Vrishabhavathi river turns frothy dark yellow
Vrishabhavathi River has changed its colour from black to turquoise blue to dark yellow with froth, over the past month. Things had worsened last week, when the water turned soapy like caustic soda. On Thursday morning, a pungent smell filled the air as the river turned yellow.
Namami Vrishabhavathi, a citizens’ group, brought the matter to the notice of the State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). Residents suspect that electroplating and textile-dyeing industries have been discharging untreated effluents into the river. KSPCB has formed a special committee that’s considering using drone cameras to inspect the river and identify the source of the effluent discharge, if any.
Source: Deccan Herald
Garment factory workers among those worst hit by COVID
The Bommanahalli Zone, which reports 350 new cases per day, is carrying out a concerted testing programme within the factories in its 16 wards. The results show that garment factory workers are among the worst hit. They show a positivity rate of 21%, while in the city overall, the positivity rate has been 13%.
Also, the number of COVID deaths among those under 40 has shown that the younger population is not immune to the disease as thought earlier. Close to 700 youngsters under the age of 40 have died of COVID in Karnataka, making up 9% of the deaths so far.
Source: Deccan Herald | Indian Express | The Times of India
Govt docs call off strike
Government hospital doctors called off the strike they had launched from September 15, after Health Minister B Sriramulu held a meeting with the KGMOA (Karnataka Government Medical Officers’ Association) to discuss their demands for a salary hike.
Meanwhile, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) told the Karnataka High Court that 30 general and health insurance companies have a policy called ‘Corona Kavach‘ to benefit senior citizens, offering cover ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh. The policy also stipulates a 5% discount on premium to health workers, including doctors and nurses.
Source: Indian Express | The Times of India
Final show-cause notice to 36 hospitals
BBMP issued a final show-cause notice to 36 private hospitals for violating the government’s mandate to allocate 50% of their beds for COVID patients. Failure to comply would lead to action including suspension of registration, fines and even imprisonment. Of the 36 hospitals, 21 have over a hundred beds, 10 have 50-100 beds and five have 20-50 beds.
Meanwhile, roughly 30% more people than usual are opting for seasonal flu shots at private hospitals and clinics. Doctors are advising people to take these shots so that they don’t catch the seasonal flu while the healthcare system is burdened owing to COVID.
Source: Deccan Herald | The Hindu
Waste processing plants not operating to capacity
Though the BBMP has seven waste processing plants, it continues to depend on landfills to dispose waste. Operations at the plants are being scaled down, primarily due to opposition from local communities, say officials.
The plants at Subbanapalya, Seegehalli and Doddabidarakallu have not been functioning for at least five months now. The other plants are functioning at just 30% of the installed capacity. Residents allege that none of the processing plants are being maintained properly, though BBMP claims that third-party audits were conducted and a revised set of SOPs was issued.
The High Court, on multiple occasions, has directed the BBMP to revive the plants and run them at optimum capacity.
Source: The Hindu
Kaggadasapura and Puttenahalli lakes to get STPs
Kaggadasapura lake in East Bengaluru will soon get an STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) with capacity of 5 MLD (Million Litres per Day). Residents attribute frothing of the lake to two drains, which, they say, let untreated sewage into it. The lake’s health is expected to improve once BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) sets up the STP.
Meanwhile, work order for construction of a 7-MLD STP at Puttenahalli lake in Hebbal valley was issued recently. Both the projects at Kaggadasapura and Puttenahalli lakes were proposed under the guidance of the KSPCB.
Source: The Hindu
ORR-Airport Metro line to take longer
The wait for the 56-km ORR-Airport Metro line, that would connect Central Silk Board to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), is likely to be longer than anticipated. Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said that no time limit can be specified for sanctions, and that the project is estimated to cost Rs 14,844 crore which requires inter-ministerial consultations. BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd) has said that Asian Development Bank has agreed to partially fund the project at $500 million.
Bangalore Metro suffered a loss of Rs 170 crore between March 22 and September 6 (169 days) due to COVID, revealed the Centre. BMRCL resumed services in a graded manner on September 7, but its highest daily ridership since then is only 36,777 (on September 16) compared to average daily ridership of 4.5 lakh passengers pre-COVID.
Allowing vehicles in Cubbon Park is crucial: Traffic Police’s study
Countering the demand to ban traffic in Cubbon Park, Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) has submitted a study stating that allowing vehicles inside the park was crucial for traffic management in the Central Business District (CBD). BTP has submitted the report, which was prepared by a consultant, to the government. The report says that banning traffic in the park will bring 95,000 vehicles on the surrounding road network and the CBD itself.
Source: The Times of India | The Hindu | Deccan Herald
UG exams conducted, NLAT tests leaked
The final year exam for 62,000 students from over 600 undergraduate colleges under Bangalore University began on Saturday. At the 205 exam centres, students went through thermal screening, wore masks and sanitised their hands. Candidates with symptoms wrote the exam in separate classrooms, and the invigilators donned PPE kits.
Petitioners and students complained to the Supreme Court on Wednesday that questions in the NLAT (National Law Admission Test), 2020, conducted by the NLSIU (National Law School India University), were leaked within several minutes of the beginning of the exam. Court has restrained NLSIU from declaring the exam results until further orders.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]