Dakshina Kannada to get 85 eco-friendly electric buses soon; another 100 electric buses to be sanctioned next year

News Network
February 26, 2024

Mangaluru: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation's Mangaluru and Puttur divisions will introduce eco-friendly electric buses on prominent routes in Dakshina Kannada district as well as inter-district destinations soon.

The state govt has sanctioned 45 electric buses to Mangaluru division and 40 buses to Puttur division. The process of handing over the vehicles is under progress.

Rajesh Shetty, senior divisional controller, KSRTC Mangaluru division said that the new electric buses sanctioned by govt are expected to arrive soon.

“Govt has sanctioned AC and non-AC electric buses. Based on a survey, we are planning to introduce the electric buses on the Mangaluru-Dharmastala, Mangaluru-Manipal and Mangaluru-Kasaragod routes. The buses will have the capacity to run about 200km after each recharge cycle of nearly two hours. Hence, it will be difficult to introduce electric buses on long- distance routes like Bengaluru and Mysuru,” he said, adding that the division also expects the arrival of more buses in the near future.

“The division has been preparing to set up charging stations at various depots and a tender process in this regard has also been initiated. While a station with the capacity of five charging points will be set up in Mangaluru depot at Bejai, another with 15 points will be opened at Kuntikana,” he said.

“Meanwhile, Dakshina Kannada district has been selected under the PM-eBus Sewa Scheme too. Accordingly, 100 electric buses will be sanctioned to the district and it is likely to arrive by next year. 

Meanwhile, Mangaluru division is also likely to receive non-AC Ashwamedha Classic buses from the state govt in the next phase. The state govt is likely to sanction at least 20 Ashwamedha Classic buses to the division,” he added.

Jayakar Shetty, KSRTC Puttur divisional controller, said the 40 eco-friendly electric buses sanctioned to the division will be introduced on Subrahmanya-Dharmastala and Dharmastala-Mangaluru routes.

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News Network
April 5,2024

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Bengaluru: A striking feature in the candidates list for the April 26 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka is the presence of members of Janata Dal (Secular)'s first family.

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy, son-in-law C N Manjunath and grandson Prajwal Revanna are all in the fray.

While state JD(S) chief and former Chief Minister H D Kumararaswamy is contesting from Mandya, Prajwal Revanna is seeking reelection from Hassan.

However, Manjunath, an eminent cardiologist, is contesting from Bangalore Rural on a BJP ticket, as per the arrangement between the alliance partners.

With the entry of cardiologist Manjunath into the poll arena, at least nine members of Gowda's immediate family are or have been in electoral politics.

Gowda is a Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, while Kumaraswamy is an MLA from Channapatna, which comes under the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency.

Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha had represented Ramanagara as MLA in the previous assembly, and Nikhil, who is the JD(S) youth wing leader, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mandya and 2023 assembly polls from Ramanagara.

Gowda's elder son and former Minister H D Revanna -- father of Prajwal -- is MLA from Holenarsipura, his wife Bhavani Revanna was a member of the Hassan Zilla Panchayat. Their other son, Suraj, is an MLC.

The Gowda family currently has its representation in all the four major houses of public representatives- Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

This will be for the second consecutive time in the Lok Sabha elections, when three members from Gowda's family are in the fray from constituencies of the old-Mysore region (south Karnataka), which is considered to be the party's stronghold, because of the dominance of the Vokkaliga community here, to which they belong to.

Gowda (Tumkur), Prajwal Revanna (Hassan), and Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil (Mandya) had contested the Lok Sabha poll in 2019, but only Revanna emerged victorious. In fact, he was among the only two candidates from the then ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance, who won; the other being D K Suresh of Congress from Bangalore Rural.

As part of the seat-sharing deal in this Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, the BJP would contest in 25 constituencies and the JD(S) in the remaining three -- Mandya, Hassan and Kolar. JD(S) has fielded M Mallesh Babu from Kolar.

In the 2023 assembly polls, three members of the Gowda family had contested - Kumaraswamy (Channapatna), H D Revanna (Holenarasipur), and Nikhil Kumaraswamy (Ramanagara). In the 2018 assembly polls, both Kumaraswamy and Revanna had won.

Kumaraswamy, who had then won from two seats - Ramanagara and Channapatna - vacated Ramanagara, which his wife Anita Kumaraswamy subsequently won in the bypolls.

According to some political observers, the perception in some quarters about JD(S) being too family-centric is one of its major drawbacks.

James Manor, University of London professor, who has been a keen observer of Karnataka's politics, during a webinar ahead of assembly polls last year had said, family-centred politics is causing discontent and leading to desertion. 'JD(S) suffers from over-centralisation and dictatorial leadership.'

However, Kumaraswamy has time and again defended family members contesting polls stating that , '....our family members will contest where we don't have a capable candidate, to protect the interest of our party and its workers.'

However, the JD(S)'s dynastic party image has always been used by its political opponents to target it.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president D K Shivakumar, had a dig at Gowda for fielding his son, grandson, and son-in-law, and asked 'Were there no other candidates (in JD(S))?'

'None of them is going to win...JD(S) is a party that has lost strength. If it is really strong, why did they make their son-in-law contest on a BJP ticket?' he said.

Some political analysts held the view that JD(S)' inability to grow beyond the Vokkaliga dominated old-Mysore region -- other than certain select pockets of north Karnataka -- is seen as among its other key drawbacks.

Speculations are already rife in JD(S) circles that Nikhil is most likely to be the party candidate from Channaptna assembly segment, in case Kumaraswamy wins in Mandya.

Ahead of assembly polls last year, differences in the Gowda family had come out in the open with H D Revanna's wife Bhavani wanting to contest from Hassan, but Kumaraswamy had opposed it and finally gave the ticket. 

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News Network
April 12,2024

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Udupi, Apr 12: A family’s visit to a resort to enjoy Eid-ul-Fitr holidays turned tragic as a 10-year-old boy drowned in the swimming pool at Hengavalli in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district on Thursday. 

The deceased has been identified as Mohammed Azeez, a Class 4 student at Darussalam English Medium School in Hoode.

Azeez was, who had gone to the resort along with his parents, was playing in the pool when he lost balance and drowned. Even though he was rescued, he was in a critical condition and later breathed his last. 

The family members have accused the negligence of the resort management as the reason for Azeez's death. They said that the incident occurred due to the absence of safety equipment like life jackets and the lack of lifeguards near the swimming pool.

A case has been registered at Shankaranarayana police station and investigations are underway. 

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News Network
April 14,2024

Qatar and Kuwait have banned any use of their airspace and air bases for attacks against Iran amid heightened tensions between Iran and the Israeli regime following an Israeli attack early this month on an Iranian diplomatic mission in Syria.

Reports on Saturday indicated that both Qatar and Kuwait had issued directives to the United States stressing that the US military will not be allowed to use air bases in the two countries for carrying out any potential airstrikes on Iran.

Qatar and Kuwait have also indicated that their airspace will not be available for any military action against Iran.

The US has military aircraft at the Ali Al Salem Air Base and Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait. The Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is also the largest US air base in the West Asia region.

The directives issued by Iran’s two Arab neighbors come amid reports showing that Iran is preparing to respond to an Israeli airstrike that killed two of its senior military commanders in its consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus on April 1.

Washington has urged Iran to deescalate while saying that it will defend Israel in case it is attacked.

Iran, which has no direct relations with the US, has called on regional Arab countries to advise the US not to interfere if Israel is attacked.

Countries have been wary of a major confrontation in the region more than six months into an Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

Reports show they have already limited the ability of the US to use their airspace and air bases for attacks on resistance groups that are allied with Iran and have been attacking Israeli and US interests in the region since the start of the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

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