Bengaluru Buzz: Nod for PRR | Prohibitory orders | 852 cr for road repairs…and more

weekly news roundup from bengaluru

potholes on road in mahadevapura zone
Potholes across the city have put citizens' lives in danger. File Pic: Meera K

Cabinet nod for Peripheral Ring Road project

The state cabinet gave administrative approval for the Bengaluru Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project, which has been hanging for over a decade. PRR would be 100-metre wide, stretching a length of 73.5 km. The project, estimated to cost Rs 21,000 crore, will be done in the PPP-DBFOT (public-private partnership – design, build, finance, operate and transfer) model. The private firm will be able to collect toll from users for 50 years.

Meanwhile, the High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday permitted the BMRCL (Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd) to fell 680 trees along the Nagavara-Gottigere Metro alignment. Another 568 trees will be translocated, and 27 retained. Court’s order is as per the recommendation of Bengaluru’s TEC (Tree Expert Committee).

Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Approval for road repair works

The state government has approved works to restore 800 km of roads dug up for laying underground water and sanitary lines about two years ago. The works would cost Rs 852 crore. All roads are from the 110 villages added to the city in 2007.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has approved works pertaining to five assembly constituencies represented by ruling party MLAs. These constituencies are Yeshwantpur (Rs 200 crore), KR Puram (Rs 190 crore), Bengaluru South (Rs 171 crore), Yelahanka (Rs 160 crore) and Mahadevapura (Rs 131 crore). But proposals to sanction funds to Byatarayanapura and Dasarahalli constituencies in the outer areas, represented by the Congress and the JD(S) respectively, have not been approved.

Meanwhile, BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said there would be zero tolerance towards officials over pothole-filling. His statement came a day after the High Court pulled up BBMP for not deploying the necessary technology to fill potholes.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Read More: “Revamp the entire system of road repairs – Why wait for rains?”

50% hospital bed reservation for COVID no longer needed

Due to the pandemic’s waning third wave, state government has withdrawn the rule requiring government and private hospitals to set aside 50% of their beds for COVID patients. The Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) had demanded the withdrawal of the rule as these beds were mostly vacant. However, a circular from the Health and Family Welfare department said that government and private hospitals should reserve a minimum number of isolation beds for COVID admissions.

COVID test positivity rate fell to 3.55% in Bengaluru on Wednesday. On Thursday, Bengaluru logged 2,315 fresh COVID cases and 17 deaths. 

Source: Indian Express, The New Indian Express

Prohibitory orders after hijab row

Karnataka High Court on Thursday adjourned till February 14 the three-judge hearing of the petition on hijab. The student petitioners who challenged the hijab ban had argued that the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, does not have any provision of penalty for infraction of uniform.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that schools till class 10 will reopen without any religious dress code from the 14th, but for Class 11 onwards, decision will be taken later. Bengaluru police chief Kamal Pant issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 against any gathering, agitation, or protests within 200 metres of educational institutions for two weeks till February 22. In a circular on Wednesday, Pant said protests linked to hijab had turned violent at some places, and the same could happen in Bengaluru.

Pant also issued prohibitory orders around Vidhana Soudha from February 14 to 25, in view of the budget session. Protests, sit-ins, dharnas demonstrations, marches and rallies are banned within a two-kilometre radius of Vidhana Soudha on these days. Gatherings of five or more, carrying weapons or explosives, holding banners, raising slogans against the government or any individual are banned. Violators will face legal action.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Read More: “Bigotry feeds on our anti-Muslim bias”

Vaccine hesitancy

A study titled ‘Predictors of COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence: Findings from Slums of Four Major Metro Cities of India’, found that urban slum communities lack vaccine confidence mainly due to the inability to spare time due to economic vulnerability, low digital literacy, misinformation/rumours and fear of adverse effects.

A slum in Bengaluru
The study identified the reason for vaccine hesitancy in slum communities. Pic: Akshatha M

The researchers had studied 296 subjects from four metro cities including Bengaluru, in April-May 2021. 

Source: The Hindu

High Court opens e-Seva Kendra

The High Court on Wednesday opened an e-Seva Kendra near Gate No 5, which comprises a help desk and video conference cabins to help litigants and advocates use digital technology services. It enables enquiry facilities on case status and other details, submitting online applications for certified copies of orders/ judgements, e-filing of petitions, assistance to download mobile apps for e-Court services, facility to dispose of traffic challans through virtual courts, and so on.

Source: The Hindu

New bylaws may allow regularisation of more buildings

In its draft building bylaws, BBMP has proposed increasing the extent of bylaw deviation that could be regularised, from 5% to 15%. If this is approved by the state government, buildings having up to 15% deviations can be regularised upon paying a fine.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.