Over 33,000 trees to be felled for PRR
The BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) admits that the construction of the eight-lane PRR (Peripheral Ring Road) would require the felling of 33,838 trees. For about four years, BDA had argued that only 200 trees would be cut, based on an erroneous Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report. The NGT (National Green Tribunal) rejected the report based on a submission by the Horticulture and Forest Department.
Meanwhile, an EIA draft report estimates that 3,541 trees will be affected by the metro link between KR Puram and Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). The report says that many of the trees will be transplanted, but that 1,961 of the trees will be felled for the construction of Metro stations and elevated corridors.
Source: Deccan Herald | The Hindu
No more COVID cases from Padarayanapura
While the number of COVID cases in Bengaluru have risen sharply, Padarayanapura, which was one of the first wards to be sealed, has not reported a single positive case for 12 days in a row. Aggressive testing, mapping, and strict isolation/quarantining of primary and secondary contacts have yielded results, said officials. However residents here say they continue to face stigma and discrimination.
Source: The Hindu
City returning to normal after lockdown
After a week-long lockdown, the city gradually returned to normalcy on Wednesday, as restrictions were eased and non-essential shops were allowed to open. There was slow-moving traffic towards the city at toll booths. Ridership was low in both BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) and KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation). BMTC ran only around 1,500 buses on major routes while KSRTC operated 600 buses to various parts of the State.
Most restaurants opened dine-in service. However, business hubs such as KR Market and Chickpet remained largely closed. The iconic Koshy’s will remain shut and may reopen only in August.
Source: The Hindu | The Times of India
Apartments set up COVID Care Centres
Many apartment communities and RWAs have set up COVID care centres (CCCs). Currently, 11 community CCCs with a total capacity of 573 beds are operational. Overall, 41 private CCCs – including those set up by hospitals in hotels – have applied for voluntary registration.
The CCC at the BIEC (Bangalore International Exhibition Centre) will soon be ready to accommodate 5,000 patients, as the BBMP has reached an agreement with contractors on the prices of the essential items needed to operationalise the facility.
COVID patients in isolation in BBMP South Zone will get a kit comprising essentials, said Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka who is in charge of the zone. This zone is home to 26% of all the city’s cases and comprises 44 municipal wards. Each kit will have medicines, cloth masks for all family members to last 14 days, a pulse oximeter, sanitiser and thermometer, said Ashoka.
Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald
Rs 10 lakh compensation for pourakarmika COVID deaths
BBMP informed the high court that it has distributed PPE kits to 17,419 sanitation workers and has given a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the four pourakarmikas who died from COVID-19. BBMP submitted that it started testing civic workers in all the zones from July 20, and that the 15 workers who tested positive were being treated at various hospitals.
Source: Deccan Herald
BBMP seals buildings to ensure quarantine, residents outraged
BBMP officials sealed off some buildings using metal sheets, in an effort to ensure quarantine of COVID patients. In Ejipura, they sealed the entrance of the building using metal sheets to ensure quarantining of one patient, though five families lived there. The building owner, whose son was the one who tested positive, said that no official or health worker had come by to deliver medicines, milk, or groceries after the seal-down. No one had come to check the family’s health condition too, he alleged.
Residents of Ranka Heights in Domlur were shocked to see that BBMP officials had sealed two flats in the apartment complex after one of the residents tested positive. This could be a fire hazard, residents pointed out.
BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad admitted that it was an ignorant act and assured that officials responsible would be booked for dereliction of duty.
Source: The Hindu | Indian Express | Deccan Herald
Doctors, nurses may be invigilators for CET
Karnataka government plans to rope in doctors and nurses as invigilators at examination centres where students who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be taking the CET (Common Entrance Test). The exams are scheduled for July 30 and 31.
Sources in the Higher Education Department said that in each district, a COVID Care Centre will be turned into an examination centre fitted with CCTV cameras. Food arrangements will also be made for students as they will have to write the examination in two hour-long sessions — one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
But the Forum of Former Vice-Chancellors of Karnataka on Wednesday urged the government to cancel the test. The forum said that students taking the CET would not only be unprepared, but would also be under high tension and risk.
Source: The Hindu
Mysuru-Bengaluru expressway could be delayed
Work on the 10-lane expressway between Mysuru and Bengaluru is not expected to be completed as scheduled in January 2022, due to labour scarcity. Contractors are finding it difficult to mobilise labourers, majority of whom are migrants and have returned to their native places.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]