HC directs holding BBMP polls without delay
The High Court of Karnataka directed the State Election Commission to hold elections to the 198 wards in the BBMP with speed and efficiency. Towards this, the SEC should publish the election programme within a maximum period of six weeks from the date of publication of the final reservation notification, it said. The court directed that the final notification on caste-based reservation for the 198 wards (based on the draft notification issued in September) be published within a month.
By this order, the ruling party’s amendment to increase the number of wards in the BBMP Council to 243, would not apply to the present election. The court was ruling on a petition filed by former councillors Abdul Wajid and M Shivaraju, and a resident Ravi Jagan.
Source: The Hindu
Rules to detergent makers to prevent froth in lakes
To prevent frothing and excessive algal growth in lakes, the KSPCB (Karnataka State Pollution Control Board) has directed manufacturers of detergents to adhere to revised specifications for phosphate content issued by the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards).
The revised standards were in turn issued as per directions given by the NGT (National Green Tribunal) on a 2017 application pertaining to Agara, Bellandur and Varthur lakes, the KSPCB said. The BIS limited phosphate content in household laundry detergent powders, bars and synthetics, as the presence of excess phosphorous in water bodies — known to cause “eutrophication” (accumulation of nutrients), leading to algal growth — poses risk to aquatic life.
Prof T V Ramachandra from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, said that industry should also treat its effluents and sewage.
Source: The Hindu
Panel advises ban on New Year celebrations
The State’s Technical Advisory Committee for COVID-19 has recommended a ban on public celebrations of the New Year in view of a second wave of the pandemic, expected in January-February 2021. It has also recommended night curfew (8 pm to 5 am) from December 26 to January 1.
A government advisory, prepared on the basis of the TAC’s advice, calls for stricter enforcement of masks by the police and marshals. An epidemic intelligence team should support the State war room for early recognition of the second wave and alerting the Health Department, it says.
While a minimum of 1.25 lakh tests per day should continue till the end of February 2021 (of which one lakh should be RT-PCR), the State should take up fortnightly testing of all teachers, pupils, and staff in educational institutions, the report added.
BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said the number of Covid-19 infections in the city has come down from 6,000 a day to about just 600, largely because crowding was not permitted during Ganesha Chaturthi, Navarathri and Deepavali festivals.
The TAC has also recommended a graded opening of schools from January, starting with Class 12 and 10, and Class 11 and 9 to follow later.
Source: Indian Express | The Hindu | Deccan Herald
Karnataka bandh on Saturday
Kannada organisations are firm about the Karnataka bandh call on Saturday, although the State government warned of stringent action against anyone forcing businesses to close. Pro-Kannada organisations, under Kannada Okkoota, are opposing the government’s move to form the Maratha Development Corporation.
Vatal Nagaraj, president, Kannada Okkoota, said that thousands of organisations had supported the bandh call and it would be successful. Karnataka Rakshana Vedike too announced its support. The Bengaluru Taxi and Auto Federation source said that taxis and autorickshaws would be off the road.
However, the Karnataka Regional Hotel and Restaurants’ Federation member has announced that all eateries would function and were not supporting the bandh call.
As many as 15,000 policemen, along with 30 KSRP and 20 CAR platoons, have been deployed. The pro-Kannada had not applied for permission from the police to hold demonstrations. It is learnt that the police would take strict action if activists force closure shops or commercial establishments.
Source: The Hindu
BBMP to compensate accident victims on bad roads, footpaths
Victims of accidents caused by bad roads and potholes will be entitled to compensation of Rs 15,000, the BBMP has said. This follows a direction from the Karnataka High Court. The Special Commissioner (Revenue) or an officer specifically appointed, will exercise jurisdiction over claim petitions seeking compensation with respect to injuries due to potholes/poor conditions of the roads and footpaths in the BBMP limits.
Source: Bangalore Mirror
People return for elective surgeries
People who had put off elective surgeries due to the pandemic, especially during the lockdown, are trickling back into hospitals. People are coming in for surgeries for gall bladder, hernia, bariatric surgery, colon cancer, breast cancer, and even for benign diseases. This could also be an indication of the easing up of pressure on the health system. Things, however, are still far from normal in hospitals.
However, the State’s Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 has recommended that hospitals hold the October-level preparedness (when there were 10,000 coronavirus cases a day in the State) till February as it fears a second wave of the pandemic to strike in January-February.
Source: The New Indian Express
IIMB for phased return of students
To help students return to campus in a phased manner, the IIMB (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore), has created a bio-bubble, where students who come are quarantined for 14 days after undergoing a COVID-19 test 72 hours before reaching the campus. They then have to undergo an RT-PCR test. They are not allowed to leave the campus unless permitted by the health authorities.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]