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Good morning, Bengaluru!

⛅ Today’s weather: If yesterday was sunny with some clouds, today it’s cloudy with some sun. Have fun out there!


🏙️ Bengaluru’s neglected skyscraper

(Image credits: Kprateek88CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The city’s oldest highrise and its premiere shopping complex of the 80s and 90s has officially become a shadow of its former self. The main reason behind it: the BBMP.

Story so far: According to the Public Utility Building Traders’ Association (PUBTA), the maintenance and security of the building have been neglected by the BBMP for a while now. Out of the 85 shops that occupy the first two floors, only 30 to 35 of them are still open for business. Customers rarely ever visit the complex at this point.

  • Any upkeep is done by the traders association itself. This includes paying the housekeeping staff to come in and clean the space. But still, infrastructural issues like hanging livewires, leaky pipes and taps need to be fixed.

Why it matters: Even though the BBMP does not take care of the building anymore, it increases rent by around 7% every now and then. As of now, the body asks for ₹50 to ₹60 per square foot. This is akin to any private space on Brigade or MG Road but with none of the benefits.


🧱 Zero-ing in on debris dumping

Debris dumping is unfortunately not a rarity in this city, and now it’s creeping into our footpaths. Most times, the perpetrators are bodies under the BBMP.

Story so far: In a recent meeting, it was pointed out that the BWSSB, BESCOM, GAIL and others often leave their debris behind after work. What used to happen only in vacant lots is now taking up space on roadsides, footpaths and other public places. Thus, the BBMP has directed its officials to slap fines on responsible contractors.

Residents’ response: The people have welcomed this move in general. But, they also want the BBMP contractors to be subjected to it. 

  • According to them, since the BBMP is now working on desilting stormwater drains, the debris collected gets dumped on their roads. 

Why it matters: Not only is this difficult to look at but it also narrows the streets, making it harder to commute. The debris also makes the roads more slippery. In certain areas, the debris was left for weeks. Officials responded only after several requests were made.


🍖 Updating Tannery Road’s slaughterhouse

(Image: Abandoned tanneries in Tannery Road, Bengaluru; Credits: WestCoastMusketeerCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

It looks like there’s a lot the BBMP needs to get to as now, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed them to modernise its Tannery Road slaughterhouse by 2024.

Why it matters: A joint committee set up by the NGT found that the liquid discharge from the slaughterhouse was going straight into Ulsoor Lake. 

  • Turns out, the sewage treatment plant has not been working the way it should. So all that muck from Tannery Road became one of the major pollutants of the lake.

What now: Till the slaughterhouse gets modernised, the panel has some recommendations for the BBMP. 

  • The latest one said that the local body should redirect the effluent generated at the M/s BBMP Civil Slaughter House such that it gets treated at the CETP (central effluent treatment plant).

BBMP’s response: The panel report said the civic body assured them of modernising the slaughterhouse with new infrastructure. This includes a new building, modern abattoir protocols and updated meat and slaughtering processing facility.


🎋 Roads vs. Reserve Forests

(Image credits: Screenshot from a YouTube video of The Fitrush channel)

More than 600 eucalyptus trees in the Jarakabande Kaval Reserve Forest are set to get cut for the development of the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR).

Story so far: About 100 m of the eight-lane wide PRR is supposed to cut through the Jarakabande Kaval Reserve Forest. As per an RTI reply, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) will only cut down 631 trees. But this will have to be verified against the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

  • There are also plans of turning the protected forest into a park, in the likeness of Cubbon Park.

Public reaction: The general consensus says that the PRR should be planned around the reserve forest as it is a protected area.

  • The idea of turning it into a park has also been lampooned by environmentalists as it can harm the natural ecosystem.

Why it matters: It takes around 25 years before we can start reaping the ecological benefits of a tree. Now, these 500-year-old protected trees are getting the axe because of a project that can well be diverted around it.


🎷 Ya like jazz?

The second edition of the World Jazz Festival will be held at JP Nagar this weekend.

What’s up: This pan-Indian festival will begin in Bengaluru on 3rd June and then move on to Mumbai on 4th and 5th June. 

  • This is probably the only time of the year to hear some authentic live jazz in the city!

Who’s coming: Just like the edition in 2020, this festival is taking place in collaboration with the Amersfoort Festival from the Netherlands. And what’s great about it is that it will feature a bunch of artists from all over the world including the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and the USA.

  • The programme will feature powerhouses like Alexander Beets, Cole Porter, Igor Butman, etc.

Location: Organised by Banyan Tree, the event will start at 7 pm at the MLR Convention Centre at JP Nagar. You can get your tickets here.

That’s it for today. See you tomorrow!

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