Bengaluru Buzz: Spike in COVID cases | Water Board mulls discount for RWH … and more

Catch up on news from this week, in our roundup

Spike in COVID cases

On Thursday, 506 COVID-positive cases were reported, compared to Wednesday’s 376. Alarmed by the 34% rise, BBMP officials resolved to scale up surveillance besides intense testing and tracking in containment areas. BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said that as per reports, infection was spreading through gatherings like weddings. Marshals have been told to be vigilant.

A major chunk of newly infected people were found to have a recent connection with a physical market. Six clusters were discovered at CV Raman Nagar ward, where many had a history of movement to local markets. Meanwhile, BBMP started its vaccination drive for pregnant and lactating women at six centres.

The city now has 101 micro-containment zones, with highest numbers from Mahadevapura zone (29), followed by Bommanahalli zone (27). The number of micro-containment zones increased after its definition was changed – earlier these zones were defined as a 100-metre radius around a place reporting more than 10 positive cases; now the number of positive cases has been reduced to three.

Typical flu-like cases as well as cold and cough infections that are common during the monsoon have slumped this year, mainly due to adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour.

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

Read more: Puppy love ends as COVID lockdown lifts

Committee suggests school reopening, parents reluctant

An expert committee constituted by the education department has suggested that schools be opened by the first week of August. Registered Unaided Private Schools Management Association Karnataka (RUPSA) has also urged the government to give consent for reopening primary schools from August. Primary class children have not attended classes for 16 months. However, a recent survey showed that the majority of parents are not yet ready to send their children to school. 

The High Court has directed BBMP to conduct a door-to-door survey of out-of-school children within its limits, pointing to its obligations under the RTE (Right to Education) Act.

Source: Deccan Herald

Extended Purple Line may open after August 12

Namma Metro is likely to begin commercial operations on the extended Purple Line from Mysore Road to Kengeri station after an inspection by the CMRS (Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety). The inspection will be held on August 11 and 12, according to the BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited). The 7.53-kilometre extended route has six stations – Nayandahalli, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Jnanabharathi, Pattengere, Kengeri Bus Terminal, and Kengeri. As per pre-COVID estimates, this line is expected to boost Metro’s daily ridership by 75,000.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Water Board considering discount for rainwater harvesting

The BWSSB (Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) is considering a 5% discount on monthly water charges for buildings equipped with rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems. A final decision will be taken in the next board meeting.

BWSSB Chairman N Jayaram said citizens’ compliance towards the RWH rule was low. Even residents who comply, often divert the harvested rainwater to their toilets, from where it reaches stormwater drains. Experts have warned that the lack of RWH and poor groundwater recharge were contributing to flash floods.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

recharge wells in several apartments and individual houses
BWSSB is considering a 5% discount in water bill for consumers who have installed rainwater harvesting systems. Pic: Biome

Ola cabs seized, fines imposed

Citing that cab aggregator Ola has failed to renew its licence that expired in June, RTO officials have temporarily seized the vehicles of hundreds of Ola cab drivers and fined them Rs 5,000. Tanveer Pasha, president of Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers and Owners Association, questioned the penalty on drivers for the company’s mistake. He said drivers had no idea about Ola’s license renewal.

Source: Deccan Herald

Airport 100% water positive

Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has become 100% water positive – it now replenishes more water than it consumes. The airport had developed 315 recharge pits on its campus to collect and harness rainwater. This led to KIA reducing it dependency on municipal water, and achieving a water positivity index of 1.37.

Sources from the airport operator BIAL (Bangalore International Airport Limited), said they have initiated a series of projects to improve water resources by way of groundwater recharge, lake recharge, and integrated management of liquid and solid waste.

Source: The New Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Read more: Bengaluru’s “other” water bodies shelter rich biodiversity, but are fast vanishing

Candlelight march for Stan Swamy

On Wednesday, members of various institutions and civil society organisations carried out a silent candlelight march on Museum Road to demand justice for the late Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy. Organised by the Jesuit Provincial of South Asia, the event was held to urge the government to defend democracy, to repeal repressive laws like the sedition law and UAPA, and to restore citizens’ right to dissent.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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