Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Go Heritage Run – Bidar

Go Heritage Run – Bidar 

Register now!

Date - 2 November 2014
Distances – 5km, 10km, 21km
Registration fee – Rs. 900 (10km and 21km), Rs. 700 (5km)
Please note that this is a fun run, timing will not be noted and no prize money will be awarded.
Families, friends, beginner runners and walkers are invited too!

What does the Registration fee include?
An information tour of the Karez water system on the day prior to the run conducted by experts (tentative – subject to the availability of the experts). This will be an experience you cannot buy!
Souvenir tshirt
Run support including electrolytes, water, etc
A unique finisher cum souvenir medal
Post run breakfast
A run through a beautiful, scenic route and a tryst with history
Surprise goodies!
Start times

21k run – 6 am

10k run – 7 am

5km run – 7.30 am
Why Bidar?

Bidar is on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites in India and in World Monuments Fund’s 2014 Watch list. We are glad to bring attention to this underrated heritage site!

The Bahmani and Barid Shahi monuments at Bidar dating from late 15th to the early 16th centuries, comprise of the Bidar Fort, the Madrasa Mahmud Gawan, the Bahamani tombs at Ashtur and the Barid Shahi tombs.

The royal palaces and two large mosques, the Jami Masjid and the Solha Khumba Masjid are located within the irregular, circular fort of Bidar. The six-mile long fort wall, built with huge stone blocks of reddish laterite stone is strengthened with 37 bastions, and has several gates with barbicans.

The significant achievement in Bidar is the sophisticated system of gates and sluices that could be used when required to flood segments of the moat and thus preserve water.

The historic town of Bidar is famous for more than its grand ruins. The ancient art of Bidri was born here, during the rule of the Bahmani sultans. It is said that Abdullah bin Kaiser, a craftsman who came from Iran on the Sultan’s invitation to decorate Bidar’s royal buildings, developed this art along with the local artisans. Bidriware is made with a blackened alloy of zinc, inlaid with thin wires of pure silver.

Photolog of a roadtrip to Bidar –
Bidri craft –
Getting to Bidar

Bidar is about 147km from Hyderabad and an overnight journey (690km) from Bangalore by road.
Nearest Railhead -

Bidar, Karnataka.

Trains from Hyderabad – link

Trains from Bangalore – link
You could also choose to book a train till Gulbarga and take one of the numerous buses from there.
Nearest Airport -

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (GHIAL) in Hyderabad is the nearest airport.
Bus -

Bangalore – There are several buses run by private operators and the government (KSRTC) to Bidar daily. Most KSRTC buses depart from KBS (Majestic).

Hyderabad – KSRTC Volvo buses from Bangalore travel via Hyderabad and are a good option. Numerous buses starting from Hyderabad ply at regular intervals too.
Car/self drive –

If you are traveling with your family or a bunch of friends, you can consider driving down to Bidar directly. The roads are great, but drive safe! Bidar is about 150km from Hyderabad. Directions – link.
Carpool -

If you would like to carpool, please use this tool – link.

Add your details (have a car or need a ride, contact details) and you will be notified whenever there are updates.

We are only trying to facilitate carpooling, but you are responsible for your safety and travel. Please exercise caution and keep alternate travel options as backup.
Payment details

Registration and payment – link.

Accommodation options
Here are a few options in decreasing order of cost and probably facilities (this is FYI only and we request you to please verify before booking).

Discounts –

Please mention ‘Go Heritage Run – Bidar’ to avail the following discounts (will be updated as we have more info) –
Hotel Sapna – 25%

We are trying to speak to the Gurudwara and request permission to use their rooms/dormitory too.

Header photo courtesy –

Register now!

Source :

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Article 371(J): legal hurdles delay benefits

Clarity is needed. There is no point if ambiguous rules are made which can be challenged in courts: R.K. Hudagi

The much-touted benefits following the special status accorded to the region under Article 371 (J) still elude the people of Hyderabad-Karnataka (HK) region owing to legal hurdles.

The State government notified the regional reservation facilities for HK residents in education and employment under the Constitutional amendment in November last year.

Though provisions benefited some students to get seats through the Common Entrance Test, some portions of the educational reservation rules were challenged in the High Court of Karnataka, resulting in a stay. On the other hand, rules framed for employment were challenged in the KAT and the government notification was stayed in July. Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra announced in the Assembly that the government would present its case before the courts and get the stays vacated. However, nothing has been done yet.

Activists see this as indifference. “We are forced to think that the development of this backward region is not top priority for the State government,” said B.G. Shetkar, convener, district development association.

Raghavendra Kushtagi, a senior leader of the Hyderabad Karnataka Horata Samiti, said: “There are around 40 elected representatives in HK region. What are they doing,” he asked.

Hanumanth Biradar, KRV leader, said: “Over 25,000 HK residential certificates were issued to youth in Bidar district alone. What is the point if they don’t get jobs or admission in colleges.”

He pointed out the delay had held up appointments of teachers and staff in important institutions such as Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences.

R.K. Hudagi, writer and social activist, says that Article 371(J) needed clarity. “There is no point if ambiguous rules are made which can be challenged in courts,” Professor Hudagi said.

SFI leader Lakshmi Bavuge added that the State government promised HK youth State-wide reservation in education and employment though there was no such provision in the original amendment. Vaijanath Patil, Hyderabad Karnataka Horata Samiti president, said he had requested Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to ensure that the legal hurdles were cleared soon.

“Legal battles take time. Our cases are on track and we hope our notifications will be upheld,” said Mr. Jayachandra.


Bidar finds it hard to retain clean tag

City attained the tag in 2010, but it’s been downhill since then

Bidar was listed as the 26th cleanest city in the country in 2010 by the Union Ministry of Urban Development. Four years later, the hill-top town is having difficulty maintaining the tag.

Roads are not swept, drains overflow and garbage is found spilling over around dustbins. Machines and vehicles for waste transport and management remain unused and the system of door-to-door waste collection seems to work only in a few of the 35 wards.

CMC’s complaints

“We don’t have enough pourakarmikas. We need to double their number,” said Fatima Anwar Ali, City Municipal Council (CMC) president. It is also true that some of them don’t work hard enough, she said.

“Pending vacancies is an issue with the Bidar CMC, as with other government agencies in this backward district on the border. But it affects us more as we are under the scanner all the time,” said Jagadish Nayak, CMC commissioner.

“We are an agency that is supposed to serve the public 24x7. We are understaffed and over-worked. If we fail to fulfil people’s expectations even for one day, they complain, Dr. Nayak said.

Council members Shashi Hosalli and M. Nabi blame the contractors who, they say, do not carry out garbage collection or transportation properly.

“We keep paying them, but they don’t perform. The council cannot go on cancelling contracts or punishing the contractors; no one will come forward to keep the city clean,” Mr. Nabi said.

Mr. Hosalli pointed out that contractors use untrained drivers and operators to run hi-tech vehicles for garbage collection and management.

“They damage the vehicles and equipment. We have no funds for their maintenance and they are lying unused now,” Mr. Hosalli said.

Residents say that the fault lies elsewhere. “Vacancies of officials are not the no. 1 problem. It is the political leadership that has failed us,” said Syed Zulfikar Hashmi, former MLA and Janata Dal (Secular) leader.

Blame game

“We elected council members to serve us. Sadly, public interest is not their priority. They are busy recovering their election expenses and in preparing for the election that is four years away,” he said.

‘Involvement of council members’

He alleged that several council members had turned contractors.

“Most of them have given contracts in the names of their family members or to bogus firms. This is why the council does not act against erring contractors,” Mr. Hashmi said.

Officials don’t rule out this possibility.

In 2011, the city sanitary inspector filed a criminal complaint saying the then council member, Ravi Swamy, and his brother assaulted him for submitting a report to the government that the garbage contractor was not doing his job properly. That was because the member’s brother had won the contract, a police officer said.

Mr. Ravi Swamy was arrested under the provisions of the Goonda Act two months ago.

In another incident in May 2013, CMC members shot down a proposal to hand over garbage collection to SHG groups, saying it would amount to injustice to the contractors.

“The authorities should stop the blame game and focus on cleanliness,” said B.G. Shetkar, convener of the district development association.Ambitious scheme

He hopes Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious scheme to clean the country in five years, might address the issue.