Bengaluru Buzz: Draft voter roll published | First Bitcoin ATM in B’luru | ORR Metro to delay further

News updates from Bengaluru last week. Traffic control, Metro line, H1N1 in the city and more - the news-in-brief that filters out what matters from the junk.

Swine Flu in Karnataka: 86 cases recorded in BBMP limits this year

As many as 542 cases of Swine Flu have been registered so far in Karnataka and eight people had died, between January 2018 to October 17 2018. The toll continues to rise.  86 people were tested positive in BBMP limits, of which 54 cases were recorded in Bengaluru Urban, by the state’s Health and Family Welfare Department.

Most of the deceased patients were treated at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) between August and October. The latest death reported is of a 58 year-old man from Bengaluru south who died on October 15 within four days of being admitted to the institute. The deaths took a while to be notified owing to communication gaps between the Bengaluru Urban District Health Officer and the hospital. Director of RGICD, C Nagaraj said the deceased patients were initially diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, but they eventually succumbed to other medical conditions co-existing with H1N1. The state run hospital has designated a separate ward to treat those afflicted with the virus.

Precautionary steps are being taken by the government. BBMP has instructed primary healthcare centres to keep stock of Tamiflu tablets. Some private institutions were charging patients Rs 4000 for the throat swab test required for diagnosis. The government has asked them to cap the diagnosis test at Rs 2500. which is free in government hospitals.

Jawaid Akhtar, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare has instructed district health officers to spread awareness on the precautions, the spread of the virus, and its treatment. BBMP has formed a Rapid Response Team (RRT) to help in coordinating efforts at the ward level to mitigate the rising cases, and provide timely treatment at the early stages.

Source: The Hindu| The New Indian Express| Times of India | Deccan Herald

India’s first cryptocurrency ATM opens in Bengaluru’s Kemp Fort Mall

Despite the legal hassles due to the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on trading in cryptocurrencies from July 6, Bengaluru-based start up Unocoin installed its first cryptocurrency ATM in the country. The test runs were conducted on October 18 and the ATM is set to go live from October 22. The company purchased a regular ATM used by banks but changed the software to accommodate their servers. It can be accessed by entering a user ID and 12 digit OTP sent to the mobile number. On can buy or sell up to 10 Bitcoins, and the transactions need to be conducted in Indian rupees which will be  converted to the chosen currency of the consumer.

CEO Sathvik Vishwanath is expecting 50 transactions on the first day. He argued that cryptocurrency is neither legal nor illegal. The company plans to set up two more ATMs in Delhi and Mumbai soon. The ATM will help encash cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. However, as the banking processes were blocked, the company is trying to work around it to continue transactions.

Source: Deccan Herald | The New Indian Express | Mint

Draft of electoral rolls published on October 10, 1.83 lakh names missing

On October 10, the final draft of the electoral photo rolls was published on the Karnataka’s Chief Electoral Officer’s website showing 89.57 lakh registered voters. However, about 1.83 lakh names were deleted, including some people who voted in the assembly elections. BBMP Commissioner Majunatha Prasad said the Election Commission is open to objections, clarification and new registrations from residents of all 28 constituencies between October 10 to November 20. Prasad said 8,514 BLOs have been appointed to perform the task. The final electoral roll call with updates and revisions of voter ID cards will be published on January 4 next year.

Special Summary Revision to finalise voter rolls for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections began on July 15, 2018 according to a schedule. It is to ensure the correct data is submitted to the poll booths in each ward, and to add more youth to the electorate.

Many technical glitches were reported due to malfunctioning EVMs and VVPAT machines in the assembly elections. This time Bengaluru district administration and Election Commission are conducting a thorough check on the machines by inviting political parties to be part of the assessment.

Source: Financial Express | Deccan Herald | The Economic Times | The Hindu

100 automated signals to be installed in 6 months

As part of the second phase of Bangalore Traffic Improvement Project adaptive or smart signals will be installed at 100 junctions across the city in the next six months. The system will have cameras capturing the number of vehicles and traffic density at prominent intersections, and will feed the data to sensors that will automatically adjust traffic lights.

The upgrade from fixed signals to Vehicle Automated Signals is being handled by Bharat Electronics Ltd. Already 35 intersections in the outskirts were installed with automated signals in July 2017. In total, 363 intersections will benefit from the project, moving the traffic along faster during non-peak hours.

Source: Deccan Chronicle | Deccan Herald

Metro line delayed in Outer Ring Road, Uber study stresses on last mile connectivity

File image of metro work in progress on Kanakapura Road. Pic: Shree D N

Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) was about to be awarded the contract by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to build 7 km of the metro line from KR Puram to Silk Board, when news of financial troubles the company is facing emerged. Senior officials confirmed in a news report that another invitation for tenders is expected to be called. This will possibly delay the metro line’s completion on an important stretch of Outer Ring Road by four more months.

In a related news, the metro has changed the reach 6 alignment, to take a left from Nagawara and pass through Hebbal. This is due to the presence of a high pressure Bengaluru-Mangaluru petroleum pipeline passing through the originally proposed route which makes constructions impossible. People are however battling for a changed route which would cover Bellary Road and avoids Tannery Road – Nagawara – northern Outer Ring Road sections.

The concern on last mile connectivity for Metro trains continues. The survey recently conducted by Uber to study the advantages of the Purple Line’s expansion and its impact on saving time in commute says that peak-hour travel time was reduced by 21%. This was while travelling between Bagmane Tech Park in Byappannahalli and Kadugodi in Whitefield.  Three months of data, namely January, February and March were analysed in 2017 and 2018 by doing a comparison of peak-hour travel time.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Times of India

Stormwater drains belong to Revenue Department: BBMP

B M Vijay Shankar, Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban, has warned of a demolition drive soon, to avoid sewage contamination of lakes. He said talks have been ongoing with the stakeholders. Meanwhile, BBMP officials made a convincing presentation to Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar to relieve the Palike of the responsibility of removing encroachments on Storm Water Drains (SWD). BBMP argued that the SWDs belonged to the state revenue department. The body only constructed drains but did not own the lines. BDA, and other nodal agencies are also part of the mess leading to encroachment, hence it becomes difficult for the BBMP to proceed smoothly.

The presentation said that the Palike officials were awaiting information on sketch coordinates from Joint Director of the Revenue Department as his official approval is needed to remove encroachments. BBMP is ready to provide logistical support to the department and ensure that owners of public properties remove encroachments in their vicinity.

Lack of surveyors from the Land Records Department was one of the main reasons behind the delay and this was being tackled by hiring 10 surveyors per taluk according to a news media report in August.

The drive to clear encroachments was started in 2016 after certain areas were inundated by flooding. In 2017 budget, it was announced that a Rs 800 crore project would remodel and reconstruct the old drains, of which 40% of 408 works was started, reported Citizen Matters. The expected deadline set by the Palike was December 2018. The result remains to be seen as the passing of the buck continues.

Source: Bangalore Mirror | The Times of India | Citizen Matters

(Compiled by Seema Prasad)


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