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Gearing up for Durga Puja

Good morning, Bengaluru!

🌧️ Today’s weather: Generally cloudy with some light rain.

🧐 Did you know? Whitefield is named after David Emmanuel Starkenburgh White and was established as an Anglo-Indian village in 1882. It was built on 4,000 acres of land granted by the then Maharaja of Mysore.

🙏🏼 Getting ready for Durga Puja

Several pandals across the city are gearing up for this year’s Durga puja.

What’s it about? The city is preparing to welcome Maa Durga as pandals across the city are beginning preparations.

  • Bengaluru has over a hundred registered pandals due to the growing Bengali population. The Bengali Association for the Residents of Sarjapur and HSR-layout Area (BARSHA) is now in its 8th year with the new theme being Greek Elegance.
  • The RT Nagar Sarbajanin Durga Puja Samiti will mark its 17th year in Princess Green, gate 9 of Palace Grounds, with the theme of Melbandhaner Anginay. Another is the East Bengaluru Cultural Association (EBCA), which will organise the puja at Sumadhura Banquet Hall in Whitefield.

Time for some music: Many organisers are bringing in artists from West Bengal. The rock band Cactus will perform on October 20 for BinB. The folk band Joler Gaan from Bangladesh and Anjan Dutt will also perform.

🚍 Return of the bus priority lane?

A bus priority lane on the ORR would help reduce travel time and save on fuel consumption.

What’s the story so far? The priority bus lane was introduced on ORR in 2019 after lobbying by transport activists. It spanned 17 km from Silk Road to KR Pura. However, the construction of metro pillars of the Blue Line on the median meant it needed space and the authorities had to remove the bollards.

  • The bus lane can reduce travel time to 50-55 minutes once the roads designated for the lanes are improved. With the Baiyappanahalli-KR Pura metro line now open, the 37 feeder buses for last-mile connectivity will also help commuters.
  • The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) installed over 25,000 fibre-reinforced bollards to reinforce the bus lane. The Metro authorities said they are committed to reinstalling them once the metro work is finished on the stretch.

Public support: A report from Greenpeace India showed 86% of those surveyed supported expanding the bus lane system. Over 28% said they experienced improved travel times since the bus lane was implemented.

🏍️ Driver’s license suspension

The Bengaluru Police have cracked down on traffic violators by suspending their driver’s licenses.

What’s it about? So far, the city traffic police have suspended 772 driver’s licenses of traffic violators. The transport department has also cancelled registration certificates (RCs) of eight vehicles for illegal accessories.

  • The police had recommended the traffic department suspend 1,700 licenses for various violations. A majority of them were for drunk driving. Others were for dangerous driving.
  • In about half the cases, minors were involved in rash driving, and each vehicle owner was fined up to ₹25,000. Depending on the violation, the license suspension can be for a period ranging from 3 to 6 months.

Sending a message: Transport Minister R Ramalinga Reddy said that officials have a free hand to take action against unruly motorists, and there’s zero tolerance towards drunk and rash driving.

🏞️ Lake left to be polluted

The Kenchanahalli Lake has never been restored and turned into an open drain.

What’s it about? The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) hasn’t fined any industry or issued closure notices for the lakes being polluted in the RR Nagar zone since 2017. The condition of the lakes, especially the Kenchanahalli Lake, has worsened over the years.

  • The Kenchanahalli Lake is spread over four acres. It’s currently under Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) custody. Untreated sewage has continued to flow into it.
  • The lake also doesn’t have a proper entry. It only has a fenced area which smells. The water has turned black. According to residents, authorities chose to restore the Halagevaderahalli Lake only recently.

What’s the BBMP saying? According to the BBMP, the lake was to be developed, but the restoration works across lakes have stopped due to non-payment issues. Work can only resume once money is allocated.

📊 Today’s Poll

(Only subscribers can participate in the polls)

Is a priority lane for buses necessary for the city?

  • A priority lane for buses is necessary for the city.
  • A priority lane for buses is not necessary for the city.

❓ Today’s Question

(Only subscribers can submit their answers)

What’s your favourite weekend activity?

Reply to this email with your answers.

🗞️ In other news…

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

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