Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ಕಣ್ಣು ತೆರೆಸುವ ಲೇಖನ

ಕೃಪೆ: ವಿಜಯ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

All for a safer world...

(TOI) BANGALORE: Bursting of crackers will not be an easy affair from next Diwali. The government is mulling over ideas to prevent accidental injuries and pollution caused by crackers during festivals and public functions. "It is an irony that recently many people lost vision during the festival of lights. We thought we should urgently do something to address the problem," law minister S Suresh kumar told reporters on Monday. Kumar, who held a high-level meeting with home minister V S Acharya and medical education minister Ramachandra Gowda, said they decided to constitute a committee to suggest solutions. The panel comprising senior policemen and officials from the Fire Force, law department, health department and the Pollution Control Board, has been asked to submit recommendations in a fortnight. "Whatever be the recommendations, we will frame rules in a such way that it doesn't kill the spirit of festivals," he added. The government will also soon embark on an awareness campaign in schools by screening films on the dangers of bursting crackers. Quoting statistics, Kumar said around 15,000 persons sustain injuries in the country during Diwali, of whom 300 lose sight. Most of the victims are children and innocent passers-by, he added. Quoting another study, the minister said Diwali rockets cause the greatest harm as they rupture the eyeball. Sparklers, otherwise considered safe, have also caused some serious damage, Kumar added. Putting forth one of his own ideas, the minister said the government can identify silent zones and the use of crackers should be completley resitricted there. "We can also organize fireworks at designated open grounds so that people collectively enjoy the spectacle," he added. If necessary, he said, the committee will be allowed to study laws governing bursting of crackers in the US and UK and analyze their applicability to Karnataka. The minister maintained that the government has no qualms in putting a restraint on bursting crackers at political functions.
Diwali without fireworks? Community Fireworks: a safe, pollution reducing option?
Diwali is the festival of lights, not the festival of noise. Unless you belong to the Dinosaur age, you are aware of this. Why not live up to the name and do up your home with lovely earthen diyas strewn all around? How about a beautiful rangoli at the entrance of your home? If you're extremely busy there are Rangoli stickers available in the market but there's nothing better than adding some colour with your own hands. Do it and let the compliments flow! Absolutely can't imagine Diwali festivities without bursting a single cracker? Since crackers create a lot of waste as well as pollution, one good idea to reduce it is to have a community fireworks show in your colony or housing estate, instead of everyone going for it individually. Another great and fast catching option is noiseless crackers. With children and parents becoming eco-friendly, there's a high demand for colourful fireworks which can emit several types of colours without the ear splitting boom. There's quite a range available in soundless crackers, from ground crackers like the 'Chakras' or 'spinning wheels' to rockets that dart towards the sky and explode noiselessly into hundreds of brightly coloured stars. Isn't that a delightful sight for the eyes without disturbing anybody? Similarly smokeless crackers are also available in the market. (Reshmi Chakraborty)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Police Commemoration Day Parade 2009

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today called upon the State police to effectively curb the terror groups and naxal menace, which was growing in the country. Speaking at the Police Commemoration Day Parade here, the Chief Minister said terror groups, anti-national elements, naxals as well as foreign nationals, who stayed back despite their visas being expired should be dealt with iron-hand. Mr Yeddyurappa said ''The crime incidents are on the rise and the Government would fully support the police force in tackling it. The department should ensure that every one of those who act against the law be brought to books''. The State Government had ensured enough budgetary allocations and implemented various welfare schemes for the police, he added. The Chief Minister hailed the efforts made by the police personnel in providing relief to the affected people during the floods that wrecked havoc in 15 North Karnataka districts early this month. Meanwhile, Mr Yeddyurappa announced that police constables, henceforth would get promoted in a time-bound manner, as the Government had streamlined the promotion. Constables who have completed 18 years of service would be promoted as Head Constable, seven years later as ASIs and once they completed 28 years of service, they would be elevated as Sub Inspectors, he added. The Chief Minister also announced an increase in grant-in-aid for the Police Welfare Fund from the present Rs 50 lakh to Rs one crore. He said the Government would appoint 3840 constables and other officers during the current financial year. Three more armed reserve battalions would be raised in the State, he added. Mr Yeddyurappa also read out the names of 20 policemen, who had laid their lives while on duty in the State during the last one year.(Mangalorean)

Monday, October 19, 2009

zero-tolerance to violence from any quarter

Prashanth G N, TNN 19 October 2009, 02:25am IST
Q If central forces start operations against Maoists, what implications do you see for Karnataka? A In our state, Naxal activity is on a very small scale. It is not like in some other states. Our state is also not included in the national list of Naxal-hit states. Even at a high-level meeting on Naxals, we were told it wasn't necessary for us to attend, as Karnataka was not considered a Naxal-affected state. I say it as home minister and please take that seriously.
What will be the state's policy on Naxals if the new offensive starts?
With or without central offensive, we have on our own been acting against Naxals. We are duty-bound to act against them. If we receive a circular on the new plans or any directions are issued, we will follow them.
What is your perception of the Centre's new plans?
Let the Centre be clear and firm in their policy. They should go the whole hog against Naxals or else the problem won't be solved. There seems to be dilly-dallying. One day, they say the military will be involved, the next day they retract. One day, they say IAF helicopters will be involved, the next day PM says no. What is this? Naxals can only be put down with a firm hand. The planned offensive against Naxals is good. Better late than never. But some states require more urgent assistance than we do.
Is Naxalism a serious problem in the state?
There isn't much Naxal activity in Karnataka, except for the occasional eruption of violence and death. It is restricted to a few pockets.
What is your view on `Naxal sympathisers'?
We are keeping a watch over them. We have even arrested some sympathisers, some of whom are tribals. Observation will continue.
Is the Naxal movement a development or law-and-order issue?
(Naxal activity &) Development is all nonsense. We will deal with it purely as a law-and-order issue.
Naxal movement doesn't have anything to do with social justice?
Nothing. Is killing innocent people social justice? They talk of high thoughts to camouflage bad deeds. We have zero-tolerance to violence from any quarter -- left-wing extremism or extortionists. India is a democracy and there are opportunities to protest in democratic ways. Violence has no place in a democracy.
How would you understand Naxalism?
Naxalism is a foolish, blind act. Madness. It is hysteria created by a group of misguided youth who don't have respect for law and democracy. I am a doctor and I would prescribe treatment to them. They have been struggling for 40 years and what have they achieved? A futile exercise. It has not reached, and will not reach, any logical conclusion. Some who have been arrested admit to us that it is all a wasted effort.
Any special development plans for Naxal-prone districts?
Some action is being taken. Local officials are looking into social and developmental issues so that no murmur crops up in the name of Naxal activity. We are trying to reach facilities to interior villages. The rural development minister has already visited some villages and action is under way.
Is backwardness related to Naxalism?
I am very clear -- we don't want to give the impression that it is due to backwardness that the Naxal movement has started. Facilities will be provided to all backward districts anyway.
How would you solve the Naxal issue in the long term?
We are very confident we will solve the issue soon. Our forces are on alert and are watching people involved in Naxal activity. There is absolutely no dearth of money or manpower. As home minister, I have to be clear -- you are with the law or you are not. If you are not with the law, I will have to act as per law.
Is the door shut on talks with Naxals?
The door is always open. If you don't knock on it to get an opportunity, what can we do? We have always said and I say even now, that if Naxals lay down weapons and come for talks, we will bring them back to the mainstream. We will rehabilitate them and give them an honourable living.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Photo of the week

12th Batch, Armed Police
Photo: Dayanand Kukkaje

Ordinance for supplementary estimates to meet expenditure

BANGALORE: On a day marked by consultations in the State Government over the need for adequate funds for rehabilitation of the flood-hit people, which were followed up with discussions with Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, an emergency Cabinet meeting adopted a resolution on supplementary estimates for Rs. 2,500 crore. (S. Rajendran /The Hindu)
Subsequently, the Governor promulgated an Ordinance approving the appropriation.
It is the first time in the history of the State legislature that a finance matter has been promulgated through an Ordinance since it is not in session and the Government has to meet a sudden spurt in expenditure. Ratification
The supplementary budget estimates will figure for ratification in the next session of the legislature to replace the Ordinance.
Minister for Home V.S. Acharya said that the State Cabinet also decided to introduce a toll on trucks carrying iron ore, granite, sand and timber.
The revenue generated would be used for better upkeep of the highways, the Minister said.
A Cabinet subcommittee will finalise the toll rates and they will come into force on November 15. Decision
This decision, however, has nothing to do with generating funds for providing relief to the flood-hit people.
The Government is thinking of some taxation measures to raise funds for that purpose. Meeting
Earlier, the Home Minister along with Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary to the State Government S.V. Ranganath and Principal Secretary to the Government (Finance) M.R. Sreenivasamurthy met the Governor and impressed upon him the need for an Ordinance to enable the State Government to meet the huge expenditure on rehabilitating the people affected by the recent flood and rains.
Soon after receiving the concurrence of the Governor, an emergency meeting of the Cabinet was held to pass a resolution.
Thereafter, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa met the Governor and submitted the Cabinet resolution, seeking early promulgation of the Ordinance.
Sources in the Raj Bhavan told The Hindu that the Governor promised that, if need be, he would impress upon the Union Government to extend adequate financial assistance to the State.
Dr. Acharya said that in the budget for the financial year, the State Government earmarked Rs. 139.36 crore for calamity relief, and inclusive of reimbursement (Rs. 36.29 crore) from the Union Government for the previous year’s expenditure, the funds available with the Government for calamity relief was Rs. 175.67 crore.
Following the floods in the north Karnataka region, the Government, however, had spent Rs. 505 crore on relief work.

Need for funds
With the immediate need to augment funds for calamity relief (Rs. 2,500 crore), the Government had taken recourse to an Ordinance.
The budget estimates for 2009-10 presented in the Legislative Assembly on February 20 by the Chief Minister showed a surplus of Rs. 1,151.37 crore in revenue account and a deficit of Rs. 1,237.25 crore in capital account.

The overall deficit was then estimated at Rs. 85.88 crore. With the revised estimates for 2008-09 showing a surplus of Rs. 42.80 crore, the closing balance indicated a deficit of Rs. 43.08 crore.
All this is now expected to change with the Government being compelled to rework some of the allocations made for certain departments in the wake of the loss caused by rain and floods.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

PM`s relief to Karnataka

"I announce an interim relief of Rs.1,000 crore for Karnataka. For the 226 precious lives lost in the flash floods and rain havoc, I have already announced a compensation of Rs.100,000 to the next of kin or kith of the victims," (Read More)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Now you can Donate Online!

Karnataka has seen unprecedented floods in the recent times. You can contribute towards mitigating the suffering of people through contribution to

"Calamity Relief Fund of Karnataka"
Thanks to Giri/Dr Rajkiran Panuganti for inputs in this regard!

Photo of the week

Courtesy: The Hindu

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Disasters: Preparedness is better than relief

Disaster is a situation or event which overwhelms local capacity, necessitating a request to a national or international level for external assistance. Such events always strike when least expected. Hence the response of the system needs to be automatic, coordinated and needs to be based on pre established drilled/ rehearsed protocols. This obviously involves coordination between the various agencies.(eg:home/fire/paramilitary/homeguards/ communication/ transport / finance / revenue/NGO etc).
Natural calamities, of one description or the other, affect nations all over the world. Because of the large geographical size of the country, India often faces natural calamities like floods, cyclones landslides and earthquakes. Manmade disasters too affect us in the form of railway accidents, building collapse, industrial disasters including radiation and hazardous chemicals and finally acts of terror including bio terror and proxy wars.
Consequences of these calamities are loss of lives, injury to the survivors, epidemics, loss of housing, crops, damage to infrastructure, disruption of communication, panic, looting, break down of social order, short term or permanent migration, loss of industrial production.
Disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and relief are four elements which contribute to and gain, from the implementation of the sustainable development policies. These elements along with environmental protection and sustainable development, are closely inter related. Disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness are better than disaster response in achieving the goals and objectives of vulnerability reduction. Disaster response alone is not sufficient as it yields only temporary results at a very high cost. Prevention and mitigation contribute to lasting improvement in safety and are essential to integrated disaster management.
Hospital preparedness/ Dept of Helath is crucial to any disaster response system. Karnataka is in the forefront of medical education. This also has helped to identify Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences Karnataka, as the lead national resource institution for disaster response related curriculum development. Other measures include flood preparedness and response, earthquake risk mitigation and disaster risk management programme.Awareness generation. Awareness generation campaigns are necessary to sensitize all the stakeholders on the need for disaster preparedness and mitigation measures. Elected representatives and officials are to be trained in disaster management under the programme. Awareness about vulnerabilities is a good tool for inducing a mindset of disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. This includes use of the mass media, introduction of relevant content in school curriculum etc.,
Need for audit:Man always learns from his or others past experience. Experts in the field of Disaster management, should document and publish the past experience. In this regard there is also a need for having a regional and national registry on disaster related activities.
I am sure, such exchange of ideas through communication would enrich our knowledge.Let us all benefit from such shared wisdom to make this world, a safe one!
(excerpts from the guest lecture delivered in "Safe World 2008, Bangalore")

Flood Relief: reports

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Relief measures

As many as 169 people lost their lives, over 1.2 lakh houses collapsed, over 350 villages were marooned, and 3,048 animals were washed away in the incessant rains that wrecked havoc in the 16 districts of Northern Karnataka over the last week. Home Minister VS Acharya said that 1,77,425 people have been given shelter in 589 relief camps across the state. The total damage caused by the rains is estimated to be around Rs 10,000 crore.
“We have not yet done an assessment of the losses as we are waiting for the water to recede from villages and fields. But the losses could be about Rs 10,000 crore,” Acharya said at a press conference on Sunday.
The toll is likely to go up as it is feared that about 20 people have been buried alive in a landslide in Karwar district. Eight helicopters and 73 boats have been engaged for relief and rescue operations.
“The entire government machinery from village level to the state level is attending rescue and relief operations,” Acharya said, adding that the government has released Rs 400 crore. (Express)

Monday, October 5, 2009

An appeal

Rescue and relief operations of such a gigantic scale cannot be comprehensive without cooperation of the public and assistance from philanthropists. Vast sums are required to organize the operations... Hence, the government is appealing to the public to extend all cooperation in rescue and relief operations... We earnestly appeal to all philanthropists including industrialists, businessmen and others to donate liberally...
How you can help? Contributions should be credited to the deputy commissioners of district in the form of a crossed account payee cheque or demand draft. The instrument should be drawn in favour of `Karnataka Chief Minister's Relief Fund - Calamity' and handed over personally or sent by post to the DC. The cheques and DDs may also be sent to: Karnataka Chief Minister's Relief Fund - Calamity, office of the Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka, Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore -560001. (TOI/Hindu)
Modalitites for online contributions is being worked out, link would be provided soon...
Contributions may also be in the form of clothes, blankets, etc. These should be deposited at the office of the tahsildars or municipal commissioners. (Avoid sending used/ old clothes)