Bengaluru Buzz: Glitches dog 1st phase vaccinations | Rs 2.4K property tax | R-day tractor rally … and more

The initial phase of the vaccination drive against COVID-19 saw some glitches. This and more from the week that went by.

Vaccination slower than planned

The COVID-19 vaccination drive was halted or slowed down in several city hospitals on Wednesday due to glitches in the Co-WIN app. Reports from the Jayanagar General Hospital indicated that vaccination could not take place on Tuesday and Wednesday as the portal did not permit the entry of names.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute did not get the list of healthcare workers to be vaccinated from the State war room. There has been a heavy load on the server as all hospitals are entering data simultaneously.

There was no vaccination drive in public health centres on Thursday due to routine immunisation. The BBMP had, therefore, not been able to reach even 50 per cent of the target on Thursday. The municipal body hoped to complete vaccination of 1.82 lakh healthcare workers registered in the first phase within a week.

On Tuesday, the 19th, the BBMP could vaccinate only at 94 sites and inoculate 10,343 health workers. By the end of the day, BBMP managed to inoculate 3,978, or 38.46% of the targeted recipients for the day. Five adverse events following immunisation were reported: two each in West and RR Nagar zones and one in the Yelahanka.

On Wednesday, the BBMP reached 55% of its target. On Thursday, 22 AEFI were reported in the West Zone. This is the highest number of AEFIs reported from any zone, or all zones put together till date. Totally, 52 per cent of the targeted beneficiaries were vaccinated on Thursday.

Source: The Hindu, Bangalore Mirror, Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

Resident docs demand choice

The Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors (KARD) has demanded that the government allow healthcare workers to choose the vaccine that will be administered. In a letter to Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, the doctors expressed concern that healthcare workers in some districts are being discriminated. They are given Covaxin whereas those in other centres are receiving Covishield, they said.

“Before receiving Covaxin we have been made to take the undertaking that the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be established,” the letter read. Dr Dayanand Sagar, President of KARD said that the usage of Covaxin “on a trial basis” on healthcare workers should be condemned. 

Covaxin is being administered only at district hospitals in Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Shivamogga, Ballari, Chamarajanagar and Davangere.

Meanwhile, those who get vaccinated should not consume alcohol for 45 days after vaccination, said M K Sudarshan, chairman of the State’s TAC (Technical Advisory Committee). Alcohol affects the immune response.

Source: Indian Express

Covid spike in Mahadevapura

Mahadevapura Zone is registering the largest number of Covid-19 cases for the past three months. This is believed to be due to a large number of returning immigrants. BBMP data shows that there were 7,865 active cases in the city on January 19, of which 1,208 are in Mahadevapura.

A BBMP zonal officer said that the daily numbers in Mahadevapura have come down from an average of 100 per day in December to about 40 to 45 cases in January, but a high rotating population of labourers is preventing the outbreak from being contained.

Source: Deccan Herald

Tractor rally on R-day

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha has said that farmers will hold a tractor rally in Bengaluru on Republic Day, in solidarity with their counterparts in Delhi.

On Wednesday, hundreds of farmers and Congress workers took to the streets, in a ‘Raj Bhavan chalo’ rally, also in solidarity with the farmers’ protests in Delhi. Senior leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar travelled on a tractor. They marched from Sangolli Rayanna statue at Majestic to Freedom Park.

Source: The New Indian Express, Indian Express, The Hindu

Action against illegal religious structures

BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) officials have been directed to identify unauthorised religious structures in public places, including footpaths, parks, and government property, within three days.

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad referenced a PIL filed in the Supreme Court in 2009 and said that illegal structures that have come up after September 29, 2009, are not allowed. He directed ward engineers and revenue inspectors to identify them and issue show cause noticesalso.

Source: The Hindu

Krishnappa Garden slum razed

The Karnataka Slum Development Board razed several hutments in Krishnappa Garden under the New Thippasandra ward. The residents, mostly daily wage labourers, claimed that they had been living in the settlement for the past 30 years. They possessed voter identity cards, Aadhaar cards and even voted in recent elections, they said. One resident said that there were originally 450 families living in the settlement. Houses were allotted to 353 families who have since shifted out. The remaining families were trying to get allotment when their homes were cleared.

K R Puram tashildar maintained that the demolition had been carried out following directions of the High Court. He said the Slum Board had already rehabilitated 353 eligible families.

Source: The Hindu

Rs 2,460 crore property tax collected

Collection of property tax, one of the biggest revenue sources for the BBMP had slowed down during the pandemic, but renewed efforts on the civic body’s part netted ₹ 2,460 crore as of January 13.

Though it falls short each year, the BBMP’s target is to collect ₹3,500 crore from the over 19 lakh properties in the tax net. BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad had directed revenue officials to identify the top 100 defaulters apart from collecting arrears from property owners who have not paid for more than a year.

Meanwhile, the city has emerged as the top destination for institutional investment in real estate in 2020. Bengaluru witnessed an investment of $3.8 billion in the real estate sector, about 58% of the total money invested in the country. The real estate industry attracted a total of $6.5 billion investment in 2020, against $6.6 billion in 2019. Mumbai stood second.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Few takers for airport rail

A fortnight after the South Western Railway introduced services a halt rail services near the Kempegowda International Airport, patronage is yet to pick up. Five pairs of trains operate to and from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna, Yeshwanthpur and Yelahanka stations to the KIA halt station, but only about 50 people used the service everyday. Those who use the service said that its success would depend on the SWR ensuring punctuality of the trains.

Meanwhile, cargo volumes at the KIA touched 33,053 tonnes in December 2020, the highest tonnage for the month since the airport started operations in 2008.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Cubbon Park is among the few lung spaces remaining in the city. Pic: Augustus Binu

PIL on Cubbon Park, BU biopark

The Karnataka High Court ordered notices to the State on a PIL petition seeking action against constructions put up illegally in the Cubbon Park. The park located in the central business district, is notified under the Karnataka Parks, Play Fields and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulation) Act, 1985. Many government buildings too are illegal, despite the High Court in 2001 directing the State not to allow any construction without court clearance.

The Public Works Department permitted construction by Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, the Century Club, the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association, the Karnataka Government Secretariat Club, the Karnataka State Government Employees’ Association, the Press Club of Bangalore and the Young Men’s Christian Association, all of which operate on leased areas in the Park.

Meanwhile, a petition has challenged the allotment of 15 acres of land to the Inter University Centre for Yogic Sciences and 10 acres of land to the Central University of Karnataka at the biopark on the Bangalore University campus.

It is contended that the allocation would destroy flora and fauna of the biopark spread over more than 100 acres. The petitioner said that the biopark extends to over 300 acres of green cover with multiple check-dams that have ramped up groundwater levels over the years.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

Govt rejects conservation reserve

A decade-long movement by citizens and environmentalists to protect Bengaluru’s last-standing grassland ecosystem at Hesaraghatta suffered a setback on Tuesday, as the State Board for Wildlife rejected a proposal to declare the area a ‘conservation reserve’. The Board, headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa resolved to drop the proposal, purportedly fearing loss of access and eviction of local villagers. Meanwhile, the BBMP committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change through a letter to the mayor of Los Angeles.

Source: Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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