Bengaluru Buzz: BBMP schools to reopen primary sections | Protests against potholes … and more

weekly news roundup from bengaluru

government school children
Government school students largely missed out on learning during COVID lockdowns. Representational image: Trinity Care Foundation/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

BBMP schools to reopen primary sections

BBMP schools will resume classes for grades I to V from Monday, October 25. No online classes were held for these students in the past one-and-half years; teachers only interacted with the students who accompanied their parents to collect rations from school, said an education department official.

The teachers and non-teaching staff have been fully vaccinated, the official added. The 16 civic-run primary schools will be sanitised over the weekend. The strength of students in classes I to V will be ascertained once physical classes resume.

Source: The Hindu

Read more: The reality of online learning in Bengaluru’s govt schools

Plans for ‘Bengaluru Design District’

State government plans to establish a ‘Bengaluru Design District’ in the city, on the lines of the Dubai Design District (d3). It will be set up with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore on 100-150 acres, and will also host a ‘Bengaluru Design Festival’, said Science and Technology Minister Dr C N Ashwathnarayan.

He said that investors from the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed that the state is ideal for investments, and that he had held talks with Dubai authorities about establishing a water theme park in Bengaluru as well. The Gulf Islamic Investment Group (GII) will invest Rs 3,500 cr in the state, the minister said.

Source: Indian Express, Bangalore Mirror

City sees sporadic rise in COVID cases

Karnataka has flattened the COVID curve, but in Bengaluru active cases have been sporadically increasing, with spurts seen in July, August, September and October. The city continues to see a three-digit caseload each day. Sources at KC General Hospital said there is not much of an increase in their patients even as commercial activities, schools and festivals resumed. Any sporadic increase in active cases is only due to the technical issue of processing samples, said Dr C Nagaraj, member of the state COVID Technical Advisory Committee.

Vaccination is expected to become more aggressive. So far, 86% of the eligible population in the city has taken the first dose, and 52% have taken both doses.  

Data from the Public Health Activities, Surveillance and Tracking (PHAST) portal shows that, during the second COVID wave, Bengaluru was simultaneously encountering a spate of non-COVID respiratory infections. About 35,255 cases of non-COVID-related Influenza Like Illness (ILI) or Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) were recorded between May 1 and October 17 in the city, as per the portal.

Source: Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

Activists protest CM’s statement on moral policing

Organisations for human rights and those for youth, women, Dalits, minorities and LGBTQI held protests at Mysore Bank Circle on Thursday, demanding the withdrawal of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s statement on moral policing by radical groups. The CM had said: “When sentiments are hurt there will normally be action and reaction.” The protesters condemned the statement as a violation of constitutional values and a legitimisation of acts of violence by individuals taking law into their own hands.

Source: Indian Express

Read More: Preschools, daycares disappear into COVID gap; Govt indifferent

Protests, petitions against potholes

During ‘Pothole Habba’, members of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) decorated potholes across the city’s 198 wards with rangoli, and offered puja. AAP State Convenor Prithvi Reddy said the condition of city roads was pathetic even though the state government had spent Rs 20,000 crore for their repairs in the last five years. He demanded that the government furnish a white paper with details of the expenditure. AAP warned that if the government does not act, they would go to the judiciary.

While the BBMP is yet to repair roads, in the last two months the Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) is reported to have filled up nearly 500 potholes by pooling available resources.

potholes on a road
Potholes across the city, especially during rains, have put citizens’ lives in danger. Pic: Meera K

Varthur residents have started an online petition to highlight the issue of potholes to BBMP authorities. The citizens said that though they are paying the highest road tax in Bengaluru, the Varthur-Gunjur road is in extremely poor condition and has not been repaired in the last couple of years. Numerous potholes and increase in dust particles, severe illnesses and lack of proper street lights are causing problems, said the petition.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Upgraded ITIs to start classes from Nov 1

Classes at 150 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) that have been converted into “technology hubs” by Tata Technologies Limited, under the UDYOGA programme, would start from November 1, said Higher Education Minister C N Ashwathnarayan. Admission to the advanced courses is in progress.

Source: Indian Express

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