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Local news like no one else does

will the monsoon

catch bbmp napping? Page 11

6 Case of the missing library 7 Meet Vatsala Dhananjay 7 All about bus passes 15 Umbrellas or raincoats? 10 No more free parking in Bangalore 12 Self Medication: Don’t 14 Eating out 17 Who eats the bees? To enquire for ads, give us a missed call: 080-300 88 614

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www.citizenmatters.in Vol-4 Issue-11

30 June - 13 July 2012


FEEDback No more free parking in Bengaluru So BBMP corporators decided they wanted in on the illegal fees we’ve been paying to touts all along to park in the city! What took them so long?! Vaidya R

Ignorance of school bus rules put kids at risk As a school bus safety expert in India, I can tell you that most parents (more than 60%) don’t really care about school bus and child safety. I’ve spoken to dozens of parents who, when dropping their children off on 2 wheelers, drive maniacally and stupidly on Bangalore’s roads, and don’t think that it’s a risk to their children. Worse, their children are learning about unsafe driving practices from their parents. I’ve spoken to over 200 schools, many in Bangalore, and I know

email feedback@citizenmatters.in

that majority of principals DO care, but simply don’t have the time, bandwidth and funds to implement good school bus safety. Several drivers too have their constraints (though I’d say that more than 50% are callous, murderous drivers), and the challenge is to get all the stakeholders - parents, principals, drivers and transport owners - to agree that child safety is critically important. Kunal Ashar

Sarjapur Road railway crossing needs underpass To make matters worse - there are speed breakers on both sides - which make it impossible for any vehicle to cross them without hitting the bottom. Sometimes matters can be solved by simply taking care of these basics also. But as bangaloreans we seem to love speed breakers - a

I’ve got

something

to say!

fetish that none of the other states in the country seem to suffer from.

Suhas S Nerurkar

Yes. An underpass or a flyover is dire need. Numerous residential projects are coming up on Sarjapur and surrounding areas. It seems railway had already constructed an underpass near SarjapurChandapura road. The priority should have been given to this road because the other road is not that crowded. Do not know why that was taken up first. Gireesh

Citizen Matters Vol-4 Issue-11, 30 June - 13 July 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, #98/1, MMR Plaza 1st Floor, Sarjapur Main Road, Jakkasandra, Koramangala 1st Block, Bangalore 560034. Editor Subramaniam Vincent.


Donate Eyes, Gift Sight If you are considering donating your eyes or just wondering about how it all works, and want to know more, read on. What is Eye Donation?

Eye donation is donating or gifting the entire eye organ. This can be done only after death. No living person, under any circumstance can donate eyes. During one’s life, a donor pledges to donate his or her eyes. Eye donations help people suffering from corneal blindness. There are estimated 25 lakh people in India having this form of blindness, which happens due to corneal opacity.

What causes corneal blindness?

Corneal blindness can be caused by a variety of different reasons. They include: poor nutrition, Vitamin A deficiency, eye injuries, chemical injury, cracker bursts, eye lid paralysis, etc.

How to Donate

To donate, you can sign up with an eye bank. Inform your family when you do this. Get a certificate. Display the certificate at your home or workplace with pride and encourage others too. Act as a messenger of eye donation. Eye bank phone numbers are in the first few pages of your local phone directory. Shekar Nethralaya has a 24x7 service of eye banking. 080 26593210 (8am to 8pm) 9880637371 (24 Hrs)

Can someone pledge your eyes after death?

A living relative of the dead can also decide to donate the eyes of a person after she or he has expired. Pledging to donate an eye is an individual desire. Discussion in the family is usually desirable. When you come across death in known circles, you can initiate a discussion as a grievance counsellor for possible eye donation. The law permits eye donation if close relatives of the dead person agree for this. Some people believe that those who donate eyes will be blind in next birth. This is merely a myth, and needs to be overcome by education about eye donations. This will help more people take pledges. What happens donation?

Difference pledging

between

donation

and

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A living person pledges his/her eyes for donation while alive, and the eyes are donated after death.

Cornea preservation in Lab

Corneal storage examined in the lab. The cornea taken from the donor is used for grafting. There are hundreds of people on the waiting list. The eye hospital will call and treat the recipient in 1-2 days. To donate your eyes, email eyedonation@ shekarnethralaya.com.

during

After the donor passes away, a phone call is made to the eye bank. The personnel will reach in 2-3 hrs. The tissue removal process takes 5 to 10 minutes. There is no disfigurement or trauma to the dead body. The tissue is

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


Treating mouth ulcers Almost all of us have suffered from the dreaded mouth ulcers at some point or the other in our life…and have been told that we have to grin and bear it!! Mouth ulcers, also known as Aphthous Ulcers are most common among people between the ages of 10 to 60 years. They often appear when the body’s immune system is weak or compromised, with mouth injury or by stress. There are a lot of factors that can trigger or cause a mouth ulcer to develop such as infection with a virus or bacteria, dental problems and eating certain food. For now mouth ulcer treatment is based on relieving the pain and boosting the healing process. A variety of factors can cause or trigger mouth ulcers such as: biting the inside of your cheek, lip or tongue, sharp or broken tooth, using a toothbrush that is too hard, hypersensitivity to certain foods, Inherited vitamin deficiency, especially B-complex, bacterial or viral infection, hormonal changes, medicines, anxiety, stress, poor oral hygiene, spicy food, alcohol and smoking. SYMPTOMS The ulcers begin as small red swellings. At this stage people will often feel a burning or tingling sensation. After a day the red swelling bursts open. The ruptured

Treatment It is normally said that you could treat ulcers with medicines within a week or it will otherwise take 7 days to get cured!! When to see your doctor or dentist? • If the mouth ulcers have not disappeared after two weeks • If you think that your mouth ulcers are caused by your medication • If the mouth ulcer starts to bleed • When you have a sudden outbreak of mouth ulcers accompanied with a fever • If you think that your mouth ulcers are caused by poorly fitted dentures

sores are covered by a thin white or yellow membrane and edged by a red inflamed border. Generally,the sores heal within two weeks without scarring. Mouth ulcers are usually found on the movable parts of the mouth, such as the tongue or the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, and at the base of the gums.

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Although mouth ulcers will disappear eventually by themselves, they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and it takes a while for them to heal. There is no cure available for mouth ulcers. Treatment of a mouth ulcer is based on relieving the symptoms, reducing the chance of returning and promoting the healing process. Before you start treating mouth ulcers it is advised at first to pursue optimal oral hygiene. A nightly dose of vitamin B12 is advocated to prevent them from recurring. In mild cases, use of topical coating agents such as Mucopain or Zilactin is appropriate. In more severe cases, the use of a high potency topical steroid preparation, placed directly on the lesion shortens healing time and the size of the ulcer. For severe cases that do not respond to topical therapy the use of systemic therapy should be considered.

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Koramangala & HSR LaYout The vacant site. Pic: Abhishek Angad

City Master plan: BDA must get the vision right The Citizen Action Forum (CAF), a federation of RWAs will share their inputs on Bangalore’s Master Plan 2035 with BDA. On May 7th, BDA had quietly begun a process of revision for Bengaluru’s city master plan (2016-35), and invited suggestions from public.

The case of the missing library in Srinivagilu A reading room constructed in 2000-01 for the benefit of SC and ST residents in Ward 68 at Srinivagilu AK Colony has gone missing. BBMP documents show that two lakh rupees was allocated for the construction of the reading room. Citizen Matters has a copy of the document that has been attested by a BBMP, Assistant Executive Engineer, Koramangala Subdivision. This amount was carved out of the total 17 lakh rupees, under SC and ST grant allocated to the ward in 2001. A work order was also issued to a contractor named A Krishna and later, the details of the expenditure were also submitted by him. The residents mostly from the Dalit Community, confirm that a building was constructed but it was never used as a reading room. The building hosted an anganwadi and a tailoring class instead. The BBMP demolished the building

in 2009, to build a three-storey building to accommodate the anganwadi, the tailoring class and the library. But the building was never constructed. The land on which the building stood abuts the army land in Ejipura. The residents say that the army then claimed that the land belonged to them and objected to BBMP’s plans. Citizen Matters has not been able confirm this. Nagarathna, a teacher, was posted at the anganwadi centre in 2008, functioning in what was supposed to have been the reading room. She says, “BBMP demolished it saying they would build a three storey building but for more than two years, we have been operating from a small room.” The Anganwadi currently operates out of a small building opposite the old site. BBMP officials were not available for comment.

Abhishek Angad

abhishekangad@citizenmatters.in

At a micro level, i.e. the rules and regulations governing various zones, BDA needs to appreciate that inputs and problems are already in the public domain. The dissatisfactions on the RMP 2015 have already been stated vis a vis the PIL on the current Master plan. The court has passed a couple of interim orders regarding green belt and residential areas. These need to be taken as ‘on record’ and BDA must act on these. Further there is the detailed PSS Thomas Committee recommendations, compiled out of citizen inputs during preparation of the Master plan 2015. At a macro level, BDA should for a start, separate the vision statement from the details. They need to get a buy-in from all stakeholders on the vision of what Bangalore should be. All civic bodies, especially BBMP, should have ownership of the plan and commit to making the plan successful. The plan has to be in consonance with BMRDA’s structural plan. BDA must reach out and have a strong on-going citizen engagement programme to create a plan that reflects all citizens’ needs and aspirations. Citizen Reports

Vijayan Menon is a resident Koramangala and member of CAF.

of

Koramangala signal-free project: Residents file FIR against contractor On June 14th, Koramangala residents filed an FIR against the construction firm, NCC for starting work on the Agara–Sirsi Circle signal free corridor. Residents had been earlier assured that the work would not start until the BDA Commissioner inspects the site. Residents

say

the

new

BDA

commissioner Pradeep Singh Kharola visited the site after the FIR was filed and asked for some minor modifications in the project. Koramangala resident Muralidhar Rao says, “RWAs are not happy about this. We are relying on the CM-appointed committee which is studying the matter.”

6 CITIZEN MATTERS 30 June - 13 July 2012 Vol-4 Issue-11

Residents had also filed a PIL opposing the project earlier. According to media reports, Kharola has promised to relook at the project and modify some aspects including land acquisition from Lalbagh, St John’s Hospital etc. Abhishek Angad

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local matters

Be diligent with those property papers

A

real estate lawyer by profession, The genesis of the title (from 1963) Vatsala Dhananjay, moved was fake and even with my experience I could not find it. There to Bangalore from Nimma is now a case against the Coimbatore in 1990. neighbour entire layout. After completing her law degree in 1993 from SJRC Do issues like these Law College, she got married and happen because of builders’ malpractices settled in Koramangala. She has been alone or also because of lacuna from the a lawyer for nearly two decades now.

Did you always know you want to be a lawyer? Most of my family members are from this profession. My father thought that I had potential to be lawyer. Though I went to law school, I was not so sure. Later I felt one aspect of work - transfer of property or chamber work will suit me rather than going into litigation.

What kind of challenges do you face in this profession? Once I passed legal recognition to a site in Laughing Waters layout since all the documents looked genuine, but later I came to know that it was fake.

government side?

Government is just one of them. If you are not diligent you can trip and fall with Prior Agreement Holder, same with undisclosed family trees, amongst many others. There are also a lot of unfair trade practices by builders. For example, customers have the right to see the details of the title, prior booking a flat or a residential place. But sometimes builders refuse to do so without taking the booking money. Before you sign the agreement you can scrutinise the authenticity of the project.

Abhishek angad

abhishekangad@citizenmatters.in

Pic: Abhishek angad

All about BMTC bus passes With soaring fuel prices, travelling by bus is a good option. Day passes, monthly passes and yearly passes, BMTC hasn’t made it too simple!

Vayu Vajra monthly pass

Special Passes

Vayu Vajra Gold Monthly Pass: `2650. Valid for travel on all services

BMTC honours KSRTC issued special passes. Blind pass: Free. Physically Challenged pass: `550 per annum.

Vajra and A/C Suvarna Daily Pass Vajra Gold Day Pass: `90 - valid for travel on all services except Vayu Vajra & Bangalore Rounds A/c Suvarna Day Pass `50 - valid for travel on all services except Vajra, Vayu Vajra and Bangalore Rounds

City pass: `550. Unlimited travel in all non-A/C services within city limit for one month. Suburban/Pushpak/Suvarna passes: `725. Unlimited travel in city, suburban and Pushpak/Suvarna services for one month.

Vajra monthly pass

Senior citizens monthly pass

Vajra Monthly Gold Pass: `1450 (Requires a BMTC ID. ID can be procured at KBS for `100. Need a stamp size photograph, and id proof like Pan card, DL, Voters ID, Passport or Govt Employee ID. Vajra Monthly Student Pass: `950 (Requires college/Institution ID validation) Vajra Monthly Pass Holders can travel on all services except Vayu Vajra and Bangalore Rounds

Ordinary monthly pass

City: `495. Unlimited travel in all non -AC services within city limit for one month. Suburban/Pushpak/Suvarna: `650. Unlimited travel in all City, Suburban and Pushpak/Suvarna services for one month.

Day pass `40 (permitted to travel in BMTC’s city, Suburban, Pushpak/Suvarna services for one day) in possession of ID card.The cost is `45 if you don’t possess ID card.

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Student pass a) Primary/secondary students: `70 for a period of 10 months. b) Higher secondary school students: Boys: `770, Girls: `595, for a period of 10 months. c) College students (including PUC, Degree & Professional): `620 (5 months), `1170 (10 months), `1390 (12 months) d) Tech/Medical Students `770 (5 months), `1470 (10 months), `1750 (12 months) e) Professional Courses (ITI, Diploma, Nursing, B.Ed, D.Ed etc) `745 (6 months), `1420 (20 months) f ) Evening college students `770 (10 months), `1470 (10 months), `1750 (12 months). Student pass not applicable for Vayu, Vayu Vajra and A/C bus services.

Vol-4 Issue-11 30 June - 13 July 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 7


craft Corner

Card Making

This article is part of Itsy Bitsy crafts popularisation initiative and is accompanied by the advertisement on the following page. Rashmi Closepet is a founder of Itsy Bitsy.

8 CITIZEN MATTERS 30 June - 13 July 2012 Vol-4 Issue-11

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Vol-4 Issue-11 30 June - 13 July 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 9


Pic: Navya PK

exclusive

No more free parking Though watered down, the new parking policy does seem set to streamline the process.

I

n its March meeting, BBMP Council approved a new parking policy which would allow BBMP to collect parking fee from citizens. As per this policy, parking will be charged across the city, and parking lots will be set up in all areas. The policy aims to encourage public transport and reduce land use for parking. BBMP is now waiting for a study commissioned by state government’s DULT (Department of Urban Land Transport). This study will look at public transport and existing parking availability, identify parking demand and also areas where parking lots can be set up. DULT has commissioned the study to a consultancy named TTIC (Traffic and Transport Institute and Consultancy) and expects the study to be completed in eight months. “BBMP can just start off with nominal charges for parking rightaway. BBMP has also asked our help in framing the bye-laws to implement the policy,” says a senior official of DULT, on condition of anonymity. Basavaraj Kabade, Executive Engineer at BBMP’s Traffic Engineering Cell, says that parking fee will be charged in CBD (Central Business District) areas initially. “Once DULT frames bye-laws, we will make recommendations. It will

some of the provisions approved by Council Parking will not be free both on street and off street (vacant plots, basement parking, multi-level car parking (MLCP) etc). Parking lots with parking meters, sign boards and safety standards will be set up across the city. Fee will depend on reason for parking, duration of parking, land price etc. (for eg., rates for on-street parking will be higher compared to off-street parking) Park and ride facility will be set up at main transport hubs. Create MLCPs. then be sent to the Council and then state government, for approval. We may start implementation within the next six months,” he adds. The draft policy, which BBMP Council had partly approved, was made by DULT. The draft had stringent provisions, many of which were rejected by BBMP Council. For instance, the provision that parking fee during peak hours should be higher than that during non-peak hours, was not approved. DULT had also suggested differential pricing for A, B and C zones which

10 CITIZEN MATTERS 30 June - 13 July 2012 Vol-4 Issue-11

In areas, where parking demand is high and public transport coverage is good, pricing will be on hourly basis. In other areas, it can be a monthly rental. On-street parking will be allowed for short durations only. Heavy vehicles cannot park on roads. Penalty for illegal parking will be increased. Auto stands will be set up near parking lots and these will operate within fixed timings. Cycle racks will be set up near parks and playgrounds. are defined as per Revised Master Plan (RMP-2015). According to RMP, ‘A’ zone comprises areas within inner ring road, ‘B’ zone has areas between inner and outer ring roads, and ‘C’ zones comprise areas beyond outer ring road. While A zone has the most frequent public transport, C has the least; hence the idea that the parking controls and rates should be higher in A, and lesser in B and C zones. The idea of differential parking has been trashed for now.

Navya P K

navya@citizenmatters.in

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cm special

Is BBMP ready for monsoons? Practically all roads have been dug up for either laying BWSSB pipes or for building new flyovers. Will BBMP re-lay the roads in time?

I

n the last few years, a large part of the city’s low lying areas were affected by flash floods, due to heavy and continuous rains. The RWA members of these areas have been trying hard to get BBMP and BWSSB to fix these issues. The biggest issue has been clogged drains leading to flooding. Will this year be any better? BBMP has taken up desilting the Storm Water Drains (SWD) in the three valleys - Koramangala-Challagata, Hebbal and Vrishabhavati, to ensure proper flow of rainwater. They have also appointed many officers to keep track of complaints. Areas like Koramangala, JP nagar, Jayanagar and BTM layout are among the low lying areas in Bangalore prone to flooding.

Residents not confident of BBMP’s preparedness

have cleared the storm water drains in all the four valleys. But these will again collect silt. So we have to keep the work of clearing the drains, desilting, etc, on.” He adds that filling potholes are an ongoing process and it is not a monsoon related exercise.

BWSSB adding to the residents’ woes

BBMP has divided the city into eight zones - East, West, South, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Bommanahalli, Yelahanka, Dasarahalli and Mahadevapura. Each zone is looked after by a Joint Commissioner and Chief Engineers. Executive engineers look after sub-divisions. Areas that flood at 60 mm rainfall have been identified as flood-prone. BBMP PRO Khandre says “We have established control rooms at such places and appointed people who will immediately call our control rooms in case of emergency.”

The BWSSB has also dug up the roads in HSR Layout for sewage pipe laying works. The idea behind the work is to separate the sewage lines from the SWDs. This will avoid polluting the rainwater flowing through SWDs. However residents of the area are complaining about open holes on the road. But BWSSB engineer in charge, who did not want to be named, says, “Sanitary lane (sewage pipes) laying work in HSR Layout is finished. The remaining asphalting works will be finished in a week.” Brig R S Murthy, Vice-President of HSR Layout Federation says, “The authorities try to start functioning in a reactive mode once the problem of rain starts affecting the layout.” He believes that there is no commitment on the part of civic authorities to develop permanent measures to prevent such problems. He complains that the dry periods available for execution of projects are wasted.

HSR Layout works. Pic: Sankar C G.

C H Ram, an RTI activist from Koramangala, feels that there cannot be a solution because the roads are never built according to norms. He believes that a contractor has to pay so much bribe to get the contract that he ends up compromising the road quality. “The contractors also need profits, and it is obvious there will be compromise in quality,” he says. Apart from the roads, almost all storm water drains are half filled with debris.

BBMP is confident

Last year, a budget of 40 crore rupees was sanctioned for the desilting of the three valleys. This year, no specific budget will be allocated to it. There is also no budget allocation for other ongoing work like road asphalting, potholes filling, etc. Khandre is however confident that the steps taken will be sufficient to keep the areas flood-free.

Anisha NAir, abhishek angad

BBMP PRO Dr S S Khandre, on the other hand, says, “We Got feedback on our articles? Give us a missed call at 080-300 88 615

Vol-4 Issue-11 30 June - 13 July 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 11


for your Info

The world is full of first aid boxes containing drugs that can be harmful if taken unsupervised. It cannot replace a doctor’s advice.

“Have a headache?” Take Anacin. “Have loose motions?” Take Norflox or Flagyll. I am sure all of us have witnessed this conversation sometime or the other. People self prescribe antibiotics, and even steroids. TV and media advertising support this trend. How many of us realise that this can be dangerous? Do we know that Aspirin (in Anacin) can lead to life-threatening bleeding from stomach? I have faced this emergency as a surgeon, and finally we had to remove a part of the stomach to save the patient’s life.

Pic: wikimedia commons

Self medication or self harm? of first aid boxes containing these drugs. This article is not against first aid. This is just to remind that first aid means taking medication before proper medical consultation is made available. It is not in lieu of medical consultation.

Dangers of self-medication Combination preparations contain ‘hidden’ classes of health matters drug. Hidden classes are drugs Col (Retd.) Dr Mukul Saxena that normally people may not use for self medication, like Aspirin when given to children steroids. Similarly combinations with viral illness can precipitate a contain drugs like Nimuselide, potentially fatal condition called which are banned. Reye’s syndrome. Do we know, that Flagyll, commonly taken for Antibiotics are widely and often loose motion, if taken along with inappropriately used. Potentially alcohol, can lead to very distressing dangerous drugs are taken for symptoms? How many of us are trivial or bizarre indications. Banned aware that in infants less than a year drugs and food supplements and old, all cough syrups are dangerous? tonics of dubious nutritional and Yet, self-medication continues to be encouraged. The world is full

pharmacological value are also very dangerous.

Home remedies to manage pests

I

n this fourth and last part, we will look at some simple home solutions to manage pests in your garden.

It is believed that sprinkling baking soda lightly on the soil around tomato plants sweetens tomatoes by lowering their acidity and discourages pests. Add 1 tsp baking soda to 1/3 cup cooking oil. Take 2 tsp of this and combine with one cup water and fill the plant sprayer. This should be effective against aphids, spider mites and white flies. A mixture of 50g each of chilli, ginger, garlic onion and pepper (any three) should be ground and mixed with 150ml water. Add 350ml water more and filter it. Dilute this with one litre of water and spray on plants. Interplanting marigold is one of the best forms of biological control in an organic garden.

To repel chewing and leaf cutting insects, marigold spray is useful. Soak one cup of mashed marigold leaves and flowers in half a litre of water for 24 hours and strain. Dilute this with another 1.5 litre of water and add 5ml of liquid soap (like soapnut solution).

used against mealybugs. Soak the pods, extract the filtrate and make a 5% solution.

For fungal diseases like For aphids and mites a 5% mildews, leaf spots and stem and root spray of chilli, garlic, ginger (50g rots, use sweet flag/baje rhizomes together) would work well. Repeat extract 5% spray. Powder it, soak every 10-15 days. 50g of it overnight, take the filtrate and add water to get the volume to Neem seed extract solution can 1 litre and spray well on the plants. be used for mealy bugs, aphids, thrips, Repeat after 10 days especially during beetles and caterpillars. humid seasons. Sweet flag is available A rule of thumb is to first test any new in granthige spray on a leaf, angadis. Tobacco Chlorophyll conversations before applying it leaf solution is also vinita suryanarayanan on the whole plant; said to be effective to ensure it does against fungal not cause any further damage to the infections. plant. A similar spray of shikakai can be

12 CITIZEN MATTERS 30 June - 13 July 2012 Vol-4 Issue-11

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EDITORIAL

Bangalore’s own interactive newsmagazine

Citizen Matters Associate Editor Padmalatha Ravi Community Editor Meera K Editor Subramaniam Vincent Staff Journalists Abhishek Angad Anisha Nair Navya P K Design & Publishing Shivakeshava M Sub-editor (New media) Nagashree Gururaj edit@citizenmatters.in MKTG/CIRCULATION Raghavendra 9845506477 circulation@oorvani.in mktg@oorvani.in ADVT SALES Ramachandran P 080-30088614 (leave missed call) adsales@oorvani.in ©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. Citizen Matters is published by Oorvani Media Pvt Ltd to chronicle current affairs of India’s cities, in depth, with a focus on governance, community and culture. More at: citizenmatters.in/main/about. Editors note: The advertisement features in this issue are paid-for articles. They are presented by the advertiser to readers for information and promotion. No journalists were involved in preparing them. www.citizenmatters.in, feedback@ citizenmatters.in facebook.com/citizenmatters twitter.com/citizenmatters

Cover credits: Anisha Nair

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Residents’ associations, follow the leaders!

T

o the casual observer, it may appear that Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) in the city often work in silos; they are not often effective and find it tough to tackle larger issues. This may even be true. However, over the past decade, Bangalore has been seeing more residents’ activism. Together, they tell a story of change. For instance, more RWAs are now teaming up to form federations. The newest kid on the block is Bannerghatta Road Neighbourhoods Assocation or BANA. RWAs usually focus on basic civic issues like non-pickup of garbage, street lights, and the occasional cultural activities for their individual micro areas. Federations help RWAs take on larger and policy issues across the local region itself. The Koramangala Initiative and Forward 150 (Bellandur Ward federation) have already done valuable service as support

networks. The JP Nagar VII and VIII phase federation is notable for its work on Akrama Sakrama. A stellar example from this week is the work of Citizens Action Forum (CAF). CAF has teamed up with the Namma Bengaluru Foundation to send a consolidated set of inputs to the BDA on revising the city’s master plan. They demand that BDA develop a clear vision for the city and seek a consensus on that before getting into a detailed revision. See article on page 6 in this issue. All of this is good. However, the examples are still few and far between. More and more RWAs need to form federations. The need of the hour is that more associations get together to constructively engage the government on planning and neighbourhood improvement initiatives like lake rejuvenation.

Meera K

edit@citizenmatters.in

Penniless and powerless, BBMP action-replays the budget

O

n June 28th, the city council met for its monthly session to approve the budget. Turns out the proceedings had nothing to show that the city was getting financially healthy again. Last year, BBMP had projected over Rs 9000 crores of expenditure largely predicated on state government grants, which it never eventually received. It ended up collecting a mere Rs 3934 crores. This year again the council has projected nearly Rs 9500 crores with the same gaping hole in receipts. It is pretty clear to anyone closely observing the local government process in Bangalore that both the state government and city council are merely going through the motions. For instance, BBMP does not get approvals for state government grants it projects before the budget. It merely requests for grants after finishing its budget exercise and then later in the year throws up its

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hands saying, the state government has not made out grants! Last year, months after the budget, the state government issued a letter to BBMP to stop its works since there was no money. Talk of grants requested were conspicuously absent. This week, in passing another similar paper budget, BBMP has shown again that its projections of total cash inflow are mere statements of intent. The only revenue BBMP controls are property taxes, advertisement fees, and a few cesses. Akrama Sakrama penalty revenues have now been forgotten. This is why the budget has a hole, year after year. The bigger culprit is the state government. And this is a long story we have told several times in this newsmagazine. As long as Vidhana Soudha - through BDA, BWSSB and BMRDA - controls the real Bangalore, BBMP remains a crippled puppet at best.

Subramaniam Vincent

edit@citizenmatters.in

Vol-4 Issue-11 30 June - 13 July 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 13


check outs Craving for authentic Italian cuisine today? A date, family gathering, friends outing or a formal office meet, Chianti in Koramangala, caters to the foodie in you.

B uo

o t i t e n A pp

Enter and you are greeted by a waiter who will assist you throughout your journey from the Zuppa (soup) to the Dolci (dessert). The attention you will get from the waiters will definitely make you feel special. Ten points for service. Delicious Bruschetta appetiser, the Italian way! You will find an instruction leaflet on your table. Don’t worry, It’s the instruction to dress your own Bruschetta (toast). Delicately rub garlic, basil leaf and cherry tomato on your toast. Then add salt and pepper to taste, pour olive oil to your heart’s content and, tadaaa! Your yummy Bruschetta is ready. Next, you get a bread basket with butter and sweet paprika dip to accompany your soup. A variety of veg and non-veg pastas to choose from the main course. Spinach flavoured Gnocchi di Patate served with cheese sauce, just melts in your mouth. Pollo en Salsa di Vino or chicken breast in white wine sauce with potato and

vegetables with capers and lemon if you are a meat lover.

Fresh Tiramisu made from coffee flavoured liqueur, cheese and egg yolk, will be a perfect ending to your lavish meal. Average cost for two is Rs 1000 (without alcohol). Alcohol is served here. 12, 5th A Block, Koramangala. Ph: 41132021

A place for vegetarianos Vegetarian delights! Eurasia Pasta and Barbeque in Jayanagar would be one of the best choices if you want variety, the vegetarian way. A plethora of starters to choose from. Tortilla chips with salsa, cheese corn balls, Crostini Vesuvio, Hummus and Mutabal with Pita bread, garlic bread and more. Well! This is just the beginning. Thin crust pizzas are the highlight here. Nawabi, Tabasco, Indian and the pizza list goes on. Live pasta counter with veggies of your choice is the USP. Mushrooms, garlic, broccoli, capsicum, jalapenos, olives and much more that can go along with your

14 CITIZEN MATTERS 30 June - 13 July 2012 Vol-4 Issue-11

penne or fusilli pasta. When it is time for some dessert, you will have to struggle a bit to make room for it. A wide range of desserts are spread across the table. Mango and strawberry cheese cake, fruit salad, brownies and more. You will surely be tempted to have a bite of each of them. So do not resist. Go and indulge in a sinful meal and pamper yourself with a buffet or pick your choice from a-la-carte. Average cost for two is Rs 1200. (without alcohol). Alcohol is served here. 12, 32nd Cross, Near Bangalore International Academy, 7th Block, Jayanagar. Ph: 22452202

Anisha Nair

anisha@citizenmatters.in

Citizen Matters reviews the restaurants anonymously and pays for the meals.

Eshanya, a new restaurant in Jayanagar, is a big no-no. Negative marks for hospitality. A beautiful rooftop ambience with an ample view of the city, can certainly not satisfy your hunger pangs. The ‘Rambo’ soup (as the waiters pronounce it), which is supposedly a rainbow soup, fails to grab attention. The half-cooked, literally raw rice is served for main course. Not to forget the awful pastry for dessert. All-in-all, it provides a below average service.

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Koramangala HSR Layout

Pics: Padmalatha Ravi, Anisha Nair.

shifted more towards using jackets and umbrellas than using raincoats. But for children, raincoats are still the first choice.” Transparent raincoats with prints, and colourful raincoats with flower prints are popular.

Gear up for monsoon With the delay in onset of Monsoon in the city, you have more time to fill your wardrobe with monsoon gear. So what’s on the list? Umbrellas, raincoats, jackets, caps and the list is on. So let’s begin.

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ith the delay in onset of monsoon in the city, you have more time to fill your wardrobe with monsoon gear. So what is on the list? Umbrellas, raincoats, jackets, caps, and the list is on. So let’s begin. Those plain, monotonous, blackcoloured umbrellas are passe. The bright reds, purple, blue and pink umbrellas with

prints are the in-thing. A plethora of designs and colours are available in the market to choose from. Polkadotted umbrellas have become a huge hit after the movie ‘3 idiots’. Who says umbrellas are used only to save yourself from drenching? It is a fashion statement too. Flaunt the coolest of umbrellas! And this is not just for grown ups, children have cool options too. Funky cartoonprinted ones are popular among tiny tots. How can we forget the super cool rain jackets? Multipurpose jackets that shield us from cold winds as well as rains are popular. Beige, grey and black are the popular colour choices. And the best part is, these jackets are unisex. Raincoats! Classic and evergreen. A manager of one of the leading stores says, “People have

If you grew up in the 80s then ‘Sandak’ was the only footwear for rainy season. Not the case today. Plastic or rubber Ballerinas or rubber slippers or sandals are most preferred when it comes to walking in the rains. For children, cute little colourful plastic sandals are all over the market. And here, definitely the choice of design and colour differs for boys and girls. Boots are another fashion for children. And Crocs, anyone can flaunt them in any season! There are also accessories like caps and waterproof bags in the market. So get your shopping bags out and get shopping before it starts to pour!

Koramangala

Fashion @ Big Bazaar, Near Forum Mall, Koramangala. Star Bazaar, Opp Adugodi Police station, Koramangala. Mom n Me, Jyothi Nivas College road, Koramangala.

Anisha Nair

anisha@citizenmatters.in

Pics: TheBombayStore.com

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Vol-4 Issue-11 30 June - 13 July 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 15


see & do Films

French Film Festival Alliance Française de Bangalore P.B. 108, Thimmaiah Road Vasanthanagar | Fri 29 Jun, 7pm to Sun 01 Jul, 7pm Suchitra Short Fiction Film Festival Suchitra 36, B V Karanth Road, 9th Main, Banashankari II Stage | Sat 07 Jul, 11 am to Sun 08 Jul

City Life

Social media day Events include get together of Instagram enthusiasts and interactive activities like quiz. Celebrations at Herbs & Spice and Manchester United. Sat 30 Jun. See facebook. com/thegraffiti.co

Education

Introduction to the Practical philosophy first level course For more details: 9900777447 / 080-4206 5280 New Acropolis Bangalore, #203 HM Studios, 67

St. Mark’s road, behind Nandhini hotel | Sat 30 Jun, 11am to 1pm

Arts & Culture Art4Public event: Frames of My City

Citizen Matters & RedFrames present award winning photographs at BBMP parks at Koramangala and HSR Layouts. 7-8 July. Details at www.citizenmatters.in/ art4public or call 98867 54098. Book release Kannada translation of ‘Everybody Loves A Good Drought’-translated into Kannada by G N Mohan. Author P Sainath will be present. Gandhi Bhavan, Kumarakrupa road | Sun 01 Jul, 10:00 am Anekal K Ramaswamy Iyengar Memorial musical Concerts Ananya Sabhangana, 4th Main, Malleswara, | Sat 30 Jun, 5:30 pm to Sun 01 Jul 12am

The Urban Day at Urban Mela

The critical urban talk series, under the banner of the year of Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities, on design of urban development in India and Bangalore. Session ‘Our public sphere’ will be moderated by Padmalatha ravi, Associate Editor, Citizen Matters. ‘Our house’ will discuss housing on the background of 24 million missing housing units in India, moderated by Subramaniam Vincent, Citizen Matters. Palace Grounds, Sun 01 Jul, 11am to 4pm

Reuse-Recycle Mela Furniture to Frames, Books to Bottles, Clothes to Carpets, Chairs to China wares: A flea market to buy and sell used goods, upcycled and recycled items! Donate old clothes, books and toys to NGOs. Get ideas for sustainable living. Brought to you by Citizen Matters and Second to None. 15 Jul, AICOBO Grounds, BTM Layout.Ph: 98867 54098.

Workshops Antenatal Workshop for Pregnant Women and Women Planning Pregnancy Know more about practising Yoga during pregnancy to improve your stamina and flexibility. Ph no: 9632155102 Saplings Preschool, 601, 6th Phase, J P Nagar, Sun 15 Jul, 10am to 1pm Free science demo classes Organised by ScienceUtsav for kids aged 7 to 14 years. Learn science with fun filled science experiments and Hands-on activities. ScienceUtsav, #627, 1st floor, 1st B main road, 7th block, Jayanagar (W), Near Yediyurkere, Behind Srushti hospital, www.scienceutsav. com Ph: 9945313269 SAFE FOOD MELA Tasty organic foods and snacks to buy and eat, traditional rices and millet foods, fresh greens and mangoes. Ph: 7483088144 Sat 30 Jun, 10am - Sun 1 Jul 7pm Dr. Marigowda Memorial Hall, Lalbagh Monsoon Mini Malnad Mela Collection of traditional, open pollinated and

16 CITIZEN MATTERS 30 June - 13 July 2012 Vol-4 Issue-11

organic seeds. For more details: 9480299200, 9972665616 Rest House Road, Indira Nagar and Vyalikaval. | Sat 30 Jun, 10:30am to Mon 02 Jul 6pm

Theatre

Rangashankara Plays 1 Sun, Galileo (E), 125 mins (also at 3.30 pm on Sat & Sun) 3 Tue, 4 Wed Tejaswi Parisara Loka (K), 120 mins 5 Thu, 6 Fri Tadroopi (K), 90 mins 7 Sat, 8 Sun Neenaanaadre naaneenena? (K), 110 mins (also at 3.30 pm on Sun) 10 Tue, Purahara (K), 90 mins 11 Wed, Prameelarjuniyam (K), 120 mins 12 Thu, Anabhigna Shakuntala (K), 100 mins 13 Fri, 14 Sat, Silence (E), 90 mins 15 Sun, Anabhigna Shakuntala (K), 100 mins (also at 3.30 pm) Rangashankara, 8th Cross, Nt To Post Off, JP Nagar, Phase II, Ph: 2649 3982

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Features

Following food chain Bee devours the nectar while plants use it for pollination. Do you know who eats the bees?

Lark with grasshopper. Pic: Deepa Mohan

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e all know the delight of So the next time you look at a Human beings are supposed to be having good food to eat when bird, butterfly, or a street dog, at the “top” of the food chain, in that we are hungry; it must be the same think about what it is eating and we are not (well, at least in the city!) for other creatures how it is surviving in our urban killed and eaten who share our living environment. Our urban wildlife by predators. We Nature Feature spaces. has adapted itself to life are omnivores, Deepa Mohan around human beings, t h a t is, Nature provides such and often feeds on the we can variety in food for her various trash and remains that eat anything. And to children. The food chain generally we throw away or waste. our knowledge, other ensures that each type of creature The squirrel in species of animals do makes another its food, and in its Lalbagh that runs not have the ability turn, becomes food, too. for your peanuts to cook, season or You can see bees buzzing around spice their food before as interested in its the stamens of the flower. At the breakfast as you are eating it. Other creatures in base of the stamen is the nectar going to the nearest Nature eat their food raw; Bees on a flower. i n that is their food, and while they we too do it sometimes, Pic: Deepa Mohan Darshini for your idlis! get that, the plant gets its work of with salads and fruits. But propagation done by the dusting the majority of our food is cooked. of pollen on the insects’ bodies. Sometimes these meals are eaten Sunbird feeding on flowers. Pic: Deepa Mohan literally in the air. See this Purplerumped Sunbird feeding on the flowers, while hovering in the air! Insects, in turn, are prey for other creatures, like monkeys or birds. See the Rufous-tailed Lark that I shot in the outskirts of the city, making a meal of a grasshopper. The birds, too, are eyed with hunger by larger animals, or birds of prey, like the Black Kite or the Shikra. Very often, even crows will raid the nests of other birds, and pick off young nestlings, or even attack and eat a smaller bird. Got feedback on our articles? Give us a missed call at 080-300 88 615

Vol-4 Issue-11 30 June - 13 July 2012 CITIZEN MATTERS 17


last word

Parenting Desi Style Attachment parenting is what comes to us naturally, we just didn’t know the name for it until now. No wonder our Hindi movies are full of references to Maa ka anchal/maa ka pallu and so on.

children for extended periods of time, let the baby sleep in close contact with them and usually carry the baby in close contact in a sling (stylishly termed babywearing). Now that’s something we do all the time right? At home or at work, in the gym or the temple, in the mall

G

o on Google and parenting terms hit you faster than a screaming toddler launching himself at mom, in supersonic speed. But the one that always gets me worried that I belong to the Neanderthal era and cracks me up at the same time has to be the much used and abused term called ‘Attachment parenting.’ Coined by Dr William Sears who wrote a plethora of baby books, it’s one of those terms that certainly doesn’t apply to India. In fact the good American doctor was definitely not thinking of us when he coined it because in India we are always attached to our child. As described by Dr Sears, ‘attachment parenting’ is a theory that suggests a stronger emotional bond between parent and child. Followers of this theory usually continue breastfeeding their

confessionS of a second time mom

Reshmi Chakraborty or a crowded bazaar, we are ALWAYS lugging baby around, either in our arms or in a sling or in a pram or depending on the place (definitely not a crowded bazaar), the said child is tagging along holding on to your hand or dupatta or purse or whatever appendage he can find. If you are lucky enough to leave the child behind with someone trustworthy at home, you’re sure to encounter a friend or neighbour in the lift or the parking lot who will express great surprise and disappointment at seeing you alone and being denied the pleasure of pulling the

Pic: Reshmi Chakraborty

cuddly-thing’s cheek. No wonder our Hindi movies are full of references to maa ka anchal/ maa ka pallu and so on. All the script writers and lyricists must have done a fair bit of toddling, holding on to some part of their mom’s sari. Attachment parenting is what comes to us naturally, we just didn’t know the name for it until now. Well our generation of mommies probably do know, but our mothers, mercifully did not. In fact it’s quite like ‘co-sleeping,’ which has the Western world of parents divided. While one group seems to believe it could put infants at risk of suffocation and strangulation, the other feels it helps babies fall asleep faster and increases the bond between child and parents. While many of us here put a newborn in his own cot, but in the same room (with the cot dragged as close to bed as you can if you are me), co-sleeping is an issue that doesn’t seem to bother us much. Probably because all of us grew up co-sleeping, as babies at least. Or as one mother puts it, at least until the child is around 5 or 6 years of age, when he seems to develop arms and legs that start shooting off in every direction, turning the bed into a football field. Ask me, I’ve been trying to get the older one to move to his own room for over a year now without much success. We do have some western ideas to be thankful for. Car seats are one of the best examples. Or highchairs. If you have or are using them, I’m sure you can vouch for the usability and safety, despite the daadis and naanis tut-tutting everytime junior is strapped in. Who knows, maybe 20 years down the line, I’ll tut tut as my son looks through babycare books, and decides not to follow ‘attachment parenting.’

18 CITIZEN MATTERS 30 June - 13 July 2012 Vol-4 Issue-11

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Citizen Matters 30June2012 Koramangala edition