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Old February 18th, 2012, 12:44 PM   #5621
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Part of Tataguni to be forest area

A part of the sprawling 468-acre Tataguni Estate on the outskirts of Bangalore — where renowned artist, the late Svetoslav Roerich, and his actress-wife, the late Devika Rani, lived — will be notified as forest area under Section (4) of the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

Kaushik Mukherjee, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment, told presspersons that while part of the area will be a rose garden and a heritage museum, the rest will be declared forest area. “The proposal has been sent to the Advocate-General,” he said.

The estate is crucial since the elephant corridor, connecting the Bannerghatta National Park and the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, slices through it.

source:http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle2900156.ece
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Old February 18th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #5622
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Opening young minds to Gandhian values

A library exclusively dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi's works at Gandhi Bhavan


Minister for Libraries and Adult Education Revu Naik Belamagi on Friday appealed to Gandhi Bhavan representatives to support the Library Department in opening a separate section on Mahatma Gandhi's works in libraries run by the department in rural areas.

Inaugurating a library exclusively dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi's works at Gandhi Bhavan here, he said that the department was running over 5,766 libraries in gram panchayats, 176 in taluks, besides 30 major district libraries. It was important to have a separate section on Gandhi's works to promote understanding of his values, he said.

Recalling Gandhi's contributions, Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development S. Suresh Kumar said that he was called the Father of the Nation not because of his contribution to the country's freedom struggle alone, but for his ideology that changed the map of the country.

He regretted that Gandhi was mostly misunderstood by the present generation. Study of Gandhi in the right perspective was the need of the hour and libraries of this kind would help the present generation understand his true spirit, he added. There are over 4,50,000 works on Gandhi in the library among which are 478 Kannada translations of his works besides 1,368 English and 578 Hindi translations. There are also a collection of periodicals in English and Hindi, letters from archives, mementoes and manuscripts. According to K.G. Venkatesh, Director, Department of Public Libraries, facilities have been put in place to listen to Gandhi's speeches and view various documentaries.

source:http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/...cle2904570.ece
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Old February 18th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #5623
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Residents of Modi Garden Layout and defence settle row over approach road

The residents of Modi Garden Layout and the Parachute Regiment Training Centre (PRTC), R.T. Nagar, have amicably resolved the issue over the approach road and a settlement was reached before the Karnataka High Court on Thursday.

The residents of Modi Garden Layout shall be allowed ingress and egress on Sawar Line Road from Modi Garden Layout to Main Gate of PRTC on Deve Gowda Road. Entry of civilians from Gates 2 and 3 into the explosive training area or any other area has been restricted. The Army has been allowed to put up gates at certain points to prevent public entry into these areas.

While accepting this solution, the High Court clarified that commuters on Kaval Byrasandra Main Road can access Modi Garden Layout through an alternative road formed by the defence authorities. The defence will have the option of maintaining this alternative road formed or hand it over to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike for maintenance.

The settlement was reached after the residents of the area complained that the defence authorities had closed certain approach roads despite earlier orders passed by the High Court following a public interest litigation.

WHEN IT STARTED

The issue cropped up in 2003 when defence authorities closed Sawar Line Road, which was being used by the public for decades. The High Court then allowed the public to use the road as an interim measure in the same year. In 2010, when the defence authorities tried to close Sawar Line Road again, the High Court confirmed its 2003 interim order while giving liberty to the defence authorities to provide an alternative road. The issue reached the court again last year owing to differences between the residents and defence authorities over use of the road.

In view of Thursday's settlement, the court has recalled all its orders passed earlier.

source:http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle2903092.ece
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Old February 18th, 2012, 12:49 PM   #5624
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Time to move abandoned vehicles



The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has taken several measures to “beautify” the city. After painting the walls, it has envisaged another means to improve the city's aesthetics.

The palike has now appealed to citizens across the city to clear unused, scrapped vehicles from the roadsides and footpaths within a week's time.

Else, the civic authorities will tow away the vehicles to the dump yards.

BBMP Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda has said that citizens have taken to dumping unused, scrap vehicles on roadsides and footpaths, which adds to the congestion on roads.

In an order on Thursday, Mr. Gowda has appealed to citizens to move such vehicles.

According to sources, zonal officials have been directed to keep a lookout for such vehicles parked in areas under their jurisdiction.

source:http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/...cle2901011.ece
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Old February 19th, 2012, 03:29 AM   #5625
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Some more great bangalore cleanup videos by The Ugly Indians....






Last but not the least : This one really impressed (and shamed me). Foreigners, mostly Americans, chipping to clean up Bangalore...
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Old February 19th, 2012, 06:54 AM   #5626
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Mysore division unveils its model railroad layout


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TIER TWO CITIES RAKSHAK
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:10 AM   #5627
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In monetary pain



Poor financial discipline, rampant corruption and snail’s pace of projects have left the City’s three major civic bodies – BBMP, BDA and BWSSB – on the brink, as fiscal 2011-12 approaches a forgettable end

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Building castles in the air. That might be an oft-repeated cliche, but the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will be doing just that when it drafts its budget for 2012-13.

One look at what the Palike proposed in its last three budgets, and what it actually managed to do, will convince you of a planning process gone completely haywire, a financial process grossly mismanaged and a citizenry left to virtually fend for itself.

BBMP’s current financial health - or the lack of it - mirrors four critical ailments: A scary dearth of financial discipline, rampant misappropriation of funds as the scams galore indicate, deepening debt and giving out “collaterals” such as the Krishna Rajendra Market to meet loan requirements. The Palike is precise while using the term “collateral,” since it helps to refute the charge that it is mortgaging its properties.

These ills have not stopped the Palike from drawing out lavish plans year after year. The debts of about Rs 3,000 crore notwithstanding, the Palike had come out with a budget for 2011-12 with an outlay of Rs 9,196 crore.

In 2011-12, it was not a cakewalk for the Palike to prepare the budget and get it okayed by Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda, before tabling it in the Council. The budget, which is supposed to be tabled on the last day of the financial year i.e. on March 31, could be presented in the Council only on August 18 last year.

This did not mean a go-ahead to carry out projects as mentioned in the budget. The next roadblock was the delay in getting the State government’s nod to the budget, which came only in the first week of November last year. However, the projects mentioned in the budget could not be taken up till the middle of December and the old works too came to a grinding halt.

Now, with only 40 days left for the end of the current fiscal, the Palike has not made any progress in implementing most of its works. Against the anticipated receipts of Rs 9,316 crore, the civic body could accumulate only Rs 2,275.64 crore by the end of January this year. So were its payments, which remained at 2,645.48 crore against the expected Rs 9,398.54 crore.

The major sectors from where the Palike had expected huge income were finance and accounts (Rs 2,152 crore), revenue (Rs 2,736.75 crore), town planning (Rs 1,116.4 crore), engineering-public works (Rs 1,354 crore), engineering-projects (Rs 938 crore), engineering-capital investment plan (Rs 315 crore) and advertisement (Rs 198 crore).

Except the revenue department, none could generate more than 10 per cent of the anticipated income. The revenue department succeeded in generating Rs 1,251.46 crore.

The state of payments is also no different. Against the anticipated Rs 9,398.54 crore, the total payments made by the Palike so far are a mere Rs 2,645.48 crore.

Roads, drains, footpaths in disarray

While shoddy execution of works has become the order of the day, the Palike has no funds to repair battered roads, damaged drains and broken footpaths. Besides the sorry state of roads, parks, drains and solid waste management, the impact of the non-implementation of the budget is quite evident in the welfare scheme for weaker sections.

The Palike had roped in the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited to construct independent houses for people from SC/ST communities under the 22.75 per cent scheme. However, for the last one-and-half years, many families are running from pillar to post to get the construction of their houses completed. The Palike also could not avail benefits of self-employment schemes to help the economically and socially weaker sections.

Fearing a severe backlash from the electorate for failing to fulfill the promises of providing the benefits of these schemes, the corporators are making private arrangements in many areas to provide self-employment kits to the people. Two months ago, Bommanahalli saw MLA Satish Reddy distributing rations and self-employment tools such as sewing machines and iron boxes to a few families.

The JD(S) floor leader in the BBMP Council, Padmanabha Reddy, minces no words while calling the Palike budget a ‘bogus.’

“Time and again I have been asking the Palike administration to withdraw this bogus budget as it is serving no purpose.”

Another JD(S) leader and finance expert, N Krishna Kumar, blamed the Palike for presenting a budget worth a whopping Rs 9,000 crore, only to borrow more money to meet its financial requirements.

He says, “The BBMP’s financial position is as bad as Satyam Computers and there is a need for an external audit. Tragically, the BBMP authorities do not know what they own and what they owe. They have no idea from where the money comes and how the money should be spent.”

It is the practice in the Palike to table a budget and then implement the planned works for the next year. But, small works taken up in 2008-09 went on for the next two to three years. This led to the work code scam involving the contractors and engineers.

The scam was exposed by the media, compelling the Palike to stop carrying over previous years’ works. The year 2010-11 saw a semblance of financial discipline when the Palike revised its budget estimates from Rs 8,446.75 crore to Rs 3,517.29 crore. This financial year, the Palike is back to its old ways with a revised budgetary outlay of Rs 9,196 crore.

There are strict instructions by the State government not to undertake fresh projects, but complete the old ones.

Clearing backlogs

Deputy mayor S Harish outrightly refutes the allegation that the budget is bogus. “We had to table a budget of this size for this fiscal as we had announced some major projects in 2008-09 and 2009-10 in anticipation of huge revenue from Akrama-Sakrama scheme.Unfortunately, the scheme came a cropper. We are, in fact, trying to clear the backlogs of the two previous years through this year’s mammoth budget,” explains Harish.

He contends that it is due to the present government’s efforts that the revenue from property tax increased from Rs 600 crore to Rs 1,800 crore this year. He expects a revenue of at least Rs 2,000 crore for the Palike next year, once Property Identification (PID) comes into effect.

He, however, admits that the Palike could not get special grants from the State government in the last two years, which resulted in non-implementation of projects.

Chairman of the Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance, Manjunath Raju, says no government could execute 100 per cent of the works mentioned in the budget.

“Successive governments could not achieve even 50 per cent of their budgetary targets. We will be able to achieve somewhere near 40 per cent of our budget,” he adds.

“When we have a loan of Rs 3,000 crore, the actual size of the budget should be seen as somewhere around Rs 6,200 crore. We will be successful even if we implement half of the works worth Rs 6,200 crore,” says Raju.
source:http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...tary-pain.html
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:11 AM   #5628
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Save on fuel expenditure with electrolyser


It’s time to fend off worries about the ever-rising fuel prices. For, you can save significantly on your fuel expenditure.




A Chennai-based firm, Ti Anode Fabricators Pvt Ltd, has developed a simple technology which it claims can save almost 30 per cent of fuel costs in motorcycles and up to 20 per cent in cars.

The product, called electrolyser, also helps to reduce emission of harmful gases and double the engine life, according to Velappan Jeyakummar, Managing Director of the firm.

The product is on display at Renewable Asia, 2012, an exhibition on renewable energy solutions that will conclude on Sunday.

All one has to do is to install the electrolyser, which works on the HydroGen system, in their vehicle.
The HydroGen system, according to Jeyakummar, consists of an electrolyser, a direct current battery, and a pulse doser. First, distilled water should be poured into the electrolyser - 20 ml of water lasts 1,000 kilometres (100 ml for every 8,000 miles).
The technology separates the soft water (H2O) into Hydrogen and Oxygen by the electrolysis process. Then, the Oxy-Hydrogen gas is fed into the air intake of the engine.

It combines with the fuel in the injector system and restructures the fuel molecules, enhancing fuel efficiency and cutting down the emission.

One of the main highlights of the technology is that no hydrogen gas is stored on board of the vehicle but is produced only when the engine is running and is consumed immediately. The entire system can withstand the vagaries of climate.

The firm has developed the system for various types of vehicles. The one for two-wheelers (125 CC) costs about Rs 3,500, autorickshaws (1,000 CC) about Rs 17,000, cars (up to 2,000 CC) Rs 27,000, buses (up to 6,500 CC) Rs 1.3 lakh, and diesel gensets (50,000 CC) Rs 6.5 lakh.

No DL to ride this bike

Among the other features at the exhibition is the environment-friendly battery-operated bike manufactured by iBike, a Bangalore-based firm.

The bike (less than 50 CC), once charged fully for eight hours from a normal electric outlet, can be ridden for 60 kilometres. It uses only 1.5 unit of electricity. That means, a 60-kilometre ride costs only Rs five.

“No registration, no driving licence, no gear, no petrol, and low maintenance — that sums up the bike’s characteristics,” says V Ravi Chandran, the firm’s sales officer. The bike weighs 84 kg and has tubeless tyres. It, however, cannot be used for long rides. The vehicle is priced at Rs 35,000.

source:http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...ctrolyser.html
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:13 AM   #5629
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Nowhere in site

BDA budget estimates



The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), it appears, has been reduced to being a mere real estate agency and an infrastructure commissioning agency over the past three years.


Quote:
Reeling under severe financial constraints, it has been unable to form layouts and provide housing for Bangaloreans, the key task of the local body.

Even in its present limited role, the Authority has apparently played into the hands of various lobbies, failing to deliver on promises on multiple counts.

All this has triggered a debate over the very existence of BDA. Although under Article 74 of the Constitution, it is only a metropolitan authority entrusted with planning, BDA has saddled itself with many incomplete infrastructure projects. As an urban planning researcher put it, BDA has given Bangaloreans only “half baked” projects.

These statistics are telling enough: The Authority could raise a revenue of only Rs 413.65 crore in 2010-11 against the estimate of Rs 3,650 crore. Despite this severe shortfall, BDA chose to promise the City something it could not possibly deliver.
A grand budget of Rs 5,067 crore for 2011-12 has translated into virtually nothing for the City. With the planned projects either ending up in legal tussles or stalled due to the Cabinet not giving the clearance, BDA has not been able to complete even the small number of projects proposed by it.

The BDA had estimated that its main source of income would be the sale of sites at the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout and the Dr Shivarama Karanth Layout, a revenue of Rs 1,450.80 crore. Almost an year later, the land acquisition process is still in progress. This snail’s pace has ensured that BDA’s promises are nowhere near being fulfilled, even in the next fiscal.

The Authority had promised compensation to losers of land for the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) to the tune of Rs 831 crore. However, till date, there is no sign of the money and the land-losers - mostly farmers - are left to fend for themselves. They cannot use their lands, since they have been notified for the project.

The Cabinet approval for the PRR and the two layouts was given four years ago. Yet, the BDA continues to cite these projects while seeking more allocation of funds. Sources said BDA has proposed the same projects for the next fiscal 2012-13, at the pre-budget meeting with the chief minister for increased allocation of funds.

In its 2011-12 budget, the Authority had allotted funds for the upgrading of four markets in the City at an estimated cost of Rs 409.04 crore, with Rs 136.35 crore to be released this financial year. But it could not embark upon this project and has now shown it as a carryover project for the next financial year of 2012-13.

It is yet to be seen whether BDA will be able to complete the Nayandahalli underpass - at the intersection of the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and the Bangalore-Mysore Road - on time.
BDA’s project for a signal-free corridor along the ORR is also progressing at a slackened pace, with the construction still underway at Iblur Crossing and Agara Junction.

The only silver lining for the Authority is the completion of the underpass at the intersection of Magadi Road and Chord Road and the National Military Memorial at Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain.

According to urban planners, the BDA has become an agency for vested interests. It has also been unable to add any new infrastructure to the City.

“The BDA has been taking loans from various financial institutions without even thinking of re-payment strategies. Without its primary job of providing housing for the citizens being fulfilled, the Authority cannot even think of paying back the principal amount, let alone the interest,” says an urban planner.

With things not looking bright, we can only expect another inflated, but unrealistic budget in the next fiscal and not one that delivers on its promises.
source:http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...here-site.html
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:20 AM   #5630
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Sozo jewels dazzle expo visitors

Jewellers from across the country, displaying the best of the traditional and contemporary jewellery, were present at the Palace Grounds on Saturday presenting their collection to customers.




About 45 brands including Abharan, Gitanjali, GRT, Neelkanth, Amrapali, Raniwala and PC Chandra made their presence felt at the Jewels Exotica jewellery expo.

The expo was hosted by Expo World, specialised in organising jewellery shows ‘Jewels of India’ twice every year in the city.

While ‘Jewels of India’ is being organised for the past 12 years and draws a crowd of more than a lakh, Jewels Exotica will cater to the upmarket demands, said Sandeep Bekal, CEO of Expo World.

Despite it being not being the marriage season, the expo attracted a large number of footfalls. “The expo has on sale jewellery beginning from Rs 10,000 and stretching up to Rs one crore,” said Bekal. The market in the city was open to investing in expensive jewellery, he added.

“There is a lot of demand for ‘Adike’ pattern jewellery,” said Rani, an assistant at the jewellery store, Amrapali. Traditional Thewa and contemporary Sozo jewellery from Rajasthan also sold well at the expo. Indians still prefer gold over other metals and the demand for traditional designs never drops, according to Bekal.

For many visitors at the expo, it was about getting the opportunity to view those many varieties under one roof. “We came to take a look around. Though we do not buy right away, expos such as these will help us select the shops of our choice and go back to it later,” said a visitor Chetana.

The expo saw footfalls of about 10,000 people on the first day and it will go on till February 20.

source:http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...-visitors.html
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:32 AM   #5631
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Cubbon Park stands the test of time

BANGALORE: Over the years, important landmarks in Bangalore have been renamed much to the nonchalance of city-dwellers. The pattern remains the same; an old colony or park named in honour of an important British officer now bears the name of a deserving Indian who made the country or the state proud. While the act is appreciable, it does not hide the fact that the British had a major influence on the way we lived which has continued to this day. They did make our lives better and no amount of name-changing can take away the due that needs to be given to them.
The iconic Cubbon Park has been one of the major contributors to Bangalore’s now-questionable ‘Garden City’ tag. Misty morning strolls through Cubbon Park, the burst of colour from the flowering trees, the sweet call of the birds and the beckoning benches were the stuff that dreams were made of for those who wished to settle in the ‘Pensioners’ Paradise’. Even now Cubbon Park is the favourable family picnic spot, rendezvous for lovers, meeting place for groups and even an area of protest due to its proximity to the Vidhana Soudha.
Cubbon Park was built in 1870 by the then acting Commissioner of Mysore Sir John Meade. The vast landscape was conceived by the then Chief Engineer of the State Major General Richard Sankey. The park was initially named Meade’s Park’ in honour of John Meade and later renamed as Cubbon Park after the longest serving commissioner of the time, Sir Mark Cubbon (http://cubbon/); an honour he deserves for restructuring the government of Mysore, reforming its finances, and creating a prosperous state. Cubbon is credited with the construction of over 1,000 miles of roads, hundreds of dams and improvements in the tax and revenue systems.
As per the pattern of changing names, the park was officially renamed in 1927 as ‘Sri Chamarajendra Park’ to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s rule in Mysore State but the name Cubbon Park has stuck.
The park has around 68 varieties and 96 species with about 6,000 plants. Indigenous species such as Jackfruit, Cassia fistula, Peepal, Ashoka and exotic species such as Araucaria, Bamboo, Castanospermum australe, Grevillea robusta, Milletia, Peltophorum Schinus molle, Mahagony, Tabebuia can be seen. In addition, many ornamental and flowering trees both exotic and indigenous are found here. Grevillea robusta (silver oak), having the distinction of being the first oaks introduced to Bangalore from Australia are still found in the park.
Many official and public buildings are located within and along its periphery. The High Court buildings, Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Library, City Central Library, Government Museum, Art Gallery, Aquarium, YMCA, Yuvanika — the State Youth Centre, Century Club, Press Club, Bal Bhavan are located in the park. Many roads run through the park connecting various places. The greenery is a welcome sight for traffic-sore eyes. The park is also famous for the statues of Queen Victoria installed in 1906 and King Edward VII statue installed in 1919. There are statues of Mark Cubbon, K Sheshadri Iyer and of Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar also installed.
A famous tourist spot, a hangout and a green blanket to the administrative buildings of Bangalore, Cubbon Park and Bangalore are synonymous. Last year there was a proposal to build mega parks on the lines of Cubbon Park in four areas around the city. It remains to be seen how they turn out because come what may nothing can match the grandeur of Cubbon Park, its history and the love and affection its garners.

http://expressbuzz.com/cities/bangal...me/364486.html
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #5632
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Corporation schools to take the Kempegowda name


BANGALORE: Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) seems to be interested in ‘changing Corporation schools’. If you are thinking that Palike is working towards bringing quality education, you are wrong. The BBMP is planning to change the name of the educational institutions run by them to Kempegowda schools and colleges.
The Palike runs 178 primary and secondary schools, 38 high schools, 13 pre-university colleges and one degree college. All of them are called Corporation Schools and Corporation Colleges. According to Ramesh Babu, Chairman to Standing Committee (Education), there is a sense of ‘inferiority complex’ among people to send their children to study in Corporation schools and colleges. “We, therefore, are changing the name to Kempegowda Schools and Kempegowda Colleges. We preferred Kempegowda as he is the founder of Bangalore.”
Not just the name, even the outlook of these educational institutes are going to change. According to Ramesh, all schools and colleges run by the BBMP will have uniform colour that will distinguish them from other Government and private schools. “These colours will be rich and bright. We are also planning to give a classy look to the buildings. We are yet to chose the colour,” he said.
Further, Ramesh said that the Standing Committee (Education) has approved renaming Corporation schools and colleges, and for a new coat of paint. “We have sent the same to Commissioner, who will in turn send it to the Revenue Department for the final approval,” he added.
When questioned about any plans to improve the the quality of education, Ramesh said that they have increased the monthly salary for all outsourced teachers working in their schools and colleges. “We have increased their pay by Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000,” he added.
A Congress councillor, who did not wish to reveal the identity, said that in both the SSLC and second Pre University exams, the passing percentage of BBMP schools and colleges is miserably low. “Instead of competing with private schools and colleges over looks (cosmetic changes), let them provide good infrastructure like classrooms and also good education. Changing the name from BBMP to Kempegowda will not change any of these aspects. Moreover, the change in name or the colour will not make any difference to the students studying in these schools and colleges,” the councillor said.

source:http://expressbuzz.com/cities/bangal...me/364484.html
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:45 AM   #5633
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Karnataka govt grants land to CISF for raising a battalion

Karnataka Government today approved a proposal from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to acquire land near Nelamangala on the outskirts of the city to raise a battalion.

Briefing mediapersons on a Cabinet meeting held here, Law Minister S Suresh Kumar said CISF planned to acquire the neccessary land of 56 acres at the market rate of Rs 27.75 crore.

On the appointment of new Lokayukta, Mr Suresh Kumar said the issue did not figure in the Cabinet. However, the process to identify a new candidate has begun with the government eliciting the opinion of the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, besides the leaders of opposition in the State Assembly and Legislative Council.

He said the government would hold consultations and identify a suitable person.

source:http://www.newkerala.com/news/2011/w...ws-160193.html
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:46 AM   #5634
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Country's first Special Tiger Protection Force becomes operational

Country's first Special Tiger Protection Force has become operational with main aim of preventing tiger poaching.

The 54-member force will patrol tiger reserves in national parks straddling the borders of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the south. The force has received special training in jungle survival and weapons use.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) B K Singh told media that 'the Force has become operational.

They will deal with poachers and hunters.' The Force was formed by the Forest and Environment Ministry on the recommendation of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Karnataka authorities. The unit has moved into Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks.

The forest region has the highest number of tigers in India, according to a census released in March 2011 by the Forest and Environment Ministry. Karnataka, which has six tiger reserves, has about 300 tigers, followed by Madhya Pradesh in the north with 257.

The census indicated that tiger numbers had increased to 1,706 from 1,411 at the last count in 2007. But poaching remains a threat, with some 25 tigers killed in Karnataka alone since 2006.

Mr Singh said the second tiger force would be set up in the eastern state of Odhisa. Thirteen tiger reserves in seven states across the country had been identified for special measures to protect the big cats, he added.

source:http://www.newkerala.com/news/2011/w...ws-159655.html
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:58 AM   #5635
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At ITPL, connectivity woes continue despite good facilities

Kalpana SP has been working at an IT company near Vydehi Hospital, near ITPL, for the past two months. Although she takes a bus from Vydehi to BEML every day, she has never stepped into the Traffic and Transit Management Centre (TTMC) building near the hospital.

Many commuters board buses from the same point but never use the TTMC as it does not serve the purpose it was built for.

“The TTMC is of no use to us at all,” said Ramesh, who works with Accenture. “It does not have connectivity to any of the major IT parks nearby and we are forced to wait for a bus outside the TTMC,” he added.

While the failure of most other TTMCs in the city is that they do not act as transit centres but as mere bus stops, the ITPL TTMC, has the potential to become a transit centre, provided it is connected to nearby areas.

Rithesh Swamy from praja.in said: “The TTMC has buses coming from Kundanahalli towards Whitefield. But these are the only buses that ply through it. The buses from TTMC connect to ITPL only, even though there are a number of other tech parks such as Brigade Millenium and Bhoruka Tech Park nearby. Areas such as Garudacharpalya, Varthur and KR Puram are not covered,” he said.

Even buses heading towards the airport do not stop at the TTMC. Considering that the TTMC does not host buses plying towards these areas, people wait at a traffic signal near the hospital to board buses going towards KR Puram. With no designated bus stop at the junction, the buses often stop at the signal, causing traffic jams.

The spacious parking at the TTMC, too, is not utilised as just a handful of cars are parked in the space built to hold 100 vehicles. “With not enough connections to different places and adequate parking facilities in both the tech parks as well as the roads, why will people park at the TTMC?” asked Rithesh.

With the current practices, the TTMC’s main objective is to provide eateries to techies who come near the area. Banquet halls, a vegetarian eatery and a non-vegetarian restaurant are expected to be built on various floors of the TTMC.

source:http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/re...lities_1651734
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Old February 19th, 2012, 07:59 AM   #5636
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Here’s the gold class among SUVs

Tata Motors launched the new Tata Sumo Gold here on Thursday and according to the company, it is the most powerful sports utility vehicle (SUV) in its category.

While designing the Sumo Gold, Tata has kept in mind the needs of the young and progressive customer who looks for a stylish vehicle that is also powerful.

The new Gold is available in a choice of two engine variants. The CR4 Turbo (BS4) is a 2956cc mill that puts out 85ps at 3000rpm and a torque of 250Nm from 1000 to 2000 rpm. This gives a mileage of about 14.7 kmpl, according to the company. The other engine available is the Di Turbo (BS3), which is also 2956cc and can put out 70ps at 3000 rpm and a torque of 225 Nm between 1600 and 2000 rpm. This one can give a mileage of about 14.3 kmpl.

The other features of the SUV are stylish body graphics, new headlight design, high power forward and rear fog lamps and renewed front grill.

The Tata Sumo Gold is being launched in four variants namely GX, EX, LX and CX. The warranty is three years or 1,00,000 Km, whichever is earlier. The range starts from Rs5.37 lakh onwards (ex-showroom, Bangalore

source:http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/re...g-suvs_1651522
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Old February 19th, 2012, 08:02 AM   #5637
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Air cargo in Bajpe airport to take wings soon

he proposed air cargo complex at Bajpe airport, expected to be commissioned by May, has generated lot of interest among exporters in the coastal region. They hope to have an easy link with the

international markets, especially with regard to perishable goods.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has already begun the tendering process for upgradation and alteration of several facilities available in the old airport terminal in Bajpe.

“The old terminal had all the structures in place for conversion into a full-fledged air cargo terminal, including office space, storage space, air-conditioning, fire tendering and many other facilities. The AAI has plans to further upgrade the system and structures at a cost of Rs33.5 lakh to make it operational. The complex should be functional by May 2012,” airport director MR Vasudeva
told DNA.

Exporters using air facilities have expressed the need for a seamless international connectivity via Mangalore airport, particularly for food and perishable items.

Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) president JR Bangera said, “The prospects of having an air cargo complex in Mangalore airport has brightened the chances of many commodities produced in the state hitting international market. I hope the AAI will speed up the commissioning of the complex.”

The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), along with the FKCCI and Malnad Chambers of Commerce and Industry,
were in favour of tapping the international market via Mangalore air cargo facility for niche agro and horticulture produce such as Kodagu oranges, Matti gulla, Puttur gherkins, Shankarpura jasmine, Kasargod elephant foot yams, granulated and canned Chikmagalur coffee, Kalishad mangoes of Karwar, dried fish dishes and cashew kernels.

Latha R Kini, president of the KCCI said, “It is not just raw produce, but also the value-added produce that will get international connectivity. In a globalised market, Indian products are sold at a premium price. But due to unavailability of air cargo lift, the producers were neither interested in exports nor in addingvalue. Some of the exports took place from either Chennai or Kochi. If the air cargo operations begin in Mangalore it will be the easiest way out.”

Ornamental fish
Another niche item that will get exposure to international market from the coast will be the ornamental fish, which has a great demand in the Gulf.

According to the experts, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasargod (Kerala) were best suited for rearing ornamental fishes, but due to the lack of quick air lift this special trade had not taken off.

MSEZ boost
Experts said that after Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) starts production, the export of finished goods will also pick up.

source:http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/re...s-soon_1651516
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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:42 AM   #5638
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KSRTC plans wayside restaurants on highways

Seeks Rs. 20 crore from Government to start 10 such units

You are travelling by a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus in the night. The vehicle stops for dinner en-route near a highway restaurant.

However, looking at its condition, you do not dare get down and instead prefer to blunt your appetite with biscuits.

Such a situation will be a thing of the past if the State Government accepts a KSRTC proposal to build and manage state-of-the-art wayside passenger amenity centres. Besides providing quality refreshment and restrooms, the corporation will also earn revenue through such a plan.

KSRTC Managing Director N. Manjunatha Prasad told The Hindu: “We have proposed 10 wayside passenger amenity centres across State highways on an experimental basis. We have sought Rs. 20 crore from the Government. Depending on the success of the project, it will be replicated elsewhere either on our own or through a public-private partnership basis.”

Mr. Prasad, who recently took over the reins of the corporation, said the idea was conceived by Transport Minister R. Ashok, who is the chairman of KSRTC, after going through the condition of existing facilities and the plight of passengers.

While all major bus-stations run by the corporation as well as sister corporations — North West and North East KRTC — had restaurants, not all the buses entered the stations, he said. Also, heavy crowds in major bus-stations prevent passengers from using the facilities.

Though the exact locations to set up these units are yet to be finalised, prominent corridors where the corporation has considerable presence would be in the list, he said. They include Bangalore-Tirupati, Bangalore-Hyderabad, Bangalore-Chennai, Bangalore-Mangalore, Bangalore-Davangere, Bangalore-Shimoga and Bangalore-Mysore.

In fact, the corporation has the practice of ‘recognising' wayside private restaurants and authorising buses plying on the route to stop at these places.

However, not all passengers are happy about the facilities and services available at these places. The new amenity centres could cater to other travellers too. The corporation is of the opinion that at least 100 such centres are required across the State on important corridors.

source:http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/...cle2910778.ece
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:33 AM   #5639
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Golden Chariot gets a golden fillip

BANGALORE: The Golden Chariot could strike gold soon. United Kingdom-headquartered Great Rail Journeys (GRJ) is in the final stages of tying up with the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) for its Golden Chariot .

An agreement with GRJ would ensure 300 foreign tourists for the Golden Chariot in the initial years. And GRJ officials are certain the number could go up manifold over time. On Monday, GRJ's commercial director David Gaster was in Bangalore for talks with state tourism officials.

As market leaders in the UK for rail holidays, GRJ facilitates more than 200 different conducted tours around the globe. Till this year, the only Indian glimpse they offered was of North India, by tours on the Palace On Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels and The Indian Maharaja.

"We have a loyal customer base who take trips with us every year. While we weren't sure of including a South tour in the India itinerary, the increasing number of requests from our customers helped us realize the need for it," Gaster told TOI on Monday.

Tourists travelling to South India can complete their entire South India tour by the Golden Chariot or choose to travel for a few days and then take the GJR's guided tour. "It's a wonderful opportunity to break even first and then look at profits. Once the tie-up is in place, we're sure to draw in more people every year," said C D Dyavaiah, managing director, KSTDC. Every trip needs to generate Rs 60 lakh for it to be financially viable, but since its inauguration in 2008, it's been making Rs 40 lakh on an average.

Why Golden Chariot

"It touches many other southern states on its journey and thereby gives a comprehensive feel of South India in a week. The fact that South India has such a distinctove culture, cuisine and coastline makes it a wonderful destination and everything incorporated in one trip makes the Golden Chariot an obvious choice," said Gaster.

Also, the 'Silver Surfer' tourist profile of GRJ perhaps gels well with luxury train travel. "Our high-end travellers are mostly in their fifties and sixties -- people who want to enjoy the picturesque South India and don't mind an extra day for that. The leisurely Golden Chariot journey suits their requirement the best," he added.

Train journeys classy

Moving away from air travel, train journeys are fast becoming popular in Europe. "It's considered classy unlike at airports where people are treated like cattle because of the huge rush. Rail journeys are becoming more popular by the day," said Gaster.

source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/11970154.cms
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:48 AM   #5640
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Meters will tip you off on power use

Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) and Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company (Cesc) have launched a “smart meter” that can track daily, hourly and even minute-wise consumption of power.



The smart meter has many features. “Customers will be given an option to buy a battery-operated customer interface unit, a remote-type device showing the meter readings. The meter can also reduce disputes over billing.

One can easily gauge how much each power-guzzling devices like air-conditioners and fridges consume,” explained Kasturirangan, Director, Siscon Hefcom Smart Solutions, the private firm that has offered the technology for a pilot project.

The device will also help Bescom and Cesc manage peak-hour and non-peak power situation. Bescom has installed 80 such meters in two private apartments at Girinagar here. Another 35 have been set up in Mysore by Cesc.

The private firm has supplied the meters for the project free of cost. The two-way communication meter is equipped with a data concentration unit developed by a group of 15 engineers, with futuristic technology. The device transmits energy consumption data every 15 minutes to a central server (currently housed in South Africa) linked to Bescom / Cesc through the General Packet Radio Service.

S A Satish Kumar, General Manager, Smart Grid, Bescom, told Deccan Herald that the smart meter would benefit the consumer and the utility.

“This meter can be utilised either as a pre- or post-paid option. But the advantage is that the consumers can plan their energy consumption.

“The utility can get all the readings of the meters, negating the need for individual meter reading,” he explained.

The consumers are at an advantage as the utility can manage power without resorting to load-shedding.

“If the smart meters are connected to smart grids, the utilities can balance the demand and supply through the system by connecting to the nearest available grid, even with the national grid.

“If the smart grid is not in place, the utilities can manage power supply without resorting to load-shedding by making directions to the consumers,” said Kumar.

The two-way smart meter can also help measure the power generated by households that use renewable sources of energy (wind, solar and hybrid power).

The meter measures the power supplied to the grid, and the utilities will bill the net power consumption.

There is also a gateway option, where the consumers of pre-paid meters can use all the available modes of payment as enjoyed by prepaid mobile phones.

The consumers can pay their bills and even post messages through the device.
The power utilities may also monitor tampering of meters and shifting as they will have access to the geographic information system (GIS) of the consumers.

The meter movement can be easily ascertained and the assets (meters) mapped.
Using Zigbee technology developed by Siscon, the smart meters can communicate with other meters in case of any problem to send data to server within a one-kliometre radius.
The power utilities can also monitor and levy time-of-the-day tariff from the consumers, if the consumption exceeds the limits.

Bescom plans to call for mass deployment of the meters if the device is found effective.
Cesc has already begun evaluating the functioning of the meters.

source:http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...off-power.html
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