Bengaluru Buzz: New rules for travellers | Bus, taxi services resume | Complaints against pvt schools…and more

More containment zones in Bengaluru, change in quarantine rules for inter-state travellers, complaints against fee hike by private schools - catch up on this week's news, in our roundup.

Migrant labourers suffer as BIEC shuts down

Since Monday night, over 3,000 migrant labourers walked to BIEC (Bangalore International Exhibition Centre) but were not allowed in. Instead, they were made to board buses and dropped off back to the areas they had come from. Most buses were packed and did not follow the norms of mandatory sanitisers or the limit of 30 passengers per vehicle.

K V Sharath Chandra, IGP, Central Range, said BIEC was meant to be a temporary shelter for those walking to their hometowns in north India, but that more people were coming in, thinking they’d be able to secure a berth on trains. The facility was shut as the crowd was unmanageable, he said. Migrant labourers who had no roof over their heads were being ferried to temporary shelters organised by Deputy Commissioners of Police in marriage halls.

A division bench of the High Court of Karnataka, presided over by its Chief Justice, asked why the state government decided not to fund the travel of migrant workers if their home states hadn’t deposit the funds for train fares.

Source: The Hindu | Indian Express

Two new containment zones

Two new positive COVID-19 cases have been reported, one from a slum in Nagawara and another in Jnanabharathinagar. BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar has issued instructions to fix perimeters and seal the areas. Civic officials have begun the contact tracing process, with 60 persons identified as primary and secondary contacts of the patient from Nagawara. They will be shifted to an institutional quarantine facility.

To check the disease spread, especially in containment zones, BBMP had taken up Adaptive Stratified Random Sampling method for testing people with co-morbidities, pregnant women, patients with ILI (Influenza-like Illness) and SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infection).

On Friday, Anil Kumar deployed marshals in the containment zones of Padarayanapura (Ward No 135) and JJ Nagar (Ward No 136) following media reports of free movement of people and vehicles.

According to BBMP’s COVID-19 war room, 142 of the 198 wards in Bengaluru have not reported a single COVID case so far. Also, 55% of the cases are concentrated in three wards.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Weekly curfew on Sundays

The weekly Janata curfew to be imposed on Sundays will begin from May 23, or Saturday night itself, said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao.

Rao said the curfew would be stringent and warned people not to venture out unnecessarily. There will be no movement of vehicles during the curfew from 7 pm on Saturday until 7 am on Monday. But medical stores, vegetable, grocery and meat shops will be open. Home delivery is allowed, but not takeaway services. Sale of liquor and other non-essential items are prohibited.

There will be no public transportation, including KSRTC, BMTC, cabs and autos. All major roads and flyovers will be barricaded.

Source: Deccan Herald

New rules for inter-state travellers

Karnataka government has come out with new rules for inter-state travellers. Pregnant women, children under 10, those aged 80 and above, and terminally ill visitors from abroad need not follow the 14-day institutional quarantine if they test negative.

Institutional quarantine of seven days, followed by seven days of home quarantine, is mandated for those coming in from high-risk areas such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. They will be tested from the fifth to seventh day. Home quarantine is encouraged for all other state returnees.

Pregnant women, those aged 80 and above, one attendant, health professionals and defense personnel will be exempted. Seva Sindhu registration is mandatory for entry.

Source: Deccan Herald | Bangalore Mirror

Hoteliers shift parcelling costs to buyers

Local hotels that offer only takeaway services have hiked prices to include parcelling charges.

While customers are complaining, Karnataka Hoteliers’ Association President, Chandrashekar Hebbar, said that parcelling is expensive for restaurants, which are also operating under loss.

Source: Deccan Herald

HC asks state government to maintain water bodies

On Wednesday, High Court directed the KSPCB (Karnataka State Pollution Control Board) to spell out how it would keep Bellandur and Varthur lakes and Vrushabhavati river clean. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by a Rajajinagar resident.

The petitioner had pointed out that these water bodies were not frothing during the lockdown as they had been spared from industrial effluents. She sought a direction from the court to authorities to not permit industrial production in and around water bodies within BBMP limits unless industrial and commercial establishments in the catchment areas complied with all environmental norms.

Source: The Indian Express | The Hindu

Bus, auto, taxi services resume after 50 days

After a gap of nearly two months, BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) resumed bus services on Tuesday morning. But passengers had to buy daily passes priced at Rs 70 even for short-distance travel, or weekly passes for Rs 300. As a precautionary measure, only pass-holders were allowed to board, though the prices put off many.

Buses started from major bus stands such as Majestic, Shivajinagar, and Shantinagar. C Shikha, Managing Director of BMTC, said they hoped ridership would gradually increase in the coming days. Ridership remained low even at Majestic but the wait time was long, as BMTC operated a limited number of services and allowed only 30 people to board one bus.

Air-conditioned buses are not being operated now. Masks and sanitisers are compulsory. Senior citizens, pregnant women, children below the age of 10, or those who show symptoms of fever, will not be allowed to board the buses.

Autos and taxi services, including Ola and Uber, resumed services too. Somashekar K, of the Namma Chalakara Trade Union, said the response was poor, and that business was likely to be low for another fortnight at least.

KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation), operated 213 buses from Bengaluru on Tuesday. Passengers were advised to book tickets online. Travellers from one district to another need not have passes issued by the district authorities on Seva Sindhu, but have to give relevant details to KSRTC.

Source: The Hindu | Indian Express

Over 900 complaints against private schools over fee hike

The Karnataka Education department issued show-cause notices to 164 schools for violating government orders by increasing fees for the upcoming academic year. On April 28, the DPI (Department of Public Instruction) had prohibited private school managements from increasing tuition fees by the usual 15%.

Most complaints, DPI data showed, were against schools in Bengaluru South — 782 against 117 institutions — followed by Bengaluru North — 113 complaints against 45 schools. In Bengaluru Rural, six complaints were filed by parents against two schools.

Karnataka government had set up a central helpline number for parents to report such cases. A official from the Education Department said that, of the 901 complaints overall, almost half had been resolved.

Source: Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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