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3,000 Bengalureans form 4-km-long Human Chain to protest against Steel Flyover to International Airport at Devanahalli

Hundreds of youth, including boys and girls also ran a marathon on the thoroughfare where the flyover has been planned without consulting citizens and urban experts

Bengaluru. Source: wikimedia

October 16, 2016: About 3,000 Bengalureans on Sunday formed a 4-km-long human chain to protest against the proposed 6.7-km steel flyover for a signal-free ride to the international airport at Devanahalli on the city’s northern outskirts.

Holding placards, banners and billboards against the flyover, members of residential welfare associations, social activists and NGO representatives stood along the footpath from Chalukya hotel in the city centre to Mekhri circle in the north side and urged the Karnataka government to scrap the Rs 1,750-crore project.

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“We are all for better connectivity to the airport but not at the cost of about 800 trees as hundreds of trees have already been lost for various infrastructure projects, including the metro rail service and other roads,” said urban conservationist Vijay Nishanth on the occasion.

Unfazed by the protests and ignoring urban experts, the state government has recently awarded the project to L&T Ltd to build the steel flyover from Chalukya circle to Hebbal circle, which connects the airport road and the busy National Highway number 7 towards Hyderabad.

[bctt tweet=”‘Citizens Against Steel Flyover’ campaign has been launched to prevent steel flyover construction in Bengaluru.” username=””]

Though the country’s third busiest airport is located about 40 km from the city, the stretch of the main road where the flyover has been planned is bedevilled with heavy vehicular traffic as it connects the city’s south, east and west suburbs.

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“The government should explore alternate routes to divert and regulate the traffic to the airport and the highway than allowing a monstrous steel structure that will not only rob the greenery, but also does not ease the gridlock, which will only shift to both sides of the flyover, as vehicles pile up in the absence of service roads,” noted urban expert and architect N. Narasimhan.

The denizens of this 10-million tech hub are so agitated over the steel project that a ‘Citizens Against Steel Flyover’ campaign has been launched to prevent the state-run Bangalore Development Authority from constructing the steely structure.

“The failure of the authorities in ensuring basic infrastructure in line with the city’s explosive growth due to influx of people from across the state and country have turned the garden city into an urban chaos, with half the green cover vanishing, lake beds encroached and air quality spoilt,” lamented Sujathia Kulkarni, a homemaker.

A British national (T. Allen) who works with an NGO in the city, said the government should learn from London where vehicular traffic movement does not rely on only flyovers and one-ways and no-ways as in Bengaluru.

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“The government has to decongest the city, build alternative roads, encourage public transport and provide a metro rail link to the airport than build a steel flyover,” reiterated Siddharth Nayak, a bank manager.

Social media has been abuzz against the project through hashtag #steelfyoverbeda.

Wearing T-shirts and donning caps with “beda” (no in Kannada) hundreds of youth, including boys and girls also ran a marathon on the thoroughfare where the flyover has been planned without consulting citizens and urban experts. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

Google asks employees to delete China search engine memo: Report. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?