Bengaluru Buzz: Over 500 new dengue cases in four days | HC order to restore 19 lakes | Suicide rates spiking…and more

Huge spike in dengue cases, High Court orders state government to create artificial lakes if it can't restore encroached ones, BBMP to map vulnerable structures - read more on what happened in the city this week

563 new dengue cases in four days

The number of dengue cases in the city shot up by 12 percent over just four days, this week. From the start of 2019, till Sunday, 4443 cases had been recorded in the city. But by Wednesday, the number rose to 5006, said officials. That is, 563 new cases were registered in just four days.

BBMP East zone is worst affected, with 1937 cases since January. Bengaluru South zone comes next with 786 cases, followed by Mahadevapura with 760 cases. Dasarahalli Zone has recorded the lowest number, with 116 cases. Among wards, Hoysalanagar reported the highest number of cases, followed by New Tippasandra and Benniganahalli.

The current figure of 5006 is a steep increase over the 4134 cases reported last year. Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said the BBMP had drawn up a list of 50 wards with the highest number of reported cases. More cases were reported in areas where residents get water once in three days. They store it in large, open containers, which then become breeding grounds for larvae. Garbage dumps were also becoming mosquito breeding centres, she said.

The BBMP has started a door-to-door campaign to arrest the spread of the disease and create awareness. Apart from staff members, 200 volunteers will go around, spreading the message in the 50 high-risk wards. If needed, the volunteers’ contract may be extended by two more months, says BBMP.

Source: The Hindu | The New Indian Express | The News Minute

Restore 19 lakes or create artificial ones: HC to govt

High Court has directed the state government and the BBMP to draw out, within a month, a comprehensive scheme to restore 19 disappeared lakes. These encroached lakes include those upon which the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had formed layouts. Otherwise, the state government should build artificial lakes to make up for the loss, since it has a constitutional obligation to maintain lakes, the court said.

The direction was given by a Division Bench that was hearing a PIL filed in 2014 related to poor maintenance of stormwater drains (SWDs), and sewage entry into SWDs and lakes. BBMP had submitted the list of disappeared lakes to the bench this June.

The court also warned that the BBMP would be held in contempt if it did not quickly set up a grievance redressal system to enable citizens to complain about illegal encroachments.

According to data from the BBMP, 75 out of 168 lakes in Bengaluru have been rejuvenated, and 19 are under restoration. The detailed project report for restoring these 19 lakes has already been prepared, said BBMP.

Source: The Hindu | The News Minute

Suicides spike in city

Over the last three years, the number of suicides has been steadily increasing in Bengaluru, due to the lack of effective crisis management programmes. In the absence of a committed helpline, people here are calling other states for help. In the first seven months of 2019, 1148 people in Bengaluru committed suicide, as per data from the City Crime Records Bureau.

In 2015, there were 1885 suicides in the city. The number shot up to 2024 in 2017, followed by 2060 in 2018. The primary age group that’s affected are those between 18 and 24 years, and those above 65.

Source: Deccan Herald

‘Vulnerability mapping’ to assess disaster risk

The BBMP is taking up a ‘vulnerability-mapping exercise’ to assess structures that might collapse in case of natural calamities such as high-velocity winds, inundation or earthquakes. Civic officials explain that they plan to include structures such as mud houses, hutments, and trees in the exercise.

Two workshops have already been held for officials in the west zone, that comprise 44 wards. This will soon be extended to other areas. The project would help BBMP be better-prepared to reduce loss of life and property, and take preventive measures during natural disasters.

Source: The Hindu

Pourakarmikas denied holidays

Pourakarmikas complain that the BBMP, in many wards, was not granting them the holidays they are entitled to. Jayamma, a member of the BBMP Pourakarmikara Sangha, said they were not granted leave on festivals or even national holidays; and that they worked 365 days a year.

Pourakarmikas in some parts of the city do get weekly-offs. But in many parts such as Mahadevapura, Banasawadi and Shivajinagar, they are instead given half-day duty for two days. Half-day duty implies that, instead of their usual working day from 6.30 am to 2 am, they have to work till 11 am, said Sangha member Nirmala.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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