Govt rolls out Anila Bhagya for free LPG
- The state government on 20th Feb launched one more Bhagya scheme – Anila Bhagya (free LPG connections to BPL families) – ahead of the Assembly elections.
- Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who inaugurated the scheme, said Anila Bhagya was better evolved than the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme, which also envisages providing free LPG connections to the poor.
- He claimed that unlike the Ujjwala scheme, which provides only LPG connections, the state government is providing the required paraphernalia like cylinders, stoves and even a gas lighter under Anila Bhagya.
- As many as 30 lakh beneficiaries are identified under the scheme.
- Of this, about 10 lakh would be covered in the first phase, he added.
- The idea behind the scheme was to make Karnataka kerosene and pollution free.
- The government is spending Rs 4,254 per person, that is cylinder security deposit – Rs 1,450; regulator security deposit – Rs 150; Suraksha hose – Rs 200; DGC book – Rs 59; connection cost – Rs 295; two-burner gas stoves- Rs 1,000; and two cylinders – Rs 1,100.
‘Sahitya Bangara’ award for Kanavi
- Noted poet Dr Channaveera Kanavi was conferred with “Sahitya Bangara” award instituted by S Bangarappa Pratishtana and Bangarappa Vichara Vedike, on 20th Feb.
- The award carries a purse of Rs one lakh and a memento.
Bengaluru City breathes polluted air during peak traffic hours
- Data on ambient air quality from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) averages out pollution through the day.
- The process claims that Bengaluru has either moderate or satisfactory air quality — much better than some cities in northern India.
- A recent independent study shows that the breathable pollution level is much higher in the city, especially during peak traffic hours, putting a large number of people in harm’s way.
- A seven-day air quality monitoring exercise taken up by Co Media Lab and Climate Trends, has found that the particulate matter averages observed over four hours during peak time in the morning and evening were consistently above 200 micrograms per cubic metre, indicating very poor air quality levels.
- Climate Trends is a Bengaluru organisation that works on solutions to air pollution, and Co Media Lab is a community media lab.
- A low-cost monitor used to measure personalised exposure levels was installed in an auto fitted with a GPS tracker which travelled to various junctions and sensitive areas where pollution spikes have taken place before.
- The impact of traffic on pollution levels was monitored during the peak hours on arterial roads, including, Jayanagar/Banashakari, Silk Board, Electronics City, Whitefield, Uttarahalli, M.G. Road, and Mehkri Circle.
- The national ambient air quality standard of 60 micrograms (μg) per cubic metre (m3) for PM 2.5 (the smallest and the most harmful particulate matter and commonly used as the best indicator of severe air pollution) and 100 μg/m3 PM10 was crossed by a huge margin on all these roads, the study found.
- The PM 2.5 at New Tharagupet was found to be highest during peak hour at 200 μg/m3, followed by Kengeri Road at 195 μg/m3.
- Stating that traffic and waste burning were the major reasons for the pollution in the city, each contributing over 25%, followed by construction and road dust, Ms. Sudir added that like Delhi, Bengaluru also needs a implementable action plan to address pollution.
- KSPCB officials, however, said any study using low-cost monitoring equipment should be taken with a pinch of salt as they were inherently unreliable.
- Different equipment cost between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 28 lakh.
- The Central Pollution Control Board specifies 24 hour averages and nearly 12 parameters to be followed.
- Data should be taken at ambient level (3 m above ground) as closer to the street level, even a passing truck can lead to spikes in pollution.
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