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Environment

Hawking - the questions rise again

Urban DevelopmentGovernance

Recently, a group of residents from certain streets in Koramangala petitioned to the ward level authorities to evict food-vending hawkers from the neighbourhood. Some were on pavements and some occupied vacant plots. After many meetings, the authorities obliged. In some cases, the carts reappeared the same day.

Crushing bus door

Bus

A 21-year-old man was almost crushed to death when the hydraulic doors of a BMTC bus closed in on him on Sunday evening. Prannoy David Rao hurt his shoulders and chest but what hurt more was the reaction of those around: The bus conductor yelled at him and some passengers guffawed at his plight instead of rescuing him.

Covering of storm water drains: Useless and detrimental

Environment

I've noticed a lot of activity in our locality with the authorities covering the storm water drains in front of houses. These drains for more than 20 years, carried only storm water when it rained and otherwise were quite dry. On an average, they are about 1 1/2 feet wide and about 1 1/2 feet deep.

Do Water & Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Acts cover housing complexes?

Urban DevelopmentGovernance

When the KSPCB sent us a notice for the first time in May, '07, I, as the then President of the association, raised a query with them as under:

Ours is a high-rise apartment complex comprising 126 dwelling units, situated at the above address. The only waste we generate is the sewage from toilets which is discharged into the BWSSB sewage line running below the main road adjoining our complex, for which BWSSB is levying us a 'sanitory charge', as a part of the monthly water bill. As such, please advise on what basis your organisation should be levying any annual 'consent fee' on our complex.

 

Pollution Control Board - the government's cash cow

Governance

Even as BWSSB, KPCL, KPTCL, BESCOM, etc are desperately strapped for cash, there is another government agency that's just rolling in money, viz the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). A cursory glance at the financial statements, provided on its web-site ( http://www.kspcb.gov.in/ - though not quite in a reader friendly way as one would have liked it, which but is quite the norm with most government agency web-sites), shows the revenues at Rs 190 cr for total expenses of just Rs 23.54 cr, a mere 12% of the revenues, with the direct costs being just 5%. And, it's not as if they are being very frugal in their practices or anything like that.

Corporate Social Irresponsibility

Economy

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has long been a hot topic globally. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has lectured companies on it. Some corporations have won acclaim and awards for CSR. Two of them were BP, the oil giant, and Goldman Sachs, the big investment bank. Every year, the World Economic Forum lists the "Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations". BP has made the list many times. So has Goldman Sachs, for its work on climate change and carbon trading.

Practical Road standards for manageable Cross Sections

 A road is not the mere outer visible surface. It is a volume to be precise. [This “Volume” concept is more attractive than conceiving a road as a  3-D object. Thanks to my visit to CSTEP some time back]. Its underbelly is the home of many services essential for the city / place it serves. 

Bengaluru Green Belt

Environment

 Browsing through all the posts under the topic of living->environment, I was surprised to find no material around green belt or plan for urban forests etc. Discovered that the so called green topics on this site, are reflex reactions to posts on the traffic & road widening threads. Thought of digging into this concept of green belt which existed in Ramakrishna Hegde's time.

Hearing pursuant to the appeal under RTI in the case of the Indiranagar Tree Felling

Everything else

With the BBMP tree officer remaing silent to the RTI query raised by me on the 10th April, in the matter of the apparently unauthorised tree felling on 100 ft road in Indiranagar (check this), I had sent an appeal to the Commissioner, BBMP, on the 28th June.

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