Bengaluru Buzz: Stringent rules for new year | COVID-19 regulations… and more

Other news of the week: KSRTC ventures into logistics, no updates on hijab ban or controversial laws, Kannada signboards rally turns violent.

KSRTC ventures into logistics business

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC)-the state-owned transport utility-is stepping into the logistics sector, sensing a great business opportunity there, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy told Economic Times. The business started on December 10th, and 20 fully-equipped trucks were launched to enhance the non-ticket revenue of the corporation. 

The KSRTC also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with KMS Coach Builders Pvt. Ltd. for lending its cargo truck services on a rental basis for a period of two months. It has also entered into an agreement with S. M. Kannappa Automobiles (P) Ltd. for a period of one month, marking significant development in the transport sector. 

Source: Economic Times, The Hindu 

a nurse removes the needle from a patient's arm in a hospital
Representative image. The new subvariant JN.1 has led to a rise in cases in Kerala and Karnataka. Pic: Harsha K R, Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Active COVID-19 cases in Karnataka cross 500

Active cases in Karnataka has crossed the 500 mark, and 158 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of positive cases in the State touched 40,89,922. Bengaluru has reported 414 of the 568 active cases. 

As many as 8,350 COVID-19 tests were done in the last 24 hours, of which 6,346 were RTPCR tests. With this, the test positivity rate stands at 1.89%. Of the 568 active cases, 514 are under home isolation. Of the remaining 54 who are hospitalised, 14 are being treated in ICUs. 

All COVID-19 positive people must isolate at home for seven days and their symptomatic primary contacts should be tested. This decision was taken by the cabinet sub committee on COVID-19 that met on December 26th under the chairmanship of Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, amid detection of the JN. 1 sub variant. The government will soon issue guidelines in this regard. 

Source: Times of India and The Hindu 

Read more: Heavy metals in veggies: Urgent source investigation needed

8,500 cops to be deployed for New Year celebrations

Bengaluru City Police Commissioner B Dayananda on December 26th said 8,500 police personnel will be deployed across the city on New Year’s eve.

The police also said all the flyovers, except the elevated road heading to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), will be closed between 11 pm on December 31st and 6 am on January 1st.

Dayananda said at a press conference: “A large team comprising additional police commissioners, a joint commissioner, 15 deputy commissioners of police (DCPs), 45 assistant commissioners of police (ACPs), 160 police inspectors (PIs), 600 sub-inspectors, 600 assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs), 1,800 head constables, and 5,200 constables will be deployed.”

Namma Metro will operate till 1.30 am on January 1st. Dayananda said police security has been enhanced at key locations, including MG Road, Brigade Road, Cubbon Park, Trinity Circle, Phoenix Mall, and various clubs.

While drag racing, stunts and speeding on flyovers were reported in the past, Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) M N Anucheth said, “There will be 48 checkpoints across the city. Each traffic police station in the city will form a team to check on speeding, drag racing and stunts. The focus will be more on Outer Ring Road, NICE road and other important roads.”

Source: Indian Express and Deccan Herald 

Interceptor in Bengaluru
Interceptor in Bengaluru. Pic: Bharatiya/Wikimedia Commons

No change yet in Karnataka hijab ban, repeal of controversial laws

The Congress party has not yet been able to repeal the laws against conversion and cattle slaughter. Last week, the party clarified that it had not yet revoked the ban on hijab in government schools and colleges.

There as yet no signs of the promised repeal of an anti-conversion law and an Act banning cattle slaughter. And a clarification has been issued that no order had been passed on lifting the hijab ban. Since the Congress came to power in May, it has kept away from dealing with these three controversial issues that happened when the BJP was in power. It is being said that Congress has adopted this stance to not give the BJP any ammunition in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

In June, after the second Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the government announced that the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Act, 2022 — popularly referred to as the anti-conversion Act — would be repealed. Before the elections, the party had announced that it would withdraw the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020, which imposed an almost total ban on cow slaughter in the state. 

Source: Indian Express 

Kannada signboards rally turns violent

Police conducted preventive detentions in CBD areas, KR Puram, Rajajinagar and Sadahalli close, near Devanahalli. The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) members took out a rally in the city on December 27th from Sadahalli, near Devanahalli to Cubbon Park, to raise awareness about the 60% Kannada mandate on the signboards. But the rally, which was initially peaceful, turned violent hours after it started.

The members pulled down and damaged English sign boards en-route the Airport road. The name boards in English, installed by the shops in Chikkajala, were torn apart by the protesters. Boards of private hotels and other private establishments were also vandalised.

Despite strict police bandobast near Sadahalli, near Devanahalli, several groups of the KRV outfit went to other parts of the city and started pulling down and damaging the signboards in English. The members that had gathered in the Central Business District (CBD) threw stones at the English glass signboards and pulled down hoardings. A few members turned violent and carried out similar acts of vandalism in KR Puram, Rajajinagar, and other major areas 

Source: Deccan Herald 

[Compiled by Harshitha Padmavinod]

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