November 10, 2005

Bangalore brief for Nov 10

2 BMP officials in Lok Ayukta net

How Can These Engineers Improve Roads: Venkatachala


Bangalore: Two senior officers of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) have landed in the Lok Ayukta dragnet for amassing property worth several crores, disproportionate to their known sources of income.
   Late on Tuesday evening, the Lok Ayukta sleuths raided the residences of R Ranganath, chief engineer, south, in Rajajinagar; and M C Prakash, executive e    ngineer in charge of Bharathinagar. The raids followed tip-offs by BMP staffers.
   While the sleuths recovered Rs 10.2 lakh in cash that was stashed away in Ranganath’s palatial four-storeyed building, over 3 kg of gold and silver jewellery and articles, electronic gadgets and Rs 5 lakh worth of NSCs were seized too.
   The sleuths have so far found that Ranganath owns a twostoreyed building on West of Chord Road; 3 acres in Kadur; over 4 acres in KG Srinivaspura, Tumkur; 5 acres in Birur; 39 guntas of land at Gubbi; and a residential site in Banashankari. Three cars and a scooter have been seized too.
   Prakash, who joined BMP as a work inspector, was found in possession of over Rs 1 lakh in cash and nearly 7 kg of gold and silver. Besides his residence that was raided in Venkateshwara Badavane in BTM Layout, Prakash owns a three-storeyed building in Madivala, expansive sites in Srirangapatna, BTM Layout, Arohalli, Uttarahalli and several acres of land in Mandya, and Channapatna.
   Cases under the anti-corruption Act have been registered. Lok Ayukta Venkatachala said he will recommend their suspension. Speaking to reporters, the Lok Ayukta lashed out at the corrupt officials: “With this level of corruption, how can they improve the condition of roads in the city.’’ Reacting sharply to the government’s indifference, he said: “I will file cases to make the government grant sanction to prosecute corrupt officers.’’
   “A government job is like a licence for them to take bribes. They begin to loot once they start with the job.’’
   On the cabinet’s decision to drop charges against some officers booked by the Lok Ayukta, he said they will go in appeal to the governor. “All officers are connected and have links with some MLA or minister. But we will continue our work against corruption.’’
Safe custody

The cash, gold and silver valuables and documents seized will be kept in the Lok Ayukta’s strong room in his office. The authorities will approach a court for a decision on the seizure. The booty will either be deposited with the government treasury or handed over to the custody of the Lok Ayukta, an official said.

Big projects, big loot

R Ranganath:

Was in charge of the Rs 300-crore road works under the municipal bonds scheme. Worked as executive engineer in the projects department, where he monitored the construction of the Sirsi Circle and Richmond Circle flyovers and multi-storeyed buildings.


Has worked at the ward level. Was assistant engineer at Jayanagar, and AEE at Shivajinagar and Binnypet. Handled road asphalting, drain and pavement works.
Battered roads greet Central team

Bangalore: Breached tanks, damaged houses, collapsed retaining walls, scar-surfaced roads. This is what the sevenmember team from New Delhi was treated to on a tour of the city on Wednesday.
   Prior to embarking on the tour, principal secretary, revenue, S M Jaamdar, made a comprehensive presentation on the rain related havoc the state had to grapple with. The team’s attention was brought to the memorandums submitted to the Centre in September for Rs 90 crore (for Bidar), the overall damage assessment in the state for Rs 1000 crore, and the damage in Bangalore city alone due to the recent rain, for Rs 300 crore.
   A small presentation was made exclusively on the problems the BMP had to grapple with. Later, the team of seven was split into three groups and inspected different places.
   One team, lead by R Bhattacharya, joint secretary, ministry of home affairs, was taken on an inspection of parts of Bangalore urban and rural. Another team went on an inspection of the situation in Tumkur and Hassan. Yet another team went to Bidar and is presently halting at
   The Bangalore team had a hectic sojourn of CMC areas
and some of the worst affected areas in city limits. Some of
the places and subsequent problems that were looked into:

• The breached tank at Nayandahalli which caused problems on Mysore Road leading to road blockage and eviction of some families in the vicinity during the recent deluge.

• Inspection of the damaged bridge and retaining wall at Vrishabavathi valley.

• The collapsed Kambipura bridge.

• The breached Kodigehalli tank.

• The badly damaged Nagavara-Thanisandra Road.

• The scarred Tannery Road.

• Houses that were damaged in large numbers at Ramamurthynagar.

• Damaged houses at K R Puram CMC.

• Water-logged and hence damaged roads at Kaggadasapura.

• The collapsed retaining wall and damaged storm water drain at Ulsoor Lake.

• The EWS quarters which have been getting damaged for three consecutive years.

• Sarjapur Road which was inaccessible for a long time after the rains.

   An ultimatum on how much funds would actually be released and an assessment of extent of damage done, would
be pronounced on Thursday evening by the team. On Thursday, the teams would be visiting Mandya, Mysore, parts of
Bangalore Rural and Kolar.
VVIPs choke rush-hour traffic

Bangalore: Traffic was thrown out of gear along the Sankey Road stretch up to Airport Road during the morning peak hour on Wednesday thanks to three different VVIP convoys including the one which took chief minister N Dharam Singh. First, security agencies and the traffic police were holding rehearsal from Airport Road to central business dis trict (CBD) to make preparations for the visit of Czech Re public President scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
   Then, the CM’s convoy hit the road to reach Airport. Fol lowed by deputy chief minister M P Prakash’s convoy criss
crossing CBD.
   At around 10 am, the commuters were caught in unawares as they were stranded in the junctions while the convoys buzzed past them. Traffic policemen had stopped vehicular movement near junctions on the VVIP route a few minutes prior to the arrival and departure of convoys.
   As a result, office goers, students and others were caught in a jam for over an hour. “The situation on Airport Road was so bad that traffic moved at snail’s pace between Trinity Cir cle and the Airport. Some people missed flights too,’’ a traf fic constable near Domlur water tank said.
   After the coalition government came to power, number VVIP’s having convoy vehicles have increased to around from two to three earlier.

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