Good morning, Bengaluru!
⛅ Today’s weather: While the sun might be out during the day, the clouds will be too. We’re looking at partly cloudy skies for today.
🌊 Smart city’s water scarcity
While this late-capitalist nightmare might still not have any emojis for the water crisis, the threat is getting more and more real by the day.
Story so far: For over six months, the residents of OMBR Layout have been reporting a scarcity of water. They would either have no water at all or have half-filled sumps. Most of the time, their sumps would need to be filled up by hired tankers. The Cauvery water supply is barely anything to write home about.
- Usually, after receiving a smaller supply of water due to their small sumps, the residents have to ration water for the following three days.
- Authorities claim that power issues have also played a part in worsening the water supply.
Official response: According to the BWSSB, the rains caused high turbidity in the water. This meant that muddy water was coming in from the Cauvery. Thus, the filtration process took longer and there was a delay in the water supply. But now, the problem is fixed and things should go back to normal in no time.
🚴 Carrying cycles just got easier
Bengaluru Twitter has been going off about the recent announcement made by the BMRCL. Here’s something for the cyclists in town.
Story so far: On Tuesday, the BMRCL announced that people can start carrying their foldable cycles in the last coach of the metro. And here’s the cool bit, it’s all for free. No extra charges will be applied for those lugging their bikes along while travelling.
- This came as a response to an online petition started by a couple of Bengaluru cyclists in 2019.
- MP PC Mohan even urged the BMRCL to consider letting people bring in their normal bicycles as well. Considering the city lacks “first and last-mile connectivity from its stations”, this would ease a lot of people’s commute.
Stating specifics: The official release stated that the total weight of the bicycle cannot be more than 15 kg. Their dimensions need to be within 60 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm. Security will be checking this via the baggage scanner during entry.
- To deal with the last mile connectivity issue, metro stations have started featuring bicycle renting facilities run by private operators as well.
🍽️ The effects of no service charges
The Centre’s recent debate over levying a service charge has got restaurateurs spooked. Here’s what they think will happen once service charges are removed.
Story so far: According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, levying a service charge on consumers is an “unfair trade practice”. Usually, consumers get the service tax mixed up with a service charge and end up paying it.
- When this is simply tacked on one’s bill without the consent of the consumer, it adds an added expense that the businesses are responsible for.
- Restaurateurs say that service charges are worker-friendly, transparent and have been recognised by many judicial orders.
For the workers: The restaurant business was hit hard during the pandemic, and this led to several people losing their jobs or accepting those with severe pay cuts. Restaurant owners believe that removing service charges is a very anti-worker approach to consumer safety.
- Other restaurants use the service charges to incentivise workers for better performance. Any other use of it would make the collection unethical.
💡 It’s all about pretty streetlights
Money management seems to be one of the major misgivings of the BBMP. They would rather rework an already working streetlight than fix a problem.
Story so far: Recently, the BBMP floated a tender that invited bids for the installation of decorative streetlight poles from Tirumala Dhaba to MS Palya Circle in the Attur Ward. This whole project is supposed to cost them ₹215.5 lakh. The last date for these bids is 16 June.
Why it matters: Well, there’s no need to replace any of the poles in these regions. All these years, nobody has complained about the streetlights in those parts of the city. Instead, the complaints about low light come from areas that were added to the BBMP over a decade ago.
- Officials from the BBMP have said that they are going ahead with this proposal as they want to replace the damaged light bulbs immediately.
- What people can’t understand is why that would require replacing the whole pole with a decorative one that costs more money?
🗞️ In other news…
- Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will now be featuring ten AI-driven robots to “enhance passenger experience”.
- The bugs in the BBMP’s property tax portal have been hurting people’s ability to pay their taxes on time.
- The cases of fish dying en masse in Bengaluru’s lakes have been rising but the pollution control board is yet to do anything about it.
- After a survey conducted by the BBMP, it was found that over 16,000 buildings in the city have violations in their plans.
- The dispute over who owns the Idgah Maidan in Chamarajpet was supposed to be a settled issue but tensions might be rising again.
That’s it for today. See you tomorrow!