houses before 1982 possess plans sanctioned by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and not by the BMP.

"The engineers are going by the plans sanctioned by the BMP. They are not bothered even if a house has been built as per the plan sanctioned by the BDA or any other agency. This will create problems even for those who have abided by the law," a resident of Koramangala 3rd Block said.

Another resident of the 2nd Main Road in Koramangala 1st Block said he had built a study room on the second floor recently. "As I was going in for a single room, I did not get an extension plan. Now, I will surely land in problem," he said.

"Over 90 per cent of the 6,200 properties in this area are likely to have deviated from the sanctioned plan, albeit slightly. It looks as though we are sitting on a volcano because we do not know how the authorities will deal with the violations," the resident said.

He said a particular person, who had instigated the people to complain about blatant violations and commercialisation in the area, had sold his property and gone to Australia.

According to sources in the BMP, the engineers have found that there are more than 300 buildings with blatant violations in Koramangala. These include buildings owned by the petitioners too.

Mayor R. Narayanaswamy told The Hindu that the survey, which began on September 13, is going on in full swing. "I will discuss the matter with Commissioner K. Jothiramalingam after his return from his U.S. trip," he added.

TU strike: 17 city buses damaged, autos keep off roads

TU strike: 17 city buses damaged, autos keep off roads
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Barring stray incidents of stone throwing by members of autorickshaw unions who damaged 17 city buses, Thursday's strike called by trade unions had little impact on normal life in Bangalore.

Around 15 persons were arrested on charges of rioting in different areas of the city. Two autorickhaw drivers, who had pelted stones on buses in the morning, were chased and nabbed by the public and handed over to Kamakshipalya police.

In Basaveshwaranagar, police detained a youth who had attempted to deflate the tyre of an autorickshaw.

At the Multi-Storeyed building, Cubbon Park police arrested two government employees for obstructing other employees from entering the premises.

Incidents of stone pelting were reported from K R Puram, Jnanabharathi, Sultanpalya, Sujatha theatre and other places.

According to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), it incurred a loss of Rs 2.10 lakh for the day.

The cost of damages due to stone throwing was Rs 1.70 lakh and revenue loss due to non-operation of some routes was Rs 40,000.

Many schools in the city were closed as a precautionary measure as their students travel in autorickshaws.

While normal life was not affected, commercial activity involving government employees came to a grinding halt with banks, post offices and insurance offices being closed.

As a result, ATM facilities owned by public sector banks were crowded around lunch time.

Central government offices, banks, post offices, insurance and defence units with civilian employees were shut following the all India strike call.

The coordination committee of central government employees and workers in Karnataka called it a grand success.

The All India bank Officers' Confederation said officers of all banks in public, private, cooperative and RRB sectors observed a day's protest opposing the government's privatisation spree in the garb of economic reforms.

According to an All India Trade Union Congress release workers in Jigani, Tumkur road, Bommasandra, Peenya and other parts of the city participated in protests to draw attention to the centre's anti-labour laws.

However, the much feared day began with a continuous drizzle throwing protest plans into disarray.

By noon, when the rains stopped, autorickshaw drivers were in action pelting stones. Attendance was thin at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Bangalore main and Design complexes as 10,000 employees struck work.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) units spread across the city too were shut.

All trains in the Bangalore division were running on time and reservation offices functioned as normal.

However, reservation centres witnessed a 40 per cent drop in the number of visitors, railway sources said.

As for air services, while air traffic controllers belonging to Airports Authority of India kept away in some cities, Bangalore Airport functioned normally as HAL operates the ATC here.

Except cancelling all Kolkata flights, airlines operated their normal schedules.

Kingfisher Airlines and Indian Airlines (IA) clubbed their Mumbai flights, but sources said it was more due to the low seat factors.

All Air India flights operated as per schedule, a release said. An IA source said except Kolkata all flights were operated.

Court pulls up Bangalorean over petition

Court pulls up Bangalorean over petition

The Hindu

It found that he had filed a petition against a BMP project without verifying facts

# The project involved construction of a commercial complex with a multi-storey car park
# It was in public interest, says court
# Costs of Rs. 25,000 imposed on petitioner

BANGALORE: The High Court of Karnataka has pulled up a petitioner for filing a public interest litigation (PIL) without verifying facts and imposed costs of Rs. 25,000 on him.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Nauvdip Kumar Sodhi and Justice N. Kumar, dismissed the PIL by B.H. Veeresh and directed him to deposit Rs. 25,000 with the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) in four weeks. If he fails to do so, the authority could initiate action to secure the amount, it said.

A resident of Bangalore, Mr. Veeresh had filed the PIL seeking an order for the annulment of a contract awarded by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) to a private company for remodelling the BMP Central Stores and Depot on Magarath Road into a multi-storeyed car park and commercial complex.

The Bench said the project was taken up as a joint venture. But the primary grievance of the petitioner was that the contract had been awarded by the BMP for a throwaway price and it was signed in a clandestine manner.

It said that when the petitioner was shown photocopies of advertisements in newspapers calling for tenders for the project, he had disputed their veracity. The Bench said it had adjourned the hearing to enable the BMP to produce the original copies of newspapers which featured the advertisement.

It said the petitioner had now admitted that the tenders had been invited. He had tendered a written apology for making a wrong averment. The Bench said the petitioner "was a busybody and was not interested in perusing any genuine public case."

It said the site on which the complex had come up was earlier being used as a godown. It fetched no income for the BMP. The BMP had decided to construct a multi-storey car park as there was a severe shortage of parking space. The petitioner had filed the PIL after the project had been completed.

The Bench said the BMP had not invested any money, and it would receive a rent of Rs. 3.75 crores a year. This was expected to go up in the coming years. In addition, the BMP would receive Rs. 85 lakhs as property tax every year. Of the 1,000 slots earmarked for parking cars, the BMP would have control over 752 slots. There are also 100 traders in the complex, who would have to obtain and renew trade licences.

You can now donate half-a-day's salary to educate slum children

You can now donate half-a-day's salary to educate slum children

The Hindu

ING Vysya-Parikrama initiative launched in Brazil, India

FOR THE CAUSE OF EDUCATION: Eli Leenaars, member, executive board of ING Vysya Group, Netherlands, speaking with children at the launch of the "change your world in half a day" programme in Bangalore on Friday. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

BANGALORE: To transform the lives of children from slums in Bangalore, Orange Savings from ING Vysya Bank and Parikrma jointly launched a programme, "change your world in half-a- day" on Thursday.

Member, executive board of ING Vysya Group, Netherlands, Eli Leenaars, launched the initiative, which allows employed Bangaloreans to donate their half-day's salary to help provide quality education to slum children at Parikrma's centres for learning.

Mr.Leenaars said that ING has planned a programme called "ING chances for children". This programme aims at educating deprived children in India, Brazil and Ethiopia before the end of 2007 and improving the quality of education in the local communities where ING runs its business. "The initiative with Parikrma is one such collaboration," he said.

Parikrma Chief Executive Officer Shukla Bose said the half-day salary deduction programme is not new. "What makes the programme unique is that each donor becomes a Parikrma stakeholder and an integral part of the programme. In addition, each donor gets two free tickets to a rock concert that will be held at the Palace Grounds on December 17," she said.

Ms. Bose said volunteers from Parikrma will visit corporate offices and screen short films on the activities of the foundation. "To reach out to thousands of employees in the IT capital, Orange Savings from ING Vysya Bank has provided marketing support. They have sponsored the programme as well as the rock concert, thus ensuring that all the `half-day funds' go directly to the benefit of the children," she said. Parikrima manages four centres for learning (at Koramangala, Sahakaranagar, Jayanagar and Nandini Layout) where 620 children from 25 slums in the city are provided education, nutrition, healthcare and family care. Over 4,000 people from 56 companies participated in the programme last year and the amount collected is enough to bear the annual expenses of 120 children at the Jayanagar centre, she said.

"This year our objective is to raise funds for 300 children. We need over 8,000 people to make this a reality. More than 40 leading companies in the city have already to participate," she said.

The bank's Managing Director, Bart Hellemans, and athlete Ashwini Nachappa, were present. To participate in the programme, individuals can donate online at or drop a cheque (favouring Praikrma Humanity Foundation) at any ING Vysya Bank branch. Details can be had on 30309900 or 55373799.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ready for some adventure on City roads?

Ready for some adventure on City roads?
Deccan Herald

A trip through the peak hour traffic on the city roads gives one a clear picture of the enormousload of work that needs to be done to decongest these roads.

It’s ironical that one of Bangalore’s most clamoured roads is dotted with real estate hoardings, promising a peaceful living away from the city’s chaos. Hosur Road, which links Bangalore with one of its most flaunted landmarks - Electronic City, redefines chaos as it gets weighed down by mass vehicular movement which continues to test motorists and traffic policemen.

On any given working day, traffic which converges from different directions — Audugodi, Koramangala, Dairy Circle, Madiwala, Tavarekere, BTM Layout, HSR Layout and others — hits the main stretch of the road after the Silk Board Flyover and then on, it’s a snail race negotiating long signals, errant drivers and crawling trucks.

The stretch after Madiwala Police Station, which comes under the National Highways Department purview, is set for some extensive revamping but right now, it’s still a long road. In peak morning hours on September 26, a bike ride down Hosur Road — from Audugodi to Electronic City — left this reporter with a new spirit for adventure and a bad back.

8.25 am, The Forum Signal: The stretch between Audugodi Police Station and the signal which forks traffic to Koramangala and Madiwala is cluttered, mostly by motorbike riders.

Car drivers honk on as traffic gets piled up. Adding to the clamour are bikes and auto-rickshaws which block diversion to the left, towards Koramangala. Many of them don’t wait for the green to flash.

8.40 am, St John’s Nagar: From the corner petrol bunk to the signal routing traffic straight (Sarjapur Road), left (Koramangala) and right (Madiwala), the road is packed.

The service roads running in front of St John’s Hospital and Hostel on the left and right respectively, are relatively free but you can spot inter-state buses straying on to them to beat the rush.

8.50 am, Madiwala Market: Traffic tests the best of movers and turners here. Regular rides down the road seem to have seasoned many of the bikers. They dodge, duck and wade through seemingly impossible openings. The cars, meanwhile, lose out on the race.

8.55 am, Bommanahalli: Here’s where even the racers down gear and wait. Heavy traffic from the HSR Layout direction on the left and BTM Layout direction on the right converge after the Silk Board Flyover.

Trucks and cars look better off here, packing the stretch in a crawling line. Bikers take the service roads, but even there, it’s a race against time. There are also trucks parked on the thoroughfare.

Traffic constables plead and swear, among other things, to get things moving. All you do to know the progress ahead, is watch the brake-lights and indicators in front.

9.10 am, Garvebhavi Palya - 7th Mile: Many trucks have diverted to the various bylanes on both sides of the road. Traffic drops after Chikka Begur Gate and the stretch till Singasandra is less congested.

9.30 am, Electronic City: After losing some last-lap races with a flurry of fast cars, it’s finally Destination EC. A 11-km ride in 65 minutes isn’t quite race material, but there’s always tomorrow.

The long and short of it

The State government has identified areas which need immediate attention to ease the traffic on Hosur Main Road. The short term/rapid action plan envisages implementation of the measures in three-six months and the new amenities are proposed to serve three-five years from implementation. The budget for the entire revamp is Rs 50 crore.

As per the mid-term plan, Hosur Road is proposed to be converted to a six-lane road. Pedestrian subways, foot overbridges and connectivity of service roads are also being planned.

There are also long-term plans for road resurfacing/asphalting.

Additional/alternate roads (Electronic City - Begur - BDA Layout/IIMB - Bannerghatta Road and Electronic City - Naganathpura - Kudlu - HSR Layout - Outer Ring Road) are in the pipeline. An elevated roadway from Silk Board Junction to Electronic City is also planned.


“We are going to be more tough on truck traffic on Hosur Road, which is one of the main reasons for the road’s traffic problems,” says Mr M A Saleem, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic - East). He says notification on the new stipulations for truck traffic will be issued soon.

Mr Saleem feels that road-linking will have a key role to play in the future of Hosur Road. “On the left, two roads connecting Sarjapur Road to Hosur Road and on the right, a road connecting Bannerghatta Road to Hosur Road need to be developed. They would ease a lot of traffic of Hosur Road,” he says.

Things to be done by Govt

Improvement of six critical junctions — Begur Cross, GB Palya, Kudlu, Naganathpura, Electronic City Phase I and II.

More medians and islands, signboards, pedestrian crossings and pedestrian refugee islands.

Parking of trucks and vans on service roads to be prohibited.

Parking of LCVs to be provided near Ch 5000 - Singasandra.

Shifting of the five existing bus bays to new locations providing shelters.

Trucks starting to and from factories/offices on Hosur Road to be prohibited to ply at peak hours - 7 am-11 am, 4 pm-8 pm.

BDA on mission demolition

BDA on mission demolition
Deccan Herald

In an early-morning operation on Wednesday, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) as a part of its demolition drive recovered one-acre property worth Rs 6 crores in areas across the City.

According to BDA Executive Engineer Mr Venugopala Rao, BDA had come to know about the encroachments and unauthorised constructions at sites in Rajajinagar 5th block and Peenya Industrial suburbs for the past several years.

Meanwhile, the unauthorised construction which was demolished at Rajajinagar was mostly temporary structures consisting of huts with asbestos covering.

The demolition operation was carried out by concerned area officers, BDA task force and with the assistance of local police. Incidentally, this is the third demolition drive undertaken by BDA in the past one week. On September 22, BDA had recovered Rs 3.4 crores of property by razing to ground illegal sheds and shops at Indiranagar II stage.

Autorickshaws still without digital meters

Autorickshaws still without digital meters

The Hindu

Deadlines set have lapsed several times

# Many autorickshaws running on adulterated fuel
# Autorickshaw drivers say subsidy by Government on gas-conversion kits is not enough
# Insurance companies not insuring autorickshaws running on LPG

BANGALORE: Two months ago, Food and Civil Supplies Minister H.S. Mahadevappa announced that digital meters will be made mandatory for issuing new autorickshaw permits. But new and old autorickshaws continue to run with old meters, which, many commuters claim, are tampered with.

The Government had also announced plans to help old autorickshaws to change over to digital meters, relatively tamper proof, after giving them reasonable time for the switch over. This was in response to complaints from commuters who felt they were being fleeced.

Bangalore has close to 85,000 autorickshaws but only 80,000 are registered, according to Transport Department records. These official records also reveal that 28,000 autorickshaws now run on LPG, which has been made compulsory as it is a non-polluting fuel. Several deadlines have been given, which have lapsed. But many three-wheelers still run on adulterated fuel.

According to three leading auto drivers' unions, there are barely 12 authorised filling stations which supply LPG to refill cylinders fitted in autorickshaws. The vehicles are required to be fitted only with authorised gas conversion kits and use the specially made gas cylinders which are smaller than those used for cooking in homes.


About the deadline being regularly extended for autorickshaws to change over to LPG, auto drivers' unions point out that the authorised kits now cost close to Rs. 8,000 while the subsidy provided by the Government is only Rs. 2,000. Even this amount is cornered by agencies fitting the gas conversion kits, they say. After Value Added Tax came into force, the cost of the kits has gone up by another Rs. 1,000.

There is also the question of insurance and many insurance companies refuse to consider autorickshaws running on LPG, they say.

Government silent on reviving BATF

Government silent on reviving BATF

The Hindu

IT industry keen on reviving `private-public partnership'

BANGALORE: The information technology (IT) majors may have called a truce and ended their threat to boycott the Bangalore IT.In, the annual event sponsored by the Government.

But underlying tensions still linger; one demand of the industry to which the Government has not responded is the revival of the Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF).

The BATF, considered a brainchild of the former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna, was a public-private initiative, which over four years monitored the functioning of the civic body and public utilities and pointed out lapses. A beneficial fallout for the citizens were projects partly funded by the IT industry.

The Nirmala Bangalore pay-and-use toilets are an example of this. Twenty-seven of them were funded by Sudha Murthy's Infosys Foundation and 52 were built by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) to high standards of cleanliness. More were to come up but suitable land was not available.

The BATF annual event became a part of the city calendar with the Bangalore Forward tagline.

The BMP, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) and the police presented "progress report"' on their performances and these were discussed in depth. Suggestion to improve their functioning was made and taken seriously. The corporates helped out by sponsoring parks, playgrounds and by beautifying barren traffic islands. The Lake Development Authority (LDA) rejuvenated some of the lakes in and around the city. Some lakes were reclaimed by the BMP and the Forest Department.

Ever since the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition came to power, voices were raised against the BATF on the grounds that the corporates were dictating terms to the Government. The IT industry cannot claim to represent all sections of Bangaloreans was another charge. Although Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh hinted at reviving the BATF, no step was taken.

The Janata Dal (S) leadership is reported to be against the idea. Its pro-rural and pro-poor slant may not fit in with a voluntary body which is largely represented by the IT and biotechnology sectors. When the boycott threat was called off, Infosys Chairman and Chief Mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy said "the public-private partnership should be resurrected so that infrastructure works can be expedited and their progress monitored." Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has expressed the same sentiment and said a partnership between the Government and industry will certainly help and refurbish Bangalore's image.

NICE, NHAI settle dispute over interchange on NH 7

NICE, NHAI settle dispute over interchange on NH 7

The Hindu

The judges in their order said: `We are happy that the parties have settled their dispute amicably.'

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday disposed of a writ appeal by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) after it was told that NICE and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had amicably resolved a dispute over the construction of an interchange/overbridge on Bangalore-Hosur Road (National Highway 7).

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice, Nauvdip Kumar Sodhi and Justice B. Padmaraj said in their order that "We are happy that the parties have settled their dispute amicably. When the matter came up for hearing, both sides agreed on most of the issues and the only dispute was whether NICE should construct the interchange/overbridge with two spans as it would cause dangerous blows to NHAI's proposed elevated highway".

The Bench said during the last course of hearing, it had referred the dispute to the head of the Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bangalore.

It said the report had been received and accepted by both NICE and NHAI.

Setting aside the order of a single-judge, the Bench directed that NICE would have to construct within nine months from today the interchange bridge over NH 7 at 16.345 km, being part of the interchange no. 1/7 at level 1.

Bank guarantee

NICE was asked to furnish within a week from today a bank guarantee of Rs. 2.5 crores to ensure compliance of time limit.

In case NICE failed to comply with the construction deadline, the amount would go to the NHAI. Besides, NICE would have to suspend work nine months from today to enable NHAI to construct the elevated highway at level 2 at chainage 16.345 km.

NICE could resume work from the stage where it was suspended after NHAI completed the elevated highway.

Elevated highway

On its part, NHAI was to construct the elevated highway at level 2 at chainage 16.34 km.

The Bench noted that Bangalore Mass Rapid Transist System had informed the NHAI about its proposal to construct an elevated track for the metro rail system from the Soap Factory to Peenya (km 8 to km 12) on NH-4. It said the parties had agreed that the metro system would necessitate changes in the alignment of the elevated highway to be constructed by NHAI.

The Bench said further configuration at the ground level would not be decided at this stage.

It said NHAI was agreeable to NICE constructing an interchange on NH 4, subject to any changes in view of the metro track.

It asked NICE to submit to NHAI for approval the detailed layout of interchange loops and drawings of interchanges.

Autos off the roads today, BMTC buses are on track

Autos off the roads today, BMTC buses are on track
The Times of India

Bangalore: Autos will be off course on Thursday, thanks to the strike call given by various auto rickshaw unions.

Autorickshaws are on strike protesting against Metro Rail and demanding more LPG stations. There are over 80,000 autos plying in the city. A spokesman said they want more facilities like LPG filling stations and proper facilities for disbursement of subsidy. They claimed that the RTOs cancelling fitness certificates for those vehicles that do not comply with the LPG switchover and imposing heavy fines was harsh and improper.

But transport in the city will not be entirely hit. Buses would be running on track and without any hindrance in services, asserted BMTC officials on Wednesday.

In fact, to cater to the expected extra rush of passengers and commuters, the BMTC has deployed 250 additional buses.

In the wake of strikes called by trade unions and autorickshaw drivers on Thursday, bus services in the city would not be affected. “We assure the people that bus services would not be affected,’’ said BMTC’s chief traffic manager, Dastagir Sharief.

The BMTC presently operates 3,859 schedules a day and operates 8.70 lakh kms on a daily basis. Anticipating that there would be massive numbers of passengers clocking in on Thursday, the schedules and trips operated is slated to increase. The service provider has appealed to the public not to cause any damage to BMTC property, to the passengers or the employees.

KSRTC which operates 2,500 buses from Bangalore was hopeful of maintaining their services. Officials said “we will play a wait and watch game. Police have been intimated to give protection to the buses.’’

Meanwhile, The Akhila Karnataka State Government Employees Federation will go ahead with their strike.

‘Administrative staff at all levels including the police commissioner and DGP’s officers will strike work along with workers of LIC, railways, airports, autorickshaws, defence and so on,’’ federation general secretary B S Sachidanand Murthy told reporters here on Wednesday.

Of the total five lakh government workers, the working strength is 4.10 lakh, of which 1.8 lakh have filed affidavits and belong to the Federation. “The state cannot de-recognise us. As per a recent Supreme Court order, any one registered under the Societies Act is constitutionally recognised,’’ Federation president U D Narasimhaiah maintained.

Traffic police eye more schools

Traffic police eye more schools
Fresh Survey To Be Done Under Safe-Route-To-School Project
The Times of India

Bangalore: Buoyed by the success of the safe-route-to-school project in 16 schools located in central areas of Bangalore, the police will now take up a fresh survey to include other schools as well.

This will mean that ban on parking of vehicles within 200 metres of the school campus will be enforced in several other schools. “We have discussed the issue with the transport department. We will conduct a survey on vehicular population in and around the remaining schools,’’ DCP traffic (east) M.A. Saleem told The Times of India.

In June this year, the education department and the traffic police enforced a ban on parking of vehicles within 200 meters near these 16 schools with the primary aim of decongesting traffic.

The decision followed a survey conducted by the traffic police in schools located in central areas of the city. The survey revealed that traffic congestion was due to a large number of parents ferrying their children in private cars and two-wheelers, which led to a clog during peak hours.
But school managements sought a month’s time to implement the dictum. Of the 16 schools, 12 schools implemented the ban on parking vehicles near schools from July 1 while the remaining four sought more time.

“Now, we have asked these four schools — National Public School, Indiranagar, St. Germaine School, St John School and St Francis Xaviers School to comply with the ban within two weeks. We have given them enough time,’’ Saleem pointed out.

While St Johns agreed to allow private vehicles in its campus, St Germaine’s has proposed to set up an additional gate, Saleem outlined.
To decongest traffic in areas where these schools are situated, the education department even directed the 16 schools to advance school timings to 8.30 am.

Road work to begin today

Road work to begin today
The Times of India

Bangalore: The BCC will take up from Thursday upgradation work on the 19 roads identified by the government and IT-BT industries. The quality of work will be monitored by a threemember panel set up by the high court.

Upgradation of the road and footpath between Indiranagar and Suranjandas Road will start from Thursday. The battered mosaic footpaths will be relaid between Brigade Road junction and Trinity junction, and from Anil Kumble Circle to Brigade Road junction.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Land Army Corporation has completed estimates of the work. Work will be divided into two components — roads and pavements. Accordingly, it has been suggested that 40 mm thickness of bituminous concrete layer be laid on the existing surface to strengthen it along with profile correction of the road, KLAC joint director S V Venkatesh Murthy said.

47% migrants to city from outside state

47% migrants to city from outside state
The Times of India

New Delhi: Bangalore’s software boom has heralded a surge in migrants heading for the city. The result: over a quarter of migrants from outside Karnataka are those who have shifted base to the city from 1996-2001, the latest five-year period for which data is available.

The city with 5.7 million population received over 7.6 lakh migrants in 1 9 9 1 - 2 0 0 1 , constituting 13.4% of its total population. Of these, about a quarter million people, a little over 47%, have come from outside Karnataka. Bangalore’s total migrant population as of 2001 was 2.09 million — a little less than the total migrant influx in Delhi or Mumbai over the past decade — of which about 39% are from outside Karnataka.

Unlike in most other metropolises, the bulk of migrants from other states — 61% — over the past 5 years has moved from other urban areas, not from the countryside. Even historically, Bangalore has tended to attract a much higher proportion of people from urban regions (59%) compared to other major cities in the country.

Not surprisingly, neighbouring TN, AP and Kerala have contributed threefourths of all migrants from outside Karnataka, though their share has declined in the past decade to about twothirds. About 0.33 million people from Tamil Nadu make up a whopping 41% of the total migrant population, though again this state’s share over the past decade had dropped to 34%.

Outside these three states, Rajasthan has surprisingly contributed the maximum migrants: about 41,000. They view Bangalore as a favourable business destination, with 12% of them moving for the same purpose, by far the highest proportion of migrants from any state citing ‘business’ as the reason.
Immigration was maledominated, with 811 females per 1,000 males. In fact, it has only declined further in recent years, and was much lower at 768 in the decade 1991-2001. Maharashtra with a sex ratio of 977 was the only state with a near-equitable gender mix among migrants to Bangalore with TN (895) being the next in line.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bangalore Outsourcing Revenue Increases, Growth Slows

Bangalore Outsourcing Revenue Increases

The Associated Press

BANGALORE, India -- India's technology hub Bangalore experienced a 20 percent growth to 90 billion rupees ($2.05 billion) in its software and back-office outsourcing exports in the April-September half-year period, an official said Wednesday.

Also, 57 foreign companies opened offices in the city and had invested a total of 9.2 billion rupees ($209 million) through Sept. 27, when the figures were calculated, B. V. Naidu, director of the federal government body Software Technology Parks of India told reporters.

"The momentum of outsourcing growth is the same as we witnessed last year and we expect it accelerate in the next two quarters," Naidu said. India's financial year starts in April.

Naidu expected full year revenues to be at least $8.7 billion, or 30 percent higher than the last year's figure of $6.7 billion.

Industry leaders had feared that Bangalore's outsourcing revenue growth may slow down due to the city's sagging infrastructure and resistance from U.S. labor groups. But the latest growth figures suggest there has been no decrease in Western outsourcing.

Western companies save costs by farming out software development, engineering design and back-office functions to India and other countries where wages are low and skilled workers are plentiful.

"I won't say our infrastructure problems have been sorted out, but we still have rich human resources and that ensures dynamic growth for us," Naidu said.

Many of the world's largest technology companies including Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Oracle Inc., and Google Inc., have their offices in Bangalore. But many complain that the city's potholed roads, congested traffic, frequent power shortage, inadequate public transport and a cramped airport threaten their growth.

Labor groups in the U.S. and Europe have protested the practice of outsourcing, claiming it leads to job losses. But such protests have eased in recent months.

India's revenue from Western outsourcing was $17.2 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2005. It expects a growth of at least 30 percent in the current year.

Karnataka Govt backs IT stand on merit, downplays language protest

'Jobs for locals' demand: Karnataka backs IT industry

Indo Asian News Service

Bangalore, Sep 28 (IANS) The Karnataka government Wednesday reiterated that it considered Kannada activists' campaign for employing more locals in the IT sector as a law and order problem rather than a socio-economic issue.

'We endorse the stand of the IT companies that recruitment should be strictly on merit and not on any other consideration. We consider the agitation spearheaded by Kannada activists seeking more jobs for locals as a law and order issue,' the state's IT secretary M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda told reporters here.

Gowda's clarification comes in the wake of a protest demonstration held by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (Karnataka Protection Forum) at the Infosys campus Tuesday demanding more jobs for the local youth.

'We are not in favour of raking up the controversy after the state government clarified its position on the issue at a meeting with IT business leaders recently. We understand the IT sector's compulsions in having a meritorious recruitment policy, as it operates on a global scale in a competitive environment,' Gowda pointed out.

The Vedike has also threatened to disrupt the upcoming Bangalore 2005 event next month if its demand for employing more Kannadigas by the IT sector was not met.

'Though we do not have the exact data on the employment profile of the IT sector, we estimate about 40-50 per cent of the engineers employed in the IT companies across the state are locals, especially Kannadigas,' claimed Software Technology Parks of India director B.V. Naidu.

Vedike president A. Narayan Gowda argued that, the private sector, including the IT industry, is legally bound to employ more locals on priority in accordance with an official committee report on job reservations.

'If the IT firms want to recruit only on the basis of merit, we are ready to provide as many locals with the required qualification,' Narayan Gowda added.

Indira Gandhi park all set to go ‘solar’

Indira Gandhi park all set to go ‘solar’
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Starting next month, visitors to the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain park will find themselves being educated. Along with fun and frolic, the park will ensure that children leave the park more knowledgeable.

A first of its kind in Bangalore, the park will be packed with equipment that runs on solar energy. The park is spread over 17 acres of land and will include a solar car, solar bus, windmill and solar lights. The entire garden is lit with solar streetlights.

The solar water pumping system and wind water mill will be used to water plants. Pollution free batteries will operate the bus and car.

The park also boasts a solar hut that has received the National Award for its design and architecture during 2004-05. The speciality of the hut is its bamboo structure and it works on 100 per cent solar power.

The hut comprising a kitchen, living room, entertainment provisions, information quiz and Internet facilities will provide renewable energy product details. One can get information on these energies from the Internet and the display boards. Many interesting systems have been specially designed for children. The swimming pool, energy drum, slip and cycle are some of them.

In all the three systems, power is generated when used and speed is displayed to educate children. To escape the hustle and bustle of city, there is no better way than a visit to this park. It also has a musical fountain that is one of the most advanced fountains providing versatile programmes in Indian and Western themes.

A number of fountains patterns each with three distinct heights burst into formations and create an illusion of a folk or group dance. KREDL managing director B Shivalingai said that the aim of the park is to educate masses on renewable energy.

“Most of them are unaware of its usage. Solar application is a new subject for many. Students can also get a detailed idea on solar energy and their operations,” he added. The land comes under Horticulture Department and is funded by KREDL and MNES.

“The major problem is scarcity of water. We have drilled two borewells for this purpose but in vain. A letter has been written to BDA. There are plans to utilise the remaining seven acres of land of the garden if the water problem is solved,” deputy director M Venugopal said.

The park will be open to the public in October. According to sources, the authorities plan to formally inaugurate it by the President of India.

BDA clarifies on CDP

BDA clarifies on CDP
Vijay Times

THE Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has clarified that the Master Plan - 2015, which was kept for public display was only a draft document. However , while formulating the document, BDA had co-ordinated with different organisations and has considered expert opinions based on satellite images and GIS.

The clarification was made in an official release following reports of some public discontentment with regard to land use, widening of roads, etc., All these aspects will be considered while fine tuning the Master Plan-2015 into its final shape, the release added

Tree surgery, the new way to prevent tree falling

T ree surgery, the new way to prevent tree falling
Vijay Times

ARE you aware of the fact that there are 1,854 different species of plants in the Lalbagh Botanical Garden? A lot of these plants are dying down due to age and lack of maintenance. In an attempt to save these species, Lalbagh has initiated the technique of tree surgery . The process involves removal of the dry and broken branches of the trees.

"This surgery is helpful in increasing the longevity of plants and canopy management as well," said the deputy director of Lalbagh, M Jagdish. "At times, we need to remove branches from the lower parts of the trees for the purpose of landscaping and from upper parts of the trees for proper solar radiation," he added.

If any tree is suffering from fungal infection or is infected by cavity , this modern treatment offers a solution to that. As Jagdish points out such wounds lead to further injury resulting in the death of the tree. T o prevent this, the decayed portions of the plants are scooped out, insecticides or fungicides are sprayed as required and then this portion of the tree is cemented. "This also strengthens the trees and avoids further falling during natural calamities," said Jagdish.

This programme was first initiated in Lalbagh a month back and now it’s being practiced at Cubbon park and Indira Gandhi Park as well. A tree surgery squad has been formed by the Horticulture Department with a team of five member gardeners, their equipments being a power operated saw , ladders and telescopic pruner .

T ree surgery is the practice of repairing damaged trees to restore their appearance and to arrest disease. Injured or diseased par ts are first removed (even small cavities in the bark may harbour injurious fungi and insects), the sur faces are treated with antiseptics and healing aids and the cavity may be filled with cement or some special material, e.g., composition filler or elastic cement. Professional tree surgeons commonly perform many tasks in addition to surgery that are difficult for the individual gardener e.g., large-scale pruning and providing proper suppor t when needed.

No better way to fix a leak?

Photo courtesy of Vijay Times

BCC, Police Relocate Eight Bus Stands To Ease Chaos

Authorities on action mode
BCC, Police Relocate Eight Bus Stands To Ease Chaos
The Times of India

Bangalore: Swinging into action swiftly as an off-shoot of the Times Round Table held on Saturday, the BCC and police have relocated eight bus stands in the city.

On Residency Road, of the three bus stands slated to be shifted, the one in front of St Joseph’s Commerce College has been relocated to Commissariat Road, between Central Mall and Garuda Mall.

Ashoknagar police said this was a long-pending demand because after the road was made one-way, the bus stand was to the right of the road which was technically incorrect. It is now situated on the left of the road.

On Tuesday, the other bus stands that were shifted include ones at Koramangala I Block Jakkasandra, Chennamma Vrutha on Ring Road near the Deve Gowda petrol bunk, Airport Road near the water tank, Jayanagar I Block, Yeshwanthpur near the market and at Rajajinagar ESI area.

All these bus stands have been relocated to 150 to 200 yards from their original location. This, say police, is to prevent pile-up of traffic.

Plan of action today: Seven more bus stands are slated for relocation on Wednesday. These include bus stands on Bellary Road, near Hebbal flyover, Sarjapur Road, Sanjaynagar Cross road, Sanjaynagar-Bellary Road junction, Old Madras Road near Benniganahalli and Residency Road near Devatha Plaza.

Mall opens entire parking complex

Mall opens entire parking complex
The Times of India

A section of the multi-level pay-and park complex at Garuda Mall has opened. Taking a cue from the Times Round Table where parking at the mall and the lack of it was debated in a big way, the stake-holders at the mall decided to open up the entire parking complex.

The complex has parking capacity of over 900 vehicles. Uday Garudachar, managing director, Maverick Holdings and Investments Pvt Ltd, which owns Garuda Mall, said: “There are two basements, a multi-level car park and a surface car park, all of which are open to the public. People working on Magrath Road, executives whose offices are nearby, can use this.’’

Expectant moms dread these roads

Expectant moms dread these roads
Living In JP Nagar VI Phase A Nightmare For Residents TOI
The Times of India

Bangalore: For expectant moms Pritha S and Kamalamma, that monthly visit to the gynaecologist seems worse than labour. Courtesy, bumpy rides in JP Nagar VI Phase.

Pritha gingerly walks to the main road to get into her car. Kamalamma does not bother to go to the doctor at all. A third expectant mom, Sneha Kamath, wrote to The Times of India stating she was under “house arrest’’...

A month ago, CM N Dharam Singh on a visit issued on-the-spot orders to fix roads and drainage. But alas, no action. “Everyone has come and made promises: Kanakapura MP Tejaswini Sriramesh, Uttarahalli MLA R Ashok, the CM,’’ rued Abhay Reddy Layout resident Aluraiah.

The CM’s office said: “It is CMC work. We expect them to do their duty. We will remind them.’’

Residents continue to suffer. The area is a garbage pit with stagnant water and mosquitoes. Children suffer the worst: Most fall ill frequently and miss school.

Like Harsha, who attended school for only 53 days last year. “He is down with fever, rash or diarrhoea for a week and in recovery in the next,’’ his mother Mahadevamma Kala said.

Residents claim they complained frequently, but no one responded. Municipal administration director B P Kaniram said: “After the CM visited the area, BCC and BDA have jointly decided to develop that 1 km stretch.’’

But the rest of the area? “Until monsoon is over, we cannot do anything. There is no point in laying roads till the Greater Bangalore Water Supply and Sanitation Project is finished,’’ Kaniram added.

Kannada activists storm Infosys

Kannada activists storm Infosys
Deccan Herald

The KRV activists have demanded priority in jobs for Kannadigas and implementation of the Sarojini Mahishi report within a week.

Nearly 1,000 activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) on Tuesday staged a protest in front of the Infosys office in the Electronics City on Hosur Road, demanding priority for Kannadigas in appointments to IT companies and implementation of the Sarojini Mahishi Report.

The protest led to a traffic jam on Hosur road for nearly half an hour from 10:30 am.

After submitting a memorandum to an Infosys representative, the Vedike’s State President, Mr A Narayan Gowda, threatened to disrupt the Bangalore scheduled for next month if the Mahishi recommendations on job reservation for Kannadigas in the State IT companies were not implemented within a week.

He said support for the agitation would be sought from all pro-Kannada organisations in the State.

Mr Gowda said if IT companies thought they were not getting the required number of meritorious Kannadigas, the KRV would take the responsibility of providing them.

“It was unacceptable if such excuses were given to recruit Kannadigas to minor posts in transport, maintenance, stores, security departments and canteens,” Mr Gowda declared. At present, the Infosys canteen contract has been given to people from Andhra Pradesh and the security contract to north Indians which mirrors the discriminatory attitude of the company, he pointed out.

Hebbagodi Rural Police led by District Superintendent of Police Srinivasan rushed to the spot and stopped the protestors from entering the Infosys premises.

The police were also assisted by a 50-odd strong private security force deployed by the Infosys.

However, no arrests were made and no complaint has been registered, Assistant Sub Inspector Munikrishnappa said.

Hush-hush affair

A senior Infosys executive, on condition of anonymity, said the company had decided to remain silent on the issue. However, he termed the demonstration as “sad”.

“Infosys, which has created thousands of jobs for the State is being victimised by political elements for their own narrow benefits. Mr Narayana Murthy’s view that IT companies hire and will hire on the basis of merit is just and fair. And the entire industry agrees to it. Everyone who loves Karnataka and is concerned about its future must condemn such acts of vandalism,” the executive added.


You can’t expect us to react to each and every protest on the issue of reservation or about boycotting We will express our views tomorrow.


Gowda, IT Secretary

Most of the IT companies follow a recruitment policy which is usually fair, transparent and based on merit. We need people who are technically-trained, so reservation of jobs would not serve the company’s purpose”.

Deepak Sood,

Head of CII

I don’t think it is right on the part of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike to demand reservation for Kannadigas. We will not agree to it, as our companies are talent-oriented and knowledge-based ones. Moreover, it is obvious that Karnataka has the required talent pool.

Ananth Koppar,

BCIC President

Kannadigas need not be given any reservation per se. If they are talented, irrespective of whether they are Kannadigas or not, they will be given the job based on their expertise. In my company, a majority of my employees are Kannadigas.

Raj Bhasin, Chairperson,

IT panel of FKCCI

Bangalore-Mysore four-lane highway to be ready soon

Bangalore-Mysore four-lane highway to be ready soon

The Hindu

Work to be completed by September 30

# Deadline for completion to be met
# Work on nine bridges to be completed by December
# Work going on round the clock on some stretches
# Widened highway will cut travel time between cities to two hours
# Funds sought for repair of roads power lines damaged by rain

BANGALORE: Work on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, which is being made a four-lane road, will be completed by September 30, a week ahead of the Dasara festival.

Minister for Public Works and Energy H.D. Revanna told presspersons here on Tuesday that the highway will be ready by the deadline specified by the Government to the contractor concerned. Nine major bridges, including those across the Shimsha and the Cauvery, however, will be ready only by December.

He said that on certain stretches of the road, particularly in the vicinity of Kengeri and Maddur, work has been going on round the clock for nearly a week. Despite the deadline given for completing work on the highway, the quality of work has not suffered. The commissioning of the widened highway is expected to reduce the travelling time between the two cities to about two hours.

Second phase

Detailed project reports for undertaking the second phase of the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project are ready, and the proposal will be placed before the Cabinet shortly its approval, Mr. Revanna said. The proposal will then be sent to the Union Government, which will forward it to the World Bank. The bank is expected to extend financial assistance for the Rs. 3,000-crore project. Nearly 3,000 km of State highways will be upgraded under the scheme.

Under the first phase of the State Highways Improvement Project, the World Bank extended assistance of Rs. 2,030 crores to upgrade 2,300 km. The project was implemented when Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh was the Public Works Minister in the S.M. Krishna government. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by August 2006.

Mr. Revanna said the recent heavy rain in several districts of the State has damaged roads. He has asked Mr. Singh and Finance Minister P.G.R. Sindhia for special grants for the repair of such roads. The rainfall has also damaged electricity substations and power lines. While the Public Works Department has sought a grant of Rs. 209 crores, Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. has sought Rs. 93 crores. The Finance Minister wanted details of the repairs proposed to be undertaken, and the Public Works and Energy departments are compiling the details, he said.

Mr. Revanna said he has constituted several teams of retired Energy Department engineers to assist the Government in preparing detailed project reports aimed at upgrading substations and power lines.

Although there are 600 substations in the State, nearly 100 of them are unable to handle heavy loads. Thus, despite a policy decision to ensure continuous power supply in rural areas, it could not be implemented, he said.

Coalition Govt goes slow on helmet rule

Coalition Govt goes slow on helmet rule
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: With a number of political developments taking centre-stage in the state politics, the Government seem to have lost interest in implementing the much talked about helmet rule in Karnataka.

Following High Court directions to make helmets compulsory for both rider and pillion the government issued notification a few months ago and invited public opinion.

A number of responses, both in favour and against it were received and no progress has been made after that.

“The issue is under consideration,'' Home and Transport Department Secretary Sriram Reddy told this website’s newspaper on Tuesday.

In other words, the Government has not taken any decision on it, so far. Sources said the coalition government is unlikely to go ahead with the move as it will antagonise large section of people, who are against the rule.

While, some supported the move, others either totally opposed it or wanted the Government to exempt pillion riders from wearing helmet.

“As the public opinion on the issue is divided the Government may not go ahead and take any decision on it,'' sources said.

Apparently, the helmet rule was removed during H D Deve Gowda's tenure as Chief Minister and now his party, JD (S) is a part of the coalition Government.

“As per section 129 of Motor Vehicle Act wearing of helmet is compulsory for two-wheeler rider, but during Gowda's tenure the Government exempted it”.

“Now it has to justify its re-introduction,'' sources said. While, studies conducted by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) suggested implementation of the rule as majority of fatalities involving two-wheeler riders were due to head injuries, motorists are against it.

They want the Government to create awareness about it and not make it mandatory.

“It should not be made compulsory,'' said State Government and Government Concern's Drivers Federation, President, M N Venugopal.

However, one good thing about the entire debate is that many people have brought helmets and have even started using them.

Protest rally at Infosys demanding jobs for locals

Protest rally at Infosys demanding jobs for locals
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: About 200 Kannada activists held a protest Tuesday at Infosys' campus in the electronics city here demanding more jobs for local youths.

Activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (Karnataka Protection Forum), a fringe chauvinistic outfit, raised slogans against Infosys chairman N R Narayana Murthy and director T V Mohandas Pai for not employing enough Kannadigas in operations across the state.

"Even contracts for catering, security and transport services are given to outsiders. At least, these contracts should be given to Kannadigas," KPF president T A Narayana Gowda told reporters during the protest, held to draw the company's attention.

The IT bellwether has software development centres in Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore in Karnataka, where about half of its 40,000 employees work.

The protest was held more than a week after the state government withdrew its call to the IT industry to employing more locals, as a quid pro quo to address their concerns, including infrastructure development in Bangalore.

Infosys officials declined to comment on the protest.

At an earlier meeting between the state government and IT honchos on improving the city's infrastructure, the latter had clarified their recruitment policy was based on merit, as the industry operated on a global scale in a competitive environment.

"IT firms should not only encourage the use of Kannada in their offices, but protect our culture and heritage instead of aping the West," Gowda pointed out.

The hour-long protest was held peacefully under tight security, with scores of policemen present at the Infosys corporate office on the outskirts of the city.

Captains of the IT sector claim for every software or hardware engineer employed, four-to-five indirect jobs are created in terms of support facilities and related services.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Toyota to set up second car plant in Bangalore

Toyota plans Rs 1,500 cr spread in India

Japan's biggest carmaker Toyota Motor Corp is considering an investment of Rs 1,500 crore (Rs 15 billion) for expanding operations in India, sources in the company and Karnataka Government said on Tuesday.

Toyota, which operates in India through Toyota Kirloskar Motor, its joint venture with the Kirloskar Group, has submitted to the Karnataka Government for approval a proposal to set up its second car manufacturing plant.

The proposal is slated to come up before the high-level committee meeting, to be chaired by Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, in Bangalore on October 6.

A TKM delegation led by its managing director Atsushi Toyoshima met the Chief Minister and Industries Minister P G R Sindhia on Tuesday and told them about the proposed expansion plan.

Toyoshima told Singh and Sindhia that some other states are also in the running for Toyota investment and requested them not to make the proposed investment figure public. A formal announcement on investment plans for India is likely to be made from the company's headquarters in Japan, sources said.

TKM started production in India in December 1999 and has so far invested Rs 1,500 crore in its plant at Bidadi on the outskirts of Bangalore. It currently has a capacity of producing 60,000 units annually.

Toyoshima had said recently that without a compact (small) car in its stable, it's impossible to attain a substantial presence in India. The company currently commands a five per cent market share of the one million-a-year passenger car market in this country.

Toyota has made no secret of its ambition to capture 10 per cent marketshare in India by 2010 and 15 per cent by 2015. The company has projected that the Indian passenger car market would double every five years and by 2015 it would be four million units annually.

Toyota's Innova and Corolla are manufactured here, while Camry and Land Cruiser Prado are being offered in India as completely built units.
"We want to be present in all segments (in India) from large to mini in future," Toyoshima had said.