Saturday, March 31, 2007

Civic works get lion’s share

ivic works get lion’s share

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has yet again crafted a fine blueprint to upgrade the city’s infrastructure and has allocated a major share of its annual budget — a whopping Rs 1,060 crore plus Rs 995 crore — for civic works.
The projects are very similar to those in the past: flyovers, underpasses, development of roads, roadwidening, pavements, sky-walks. But this time, a new project with a fancy name — a tunnel between Minsk Square and BDA junction — takes the cake with the government announcing Rs 50 crore to make this dream project a reality. An underpass at the Cauvery junction is also in the pipeline to ensure a traffic-free corridor between Minsk Square and Hebbal flyover.
Grade-separators are passe, elevated roads are in. The BBMP is planning to construct elevated roads: Shoolay Circle to Silk Board junction at a cost of Rs 5 crore; from Yeshwantpur to NHAI corridor on Tumkur Road for Rs 10 crore. Two grade separators that were proposed last year — one at R V Teachers College and the other at Tagore Circle and approved under JNURM — are expected to be completed by 2008.
BBMP’s new areas will also get an infrastructure bonanza. Underpasses at four locations are being planned this year, cutting across the Ring Road at Nagawara, Hennur-Banaswadi, Puttenahalli and Kadrenahalli.
Another project that raised many eyebrows — the Core Ring Road — has also found mention in the budget. The project, that envisages a signal-free corridor of 30 km on the existing road alignment in the heart of the city, will be taken up under the Public-Private-Partnership initiative.
Road widening, which the BBMP has been campaigning for, got a further push with authorities planning to widen all major roads in the city. A detailed project report is being prepared for funding under JNURM.
Over 80 roads across 144 km of Bangalore will be taken up under the TDR scheme, for which Rs 50 crore has been allocated.
The government has approved land for four roads — Seshadri Road, Palace Road, Race Course Road and Kasturba Road — and work is expected to be completed in four months. However, another four roads — Bellary Road, Hosur Road, Hosur Lashkar Road and Nrupathunga Road — are yet to see some action.
While four road underbridges are being completed by BBMP, another nine RUBs/ROBs will be taken up this year — Bapujinagar-Pipeline Road, Byappanahalli, Kodigehalli and MES Jalahalli. Authorities have also conducted preliminary studies for KR Puram, Srirampuram, Kasturinagar-Banaswadi, Gangondanahalli and Binnypet
New grade separators: 16th main, BTM Layout, Ring Road, Kanakapura Road, Banashankari Temple and Ring Road, Maharani’s College, Khoday’s Circle, Mysore Road elevated corridor, Cauvery Theatre junction, Chennama Circle.
Three ongoing projects — Malleswaram, Gaali Anjaneya Temple and Yeshwantpur Circle — will be completed.
BBMP will spend another Rs 995 crore for civil works. This includes Rs 105 crore for road development under KMRP, black topping and white topping, side-walks.
34 new automated pedestrian skywalks, said to be the first such project in India.

Bangalore once boasted of 1,500 lakes, but the number now has shrunk to a few hundreds. Encroachments and pollution are to blame for this. Several water bodies in the seven CMCs and one TMC are staring at the same fate. With new areas coming under the BBMP’s fold, I hope the green cover there will be intact. The use of non-potable water for all BBMP parks is a novel idea. Though rainwater harvesting is mandatory, nobody follows it. Hence, the move to create awareness on this is welcome. — Mythili G Nirvan, CEO, Prachar Integrated Communications Consultants

All of us pay road tax worth tens of thousands of rupees, but what facilities do we get in return? Vehicles are parked on roads and footpaths are used for driving! The budget promises some action on road-widening, I hope it’s implemented, and within deadline. Another major proposal is a comprehensive parking policy, specially the PPP model. Hope all the proposals are translated into action. — Yashwanth Rai, general manger, Mandovi Motors

We are way behind many countries like the UK and US. When I was in the UK, I used to play basketball, baseball and cricket in the neighbourhood. The playgrounds there are sprawling. Everything is secure and user-friendly; there are nets, grills and playing courts for each individual game, and each locality has its own play area. Here, it is the opposite. Though there are many playgrounds, facilities are missing and they are unhygienic. — Partheek, VII std student, National Hill View Public School

Getting information from a corporation office has always been painful. Thanks to the RTI ACT, we have seen a sea change in the corporation’s functioning. I am happy this budget has laid emphasis on strengthening the RTI Cell. This also provides for improving efficiency of the administration at the zonal and local level. Hope the image of BBMP will change with the new initiatives. — Sumitha Prashanth, manager, Sun Microsystems

It is heartening to see that after much delay, a comprehensive parking policy is being put in place this year. There should be a serious effort to enforce a transparent policy with participation of private companies. The off-road car-parking initiatives should be extended to other areas. I am relieved that multi-level car parking will be taken up at various locations. The process of raising monies required for this should be taken up at the earliest. There should be some thought on levying heavy cess on builders in congested areas and this should be utilised for improving water and sewerage connections on these roads. The only disheartening aspect is the metered on-road-parking concept since this eats away precious roadspace.
— Ashok Kheny, managing director, NICE Ltd

I am happy to see the series of underpasses and grade separators being planned. Unlike the previous BMP budgets where only announcements were made, I hope this time the BBMP will seriously try and complete all these projects. Importance should be given to raise the Rs 669 crore allocated for these projects. The government should be persuaded to allocate/lend the necessary funds.
— Manjunath Naikar, NICE spokesperson

Road projects boon for techies

Road projects boon for techies
Saturday March 31 2007 01:25 IST

BANGALORE: The BBMP Budget has proposed many road infrastructure projects befitting a new age IT city.

The elevated inner core ring road along with elevated expressway from Shooley Circle to Silk Board and another elevated expressway from Yeshwantpur to expressway on Tumkur Road would ease the congestion to a great extent.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has taken up an elevated expressway from Silk Board to Electronics City and BBMP's expressway would join it to Shooley Circle, just at the start of Brigade road. The techies would be able to zip to the office from central parts of the city.

Another bottleneck is being tackled by NHAI on Tumkur Road where they are building an expressway and this would be connected by BBMP elevated expressway from Yeshwantpur.

The dream of a congestion-free travel in city would be completed with widening of 85 major roads and construction of underpasses at all road junctions.

Hassle-free travel to ITPL, four-lane road inaugurated

Hassle-free travel to ITPL, four-lane road inaugurated
Saturday March 31 2007 01:20 IST

BANGALORE: The trouble of commuters travelling to ITPL will now hopefully reduce, as the four-lane road between HAL corporate office and Kundalahalli was thrown open for public by the Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday.

He also inaugurated the left carriage way and adjoining service road along Outer Ring Road at the intersection of ORR and Banaswadi-Ramamurthynagar Road. Both the projects were executed by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). On the occasion, the Chief Minister also inaugurated the first phase of Railway Over Bridge, being executed by the South Western Railways at Marathahalli.

Speaking on the occasion, Kumaraswamy said that the ongoing underpass constructions including the one at Vijayanagar will be completed on time.

"Work on Outer Peripheral Ring Road will begin in next two or three months. There are already more than five international companies in race to acquire the tender," he said.

He added that the state government was dedicated to provide the best of basic infrastructure facilities to its citizens. He also lauded the efforts of civic agencies for completing projects on time.

The 5-km long road connects HAL Airport from Electronics City, Whitefield and ITPL. Due to concentration of software companies towards Whitefield and Iblur, the traffic on the road had increased manifold and as such, the capacity of the road was reduced resulting in congestion, adding more to travel time.

The stretch was taken over by the BDA from the PWD department and the work of improvements to road portion was taken at the first instance.

Widening to cater 4-lane dual carriage way including strengthening and providing side drains have been done.

Palike Tower to house all its offices

Palike Tower to house all its offices
Saturday March 31 2007 01:22 IST

BANGALORE: The Greater Bangalore Corporation would soon have a multi-storeyed tower housing all its offices on its NR square premises.

The building to be called Palike Tower was being contemplated for the past three years and the present budget proposes to take it up under a joint venture.

Commissioner K Jairaj said that the tower would be built by a developer at no cost to BBMP which would get about 30 years lease of a portion of the building. There won't be any sharing of ownership like in Divyashree Chambers.

The budget also proposed to take up reconstruction of flats for economically weaker sections in Eijipura under a joint venture along with a commercial complex.

Palike would also set up an Institute of Urban Management on the premises of Urban Health Research Centre in Vyalikaval.

A big birthday bash for famed Lalbagh

A big birthday bash for famed Lalbagh

Staff Reporter

The 150-year-old garden is set to get a facelift

VISUAL TREAT: A file picture of the Annual Independence Day Horticultural Show at the Glass House in Lalbagh.

BANGALORE: One of the lung spaces of the city and a jogger's paradise, the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, is all set to get a major facelift in its sesquicentennial with plans to introduce facility for angling, eco-cycles, planting of new tree species, renovation of its aquarium and Japanese garden. A must-go destination, Lalbagh is one of the popular attractions for tourists in Bangalore.

To mark the 150 years of Lalbagh, the Horticulture Department would plant 150 species of trees, which would be decided by a committee comprising botanists and horticulturists. Besides, insectivorous plants would be introduced in the famed botanical gardens.

"A list of around 700 species would be drawn and the committee would decide on 150 species, which could be both endemic and exotic. Some of the species that Lalbagh has lost over the years would also be replaced," said Horticulture Director G.K. Vasanthkumar.

He said the department had requested the Postal Department to release a stamp on Lalbagh to mark the occasion.

On an average, he said, Lalbagh received 8,000 tourists on weekdays while the number would reach around 30,000 on weekends and holidays, he added.

Among others planned to celebrate 150 years of the gardens include introduction of angling, eco-cycles, anthurium park, renovation of aquarium and the Japanese style of gardens.

He said, "Nearly Rs. 30 lakh is required to renovate the aquarium and Rs. 35 lakh for Japanese garden, while Rs. 14 lakh would be spent on insectivorous plants. We will shortly seek approval for all the programmes."

The decision to introduce eco-cycles, he said, had been taken following the success of eco-cars, which had been well accepted by the visitors. With the introduction of eco-cycles, visitors could go around the 240-acre botanical garden on the cycles.

"Though divergent views had emerged on introduction of angling in the Lalbagh Lake, we would go ahead with it," he said.

Lalbagh to be plastic-free

Lalbagh to be plastic-free

Staff Reporter

# `Green Police' to monitor the visitors
# Offenders to be fined from April 15

BANGALORE: Beware of discarding plastics inside the famed Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

For, the "Green Police" will be on their job tracking down the culprits polluting the greenery.

Come April 1, plastic items will not be allowed inside the garden following a drive launched by the Horticulture Department in association with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). Guards appointed by the board would be monitoring the visitors against the use of plastics inside the garden. KSPCB Chairman H.C. Sharatchandra said that the board had formed rules with regard to restrictions on the use of plastics in Lalbagh and Cubbon Park in 2002 itself, and that the rule would be enforced strictly from April 1.

He said, "We will create awareness about the rule during the first fortnight, and will start imposing fine on offenders from April 15." Starting from April 1, schoolchildren and NCC cadets would be clearing plastic items disposed of at Lalbagh, besides creating awareness on the ill effects of using plastics.

The range of fine varies between Rs. 50 and Rs. 500. Horticulture Director G.K. Vasanthkumar said, "Plastic items would be seized at the entrance and the visitors would be handed over a jute bag by charging Rs. 5. Fines would be imposed on those who manage to sneak them inside and pollute the environs." The problem had become acute as nearly 8,000 tourists visited the garden daily, besides around 5,000 walkers. On weekends or holidays, the number of tourists would go up to 30,000, and indiscriminate disposal of plastic items had become a problem. He said the department had 60 people for cleaning the garden and 20 security guards, each work in three shifts.

Nandi Hills

A similar drive will be launched in the Nandi Hills by the Horticulture Department and the KSPCB. There are plans to declare the 3,000-acre area as "Horticulture Heritage" area.

t’ll cost Bangaloreans to be Greater

t’ll cost Bangaloreans to be Greater
DH News Service Bangalore:
The “proud” citizens of Bruhat Bangalore will have to dig deeper into their pockets in the coming months, with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) proposing to impose many fresh cesses and fees, revise all user charges and re-introduce the pay-and-park system in its budget 2007-08.

Bangaloreans will be shelling out more in five different ways: storm water drain cess (10 per cent of total property tax amount), solid waste management cess (charge on garbage collection from every household), infrastructure cess (charge on vehicle owners), impact fee (on owners of high-rise complexes) and revision of user charges on all services rendered by BBMP like trade license, birth and death certificate, khatha certificate, building plan sanctions and others.

Over and above, vehicle owners will again have to pay for parking. The BBMP proposes to re-introduce pay-and-park in 30 main roads, including M G Road. Here metered parking will be introduced on the lines of Brigade Road and Commercial Street. There will not be any change in the parking system on other roads.

Though the BBMP has not yet worked out the exact amount to be collected under these proposed levies, including parking, it has set a target to collect Rs 562 crore through non-tax efforts. While the Rs 3,312 crore big money budget, presented on Friday by Special Commissioner Gaurav Gupta in the absence of an elected body, dealt a shock to the citizens in the form of new levies, it has also been a huge disappointment for citizens of newly-added areas (erstwhile seven CMCs, one TMC and 110 villages) as not much importance is given for basic amenities of asphalted road and drinking water –over which citizens had great expectations.

Property tax

The BBMP has allocated Rs 10 crore to each of the new zones of newly-added areas to take up fresh works, Rs 42 crore for drinking water supply, Rs 40 crores for rejuvenation of 14 lakes and parks and others. On property tax, the BBMP has decided to continue withthe annual rateable value in old BMP areas and the Capital Value System in newly-added areas. “Introduction of a uniform property tax system will take some time. We need to do a lot of ground work for this,” BBMP Commissioner K Jairaj later told reporters.

It has set a target of Rs 610 crore from property tax, which is the main source of revenue, against 2006-07’s target of Rs 380 crore. In

Continued on Page 9 Continued from Page 1

other words, BBMP plans to increase its property tax revenue by Rs 230 crore. For this, it proposes an extensive survey of properties that are off the tax net, introduction of mobile checking squads and use of GIS.

The budget has rolled out a Rs 669-crore worth infrastructure projects aimed at easing mounting traffic problem in core areas of Bangalore, thanks to Centre-sponsored Jawahar Lal National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

It proposes to take up seven new grade separator projects, eight bridges and subways, 34 automated skywalks, widening of four main congested roads, construction of an elevated inner core ring road and a tunnel road between Minsk Square and the BDA junction.

This apart, it proposes construction of elevated roads over stormwater dra-ins. The budget will shortly be forwarded to the State Government for its approval.


* Rs 669 crore for infrastructure

* Seven new grade separators

* Eight bridges & under passes

* 34 automated skywalks

* Widening of 4 main congested roads

* Construction of Elevated Inner Core Ring Road

* Tunnel road between Minsk Square and BDA junction

* Construction of elevated road over storm water drains

* 14 lakes to be developed

* Storm water drain cess

* Solid waste management cess

* Infrastructure cess

* Impact fee

* Revision of all user charges

* Re-introduction of pay-and-park system

BBMP 2007-08 budget highlights

* Total outlay Rs 3,312 crores.

* Thrust on revenue mobilisation.

* Proposes revision of user charges for all services.

* Proposes to impose storm water drain cess

(10 per cent of property tax)

* Proposes solid waste management cess and

infrastructure cess.

* Proposes impact fee on high rise complexes.

* Proposed pay-and-park on 30 roads through metered parking system.

* 14 lakes to be developed.

* Use of recycled water in all parks and gardens.

* Rs 669 crore for roads and road related infrastructure, including new grade separators, ROBs and RUBs.

* Proposes elevated roads over storm water drains.

* Development of market place.

Motorists get ‘lots’ to gripe about

Motorists get ‘lots’ to gripe about
DH News Service Bangalore:
The motorist-denizens of Bangalore have long been chafing at the lack of parking facilities in the City.

The motorist-denizens of Bangalore have long been chafing at the lack of parking facilities in the City. Now they may get more space to park their vehicles, courtesy of BBMP’s new budget proposals. But is it going to be more than what they bargained for?

Because, from now on, City motorists will have to pony up hefty parking fees, if the BBMP gets the government’s nod for reintroducing the pay & park system.

In the budget proposals for 2007-08, the Palike has expressed its intention of introducing metered parking for both two- and four-wheelers in 30 major roads, including MG Road, Residency Road and Church Street. This has been planned following the successful implementation of metered parking at Brigade Road and Commercial Street, according BBMP commissioner K Jairaj. On these two roads, the metered parking charge is Rs 10 per hour and a four-wheeler is allowed to be parked for a maximum of two hours. The metered system is going to be run on the private-public partnership model. Mr Jairaj, while declining to disclose the parking fee to be collected in 30 roads, said the roads would be selected in consultation with the traffic police.

Pvt plots as lots

In a major move, the Palike has decided to utilise private vacant plots to provide parking.

If the owners of vacant property come forward to provide space for parking, then the Palike would given them incentive in the form of exempting them from paying property tax on their vacant land.

Mr Jairaj said the Palike had identified over 2,500 such vacant sites adjacent to arterial and sub-arterial roads across the City. If the owners are willing to co-operate with the Palike, then congestion on roads can be tackled.

The Palike has also proposed automatic car parking at Gandhinagar. Under this advanced system, soon after the owner drops the car at the entry point it will be lifted by machines and parked at a computer-allotted lot. The vehicle owner will take back the vehicle on production of the receipt.

“If the system works out successfully, Bangalore will become the first city to have such an advanced parking system in South India,” Mr Jairaj said. In addition, the Palike has plans to provide off-road car parking facility at a number of locations, including Ulsoor and Koramangala, as well as multi-level ramped car parks in some select locations.

Recycled water for parks: BBMP promise

Recycled water for parks: BBMP promise
DH News Service Bangalore:
If the budget proposals of the BBMP are fulfilled, eco-lovers will have more than a reason to smile.

If the budget proposals of the BBMP are fulfilled, eco-lovers will have more than a reason to smile.

In this year’s budget, the BBMP has proposed to use only recycled water for its parks, gardens, medians, circles and islands, besides adopting rain water harvesting techniques at these places.

As a first step, it will use recycled water in the Deer Park and the Kempambudhi Lake Park. It will enter into an MOU with BWSSB for this purpose.

It has also proposed to set up small treatment plants in parks under the JNNURM. This is not all! Rain water harvesting, which is presently mandatory in areas in the jurisdiction of the erstwhile BMP, will now be extended to all the BBMP areas. This means all new buildings must adopt rain water harvesting.

Under JNNURM, the BBMP has proposed to rejuvenate 14 lakes at a total cost of Rs 40 crore. It also plans to take over all major tanks and lakes from public agencies such as the Minor Irrigation and the Lake Development Authority.

The long-pending development of Freedom Park at Old Central Jail premises has also been proposed.


*Rachenahalli lake

*Puttenahalli lake

*Allalsandra lake

*Jakkur lake

*Kaudenahalli lake

*Chinnappanahalli lake

*Kundenahalli lake


*Hosakerehalli lake

*Uttarahalli lake

*8Dasarahalli lake

*Nayandahalli lake

*Malgal lake

*Deepanjali lake

4 major projects in City thrown open to public

4 major projects in City thrown open to public
DH News Service Bangalore:

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy inaugurated four major infrastructure projects of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), in the City on Friday .

The projects, completed at a combined cost of Rs 118 crore, are: the upgraded Airport Road stretch between HAL and Kundalahalli Cross, connecting Varthur, Whitefield, ITPL and other areas, a Railway Over Bridge (ROB) at Marathahalli with approach roads, an underpass to the Outer Ring Road (ORR) at the Banaswadi-Ramamurthynagar junction and the upgraded 43-km stretch on the ORR (constructed at a cost of Rs 80 crore). The 5-km Airport Road stretch from HAL to Kundalahalli Cross was taken over by the BDA from the State PWD. It has been widened to facilitate a four-lane dual carriageway and side drains. The BDA had started reconstruction of the existing two-lane ROB at Marathahalli following recommendations of the Empowered Committee on Infrastructure.

While the South Western Railway executed the ROB work, the approach road work was taken up by the BDA. After the second phase, the ROB will have a six-lane carriageway as well as a six-lane approach road.

The BDA had taken up construction of the underpass upto ORR at the Banaswadi-Ramamurthynagar Junction, costing Rs 14.23 crore. The work has now been entrusted to the Nagarjuna Construction Company based on a tender. While work on the left carriageway and the adjoining service road is complete, the entire work on the underpass is scheduled to be complete by July 15.

CM’s assurance

After inaugurating the projects, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that some international companies had come forward to take up work on the BDA’s upcoming Peripheral Ring Road (PRR). The Chief Minister said all the infrastructure requirements of the City would be met in the next two to three years.


*Stretch between HAL and Kundalahalli Cross: Upgraded

*ROB at Marathahalli with approach roads: Open

*Underpass to ORR at Banaswadi-Ramamurthynagar Junction: Open

*43-km stretch on ORR: Upgraded

Friday, March 30, 2007

Walk to save Cubbon Park

Hasiru Usiru is organising a walk to save Cubbon park on saturday 31 st, March at 9 am in the morning. We shall walk up to Rajbhavan. Environmentalists, Tree lovers & concerned people from all walks of life will participate in the protest against construction of an underground parking structure behind high court. 40 Trees will be cut in Cubbon Park to make way for this project which has not got environmental clearance. This is another encroachment waiting to happen in the already encroached Cubbon Park(almost one-third of this lung space is encroached) . Division benches in different districts will come up shortly which will ease traffic but the main problem being outsiders vehicles parked at high court.Whatever the reasons,the present careless attitude of the judiciary has driven environmentalists away from seeking justice & voice public concern.They seem to be here for blindly clearing way for the so called "Developement" of the state which is heading to ecological disaster. Please bring friends and make the walk a success.

- Seshadri, Hasiru Usiru

City to get more parking lots

City to get more parking lots
The BBMP has plans to provide parking lots in several localities to ease congestion
The Times of India

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has plans to construct ramp type parking lots in several locations across the city. The project, funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), is expected to cost over Rs 20 crores. If all goes well, the parking lots should be functional by December, according to the BBMP Joint Commissioner Harsh Gupta.
While four of these will be basement level parking areas that will be developed below existing playgrounds, the rest will be ground-level parking lots. Basement level parking lots are likely to come up below the Kittur Rani Chennamma playground near Ashoka Pillar in Jayanagar, the P&T playground near 5th Block, Jayanagar, Malleswaram Playground and the Akkithimmanahalli playground (not hockey playground) and at the six-acre area in Chikkalalbagh near Majestic. These playgrounds happen to be close to major shopping areas and busy localities, and are therefore being put to good use. What's more, they are located away from residential areas too, making it convenient to have parking lots here.
There are also plans to provide exclusive parking lots at the high-tension line in Koramanagala that could accommodate over 800 cars, and near Johnson market where two basement structures would come up to accommodate over 400 cars. Russel Market, Malleswaram Market and the Seshadripuram Market would also be get parking lots to decongest these areas and make shopping a pleasant experience. Noise pollution free buses will help carry passengers to and from the shopping sites.
Apart from this, there are also plans to give the Jayanagar 4th Block Complex a facelift. The Puttanna Theatre building will be reconstructed to have more storeys and will be converted into an art theatre to promote Kannada films, according to Harsh Gupta.

Another dimension to the IT city

Another dimension to the IT city
These belts, dedicated to specific sectors, will add another economic dimension to the city’s development
The Times of India

Even as Bangalore changes gears to wear the Greater look, new concepts and dimensions promise to create fresh facets of growth and development. One such concept is the 'corridor' that came into existence almost by default as the IT industry concentrated in the axis from ITPL at Whitefield to Sarjapur Road and Hosur Road. The IT corridor came into being and heralded a new thrust in related development. The making of the corridor saw far-reaching effect on realty with prices touching new highs almost racing with the glass facades springing up, to redefine the city's status as a global destination.
A corridor in effect is an opportunity area - for job seekers, entrepreneurs looking at the new emerging markets, corporates and property investors. It holds opportunities for all who can find leverage in the sector. From restaurateurs to retailers, the pie is big enough to fuel an entire section of the city's teeming millions. Following the success of the IT corridor and its draw globally, civic agencies and planners have found new concepts to give Bangalore another edge - knowledge corridors and integrated townships. This time the corridors will happen not by default, but by design.
"A knowledge corridor means all you need for sustainable development. It includes civic and social infrastructure. It will have office spaces, hospitals, schools - all that you need to acquire and experience knowledge. The Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) will integrate all these elements", says Ashok Kheny, Managing Director, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise.
The concept of knowledge corridor is attractive to both entrepreneurs and residents alike as it offers opportunities to both. This project will have five integrated townships. In addition a state-of-the-art convention center and film studio will spell economic opportunity. The film studio, spread over 300 acres will create employment opportunities for around 10,000 people. It will mean economic development as it has the potential to churn out 300 movies a year and provide studio and back-end technical support to production houses abroad. This will translate to related segments finding potential in the region. "The entire belt will offer employment to a million people", says Kheny. It is this aspect of the BMIC that holds the prospects of the city changing another economic gear.
The State's IT Secretary, M N Vidyashankar describes a knowledge corridor as "plug, play, learn and live" concept. "We have a 10 acre corridor dedicated to IT being developed near Bidadi. Here it is mandatory for those buying office space to also have residential options. This way, it would mean integrated development. It will help ease traffic congestion in the city", Vidyashankar explains.
These corridors mean opportunities for real estate investors. Apart from plug and play facilities they involve housing and retail spaces. With real estate mutual funds and increasing investments in the property sector, the developer community will see more demand and potential for novel concepts here. The walk to work concept, for example, can be a reality in these corridors where planned and integrated development is aimed at decongestion and environment-friendly localities.
"The Bidadi corridor is around half an hour from the city. We are also planning four more corridors at Nelamangala, Kanakapura, Harohalli and Hoskote, surrounding the city. These will have around 50,000 acres for development. The sectors we will open these corridors to will depend on the demand", says Vidyashankar. Such localities bring some respite to a city such as Bangalore as they offer large parcels of land in close proximity. This translates to lesser number of vehicles on the city's roads in spite of an increasing number of people living in it.
"Development such as the film center also holds indirect economic opportunity in tourism, catering and services", adds Kheny. A corridor dedicated to one sector entails concentration of players from that industry and related segments coming together on a single geographic platform. It will make it easier for civic agencies to bring the sort of infrastructure support that the sector needs more effectively to them for the growth and development of business. The business opportunities thrown open consequently make the city an economic hub.
Knowledge corridors could be the next gear Bangalore changes to speed up its way to being a preferred global destination.

Power crisis deepens in Karnataka

Power crisis deepens in Karnataka
Business Standard

The power situation in Karnataka has turned from bad to worse with the state failing to meet the growing demand for energy resulting in load-shedding.

Even Bangalore has not been spared with unscheduled power cuts for 3-4 hours becoming the order of the day.

While state authorities cite inadequate supply as the reason for power cuts, experts blame the government for poor management of the energy resources.

The power consumption has reached 130 million units per day as against an availability of 117 million units per day. The state is busy shopping for power from states producing surplus electricity but in vain.

“This scenario was foreseen and the state should have managed its resources properly. Resorting to load-shedding will not solve the problem. The state has to set its priorities right,” said M G Prabhakar, chairman, energy committee, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI).

The annual supply of power in Karnataka is 26,000 million units. Of this, industrial sector accounts for 7,318 million units while the agriculture sector (irrigation pumpsets) consumes close to 10,000 million units per year.

Under the previous Congress regime (when S M Krishna was the chief minister), the power supply to irrigation pumpsets was limited to 8,000 million units with loadshedding in the rural areas. It balanced the supply and demand.

However, the present government, pursuing the populist measure, announced additional power supply to the farmers, surpassing the limit of 8,000 million units. The power subsidy bill has reached Rs 1,800 crore per year.

“All that the state has to do is efficiently manage the electricity available. Consumers in urban areas have to impose certain restrictions. At the same time, the agriculture sector cannot be neglected. Some of the irrigation pumpsets are inefficient. These have to be set right,” Prabhakar said.

Last year, the state had sufficient monsoon rains and most of the reservoirs with hydel projects were full.

“Now, the state is claiming that the storage of water in reservoirs is poor. It shows that the state has not managed the resources properly,” he pointed out.

16 theme business ventures planned

16 theme business ventures planned
The Hindu Business Line

Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project

Bangalore March 29 A host of 16 theme business propositions is going to dot the intersections of the tolled Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project, according to its officials.

The interests at the Bangalore end range from a Hollywood-calibre film city; a banking and financial hub; large retail venture or hypermarket; a corporate hub for infotech companies; convention centre; to a biotechnology and healthcare entity, even bus and truck terminals, according to Mr Ashok Kheny, Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises that is implementing the BMICP.

Eight of them would come up at points along the 41-km semicircular peripheral road that hugs Bangalore. They would be up at 7-9-km intervals where the peripheral road cuts existing city trunk routes.

The peripheral road stretches from NH4 at Tumkur Road towards the West, up to NH7 at Hosur Road towards the east. Since its launch in June 2006, 24 km of the four-lane road from Hosur Road to Mysore Road is already in use free of charge. NICE currently awaits land release from the State Government for all but one of the city intersections.

A consortium led by the Kalyani group is promoting the Rs 2,250-crore road-cum-townships project.

Each anchor project would come up on an intersection space averaging 240 acres; it may each involve an investment of Rs 1,000-1,200 crore by NICE on infrastructure alone. "We have not frozen the locations of the other (six) hubs yet. NICE will develop them as fully or part-owned ventures," said Mr Manjunath Nayaker, spokesman for the company. "These nodes are going to be developed as the future growth hubs of Bangalore."

The larger idea is to ensure a consistent traffic along the elevated toll road when it becomes operational.

NICE roped in the machine tool industry to set up the Rs 250-crore Bangalore International Exhibition Centre on its land near NH4. The film city is the next to come up on available land at the Sompura junction close to where the 111-km expressway begins.

"We will provide the amenities and value additions, including water, power from our generation project, connectivity, even piped gas. There will be a residential component," Mr Nayaker said.

Litigations with environmentalists and delays by the State Government pushed the project beyond the year 2000, they said. So far, 7,000 acres of land has been transferred and 13,000 acres are due.

Digital film city at Sompura

A digitally-kitted-out film city on 300 acres at Sompura is meant to rival the best of Hollywood or British studios. It will offer `the works' at a win-win price to attract film-makers from across the world, according to Mr Ashok Kheny, US-based Managing Director of NICE.

The company is talking to overseas studios for a tie-up and to promote the venture. Also in the making are a film institute and technical training centre.

The venture will include 7-star, 5-star and 3-star hotels for the visiting film fraternity - and to be built by those familiar with the film industry's needs.

The 20 sound and stage studios will be fashioned after Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount, or the British Pinewood. Its computerised lighting system, live editing table, cameras, sound recording, cranes and computer graphics should draw makers of TV shows and ad films.

The studio, Mr Kheny said, will create jobs for over 10,000 skilled and non-skilled technicians while encouraging regional films.

City-M’lore train by April?

City-M’lore train by April?
From Ronald Anil Fernandes
DH News Service Mangalore:
The Mangalore-Bangalore passenger train service via Hassan is likely to start by end of April or beginning of May, putting an end to endless promises by people’s representatives, innumerable protests and submission of memorandums.

The Mangalore-Bangalore service was discontinued in September 1996 for gauge conversion.

The work was to be completed in a year!

The Railway Board sanctioned the gauge conversion work between Hassan and Mangalore in 1994-95. In 1996, the government decided to convert metre gauge line into broad gauge, which led to suspension of cargo and passenger services.

Though the work was completed in 2005, the passenger train is yet to take off.

SWR General Manager Triloknath Perti had said in November 2005 the service would start by January 2006, while Union Minister for State for Railways R Velu promised (in 2005) the Hassan-Mangalore railway line would be completed before the commencement of Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola in February 2006.

Though the Mangalore-Hassan stretch was commissioned for freight traffic on May 5, 2006, Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS) had approve it. “On getting CRS clearance, these services will commence,” a senior official said.“CRS P K Sen is on leave till April 9; he may inspect the line any time thereafter.”

The Railways will run two trains on Mangalore-Bangalore (Yeshwanthpur) line. One train will run via Arsikere, while the other will reach Yeshwanthpur via Mysore.

Distance reduced

Currently, the distance from Mangalore to Chennai on Southern Railway route via Palakkad is 900 km and the running time 18 hours.

But the distance between these cities via Bangalore is 725 km and the running time just under 13 hours.

4 BDA projects to open today

4 BDA projects to open today
DH News Service Bangalore:
Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) will on Friday throw open four major infrastructure projects to the public. The underpass at the junction of Outer Ring Road and Banaswadi-Ramamurthynagar Road will be one of the projects to be inaugurated on Friday.

Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) will on Friday throw open four major infrastructure projects to the public. The underpass at the junction of Outer Ring Road and Banaswadi-Ramamurthynagar Road will be one of the projects to be inaugurated on Friday.

While the left carriageway and the adjoining service road has been completed, the right carriageway and the service road towards Banaswadi will be completed by July 15, according to BDA projections. The estimated cost of the underpass is around Rs 14.23 crore. The service roads on both sides of the underpass are wide.

A Rail Over Bridge (ROB) at Marathahalli with underpasses will also be thrown open to public on Friday. Further, an upgraded stretch on Airport Road (up to Kundanahalli) and an upgraded 43-km stretch on ORR at a cost of Rs 80 crore will also be open to traffic from Friday. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy will formally inaugurate the projects.

BBMP gives the go-by to green law

BBMP gives the go-by to green law
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has given clearance for construction of a mall and an apartment complex, despite the fact that the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has initiated criminal proceedings against the builders for violation of environmental law.

Recently, in reply to a starred question by MLA Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, the government said that 19 major projects on the city outskirts have not obtained consent certificates from Karnataka State Pollution Control Board as required by law.

The Board has filed criminal cases on 17 of them but has failed to stop construction of the said projects.

Two projects, Maitri Mall in Malleswaram by Hamara Shelters and another by Fire Bricks and Potteries on Tumkur Road, are sanctioned by Palike. BBMP building bylaw demand that clearances from various departments must be produced before commencement of construction but Palike has issued commencement certificates overlooking it.

When this website’s newspaper asked him to explain the lapse, BBMP joint director, town planning S S Topagi said that he allowed the construction as he had faith in the builders.

„I am sure the builders would produce the clearance before the buildings are occupied. The builders have invested huge money and they are responsible people,’’ he said.

Can Palike withdraw commencement certificates as KSPCB has filed criminal charges on the builders under Water Act? „KSPCB has not written to me in this regard,’’ said Topagi.

Other projects facing criminal charges under Water Act include Purva Belmont on Kanakapura Road, HM World City in Uttarahalli, Sri Prakruthi in Byatarayanapura, Athashri Paranjape Scheme in Whitefield, SJR Brooklyn at KR Puram, Purva Elita at Kothanur, Purva Sunshine on Sarjapura Road, VR Eco Projects in Varthur, Ittnia Anu in Whitefield, KHB Surya City near Chandapura, Janapriya Nivas in Chikkalasandra;

Bharat Enclave on Magadi Main Road, Janapriya Heights on Hesaraghatta Road, Diamond Enclave on Hesaraghatta Road, Bindu Anmol on Nagarabhavi Main Road, Ajmera Housing Project on Bannerghatta road and Fire Bricks and Potteries Project on Tumkur Road.

Metro rail may run till ITPL

Metro rail may run till ITPL
The Hindu

Kumaraswamy says it will be done in the second phase of implementation

# The Trinity Circle-ITPL line may pass through Airport Road
# International bids for monorail to be opened on April 4

BANGALORE: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday announced in the Legislative Council that the Government was considering extending the proposed Bangalore Metro Rail project from the Trinity Junction to the ITPL via the Airport Road and from Central Silk Board to Hebbal via Cantonment.

The Chief Minister made this statement while replying to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Arvind Limbavali during Question Hour.

Sources in the Government told The Hindu that the extension of the metro rail on these routes might be considered in the second phase of implementation of the project. The Chief Minister announced that the global tenders invited from the consultancy firms with respect to the proposed 51-km monorail project to be implemented in Bangalore would be opened on April 4. The tenders had been invited from the consultancy firms to suggest the appropriate technical and financial model to be adopted for the implementation of the monorail project, which would be taken up in four corridors.

Monorail routes

The four corridors identified for the implementation the mono rail project are Kanakapura Road to Mysore Road along the ring road and Kathriguppa to the National College; Bannerghatta National Park to Adugodi along Bannerghatta Road; Tumkur Road to Bellary Road; and Mysore Road to Tumkur Road along Ring Road and Magadi Road to Tollgate.

Replying to Congress member L. Hanumanthaiah, the Chief Minister said the Bangalore Development Authority would take up a scheme on priority to the siteless families soon.

BDA’s new projects to be opened from Friday

BDA’s new projects to be opened from Friday
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA)’s infrastructure works on Airport Road from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to Kundalahalli Cross and Outer Ring Road (ORR) Underpass at Ramamurthy Nagar will be thrown open to public from March 30.

The Airport Road from HAL to Kundalahalli cross is of 5.13 Km in length, with a chainage of 3.65 km.

The ORR crosses this road with an underpass and at chainage 4.03 km.

This construction was taken up due to the abnormal increase in vehicular movement and it will also give connectivity to HAL Airport from Electronics City and Whitefield. As per recent survey of traffic the intensity of traffic during peak hours is 6,850 pcu/hour.

Thus in order to ease the movement of traffic and to achieve uninterrupted flow of traffic along the Outer Ring Road (ORR), the BDA had taken up construction of an Underpass along ORR at this intersection.

BDA has invested is Rs 1746.29 lakhs to construct the three lane bidirectional road with service lanes of 408.55 metre to ease the traffic movement on the Outer Ring Road, according to a release.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Commuters puncture a few BMTC egos

Commuters puncture a few BMTC egos
Deccan Herald

At the first ‘grievance meet’ organised by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, restive commuters gave BMTC officials a piece of their collective mind -- so much so, at one point, an official was interrupted in the middle ...

At the first ‘grievance meet’ organised by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, restive commuters gave BMTC officials a piece of their collective mind -- so much so, at one point, an official was interrupted in the middle of his speech so that the commuters could really sock it to them.

The Wednesday meet, scheduled from 4 pm to 6.30, actually began at 4.30 pm. But when the commuters found to their disbelief that the BMTC officials were just reeling off their official addresses for a whole hour, they began shouting themselves hoarse, asking if officials had any intention of starting the ‘grievance meet’; one elderly man walked up on stage and started reading out his complaint.

The officials in attendance included Commuter Comfort Task Force (CCTF) Chairman Somashekar, Chief Traffic Manager (Opn) Dastagir Sharieff and CCTF Vice- President Jayshree Ravindra.

‘Cribs’ galore

Complaints poured in -- ranging from the blare of music on buses to the non-plying of some buses on a particular route. Buses stopping on the middle of the road, those making do with only one driver who doubles as conductor, etc, were among the other grievances.

Kalyan Nagar resident Ayappa said the number of buses had been reduced in many areas as buses plying two shifts are now “getting away with one”. BMTC should reconsider their plan to acquire 1000 new Volvo buses, which are not used to full capacity anyway, and instead opt for more ordinary buses, he said. Also, the BMTC needs to update its website.

There were a raft of suggestions as well. Narasimha Murthy of Old Madras Road, Ulsoor, said “every time the city is tense, buses are burned”. BMTC, he said, should put up boards at stops “indicating the cost of each bus to make the mobs realise how much of taxpayers money they are burning up”.

Residents’ welfare associations were also well-represented at the meet. Banashankari III Block Association president G Kampli said BTS buses are always overloaded, inconveniencing commuters. Worse, many a time the boards show one destination in the front of the bus and another at the back.

Mr Sharieff said there are plans to hold such meetings every month.

Breathe easy, new projects are here

Breathe easy, new projects are here
The Times of India

Bangalore: Left carriageway of the underpass at Ramamurthynagar on Outer Ring Road, widened road between HAL corporate office to Kundalahalli junction and the left carriageway of the road over-bridge at Marathahalli will be thrown open for traffic on Friday. Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy will inaugurate the projects.
After opening the left carriageway, the BDA will take up work on the right carriageway. Similarly, the right carriageway work of Marathahalli over-bridge will commence after Friday.
The road from HAL to Kundalahalli cross is 5.13 km and at Marathahalli, Bangalore-Salem railway line crosses this road with a road overbridge. This road also gives connectivity to Airport from Electronic City and Whitefield. As such, the existing carriageway, which is undivided at some stretches, is not sufficient to cater even to the present day traffic. Hence the BDA decided to take up its widening at a cost of Rs 6.33 crore. It is now a 4-lane divided carriageway where pavements have been strengthened, parking space created on both sides of the road in Marathahalli limits, lane marking, road traffic signs and road furniture have been put.
The existing road over-bridge accommodates two-lane traffic of Airport Road and it was decided to build a new over-bridge with six-lane carriageway. Railways are implementing the project as a deposit contribution work.
The Ramamurthynagar underpass is a three-lane bi-directional carriageway and this is being implemented at a cost of Rs 17.46 crore.

Pay & park to return

Pay & park to return
Metered Parking For Four-Wheelers On 30 City Roads Soon
The TImes of India

Bangalore: Say goodbye to pesky parking attendants and contractors out to make a fast buck. Metered parking for four-wheelers is here to stay. The BBMP will soon introduce a payand-park scheme on 30 city roads and it’ll will be announced in its budget on Friday.
After the success of metered parking introduced on Brigade Road and Commercial Street, the civic authorities held meetings with the traffic police and decided to introduce it for four-wheelers on roads in commercial areas. Two-wheelers are not part of this scheme, BBMP special commissioner Gaurav Gupta told The Times of India. These roads include M G Road, Church Street, Residency Road, St Mark’s Road and Cunningham Road in the central business district and some major roads in Indiranagar, Malleswaram, and Jayanagar.
The scheme was opposed and scrapped in 2005 after much debate and deliberation as vehicle owners faced harassment from parking attendant during the tenure of former Mayor R Narayanaswamy.
This time around, the authorities want to ensure that the vehicle owners are spared from the same grind and are bringing in metered parking.
The authorities will collect Rs 20 per hour for four-wheelers and thereafter the vehicle users have to take fresh coupons from the automated parking meters, failing which the vehicles will be towed to the jurisdictional police station, Gupta said. “We have conducted a feasibility study. While metered parking will be put up through traders’ association on some roads, tenders will be invited to introduce the scheme on other roads on a BOT basis,” Gupta said.
Scrapping of the pay-and-park scheme by the BBMP was celebrated by Bangaloreans. The then BMP would mop up Rs 6 crore annually from parking contractors. The first-ever automated car parking was introduced on Brigade Road by the Brigade’s Shop and Establishments Association. Ten machines were installed at a cost of around Rs 50 lakh on a BOT basis.
Another highlight of the budget is the floating of municipal bonds for creation of infrastructure. The municipal bonds will be tax-free, as announced in the Union budget. The funds raised will be invested in building roads, water supply and drainage facilities. This is the second time that the civic body is floating bonds. In 1998, bonds were floated to raise Rs 100 crore which was over-subscribed and fetched Rs 125 crore. This was invested in roads works. This time around, the BBMP’s bond venture will be on a larger scale.
Riding on the success of metered parking on Brigade Road and Commercial Street, BBMP plans to introduce it on MG Road, St Marks Road and other key roads only for four-wheelers
The authorities collect Rs 20 per hour for four-wheelers and thereafter vehicle owners have to buy fresh coupons from automated parking meters

Metro Rail civil works to start on April 15; traffic diversions likely

Metro Rail civil works to start on April 15; traffic diversions likely
DH News Service Bangalore:
The civil work on the proposed Metro Rail is likely to begin on April 15. The work is planned to be taken up between Anil Kumble Circle and Brigade Road junction to begin with --

The civil work on the proposed Metro Rail is likely to begin on April 15. The work is planned to be taken up between Anil Kumble Circle and Brigade Road junction to begin with -- as part of the 7-km stretch of Namma Metro from Chinnaswamy Stadium to Byappanahalli.

According to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director V Madhu, BMRC is now in talks with the traffic police to finalise the traffic diversion plan on this stretch (also called Reach-1). “The police have shown the green signal to start the work on April 15 on MG Road,” he added.

The contractor, Navayuga Constructions, plans to occupy 4.75 meters of MG Road to carry out the work.

The main portion of the work (drilling and erecting piers) will be carried out on the elevated walking path along the road.

For the remaining portion of Reach-1, diversion plans are being finalised.

The stretch between Brigade Road junction and Trinity Circle will be crucial as the metro alignment will pass right through the middle of the existing road.

On delay in starting the work despite the contract being awarded two months ago, Mr Madhu said the contractor had sought some time to mobilise machinery and put up the casting yard (coming up on a piece of defence land off Old Madras Road), even as BMRC was working on the traffic plan.


Meanwhile, the work of fixing compensation to owners of over 600 properties which will be acquired for the metro, is almost complete and BMRC is likely to pay it up by next month-end.

Both the P S S Thomas Committee (which is working out a ‘fair’ marking value of the private land to be acquired) and a Public Works Department Committee (which is working out the actual value of all structures) are likely to submit their reports in a week’s time.

Once these reports are approved by the BMRC board, steps will be taken to distribute the compensation, Mr Madhu said.

Is end of traffic nightmare neigh?

Is end of traffic nightmare neigh?
Deccan Herald

By July next year, the long Hosur Road grind could well become a cruise for motorists. Promoters of the upcoming elevated expressway between Central Silk Board Junction and Electronic City will install a Highway Traffic Management System (HTMS) to ensure a foolproof safety mechanism on the 9-km road.

The Rs 765-crore expressway is a joint venture of Soma Enterprise Ltd., Nagarjuna Constructions Co. and Maytas Infra Pvt Ltd.

The HTMS will comprise round-the-clock monitoring of traffic on the expressway and provide advance information to motorists. “An emergency response system is being set up in case of accidents or breakdowns, to minimise traffic disruption on the highway,” Soma Enterprise Director Ankineedu Maganti told Deccan Herald.

The HTMS will be monitored from two “administrative camps”, to be set up at Electronic City and Attibele. The system consists of emergency call boxes, mobile radios, variable message signs, metrological sensors, CCTV surveillance at major junctions, highway patrols, ambulances and tow-away vehicles.

After the 9-km elevated stretch ends at Electronic City, the expressway will continue as a 15-km at-grade highway till the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu boundary. About 25 per cent of the work on the expressway, set for a July 2008 opening, has been completed.

‘To last 100 years’

“We have evaluated the project capacity till the end of our concession period of 20 years. For this period, we believe that the capacity being created is sufficient, based on projected growth rates. The design of the structure, however, is for a life of over 100 years,” Mr Maganti said.

The traffic in the first year of its operation is expected to be 167,000 passenger car units (PCU) a day at Silk Board Junction and 110,000 PCU at Electronic City Junction.

The expressway will be an access-controlled, elevated four-lane road from Silk Board Junction to Electronic City. Motorists using the highways will be subjected to a toll.

The expected tariffs at the elevated highway and at-grade highway, respectively, are: Two-wheelers (Rs 15; nil), cars (Rs 25; Rs 15), mini-buses and LCVs (Rs 35; Rs 25), buses and trucks (Rs 70; Rs 50) and heavy construction machinery (Rs 140; Rs 105).

The toll plazas will have features including electronic toll collection and contact-less magnetic cards. “We will have day passes as well as monthly passes. The day passes will be charged at 1.5 times the single-use fee, and the monthly passes at 30 times the single-use fee,” Mr Maganti said.

State’s power woes worsen

State’s power woes worsen
Deccan Herald

Power problem has aggravated in Bangalore City and elsewhere in the State. This time around not only LT consumers (domestic consumers) in urban areas but also HT consumers are feeling the heat...

Power problem has aggravated in Bangalore City and elsewhere in the State. This time around not only LT consumers (domestic consumers) in urban areas but also HT consumers are feeling the heat.

According to sources in the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL), the utility has been restricting power supply to the HT consumers to tide over the shortage during peak hours.

“For nearly six days now, we have been stopping power supply to the HT consumers in some areas from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. The HT consumers have been asked to switch over to their captive utilities to meet their requirements during these hours,” they revealed.

In Bangalore City, the major areas where the HT consumers have been affected are Adugodi, Koramangala, Jayanagar and Peenya Industrial Area.

The sources claimed that the stoppage of power supply to the HT consumers meant that the same is being used to meet the requirement of domestic consumers.

“Now that the exam season has begun and cricket matches are also underway, we want to ensure as regular a supply as possible to domestic consumers. So we are doing our best to manage the situation”, they added.

Barter with Punjab

Meanwhile, KPTCL Managing Director Bharat Lal Meena told Deccan Herald that to meet the demand, the utility has decided to purchase 200 MW power from Punjab under barter system.

“We have already finalised the deal with that state. Power from Punjab will be available during night hours from tonight itself,” he said.

Under the barter system, Punjab which does not need much power now will supply it to Karnataka. In turn, the State will have to return the same from June onwards when farmers in Punjab will take up paddy cultivation.

Mysore hit

Unscheduled load-shedding has been announced in Mysore City where the disruptions are lasting for unscheduled periods of time between 6 am and 10 am and 6 pm and 10 pm, reports DHNS from Mysore.

However, neither the hours of disruption nor the areas to be affected have been announced.

Shutdown in M’lore

The Mangalore Electricity Supply Company has also been forced to shut down power supply for about an hour everyday in the City to meet the increasing demand, a DHNS report from Mangalore said quoting Mescom MD S Sumanth.

Sumanth blamed the load-shedding on the lack of sub-stations in Mangalore City. “Unless the five proposed power stations are set up, the problem will only worsen next year,” he warned.

In the meantime, Deccan Herald office here was flooded with calls from readers complaining of irregular power supply in their areas.

A retired naval officer from Richmond Town, T R Mudgal, complained that since March 22, there was no power supply in his area for at least three hours everyday. “Even today (Wednesday) we didn’t have power for 2 hours and 20 minutes. Is this not regular load-shedding?” he wondered.

Mr Gopi, a resident of Marathalli, said there was no power supply in his locality between 3 pm to 6 pm on Wednesday. “For the last two weeks, we have been facing the same problem,” he added.

Ms Shashikala Shanmuganathan, a resident of Richmond Town, stated that students have been badly affected due to the irregular power supply. “Today (Wednesday) we did not have power from 11 am to 12 noon and again between 2:30 pm and 4 pm. This has been the routine for the last 15 days. Yesterday (Tuesday) we did not have power supply between 7 pm and 9 pm. How will students prepare for exams if there is power cut in the evenings?” she asked.

Mr Balakrishnan, who looks after a furniture factory in Bommasandra, said production at his factory has been affected due to the unscheduled power cuts. “Our factory doesn’t have alternative sources of power. We can somehow manage if Bescom authorities announce in advance the load-shedding schedule,” he opined.

When contacted, Bescom authorities admitted that there was a serious problem in Richmond Town area. “This area is fed by power from Austin Town sub-station. The lines in the Austin Town area are heavily overloaded. Hence we are resorting to load-shedding during the peak hours,” they added.

The KPTCL is understood to have already taken up system improvement works in Austin Town area. “Once this is completed in a couple of months, there will be no problem in Richmond Town area,” the authorities informed.


(From all sources):

115 million units

Average peak-hour

demand per day

135 million units

Average daily shortfall: 20 million units

Power from Punjab:

200 MW

BBMP lists 25 cases of illegal change in land use in Sadashivanagar

BBMP lists 25 cases of illegal change in land use in Sadashivanagar
The Hindu

A former Advocate-General's house rented out to a software firm

# One of the listed buildings occupied by Union Ministry of Law and Justice
# BBMP says the petitioners were served notice and given time to respond

BANGALORE: Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) on Tuesday brought to the notice of the Karnataka High Court a list of 25 buildings in Sadashivanagar, which were cases of illegal change in land use.

The counsel for BBMP said the residence of the former Advocate-General and senior advocate B.T. Parthasarthy figured in the list.

He said Mr. Parthasarthy had let out his residence to a software firm, which employed 15 persons.

The list contained names of 24 others persons whose residences had been let out to software firms, banks, marketing firms, realtors, textile and wine shops, laboratories, schools, provision stores and chartered accountancy firms.

One of the buildings in Sadashivanagar has been occupied by Union Ministry of Law and Justice and owner of the building had been issued notice.

Taking exception to such change in land use, the BBMP said any change in land use would have to be done as per the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act and the building by-laws.

It said Section 308 of the Act did not allow providing personal hearing to the petitioners and cited several Supreme Court judgments in support.

The BBMP said ends of natural justice would be deemed to have been met if the petitioners were afforded an opportunity of being heard.

Notices served

In this case, notices were served on the petitioners and adequate time given to them to reply. Moreover, the notices and orders passed subsequently could be appealed against.

Several tenants, including two accountancy firms and a software firm, submitted to the court that they had vacated the premises in Sadashivanagar and that their petitions be dismissed as withdrawn.

While recording their submissions, Justice Rammohan Reddy, who is hearing the petitions, sought to know from the BMP on whether it could afford time to other tenants to vacate the premises.

He posed the question to the BBMP after a senior advocate submitted that his client, a leading accountancy firm, wanted 18 months to vacate the premises.

Another petitioner too sought time. In both the cases, the court noted that the owners of the buildings had not been arrayed as parties.

The court directed the owners of the buildings to be impleaded as parties and adjourned hearing on the petitions.

BDA allocates Rs. 750 cr. for Peripheral Ring Road

BDA allocates Rs. 750 cr. for Peripheral Ring Road

The Hindu

Rs. 600 crore allocated for 3 lakh houses for the poor

# Impact fee, JNNURM grant are major sources of revenue
# Rs. 500 crore expected from auctioning of sites

BANGALORE: For people suffering from the crumbling infrastructure of Bangalore city, there is a ray of hope. The Bangalore Development Authority has allocated a major portion of its resources in its forthcoming budget to improve the quality of life in the city.

For 2007-08, the BDA in its budget proposes to spend around Rs. 2,450 crore, sources in the Finance Department of the BDA told The Hindu on Wednesday. The proposed budget had been sent to the Government for approval.

"The budget has been prepared keeping in mind the urban policy of the Government," sources said.

Peripheral Ring Road, BDA's prestigious project, has been allocated Rs. 750 crore in the budget, for land acquisition. This 118-km road, which will connect all the six national highways running through the city and Mysore Road and Magadi Road, will require 3,532 acres of land. Housing for the Economically Weaker Sections, an oft-repeated promise of the State Government, gets Rs. 600 crore in the BDA's budget. Two lakh houses will be constructed by the BDA on the eastern and western parts of the city.

The BDA has set aside about Rs. 640 crore for acquiring lands around Bangalore.

BDA Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda told The Hindu that the lands were being acquired for the formation of new layouts. He refused to state the number of layouts being formed or the amount of land being acquired, stating that the details would be made public only after the approval of the Master Plan 2015.

Major projects, including construction of underpasses at Ramamurthy Nagar and Magadi Road, have been allocated about Rs. 200 crore. Completing civil works at layouts developed by BDA, such as Banashankari Layout, HSR Layout, HRBR Layout and Anjanapura will get priority, said sources.

Another highlight of the budget were the tree parks that the BDA proposed to create in its new extensions. "We have started with an initial amount of Rs. 5 crore. We will increase it if need be," sources said. Major sources of revenue for the BDA are auction of lands recovered from encroachment and stray sites; levying of `impact fee' and funds from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The BDA plans to raise Rs. 600 crore by levying impact fees on property owners around the peripheral ring road as they would benefit from it in terms of access and increase in property value. The authority has pinned its hopes on the soaring market rates and expects at least Rs. 500 crore from auctioning of sites.

It hopes to get Rs. 800 crore as grants from the Centre and State as part of JNNURM for the peripheral ring road. Property tax and other revenue receipts are expected to generate about Rs. 120 crore.

Over 11,800 acres to be acquired for industrial use

Over 11,800 acres to be acquired for industrial use
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The Karnataka government will acquire over 11,800 acres of land in and around the city for the development of industries, Large and Medium Scale Industries Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu informed the legislative council on Wednesday.

Replying to a query from Congress member Dr L Hanumanthaiah during question hour, he said the state government, through its nodal agency Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB), had acquired 38,274 acres of land for the purpose and had taken steps to acquire another 11,889 acres in and around the city.

Naidu said the kiadb had initiated steps to acquire land in Kanakapura, Nelamangala, Malur, Doddaballapur, Tumkur, Anekal and neighbouring areas to develop hardware, apparel, aerospace and aircraft component units and for other industrial purposes.

He assured to take care of the interests of the dwellers before acquiring their land for industrial purposes.

There is still hope for Bangalore traffic

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Soon, aerotropolis to take shape in city

Soon, aerotropolis to take shape in city
International Airport To Have Malls, Hotels, Business Centres
The TImes of INdia

Bangalore: Soon, Bangalore will be in the same league as Denver, Washington, Dallas, Pittsburgh and London. Bangalore International Airport will go ‘aerotropolis,’ the term used for the best airports in the world.
BIAL’s initiative to develop an ‘airport city’ is in line with the increasing attention being paid to aerotropolises globally. An aerotropolis is a city in which the layout, infrastructure and economy centre around a major airport. This will spur growth and create jobs.
The project is a part of the vision to develop a 215-acre airport city. It will house business and entertainment centres, malls, office space, etc. People will not only come here to travel but also to relax, hold business meetings and shop. Airports are prime office locations at all developed airports, and therefore will work for Bangalore as well.
“The aerotropolis will have hotels, along with destination retail, serviced apartments, office park, software campuses and public spaces, which will make it a truly global enclave,” BIAL chief Albert Brunner told The Times of India.
BIAL has conducted a pre-qualification bid and soon shortlist the tender applicants. The process for the first two larger plots will be completed by this year-end.
As a first step, a star hotel will come within the airport boundary. It’ll be the first airport hotel in India within walking distance of the terminal. The BIAL has selected The Oberoi Group to operate a hotel of competitive scale and standard under the Trident Hilton brand, Brunner said.
The selected consortium, consisting of Larsen & Toubro and The Oberoi Group, is responsible for the design, construction, financing and operation of hotel facilities.
The combined investment committed by L&T and The Oberoi Group is approximately Rs 250 crore. The hotel will comprise 321 rooms, large conference facilities, restaurants and a worldclass spa. It will be operational by November 1, 2008.
Bangalore to be a
cargo hub
The BIAL plans to establish Bangalore as a regional cargo hub. Cargo operations will be handled at international standards and competitive pricing. It has selected its strategic partner for cargo operation. The consortia selected after an extensive technical and financial evaluation process are Air India/SATS and Menzies Aviation/Bobba Group.
They have started construction and are responsible for the design, construction, financing and operation of cargo facilities. The combined investment is approximately Rs 150 crore and the duration of the contract is 20 years.
They will build and operate two state-of-the-art general cargo warehouses for both domestic as well as international cargo.
The combined area for both warehouses is approximately 15 acres with an initial capacity to handle approximately 3 lakh million tones of cargo per year collectively.

Hot days here to stay

Scorching Sun, dry weather and nil rainfall. And it’s only March. The mercury has already notched up several degrees, with 35.90 C being the highest so far. If you think it’s hard to bear this month’s rising temperatures, get ready for more. April is going to be as bad.
The pensioner’s paradise is no more the air-conditioned city that it once used to be known as. Temperatures are soaring each summer, resulting in dry winds, lower humidity and delayed monsoons.
As per Met department records, each year, the temperature in March is two to three degrees higher than the estimated figures. Decreasing forest cover and the spread of concrete jungles mean that there is no possibility of the temperatures ever dipping.
In March 1996, the maximum temperature recorded was 37.30 C. This year, a high of 35.90 C has been recorded and it is possible that the figure will rise over the next few days.
“March is the peak month of summer in the city and rainfall is nil,’’ said Met department director G S Vijayraghavan.
Dispelling popular belief, he explains that March is the hottest as it gets no more than 2.5 mm of rainfall, (less than one day of rainfall), compared to 46.3 mm (nearly three days of rainfall) in April.
In May this year, the rainfall is expected to rise to 119.6 mm (nearly seven days of rainfall) accompanied with thunderstorms.
Humidity, in March, is as low as 20 per cent, which makes the weather even more hot and dry.
The Sun being closest to Earth between March 21 and June 21, these months invariably witness more Northerly Winds, which are dry and increase the temperatures.
Tips to keep your home cool this summer
Rooftops can be painted white to reflect heat Keep windows closed during the day, open them only after sunset
Cover the windows on the western and southern sides of the house to keep light out
Keep green plants, bushes and small water bodies outside the windows to cool down hot breezes Replace incandescent lamps with fluorescent lamps
If you are constructing your house, avoid building your living room on the southern side.
What we can do?
Planting trees is one way we can contribute towards restoring the city’s greenery. Besides, building ecofriendly houses is an option that is in vogue. It gives an ethnic look and helps beat the heat.
A R Shivkumar, scientist from Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, suggests that instead of wall paints, one should go for earthly finishing inside the house; opt for solar heaters and plan rainwater harvesting.
Choosing light colours for walls and light colours for curtains will add brightness and give the interiors a cool look.
What’s making Bangalore boil?
Increase in number of vehicles: Bangalore has more than 25 lakh vehicles and on an average, nearly 700 vehicles are registered each day — primarily two-wheelers. Vehicle emissions add to heat radiation and lead to smog formation. Smoke emanating from industries, generators, air-conditioners and ewaste make the situation worse.
Drying up of water bodies: There was a time when the city had over 1,500 lakes and tanks. Today, this number has shrunk to a few hundred. Rapid urbanisation, encroachments and illegal layouts have sprung up on water bodies. Effluents from industries and sewage from housing colonies have also contributed to the dying of lakes. This has led to an ecological imbalance.
Deforestation: Bangalore was once known for its green cover that gave it a balanced climate. As the city grew, trees made way for broader roads and concrete structures. Though civic authorities have taken steps to restore the city’s greenery, it will take a while to rejuvenate it. Huge tracts of farmland have now given way glass-facade buildings, which emit radiation.

Underpass undercuts green cover; BBMP to cut down 40 trees

Underpass undercuts green cover; BBMP to cut down 40 trees
THe Times of India

Bangalore: One underpass will make the city poorer by 40 well-grown trees.
Between K C General Hospital Circle and Geetanjali Theatre in Malleswaram, nearly 40 trees will be axed to make way for the underpass being built by the BBMP.
How do we replenish the loss? BBMP says don’t worry; it will grow tenfold more plants to meet the loss. Speaking to The Times of India, deputy forest conservation officer of BBMP Krishna D says: “Seventy trees were identified to be cut down, but we permitted only 40 trees. BBMP will grow 500 plants around the area. And suitable place has been recognised for planting.’’
The BBMP will start the plantation in June.

Big push for Greater Bangalore

Big push for Greater Bangalore
The Times of INdia

Bangalore: An amendment to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act of 1976, a benchmark legislation that will be a model for the rest of India, IT for transforming governance — these are just a few detailed reports being prepared by the expert committee on Greater Bangalore.
Headed by MP and scientist K Kasturirangan, the committee has since January had a series of meetings with government officials, resident welfare associations, MLAs, MPs and corporators. A report is being firmed up, but members are not sure when it will be ready.
Government sources explain, “The committee is looking at emulating the New York model of governance to set international standards. They are also looking at the Mumbai and Kolkata models, because of their sheer size.’’ The committee has as its members Public Affairs Centre chairperson Samuel Paul, IIIT-B director S Sadagopan and retired bureaucrat Shivarama Krishnan.
Explain committee members, “The KMC Act needs to be amended. We are looking at an ultra-modern benchmark legislation that would set the mode for the remaining ULBs. There would be generous use of IT in keeping with the Silicon City image.’’ Government sources confirm that a separate legislation for Greater Bangalore is being worked out.
Apparently IT would be used in a major way, with GIS/GPS already in place across wards. “The idea is to have small communities united by technology, this does not mean every citizen will have access to Internet or broadband,’’ explains a member.
The committee was set up in November 2006 to come up with a comprehensive report on the financial and governance logistics required for Greater Bangalore, comprising city areas of 226 sq kms, 7 CMCs, a TMC and 110 villages, expanding Bangalore to 741 sq kms. Greater Bangalore is a reality now. When will the report materialise?

Right being ‘corrected’: Lake to be the ‘victim’

Right being ‘corrected’: Lake to be the ‘victim’
Deccan Herald

Call it off-track development, if you will. This time, in alleged deviation from a government notification. The project in question is Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA)’s proposed 21-km high-speed expressway connecting Outer Ring Road (ORR) to the upcoming International Airport in Devanahalli.

The road starts off as a 200-feet wide, elevated 1.65-km stretch (from the proposed interchange on ORR up to Vadarapalya). According to residents and potential land losers in HRBR Layout (survey no 85, Challakere Village, K R Puram Hobli), the alignment originally notified on 02-03-07 was on a different trajectory, causing less damage to the Challakere lake bed.

The case is of right being “corrected” to wrong, according to Mr Ramanujan, a resident and potential land loser.

“The officials who marked the new dimensions asked us for proof to call the markings flawed. There are two issues here: one, they treat a government notification as inconsequential and two, even if the notification was actually faulty, the public needs to know how,” he said.

The expressway project involves acquisition of 638.10 acres of land from villages including Banaswadi, Challakere, Horamavu Agara, Bhairathi, Kyalasonahalli, Doddagubbi, Chikkagubbi, Bagalur and Hoovinayakanahalli. The total extent of land required for the project in survey no 85 in Challakere (as per the March 2 notification) is 6.55 acres.

“Since the first portion of the expressway will be elevated, we have to build the stretch on pillars erected on the lake bed. We are also working on a separate programme to rejuvenate the lake,” Metropolitan Commissioner Sudhir Krishna told Deccan Herald. However, residents countered the proposal saying that there was no need for “rejuvenation” of the lake in the first place, because the alignment in the notification would have caused minimal damage to the lake bed.

Protecting interests:

All it takes for the officialdom is, perhaps, a corrigendum for the March 3 notification to be revoked, but the residents are looking at the bigger picture.

They alleged that the alignment had been shifted to protect a playground area attached to a neighbourhood school.

The school had last year entered into a lake adoption programme in association with the Lake Development Authority (LDA), under which it was entrusted with the maintenance and rejuvenation of the Challakere lake, on a Rs 89-lakh budget.

The one-year adoption period will complete by April, but the residents alleged that encroachment, and not development, has been the norm.

“Even if pillars are going to be erected as per the new alignment to avoid laying the road on the lake bed, the concrete that will be filled into the bed will trigger serious issues,” Mr Ramanujan said. Mr Krishna said BMRDA was considering “various concerns” raised by residents of the area, including loss of property to the project. The expressway is set for a late 2008 launch.

A degree of success for parking meters

A degree of success for parking meters

The Hindu

BANGALORE: Parking meters translate into equal opportunities for all and facilitate orderly manoeuvring of vehicles. This is what those using the system on Brigade Road and Commercial Street feel.

Smitha Kulkarni, a software professional, who shops on these roads during weekends, says the maximum time of two hours she is entitled to is adequate in the case of Commercial Street."

"It is difficult on Brigade Road as my husband and I cannot both shop and eat at our favourite joint within that time. Despite this, we favour automated parking as it is better regulated," she says.

Suresh Gowda, a driver from Mysore who often takes his customers to Commercial Street, finds it difficult to find parking space during peak hours. He then parks in the space opposite the Army School on Kamaraj Road or on a stretch before the road joins M.G. Road.

An owner of a readymade garment shop on Commercial Street says the parking meters have in no way affected business. His customers have never complained about the system.

Ajai G.M., Chairman, Business Promotion, Commercial Street Association, says the automated system has helped decongest the street, as it used to be mainly occupied by the shop owners' vehicles.

Suhail Yusuff, Secretary, Brigade Shop and Establishments Association, defends the high parking fee by pointing out that the fuel spent on cruising for suitable parking space would work out more expensive. By making available the space to shoppers, the association was providing a desperately needed service, says Mr. Yusuff.

The association, the first to implement the system in partnership with BBMP, earns Rs. 3 lakh a month on an average. After paying the revenue share to the Palike, the remaining is used for betterment of the area. The association will shortly have a parking information system where a big board will be installed at the M.G. Road-Brigade Road junction announcing which parking blocks are vacant.

Whose road is it anyway?

Whose road is it anyway?

The Hindu

BANGALORE: Though traffic police personnel are empowered to regulate parking on the roads, their role seems ineffective. Take the case of shops and commercial establishments which occupy public space in front of their outlets and cordon them off with chains and metal railings to enable just their customers to walk in or to park their vehicles while preventing the rest of the world from doing so.

This sense of entitlement is common practice and many Bangaloreans may not even be aware that the practice is illegal. The Hindu team found several shops on many roads in the city, including Seppings Road, Infantry Road, Dispensary Road and Ibrahim Sahib Street using such barricades with vehicles parked even in no-parking zones. One shop on Dispensary Road had occupied more than 10 feet of space. Its proprietor, Irfan, said only his father, who has been running the shop for 35 years, could answer to our queries. He declined to give the phone number.

A little distance away, a fabric store has occupied about five feet of the road "to let in its customers". Its owner, Vijayakumar, saw no reason why this should not be done and could not understand how this had caused problem to others.

A furniture shop on Infantry had placed two pole barricades resembling those erected by the police. "Is that so?" asked its manager Sheela.

Role of police

"Point out the spots. I will take action to remove them," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic- East) M.A. Saleem when the issue was brought to his notice. He said the role of the traffic police is limited to regulation and enforcement.

In April 2006, the police recommended pay and park system on 91 roads, including stretches needing metered parking similar to those Brigade Road and on Commercial Street. "It is for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike to take decision and provide facilities for parking," Mr. Saleem said.

Go ahead, park anywhere you please

Go ahead, park anywhere you please

The Hindu

publiceye The failure of the BBMP to ensure compliance of building bylaws related to parking and the creation of infrastructure has created a parking crisis in the city

BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) issued an occupation certificate (a copy of which is with The Hindu ) for a five-storey building near Ashoka Pillar in Jayanagar on January 3. The certificate allows four "transit home rooms" on the ground floor.

The building today, however, has an outlet of a popular restaurant chain on the ground floor and its customers park the vehicles on the footpath and the road.

The BBMP building bylaws indicate that one car parking space for every 270 sq ft of floor area of restaurants should be allowed within the premises of the buildings. The floor area so measured includes hall, dining room, pantry and bar. Going by this, the building should have parking space for a few cars. This clear violation of building bylaws has resulted in the occupation of the entire footpath and much of the road by cars and two-wheelers belonging to customers, creating a public inconvenience and hazard.

This is only one of the many instances that show how the BBMP has turned a blind eye to the way even new buildings are adding to the parking woes of the city.

On the other hand there is no dearth of examples of violations of bylaws requiring that basement floors shall not be used for purposes other than parking and for locating machines used for service and utilities of buildings.

The erstwhile Standing Committee on Town Planning and Development, Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, took a serious view of the parking problems of the city way back in 1999 and passed a resolution that directed the authorities to ensure that restaurants must have adequate parking facilities. It also pointed out that the licences of the eateries and other commercial units started in basements were being renewed year after year though they should not have been allowed there in the first place. This had aggravated the problems relating to parking. Pointing out that the courts had passed strictures against the civic body time and again on this issue, it directed the authorities to stop renewal of licences of such businesses.

But the former Mayor P.R. Ramesh, who headed the Standing Committee, says that this resolution has not been implemented though the law requires that the Standing Committee resolutions are to be given effect within 15 days.

The erstwhile council of the BMP had passed another resolution in 2001 pointing out that businesses such as automobile repair units and tyre traders had occupied footpaths and roads aggravating the problem of parking. It directed the Commissioner to take action against such businesses under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act Section 442.

This resolution too is gathering dust on the shelves of the BBMP.


The BBMP had launched drives to clear the basement encroachments several times in the past, but these half-hearted initiatives have clearly not been of help in solving the problem of parking. BBMP Joint Commissioner (Enforcement) N. Jayaram agrees.

"There are too many cases of bylaw violations," he said adding that notices were being issued to owners to clear basement encroachments. "These will be removed in two to three months," he said. With 1,000 vehicles hitting the city's roads every day, the harried Bangalorean will not accept empty promises for much longer.

Multi-crore industry projects put in a limbo

Multi-crore industry projects put in a limbo
The Times of India

Bangalore: Over 991 projects, 380 companies, 12,000 acres of land and Rs 1.08 lakh crore investment. All these are impacted by one high court order that slams the brakes on Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board’s (KIADB) land acquisition process.
Monday’s court order directing
the KIADB to maintain a status quo on land acquisition leaves potential investors in limbo. Tata Consultancy, Wipro, Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals and ITC, to name a few, just cannot proceed with their projects.
The KIADB has been looking at 12,000 acres in Bangalore and has issued the final notification for acquisition in Harohalli, Dobbespet, Malur, Narsapur, Tumkur and Bagalur areas to allot land for industrial projects cleared by the state-level single window clearance.
The backlog goes back to two years and the KIADB is under severe pressure as some companies with an international presence are actively trying to get land allotted as quickly as possible.
A KIADB source told The Times of India: “We have proposed to acquire around 15,000 acres as Karnataka Udyog Mitra has cleared over 700 projects in the last two years for Bangalore alone.”
“We are acquiring land in a phased manner. We’ll furnish all the details to the court as our report is getting ready,’’ the source further added.
The court has directed KIADB not to acquire any more land or allot acquired land until further orders.
The high court took it to task for the manner in which it had treated an earlier order of January 10, which had sought to know if there was an acquisition master plan.
The court also wanted details on the quantum of land acquired in Bangalore Urban and Rural districts and whether it was genuinely being used by industries.
A KIADB source said, “The interim master plan has not yet been approved by the state government, but the land acquisition process of KIADB started an year ago. However, we have ensured that the usage does not violate the stipulated norms.’’
The single-window clearance board of Udyog Mitra and state highlevel committee headed by the chief minister have cleared 991 projects with an investment of Rs 1.08 lakh crore between February 2006 and 2007.
The committee had also sought the KIADB to acquire 18,155 acres in the state for projects in Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and Gulbarga. While the interim order has stalled acquisition, the prospective investors now have to wait.
Approved projects: 991 from Feb 2006-2007
Investments: Rs 1.08 lakh crore
Employment: 17.76 lakh
Land required: 12,000 acres in Bangalore; 18,155 acres in Karnataka

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Protests grind traffic to a halt

Protests grind traffic to a halt

Bangalore: Several rallies, including a protest opposing the lottery ban, brought traffic in the central districts to a halt on Monday from 10.30 am onwards. The worst traffic jam that hit the city was at 3.30 pm, which brought vehicular movement to a halt until 4.30 pm. Traffic was jammed on Mysore Road, Rajajinagar corridor and the South corridor and Town Hall junction. This led to vehicle pile ups for several kilometres.
While in the morning, about 1,500 members from the Gram Sahakara Sangha workers group held the city to ransom by marching in from Tulsi Thota in Majestic area to Banappa Park near Hudson Circle. En route, the group split into three groups and marched along dense traffic routes towards Mysore Circle, leaving a trail of angry and frustrated motorists sweating under the midday sun.
There was another protest against the recent arrack ban by the government. They played their part in paralysing city traffic by blocking traffic at the Mysore Bank Circle. Lottery ban protesters squatted in three places, including Hudson Circle and Mysore Bank Circle and paralysed the traffic completely. The entire central, western and southern areas of Bangalore were locked up in one of the worst traffic jams of this year.
DCP traffic (East) M A Saleem said, ‘‘We allowed free flow of traffic between Vidhana Soudha, K R Circle, Nrupatunga Road. The persons protesting against lottery squatted for some time at Hudson Circle, but they were quickly removed. Traffic was redirected along several stretches, but most other stretches it was jammed.’’
DCP traffic (West) Rama Subba said,”We have had three processions today from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm. We redirected and regulated traffic as far as possible, but three processions in one day is a little too much.’’
Most of the western, southern and central areas were jammed. Traffic was normal in some areas in western Bangalore and was sluggish in the northern parts.
Bangalore East, however, remained unaffected by the protests, but a truck carrying iron bars crashed into the road median between Benniganahalli and KR Puram Cable Stayed Bridge and overturned, thus blocking traffic and causing a massive jam on Old Madras Road and adjoining areas around 6 pm.

Pavement works begin

Pavement works begin
DH News Service Bangalore:
Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Monday swung into action and started restoring the pavement on Kalinga Rao road and Lalbagh Road...

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Monday swung into action and started restoring the pavement on Kalinga Rao road and Lalbagh Road.

Besides, Commissioner K Jairaj has instructed officials to complete pavement projects taken up across the city by March 31.

BBMP’s action has come following a report in Deccan Herald on the bad condition of pavements in the city. Blaming various utility providers for the damage being caused to pavement, BBMP has said, in a release, that BBMP is equally concerned about condition of side walks.

After digging up the pavements for various reasons, the utility providers have not restored them, causing inconvenience to citizens, the release stated.

Mr Jairaj also instructed officials to conduct a joint survey with Karnataka Land Army Corporation (KLAC) of damaged pavement and submit a report.

“The restoration of damaged pavement will be taken up immediately,” the release said.

He has directed officials to hold a review meeting with Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) , Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) , Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) and Optic Fibre Cable companies.