6,316 trees to be axed to revive lake
Residents and activists are angered by the Karnataka Forest Department seeking public consultation to cut 6,316 trees. The trees are to be felled so as to rejuvenate the Singanayakanahalli lake, as part of the Hebbal-Nagawara valley project. Forest department officials say most of these trees are Jaali Mara (Prosopis Juliflora), but activists say there are Acacia and Pongame oil trees (Honge Mara) trees too. And that the habitat houses peacocks that belong to Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, along with foxes, snakes, birds and other animals. Activists point out that the lake can be rejuvenated without cutting trees.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban district, on Monday directed officials to conduct a survey of all lakes and identify encroachments. There are 806 lakes across the district, of which 204 are within BBMP limits.
Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald
Petrol price crosses Rs 100
On Friday, Bengaluru became the latest city with petrol price above Rs 100. On the day, diesel was priced at Rs 92.97 per litre. In just six months, the price of petrol in the city has increased from Rs 86.47 to Rs 100. The price has almost doubled since 2016.
Last week, the Congress launched a ‘100 Not Out’ campaign across Karnataka to protest the rising price of fuel. The number of vehicles in the city has crossed one crore, of which 70% are two-wheelers that run on petrol. With public transport yet to resume, and amidst fears of contracting COVID, citizens have been relying on personal vehicles.
Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu
‘Excess’ death certificates issued this year
The number of death certificates issued by the Karnataka government in the first six months of 2021 has gone up by 78,000 when compared with figures for the corresponding period in 2018 and 2019, suggesting a surge. Hence questions are being raised about the under-reporting of COVID deaths.
According to the CRS (Civil Registration System), 3,37,580 death certificates were issued between January 1 and June 15 in the state. This includes 87,082 death certificates in BBMP jurisdiction.
Source: Deccan Herald
CCCs in hotels being shut down
Less than one-and-a-half months since the launch of Covid Care Centres at hotels, several private hospitals have shut down these facilities. With the sudden surge of cases during the second wave, some private hospitals in the city had opened CCCs at hotels, based on the state government’s directions. These facilities were to treat mild and moderate cases of COVID. But as the cases have dipped now, the facilities are being closed. On Thursday, Bengaluru Urban reported only 1,209 positive cases, along with 17 deaths.
Despite the drop in cases, BBMP said it would retain some of its own CCCs and physical triage centres. Over the last few months, the BBMP opened 49 CCCs, with nearly 2,088 beds. But their occupancy wasn’t more than 30%.
Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald
Teachers may be pulled out of COVID duty
With the new academic year approaching, the education department is trying to pull teachers out of COVID duty. Over 20,000 teachers in Bengaluru and 10,000 teachers from outside the city are on the task. Preparatory guidelines have already been framed, to start the academic activities for 2021-22 from July 1.
Thousands of government school teachers feel they are trapped between academic requirements and the door-to-door COVID vaccination survey. The Department of Public Instruction asked them to start the academic activities on June 15 and online classes on July 1. But BBMP says teachers are an integral part of the survey; each surveyor is expected to cover 50-60 houses per ward a day.
Source: The New Indian Express, Deccan Herald
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]