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Local news like no one else does

BBMP on life support

602 bank a/c,

No money

5 Meet Reeth Abraham 6K  ites flew and dice rolled 7 Jakkasandra underpass work resumes 8 Craving for icecreams? 9 Finding Alalekai, Taarekaayi & Nellikkai

11 E  jipura residents face trouble, yet again 12 Mulch those leaves 13 P  awan Kumar making enemies 15 Walking thru Ulsoor 18 Judgement days for moms

Koramangala - HSR Layout

bengaluru

south

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Vol-4 Issue-02

20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012


Bangalore’s own interactive newsmagazine

Citizen Matters EDITORS

FEEDback

feedback@citizenmatters.in son got a thread cut, and there was basic first aid on hand. Wonderful that there were expert kite flyers willing to help out novices.

Subramaniam Vincent Meera K Padmalatha Ravi JOURNALISM TEAM Navya P K Deepthi M S Vijayalakshmi Bhat edit@citizenmatters.in

Ajay Bhaskar

MKTG/CIRCULATION Raghavendra 98455 06477 Satvik Koushik 9886754908 circulation@oorvani.in mktg@oorvani.in ADVT SALES Ramachandran P 9844228666 9901 685368 adsales@oorvani.in Design/Production Shivakeshava M Founded by Meera K Subramaniam Vincent ©Oorvani Media Pvt Ltd. No part of this publication can be reproduced without the permission of the publisher.

contact@oorvani.in Ph: 080 — 41737584 Longer versions of all articles are available online. www.citizenmatters.in, feedback@ citizenmatters.in facebook.com/citizenmatters twitter.com/citizenmatters

Cover credits Illustration: Sridhar C R

Errata

Vol-4 issue-1 dated 11 Feb. The interview of Brig Murthy was by Deepthi M S. It was wrongly attributed to Deepthi Sarma.

The Buck stops here The article says go via Dobbspet - Tumkur Koratagere - Madhugiri. I disagree. The better route is go towards Devarayanadurga from Dobbspet, go past Dev’durga towards Koratagere and then Madhugiri. Go under the Dobbspet flyover on NH4 and then take the road at 30 degrees to the right, it says Madhugiri Chidambaran Subramanian

It’s Gaalipata time! Enjoyed this event! It was well organised: giving away free kites was a great idea (even tho’ they weren’t very good, but you could buy better ones). My

Hi Team, Had a good time and it reminded me of my childhood. I had taken some snaps, thought of sharing it with your team. See desizntalk.com.

HSR CLUB

19th Main

16th main, 22nd Cross

EASY BUY SUPER MARKET

LITTLE ITALY

17TH Cross

SWAGAT DEPT. STORE 9th main

RUSH PHARMA 9th main 7th Sector

SRI SHAKTI RESTAURANT BDA complex 14th main

TANDOOR POINT

14th Main, 17th Cross

24th Main

SHIVA SAGAR DARSHINI

SUPRIYA DEPT STORE

Below Nagarjuna green ride Appt.

AM ENTERPRISES

OppNagarjuna green ride Appt.

GANESH MEDICALS 24th Main

to say!

Editors

ANDHRA SPICE

M K AHMED BAZAR

something

Thanks Ajay! Glad you folks had a good time. We got the kites made with surplus print mag sheets, looks they were not light enough :-/ Well, lesson learnt and next time, we will fix that.

pickup points for Citizen matters HSR LAYOUT 17TH Cross

I’ve got

KORAMANGALA Near Forum

NAMDHARIS 80 Feet Road

UDUPI UPAHAR 7th Main, 1st Block

FOOD CHARIOT

Ashwini Layout

Rupak Jena

Bengaluru’s markets: Going, going, gone? Sometimes wonder if they should ban all bus traffic on Gandhi Bazaar and route traffic through National College and Vani vilas road. People can also walk about in peace instead of being hassled non-stop by motorists. Why is it always the vendors and pedestrians who have to give way when traffic increases? They have a valid point on the cleanliness though. They really need to enforce some standards on that. Ideally I would like to see those vendors still there, but with wider footpaths and very minimal traffic on the main road. Even better if they can make it a complete walkway from the DVG road junction to Tagore Circle. Vaidya R

Taxi services * Tution classes * Music & dance classes * Competitive exam coaching * Catering * Plumbers * Electricians * Real estate * Pet walking * Personal Fitness

place your ads & classifieds Call Ramachandran Ph: 99016-85368 adsales@oorvani.in

Citizen Matters Vol-4 Issue-02, 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 KARENG/2009/28904. Published & printed by Meera K for Oorvani Media Pvt Ltd. Printed at Lavanya Mudrana, 19, 15th cross, Vidyapeeta Circle, BSK I Stage, Bangalore 560060 Place of publication Oorvani Media, 165, I cross, I block, Kmgla, Bangalore 560034. Editor Subramaniam Vincent.


Glaucoma Treatment Options Is Glaucoma curable? Though there is no cure for Glaucoma, treatment is given to arrest the further damage and to maintain the existing vision of the patient. Why early detection and treatment of Glaucoma is important? Glaucoma can be controlled if it is caught early. In majority of Glaucoma cases, patients will not have any symptoms but causes progressive visual loss. What is the difference between vision loss due to Cataract and Glaucoma? Vision loss due to Cataract can be regained after Cataract Surgery. Vision lost due to Glaucoma cannot be regained.

Get your Eyes tested for Glaucoma, if you are: 1. Above 40 years of age 2. Having family history of Glaucoma 3. Having Diabetes, Myopia 4. Using Steroids 5. Changing glasses repeatedly Is it necessary to use the medication life long? In most of the cases of Glaucoma life-long treatment is required.

What Glaucoma treatments are currently available? Medication in the form of eye drops is the preferred treatment. Acute angle closure Glaucoma is treated with medicines and oral tablets for immediate control of intraocular pressure.

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Are there any side effects of medications? Medications used in the form of eye drops or tablets in treatment of Glaucoma do have some local and systemic side effects respectively in few patients. If so that group of medication can be avoided in those patients.

SELECTIVE LASER TRABECULOPLASTY

When is Surgery required? Surgery (Trabeculoplasty) is required • If patients are unable to apply medication. • If patients develop side effects due to medications. • If uncontrolled intraocular pressure with medication. What is patient’s role? Success of treatment mainly depends upon patient’s compliance. Patients should have periodical follow-ups as per doctor’s advice.

What are the other treatment modalities? Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) using Lumenis (USA) equipment used in treatment of primary open angle Glaucoma. Yag Laser is used in treatment of angle closure Glaucoma.

Dr Raja Shekar Y L is the Medical Director, Shekar Nethralaya

633, 100 feet Ring Road JP Nagar 3rd Phase, Bengaluru - 560078 Tel: 08026593210 fax: 08041209197 drrajashekaryl@shekarnethralaya.com Ph:9980562020 info@shekarnethralaya.com www.shekarnethralaya.com


local matters

‘There are no sports facilities in Koramangala’ Nimma neighbour 49-year-old Reeth Abraham is one of India’s most well known athletes participating in the hurdles, long jump and heptathlon events. She started her career in 1976. She has won various medals at several international competitions including at the Asian level. Although she retired from competitive athletics in 1992, she has continued training over the years and is now active as a Masters athlete. In 2011, she won two medals for India at the World Masters Athletics meet at Sacramento, USA in the triple jump and long jump events. Citizen Matters caught up with this Koramangala resident. Excerpts. Your achievements at the World level as a Masters athlete in 2011 caught our attention. How does one even qualify? This was my sixth appearance at the World Masters meet. One has to first

Pic: Deepthi M S

qualify at the State Masters meet (for which you can just turn up) and then the National meet, which you get to if you are successful at the state meet. If one is good enough and successful at the national meet, you get to represent India at the global level. The Karnataka state meet was held in Mandya recently. The World Masters meet is held every two

Prettier scene at Koramangala 6th block playground

years. One needs to be over 35 years to be eligible as a Masters athlete. How did you manage to train and keep in shape while raising two kids? (Smiles) I don’t know how I managed. It just happened. I would sometimes leave my kids under the care of someone while I trained. It wasn’t easy but somehow I managed. I train at the stadium 3 days a week and train in a gym on 3 days a week. I also swim occasionally for relaxation. What is your take on sports facilities available in Koramangala? Speaking of sports facilities in Koramangala, it is zero. I see no changes at all, The Koramangala indoor stadium for that matter, is used only for exhibition and nothing else. Dharmendra D is a running coach in Bangalore and formerly a management consultant.

Six of us from Ecofreaks cleaned the ground near Bethany School, Koramangala on 11th February. Ecofreaks (www.facebook.com/ ecofreaks0) is a non-profit that aims to clean up the city, and is driven primarily by volunteers and donors. The ground is along 80 feet road, near National Games Village, on 6th block. On seeing us work, a few people joined us. With the help of BBMP workers, we swept the ground and the stands. On our request, BBMP sent a truck to pick up the garbage we had collected. We then painted the inner walls and stands. The ground looks a much better place to play now. If there is a garbage dump or a dirty corner in your locality, mail us at ecofreaks0@gmail.com and we will help you clean it free of cost. You can also call us at 9986221010 or 8971790517

All pics: Ecofreaks.

Ashutosh Garg is co-Founder, Eco Freaks. Vol-4 Issue-02 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 5


Koramangala & HSR

Bengaluru’s day out with Gaalipata and Chowkabara Pic: Rupak Jena

Batman and Superman can fly but have you seen a fish or a Ben 10 fly? Sunday morning sky at the Koramangala 3rd block, play ground was dotted with kites of all hues and shapes. More than 250 people from across Bangalore had gathered on 12 February to try their hands at kite flying, traditional games like pagade and chowkabara. The Gaalipata time was organised by Citizen Matters in association with Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) to celebrate three years in print in South Bangalore. NBF is an organisation working towards making Bengaluru a model city. They are also working closely with the Koramangala community on many local initiatives. Both children and grown ups were excited about these games that are not part of their daily lives. “In our busy schedule we hardly find time to celebrate or to play

Pic: Rupak Jena

traditional games. This event let me re-live the tradition in its original way,” said Saroja who came from Banashankari. Some could expertly fly the kite and were thrilled to realise they hadn’t forgotten the skill from their childhood. Those who Participants couldn’t fly enjoyed the kites had themselves expert help and said the at hand. Kite expert and event ‘brought award winner in a sense of Sabir Hussian community’. guided the

Meistripalya lake update The draft Detailed Project Report (DPR) for developing Mestripalya lake in Koramangala is ready, and pending approval of BDA and LDA (Lake Development Authority). Tandon Associates prepared the DPR over the last 6-8 months in consultation with Koramangala residents, who had won the court case for developing the lake in 10.2 acres of land. Another 6.2 acres adjacent to this was allotted by BDA as sites to 5-6 individuals. Residents are still fighting in court to get this land also to be developed as part of the lake. Currently there is a stay on the 6.2 acres, preventing any activity here. Vijayan Menon is a part of the Koramangala initiative. 6 CITIZEN MATTERS 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 Vol-4 Issue-02

participants in kite flying. Traditional games like Pagade, Chowkabara, Aadu Huli Aata, Buguri (Tops) and Marbles, was hosted by toy store Kavade. Kavade also had simple games like cup and the ball that many found tough. In a quick contest, Koramangala residents Rolland Santimand and S Bhaskar proved the fastest in this game, and won a gift coupon worth Rs 500 each. Co-sponsors: Apna Complex, Bulldog Sportz, Printo and KO Shop.

vijayalakshmi p

BWSSB work update The 1st main road of Koramangala near the Wipro junction is now open. The road was closed due to BWSSB’s work of laying sewage pipes. But the work will continue on the 7th ‘A’ main road. “The work on the 7th ‘A’ main will take another 20 to 30 days, after that they will start work on the main road to connect it to the main pipe line,” said Narasimaiah, Traffic policeman, who was in charge.

Deepthi M S


local matters

Meet your traffic cop day at Madiwala Third Saturday of the month is the time to discuss traffic problems with the Bangalore Traffic Police. People from Koramangala, Silk Board, BTM layout, HSR Layout, Bommanahalli, Bellandur and Sarjapur Road turn up at the Madivala police station to discuss the various problems dogging pedestrians, motorists and road users in general. On February 18th, residents brought the list of their problems. ® Bommanahalli auto stand should be removed. It is causing more nuisance. ® Request for a road hump on Gandhi Road ® Usage of flyovers by BMTC buses. Currently, the buses stop on the fly over causing traffic jams. Suggestion to have the bus stop before the flyover or after it. ® Non-licensed drivers should be penalised. Especially water tankers. ® Prohibit HTVs on Kaikondanahalli Road. ® Discussing the possibility of road widening from Bellandur Gate to Sarjapur. ® Madivala market. Haphazard loading and unloading of vegetable

and fruit trucks. ® Pedestrian crossing at all junctions needs re-working and remedial measures. ® Request for a sky- walk near Christ college, Bellandur Gate junction

ORR needs more zebra crossings at important signals and junctions. The plight of pedestrians trying to cross at these junctions is a near impossible mission. What is the main reason for traffic

Lakshmi Narayana can be reached on +919480801824 People can also mail to Madivalatraffic@ gmail.com and connect on Facebook: Bangalore Traffic Police. Use the 52225 sms service to communicate traffic violations, jams, harassment by autorickshaws etc. and Sarjapur junction. ® Suggestion to curb the erratic driving pattern of private transport vehicles. ® Pedestrian crossing near milk booth and Silk Board junctions is near impossible. ® Underpass needed at Silk Board from Hosur Road towards BTM. Citizen Matters caught up with Madiwala Traffic Police Inspector Lakshmi Narayana. What is the main problem faced by pedestrians on Outer Ring Road (ORR)?

work restarts for unwanted underpass?

File pic

jam at Agara Junction? Unscientific bus stop at Agara Junction. The traffic gets badly held up due to the erratic stopping and parking pattern of the drivers. With the ever increasing traffic density, what is the priority of the BTP? Smooth flow of traffic, accident prevention, seatbelt and driver safety precautions and awareness drives.

Satvik Kaushik

Pic: Deepthi MS

The underpass construction related to the Agara - St John’s signal free corridor that had stopped in September 2011, due to residents’ protests, has resumed. On Tuesday, February 20th, an earth mover started digging where it had left off a few months ago near the Aishwarya junction on Sarjapura road. The barricades put up by the BDA for the construction work were not removed despite work being stopped nearly five months ago. The narrrowed road has been causing traffic jams on a daily basis during peak hours.

Deepthi M S

Vol-4 Issue-02 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 7


check outs

Craving for ice cream in Koramangala?

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Swensen’s, a popular American icecream chain is now a well-known hangout place for ice-cream lovers near the 80 feet road in Koramangala. With 40 different Sundae varieties and 24 different flavors, Swensen’s has the perfect ambience to relish a scoop of ice-cream. The three popular flavors, which have been attracting a lot of customers, are the nutty crispy tower, Ceit tower at Rs 139 each and the hot fudge bonaza split at Rs 119. Price range is Rs 60 per scoop to Rs 399 for a special Sundae. Address: 621, Ground Floor, Opposite Barista, Near Sony Center Signal, 80 Feet Road, 4th Block, Koramangala Ph: 41313674

at Rs 139, and the Tropical fruit Burst at Rs 119. The raw material for these ice-creams are directly imported from Italy. Mamamia also supply ice-creams to the Italian restaurants in Bangalore. 11, Jakkasandra Road, 7th Cross, Near Raheja Residency, Koramangala. Ph: 9379416398

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A small ice-cream parlour, opposite Raheja Arcade in Koramangala, satisfies your cravings for naturally flavored ice-creams. Thanco fresh Fruitz Ice-cream, serves ice-creams prepared with fresh milk and natural fruits. The fresh fruit ice-cream flavours available are the tender coconut, custard apple, apricot and anjeer, among many others. Apart from the fresh fruits, Pic: Abhishek Angad

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Worried about bulging waistline? Counting calories on everything you eat? Then all healthfreaks, head to Mamamia, located at 3rd Block, Koramangala. Savour ice-creams made with skimmed milk, which claims to be 96 percent to be fat-free and the specialty low fat gelatos and sorbets prepared without milk and cream. Sicily Lemon to Blue Berry and Raspberry flavours are priced as low as Rs 39 to 59 per scoop. Do also check out, the Fererro Rocher priced

even the dry fruit ice-creams and the Belgium dark chocolate are

8 CITIZEN MATTERS 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 Vol-4 Issue-02

a hit among the customers. The price is about Rs 35 per scoop. Address: #67, 1st main road, Bed park, Koramangala. P h : 9845295440

S T

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Ideally located in the peaceful HSR layout, near the NIFT campus is Custard Beach Ice Creamery, a newly opened ice-cream parlor. With an open-air sitting arrangement for its customers, the parlor specialises in Sundaes. The varieties include Monster, Banana Nut Cake, Devil’s food Cake, Walnut Brownie and their specialty, the French Apple Cake Sundae. They are priced anywhere between Rs 35 per scoop to a maximum of Rs 125. Address: Custard Beach Ice creamery, next to MK Ahmed Super market, Opp. KEB office, HSR Layout. Ph: 9900038915

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Re-live your childhood memories with one scoop of vanilla ice-cream at just Rs 5 at the Sri Hanuman Mix Ice-Cream. A ‘desiSundae’ mobile hawker, near HSR BDA complex is surely one of the places to relish a quick scoop. The menu is not fancy, but the desiSundae or Faluda is a must-try. One glass of Faluda is an amazing blend of badam milk, faluda (Vermicelli), cherries, rose syrup, Gulkand, and all this, just for Rs 25. Abhishek Angad


˜ Arjun Pooja Stores opposite Anjaneya Temple, Hosur main road, Madiwala ˜ Sri and Lakshmi Pooja Stores opposite Anjaneya Temple, Hosur main road, ˜ Madiwala Shri Ragavendra grandhige store: #58/3, 1st main, Vasu building, Hosur Main Road, Madiwala ˜ Sree Pooja Stores at #65/1, near Anjaneya Temple, Hosur Main Road, Madiwala ˜ S Parvathamma’s shop opposite to Parangipalya bus stand, HSR Layout.

Do you know where to find Jakkai? Incense sticks, camphor, vermilion are the items that we normally associate with Grandhige Angadis. But these stores known for stocking up on all things related to pooja, are also the treasure trove of folk medicines. That brown bark to cure the acidity or that seed to fix the cough, these Grandhige Angadis are the place to find the ingredients for grand mother’s sure shot home remedies. Some of these shops are decades old and the shopkeepers can practically prescribe these folk medicines. “I am here for the past 20 years, I have learned many things about the roots and its medicinal value from my father. We have roots and seeds which can cure

cold, cough within a day. We also have cures for kids suffering from indigestion or stomach cramps,” says M Lokesh, owner of one such store.

Vijayalakshmi P

Common items found in Grandhige Angadis & their usage Alalekai (Kadukka, Myrobalan)helps in soothing wounds, ulcer, inflammation, cough Taarekaayi (Beach Almond) - cough, insomnia, vomiting, ulcer Nagasampige (Iron wood tree) Asthma, skin, vomiting, Dysentry, Piles Chakke (Cinnamon) - Bronchitis, Asthma, Cardiac disorder, fever Nellikkai (Gooseberry) - good for cough, diabetes, cold, laxative, hyper acidity etc Jakkai (Nutmeg) - is used to cure chronic dysentery, cough, head ache, running nose, tooth ache, pimples, body pain Kesari (Saffron) -helps in spasmodic disorders, used for treating skin ailments, fevers, improves eyesight Oma (Ajwain) - stomach discomfort Lavanga (Clove) - it is used to cure muscular cramps, nausea, throat irritation, headache Thin mango barks - used as chewing sticks to help clean teeth

Vol-4 Issue-02 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 9


exclusive expose

Penniless BBMP on life-support Last year, an analysis of a mere 169 city property tax returns (from 2008-10) by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) found that Bengaluru had lost over `200 crores in revenues. 25 software companies alone accounted for Rs.90 crores of this. The fault: BBMP officials had not done any crossverification on the self-assessment based tax filings.

Despite introduction of revised SAS system for payment of property tax during 2008-09, there was 28 per cent reduction in property tax collection during 2008-09 to that of 2007-08. So deep has been the rot that CAG’s audit of BBMP balances in over 600 bank accounts found out that it had left hundreds of crores of rupees lying in temporary accounts during 2008-10 without transferring the money to the main accounts. Without this, the funds don’t count and cannot be used as receipts. At the same time, for want of funds to make payments, BBMP started taking loans from financial institutions at high interest rates.

the Rs.3 crore project.

The public auditor analysed a mere 169 city property tax returns (from 2008-10) and found BBMP had lost over `200 crores in revenues. There were 10.41 lakh property tax returns filed in 2009-10 alone. These and scores of other indictments line up a scathing 20page section of CAG’s audit report on BBMP issued last year. In mid2010, the state government had quietly entrusted audit of Karnataka municipalities to the Comptroller and Audit General (CAG), India’s top public auditor that exposed the now famous 2G scam.

‘No one knows about the exact amounts.’ - A L Shivakumar, BBMP

Accounts Committee Chairman

Penniless and full of leaks Even as this was going on, BBMP is running on dole outs from the state government. Just recently, the latter had instructed BBMP last month to withdraw all tenders that were called for 2011-12. In response to BBMP’s request for grants, the state’s Urban Development Department

(UDD) had written back saying that it could not bear the burden of BBMP’s unrealistic budget and that only ongoing works from the 201011 budget should be continued. This was reported by Times of India

on February 1st. CAG’s detailed expose of BBMP’s financial mess will not surprise BBMP Accounts Committee Chairman A L Shivakumar (BJP, Chickpet).

During 2008-09 and 200910, BBMP had incorporated 602 bank accounts. A testcheck showed that there were differences ranging from `11.18 lakh to `159.96 crore in the bank balance numbers provided by BBMP and bank’s own statements

In a spectacularly detailed expose, CAG has also shown how top BBMP In a press conference eight months engineering officials made an extra back, Shivakumar had himself payment of `90 lakhs to two chosen exposed an astounding fact. contractors for rajakaluve desilting The palike had not held internal work, through manipulation of specifications and rates. ‘We had a great start through PROOF. That BBMP discontinued The state PROOF is proof enough of intent! We will never hit the high government also ground in our city development till we have true devolution of exempted BBMP powers as envisaged under the 73rd constitutional amendment.’ from tendering - V Ravichandar, Commentator on city affairs 10 CITIZEN MATTERS 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 Vol-4 Issue-02


cm special

Left in the lurch, a third time A housing project on 15.64 acres of BBMP-owned land for low-income residents in the Rajendranagar slum area of Ejipura-Koramangala has sparked off tensions amongst residents there, instead of bringing joy. After a 9-year wait, the decks finally cleared for the construction of 1,640 Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quarters here. The flats are roughly 312 sq.ft in plinth area. The High Court had in late 2010 ruled in favour of Maverick Holdings, the firm that built Garuda Mall. As per the agreement BBMP has signed with Maverick, the latter is to use 8 acres to build the new EWS quarters and the balance land for a ‘mall’ complex. BBMP is not paying for the project. The 1640 quarters are going to go to families that lost their homes when the original EWS

audits since 1964, violating the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act. Speaking to Citizen Matters, Shivakumar is plain about a startling state of affairs in India’s IT capital and a megapolis. BBMP has no idea about its receipts and expenditures, he says. “For instance, there is revenue from different sources like state and central governments, other agencies etc. But no one knows

Failure of the BBMP Commissioner to invoke the defect liability provisions in the agreement led to extra expenditure of `87 lakh on Bellary Road - from High Grounds Police Station to Windsor Manor Circle road which had developed defects within four to seven months of construction.

twice and asked them to vacate. In December he verbally gave them 45-day notice to vacate, says Venkatraman Iyer, a Koramangalaresident and head of a local NGO. Iyer runs the Swabhimaan Public Charitable Trust which has been working with the communities in the area, Harris declined to talk to Citizen Matters despite being reached several times. complex was torn down in late 2003. Even though the concessionnaire agreement (a copy of the final draft is with Citizen Matters) clearly says that Maverick will have to create a relocation package for the legal residents in the tin-sheds, no such plans unfolded so far. Instead, the area’s MLA N A Harris (Congress) has paid them visit

An aide to Garudachar of Maverick Holdings said the firm would only go on record at a press conference to be held soon. “The issue of rehabilitation is yet to be decided”, says a senior official in BBMP’s engineering department who spoke to Citizen Matters under condition that he not be named.

Newsdesk

‘BBMP no longer attracts quality contractors because of its inability to pay bills. All major projects are stalled as contractors left works midway due to non-payment’ - R K Misra, member of the ABIDe task force about the exact amounts. The Chief Account Officer (CAO) of BBMP only receives amounts and releases funds.”

took CAG, the national audit body whose report put telecom minister A Raja in Tihar Jail, to expose a corrupted and broke-BBMP.

Government ended transparency systematically

Traveling abroad when Citizen Matters contacted Ramesh Ramanathan, Janaagraha founder for this story, he hit back as hard as one can get with a three worded SMS. “Definitely gone backwards”, he says plainly of BBMP’s current state of affairs.

Audits and transparency in finances go together, and Bangalore’s past actually shines. Back during 20026, BBMP’s (then BMP) pioneeringly released quarterly accounting statements to the public through Janaagraha’s Public Record Of Operations and Finance (PROOF) initiative. Then it all stopped. Instead a JNNURM-drafted model municipalities transparency bill was severely diluted to remove mandatory disclosure clauses. It

BBMP’s situation in 2012, a fallout of massive mismangement of cash and revenue leaks, is precarious.

Subramaniam Vincent and Navya P K

Vol-4 Issue-02 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 11


for your Info

DEMYSTIFYING THE MYTHS OF ANTIBIOTICS health matters

Col (Retd.) Dr Mukul Saxena

The word ‘antibiotic‘ means a process by which life could be used to destroy life. It comes from the word antibiosis, a term coined in 1889 by Louis Pasteur’s pupil Paul Vuillemin. Antibiotics are essentially chemicals secreted by bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms to inhibit the growth of other organisms.

Ñ Antibiotics are panacea for all diseases.

ü Wrong. They are effective only against certain infections.

Ñ I can recover faster from cold and ü Wrong : Most cold and cough are viral and cough with antibiotics. antibiotics do not kill viruses. Ñ

Antibiotics are relatively safe.

Ñ Mild infection: I can buy any antibiotic over the counter and get my wound infection treated.

ü Wrong : People have died due to wrongly administered antibiotics. ü Wrong: Treatment of wound infections depends upon the organism that causes the infection. Doctors have the knowledge of wound infection and the antibiotic likely to be effective. You do not have this knowledge.

Ñ My doctor does not routinely ü Wrong : In fact your doctor is more prescribe antibiotics. The other learned. The other doctor is not practising doctor prescribes for every case. evidence backed medicine. Perhaps my doctor does not know his medicine. Ñ My child of six months has the same infection contracted through me, for which I was given antibiotic. I can give her 1/3 of same antibiotic.

ü Wrong : Child is a special individual as regards drugs. Do not treat him as 1/3 or 1/4 man.

It’s the season to be mulching... It’s that time of the year when you walk, drive, cycle and move around the city, you see lots and lots of leaves on the streets – big and small, in all shades of yellow and brown. As apartment dwellers, leaves shed from the tree probably do not feature as easily on our radar. But if you are trying to learn all things related to creating and managing a healthy terrace garden, like me, you would rush to collect and store this rich resource. In forests, tree leaves and other organic waste form a natural cover over the soil surface. This not only conserves moisture and controls temperatures but also prevents soil erosion and crusting. Over time bacteria, fungi and other microbes decompose the leaves and other organic matter, slowly releasing nutrients to the plants. How to mulch?

How does mulching work? Dry leaves, bagasse, straw and other such easily available materials are most useful as organic mulches. As they decompose, they release humic acids into the soil that help to effectively bind soil particles together and Mulching improves the soil quality. Pic: Vinita prevent erosion. In addition, the decomposition also adds nutrients to the soil. When turned into soil, this additional organic matter improves the overall water-retention capacity, nutrient availability and aeration; and simultaneously conditions the soil. Once collected, the leaves/bagasse should be sun-dried and the leaves crushed by stepping on them. Those with lawn mowers or shredders could use those to hasten the process. After watering the soil well, the organic mulch can be spread to a depth of about 3-5 inches, leaving about 2 inches around the

12 CITIZEN MATTERS 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 Vol-4 Issue-02

stem of the plant to avoid stem rot. Remember mulching is for the soil not the plant. In the case of seedlings, it is good to wait till they are about 4-6 inches tall before mulching around them. Vinita is a freelance writer and organic gardening enthusiast.


feature

No one wants an original Kannada Script / Say NO to remakes, will you? At least 5 times a day, I have someone asking me - What happened to Lucia? When is it starting? Who is it starring? I feel like I am being stabbed whenever someone asks this question. The update is that Lucia is a completed script. It has come out beautifully. My gut feeling is that Lucia can become a cult film for Kannada industry. But the reality is that Lucia is just lying in my house as a completed script. It’s going to be 6 months since Lifeu Ishtene released, and I haven’t found a single ‘adjective’ star to give me 3 hours of his time to hear the script out! And all of them are now announcing their new remake films. I would have not reacted this way if they had heard the story and then rejected it. It feels bad because no one even wants to hear it out, they simply want to pick up remakes! And this sort of a treatment after making a hit film and proving that I do have the ability to make a film. An original film writer in Kannada hardly gets paid! Sometimes if he is lucky, he can make up to a Lakh or a little above that. However, the same producer pays up to 10-15 lakh to buy the remake rights of a film from another language. Why is a remake preferred over an original? An original can only be narrated by the writer, the producer and the star will have to spend some time to understand and imagine what the writer is saying. Whereas in case of a remake, one has to just watch the film and then see how much business it has done. Simple! Your question would be, why are we behind the big stars? Because YOU - the audience are so brand conscious. If the movie doesn’t have a BIG star, you don’t even come to the theatres. And if the movie has big star, whether it’s a remake movie or a stolen movie or a bad movie, you will watch it in the theatre. You are setting the rules of the game. And this game between the stars and you is taking a toll on zillions of creative minds. This whole remake affair is killing our own

Kannada writers and directors. I am finding it a lot easier to pitch Lucia in Hindi and Tamil. However, Kannada producers might after a year buy the remake rights of Lucia! I wish I had the power to start a NO REMAKE revolution, but you as audience already have that power. Simply boycott watching remake films, go watch another language film, but don’t watch remakes. Don’t worship your star if he is making a remake. You will be instrumental in making careers for thousands of talented people who are currently rotting here. Pawan Kumar is the director of Kannada Film, Lifeu Ishtene. Vol-4 Issue-02 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 13


Guest EDITORIAl

Progress? Betterment of the city? On what grounds?

File Pic

The high court ruling prohibiting commercial enterprises know about commercial construction plans sanctioned in areas designated as residential neighbourhoods, in the vicinity, before construction work is actually has very important implications for all of us. Where started? How many can keep vigil? Isn’t that what the just one RWA (Residents Welfare corporation is for? Association) and 12 individuals of A medical specialist living oppoWhy is it necessary for a high court the city joined hands to go to court, site Mantri Mall at Malleswaram to issue orders banning commercial there should have been in fact, now finds that traffic routinely construction in what were originally several thousand, given the city’s chokes the approach road to the designated as residential? Can the population of over 60 lakhs. mall, especially on Saturdays, corporation convert land usage at Consider this example – 8F main and she cannot even take her car will, disregarding norms drawn up by and 27th cross in Jayanagar’s out to attend to emergency calls its own laws, just for the sake of extra third block used to be lined with from patients. When asked how tax income? residential bungalows till a decade a mall was sanctioned at this Which is why we need more residents ago. Today there is just one small busy junction, the authorities to join hands in public vigil, and raise residential property, the rest have retorted, what were you all doour voices, to stop gross violations all been demolished to make way ing, ma’am, before the mall came of norms in our neighbourhoods. for high-rise blocks with shops. up, why didn’t you protest at that Otherwise, tomorrow it could be Thanks to the commercialisation of time? your own home that gets squeezed the neighbourhood, electricity and out, your own health and peace that water consumption has shot up several fold. Several vanishes, thanks to the way anarchy now typifies our transformers have sprouted along the pavements, city’s dubious ‘development’. blocking the way, but the service providers are unable Sakuntala Narasimhan is a writer, musician and to cope. consumer activist. But what can citizens do? How many citizens get to 14 CITIZEN MATTERS 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 Vol-4 Issue-02


Feature feature

The land of Halasina Hannu

Home to an ancient temple and a settlement developed by the British, Halasuru retains its old-world charm. January 29th was a bright Sunday morning for us, a group of around 30 heritage enthusiasts. We had gathered at 8.30 am in front of Someshwara temple for Halasuru Parichay, a heritage walk conducted by INTACH, Bangalore Chapter. Sathya Prakash Varanashi from INTACH (The Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage) and Dr Aruni from ICHR (The Indian Council of Historical Research), Southern Region, took us through the Parichay. The Parichay was divided into two parts - the first on Someshwara temple and the second on Halasuru settlement.

add to the grandeur of the temple. The temple has two Nandis - one at the second dwaja stambha and a more imposing one near the entrance to the navaranga. The practise of using Nandi to convey a message to Someshwara by whispering in his ear is being followed even today. Carving of a man carrying a jackfruit on his head indicated that jackfruits were integral to the way of life and substantiates its influence on the name Halasuru (Halasina Hannu jackfruit in Kannada).The temple also has stone carvings of the nava nathas. Dr Aruni also showed us Kinnara and Kinnari carvings which are male and female forms fused with birds - these are akin to the heavenly messengers (angels).

The Cholas had installed Lord Someshwara in the temple s a n c t u m sanctorum and Kempe Gowda I and II In April 2010 the had expanded Kalyani or water tank the temple in Halasuru someshwara temple. associated with the V i j a y a n a g a r a Pic: Rupa rao temple was excavated. style. The Dr Aruni talked about gopurum in how the wine and Vijayanagar style and two dwaja medicine bottles found dumped stambhas - one in the outer close to the tank had helped infer quadrangle and the second the 1898 plague outbreak in the in the inner quadrangle region; the outbreak had triggered the British to close the Kalyani. However, now there is no path connecting the temple to the Kalyani due to houses that came up in between.

Halasur house with roof designed to keep monkeys away. Pic: Rupa rao

Varanashi then talked about the Halasuru settlement. In early 1800 when the British came down to establish a cantonment in Bangalore, they invited people to relocate here to take on mid-level jobs to support the cantonment.

Citizen Report

In early 1800 when the British came down to establish a cantonment in Bangalore, they invited people to relocate here to take on mid-level jobs to support the cantonment. With the British having established themselves in Madras Presidency, many Tamil-speaking people relocated here, and the British planned and developed Halasuru for them. The streets and footpaths are broad and there was an underground sewerage system. We spotted a few houses in the lanes that are over 100 years old with local, Tamil and European influence in their design.

Halasur house with colonial and tamil influence. Pic: Rupa rao

Issues on heritage and conservation are clearly important to all of us who attended the Parichay, however as Varanashi pointed out we are all part of the change that is in conflict with heritage conservation. Rupa Rao is a Telecom Software Consultant and CMCA Volunteer.

Vol-4 Issue-02 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 15


see & do MUSIC

An Evening of Dhrupad - Dagar Vaani Style Bangalore International Centre has arranged a vocal concert titled "An Evening of Dhrupad - Dagar Vaani Style" by Ms. Pelva Naik Fri, 2 Mar, 6.30 pm. Bangalore International Centre,TERI Complex,4th Main, 2nd Cross,Domlur II Stage. RSVP: 98865 99675. Allied Ragas -22 - Valedictory of thematic music programme series Exploration of ragas Madhyamavathi & Brindavanasaranga by Padmabhushana Vid. R K Srikantan accompanied by H K Venkataram Violin, TAS Mani - Mridanga 5.30pm Sat, 25 Feb, Ananya Sabhangana, 91/2, 4th Main, Malleswaram

KIDS

An evening of Storytelling with Kathalaya Travel through stories to faraway lands and times as storytellers from Kathalaya and Germany dive into their treasure trove of stories and regale you with tales from afar. Come and enjoy an evening of storytelling as three renowned story performers entertain you for over an hour with stories. Families, students, teachers and children above 6 years – All are invited. Storytellers: Martin Ellrodt, Dirk Nowakowski, Geetha Ramanujam

6 pm 3 Mar Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, 716 CMH Road, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Ph: +91 80 2520 5305/06/07/08-203

DANCE

Lasya Kavya - The world of Alarmel Valli - A Film by Sankalp Meshram Ashish Khokar's Dance DISCourse will feature the latest film made on Alarmel Valli's art - Lasya Kavya. The film brings out the beauty of her impeccable form and poignancy of a committed dancer's life to her muse. The film screening will be followed by an interactive session between Alarmel Valli and Ashish Khokar with the audiences. Ph: 41231345, 9035202433 6.30 pm Wed 29 Feb, Alliance Française, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanthanagar

Exhibition

Parables Visual Essay Exhibition of recent works by Moutushi Chakraborti. 6.30 pm, 29 Feb - Inauguration On until 5 Mar, 55, Lavelle Road. Ph: 998020031

THEATRE

Rangashankara plays 26 Sun Short+Sweet Bengaluru 2012 (E)(K)(H) 28 Tue Neeru Thandavaru (K) 29 Wed Miss Sadarame (K) 1 Thu to 4 Sun Short+Sweet Bengaluru 2012 (E)(K)(H) 6 Tue 7 Wed Ratnan Prapancha (K) 8 Thu Vanity Bag (K)

16 CITIZEN MATTERS 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 Vol-4 Issue-02

9 Fri to 11 Sun Stories in a Song (E) Rangashankara, JP Nagar II phase

WORKSHOP

Photography Workshop with Kshitij Garg Includes a photography walk to KR Market. Contact: 9739912802 Saturday 25 February – 8.00 am to 1.30 pm, Sunday 26 February – 6.45 am to 1.00 pm

FESTIVAL

Malleswaram Moves - a festival of urban neighbourhoods At Malleswaram Railway Station (Entrance @ 9th Cross and 11th Main) STEM Dance Kampani Performance, Esperanto: Music Without Borders, Socio-cultural walks and Cycle Tour, We Move Street Theater Performance, MES College Rangavaibhava Street Theatre Along 9th Cross From West Park Road to 11 Main Road, Display of children’s artworks, Display of M{A}P data by Jaaga and DULT, Live Art Interventions by Bangalore Artists, M{A}P & Neighbourhood Diaries Film Screenings At 18th Cross Bus Depot Wall Painting by Art Students and Indo-German Artists, Bus Stand Bang Bang by Attakalari Dancers Directed by Samir Akika 10 am to 7 pm, Feb 25, Malleswaram. Details at www.yourmap.in

Pics courtesy: yourmap.in, Archana Prasad


happenings

Bengaluru loved Lekhana Lekhana, a literary weekend organised by Sangam House, Desha Kala, Reading Hour, National Gallery of Modern Art and TOTO funds for the arts came to an end on Sunday, 12 February. The event included panel discussions, readings and performances. The uniqueness of the event lay in the fact that it was not only about Indian writing in English but brought together creative writers from regional languages too. Here’s an excerpt from one of the panels , ‘City in Literature’ There was some free-spirited and open discussions amongst five eminent writers, Anjum Hassab, M K Raghavendra, Zac O’Yeah, K R Usha and Saniya. They each asked why the city is becoming important to writers and whether it necessarily needs capturing with writers offering different opinions. The city, for some, was merely incidental to their work. “What you see is what you get” said K R Usha, on Bangalore and its soul. Usha is

Pic: Sushumna Kannan

the author of Monkey Man, a novel set in Bangalore. Just when everyone was wondering which works captured the city in Indian fiction, U R Ananthamurthy reminded the audience of the works of DVG and others in Kannada. He also said that Vidyarthi Bhavan, World Culture, Koshys and India Coffee House probably represented Bangalore, when someone in the audience mentioned that these were the ‘four icons’ of the city. Sushumna Kannan is a PhD scholar.

Japanese Kimonos in Bengaluru Over one thousand Pic: Deepti Sarma visitors attended the IndoJapan cultural exchange programme at the Jnana Jyoti Auditorium, Central College. The Japan Habba was held on 19 February. Aptly named “Kizuna” which means camaraderie, this festival aims for Japanese in Bangalore to learn about India and similarly for Bangaloreans to get a better glimpse of Japanese culture. Toward late afternoon, the auditorium reverberated with popular Indian songs, only difference was that the performers were Japanese.

Yasu yo, a homemaker from Cooke Town was one of the performers. Yasu, who has been in Bangalore for over a year now says that the weather and people of Bangalore warm her heart the most. The Habba has been an annual event since 2005, organised by Bangalore Nihongo Kyooshi-kai(BNK) a leading provider of Japanese, coaching, training and workshops in Bangalore, Consulate of Japan in Bangalore, Bangalore University and Bangalore Japanese Association. There were stalls set up to showcase origami art collections, Ikebana schools, Japanese learning school and demonstration of the tea ceremony. There were some Indian stalls too. Kimono draping was a big draw for the women. Gayatri Bhaskar, a final year student from Christ college, enjoyed the kimono draping process. She was happy to learn that there were varieties of kimonos depending on the occasion, season and age group. Gayatri tried on the summer kimono, made of lighter material for the younger generation and more fashionable. Deepti Sarma is a telecom professional and enjoys writing in her leisure. Vol-4 Issue-02 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 17


last word

Judgement Days It’s very difficult being a non judgemental mom. Turns out, being judgemental comes wired into your system, the moment you become a mom. Not about yourself of course. We are judgemental about other mothers, the one who bottle-feeds her infant; the one who sends her kid to Karate ALL ALONE despite the fact that he has to cross a busy road; the one who thinks nothing of serving her kid Pepsi. In other words, the mother, who in our eyes is “wrong” while we ourselves are obviously doing it right or at least hoping that we are.

thought about decision, even if inevitable. Add to that an awareness and information level which is much higher than what our mothers had access to in their generation.

The topics are endless, but the judgements uniform. “How could she do that!“, we think to ourselves, as we pick up junior from Karate and his friend crosses the evil road all by himself. Perhaps the mother has a reason. After all, which mother would willingly put her kid’s life and limb in danger?

All these make us rather well informed about the various choices and methods on offer and can often lead to a ‘my way or the highway’ kind of situation, at least in our heads. It’s also probably because we wish to be applauded for what w e

So why are moms so judgemental? I spoke to some friends and a bit of gentle prodding revealed something interesting. Parenting for many of us has been a much

confessionS of a second time mom

Reshmi Chakraborty

Pic: Wikimedia commons

18 CITIZEN MATTERS 20 Feb - 9 Mar 2012 Vol-4 Issue-02

are doing and though we may not admit it, secretly we are all contenders for the best mom award. An award that cannot exist. Because what is best mom to you could be paranoid parent to me. There are many kind of mothers. From the chilled out mum of the little road crosser to the paranoid elevator escort of the irritated 10-year-old. From the all natural expert to the white bread lover. And all of them really want the best for their child. The first time around I was the all natural mom. With the second one, I have done exactly what I had earlier been judgemental about. He’s been bottle fed and left with a sitter when I go out on work. And this time, because it is me, the shoe has stopped pinching altogether.


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