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Local news like no one else does
l o o sch ike fee h
worried 5 Meet Citizen Manvel Alur 6 The pain of HSR 27th Main 7 The house that Gowda builds 8 3 handpicked ethnic meals in Kora/HSR 9 IHA, a cultural hub
10 Kids building your Metro, getting sick
12 No more shops in residential areas 17 DiCaprio shines in J.Edgar 18 Confessions of a 2nd time mom Koramangala - HSR Layout
FREE Vol-3 Issue-26
28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012
Indiaâ€™s Coolest Hobby Super Store
Citizen Matters Vol-3 Issue-26, 28 Jan - 10 Feb 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: All you need to know
What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve is damaged, often in association with raised pressure within the eye. This leads to a reduction in the field of vision and in the ability to see clearly. The optic nerve is at the back of the eye and carries the images of object we see to brain. If left untreated Glaucoma could lead to total blindness. What are the signs and symptoms of glaucoma? Most of the time, the first sign of glaucoma is minor loss or decrease of field of vision. Many forms of glaucoma progress slowly, and most people with glaucoma do not notice any symptoms until they have suffered significant loss of vision. Some people with acute glaucoma, however, may experience a sudden onset of pain, nausea, blurred vision or sensitivity to light, or they will begin seeing haloes around lights. Whoâ€™s at the most risk for glaucoma? If youâ€™re over the age of 60 years, diabetic or have a family member with glaucoma, you are at a higher risk for glaucoma than others. What are the different types of glaucoma? Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common form of glaucoma. The other types are: normal-tension, narrow-angle, closed-angle, congenital, pigmentary and secondary glaucoma. What glaucoma treatments are currently available? The earlier glaucoma is diagnosed, the greater the chances of success in preventing visual loss. Assessment for glaucoma is easily carried out in the clinic and is painless. It includes the measurement of eyeball pressure, optic nerve examination, an assessment of the fluid drainage channels of the
Latest technologies used for glaucoma treatment at Shekar Nethralaya n
elective Laser Trabeculoplasty S (SLT) using Lumenis (USA) equipment (first installation of its kind in Karnataka)
urgery with or without S antimetabolites for adult, juvenile and congenital glaucoma
omputerized visual field C testing by Octopus Automated Perimeter, Switzerland.
onometry using non-contact as T well as Goldmann Applanation and Perkins system.
oldmann gonioscopy with G digital imaging.
YAG laser iridotomy.
ltrasound pachymetry and U ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBm)
I nvestigation under anesthesia in infants and children
eyeball, and a test to chart the area of the vision that each eye can see. There is no 100% cure for glaucoma,
but it can usually be controlled if it is caught early enough. There are several ways to treat the disease, and the best approach depends on what type the patient has and how advanced it is. Treatments include medications for lowering eye pressure, laser surgery, and conventional surgery. Glaucoma examination at Shekar Nethralaya A complete eye examination is necessary to detect glaucoma. Our glaucoma experts examine the patientsâ€™ eyes thoroughly and conduct tonometry to measure the intraocular pressure; gonioscopy to inspect the drainage angle of the eye; ophthalmoscopy to evaluate optic nerve damage; and perimetry to test the visual field. All these tests are done regularly for a patient undergoing treatment to monitor improvement. Shekar Nethralaya leverages the mostrecent technology developments across the world to offer glaucoma treatment in Bangalore. We have doctors who are experts in treating varying levels of 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 email@example.com Ph:9980062020 firstname.lastname@example.org www.shekarnethralaya.com
citizen of the fortnight
Be an active Citizen, like Manvel Alur This is not the story of someone who fought against an indifferent system and brought it to its knees, rather of someone who made her peace with the system and worked patiently from within, to achieve the best results possible.
helped develop a strategic paper for Bangalore that studied the feasibility of PPP (Private Public Partnerships) in managing solid waste. Unfortunately the project was shelved when the government changed.
representatives, include the resurrection of the 1st Block Park, ongoing efforts on the Mestripalya lake and the ongoing consultations with the government for a more effective solution to the proposed flyovers in Koramangala.
Manvel Alur’s connection with the environment seems almost karmic, with her choices in life steering her on the green path quite early on. Even as a child growing up in Bangalore, she was environmentally aware enough to write in to the National Geographic magazine on various issues and it seemed like a natural transition that she went on to do her Bachelors and Masters in Environmental Science at St Joseph’s, Bangalore and Aberdeen, Scotland respectively.
When she moved to Koramangala
The waste segregation project launched purely on volunteer efforts also bears testimony to the persistence of the team. 50 families in Koramangala 1st block now s e g r e g a t e their waste for collection by BBMP and the numbers are expected to scale up in the coming months. Manvel believes that decentralising waste collection is the only way forward in garbage management.
Her career portfolio spans close to two decades of impactful work both in India and abroad, before she finally settled down to her current role as a consultant, guiding companies towards green practices. Starting with Equations, an NGO that worked on influencing tourism policies to balance their ecological impact on local communities and
Manvel Alur, CEO and Founder of Environmental Synergies in Development, represents the best of citizen activism in Koramangala
in 2004, Manvel was keen to add value to the community. The CDP (Comprehensive Development Plan) was at that point being debated in Bangalore and she was asked to provide inputs on the environmental impact of the CDP by Janaagraha as part of the public consultation process.
If you see something wrong, whether it’s as simple as garbage strewn around, strive to do something about it. from there to TERI (The Energy Research Institute) where she worked on projects related to energy and environment interface issues. Moving back to Bangalore in 2002, Manvel found a vastly changed city, thanks to the meteoric but unplanned growth. Her tryst with community work started when she was asked to volunteer in the BATF (Bangalore Agenda Task Force). Working with Kalpana Kar and others as part of the Solid Waste Management Group, Manvel
At this point, Manvel started interacting with a Citizens Group in Koramangala that was working on CDP issues and on Koramangala’s civic problems in general. The Koramangala Initiative, headed by extremely committed people such as Major Kapoor, Sheela Ladha and Vijayan Menon motivated Manvel to get into full-fledged activism in the area. Some of the initiatives she is currently involved in, along with active citizens of Koramangala, the local people and government
When I ask her what motivates her to stay on track, she promptly credits the vibrant and positive Koramangala community. Together, they work towards making Koramangala a model community. On what citizens can do to emulate this she says, ‘firstly, be an active citizen. If you see something wrong, whether it’s as simple as garbage strewn around, strive to do something about it. Secondly, work the system. People are always ready to help, even in govt offices, and you just need to be patient and persevere. Involve the local governing bodies in your efforts, be aware, make prudent use of RTIs and you are on your way to make change, however small or humble it may seem, happen. Be the change you want to see in the world’. Meera Nair is a freelance writer and a resident of Sarjapur road.
Vol-3 Issue-26 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 5
Koramangala & HSR
Chaos, bedlam unabated on HSR 27th main
Pic: Subramaniam Vincent.
For the past few years, development works executed by civic agencies including BWSSB, BDA, BBMP and KPTCL have been going on in HSR Layout. This has resulted in frequent traffic diversions into HSR Layout, from Ring Road - Sarjapur Road, that cause major inconvenience for us all. Residents and shopkeepers along 27th main road of HSR Layout continue to live with the pain caused by BWSSB water pipeline work. The peace of this layout has been disturbed with attendant noise and pollution over months. We have shared our concerns with authorities a number of times. The entire stretch of this main road – one of the lifelines of HSR Layout - has been mutilated right from the junction of Sarjapur Road to “We are all disgusted Somasundarapalaya .This road is the and frustrated” main link to many apartment blocks in HSR and beyond. BWSSB and their contractors have given excuses like rains hindering their work as well as sudden appearance of rocks in the alignment of the pipeline.
Issue of Army Land exchange for development of 27th Main Road towards Somasundarapalaya Over three years ago, the state government had taken up a case for exchange of land with Army. The land in question is an army-owned barricaded portion jutting into the 27th main road after the 22nd cross junction. I understand all formalities pertaining to exchange of this land with BDA sites have been completed over a year back. At my individual capacity, I have been personally following up on this, during the last three years with local army authorities and BDA. Will BDA now ensure completion of 27th main road?
Someone must be answerable HSR RWA members called the officials for a public meeting. Pic: Meera K.
¢ Will the authorities now at least clearly communicate the schedule of work? ¢ Why was a geological survey, with use of satellite imagery, not done by BWSSB to ascertain suitability of alignment and plan the entire work before execution? ¢ What is stopping BBMP from co-ordinating this work now with BWSSB on priority and completing the road work in a time-bound manner? ¢ What prevented BBMP, KPTCL and BWSSB from planning and co-ordinating their work when there were dry spells for over six months before onset of monsoons? ¢ What pro-active steps are being taken by the elected representatives to alleviate problems and hasten completion rather than merely paying lip service or talking to the junior staff of these agencies? ¢ Why is there a lack of commitment by BDA to resolve the Army land issue on 27th Main Road? There appears to be no sense of urgency being shown by civic authorities to complete this work. It is just dragging. We certainly deserve better infrastructure. Mere first aid treatment of roads is not adequate. There must be a systematic supervision of the quality and timely completion of works.
Brig Murthy is the vice chairman, HSR Federation. 6 CITIZEN MATTERS 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 Vol-3 Issue-26
‘Complete pipeline work, give the road back’ Work on HSR Layout, 27th main road, dug up for the past year and a half for BWSSB pipeline work, was supposed to have been finished a year back. HSR Sector I RWA called for a meeting with the contractor and BWSSB officials on January 22nd at the Sector I park. Anguished residents and business owners from HSR sector II also participated. Brig Murthy, Vice Chairman of HSR Federation of RWAs, Muniswamy Reddy, Secretary of Sector 1 RWA, BWSSB AE Nagendra, Subbaiah K S, Vice President of Sector 1, Hiremath, President of Sector 2 and Annadurai, Project Manager at Sai Sudhir Infrastructure, the subcontractor for BWSSB work were present. BBMP Councillor Latha Narasimhamurthy joined later. Annadurai who had taken charge only on October, apologised for the delay.
HSR RWA members called the officials for a public meeting. Pic: Meera K.
He explained that the last leg of the work was held up because they had hit hard rock. Annadurai said that of the total 2.4 km pipeline length, only 60 metres of work was pending. He assured residents that pipeline work would be completed by end of January, after which pressure test would be done for a week and then dug up portions asphalted. However residents were not convinced. Brig Murthy questioned why satellite imagery was not done prior to work execution to avoid the rocks. He also questioned the logic of not completing the works before the monsoons.
Business owners complained of losses because of road work. Indrani Sathe of Shubh Sweets, Sector 2 said that the business had come down by 70%. She complained that there was not even a board with project details, making it impossible to contact the right people. Residents demanded that the completion dates should be given in writing. The Councillor promised that once BWSSB finishes its work, the road would be completely asphalted within a fortnight.
This is the plot Sadananda Gowda owns Pic: Vijayalakshmi Bhat
High Court issued a notice to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on a PIL about his plot in HSR Layout, on January 10th. The case filed by journalist and activist K G Nagalakshmi Bai last August had pointed out that Gowda’s usage of the plot was illegal.
Gowda was allotted site No. 2B, a 50x80 ft plot in Sector 3 of HSR layout, for residential use in 2006. Another 50x80 ft site adjacent at the back (site no. 13B) is owned by Sringeri MLA D N Jeevaraj. The allegation against Gowda is that he is building a five-storey building spread over both plots. Amalgamating plots owned by two separate individuals is illegal. The PIL also alleges that a part of the building is intended for commercial use while BDA had sanctioned the plot for residential purpose only. BDA rules do not allow land use change. Also, BDA does not allow residential
buildings to have more than three floors. Gowda’s plot was allocated under the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota during the JD(S)-BJP coalition government. The plot is located along 18th A main road, opposite Cambridge Public School. When Citizen Matters visited the area, none of the residents nearby were aware of Gowda’s site. Construction work continues in the site now. Nagalakshmi, in her petition, has demanded that the land should be retrieved or the building demolished. She also demands action against BDA and BBMP. In addition to Gowda, High Court also ordered issue of notice to other respondents in the case - the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary of UDD, Commissioners of BBMP, BDA and police department.
Vol-3 Issue-26 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 7
3 best ethnic meal options
Thali any one? Coconut grove offers consistently good classics of Kerala cuisine. One of the branches of this restaurant is on Sarjapur road. Classical Carnatic music and waiters clad in traditional dhotis gives the restaurant country look. The starters in demand are Kozhi porichathu (chicken fry) and erachi ularthiyathu (chicken fry). Coconut grove is mainly for non vegetarians, though there is a bit of vegetarian items on the menu like the kadala curry. The restaurant is famous for its appams, idiappams and nadan chemmeen curry (Fish curry). The thali is priced at Rs 199. Alcohol is served. Average cost for two persons: Rs 500 - Rs 600 (without alcohol) Address: No.65, 1st Floor, Shivaganga Complex, Kaikondrahalli, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore - 560034. Ph: 42147047
One of the best north Indian restaurants in Koramangala, Gramin, offers vegetarian thalis at just Rs 70. The restaurant has a rustic look, the low cane chairs and tables add to the countryside environment. The food here is homely and extremely tasty. Jain food is offered too. Here again, the menu is conventional and there is nothing new about the items but the hospitality, the ambience and the authentic taste makes a difference. They have discounts if you opt for take away on weekends. Aam panna, a mango drink is
unbelievably tasty, the lassi is good too. Address: #20/21 Raheja arcade, near Forum, 7th block, Koramangala, Ph: 41104104
If you are keen to get the best taste of Andhra, visit Nandhini Palace. Food is served on a huge banana leaf and thali is priced at Rs 110. The thali includes unlimited rice, sambar, rasam, chutneys, butter milk and curds. Other than the thali, there are rice items like biryani, pulav, ghee rice and the likes. Vegetarian and non vegetarian food, both are served. Alcohol is available. Average cost for two persons: Rs 400 (without alcohol) Address: #7, 100 feet road, 4th block, Koramangala. Ph: 25630202
Nagashree Gururaj 8 CITIZEN MATTERS 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 Vol-3 Issue-26
Nurturing culture for three decades “Koramangala was a no man’s land then,” says, Prof. N S Ramaswamy, 86, the man behind the Indian Heritage Academy (IHA.) Built in the early 80’s, the academy’s sole purpose was to foster the growth of Indian culture. Situated amidst the a busy area, it has a retained its old charm. Prof. N S Ramaswamy, Chairman, Director, IHA, believes that a place can be made liveable only through its culture and its ethics. It is a non-profit organisation, spread over 30,000 sq feet of area. With temples, open yards and trees, it seems to be far away from the city.
Prof. Ramaswamy adds that IHA is for teachers who want to teach but cannot have their own classrooms. The academy provides classrooms at very reasonable rates for teachers. It hosts classes like dance, yoga, meditation, modern dance classes to painting and guitar classes. It also has halls for day-to-day hiring to conduct seminars.
Address of IHA: 20th main, 6th block, Koramangala, near Police Station, Bangalore- 560095. Ph: 25500143 www.heritage-cartman.co.in.
The academy is an ideal place for teachers who cannot find space to accommodate students. “The problem of space occurs to many teachers, especially in cities,” says Geetha Krishnappa, 55, Yoga Instructor at IHA for 10 years. The academy is one place where students learning one form of art are exposed to other forms of art. “We also get free publicity here. Some people come to other classes and find out about us and join us. It is a great thing to have so many classes under one roof,” added Geetha. For parents, it is an ideal place as the academy is not too far away from the city. “My son is very interested in Karate, he is learning Karate here from the last summer. It is easy for me too to bring him here as we stay nearby,” says Vidya Suresh, 27, mother of Chyavan Rohan, a student at IHA. The academy also hosts various seminars on herbal remedies and nature cure. It also has a Ayurvedic shop in the campus. Founded by a man who believes in spiritual approach to management, they conduct HRD trainings on ethics, morals, values, management, motivation leadership and urban affairs at the academy.
Children at one of the painting classes. Pic: Deepthi M S
Deepthi M S
Vol-3 Issue-26 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 9
Kids building your Metro, getting sick Rajan Podder, a worker at the metro construction site, is just 12 years old. He neither smokes nor drinks, but still suffers from acute breathing problems. 30 percent of the affected people are children. “Thirty percent of the cases we get are that of children. Their breathing system gets easily affected by the poisonous pollutants in the air”, P. Kumar, a cardiologist at Victoria Hospital says. “We mainly recruit child workers from the neighbouring states like West Bengal, Orissa, UP, Andhra Pradesh because they are cheaper and less demanding”, said Ramesh Rao, a local contractor of Namma Metro. Earlier Citizen Matters spoke to a coordinator at the staterun Karnataka Resource Centre on Child Labour (KRCCL) on condition of anonymity. “We don’t know about it. But if anyone complains, we scrutinise the issue along with the local police and convict the offenders”, says the coordinator. (The author has since filed a complaint in writing with KRCCL). KRCCL is based at Karmika Bhavan off Bannerghatta Road in South Bengaluru. However J T Jinkalappa, Joint Labour commissioner denied having seen any children at the site. “We gave a spot visit, but we couldn’t find any children in the work place. The construction company knows the rules and regulation of recruiting employees for construction. So, I don’t think that they will violate our rules.”
Health standards ignored
Migrant workers at the metro construction work in dangerous conditions without safety equipment. Pic: Rupsa Chakraborty.
during their working hours.”
“For the past two years I have been suffering from The Karnataka government’s negligence toward health asthma,” said Nitai Das, a migrant from West Bengal. schemes for migrants working on “When I consulted a doctor, he asked Namma Metro construction sites can “These migrant workers me to stop working as the pollutants be blamed for a 55 percent rise in are unregistered under are affecting my breathing system. respiratory problems among them But how can I stop working?” the department so it’s since 2009. Worse, a metro contractor “Unlike the construction workers and at one site is using child labour openly. impossible to provide traffic inspectors, we are not provided any kind of health Every month the Victoria Hospital at with facemasks,” said Sanjay Kumar KR Market registers a minimum of 30 scheme or facilities Bhera, another metro worker. to 45 cases of migrant metro workers to them,” said M S When Bangalore Metro Rail complaining of respiratory problems. Ravishankar, former Corporation Limited (BMRCL) was Madhusudan Das, a medical labour commissioner. asked about this, the corporation information officer at the hospital, declined to provide much said this is mainly due to their information. “We do not provide any constant exposure to polluted metro construction sites. pollution safety guards to the metro workers. We are not “Cases like allergies, asthma and chronic obstructive responsible for it-the Labour Department is,” said B L Y pulmonary diseases among the migrant workers have Chavan, Chief Public Relations Officer at BMRCL. increased gradually in the past two years,” Das said. “It is because of the long-term exposure to air pollutants
10 CITIZEN MATTERS 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 Vol-3 Issue-26
Rupsa chakraborty is a student at Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media.
SCHOOL FEE HIKES
Some shocked, most worried If you are parent of a CBSE/ICSE-board private school in the city, you are probably worried. A Citizen Matters dipstick survey of parents views on school fee hikes found some trends. With the academic year for schools nearing the end, most parents say it is the time for them to empty their pockets. Private unaided schools have hiked their fees for the coming year. “They give us no option but to pay the amount,” says a worried parent of a child studying in St Francis de Sales High School (SFS), Electronic city. “The management gave me an option of 3 installments instead of 2 installments,” says another parent whose child studies in Deccan International School, Padmanabhanagar.
Citizen Matters conducted an webbased dipstick survey of parents reactions to school fee hikes last week. 60 parents responded. Their children were in schools located across the city from Hebbal to Padmanabhanagar. 80% of parents were in for a shock; they say that the hike in their ward’s school fee this year is unexpectedly high. (Dipstick surveys help record the top line of a trend quickly, they are not meant to be authoritative or deeper indicators.)
Still, most parents say it is understandable if the hike is nominal.
We also asked respondents about explanations given by schools. 57% say that inflation is one of the most common reasons. Overlapping with this, 46% of parents added that new capital expenditure is also cited.
Coincidentally, Karnataka’s education department has introduced an cap on the fees with the coming year 201213. This applies to all private schools coming under the Karnataka Education Act, using the state board. (Src: ToI, Jan 24th, ref: GoK circular issued on Jan 16th). This does not apply to CBSE, ICSE and Most schools appear to hike international board schools.
fees yearly. Reasons include teacher’s salaries, infrastructure, inflation, extra curricular activities and so forth. “They give us private school fee hike quick survey reasons which we cannot say no to,” says the SFS 37% of parents: hike is 11-20% school parent. 32% of parents: hike is under 10%
10% of the parents: hike is 31-40% File pic: Supriya Khandekar
it is ICSE standards and stuff like that,” says another parent of child who studies in the Carmel School, Padmanabhanagar. The same parent wonders at the volume of money collected through fee hikes in very large schools. “Where does so much money go?” he asks as he explains that each class has around 40 students with sections going from A to H.
“They give us reasons that
The schools Despite all the worry, not all private ICSE/CBSE board schools are raising fees yearly. “We hike the fee every 2 years. We increase the salary and the money is needed for school infrastructure. It’s 4% hike this time,” says a source from St Mary’s Public School (ICSE), Queens Road. Samhita Academy, off Bannerghatta Road is also not raising fees this year, a highly placed official told Citizen Matters. Some schools even take a position on fee hikes. “Education should not be made expensive,” says Syamala D, Principal, Deeksha High, (State/ CBSE), Bannerghatta Road. Deeksha High is one of the schools whose fee structure is been the same for the past 4 years, says Syamala. She adds that quality education should be made accessible for all and not merely the well-off.
Deepthi M S
Vol-3 Issue-26 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 11
for your Info
Preventing suicides and attempts Talk of futility of life or one’s inability to face stress should be taken seriously.
individual treated. Any mention of suicidal talk or thought should always be taken as serious.
Prevention: Steps to prevent suicides have to be taken at different levels. At community level, it includes education, destigmatising psychiatric illness, screening, treatment, and means restriction in vulnerable individuals. Education includes individual and public awareness, professional awareness, counseling. At family level, love, understanding and support can help people cope.
For children, teachers, counselors and parents have to join hands to detect early signs of the child not being able to cope. Religious & spiritual leaders have an important role to play.
Earliest signs of depression, or any other psychiatric disorder, should be taken noted of and the
Where does one go for help: NIMHANS is a useful resource. Besides, SAHAI suicide helpline is available 9am to 6pm with trained volunteer counselors at 08025497777. Psychologists and psychiatrists can be found on directory listings like Just Dial and Sulekha.
Col (Retd.) Dr Mukul Saxena has over 30 years of cross-functional expertise in healthcare, both in the public and private sectors. email: email@example.com
HC: No shops inside fully residential zone, now on abide by the order from January 26th onwards. Dr A Ravindra, former Karnataka chief secretary and chairman of a govt-committee in 2009 that studied commercialisation of residential areas, was stunned. “The RMP is a statutory document and city cannot go back to 1995 in legal terms. It is not clear how this order will be implemented. I have to study the order first”, he says.
In a major ruling, the High Court has ordered that commercial buildings not be allowed in residential zones in Bangalore from now on, using the 1995 CDP. The court passed the interim order on January 25th in a case filed by Citizens’ Action Forum (CAF) and others in 2008. The petitioners had challenged BDA’s Revised Master Plan (RMP 2005-2015) on the extent and nature of commercialisation permitted in residential areas. The concept of mixed zones was introduced in this RMP. Mixed zones could have commercial buildings in areas that were previously marked as ‘residential’ in BDA’s 19952005 CDP. Court ordered that such commercialisation should be stopped and that residential areas mentioned in the ’95 CDP should left as such. Advocate for petitioners Aditya Sondhi says that officials will have to
Vijayan Menon, member of CAF, and one of the key petitioners is pleased. “Within a residential zone there can be specific areas where some kind of commercial activities can happen, but it cannot happen everywhere. Wthout the requisite infrastructure in place (water, sewage, roads, public transport), an area cannot and should not be commercialised, leading to a living hell”, he says. Hearings will now be held on February 3rd on the fate of commercial properties that have already come up in mixed zones since 2005. Counsels for the state government and BDA will be present. There will be a separate order for these properties, the court said. Menon however, would not rejoice. “The fight is far from over. This is an interim order; even full orders of the court are often not implemented”, he is quick to add.
12 CITIZEN MATTERS 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 Vol-3 Issue-26
Navya P K
The Buck stops here Perhaps not everyone is aware that less than 150 km from Bangalore is a beautiful place where the critically endangered animal, the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) can be sighted. This is the Maidanahalli Blackbuck Reserve. “Maidana Halli” in Kannada, means, “Village of the open meadows”. The open grassland of the Deccan Plateau have steadily shrunk due to human habitation, and it was the efforts of Wildlife Aware Nature Club (WANC) along with other NGOs and individuals from the 1990’s. This resulted in the creation of the Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve in 2007. The Blackbuck is a handsome variety of antelope - much hunted, and now poached, for its beautiful skin, lovely horns, and its meat. Thanks to conservationists’ efforts, both the buck and their habitat survive,in this pocket of Karnataka, along with the Rane Bennur Sanctuary. The grasslands are lovely to visit at any time of the year, but particularly, in the dry season, the gold of the waving meadows is beautiful. The sun, however, gives no respite, as there is hardly any shade. Another wonder about the Reserve is the superb spectacle of the sunset, which attract photographers from far and near. How to Reach: Drive about 138 km from Bangalore via Tumkur, 23 km from Madhugiri. Route taken from Bangalore City -> Dobbespete ->Tumkur -> Koratgere -> Madhugiri
Facts about Maidanahalli (Jayamangali) Blackbuck Reserve is 138 km from Bangalore, in Tumkur District. The Sanctuary covers 798.33 acres, and has been declared a plastic-free zone. 600 blackbuck were recorded during the October 2002 census, but this had reduced to 458 in the Feb 22, 2009 census, conducted by the Forest Department and WANC. Nearest Town: Madhugiri (23 km) or across border in Andhra Pradesh: Hindupur (apx. 20 km) What to eat : Food is not available here, hotels available in nearby towns of Madhugiri or Hindupur.
Pics: Deepa Mohan
Where to stay: There are no lodges in the area. Visitors can request forest department to give them permission to camp in the area.
Jayamangali Blackbuck Reserve, Contact Personnel Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Tumkur Territorial Division, Kunigal Road,Tumkur- 5721 01 . Telephone: + 91-816-2278407
Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF), Madhugiri Territorial Sub-Division, Forest Office, Madhugiri Town, Tumkur District. Telephone: + 91-8137324777
Range Forest Officer (RFO), Madhugiri Territorial Range, Forest Office, Madhugiri Town,Tumkur District. Telephone: + 91-8137283004
Vol-3 Issue-26 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 13
Bengaluru’s floral artistry on display
One of the events at Lalbagh that the citizens of Bangalore always look forward to is the Republic Day Flower Show. The weather is always very pleasant, and the beautiful displays in the Glass House are a great attraction. Having seen the displays each year, I thought I will go and see how it’s all put together. So, early morning I watched the process of creating the Buddhist Stupa, the central attraction this year. Apart from the Stupa, I found groups of gardeners and artists, working on the “Flower Pouring Out of a Pot” exhibit, and several other floor-level displays. I spoke to Krishnamurthy, from the Horticulture Department, who was working on the floral creation. He has a team of 14 and was very enthusiastic about the preparations. The preparations, and the sourcing of the flowers and other greens required, start from mid January.
Pics: Deepa Mohan
“For us, it is a matter of pride to create these lovely pieces for the people to come, see and admire,” he says. Dutch floral designer, Ton Van Jaarsveld also designed some of the displays, Nrithyanjali, a local group, has put up a theme of the various Dances of India, including the famous Dollu Kunitha of Karnataka. The arrangements are very creative. Iqbal, a visitor, said that he prefers the Republic Day Show to the Independence Day one. The weather is very pleasant now, and the flowers last much longer,” he smiles. He visits Lalbagh every day, and says, poetically: “The gardens are like a lady, beautiful at all times, but adorning herself especially now, for spring and summer to arrive.” I wanted to ask what arrangements have been made to contain the litter around the gardens, but
could not find anyone who had the contract for the cleaning up of the area at that early hour. I do hope that this time we can manage the trash better, and we will not have a festoon of litter after the public show is over.
of one of the public events of Bangalore. I walked off feeling a lot of pride in the beauty Bangalore florists can create for us.
It felt very pleasant to be a part
14 CITIZEN MATTERS 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 Vol-3 Issue-26
On till 29 Jan, 8am-7pm. No entry after 6pm. Fees: Adult- Rs. 40, Kids- Rs. 20.
In the commoditised world, if you don’t like the price of a shirt or even a car, you can shop around to your hearts content. The same goes for scores of things you and I pay for. If you don’t like a fare from one airline you can switch to a host of others. Even though the airline sector is loss making, operators are wary of price
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File Pic: Supriya Khandekar.
EDITORIAL hikes, both due to competition and consumer sensitvity to prices. Schooling though is a different cup of tea altogether. It is an investment parents make for their children, and certainly no commodity. So when private unaided schools increase fees regularly, parents are simply not wont to move out in a hurry. Switching costs time, energy, money and stress on children. The result is a complicated mess of feelings and a touchy topic. Some parents straightaway suspect that they are being exploited because they’re not about to change schools at the drop of a hat. In market economics, this is called ‘stickiness’ of a customer base. Vendors can
Vol-3 issue-25 dated 14th Jan. It was wrongly mentioned that Anil Kumar is the Secretary of Ejipura RWA. Anil Kumar is the Secretary of the Federation of RWAs, Ejipura, FORWARD 68
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exploit this with ‘predatory pricing’. Others would like some control on fees, even as they don’t want government interference. Most seem to be accepting of inflation level hikes. Citizen Matters has been hearing from readers worried about particularly steep hikes that beat inflation by miles. We decided to do a dipstick survey of parents views on this and spoke to several schools too. The findings reflect significant worry. See page 11. This predicament will only get worse. RTE admissions are not yet under enforcement. If schools start doing this in 2013-14, most parents seem to be believe one thing: that fee hikes will only get steeper!
www.citizenmatters .in The great Koramangala park robbery Play equipments were not installed for years. Dustbins cost four times more than the market price. Koramangala’s parks have seen it all.
All is well with grade separator projects, says BDA Bellandur residents have got RTI responses from BDA on status of three projects - flyovers at Bellandur and Devarabeesanahalli junctions
Garbage contractors push BBMP to the wall; city in dumps From August 2011 Bengaluru was supposed to have been served by garbage contractors on a new system of terms and conditions. That never happened, here’s why.
Classifieds Home for rent 3BHK, 18000 Rs. rent, 1st Flr, Jayanagar 4th T Blk, 9886454181. No Brokers Vol-3 Issue-26 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 15
see & do theatre Rangashankara Plays 28 Sat Jugaari Cross (K) 29 Sun Sanjay and his Master (E) (also at 3.30 pm) 31 Tue to 2 Feb, Thu The Memorandum (E) 1 Wed & 2 Thu, The Memorandum (E) 3 Fri, Santheyolagondu Maneya Maadi (K) 4 Sat, Janatheya Shatru (K) 5 Sun, Aadaddella Olithe…? (K) also at 3.30 pm 7 Tue & 8 Wed, Five Grains of Sugar (E) 9 Thu to 12 Sun, Ms. Meena (E) also at 3.30 pm on Sat and Sun 7.30 pm all days, Ranga Shankara, J P Nagar, Ph:26493982 Snakes-n-Ladders, By Mad Hats Theater, enabled by Slice of Life, 4-5 Feb, 3.30 pm & 7 pm, Alliance Francais, Thimmaiah Road, Ph:40808181
The Angry sisters (2004) by Alexandra Leclère, Comedy 7 pm, Thu 2 Feb, Alliance Francais, Thimmaiah Road, Ph:40808181
music & dance
Guitar Recital by Elie Ossipovitch, 7.30 pm, Wed 1 Feb (Contact: +918040808181) Concert – Anniversary Gala, Majolly Music Trust Presentation, 7 pm, Sat, 11 Feb, Alliance Francais, Thimmaiah Road, Ph:40808181
29 Jan 4.15pm Sri Purandaradasa Charitram - Sangeetha Upanyasa by Kum. Gayathri Srinidhi Ananya Sabhangana, GML Cultural Academy, # 91/2, 4th Main Road, Malleswaram.
The Story of Asia’s Elephants By Dr. Raman Sukumar, 7.30 pm, Fri 10 Feb, Alliance Francais, Thimmaiah Road, Ph:40808181
M seal art on bottle All materials will be provided. Ph:8762462302 Just Books 5Th Block Koramangala 10 am, 8 Feb
Film & play from KV Subbana Aptha Samuha & Kannada Vartha ILake 3:30 pm, Sun 29 Jan: Boothayyana maga ayyu Directed by Siddalingaiah, starring Vishnuvardhan 7 pm, 29 Jan: Kalikanteerava Kannada drama Directed by Sharadha K V Subbanna Aaptha Rangamandira, No. 151, 7th cross, Teachers’ colony 1st stage, (Near Dayananda Sagar College, opp to Vasudha Bhavan, Kumaraswamy Layout) Ph: 9964152999 Rumale Chennabasaviah Retrospective: Films on landscape
Allied Ragas -21 29 Jan 10 am, Ananya’s thematic music programme series on ragas Vasantha, Lalitha & Pharas by Vid. Kavitha Saralaya & Triveni Saralaya 28 Jan 6 pm Matru Vatsalya in Purandara Dasa’s Kritis by Vid. Sri. Thirumale Srinivas and Party 16 CITIZEN MATTERS 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 Vol-3 Issue-26
art 28 Jan 3 pm Painted Fire (Korean with English subtitles 29 Jan 11.30 am Floating landscape (Chinese with English subtitles) 29 Jan 3 pm A picture of Britain – The Flatlands (English) NGMA, Manekyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road
Gubbarey - an Art Exhibition Slice of Life (SoL) presents GUBBAREY - an exclusive exhibition showcasing the work of our participating artists mostly amateur & some professional. This is a part of SoL’s “Art for Everyone” initiative. 2 pm- 9pm, 4-5 Feb, Alliance Francaise, 108, Thimmaiah Road, Vasanthnagar| Chitrasanthe Annual mega art bazaar organised by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat - forum for artists to display and sell their paintings, sculptures and installations. 8 am to 9 pm, 29-31 Jan, footpath between Shivananda Circle and Windsor Manor Circle. A brush with nature Solo exhibition by wildlife artist Sangeeta Kadur 10.30 am – 7.30 pm, 28-30 Jan, 1 Shanti Road Studio/Gallery, No.1. Shanthi Road, Shanthi Nagar.
DiCaprio saves J.Edgar Clint Eastwood continues to increase his repertoire as a director. This time, he returns with the historical documentary film J. Edgar. The film is FBI director J. Edgar Hoover’ story, and a glimpse into the life’s work that went into the making of the FBI. Besides giving us an interpretation of Hoover’s personal journey, the film also has a telling take on contemporary American political life. Yet within a genre of films perfected in Hollywood, and epitomized in the work of directors like Oliver Stone (JFK and Nixon) and Martin Scorsese (Aviator), Clint Eastwood’s attempt seems to fall short. While the film is an interesting extension to Eastwood’s work, it remains disappointing because it does not have a fresh perspective on the controversial Hoover years. However, the film might still have value as documentary fiction for those completely unfamiliar with American politics, albeit without the penetrating insight of European cinema. If there are moments of brilliance in this film, they come from Leonardo DiCaprio’s spellbinding performance. Just as he did in Aviator, DiCaprio brings alive another American legend alive in all his complexity. It is his performance, and not Eastwood’s directorial vision that gives the film its racy edge. DiCaprio moves easily from the arrogance of youth to the helplessness of old age. He combines power with a grudging vulnerability. Even at moments when he is unlikeable, DiCaprio’s Hoover is always human. Here, Eastwood’s directorial abilities could be complemented for his ability to get the best performance out of his actors. Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts and Judi Dench live their parts, breathing passion into a film that could have easily fallen apart completely.
On the strength of these stellar performances, I recommend the film with a rating of 2.5 as a good one time watch. Even when the director does not live up to the high standards that have already been set for him in this genre, his actors’ performances make for memorable cinema.
If there are moments of brilliance in this film, they come from Leonardo DiCaprio’s spellbinding performance. Just as he did in Aviator, DiCaprio brings alive another American legend alive in all his complexity.
Christina Daniels is a communications professional based in Bangalore. She authored the novel ‘Ginger Soda Lemon Pop’ and ‘I’ll Do It My Way: The Incredible Journey Of Aamir Khan’.
3rd anniversary celebration Special for Citizen Matters readers! Look out for a special family fun event for you & the kids - with kiteflying and traditional games on Feb 12th. More details in next issue. If you would like to volunteer with the games.
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confession of a second time mom
The Last Minute Mom
It’s been my long cherished motherhood dream. A good sized drawer to hold all those fancy stuff that can turn you into the queen of craft in minutes, making short work of last minute projects that involve felt, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, glitter and anything slightly more complicated and hard to find than colourful markers. At this point the dream or rather the drawer, expands into a cupboard which also holds gifts for various genders and ages between two to ten, bought at half price during off -season sales.
And then there are the clothes and This is precisely the moment that I give myself a jolt and vow to get the wardrobe that contains them. better organised; to stop being the It’s like a small boy, that wardrobe, epitome of the Last Minute Mother. disorganising itself and creating a To stop being the mom buying mess, right after you have cleaned it up. I have friends (okay, one or gifts in a rush at the store as I zip the six year old two maybe) to yet another who neatly birthday party Some mothers neatly wash, wash, iron and and turning iron and line up the kid’s line up the kid’s clothes the hideous in labeled floral wrapping clothes in labeled hangers hangers saying paper inside saying Monday, Tuesday... out to wrap M o n d a y , the presents in Tuesday, Wednesday...for the entire week to silvery shimmer because I do not save them any confusion in the early have spare wrapping paper. morning rush. In the unbelievable days (or should I say era) when I was far away from being a mother, I admired their wonderful idea and thought perhaps it was something all mothers did naturally. Well obviously not all mothers are born organised. Some like me have to still organise the part called motherhood into their lives because there’s just so much work involved. I also set reminders for medicines, holiday homework and projects. I tried not to, thinking that willpower and guilt would drive my brain cells to remember but they didn’t and this was the best way. Since I can be quite a deadline dodger, I tend to be stern with myself and the reminders go somewhat like ‘School starts on 2nd Jan. Finish homework by 28th Dec max!’. I’m just lying in wait for the time not so far into the future when I have to pack off two instead of one. Quite sure that instead of beeping with messages or calls, my phone would beep with constant reminders! Reshmi Chakraborty is a freelance writer, mother of two & lives off Bannerghatta Road.
18 CITIZEN MATTERS 28 Jan - 10 Feb 2012 Vol-3 Issue-26
Citizenmatters 28_01_2012_koramangala edition