Bengaluru Buzz: BMTC loses record in fleet strength | Civic polls unlikely in May…and more

BBMP polls that were expected to be held in the next couple of months, will likely get delayed again. Read more in our weekly news roundup.

BMTC slips to second rank in fleet strength

The BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) which held the top spot for running the country’s largest bus fleet for several years, has lost it to the DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation). DTC’s fleet strength is now 7,001, whereas BMTC’s is 6,911. BMTC had recently inducted 90 e-buses, of which 60 are not operational due to the delay in setting up charging infrastructure. A senior BMTC official said that 300 non-AC e-buses will be inducted under lease model by October, and 900 aged buses will be scrapped in a phased manner.

The state government’s CMP (Comprehensive Mobility Plan) had proposed to increase BMTC’s fleet to over 10,000 by 2021. However, the pace of fleet augmentation has been quite slow.

Source: The Times of India

BBMP prepares for Swachh Survekshan

Municipal authorities are working hard to keep their streets clean, to prepare for the Swachh Survekshan or national annual cleanliness survey. Representatives from an agency hired by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will soon inspect the city. They will visit waste-processing plants, verify waste segregation levels and examine public toilets, stormwater drains and treatment plants. Their scores would have a one-third weightage in Swachh Survekshan.

BBMP is also taking feedback from about two lakh citizens as part of the survey.

Source: Deccan Herald

BBMP polls unlikely in May

Elections to the BMBP Council might be postponed again, as the Supreme Court struck down reservations for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in local body elections. This has halted poll preparations. A delegation has met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to insist on reserving wards for OBC candidates. Of the 198 wards, 63 had been reserved for OBC candidates in September 2020, when the term of the BBMP Council expired.

Bommai is said to have directed the Chief Secretary to form a committee and study the court order. The court case is likely to come up for hearing again on March 13.

Source: Deccan Herald

Read More: In the BBMP polls, Modi is not a factor: Prakash Belawadi

Nine malls evaded property tax of Rs 69 cr

Nine out of 43 malls in Bengaluru have failed to pay property tax worth Rs 69 crore to the BBMP, said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. According to the data provided by Bommai, the defaulters are Lulu Hyper Market (Rs 18.66 crore), Mantri Mall (Rs 20.33 crore), GT World mall (Rs 3.85 crore), Gopalan Arcade on Mysuru Road (Rs 9.86 lakh), VR Mall (Rs 3.90 crore), Total Mall in Mahadevapura (Rs 85 lakh), Rockline Mall (Rs 6.64 crore), Royal Meenakshi Mall (Rs 14.96 crore) and Virginia Mall (Rs 64.95 lakh).

Source: The Indian Express

Metro plans to increase revenues from real estate

The BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd) will soon monetise its real estate, by expanding commercial space at Metro stations to 2.2 lakh square feet. According to an official, BMRCL currently rents out only 21,000 sq ft of commercial space. Officials have set Rs 50 crore as the non-fare revenue target for 2022-23.

Since the pandemic, BMRCL’s fare revenue as well as non-fare revenue have dropped drastically.

Source: Deccan Herald

High-risk pregnancy hospital and milk bank at Vani Vilas

On International Women’s Day, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar inaugurated the State-run Vani Vilas Hospital’s 72-bed high-risk pregnancy hospital and in-house human milk bank. Nearly a hundred pre-term and low-birth-weight babies have been getting supportive breast milk here in the last three months.

Pumped breast milk. Pic:

Of the 72 beds, 28 will have the neonatal ICU, 22 paediatric ICU and 22 maternal ICU. The unit has been funded by the BMRCL, the Karnataka Health System Development Reform Project and Bangalore Smart City Limited.

Sudhakar said the milk bank had collected 27 litres of breast milk so far, of which 21 litres had been given to 90 children. Breast milk collected from donor mothers will be pasteurised and frozen, and can be stored for six months.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express

Read More: The fall and rise of COVID test numbers in Bengaluru

COVID cases on the wane

On Monday, Bengaluru recorded less than 100 COVID cases for the first time since the outbreak of the third wave. This is the city’s lowest daily case count, even compared to the second wave. Mahadevapura continues to have a higher positivity rate, at 1.62%, followed by Bommanahalli (1.46%) RR Nagar (1.3%), Yelahanka (0.96%), Dasarahalli (0.88%) East (0.63%) and South (0.5%) zones. Positivity rate is lowest in the West zone, at 0.3%.

Meanwhile, the State has enrolled 216 children orphaned by COVID on the PM-CARES for Children portal, even though the scheme stopped enrolling new beneficiaries from February 28. Fifty seven of the children would turn 23 in the next six years and are eligible for Rs 10 lakh from the PM-CARES fund. Children can also get free health insurance of Rs 5 lakh under the Ayushman Bharat scheme till they turn 18, for which the premium will be paid by PM-CARES.

Source: Deccan Herald, Bangalore Mirror

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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