Bengaluru Buzz: More COVID restrictions | Serosurvey in city | Property tax penalty … and more

Catch up on news from the city this week, in our roundup

Prohibitory orders till August 16th

Bengaluru City police has imposed prohibitory orders, based on guidelines from the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority. The order, issued to contain the spread of COVID, prohibits the assembly of more than four people in public places. Bus stands, Metro stations, railway stations and airports are exempted. The curfew will be in place till 6 am on August 16. Bengaluru Police has invoked Section 144 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Those violating the orders will be punished under the Disaster Management Act and Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act.

On Thursday, 414 COVID-positive cases and five deaths were reported from Bengaluru Urban district. So far, the district has had the highest number of positive cases in the state, at 12,29,340. However, Bengaluru’s COVID positivity rate is currently less than 1%, so there is no cause for worry, assured BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta. 

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

Serosurvey launched

BBMP launched a serosurvey this Wednesday. It will be conducted among 2,000 residents, of whom 30% will be under 18, 50% aged 18-45, and 20% aged above 45 years. Thousand blood samples each will be collected from vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Blood serum samples and throat swabs will be collected from individuals identified through a door-to-door survey conducted by BBMP’s ANMs (auxiliary nurse midwives), ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) and laboratory technicians. BBMP officials said that the list of participants has been prepared already, and that the serosurvey would be completed within a week.

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old man from Bommanahalli was found to have contracted the Delta Plus variant of COVID. He is the fourth patient with Delta Plus identified in the state.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

New hospital, precautions against third wave

Ahead of an anticipated third wave, the state government is building a 180-bed hospital, which can be dismantled, near Byrasandra. The hospital will have 74 ICU beds and 80 oxygenated beds, besides an emergency triaging section.

BBMP has asked apartment associations to avoid group activities in common areas. The Palike collected 1,736 swabs at nine bus stations and railway stations until Wednesday afternoon, from passengers returning from Maharashtra and Kerala without negative RT-PCR certificates.

Meanwhile, visa processing, mainly for students heading to universities in countries such as Canada, the UK, the US and Thailand, has resumed in the city.

Source: Deccan Herald, Times of India

Read more: Third wave of the pandemic: Is Bengaluru prepared?

Citizens decry property tax penalty

BBMP has served notices to 78,500 property owners for underpaying property tax, and has not given any waiver in penalty or interest. Property owners say they had not received alerts on reclassification of zones, and had erroneously paid tax amounts corresponding to a different zone.

Appartment complex in Bengaluru
BBMP has been levying penalties for the underpayment of property tax. Pic: Wikimedia commons

Several citizens have received notices stating that tax zone reclassification was done in 2016-17, and they now have to pay penalty and interest for not updating their records before paying tax under the SAS (Self-Assessment Scheme). While many citizens pointed out that they were not informed, civic officials said that a gazette notification had been issued in 2016 itself.

Source: Bangalore Mirror, The Hindu

Vrishbhavathi Valley survey

With cases being filed in the High Court over the pollution levels in Vrishabhavathi valley, the Revenue Department and Bengaluru District Commissioner’s Office have started a survey of all the properties along the valley. The survey will map all properties and identify encroachments. The entire drain network will also be mapped, with all the water inlet and outlet points.

The report will be completed in 15 days, and shared with the government and High Court, an official from the DC’s office said.

Source: The New Indian Express

Read more: On Infrastructure, urban governance and the narratives in the media

HC order on footpath encroachments flouted

The High Court took exception to government agencies’ failure to obey its order to remove encroachments from footpaths. On April 21, the court had directed the agencies to enforce the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, the Karnataka Traffic Control Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and initiate criminal proceedings against footpath encroachers. Court specifically noted the authorities’ failure in ensuring no vehicles were parked on footpaths.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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