QBengaluru: MM Hills to Get 6th Tiger Reserve, And More
1. Karnataka Gets Its Sixth Tiger Reserve
Bringing green cheers in the New Year, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy approved the formation of new protected areas, conversion of reserves into sanctuaries/tiger reserve and expansion of a few sanctuaries in the state. MM Hills Wildlife Sanctuary finally got the tag of a tiger reserve and it will be the sixth tiger reserve in the state. The Karnataka State Wildlife Board, which met under the chairmanship of the CM for the first time, however, deferred a decision on the much-opposed Hubballi-Ankola railway project.
“A decision on raising the compensation amount in cases of man-animal conflicts from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh will soon be taken,” the CM said. Some important forest habitats that will now get the tag of conservation reserve include Mulliayanagiri in Chikkamagaluru, Bhukapatna (for chinkaras) in Tumakuru and Mulabagilu in Kolar for bats. In Kolar, the Malur-Kamasamudra Wildlife Reserve for leopards and sloth bears and an elephant corridor too got the nod from the Board.
(Source: The New Indian Express)
2. CET Won’t Go Online This Year, Says Minister
Karnataka’s Common Entrance Test (CET) will not go online this year as the higher education department is not ready for the transition.
Higher education minister GT Devegowda on Thursday, 10 January confirmed that the 2019 test will not be an online affair. He discussed the issue at a review meeting of vice-chancellors. “We have two months left for CET and it’s not possible to conduct the exams online now. We will work towards upgrading the infrastructure, and can possibly conduct an online test by 2020,” he said.
On Wednesday, 9 January, Devegowda had announced that the test may go online this year or in 2020. CET 2019 is expected to be attended by over 1.8 lakh students. The plan to make the CET transition comes in the wake of JEE Mains going online this year. However, the department seems to lack a strategic plan to make it a reality.
3. Garden-Themed T2 Terminal Part of KIA’s Rs 13K-cr Plan
Garden-themed to reflect Bengaluru’s once cherished green identity, the second terminal (T2) of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will boost its capacity by 25 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA). The terminal will be at the core of KIA’s massive Rs 13,000 crore expansion plan. At over 2.55 lakh sq metres, the first phase of T2 will be massive in scale with 22 Code C gates, 15 bus gates, 17 security check lanes and 95 check-in solutions. But what will stand out is its ‘Terminal in a garden’ concept, with lush greenery within and outside.
The two-level terminal will house all departure points on the first floor and the arrivals on the ground floor. A multi-modal transport hub, which will eventually include a Metro station, a multi-level car parking area and a lagoon for water recycling are part of the T2 design.
(Source: Deccan Herald)
4. Bengaluru Residents May Soon Have to Pay 30% More For Water
Bengalureans may have to shell out more money for their water bills every month. The Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) officials are now working on a proposal which recommends the increase in water tariff by 30-35%.
BWSSB officials say that the proposal will soon be sent to the Karnataka government for approval. The water supply agency is also planning to recover some of the expenses it incurred in projects in the city by increasing the tariff.
"The Karnataka government has approved periodical increase of electricity tariff. But water tariff remains the same. In October 2017, we had submitted a proposal for increasing the water tariff once in three years. However, the government had recommended that water tariff can be increased once in five years. The last time the tariff was increased was in 2014 and hence we are planning to increase the rates this year," a senior BWSSB official said.
(Source: The Newsminute)
5. JD(S) May Get 4-6 Seats in Deal With Congress
JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda faces a complex fight for survival, both locally and nationally.
In the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Gowda is looking to field candidates in a “respectable” number of 28 constituencies in Karnataka and will drive a hard bargain aimed at expanding the party base and ensuring a sizeable number of seats to stake claim if there’s a fractured verdict. While the Congress, emboldened by its performance in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls, appears reluctant to give in to Gowda’s demands and wants to remain the ‘big brother’ in state politics. It wants to keep at least 22 seats, including nine it won in 2014, and part with 4-6 seats to the JD(S).
At a recent meeting between the ruling partners, party sources said Congress had mooted two seat-sharing formulas