Bengaluru Buzz: High COVID count in 4 wards | Complaints against officials on potholes…and more

High COVID count in four wards, BBMP's survey results out on comorbidities, police complaints on potholes - read our roundup of this week's news.

High COVID count in four wards

Four BBMP wards – Koramangala, Hagadur, Bellandur and Begur – have high COVID counts, reporting around 25 cases a day. The reason is said to be the increased influx of migrants, who had not been tested properly at railway and bus stations, said a civic health official.

BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said they are monitoring the situation in the four wards and are continuing surveillance and genome sequencing to check for any new strain. Of 286 cases reported in the state on Thursday, 169 were from Bengaluru Urban district. However, active case count in the district continues to plummet; over 6,000 people are currently receiving treatment at various city facilities.

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

Diabetes biggest comorbidity in city

A survey by the BBMP found that diabetes is the most prevalent comorbidity in Bengaluru. The survey covered over 16 lakh individuals across 6.37 lakh households, in 54 wards. Launched as a preventive measure against a possible third wave of COVID, the survey included questions on health conditions and vaccination.

Of the respondents who had comorbidities, 50.44% had diabetes, followed by 37.35% with hypertension. About 2.9% suffer from hypothyroidism, and 2.12% from heart disease. Meanwhile, the National Programming on Control of Diabetes shows that 59,632 patients with diabetes and hypertension were newly added in Karnataka in just the six months between April and September 2021. Doctors say that 35-40% of the new patients had contracted COVID, and that COVID could increase the risk of diabetes.

The BBMP survey has challenged the Palike’s claims of having vaccinated 85% of citizens with at least one dose. Among the respondents, only 68% were vaccinated once and 35% twice. Only 3% of the surveyed population had been affected by COVID.

The government will start to vaccinate children after the Centre approves prioritising children with comorbidities, said Health and Medical Education Minister Sudhakar.

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

Read More: “Revamp the entire system of road repairs – Why wait for rains?”

AAP’s pothole complaints against BBMP officials

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has filed around 75 police complaints against former corporators and BBMP officials, holding them responsible for the city’s pothole menace. The complaints were based on 1,000 public responses to AAP’s call for identification of potholes.

Meanwhile, having missed multiple deadlines, the BBMP hopes to fill potholes on 100 km of roads in the next 30 days. A recent analysis by the BBMP’s Road Infrastructure Department had suggested that almost 75 out of the 390 major roads have potholes, spread across 1,114 km. BBMP hopes to fix at least half the roads in a month. BBMP engineers said they started work on October 20 but their pace was inconsistent due to rains.

Source: Deccan Herald

Recalibrating auto meters delayed

A day after the Regional Transport Authority revised auto-rickshaw fares in the city, the Department of Legal Metrology said it would need three to six months to recalibrate meters as per the new charges. Only eight service providers are licensed to recalibrate them, said an official.

parked auto-rickshaws
Auto fares are revised but the meters are not yet fully recalibrated. File Pic: Lucy Baker

The Department of Legal Metrology also said that only 75,000 of the estimated 1.45 to 1.75 lakh auto-rickshaws in the city ply with approved digital fare meters. Hence, more than half the autorickshaws in the city may be operating illegally.

Source: Deccan Herald

Widespread rains

Bengaluru saw widespread rains due to the formation of cyclonic depression over the Bay of Bengal, which moved towards the Tamil Nadu coast. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a yellow alert for the district on November 11 and 12. In addition to light to moderate spells of rain, an unusual cold wave swept through the city, with minimum temperature of 18 degrees celsius all through Thursday. The closure of the flooded Chennai airport forced the diversion of 13 flights to the KIA on Thursday.

However, rains are likely the reason for the better air quality index (AQI) post Deepavali, according to Ambee, a company that offers hyperlocal data on the environment.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald, The Hindu

Read More: Hassled by money lenders and police, Bengaluru’s auto drivers live in poverty

EU support for waste management

A project named ‘Waste solutions for a circular economy in India’, funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of the Environment and Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), will support the BBMP in setting up a low-carbon solid waste management system. The project will provide BBMP with technical and financial aid in setting up new plants, revamping the current ones, and in opening new compost facilities and bio-methanation plants.

Source: Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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