Bengaluru Buzz: 1 crore vaccinated | Glitches in college admission process … and more

Bengaluru Urban district achieved the one-crore vaccination mark this week. Catch up on this, and other news from the city, in our weekly roundup

One crore vaccinated in Bengaluru Urban district

On Wednesday, the one-crore vaccination mark was achieved in Bengaluru Urban district. In addition to the 198 wards of BBMP, the district comprises five taluks, six town municipalities, one city municipality and 1,038 villages under 87 gram panchayats.

The district administration officials said 1,00,34,598 people have been vaccinated at various centres. While 75.9 lakh people have been given the first dose, 24.4 lakh completed both vaccinations. With this, the district, barring the BBMP area, has achieved 90% of its vaccination target. In the BBMP area, 70% adults have been vaccinated with at least one dose. BBMP Special Commissioner D Randeep said they have been receiving 75,000 doses per day since August 21, which has helped boost vaccination numbers.

Source: Deccan Herald

Businesses asked to vaccinate employees

Commercial establishments, industries, offices, hotels and restaurants have been asked to vaccinate employees with at least one dose by August 31. BBMP said that state government had permitted the opening of establishments, provided they agree to abide by the rule.

BBMP Marshals and health officials can enter establishments and check compliance with the rule from September 1. Violators are punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, said BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta.

Many stakeholders asked the state government and BBMP to ensure steady supplies and easy availability of vaccines, so that they could comply with the rule. However, some said the government cannot force anyone to take vaccines.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Read More: BBMP budget: Is 336 cr enough to manage Covid, fix a broken healthcare system?

Spike in COVID cases expected in Bengaluru

BBMP officials are expecting a rise in COVID cases owing to the festive season, crowds in markets, as well as gatherings in residential areas. Currently, Bengaluru reports 300-400 COVID cases every day.

However, between August 12 and 22, there has been a steep reduction in the number of containment zones – from 176 to 112. This was mainly due to strict enforcement of rules and greater awareness levels, according to BBMP. Fifty percent of the containment zones were in apartment complexes, and the cooperation of apartment RWAs (Resident Welfare Associations) had helped contain the infection.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Bylaw on hoardings revoked

Commercial hoardings will not make a comeback in Bengaluru. State government has decided to revoke the new advertisement bylaws that would have led to the return of hoardings. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai earlier this month.

Source: The Hindu

Read More: Should Bengaluru have advertisement hoardings?

Govt suggests WFH for ORR companies in Bengaluru till Dec 2022

State government issued an advisory to the IT companies and business parks along ORR (Outer Ring Road) to extend the work-from-home option for their employees till December 2022. If employees have to work from office, companies can stagger their working hours. Or they can encourage employees to take BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) buses or company bus services through the ORR bus lane. The advisory was intended to reduce traffic congestion on ORR, for smooth completion of Metro construction there.

However, following pushback from the companies, the government soon clarified that these were not mandatory requirements. Government also said that BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) would complete its work with minimum inconvenience to the employees.

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express, Bangalore Times

Admissions: Colleges flay govt

Even though state government launched the Unified University and College Management System (UUCM), college managements and students could not open the portal to finish admissions for 2021-22 academic year. Admission processes will need to follow the NEP (National Education Policy), applied first by Karnataka.

Degree college managements had to make desperate calls to their universities through the technical helpline for UUCM-related questions, but could not get any response. Most managements got applications that exceeded the number of seats available by 2-3 times. The applications for degree colleges had risen as all II PU students were deemed as pass the last academic year.

Students in a Bengaluru classroom
There have been glitches in the admission process to degree colleges. Representational image: Wikipedia Commons/Venkateswaran Raman

Many colleges blame the government for introducing the system without proper preparation, roadmap or groundwork. They said the KSHEC (Karnataka State Higher Education Council) should issue clear guidelines on courses, common syllabus and other modalities.

Source: The Hindu

Greens seek ADB intervention

Since the airport Metro line’s DPR (Detailed Project Report) is not open for public consultation, the advocacy group GrowthWatch is asking the project’s funding agency ADB (Asian Development Bank) to intervene. Over 4,500 trees are proposed to be axed for the airport Metro line.

In a letter to the bank’s managing director-general and senior officials, GrowthWatch members explained that DPR is the basis for understanding any infrastructure project; but for this project, it isn’t accessible on BMRCL’s website or the ADB’s. The letter also explained that BMRCL had not made the DPR available to citizens despite their requests under the RTI (Right to Information) Act.

Source: Deccan Herald

AC bus service restarted

The cash-strapped BMTC is restarting its AC bus services on three routes including the Bengaluru Darshini sight-seeing service, expecting a revival in tourism. The other two routes are Kempagowda Bus Station to Bannerghatta National Park, and HSR Layout BDA Complex to Wonderla.

Source: Indian Express

BWSSB submits action plan to revive Vrushbhavathi river

The BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) has submitted an affidavit to the High Court, listing short-term and long-term measures to revive Vrushabhavathi river. The measures suggested were based on a report by NEERI (National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute).

Vrushabhavathi river is a tributary of Arkavathi river, which in turn is a tributary of Cauvery. BWSSB’s affidavit was in response to a PIL urging the court to direct authorities to check large-scale pollution of the river.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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