Suburban rail project approved
The Centre has approved the Bengaluru suburban rail project, estimated to cost around Rs 19,000 crore. The 148-km-long rail project is aimed at decongesting the city. The project will include 57 stations. Five proposed stations – Srirampura, RV Road, Jalahalli, Cauvery Nagar and Bommasandra – lost out on the opportunity to be part of Phase-I of the network. These stations are likely to be included in Phase-II.
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Meanwhile, the city’s third railway coaching terminal is set to be commissioned at Baiyappanahalli before mid-November. Its facade is modelled after the Kempegowda International Airport terminal. With the commissioning of this yard, the line congestion at Majestic terminal is expected to reduce as more trains to and from Mumbai and Chennai regions can start and terminate at Baiyappanahalli. The terminal is located about 2 km away from Baiyappanahalli railway and Metro stations.
Source: Deccan Herald | The New Indian Express | Bangalore Mirror
COVID test for apt residents, factory workers
BBMP has asked factory workers and highly vulnerable groups in apartment complexes to undergo COVID tests. Zone-level teams will do the tests. Though the order was issued to BBMP zonal officers on September 9, it took effect only on September-end, as officials put together mobile medical teams to visit industrial clusters and apartment complexes to get workers and residents tested. Apartments have been told to prepare a list of vulnerable residents.
The RR Nagar zone, one of the dense, poor and badly-affected areas, has been trying to increase testing numbers, but an attempt to get celebrities to endorse testing did not work. Testing improved after the zone started profiling ‘corona warriors’ such as Asha workers and swab collectors through social media. However, workers and medicos still complain of public anger.
Between June 9 and October 6, BBMP netted Rs 2.65 crore by penalising 1.25 lakh people for not wearing masks, and another Rs 31.5 lakh over violations of social-distancing rules. It also sealed 170 establishments for breaking various rules related to COVID. Bengaluru has had over 2.5 lakh positive COVID cases, including 54,000 active cases. But the city is doing far better than other districts in terms of CFR (Case Fatality Rate).
Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express | Deccan Herald
Night patrolling to protect Vrishabhavathi River
A committee has been constituted by the KSPCB (Karnataka State Pollution Control Board) to draw up an action plan for protecting the sewage-ridden Vrishabhavathi river. A memorandum said there is a need to protect the river to “conserve the water source, ensure maintenance of microclimatic conditions, including temperature”. The river had recently turned blue, and then dark yellow, due to pollution.
The committee will be headed by the KSPCB Member Secretary, and will include the president or representative of the CREDAI (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India), a wastewater engineering expert nominated by the KSPCB Chairman, and Namami Vrushabhavathi Foundation’s Niveditha Sunkad.
A KSPCB official said that the first decision taken by the committee was to deploy night patrol vehicles to identify those discharging effluents and dumping solid waste into Vrushabhavathi valley.
Source: The Hindu
NIA arrests two in ISIS case
The NIA (National Investigation Agency) has arrested two men who are said to be linked to an Islamic State (IS) terror module. Irfan Nasir (33) and Ahamed Abdul Cader (40) have been accused of radicalising Muslim youths and funding their visits to Syria to assist IS militants. According to NIA officials, Cader is a business analyst at a Chennai-based bank and Nasir is a rice merchant in Bengaluru.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday stayed the order of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to its staff to not participate in any inquiry being conducted by agencies like the ACB (Anti Corruption Bureau) and BMTF (Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force) without the BDA Commissioner’s prior permission.
Source: Deccan Herald | Bangalore Mirror | The Hindu
No Fitness Certificate for vehicles that owe traffic fines
Vehicles with pending traffic violation dues will not be issued Fitness Certificates (FCs). The Commissioner of Transport and Road Safety issued an order on this to the Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) on September 30. Bengaluru Traffic Police says vehicle owners owe nearly Rs 100 crore in traffic violation fines from the time the force launched contactless enforcement following COVID lockdown.
Vehicle owners have failed to pay the dues in spite of notices being served on them. Owners of commercial vehicles owe the majority of the dues, a senior traffic police officer said. The matter was brought to the notice of the chief secretary at a high-level meeting recently. The chief secretary then directed the transport department to coordinate with traffic police to start recovering the dues.
Source: Deccan Herald
Increasing cases of bird injuries due to kite-flying
Animal and avian welfare organisations have been receiving increasing numbers of bird rescue calls due to kite-flying, especially in the last few weeks with the easing of COVID restrictions. BBMP wardens had rescued about 150 birds in September.
Officials from Avian and Reptile Rehabilitation Centre (ARRC) in Horamavu said there had been a significant increase in the rescue of birds entangled in manja and other strings made of nylon, plastic or synthetic threads since May. While the team rescued 45 birds in May this year, the number went up to 73 in June, 102 in July, 247 in August and 232 in September.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]