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Good morning, Bengaluru!

Today’s weather: Carry an umbrella or just stay at home, the forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms throughout the day.


STARTUPS

👻 MG Road’s possessed parking ticket machines

Last Friday, many people were greeted with a bold possession notice plastered on several smart parking ticket machines on MG Road. Turns out, somebody’s slow on their loans.

Story so far: The possession notices were issued on 9 May by Easyaccess Financial Services. Basically, it states that Building Control Solutions India Private Limited and its guarantors have failed to repay their loans. Prior to this, a Demand Notice was issued on 30 April that failed to get a response from the borrower.

What’s owed: The amount owed right now is ₹1,34,35,905 and that’s without including the interest rates. Along with this, the notice says that the business assets of the borrower are also owed to Easyaccess as security for the loans.

  • The guarantor’s piece: N Sathyanarayanan, one of the guarantors, confirmed that the loan was taken from Easyaccess but claims that all financial issues were resolved.

The point is, if you’re in the Central Business District anytime soon, the chances of these machines going poof into thin air seem really high!


SMART CITY

🚴 The city’s cycling concerns

The pandemic has once again left cycling to take the city’s fancy. Whether it’s for one’s physical health or actual commuting, the acoustic motorcycle is on everybody’s mind.

Story so far: According to Bengaluru’s Bicycle Mayor Sathya Sankaran, the number of cycling groups has gone up in the city. It’s no longer only cyclists who can be seen with their bikes on the road. And due to this increased demand, the expected wait time for getting your hands on one can go up to months.

  • Risky roads: In the last 3 years, over 110 cyclists have been injured on roads and around 28 of them were even killed in accidents. Even though some cycle tracks were installed under the Smart City project, motorists seem to illegally take up space in those lanes all the time.

Way forward: The main request from cyclists across the city is to improve infrastructure. Even if the current lanes were freed up, the increase in demand clearly shows that they aren’t enough for the safety of all. The potholes and bad road conditions also don’t help.


UTILITIES

⚡ Wind – 1, Power Structures – 0

The strong winds of the pre-monsoon season have successfully trounced Bangalore’s power infrastructure as several poles and transformers have been damaged in May alone.

  • Why it matters: In the entirety of 2021, only 332 electricity poles were damaged in the city. The pre-monsoon storms have, this month, managed to damage a whopping 507 poles and 93 transformers. And all of this happened in the first 12 days of May itself.

Flying branches: According to officials, the winds have been uprooting several trees and the branches from those trees end up falling on the poles. While a branch or two can do serious damage to a pole, there have been instances of entire trees taking out multiple poles at once. Even if the weak trees are identified, public outrage usually stops their removal.

The power cuts: In cases of pole damage, Bescom officials say that it takes around 2 to 3 hours for them to restore the power. But in cases of an entire transformer, it can take up to 12 hours to fix. Meanwhile, the public remains peeved.


HEALTH

🦟 Dengue’s back on the prowl

Dengue jumped the clock! Even though Bangalore’s rains have always been associated with a rise in active dengue cases, the surge usually happens after the monsoons.

  • Why it matters: According to Dr SN Aravinda of the Aster RV Hospital, they have been admitting around 2 or more people each week with dengue-related complications. Most of the patients are between 25 to 40 years of age. And as of now, we still don’t have any vaccines for dengue.

Blame the rains: Experts say that the change in climate and onset of rains can lead to this increase in vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria. The problem is with stagnant water. The heavy rains usually lead to pools of stagnant water getting formed in inconspicuous places. This becomes the breeding ground for the mosquitoes.

Way forward: While the rise in cases is worrying, there is no need to panic. Keeping up with personal hygiene, a spidey-sense for mosquitoes and preventing any water stagnation should do you good. 👍


FOOD

🥭 Missing out on mangoes

Mangoes might be harder to come by this year. The problem? A massive disparity in the sex ratio of trees, say botanists.

What’s happening: While the human sex ratio disparity is caused by humans itself, nature has its own way of working. Climate change, hailstorms and prolonged cloudy skies have affected the flowering and fruiting trends of mangoes. In fact, the rains have almost wiped out the last of the standing mango crops around the city.

  • Why it matters: Normally, the mango yield from the region around Bengaluru reaches anywhere between 14 to 16 lakh tonnes. This year, the expected yield is just half of that, i.e. 7 to 8 lakh tonnes.

Where’s the fruit: Well, the fruits usually come from hermaphrodite flowers. This year, even though the flowering season went great, the flowers happened to come out mostly staminate (male). This was due to a flowering season (December to February) that had a lower temperature ranging from 12 to 20° Celsius.

That’s it for today. See you tomorrow!

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