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Carpool crackdown

Good morning, Bengaluru!

🌦️ Today’s weather: Cloudy with possible showers later in the day.

🧐 Did you know? Before the BMTC came into being, buses were run by the Bangalore Transport Company. It began as a limited company and was nationalised in 1956 and renamed Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) in 1962.

πŸš™ Cracking down on carpool apps

(Image credit: Freepik)

Following complaints from taxi drivers, the transport department in the city is taking action against carpool apps.

What’s it about? The transport department in the city is taking action on carpool apps like Quick Ride and others. Their contention is that these apps use private vehicles for commercial purposes, which is illegal.

  • The transport department has received complaints from taxi driver unions. RTOs have been directed against companies operating in HSR Layout, Jayanagar, and Electronic City, among others.
  • For those who use carpooling services, especially those working in IT corridors, it’s a great way to save on transportation costs. Several government agencies have endorsed carpooling, but the state government hasn’t formulated a policy on it.

Managing traffic congestion: Advocates of these apps say carpooling helps reduce the number of vehicles on the road. The city already has over 1 crore vehicles, with 73.6 lakh two-wheelers and 23.5 lakh four-wheelers.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Expanding the digital knowledge space

(Image credit: Freepik)

Bengaluru will have a Cybersphere Centre for Excellence to enhance cybersecurity and facilitate knowledge sharing.

What’s it about? The new state-of-the-art facility will serve as a hub for innovation, skill development and combating cybercrimes. The announcement was made by Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara at the Techfusion Sunrise Summit-2023.

  • The centre will be a collaborative effort between the Home Department and some of the leading IT and biotech companies. The goal is to create a Cybersphere Innovation Lab to foster innovation and develop cutting-edge technologies for law enforcement and public safety.
  • The new centre will also help in the exchange of information between the Home Department and the IT/Biotech sectors. The focus will be on training and skill development for government and industry personnel.

Activities & feedback: The centre will offer several activities and programs, including R&D projects, workshops, and seminars with industry experts. There’ll be regular assessments of the centre on security improvements and innovation outcomes with feedback from the government and industry stakeholders.

🚬 City’s growing drug menace

(Image credit: Freepik)

The city’s drug menace grows with easy access to illegal narcotics.

What’s it about? According to the police, Bengaluru records over 400 cases per month under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPA). People in the city who want to use illegal substances get them easily.

  • Drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and meth are just easily available and are sold for anywhere between β‚Ή2,000 and β‚Ή10,000. For college students, it’s just a phone call away.
  • For some, like the 4s NGO, working to curb the drug menace, the plan has to be to identify and dismantle the big networks. Several powerful people with money have now gotten into selling drugs.

What can be done? There needs to be a holistic approach to tackle synthetic drugs. Telangana has formed a state-level narcotics coordination centre with dedicated officers. There needs to be something similar for Bengaluru.

🚘 Big traffic jam

(Image credit: X)

The city witnessed massive traffic jams due to the bandh ahead of the long weekend.

What happened? Ahead of the long weekend and the bandh called by farmer bodies, several parts of the city witnessed big traffic jams with vehicles queueing up for several hours.

  • The police said traffic increased Wednesday evening between 5 and 8 p.m. as office-goers began returning home. For many, it’s a five-day weekend since Eid Milad-Un Nabi is a gazetted holiday.
  • The Joint Commissioner Traffic Police said there was unprecedented traffic on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and surrounding areas.

Numbers: The usual vehicle numbers on Wednesdays are between 1.5 and 2 lakh. However, it was estimated to be 3.5 lakh as of 7.30 p.m. In some areas, waterlogging on interior roads added to the traffic woes.

✨ Things to do…

Here are some fun and interesting things to do in the city over the weekend!

πŸ›‹οΈ Local Lounge

Yesterday’s Poll Results:

  • I work from home: 83.3% πŸ†
  • I go to the office: 16.7%

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend!

Bengaluru news in just 5 minutes

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