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Bengaluru Infrastructure Outlook 2011 16 Forced to play video games, say kids 6 Idiots talk on the phone when driving 8 Tearaway 2011 Calendar

‘Local committees can veto plan sanction’ says MP 10 Whatever happened to Tamil, Telugu and Bengali plays? 21 Bangalore’s first ever adventure race 15

with useful numbers 19 btm, ns palya, jp nagar, sarakki, dollars colony, jayanagar

bengaluru south

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FREE Issue-25 15-28 Jan 2010 Vol-2 Issue -25 15-28 Vol-2 Jan 2010 CITIZEN MATTERS 1


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EDITORIAL Muggings on ORR:

What are the police doing? Mugging incidents along the Outer Ring Road-Sarjapur Road are back. The modus operandi is similar to earlier: Commuters driving alone in a car are stopped by con men on bikes. The men claim money on the pretext that the car has hit their bikes by showing their damages. They threaten the commuter (often these are residents of the Sarjapur Road area), damage the car and speak in loud voices in Kannada. They snatch the mobile. They persuade the victim to pay thousands of rupees for the “damages”, taking him to an ATM.

update

quick city

These incidents happened earlier mid 2010 and the HSR Layout Police had nabbed some culprits. They

BDA cannot keep changing plans on Kempegowda Layout: HC

The High court has asked BDA to submit its plans pertaining to Nada Prabhu Kempegowda Layout, to ensure there are no last minute changes. This was in response to the petitions filed challenging land acquisitions for the

are now back. It also appears, again, that people not speaking the local language are being targeted. Here’s the question to police commissioner Shankar Bidari and his colleagues at the HSR Layout police station: Mugging is condemnable, like all crime. But it does happen all over the world on lonely stretches at night. But what is worrisome that these incidents are happening in broad daylight at peak morning and evening hours on the busy outer ring road. Traffic cameras are installed at many intersections too. The confidence with which the assailants are moving around is very troubling. Why are they recurring?

layout. ABIDe-like task force transport and safety

for

State transport department has recommended the formation of a committee to look into transport and road safety issues of the city. The committee will function along the lines of ABIDe

BBMP drops cycle track plan on BU campus

Following Bangalore UniversityVice Chancellor N Prabhu Dev’s objection to chopping of 280 trees along the Magadi RoadMysore Road link road through Jananabharathi campus, BU has decided to scrap the bicycle track plan.

Bangalore’s own interactive newsmagazine

Citizen Matters EDITORS Subramaniam Vincent Meera K JOURNALISM TEAM Padmalatha Ravi Navya P K Yogaraj Mudalgi KANNADA TRANSLATION Vasudha Murthy CIRCULATION Raghavendra 96111 06477

FEEDback

SMS 97409-18300 | email feedback@citizenmatters.in

Better traffic management in 2011: Praveen Sood Mr Sood, in addition to installing cameras on roads to catch traffic violators, could you also install video and voice recorders in traffic police stations, to bring in transparency and reduce the rampant corruption? Thank you. Concerned Bangalorean

Cover credits: Arathi Manay Yajaman, O P Ramaswamy. Pic: Yogaraj Mudalgi. 4

CITIZEN MATTERS

L& T South City residents sue BDA afresh over civic amenity site Sad really. Without getting into the legal issues stated in this article, I can only comment that the BDA does not look to reserve or create more green cover to the city. Their sole intention and motivation is to make money for BDA as well as themselves individually in the process. They do not take into account the issues with a shopping complex situated with narrow access

15-28 Jan 2010

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roads or the needs of a residential area, ie what is most important for it and for the city in the future. BDA does not work for the citizens or the city, they work for themselves! Nanda Ramesh

ADVT SALES Ramachandran P 9740918300 9901685368 ©Oorvani Media Pvt Ltd. No part of this publication can be reproduced without the permission of the publisher.

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jayanagar jp nagar & BTM

Children play less,

seniors walk more

playgrounds, only 84.3 sq.kms has till now been developed, the BBMP disloses in its website. The numbers though do nothing to depict the desperate situation for children wanting space to play. All across south Bangalore, the situation is similar. Only Jayanagar appears to be an exception.

With hardly any space to play these days, even children complain about town planning in Bangalore.

One of the parks in Mini Forest was recently converted into a walking park. Children aren't allowed to play in it anymore. Pic: YM.

For sometime now,

Bangalore city has been facing an acute shortage of playgrounds. Youngsters are now confined to narrow streets or their building compounds. Rachan Singh, 19, a resident of 3rd Phase JP Nagar says that although the affluent neighbourhood of 3rd phase boasts of Mini Forest, it does not have even one playground for them. “We used one of the undeveloped parks as a playground before the BBMP made walking tracks and prohibited playing games in them. If we do try to play, adults shoo us out”, says Singh. He added that the nearest playground is in 2nd phase but half of

it has been converted in to a park and the other half has been occupied by a slum. “We are now forced to play in VET school grounds but younger kids cannot go so far, so most of them have now stopped playing outdoors.”

Vasudev Rao, in his mid-sixties, is another resident of 3rd phase and a regular walker in the Mini Forest. “Adults need their space too. Senior citizens like us sit at home all day and we come out in the evenings to get some fresh air so the parks are essential to us. We shoo the kids out because they would play cricket or football and the ball would inadvertently hit us. I would be open to the BBMP designating one of the parks as a playground but this should have been done at the planning stage”, he adds.

“Senior citizens are fond of denigrating the younger generation, saying that we are addicted to TV/gadgets. But we are also driven to it by their attitude. WHERE ON EARTH DO WE PLAY?”, asks a 14-year-old resident

of JP Nagar 3rd phase (name withheld on request).

City-based architect and urban planner S Mohan Rao says that the law clubs parks and playgrounds as civic amenities (CA sites). But planners use CA sites for semicommercial purposes rather than making playgrounds, he points out. “What the authorities are doing maybe legally correct but it does not follow the spirit of the word”, says Rao. ⊕

Of a total municipal area of 800 sq.kms out of which List of 120 sq.kms (15% playgrounds: as per CDP) is to be reserved for developing Jayanagar Rani Chennamma parks/gardens and •Sports Complex - 3rd

Children playing on the streets is a common sight in many parts of the city. Pic: Yogaraj Mudalgi.

block • Green Pitch Grounds - 10th main, 5th block Quality grounds - 18th main road 4T block • MES grounds opposite Jayanagar Telephone Exchange National College Grounds, 7th block

BTM Layout

• Between 4th and 5th Cross • Between 8th and 9th

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15-28 Jan 2010

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Yogaraj Mudalgi

cross • Between 19th and 20th main • Open space on 16th main

JP Nagar

• Corporation grounds on 9th cross road • Corporation grounds next to Oxford School • Local Park between 30th and 33rd cross, 6th Phase • Corporation playground near VET school • Corporation playground near Belagodu College


local matters Nagar-ites help city apartments

Two JP save lakhs of rupees

In addition, BESCOM added monthly penalty charges of `4680 on the apartment block. This is where Arathi and Ramaswamy, both past presidents of BM’s Mayflower Block residents association stepped in. They found out that excess load claimed by BESCOM was actually the power needed to run the fire hydrant pumps (statutory requirement for high rises) that come into play during emergencies only. The builder Brigade Enterprises also confirmed this. Also, in the event of a fire, all the power utilities need to be shut down as a measure of safety. And, the fire pumps themselves are all never operational at the same time. Therefore the issue of all the equipment being used ‘simultaneously’ and thereby exceeding the sanctioned load, did not arise. Arathi Manay Yajaman and OP Ramaswamy behind the fire hydrant pump for which the load was sanctioned. Pic: Yogaraj Mudalgi.

They persisted with what is right

and have saved scores of Bangalore’s apartments lakhs of rupees in 2011. Arathi Manay Yajaman and O P Ramaswamy of JP Nagar challenged BESCOM’s levy of penalties on their appartment complex and won their case. In Aug 2010, BESCOM sent a notice to Brigade Millennium (BM) residents associations dated telling them that while their sanctioned load was 99.47 kW, they had connected a load of 177.85 kW. BM was not being singled out. Similar notices sent around the city to appartment complexes with multistorey buildings. On BM’s Mayflower block alone, BESCOM imposed `29,484 as back billing penalty for ‘unauthorised load’.

However despite filing written objections with BESCOM and meeting their subdivision’s engineer, BM residents’ explanations were not accepted. BESCOM continued to impose penalties in monthly bills instead. Worried, Brigade Millennium residents decided to start paying the penalties to avoid disconnection, and did so in protest, says Arathi. Residents also started preparing to file applications for increased load, which Arathi estimates would have amounted to `1 lakh for the Mayflower block. Arathi then wrote to BESCOM Managing Director, P Manivannan, who had taken over in October. Despite a fresh visit by BESCOM engineers at BM, nothing changed - penalties remained on the bills. But Arathi and Ramaswamy did not relent. Arathi wrote to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) in December pointing out the issue.

Underpass update: leakage fixing

Repair is going on in one direction of the Puttenahalli underpass, because groundwater is seeping on to the surface. J M Yadav, Manager, Engineering Projects (India) Ltd, which is the contractor, said the underpass is closed for minor repair works and would open soon.

Then KERC acted and that remedied the situation. BESCOM was forced to revise its position and sent a letter to Arathi on January 12th saying they were withdrawing their notices. A General Manager (Commercial) at BESCOM confirmed that the revision had since been communicated to all divisions. With this verdict, all multistorey buildings with fire fighting equipment that received the original penalty notices from BESCOM can rest. In action to set things right for their own apartment complex, Arathi and Ramaswamy set the problem right in one stroke for all the city. ⊕

Subramaniam Vincent

Vol-2 Issue-25 15-28 Jan 2010 CITIZEN MATTERS 7


voices

express yourself

but not while driving I have heard of plugged in electrical gadgets

A few policemen I spoke to in Jayanagar conceded that at busy intersections like the one facing the shopping complex, it is difficult to catch offenders or even note down their numbers, because of the nature of the traffic flow.

and equipment, but it is now “plugged in humans” – wherever one goes, one sees men and women, girls and boys, all with wires dangling from their ears and fiddling with buttons on a mobile, and Plugged in human beings – be it phones or music oblivious to the gadgets, people use it while driving causing world around injuries to themselves and others. them.

Original pic source: Wikimedia Commons

The papers carried a report last year about a woman who was run over by a train at a level crossing because she was listening to music on her mobile and didn’t hear the train hooting as it sped towards her. Technology kills? Sure, if it is misused, just as a gun kills if it is in the wrong hands. How often have you noticed two wheeler riders with their heads tilted to one side, a cell phone tucked and balanced between ear and shoulder blade, negotiating their way through dense traffic? How many get caught? Autorickshaw drivers and BMTC bus drivers routinely pull out their mobiles, to answer calls.

No one cares, or pulls these idiots up. We don’t have statistics on how many such idiots we have in the city, we only have figures for the numbers killed on the roads. How many of these are caused by drivers “multitask ing” while on the road – listening to music, talking on the phone, chatting with someone at the back?

Perhaps it is time some neighbourhood groups undertook a movement for pulling up such erring drivers. Civic groups and volunteers can lend a hand after all, it could be someone you know, getting killed by one of these drivers tomorrow. ⊕ Sakuntala narasimhan is a freelance writer, consumer activist and Jayanagar resident.

plan for cyclING-friendly jayanagar

Membership drive at Manjari

Jayanagar, south-central Bangalore’s prestigious locality, with more 30 educational institutions, has a higher number of cycle users. But the cyclists have to jostle with motor vehicles for space and risk accidents. V Manjula, Commissioner, Department of Urban Land Transport, who is spearheading the initiative, says that plans for cycling corridors are ready but the implementation will come after getting the BBMP and the traffic police on board. “Apart from various civic agencies, the plan also needs to get the nod of the residents and only then can we implement it”, she says.

Membership is open at Manjari Ladies Association(R). Meetings will be held on first Saturday of every month at the JP Nagar Club between 2 pm to 5 pm. All women are welcome to enroll. For further details contact:

Gubbi Labs, a private research collective did extensive research to identify cycle routes and understand possibilities of using dedicated cycles lanes, and the conflicts that could arise in Jayanagar.

Yogaraj Mudalgi

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Annapurna Murthy, President: 9845058349 Mala Jayaram, Vice President: 9845665137 B K Uma Devi, Secretary: 9663373766 Usha Dorai, Joint Secretary: 9844302831 Sreedevi Mukundan, Treasurer: 9886743855

Shared by Annapurna Murthy


for your info

bescom tarrifs: new rates BESCOM's New Tariffs a) Lighting/combined lighting, heating and motor installations of residential houses

Energy charges (commercial)

(i) Applicable to areas coming under Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike (BBMP), Davangere city Municipal Corporation and all Urban Local Bodies. The fixed charges are `20 per month for those who opt for for houses that require only lighting with power allocation of 1KW. For AEH (All Electric Houses), the sanctioned load is usually 3 KW, with fixed charges of `80 per month would be levied. (`30 is charged for every additional KW sanctioned) ⊕

Energy charges (residential)

For 0 - 30 units (Lifeline consumption)

200 Ps/unit

31 to 100 units

300 Ps/unit

101 to 200 units

400 Ps/unit

Above 200 units

450 Ps/unit

For 0 - 30 units (Lifeline consumption)

210 Ps/unit

31 to 100 units

320 Ps /unit

101 to 200 units

420 Ps/unit

Above 200 units

500 Ps/unit

garbage burning a menace We are around 65 families living in Arattukulam Lake point Tower apartment situated on the side of Begur lake, part of Begur, ward no. 192. For the last 8 months BBMP trucks and other private parties have been dumping waste near an abandoned quarry, 200 meters away from our apartment. On an average we have around 10 - 12 trucks of waste being dumped per day. After we complained about it, they’ve started burning the garbage, which again is illegal. Additionally when it rains, the garbage starts decomposing and it creates a lot of stench in that area. We residents are really getting worried since it is affecting our health.

We have filed a petition with the BBMP Joint Officer in Begur and AEE and the Health Department at Bomanahalli in December 2010. We were told that BBMP has forwarded the petition to the Police Department (Electronic City) as of 16/12/2010. However we are yet to see any action from the police in stopping this menace. ⊕

Ajai Thambi

Citizen Matters has received similar complaints of garbage burning from other parts of the city as well. Shrimathi Rao from J P Nagar 1st phase says that the garbage is routinely burnt on the streets of JP Nagar 4th phase.

Pic: Ajai Thambi.

Vol-2 Issue-25 15-28 Jan 2010 CITIZEN MATTERS 9


interview Rajeev chandrasekhar:

take your neighbourhoods back” “You know the infamous magic box...it's a joke. It was supposed to be a solution to address the traffic problems and the people that have benefited are the contractors who have made money off it. Somebody goes ahead and creates these pedestrian underpasses without even remotely focusing on where the pedestrian congestion density is. So you have for example, near Raj Bhavan, three pedestrian underpasses built at a cost of Rs.1.5 - 2 crores each of public money. Two of them are lying shut because nobody uses them.”

Pic: Subramaniam Vincent.

Entrepreneur-investor and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the convener of the chief minister’s ABIDe task force. Excerpts from a Citizen Matters exclusive interview.

On Neighbourood Area Committees (NAC) We are saying that when it comes to neighbourhood development (forget about the main arterial roads) the voice of the citizens and the voice of the neighbourhood residents are final. If they choose to not have commercial development in the area, it is final. The minister can go blue in the face, the MP can go red in the face, but the NAC will decide.

On their work on implementation of ABIDe has released its Plan Bengaluru 2020 as a vision document for the city, and the reformist Bengaluru Metropolitan Regional Governance Act (BMRGA), which has still not been introduced into the assembly, as we enter 2011. BMRGA is supposed to restructure all government agencies controlling Bengaluru today (BDA, BWSSB, BMRDA, BMTC and the elected BBMP) into a more decentralised and democratic setup, more answerable to citizens. 10

CITIZEN MATTERS

BMRGA: I am the first one to admit that the visibility to our work is less because the work is a little more sophisticated. If I go and start a movement saying that trees should not be cut, I will get a 100,000 people clapping for that. The whole point of solution that I am proposing is that it is not very intuitive.

At best what we do is manage the problem. We can’t solve this problem. How can we solve the problem of transportation in a city? Bangkok hasn’t solved it, Singapore hasn’t solved it, New York hasn’t solved it, are we going to solve it by going on widening roads? You can widen the roads and in six months time the roads will still be packed.

The challenge is for more and I genuinely believe that that the more citizens to get aware of the media and the fourth estate have multi nature of the problem that a role in explaining to people that the city. Road there are some widening or tree So if Eighth Block Jayanagar feels things that cutting does are beyond that they have ëmaxed out' on comnot define the the intuitive mercial development and they are city’s problem. obvious. You okay with residential development They are two can protest road and they don't want new sanctions symptoms of given to commercial or school develwidening but larger problems opment: “Their NAC can veto any it is a symptom and if people plan sanctions.” of something don’t come out bigger. and have a slightly more informed On transportation being the biggest pain view about what the problem is, they will not understand that the point solution is a far more complex I dislike this discussion on solution. ⊕ transportation because there is Subramaniam vincent no city in the world that has a population of eight million people Read the complete interview online. that has no transportation problem.

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some Bangaloreans are bonkers for outdoor adventure What some people did for fun on a Saturday! They rode, they climbed, they kayaked, they sweated, they laughed. And left nothing but footprints and wheel tracks. And took nothing but memories.

When most Bangaloreans

Pic: Padmalatha Ravi.

The 15 teams made it to Manchanbele in about two hours. And plunged straight into trail biking, bouldering or kayaking, depending on the tasks they felt most confident of.

were wrapped up under blankets on Nearly 30 volunteers showed up just because ‘it a cold Saturday is fun’ . The volunteers were there taking pictures, morning on recording the time, helping the participants get 8th January, 43 in to the kayaks and generally cheer them on. adventure lovers set Most participants are regulars at such adventure out to cycle, kayak outings. Gaurav, a young adventure enthusiast and go bouldering. says “I’d like it if there are more such events.” Ask Bangalore Adventure him why he does this and Race or BAR 101 kicked he says it is hard to explain, The only agenda for the day was off from Turahalli, South it is ‘just for kicks’. to complete all the tasks and Bangalore at 4.50am. The have fun. The timing or the ‘race’ participants cycled for 50 kms Many participants seemed to the Manchanbele reservoir was the least of their concern. unfazed that it was their first to face more tasks to test their There was even a one-man team time kayaking. Neha Rawat, endurance. ‘Solo Shifter’ who actually coma young IT professional, decided to jump in because pleted all the tasks by himself.


Bangalore’s first Adventure Race featurE

Bangaloreans are kicking it in (doing well). They finished the tasks ahead of time.” The organisers plan to make it an annual event, take it to other cities and add more challenges in the coming years.

Pic: Padmalatha Ravi.

BAR 101, being the first of its kind for the city, did sail off smoothly despite minor hiccups such as last minute changes to rules and some communication gaffes. But no one seemed to mind the glitches.

her brother wanted a team member and having a woman on the team fetched you additional ten points. She had never done any of the tasks ever before but she says “I loved it. It is a great way to spend your Saturday. Of the 14 teams, four included a The participants didn’t seem woman each. troubled by bruised fingers,

Sense of community and camaraderie was unmistakable as each team cheered the others Bangalore, the participants happily and even swear is the most ideal city exchanged tips for such adventures. Santosh on how to do it better next time. Kumar, from Getoffurass, For them, BAR 101 an offbeat travel company, was one event to also one of the organisers, get out and have agreed, “Bangaloreans fun, but even have been exposed to such otherwise these activities in their travels to adventure lovers other countries and they get together at want to bring that experience every opportunity to cycle, kayak or home. So this is entirely a go bouldering. community driven activity.” The well heeled participants, aged 18 to 40 years came from varied backgrounds -from students, to training professionals to IT professionals. ⊕

Padmalatha Ravi Pic: Padmalatha Ravi.

scraped knees or the scorching The two members heat. They were happy to be from each team out there pushing the limits. had to take up

kayaking across the Manchanbele reservoir, a total ten kilometres. Meanwhile each team got three chances to complete 17 boulders or rocks marked at various levels of difficulty: easy, medium and the hard to climb. They did not use any climbing equipments. Trail biking was the most popular among the cycling enthusiasts. They had a rugged 20 km stretch up the hill to complete.

The winners 1st place - Crazy Climbers (Achyut, Chandan, Arjun) 2nd place – Blue Blood (Rambo Ravi, Suma, Praveen) 3rd place – Team Shift 2 (Lokesh, Apoorva, Naveen)

Kavitha Kanaparthi, the founder of Globe Racers, a professional running organisation, is one of the organisers of BAR 101. Kavitha was very thrilled with the response. She said, “We made it a 12-hour-race because we thought it was a tough race but Vol-2 Issue-25 15-28 Jan 2010 CITIZEN MATTERS 15


outlook 2011 P Manivannan (MD, BESCOM)

‘this year, Conserve or face power cuts ‘ On tariff hike:

than that, we have no option, but to cut the power

BESCOM had asked the for an increase of 75 paisa/unit. Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has ordered for a hike of 30.75 paisa, average across various slabs. We are happy with the hike and are not asking for further changes.

Demand - supply gap.

On power cuts and load shedding There should not be any power cuts now as there is an order to stop power cuts for the whole city. There is only periodic maintenance being done once every month in each area. As of now, we do not foresee power cut, assuming a 10% growth in the power consumption compared to last year. But, if citizens consume more

Demand is very dynamic; for example on a very hot day everyone will switch on fans and the demand will be very high - it would go up by 13-15%, but the supply can be met only by 6-7%. So on an average, there is a gap of 6-7% between demand and supply.

Variable Cost pricing Variable cost pricing will reduce the distortion in tariff. It needs to be implemented at the earliest. The difficulty is to monitor the system real-time. It needs huge investments. Already part of the work is done. The remaining part will take more than 2-3 years. ⊕

B L Yashavant chavan (PRO, BMRCL)

‘Metro launch by March, fares out in a week’ Metro fares for the first reach between Baiyappanahalli and M G Road are to be decided in a week, says BMRCL’s PRO B L Y Chavan. Trains will start running from March along the much-delayed first metro line for Bengaluru. Construction work from Swastik to Peenya Depot will be completed by December, adds Chavan. BMTC bus feeder routes are to be decided in two weeks. After the Metro’s BaiyyappanahalliMG Road reach missed its December 2010 deadline, officials at BMRCL say it will open this quarter. The nearly 7-km reach in the east-west corridor comprises six stations - Baiyappanahalli, Swami Vivekananda Road (Old Madras Road), Indira Nagar, Ulsoor, Trinity

Circle and M G Road. The total length of the east-west corridor which comprises of Reach 1, 2 and underground - starting from Baiyyappanahalli and ending at Mysore Road station - is 18.10 kms. In addition to Reach 1 stations, there are 10 other stations in this corridor, including Cubbon Park, City Railway station, Magadi Road, Vijayanagar, Deepanjali Nagar. Total time for end-to-end travel is 33 minutes. The 24.20 km North-South corridor including Reach 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 4A and the underground sections will begin at Nagasandra (Hesarghatta cross station) and terminate at Puttenahalli. There are 24 stations in

Over two years away Peenya villageHesarghatta cross: 2013 Magadi RoadMysore Road:2013 RV RoadPutenahalli cross (JP Nagar): 2013

Pic: Perumal Venkatesan.

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between including Peenya, Yeshwantpur, Rajajinagar, Kuvempu Road, Malleswaram, Majestic, City Market, Lalbagh, Jayanagar and Banashankari. It would take 44 minutes to traverse the corridor. ⊕

Status of work along other reaches Magadi road to Mysore road terminal (Reach 2) Most foundation works have been completed at Magadi Road, Tollgate, Hosahalli, Vijayanagar, Deepanjali Nagar and Mysore Road stations. Swastik to Yeshwantpur (3) and Yeshwantpur to Peenya depot (3A) Roughly one-third of the work is complete. K.R. Market - RV Road (4) Over half the work is complete in all stations. The stations are coming up at KR Road, Lalbagh, South End Circle, Jayanagar and RV Road. Underground section In the 4.8 km underground section in the east-west corridor, the East Ramp is expected to be completed in February.


cm special Praveen Sood (ACP, Traffic)

‘Better traffic management in 2011’ Critical projects for 2011 The focus for 2011 will be installing cameras for traffic monitoring and improving the signal system. We have 180 cameras installed across the city now, and are hoping to add 50 more. The number of signals will come down, as around 10 new flyovers will be opened this year. We are also looking at new technology, but technology will work only with good infrastructure. We are planning to synchronise signals in at least 20 corridors and make all signals vehicle-actuated. In this system, sensors are installed on roads at signals, to detect vehicles. The traffic signal will change according to the volume of vehicles detected. We had tried this earlier, but it did not work. For this, roads

should be the kind that last for 4-5 years.

Traffic problems due to Malls All malls are located at strategic corners, busy areas, of the city. You cannot stop them from coming up - they are there because of the demand. But they should be well managed with a scientific entry and exit system. Though malls make parking provisions for private vehicles, there is no provision for autos to park. Why not incorporate a bus bay also in the design of mall?

What are the top offences you will try to tackle this year? There will be more, stricter enforcement this year - drunken driving, over speeding and lane discipline will be the top offences to

File pic.

tackle. ⊕

bhaskar rao (Commissioner, transport & road safety)

‘project to prevent vehicle thefts’ What are the critical projects you are implementing this year? There are two projects we had planned to complete in 2010-11 –HSRP (High Security Registration Plates) for vehicles and a centralized Pic: Navya P K.

Vehicle Testing centre. They have got pushed to 2011-12. Another is ERP – computerisation of the entire department. (ERP is a software which allows different wings of the department to co-ordinate their work easily). This will bring in higher transparency and predictability in governance. The HSRP plan was stuck due to High Court stays, but the Supreme Court has now given it the go-ahead saying that the registration plates can come at rates less than Rs 500 and hence are viable. (HSRPs have security features and unique serial numbers to help prevent vehicle

thefts.) The centralised VTC planned in Nelamangala, will make the procedure easier. Currently there are 10 VTCs for the city, from where commercial vehicles have to get their fitness certificates. A separate VTC is being planned for autos too – this will be within the city itself as we do not want auto drivers to travel long distances to get their certificates.

You had said that a proposal would be sent to the government to levy tax on those buying a second car? We have sent a proposal for levying hefty fines for those who park on roads. Details of this cannot be disclosed now. There are no plans to impose taxes on second vehicles. ⊕ Navya P K spoke to the officials in this section. Please read complete interviews online.

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BBMP Sahayavani: 22660000 (24x7) For complaints like: streetlight, garbage, drainage, unauthorised hawking, unauthorised construction, tree falling, street lights.

Utilities

BESCOM: 12660 (24x7) 22287118, 22287119, 22356627.

BWSSB: 2294 5125. For complaints like: Sanitary lines blockage, overflow, water contamination, no water supply, billing problems.

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EYE BANK: 9880637371 (Shekar Nethralaya)

Crisis helpline/SAHAI 25497777 (10 am-6 pm, Mon-Sat)

Elders Helpline: 1090 (Dignity Foundation: 42198395, 41511307, 41661122. Nightingale Trust: 22943226)

Vanita Sahayavani Womens helpline: 1091. (Parihar: 22943225, 25233650 and 22872364)

Animal support CUPA: 2294 7300/01. For stray animals injury, accident or sick.

Makkala Sahayavani Child helpline: 1098. (Child Rights Trust: 22374652, APSA: 25232749, Parivartan: 65333323)

Jayadeva Heart Brigade 1051

CTC Sanjeevani Ambulance: 1062, 108

Traffic Control Room: 25588444 / 555, 22943030 / 131. Call to report accidents, traffic jams

Fire: 101 [Central Fire Control Room 2297 1550]

Police: 100

Helplines

Airport Shuttle BMTC airport kiosk information: 7760991269, 27607989 (to be called from Mobile phones);

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Citizen Matters * ¹neóÉ£ï ªÉÄålgïì *

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Vol-2 Issue-25 15-28 Jan 2010 CITIZEN MATTERS 19


see & do Exhibitions

Strides of Hope, 2011

‘Dignity Passionate Collection exhibition and Food Fiesta’ Food stalls to promote Kannadiga, Mangalore, Coorg, Mysore, Udupi, South Canara cuisines- prepared by Senior Citizens, Ikebana show and promotional stalls for senior friendly products. Inviting senior citizens to register. Contact: Neethashree, 9902244335 29 - 30 Jan, 10 am ‘Disturbia, utopia, house beautiful’ Exhibition of works by Bharti Kher. Dec - 29 Jan, 11 am - 7 pm, Galleryske, 2 Berlie Street, Langford Town. Ph: 6595197220 Photo Exhibition: Frozen in TimePhotographs of Dance 28 Jan - 6 Feb, 9.30 am - 6.30 pm, Max Mueller Bhavan, Indiranagar,

Workshop

Many Worlds of Hampi – An Outdoor Photography Tour email: arunchs@yahoo.com Ph: 97400 83260 (Shreeram) / 98800 06460 (Arun) Discover Yourself: iReboot programs and workshops Are you missing your true calling because you are so busy trying to make a living? “Discover Yourself” workshop by iRoboot programs is the answer to discover your true career calling. iReboot 3095, 6th A Main, 13th Cross, HAL 2nd Stage, Indranagar, Bangalore - 560038. | Sat 15 Jan ‘11, 12:00 am To Sun 16 Jan ‘11. 12:00 am Organic Terrace Garden Workshop Workshop and training programme on Organic Terrace Gardening by Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation, Bangalore VMSRF (Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation), 94/3 & 94/5, 23rd Cross, 29th Main BTM II Stage. Ph: 26687216 Sat 22 Jan, 10 am To 4 pm New CORE TRANSFORMATION Intensive Workshop This three day intensive workshop, unique in its content and design, is a breakthrough in non-linear education. 28-30 Jan. Contact: Gautam Phone: 9886014800 email: gautam@nlp-k.com

A 48-hour non-stop (relay) event to raise funds for Asha for Education, Bangalore. The run will span major running locations in the city - Cubbon Park, Lal bagh, EGL Road (Embassy Golf Links), Ulsoor Lake. Runners can join at any of the locations based on the time slots. Simple refreshments and water will be provided at these locations through the duration of the run. The cycle ride will be between Bangalore and Hyderabad on NH7. Cyclists can join at scheduled points and times. Register here - http://www.stridesofhope.com/register.html 21st January, 5 pm to 23rd January, 5 pm It is also a space to explore leads and directions offered by various thinkers, scientists and philosophers. 21 - 22 Jan, 9 am - 6 pm, St. John’s Auditorium, Koramangala. Wikipedia Tenth Anniversary Celebrations Wikimedia Community in Bangalore has organized a meetup to celebrate Wikipedia’s Tenth Anniversary. Wikimedia meetups are opportunities to make friends with other Wikipedians, discuss Wikipediarelated topics, and exchange knowledge and experiences from the universe that is Wikipedia – an online collaboration by millions of users around the world. Sat 15 Jan, National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISc campus Dignity Dialogue Monthly Discussion and Humour Utsav Interactive session and Humour Utsav. Manandi Samskruti Sadana 9th Main, Opposite 42nd Cross, Jayanagar 5th Block. Land Mark: Near Thirumala Eye Clinic, BSNL Telephone Exchange Road | Sun 16 Jan, 10 am To 12.30 pm Seminar on Learning Difficulties by Brindavan Education Trust Contact for further details: jayamar@

Bhoomi Conference for Students, Teachers and LifeLong Learners This conference is a space to ask questions about the connections between our notions of a good life and relationships, happiness, economics and ecology. CITIZEN MATTERS

15-28 Jan 2010

Volunteering

Volunteer as a Mentor - Dream A Dream Sign up today to make a difference in a child’s life! Dream A Dream, Jayanagar 1st Block, Ashoka Pillar, Bangalore Email Id: jeeno.jacob@ dreamadream.org Phone No: 08065349980 / 26579580 /9886399748.

Theatre Rangashankara Plays 14 Fri to 16 Sun Neenaanaadrenaaneenena? (Kan at 3:30 pm) 18 Tue Mitthabailu Yamunakke (kan) 19 Wed Surya Shikari (kan) 20 Thu Mandigagadiru Bali (kan) 21 Fri Manteswami Katha Prasanga (kan) 22 Sat Rama Dhanya (kan) 23 Sun Narigaligeke Kodilla (kan) also at 3.30pm 25 Tue Mastakabhisheka Rehearsal (kan) 26 Wed Mysooru Mallige (kan) 27 Thu Dharma Stambha (kan) 28 Fri Kudure Bantu Kudure (kan) Jan 28 – Feb 6 Attakkalari India Biennial 29 Sat, 30 Sun (11 am) Ningyo 30 Sun (7.30 pm) Mixed Bill Ranga Shankara 36/2 8th Cross J P Nagar II Phase Phone: 080 - 26493982/ 26592777 Hucchana Maduvealli Undavne Jaana (KAN) Tickets at - www.indianstage.in or Contact 9845570014 Fri 21 Jan, 8 pm, KH Kalasoudha, Hanumanthanagar , Kengal Hanumantiah Kala Soudha, Ramanjaneya Temple Compound, Hanumantha Nagar

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Violin Performance by Charumati Raghuraman The music presented by Ms. Charumati, will be an instrumental interpretation of the classical tradition. This performance combines recent instrumental practice of an age-old tradition. Fri 21 Jan, 6.30 pm, Bangalore International Centre, Auditorium, Teri Complex, 4th Main, 2nd Cross, Domlur 2nd Stage. Register at 98865 99675

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20

gmail.com Mail your registrations to: Brindavan Education Trust #456, 9th A Main Road, 2nd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560 011 Sat 22 Jan, 9 am

Vol-2 Issue-25


culture

Why did Bengaluru's

regional theatre die? Plays in regional languages other than

Kannada - Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali et al. - have reduced considerably in Bengaluru over the past 15 years. This runs contrary to Bangalore's much heralded cosmopolitan nature. Citizen Matters decided to investigate.

Acclaimed Kannada film and theatre actress Umashri in Kalavu. Courtesy - KSDL Chandru.

Traditionally, a strong cultural thrust has always been provided in Bengaluru by bodies like the Maharashtra Mandal, Bengalee Association, Tamil Sangam, and G u j a r a t i associations. Bengaluru Habba starts 14 Jan What happened to plays then? Film Awards, Kannada Playback by Gurukiran Shetty and Indian Contemporary Folk/Rock by Raghu Dixit Project 14-Jan 7:00 PM onwards, Karnataka Chalanachitra Sankranthi Sambhrama at Jayanagar Stadium Theater & Communication work shop at Christ College 27-Jan by Prakash Belawadi Art Appreciation workshop at Jyothi Nivas College 24-Jan by Raghava KK Event Passes available at select Airtel Showrooms, Bengaluru Habba Office & at all Venues. For details please contact +91-80-23614443/23610920.

Achitya Lal Roy of the Bengalee Association is also the convener of their local theatre wing Krishti. He says Bengali theatre in Bangalore has seen a rapid decline since at least year 2000,

when he remembers a minimum of eight Bengali theatre groups staging plays. All of them have disbanded, mostly due to reasons of work transfers, lack of time and sufficient interest. Bengali plays in the city have been reduced to the occasional groups from Kolkata. A similar story is being played out in the Bangalore Tamil Sangam, where theatre has dwindled to an annual competition between the Tamil Mandrams of HAL, ADA and other such traditional Tamil pockets. V Sridharan, who heads the drama initiative at the Sangam, says there are hardly any takers even for free Tamil plays. The occasional S Ve Shekar and Crazy Mohan plays in Chowdiah are backed by private producers. However, Bengaluru’s Maharashtra Mandal continues to be extremely active in the theatre circuit. Their Yuva Marathi Sangh has staged 28 plays in the 15 years of their existence. The President of the association, Rajeev Potnis, says that they have organised ‘Rangadakshini', a theatre competition for Marathi groups across South India for the past 15 years as part of Ganeshotsav.

Regional language associations Prakash Belawadi, 49, a theatre director, filmmaker and journalist feels that the newer large migrant population from North India and other places bring only their skills to Bangalore, leaving behind their cultural roots. They find entertainment in mainstream Bollywood cinema, and rarely make an effort to find anything culturally relevant, simply because they have no time, energy or inclination. This is echoed by Roy of the Bengalee Association, who says Bengali youth no longer feel the need to participate in cultural events, being more attracted to English theatre. This he says is the strongest reason for the decline of Bengali theatre here. Belawadi also notices the emergence of the ‘new' generation of only English-speaking youth, who have no cultural or emotional ties, floating in a bubble of nonUmesh P N has spent the last ten years of his life taking theatre to schools, colleges, Corporates and NGOS. Vol-2 Issue-25 15-28 Jan 2010 CITIZEN MATTERS 21


last word

‘No One Killed Jessica’

is important No One Killed Jessica It was a murder and a trial that transfixed India. Now the story returns to celluloid in director Raj Kumar Gupta’s account of the murder of model Jessica Lall and the subsequent trial of Manu Sharma. The film narrates in dramatised documentary style the events surrounding Jessica’s murder and the subsequent investigation and trial. Certain movies will also be remembered for the manner in which they caricature a city. No one killed Jessica is a film that also puts Delhi on the silver screen, with its murkier elements in sharp focus. This is helped along by music from Amit Trivedi, who earlier set the musical score for Dev D. Raj Kumar Gupta’s edgy directorial style, seen earlier in Aamir, leads the way. Tight editing retains the viewer’s interest in a film that strikes all the right emotional notes. It’s also another fine performance from Vidya Balan (playing the role of Jessica’s sister Sabrina), who continues to demonstrate her tremendous versatility as an actress. Yet inspite of another good performance, Rani Mukherjee (playing the journalist who revives public interest in the trial) remains the film’s discordant. Her presence seems to make it necessary for the director to shift focus from the story to the actor in the second half. At points the film seems confused in both its intent and message. A non-star actor for this role would have done much to preserve the integrity of this film and its overall impact.

So a rating of 2.5 for No One Killed Jessica. Every Indian should watch at least once, lest we forget one of the most significant criminal investigations in contemporary India that brought loopholes of our judicial system to the fore and united a nation to demand justice.

Life as We Know It What happens when a couple leaves their two best friends (who are both still single, but very different people) as the guardians to their only daughter? Well, quite predictably, they fall in love. Director Greg Berlanti’s latest venture is a typical Hollywood narrative of opposites attract, with a cute kid in the background. But what saves this film is the humour in the telling of the tale and the belief of the actors in their film. Katherine Heigl shines as Holly Berenson and Josh Duhamel is an extremely believable Eric Messer. This combines with clever dialogues, good cinematography and tight editing to make a film that strikes a chord with audiences. It’s a film that you will particularly enjoy if you’ve not already been over-fed on the old tradition of the Hollywood love story and all its accompanying clichés. A rating of 2.5 for Life as you know it. It is an entertaining predictable story that makes for a good one time watch with your family at the movies. ⊕ Christina Daniels is a communications professional based in Bangalore. She authored the novel Ginger Soda Lemon Pop, co-authored Mind Blogs 1.0.

REGIONAL THEATRE: Continued from Page 21 identity. Bangalore also seems to support this attitude of not making the effort to learn about regional art and culture.

Death of a culture in Bengaluru? What then is the future of regional 22

CITIZEN MATTERS

culture - theatre as well as the other arts - in a city like Bangalore? People appear to have started feeling this cultural imbalance and are looking at ways to change it. The Bengalee Association is making particular efforts to involve children in their

15-28 Jan 2010

Vol-2 Issue-25

plays to redress the lack of cultural balance. The Maharashtra Mandal's theatre wing is entirely run by enthusiastic youth with a slew of fresh ideas. ⊕


Vol-2 Issue-25 15-28 Jan 2010 CITIZEN MATTERS 23


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Citizen Matters, 15 Jan 2011