Bengaluru Buzz: Lockdown relaxed | Migrant workers leave | Metro workers protest…and more

With lockdown relaxation, restrictions are gradually being eased in Bengaluru. Read more in our weekly roundup.

Lockdown relaxations in Bengaluru

As Bengaluru (Urban) is categorised as a red zone district by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), relaxation in restrictions from May 4 will be minimal here unlike districts categorised as orange and green zones.

However, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, S Suresh Kumar, said Bengaluru will not be completely locked down, and that economic activities would restart in wards that do not have containment zones. He said restrictions will be more in the 24 containment zones in the city.

State government has also categorised wards within the city as red, orange and green zones depending on the number of cases. As of May 1, 13 wards in Bengaluru fall into the red zone. These include Hongasandra (with 28 cases), Padarayanapura (26), Jagajivanram Nagar (5), Deepanjali Nagar (3), Bapuji Nagar (3), Chamarajpet (2), Vasanth Nagar (2) and Hampi Nagar (2).

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Police relaxes movement restrictions

The Bengaluru City Police has announced relaxation of rules with certain conditions, especially on the movement of vehicles and the opening of commercial establishments in many parts of the city, except in the containment zones.

While no vehicle will be allowed to go beyond 30 kmph, people will be allowed to move between 7 am and 7 pm, according to the Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao. The curfew will begin at 7 pm. The police will not ask for passes, but motorists should carry ID cards as the police can stop and question them anytime. As the city is still a Red Zone, the movement of vehicles on main roads will be restricted. And those who roam around unnecessarily will be booked, Rao said.

Liquor shops identified by the Excise Department are allowed to open. But the relaxation will not be applicable to malls, cinema halls, swimming pools, stadiums, places of worship and parks.

Private firms, industry units and large in-situ construction projects can restart operations, albeit following social distancing norms. Private offices can start functioning with 33% staff strength. Special Economic Zones, export-oriented units, industrial estates, and all essential industries can begin work with staggered shifts.

Authorities have also directed all clinics to be open. Otherwise, action can be taken by the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Association (KPMEA).

Source: Deccan Herald | The Hindu | Bangalore Mirror

Hundreds of migrant workers throng Majestic

Majestic Bus Station was chaotic on Saturday as hundreds of migrant labourers and their families turned up, desperate to catch buses to their hometowns, mostly in North Karnataka. Many had walked miles to reach the bus stand. KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) allows just 30 passengers per bus, so they had to wait for long to board buses. A senior KSRTC official said that they had managed to operate 120 buses to various destinations.

After public outcry, the government rolled back an earlier decision to charge over 300% of the regular fare from migrant workers. For three days from Sunday, workers and poor wage labourers have been allowed to travel in KSRTC buses free of charge from district centers and Bengaluru to their hometowns, as per a circular from the Chief Minister’s Office.

Meanwhile, teachers drafted to conduct a universal survey of citizens to detect COVID-19 at an early stage have raised objections over their deputation in faraway places in the absence of transport.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald | Indian Express

Namma Metro workers protest demanding wages

Construction labourers working on Namma Metro Phase 2 line in Bommanahalli held a protest, demanding that their pending wages be paid and they be allowed to go home.

One of the labourers said there were 823 workers in the cement mixing plant and 300 persons working at other sites. All of them stay near the plant, but 20 persons are made to stay in each room, flouting rules of social distancing. Another protester said he had not been paid after February and had exhausted all his savings on buying rations during lockdown.

During the protest, more than 500 workers surrounded the in-charge official, forcing BMRCL and police to rush to the site to contain the situation.

Source: Deccan Herald

Penalty for masks collected

BBMP began enforcing the wearing of masks from Saturday, booking 86 cases and collecting Rs 51,700 in penalty. A senior civic official said BBMP would enforce a fine of Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 2,000 for every subsequent offence, from Sunday. As an alternative to masks, any cloth can be used to cover the mouth and nose, the civic body clarified.

Source: The Hindu

Not many takers for telemedicine

The demand for telemedicine is still low though many hospitals have started this facility. Many patients are instead deferring consultations to the post-lockdown period.

R Ravindra, president, PHANA (Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association), Karnataka, said the medical fraternity need to promote telemedicine more aggressively. Most lifestyle diseases and chronic ailments do not always require physical examination, he said.

Source: The Hindu

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