Deve Gowda announces Third Front for general elections

Deve Gowda announces Third Front for general electionsBangalore, Mar 2 : Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief Deve Gowda on Monday announced the formation of a Third Front, an alliance of eight parties, including the Left.

The Front will be launched formally in Tumkur, 50 kilometers from Bangalore, on March 12.

Nirmala Venkatesh criticises Govt. for sacking her over Mangalore pub probe

Bangalore, Mar 2 : Former National Commission for Women (NCW) member Nirmala Venkatesh, on Monday critisised the government for sacking her over the Mangalore pub attack probe.

Addressing a press conference here, Venkatesh defended her controversial report on the pub attacks, which had blamed the pub owners for not providing safety to women guests and recommended suspension of its license.

"So many cases were investigated by the one-member committee. I can take suo moto action. I have the quasi-judicial power and can take suo motu action as per the NCW Act," she said.

She also lashed out at the Union Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhary for saying she had no legal knowledge.

CM to hike excise duty on beer, IMFLs

A chilled mug of beer will cost you more this summer, what with the state government announcing a hike in excise duty on beer, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and other beverages with low alcohol content.

Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa made this declaration during the two-day debate on the budget proposals in the legislative assembly on Friday.

He added that the maximum retail price (MRP) on these products would be raised, thus reducing the profit margins for all liquor joints.

Yeddyurappa added that the government hoped to earn Rs820 crore revenue by enhancing excise duty and that a notification in this regard will be issued soon. Revenue earned from this hike will be directed to fund budget programs.

BIAL to refund UDF if verdict goes against it

Petitioner alleged that UDF collection by BIAL is illegal as only AAI can collect a fee

The Karnataka High Court on Friday ordered that the collection of user development fee (UDF) by Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) from domestic passengers is subject to the final order of the court.

A division bench headed by Justice Deepak Varma disposed the application challenging the collection of UDF and stated that if the court judges in favour of the petitioners, then BIAL will have to refund UDF to all passengers who have made the payment till date.

BIAL also voluntarily accepted the court’s decision.

Master Plan for rail needs

Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Friday announced the setting up of a joint legislature committee to form a draft master plan on the requirement of railway services for the state. “The Committee would submit its report within six months,” he said.

BSY added that the Committee would also prioritise pending railway projects and chalk out plans for new railway lines in various parts of the state.

The announcement was made after JD(U) leader Dr Mallanagowda Nadagowda said that there was not much being done to improve the railways.

Old methods still used to put out fires

The age-old methods of dousing the fire by beating it with blankets of twigs, using soil and water, and setting the forest ablaze from another side, are still being practised in the state and most Indian forests. This is not because of the lack of facilities, but due to uneven terrain.

According to retired forest official SG Neginhal, during the Raj era, fire lines around blocks measuring 1 sq mile were made during December to reduce manmade forest fires occurring during summer and dry seasons. This helped to reduce the extent of fire. The same method is being practised even now. The watcher keeps an eye on the forest from the tower and informs his higher-ups using walkie-talkie sets about the fire for assistance.