KARNATAKA: Bangaluru AND Mangaluru: Women TARGETTED

We don’t want women engineers: corporators

       Bangalore: Where do working women leave their babies when they go to work? Some BBMP women officials carry their toddlers to their work place and that puts avoidable pressure.
Koramangala corporator BN Kokila has a problem with two women.

      In the council meeting on Tuesday, Kokila asked the mayor to change two women BBMP officials in her ward. “Both the junior health officer and senior health officer in my ward are women and they have little toddlers. They carry their children to the office and are hardly able to go around the ward unlike men who go around the the ward on their two-wheelers. Please transfer male officers to my ward,” she pleaded.

      When corporators laughed at her disparaging comments about women, Kokila angrily said, “It’s not a matter to be laughed at. I’m concerned about my ward,” she replied.
N Shantha Kumari, Moodala Palya corporator, also raised the same issue.

      “The lady health inspector in my ward recently delivered a baby. How can she go around the ward with her baby and check the garbage heaps? The mayor and commissioner must appoint a male official in my ward,” she said. Most environment engineers are young women, and they’re hardly able to get work done from solid waste management contractors, said Anil Kumar S, VV Puram corporator.


     Noor Jahan, corporator from Kushal Nagar, said the health officer in her ward was beaten up by the public for rising dengue cases. “If my ward is further neglected, we won’t be able to survive there,” she said.
Protest over BMTF

     BBMP engineers have taken exception to Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) police’s action against them, following complaints from people. They staged a protest at the BBMP headquarters on Tuesday morning. “Over 25 engineers are facing criminal cases filed by BMTF and 150 engineers have been slapped notices.

      We report to the commissioner and not to the BMTF. BMTF is misusing its powers,” said an officer-bearer of the BBMP employees’ association. The protest was called off after BBMP commissioner MK Shankarlinge Gowda assured the engineers that he would look into the issue.


Gang could get away lightly

      Bangalore: The government is either yet to realize the gravity of the situation sparked by the Mangalore moral policemen or it’s dealing with it lightly to keep its hardliners happy. Whatever the reason, CM Jagadish Shettar and his men appear to have missed the outrage.

      Though there was a clamour in both Houses of legislature to book the mauraders under the Anti-Goonda Act, police invoked provisions of Indian Penal Code pertaining to dacoity, trespass and attempt to outrage the modesty of a woman. Chief minister Jagadish Shettar admitted that one of the victims was robbed of a gold chain and Rs 10,000.

     Legal experts say: “At most, these perpetrators may cool their heels in jail for next 2-3 months and walk out free on bail.”

     Shettar said he has given directions to the home department to initiate stern action against those responsible for the attack. Ashoka, replying to the issue, on Monday said: “Police booked cases of assault, molestation and dacoity that are serious in nature. What else do you expect us to do?”

    JD(S) leader M C Nanaiah expressed displeasure about the passive response of legislators from Dakshina Kannada district.

     He sought to know what they’d done to help the victims and to ensure tough action was taken against the accused.



Auto driver returns 1L to passenger



     New Delhi: In a rare instance of honesty, an auto driver, a south Delhi resident and a constable teamed up to return Rs 1 lakh to a passenger who had left it inside an autorickshaw.

     The passenger, Raj Kumar Bhalla, had on Tuesday boarded an auto — bearing registration no. DL-1R-F-1083 — from Pratap Nagar to Pitampura. While alighting he forget his polythene bag containing the cash. The driver reached Pitampura Metro station, where another passenger boarded the auto. The next passenger, Ashwani Kumar, who lives in South Extension, noticed the bag kept on the passenger seat.

      The two did not flinch on seeing the money and approached constable Ram Nazar, who was patrolling the area. They then went to the place where the passenger had de-boarded the auto, but could not find him. Nazar then contacted the RWA of RU Block, Pitampura; after doing several rounds of the area, they spotted the passenger. The bag was finally returned to its owner. Bhalla lives at Krishna Nagar in east Delhi

     Auto driver Raj, Ashwani and the constable will be rewarded for their act of honesty, said police.


30% power lost to theft, politics

Reforms Suffer At The Hands Of Ineffecient Distribution Networks


New Delhi: More than 30% of the power produced in the country is lost to theft and inefficiencies in the state distribution networks as politics prevents speedy implementation of steps needed to stop the slippage.

     Now, the country has 205 gigawatt of generation capacity. At 30%, it works out to around 60,000 MW or nearly the same load that the northern, eastern and the northeastern grids were carrying when they tripped at 1pm on Tuesday.

      So if the slippage is even halved, there would be enough power to light up Delhi for a week. Indeed, distribution is the weakest link in India’s power story, with a loss figure that stood at 38.86% in 2000-01. It was then called T&D (transmission and distribution loss).

     Since it was not able to capture all the losses in the network, the concept of AT&C (Aggregate Technical and Commercial) loss was introduced. It was supposed to have captured technical as well as commercial losses in the network and reflect a true picture of the total losses in the system.

    But ironically, massive modernization has brought down the technical loss in inter-state and inter-region transmission networks, operated by Central utility Power-Grid Corporation, to a little over 1%. This is the global standard. But states continue to lag, with several still reporting double-digit loss rates —some notching 30% even a decade after the Centre launched Accelerated Power Development & Reform Programme in 2001 for reducing AT&C losses.

      The idea was to reduce the losses to below 15% in five years in urban and high-density areas. But the commercial loss of the state utilities has only reduced from Rs 29,331 crore to Rs 19,546 crore. As percentage of turnover, however, it has reduced from 33% in 2000-01 to 16.6% in 2005-06.
On the surface, it is because of inadequate investments over the years for improvement, unplanned extensions of distribution lines, overloading and lack of adequate reactive power support. But scratch the surface, and the real culprit turns out to be politics.

     In an era of coalition politics and fragmented polity, parties are loathe to administering strong medicines for fear of upsetting their perceived vote banks.



       Over Half Of India’s Population Reels Under World’s Biggest-Ever Blackout,

       Minister Gets Promotion

Sanjay Dutta TNN

North, East & Northeast Grids All Trip

      New Delhi: It was a Terrible Tuesday that 684 million Indians are not going to forget in a hurry. In the world’s biggest blackout that affected one-tenth of the global population, 21 states and Union Territories went on the blink after threearterial power lines collapsed at 1pm.
The northern, eastern and northeastern regions suffered the outage when their respective grids collapsed in quick succession with devastating effect. The blackout disrupted life, rail and air services as well as industrial production across sectors.

      Even as the country was reeling under the outage, power minister Sushilkumar Shinde was moved out to the home ministry, and Veerappa Moily given the additional charge of power — a move that hardly indicated seriousness on the government’s part in dealing with the crisis.
Some 300 miners were trapped in coal mines. Two hundred miners were evacuated from mines in Bengal while another 65 were rescued from Dhanbad in Jharkhand. The miners had gone in for the first shift and got stuck when the grid collapsed. More than 300 trains were affected. Many others may be cancelled.


1 Price power properly so that state utilities have money to buy power

2 Check theft and account for every unit of electricity produced. Cut out free power 3 Get regulators with teeth. Currently, most are ineffective retired IAS officers

4 Invest in building new power plants, give them remunerative tariff, revamp existing plants

5 Plan for the future – for 10-20 years, not for 5 years

TIMES VIEW Moving Sushilkumar Shinde out of the power ministry now is like changing the captain of the Titanic when it’s reeling after hitting a giant iceberg. The country is in the midst of an unprecedented power crisis.

For two days in a row, the grid has collapsed. This doesn’t cover Shinde with any glory. Yet he’s promoted as home minister. Even if that’s ignored, what’s pertinent at this point of time is that Shinde is likely to have some clue about the power problem; a new minister – who will be holding additional charge of the portfolio – will possibly have none.

So, what does the change indicate? The irrelevance of ministers? Never mind who’s in charge, the net result is the same?

Editorial from TOI
India, Interrupted
To prevent recurrent blackouts, impose grid discipline

      British journalist Mark Tully once wrote a book called No Full Stops in India. He may have reckoned without this week, when northern as well as eastern India were brought to a grinding halt by successive grid failures.

    Power was affected in 20 states in all. That meant, in effect, that for more than   the country essential services such as hospitals, trains and Metros stopped functioning while traffic lights went on the blink. That it happened not once, but twice shows that it cannot be dismissed as a one-off incident.

     Lack of power holds back India’s industrial take-off, and prevents it from making the kind of strides in reducing poverty that China or East Asia have. In addition, cataclysmic failures due to a weak distribution system throw ordinary life out of gear. Unless we can summon up the political will to make systemic changes, this is going to happen again. The current collapse has been brought about by grid indiscipline, with states like UP, Haryana and Punjab overdrawing power.
It’s surely unhealthy that due to excesses of a few states, vast swathes of the country should go dark. But that’s incentivised by a system which imposes light penalties on states that overdraw. Not only should heavier penalties be charged to such states, regional load dispatch centres should be empowered to disconnect them from the grid, if that’s what’s needed to prevent grid failure.

     The circumstances of disconnection, which can be overseen by an independent regulator, should be precisely defined and rigidly adhered to, in order to insulate the process from political pressure.

    In addition, much can be done to boost India’s power capacity. Throw open the generation, transmission and distribution of power to more competition, which introduces efficiency. Often insufficient coal supply for thermal power plants is the problem. Coal India’s monopoly over mining coal needs to be broken, which will bring efficiency in the production of coal as well.

     Power theft, which receives political patronage but disincentivises the huge investments needed by the power sector, must be curbed. Can a national consensus be created on these issues, or do we require more grid collapses for that to happen?