Bengaluru Buzz: 90% city infants malnourished | Mega infra mission | Polls to 243 wards, rules SC… and more

Only 7.4% of Bengaluru's infants under two years of age get adequate nourishment, says the National Family Health Survey, and more. Catch up with Bengaluru over the week.

Over 90% infants malnourished

In Bengaluru, a mere 7.4% children aged below two years receive adequate diet, says the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5). That leaves a staggering 92.6% infants under two, malnourished.

The figures are worse than five years ago, when only 13.9% children were receiving proper nutrition. Bengaluru is one of 342 districts for which government released data.

The survey says the percentage of total children aged 6-23 months receiving an adequate diet has fallen. Children under five years who are stunted are 31.3%, an increase from 28.1% in NFHS-4, while the number of underweight children has gone up to 28.1%, from 26.8%.

Source: Deccan Herald

SC overturns HC verdict on BBMP Polls

The Supreme Court, on Friday, stayed last week’s order by the Karnataka High Court directin the State Election Commission to conduct elections to only 198 wards of the BBMP and publish the election programme within a period of six weeks.

Ruling on an appeal filed by the Karnataka government, a bench led by Chief Justice Sharad A Bobde said that the December 4 High Court judgement nullified the unanimous will of the State Legislature, who are the representatives of the people. The Legislature had amended the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act of 1976, to increase the number of wards in Bengaluru from 198 to 243.

Source: Bar and Bench

Government’s mega mission

The B S Yediyurappa government has launched a new plan labelled Bengaluru Mission 2022, to improve the city’s infrastructure over the next two years.

The plan identified projects in four key areas — mobility, clean Bengaluru, green Bengaluru and digital services — to improve infrastructure, environment and government services. It aims to address issues arising out of the city’s growing population and number of vehicles. The mission would receive budgetary allocation and would be reviewed every six months by a task force.

Key projects expected to be taken up include: Development of 12 high-density corridors (totalling 190 kms); synchronous signal lights; promotion of shared electric vehicle mobility; faster completion of Metro projects; expanding bus priority lanes; and operationalisation of suburban rail.

Source: The Hindu | Indian Express

3.9 lakh owners underpaid tax

About 3.9 lakh property owners in the city have quoted wrong guidance values for their properties under the self-assessment of property tax. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said notices would be issued to levy the outstanding amounts along with penal interest.

Prasad has directed officials to estimate property tax evasion right from 2016, the year when the civic body introduced self-assessment, and collect them from property owners. Revenue officials too were hand-in-glove with property owners in citing wrong guidance values, he said.

The BBMP will soon map all the properties within its jurisdiction, complete with guidance value obtained from the stamps and registration department. This would prevent tax evasion, he said.

Source: Deccan Herald | Indian Express

No partying this year end

The State government has banned special parties, gatherings and other public events from December 20, 2020, till January 2, 2021. The Chief Secretary’s order prohibiting special DJ events, dance parties, other celebrations, handshakes and hugs, is in tune with the Home Ministry’s order of November 25.

Although clubs, pubs and restaurants are allowed to function, rigorous social distancing norms are stipulated. Church congregations are directed to adhere to social distancing and enforce sanitisers and masks. People above 60 years and children below 10 years have been advised to stay at home. Police have been asked to deploy additional forces.

Meanwhile, fearing the spread of Covid-19 at gatherings, people appear to be making alternate plans. Even as restaurants in the city reported below-average bookings — they are allowed to fill only 50% of their capacity — listings of trekking and camping events outside Bengaluru have increased.

Source: Deccan Herald | The Hindu

BBMP’s report to HC under scanner

The High Court has directed the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority to form teams to inspect the condition of roads in the city. This is to cross-check the correctness of the complaince report filed by the BBMP.

The KSLSA has been directed to submit a report by February 5. The Court also appointed court commissioners to ascertain the present condition of roads and footpaths.

Meanwhile, according to a traffic police survey, the city’s roads are riddled with at least 6,664 potholes. As many as 164 stretches need a complete makeover. The list of potholes was given by traffic inspectors after assessing roads in their jurisdictions.

Source: Deccan Herald | The New Indian Express | Bangalore Mirror

Enrolments climb in govt colleges

The number of students enrolling in government degree colleges increased over the past few weeks. Many parents are apparently unable to afford high fees in private colleges. According to the Department of Collegiate Education (DCE), 1.28 lakh students were admitted in the first year for UG programmes in the 2020-21 academic year.

The Commissioner of Collegiate Education said that admissions to the 430 first grade colleges across the State had picked up after principals and teachers organised enrolment drives.

Source: The Hindu

Pvt school teachers demand relief

Thousands of private school teachers protested at Freedom Park, demanding relief packages to teachers who have faced salary cuts or lost their jobs following the pandemic. Teachers from across the State gathered at under the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka on Wednesday.

The teachers pointed out that the State government has not released the Teachers’ Welfare Fund collected by institutions and given to the Department of Public Instruction. This is reserved exclusively for their welfare. They demanded clarity regarding opening of schools, collection of fees and attendance restrictions.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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