Saturday, August 27, 2016

Location of district office creates controversy

Soure: The Hindu ..


Updated: August 26, 2016 02:41 IST |
The government seems to have got into an avoidable controversy with its plans to build the district office complex away from the city. The plan to build the complex on a hill top in Mamankeri village has some organisations saying the location is too far away and difficult to access.

Bidar is among the last districts to get a complex where all important offices are located.

Earlier plan
A piece of land near the Gurudwara was identified in 2014 and sent to the State government for approval. This formed the basis of the plan developed by the Karnataka Housing Board for the one lakh square ft building. The special cabinet of the State government held in Kalaburagi approved the site and sanctioned Rs. 48 crore for a building that would house both the DC and the ZP offices. However, work did not begin as the district administration decided to change the location.

Low accessibility

The Bidar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Bar Association have opposed it saying it will be difficult for people to go to the DC office on a daily basis. “Petitioners, advocates and the common people will have to get down Navadgeri hill and climb up Mamankeri hill to reach the DC office. It will be a nuisance, said B.G. Shetkar, BCCI president. These organisations have threatened agitations if the government finalises the location as Mamankeri.

“Moving the DC office out of the city is a ploy by officers to avoid protests in front of their office,” says former MLA Zulfikar Hashmi. “A distant office will mean lesser people will visit it, turning it into a den for agents, like the RTO office,” Mr. Hashmi said.

The Office of the Regional Commissioner has raised objections against the project. A letter from Amlan Aditya Biswas, RC, has pointed out that the land has been classified as forest land and can not be used for non-forest purposes. He has also pointed out that part of the land was Waqf land, belonging to a dargah. He has also sought reasons for rejecting the earlier site near Chikpet.

Weak soil
“The soil on the mountain is not as strong in other areas,” said an engineer who was engaged in preparing the layout plan. “The mountain is a landfill mound, which has soil deposited during the construction or repair of the fort in the Behmani or Nizam period. We therefore need a pile foundation of 30 ft that will cost around Rs. 6-8 crore to set up. Secondly, the water table in Mamankeri is not shallow. The office complex will need a lot of water and will have to depend on piped supply from the city. This is not feasible,” he said.

Eshwar Khandre, district in-charge Minister, is said to be backing the project as he wants it to be completed during the Congress government’s tenure. “We have not come to a final decision on the location so far,” he told The Hindu.

Green building
Anurag Tewari, deputy commissioner, defends the choice. “It will be a green building, generating its own solar energy and harvesting rain water,” he said. He said issues of the land being forest or Waqf land have been resolved. We have found documents that say it is not forest land. We will plan the building in such a way that the Waqf land is avoided, he said. Moving the office complex away from the city will lead to development of the city in that direction. More over, it will be the most beautiful district office complex in the State, he said.

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Bidar police bust drug racket

Source : The Hindu

The Bidar police busted a drug racket and arrested five persons in two incidents this week. Jaffer A. Ali alias Jaffery, who is considered the kingpin of the racket, was arrested on Saturday from his residence in Irani Colony. The police team also seized banned substances from his house.

On Tuesday, a team intercepted a car coming from Kalaburagi at the Irani Colony gate and found ganja, psychotropic tablets and syrup bottles in the car. Supreet Navale (23) and Mastansab Ulgar (45), both from Kalaburagi, and Saboddin Syed (28) and Kiran alias Kirya Idgar (19), both of Bhalki, were arrested. A case has been registered in Gandhi Gunj police station.

Superintendent of Police Prakash Nikam told presspersons on Wednesday that banned substances worth Rs. 2.88 lakh were seized. “We got around 34 boxes of tablets valued at Rs. 23,562, 13 boxes of another tablet worth Rs. 15,080, over 300 cough syrup bottles worth Rs. 29,599 and 20 kg of ganja. We are keeping an eye on such activities,” he said.

Car seized

A car worth Rs. 2 lakh was also seized. Mr. Nikam said that drugs should be sold only against a prescription. "We suspect these may be sold over the counter in medical stores or in other outlets or through a network of drug dealers. We are keeping an eye on such activities," he said.

Investigators have sent the batch number and other details to the Drugs Control Department to trace where the drugs were coming from. "I have also written to the department to issue directions to pharmacists, logistics operators and doctors about following due restrictions on the storage, sale and transport of banned or controlled substances," Mr. Nikam added.

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Karez line discovered in Bidar old city

Source : The Hindu ..

Jamuna Mori Karez that was discovered in Bidar Old City.

Construction workers digging a channel for the underground drainage discovered a Karez line near Kali Masjid in Maniyar Taleem in Bidar Old City on Friday. Karezs are underground aqueducts built during the medieval era to harvest rainwater and filter it before transporting to parched areas. Experts have mapped seven Karez lines across the city till now.

"This line seems to be a part of the Jamuna Mori Karez line that connects the vegetable market to the Bidar fort. However, we will send the location and other details to experts and seek their opinions," said Kishor Joshi, Assistant Director of Tourism.

Govindan Kutty, groundwater expert from Kerala University who mapped the first Karez in Naubad, said the Jamuna Mori was unique. While other lines connected two parts outside the city, Jamuna Mori connected the city to the fort. “There is another theory that says Jamuna Mori was for non-drinking water. We need further research to confirm this,” he said.

Members of non-governmental organisation Team Yuva, who are overseeing cleaning of the Naubad Karez, first noticed the Maniyar Taleem Karez or Jamuna Mori Karez and informed Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tewari.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Boating to be introduced in Paapnash lake

Source:The Hindu

The State government will introduce boating in the historic Paapnash lake on the outskirts of the city in order to tap its tourist potential.

The lake next to the Paapnash Temple attracts morning walkers and wildlife photographers. The serene water body at the centre of the Bage Karanja jungle that is home to several species of birds and animals is expected to attract families and tourists who want to spend a few hours in the green surroundings.

The 50-hectare water body formed at the intersection of two mountains sustains the jungles around it that serves as a lung spaces for Bidar city.

Minister of State for Municipal Administration and district in-charge Eshwar Khandre is set to inaugurate the facility on Independence Day on August 15.

The State-run Jungle Lodges and Resorts will manage the facility. JLR operates the Black Buck Resort on the Vilaspur tank in the Khanapur forest range in Bhalki taluk, one of the only two resorts in north Karnataka.

This is the second attempt at introducing boating in the Paapnash lake. In 2009, a dingy and coracle operator from Maharashtra was contracted by the district administration to operate boats and take children and families around the lake. However, it had few takers and was closed by the district administration in 2012.

The lake was built by the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1890, to impound water from the perennial spring of Paapnash. The spring is counted among the seven perennial sources of water around Bidar city. Archaeologist Ghulam Yazdani’s book ‘Bidar its history and monuments’ documents the other six springs as the Noor Samnani spring, Farah Bag spring, Syed Ud Sadat spring, Chamkora spring, Shukla Teertha spring and the spring of Aliabad that is fed by the historic ‘karez’ or ‘surang bavi’, the medieval era subaltern water channel.

“Allowing boating in the lake is not an isolated project. It is part of the comprehensive development of the lake, conserving the forests surrounding it, and preserving the birds and animals that live there,” Anurag Tewari, Deputy Commissioner, said.

The Muzrai Department had been asked to release Rs. 2.5 crore for the development of the Paapnash temple and its surroundings, he said.

Chandrakanth Shetkar, chairman of Paapnash Mahadev Trust, a group of devotees that is engaged in the development of the temple, has welcomed the move. “We also need to protect the trees and the birds of the region”, he said.


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Sunday, August 7, 2016

IoT centre to come up at Bhalki

Source:The Hindu

A Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (IoT) is coming up in Bheemanna Khandre Institute of Technology (BKIT) at Bhalki in Bidar district. This will enable graduate students of all branches to study various courses related to it. It will also offer research opportunities to research scholars. Bharat Ratna C.N.R. Rao will inaugurate the centre on Saturday.

This is the first such centre in an academic institution in the state, say teachers from BKIT. “IOT is the next big thing,” said Sanjay Kumar Gowre, coordinator of the centre. The global standards initiative on IoT estimates that by 2020, there will be around 50,000 crore devices that will be running on this technology across the world. Each individual is expected to have at least eight devices that need to work in an internet enabled environment. “We need to prepare our students to be active participants in this. A full-fledged laboratory has been built for the purpose. Bengaluru based Preva Systems is providing a set of software tools to set up the centre,” Prof. Gowre said.

Students of all disciplines will be given projects based IOT technology, says Nagashetteppa Biradar, professor of information technology. “We have set up a laboratory that involves a smart grid comprising of a network of devices that takes up small tasks. These will be embedded with electronic chips, software and sensors. The network will be always on and data will be continuously exchanged. It is like a group of robots doing their jobs after receiving commands from computers,” he said. One of the priority areas to be taken up is agriculture. Technologies that will help farmers, like protecting crops from animals like elephants, and wild boar and remote controls for irrigation pumpsets will be developed. Advanced farming equipments for weeding, sowing and harvesting and automated drip irrigation systems will also be taken up.

IOT can have a lot of practical implications. For example, a whole hospital can be run on IoT, where tablets used by doctors will sync to computers controlling the lighting, oxygen and medicines administered to patients. All data related to a patient would be analysed to come to the best possible treatment to individual patients.

Prof. Biradar said funds have been sought from the NITI Ayog for further development of the centre under the Atal Innovation Scheme.


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Bridge over Manjra river inaugurated

Source: The Hindu

Bidar: The bridge over the Manjra river near Saigaon village in Bhalki taluk, that connects Karnataka and Maharashtra border, was formally inaugurated by District in-charge Minister Eshwar Khandre on Sunday.

All these years, the Manjra would flow over the old bridge after heavy rains, cutting off connections between Bhalki town and 22 villages in the taluk.

The new taller bridge will help counter such situations. The Public Works Department had allowed movement of vehicles a month ago, to help commute during the monsoon.

The 150 metre long bridge built at a cost of Rs. 13 crore also reduces the travelling distance from Bhalki taluk to villages on the Maharashtra side by around 30 kilometres.

Work on the bridge began in January 2014 and was expected to be completed by April 2015. However, it got delayed by a year, pushing up construction costs slightly.

Irrigation department has built bridge cum barrages in Kongali, Sangam and Halasi. The bridge near Sangam village was inaugurated in June.

Zilla panchayat president Bharatbai Sherikar, vice-president Prakash Patil, PWD chief engineer Suryakant Sringeri and others were present.


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Bidar government hospital to hire temporary staff

Source: The Hindu

The government will allow the district hospital to appointment some temporary staff to strengthen its obstetrics and gynaecology wing, said Eshwar Khandre, district in-charge Minister, in Bidar on Saturday.

Over a hundred women are admitted to the wing everyday, but the facilities are just adequate to help around 60 women deliver. We need to strengthen the department by deploying additional staff, he said.

At a meeting with senior officials, the minister also allowed the district surgeon to employ additional security guards. The government has released Rs. 80 lakh for providing facilities and equipments like bio-metric attendance recorders, the minister said.

The number of dialysis machines will be increased.

He asked the doctors not to go on leave and not to leave the head quarters till the spread of gastroenteritis and cholera was under control. He asked officials not to refer patients to hospitals in Hyderabad unless it was absolutely necessary.

Mr. Khandre asked Assistant Commissioner Venkat Raja to submit a detailed report on the needs of the hospital after a thorough inspection. Anurag Tewari, Deputy Commissioner, C. Channanna, director, Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences, M.A. Jabbar, District Health and Family Welfare officer and others were present.


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C.N.R. Rao to interact with students in Bidar

Source: The Hindu

Scientist and Bharat Ratna awardee C.N.R. Rao will interact with pre-university students to orient them towards research in basic sciences in the Rang Mandir in Bidar on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Prof. Rao, who is the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, will inaugurate the Internet of Things (IoT) laboratory and Centre of Excellence at the Bheemanna Khandre Institute of Technology in Bhalki remotely from the Akka Mahadevi College for Women in Bidar. He will also lay the foundation stone for Makkala Mahamane, a hostel for poor meritorious students, to be built by the Kalyan Karnataka Pratishtana at Mamankeri on the outskirts of Bidar.
Channabasappa Halahalli, president of District Development Forum, said Prof. Rao would speak on the need to motivate more students to take up research in basic science and how research and academics can be promising careers.
The Karnataka Rajya Vigyan Parishat, Karnataka Rashtriya Education Society, Shaheen Education Society, BKIT and K.K. Pratishtana are jointly organising the programmes.

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Bidar gurdwara to do its bit to protect a legendary spring

Source: The Hindu.

The Amrut Kund, believed to have been created by Guru Nanak, in Bidar.

The stream, born in the laterite mountains along Manjra valley, comes out as ‘Amrut Kund’ in the gurdwara premises.

Bidar-based Gurudwara Guru Nanak Jhira, a pilgrimage centre for Sikhs all over the world, plans to take up afforestation and rainwater harvesting to protect the eponymous mountain stream that runs through it.

The stream born in the laterite mountains along Manjra valley comes out as ‘Amrut Kund’ in the Gurudwara premises. A beautiful temple of white stone and marble has been built at the point where the water comes out. Devotees queue up at the mouth of the Amrut Kund to collect the water, which is considered holy.

Legend has it that the founder of the faith Guru Nanak miraculously created the spring. Returning from his tour of Dakshina Patha or southern sojourn, he stopped in Bidar in the summer of 1512. Residents of the town complained that they were suffering from a severe drought and asked the prophet to help. He moved a stone with his leg and water gushed out from a hole in the ground. Amrut Kund was thus created, believers say. They also believed it never stopped yielding water in the last five centuries. Several households in Bidar collected drinking water from the Gurudwara for daily use till a few years ago.

However, the unprecedented heat wave of 2016 dried up tanks and ponds and sucked out water from wells and bore holes all over the district. The three tanks and seven springs surrounding Bidar city went dry. The Gurudwara spring was no exception. The eternal spring began yielding less and less water every month.

Cutting of trees in the mountain behind the Gurudwara and shaving off of laterite bunds to make way for new buildings also seemed to have contributed to the phenomenon.

Water flow in the spring was so alarmingly reduced that the Gurudwara authorities rationed water to visitors. Two steel tanks that quenched the thirst of tourists at the Amrut Kund were removed.

However, the Gurudwara committee now wants to find long-term solutions to the problem. They are consulting experts in ground water management. On Thursday, faculty members from the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, run by the committee, have held meetings with Govindan Kutty, a professor from Kerala University, who first mapped the Surang Bavi or underground water canals of Bidar in 2010.

“On the advice of Mr. Kutty and Damian Singh, of the Sikh Heritage Foundation, we are taking several measures to protect and preserve the environment around the Gudurwara,” Balbir Singh, president, Gurudwara managing committee, told The Hindu.

“The first step has been to ban bore wells in areas like Guru Nagar that are situated on the elevated plateau above the Gurudwara. This decision was taken several years ago. That is because we foresaw the damage to the spring and the surrounding areas,” explains Mr. Singh. He said that in the next phase, high density plantation would be taken up in areas surrounding the Gurudwara. According to Mr. Singh, rainwater harvesting will be encouraged in all houses in Guru Nagar and surrounding areas. Watershed development structures like bunds, Krishi Hondas and curved linings will be built in gardens and other public places, he said.

“The Bidar Gurudwara is nestled in the lap of the beautiful Manjra valley. With a little effort, its pristine beauty and greenery can be preserved,” said Mr. Kutty. Saving rainwater and greening will not only reinvigorate the spring, but also recharge groundwater level in the surrounding areas, he said. He also called for protecting traditional water bodies like open wells and streams. Mr. Kutty has suggested that they choose trees of such varieties that retain the top soil and don’t damage deep aquifers. “Plants with surface roots like Amla and Bamboo should be chosen. Plants like Eucalyptus and quick stick (Gliricidia) should be avoided,” Mr Kutty said.


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