Bengaluru Buzz: Lockdown till 14th | II PUC exams cancelled | Property tax discount extension … and more

Catch up on news from the city this week, in our roundup

Lockdown extended

On Thursday, the Karnataka government announced extending the lockdown across the State by a week, from June 7 to June 14. This is in accordance with the Technical Advisory Committee’s recommendation that the lockdown should be continued till the case positivity rate drops to 5%. The CPR presently is around 11%. On Thursday, Bengaluru Urban recorded 3,533 new cases of COVID, 7,672 discharges and 347 deaths.

The State government also spelt out a second relief package of Rs 323 crore to give ASHA, Anganwadi workers, weavers, film and TV industry workers, Muzrai temple priests, Maulvis and fishermen Rs 3,000 in assistance. The government has also decided to provide aid of Rs 5 crore to judicial staff.

During the lockdown, the government announced that it would not allow: Metro rail, taxi and bus services; schools and colleges; cinemas, shopping malls, stadiums and swimming pools; social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious functions and other gatherings and congregations; public or private buses; hotels, restaurants and hospitality services and inter-state and intra-state movement of passenger vehicles.

What would be allowed includes: Flights and trains; government offices; health departments; municipal and district administration; medical education; police, civil defence, defence, fire and emergency services; water, electricity and sanitation; government offices such as defence, defence PSUs, armed police forces; petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG, power generation and disaster management; banks and groceries, selling vegetables, dairy shops, meat, fish and animal fodder will be open from 6 am to 10 am; construction activities and repair work; print and electronic media and marriages (only with 50 persons in attendance).

BBMP earned Rs 11.43 crore in the past year by penalising citizens for violating norms in public.

Source: The Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Cases, demand for beds, dips

The BBMP has decided to close most of the Covid Care Centres (CCCs) as they are not getting enough patients. Triaging centres will also be closed down. Over the last 10 days, due to a fall in new cases, there appears to be a corresponding drop in the demand for beds. As of May 29, only 42% of the total beds in public hospitals and government quota beds in private hospitals were occupied.

However, to prepare for the third wave, the district administration is planning to soon get one government hospital in each constituency, which works out to 20 100-bed government hospitals. 

Meanwhile, Giddenahalli, one of the three open crematoriums, will be shut down, as the body count too has come down. The city has 10 lakh, or one in ten Bengalurians, who have recovered.

The number of tests in the state touched 3,01,49,275 on Thursday, with nearly 83% of the tests conducted using the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) method.

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

Read More: COVID lessons Bengaluru must learn from second wave

Vaccination target unrealistic

Despite having administered more than 30.98 lakh doses in Bengaluru till June 2, BBMP is unable to meet its daily target of inoculating one lakh citizens due to meagre vaccine supplies from the Health Department. While 33 private establishments in Bengaluru have so far ordered 21.71 lakh doses, they received only 15.63 lakh doses as of June 2. The Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) says manufacturers have put a minimum order requirement, affecting small hospitals. Covid vaccination is available at only 52 private establishments, as against 231 government sites.

Meanwhile, the health minister said that the city’s vaccination coverage is among the highest in major cities, with more than 28.3 lakh inoculated with at least one dose. So 28.6 percent of the city’s population is vaccinated. The government said it will administer more than 60 lakh doses this month, and complete 2 crore jabs by June 30. Students and others who have to travel abroad for studies or work will be vaccinated on priority after June 1, he said.

Meanwhile, officials are not able to determine the exact number of people vaccinated due to mix-ups, technical glitches and negligence. Many have complained of not getting certificates post-vaccination, while some said they got erroneous certificates. Others have found that their registered mobile numbers have been used to vaccinate strangers. It is believed that the glitches could be due to software snags or incomplete registration.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express, The Times of India

Read More: Digital divide worsening vaccine hesitancy – Part 2

No II PUC exams

The State government announced that there will be no exams for II year PUC students. They would be promoted using the grading system based on their performance in the I PUC examination. Instead of the usual marks system, students will be promoted with grades. Meanwhile, the state government has decided to hold the examination for the SSLC (Class 10) students possibly in the third week of July. The students will be examined through multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and the duration of the test is expected to be reduced.

The government is expected to issue more detailed guidelines on how both SSLC and II PU students will be graded.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu

Benniganahalli lake after rains. Pic: N H Subramanian

Monsoon task force in assembly segments

The State government ordered BBMP to set up a task force in each assembly constituency, to deal with monsoon-related issues. Besides identifying 209 areas across Bengaluru as prone to flooding, it directed the civic body — currently headed by an administrator — to use high-pressure motors to pump out floodwater in underpasses. Bommanahalli Zone is said to have the most vulnerable places (12), followed by Mahadevapura (11).

Gearing up for the approaching monsoons, BBMP officials visited Hennur Main Road, which had been flooded last year with 80 mm to 90 mm rain/hour and caused water-logging in Sai Layout, Geddalahalli areas. Permission has been granted to widen the narrow railway bridge near Hebbal valley, which will prevent any problem in the area even if it rains up to 130 mm. Officials were instructed to carry out work in the rainy season without causing any obstruction for the rainwater. They inspected the Ramapura lake, for which Rs 35-crore has been earmarked under the Chief Minister’s Shubhra Bengaluru project.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Indian Express

Property tax discount till June 30

Property taxpayers can obtain a rebate of 5% by paying the entire amount in one installment by June 30. The Urban Development Department issued a new notification, extending the last date to obtain a rebate from May 31 to June 30.

Source: Deccan Herald

Google slammed for showing Kannada as ‘ugliest’

The government on Thursday said it will take legal action against tech giant Google following outrage over a search result that showed Kannada as India’s “ugliest language”. The Google answer was sourced from a website, which was mass reported by users. Google eventually excluded the webpage from its search results.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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  1. Shanthaveera. S. says:

    It is requested to kindly extend the last date of property tax discount of 5% upto July end of 2021.The lockdown may end on 14 June ,if things go in right way , all over Karnataka. If the case is not so, we, the sincere tax payers may not be able to pay taxes in time. Even if it is okay, from 14th June upto 30th June , again there will be heavy rush. Senior citizens like me may not be able following Covid guidelines.

  2. Bhargav says:

    Please extend property tax discount till July 30.

  3. Ramesh Kumar says:

    I would request the state government to kindly extend the last date with 5% rebate to 31-07-2021 instead of 30-06-2021. Since the lockdown is going to be lifted on 14-06-2021, the time left to pay the property tax is too limited, there is bound tone heavy rush. Kindly consider this n hope they do the needful.???

  4. G NARAYANA RAJU says:

    Due to lockdown the tenants are not paying rent for the months of May and June. The landlord’s who are depending solely on the rent for their livelihood are hot and very hard to pay tax with rebate before June. Hence, kindly extend the date till August 2021 which will be immense help.

  5. Ishrath Unnissa says:

    It is requested to kindly extend the last date of property tax discount of 5% upto July end of 2021.The lockdown may end on 14 June ,if things go in right way , all over Karnataka. If the case is not so, we, the sincere tax payers may not be able to pay taxes in time. Even if it is okay, from 14th June upto 30th June , again there will be heavy rush.
    Every one having financial Problems even depends on salaries or self employed

  6. GN Balaji says:

    Why closing CCC, it has to be kept operating as usual & control over hospitals & stocking of oxy must continue as usual for a specific petiod

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