Thursday, September 27, 2007

All set for land acquisition for two hi-tech industrial layouts The Hindu : Karnataka News :

The Hindu : Karnataka News : All set for land acquisition for two hi-tech industrial layouts: "
Two hi-tech industrial layouts have been planned around Bangalore and they will be contiguous with the five new mega housing layouts to be formed by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).This is said to be part of a new experiment being launched by the Government to decongest Bangalore and to ensure that people from one residential pocket are not compelled to crisscross the city to reach their workplaces.Called 'the integrated township scheme', the Government has decided to promote integrated townships like what prevailed several decades ago when major industries had a residential township alongside.Sources in the State Secretariat told The Hindu here that the Government, which sometime ago cleared the preliminary proposal and surveys for the formation of the two industrial layouts, was now expected to give the formal nod for acquisition of lands.These lands along with the 15,000 acres of land sought to be acquired by the BDA for the formation of five mega layouts were part of the greenbelt around Bangalore and were recently reclassified following the adoption of the new Comprehensive Development Plan for Bangalore.

A heavy downpour and it floods here The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : A heavy downpour and it floods here: "
Even the most seasoned commuter quails at the thought of venturing on Mysore Road after a heavy spell of rain. For, this busy arterial road gets choked at least at two points — its junction with the Outer Ring Road (ORR) near Nayandahalli and at the Rajarajeshwari arch. While the Vrishabhavathi overflows at the ORR Junction, the discharge from Nayandahalli lake submerges the road near the arch as the water does not find its way to reach the Vrishabhavathi valley.This problem manifested itself in its worst form during last week's rain. On Wednesday night, the inbound as well as outbound traffic was held up for more than three hours.Worse still, there was an encore on Friday too before the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) stirred itself into action.Not that it was anything news. During the October 2005 rains, the then BBMP Commissioner K. Jairaj had promised to remove silt from the valley near the ORR Junction; remove encroachment on the 'rajakaluve' of the Nayandahalli lake and allow free flow of the lake discharge to the valley. Monsoon over, the promises remained unkept. (snip)

The dead are dead, and we aren’t alive: Tehelka

Tehelka:: Free. Fair. Fearless: "
Nagratna cannot stop sobbing. Basavegowda, her husband, swallowed pesticide on the morning of June 2, just as the family was busy with its chores. He was rushed to KR Hospital in Mysore, where for the next 48 hours, doctors battled to save the life of a man who had lost the will to live. Owner of three acres of land at Sadholalu village, Basavegowda died with a debt of Rs 3 lakh against his name. He was unable to take any more harassment from the moneylenders he was indebted to.Only three months ago, Basavegowda had sunk a borewell with the loan, when he had not enough water for his sugarcane crop. He was one of the hundreds of farmers dependent on irrigation water from the Krishnaraja Sagar dam in Mandya district, about 100km from Bangalore. His farm was at the tail end of the dam's canals. Water to such farms is in short supply due to poorly maintained canals, pilferage by farmers and erratic power. His sugarcane crop dried up as a result.

Choked drains, slush make it a hell The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Choked drains, slush make it a hell: "
Eleven-year-old Mageshwari, a seventh standard student of a private school in Annaiah Reddy Layout of Puttenahalli, has not been able to wear her uniform for the last three days. You ask her and she innocently says that there is no water in her house to wash the uniform.Similar is the case with other students. But thankfully their school principal has not objected because he too has the same problem.'I cannot be strict now. When there is no water to drink, where will they have water to wash,' P.V. Ravindranath, Principal of Image English School, said.The deluge clogged sanitary drains and damaged the borewell water pipelines in the area. Since the rains, residents are left without any water.'The water supply (which was already irregular in the past) has stopped since Sunday. We are either buying tanker water from other areas or using the smelly contaminated water from the private borewells in the neighbourhood. We are forced to drink this water,' said Nagaratna S., a resident.'Our toilets are blocked. The stench is unbearable. There is slush all around us. We cannot afford to buy packaged drinking water cans and are forced to manage with whatever we get,' said P. Amaiahyamma, a resident.

Encroachment: residents of Tatanagar receive notice The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Encroachment: residents of Tatanagar receive notice: "
At least 16 residents of Tatanagar near Hebbal, a layout formed for employees of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), have received show-cause notices from the State Government for encroachment on a Raja Kaluve (primary drain).The layout was developed by the IISc. Employees House Building Cooperative Society, part of which has allegedly been formed on the Raja Kaluve that leads out of Kodigehalli lake.The Government has come to the conclusion that it is encroachment based on survey reports and village maps, according to an order passed by the court of the Special Deputy Commissioner on August 31.Residents, however, contest the claim that they have unauthorisedly occupied the Raja Kaluve and have obtained a stay from the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal over the Special Deputy Commissioner's order.'The land for this layout was acquired by the government on behalf of the cooperative society. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) released the sites in 1999. We have received approvals from all other statutory bodies,' says H.N. Vasan, Principal Research Scientist from the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit at the IISc. and an affected resident.

PPP in urban infrastructure is the trickiest,curpg-1.cms
PPP in urban infrastructure is the trickiest
23 Sep, 2007, 0017 hrs IST,Vinayak Chatterjee,

Of the various components of infrastructure, PPP in urban infrastructure is clearly the trickiest. It is not a standalone lumpy investment like a power plant, port or airport. Viability is dependent on collecting user-pay charges from politically-sensitive constituents.

And it is dependent on long-term agreements and support from generally soulless urban local bodies. To add to the challenge, India has 5,545 urban agglomerations (UAs). Around 11.6% of these UAs, that have a population in excess of 1 lakh, are called ‘cities’. There are 643 cities.

Moreover, nobody quite has a fix on how much investment urban India needs. The best estimate I am aware of comes from Ramesh Ramanathan of Janaagraha, one of the finest minds our country has on urban rejuvenation issues.

He reckons that the appropriate thumb-rule is Rs 50,000 per capita of urban population. By this estimate, investments required for all our towns and cities put together is $348 billion, possibly over the next 15 years. So, a town like Dehradun (population – 5,28,000) will require Rs 2,640 crore and a city like Bangalore (population-56,87,000) will require Rs 28,435 crore till almost the first quarter of this century.

And where is all this money going to come from? Even with JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) nudging urban authorities to wake up to the realities, it is unlikely that more than 30% of the capital needed will come from PPP and private sources, as against an expectation of 20% for the infrastructure sector as a whole at the national level.


Basic amenities sought The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News

The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Basic amenities sought: "
The Karnataka State Construction Workers' Central Union, L.R. Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar branch, organised a massive protest in front of the National Games Village complex protesting against the apathy of the State Government and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike towards their problems. Representatives of the union and residents of the L.R. Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar slums demanded that residents be provided with basic amenities such as clean drinking water, sanitation and sewage facilities and proper garbage disposal facilities. P. Govindaraju, union president, said that the huge storm water drain running parallel to the slums was posing a major hazard for residents, especially children. As part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) under which street lights, roads and basic amenities would be provided, a retaining wall should also be built around the drain to ensure safety of residents.'Every time there is heavy rain, our area gets flooded and water enters the houses. Moreover, drinking water is getting mixed with sewage and even though we have complained several times to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, no action has been taken,' Natarajan, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, said. He said that despite several representations to the BBMP, no action had to taken to provide amenities to the people in these areas.