Bengaluru Buzz: First electric bus | Building survey … and more

After the collapse of two dilapidated buildings, BBMP has decided to survey such buildings across the city. Read more of this week's news in our roundup.

First electric bus unveiled

Bengaluru’s first electric bus, nine-metre-long and non-AC, was unveiled by Transport Minister B Sriramulu. The bus can run 120 km on a single charge, and carry 33 passengers. The BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) had got the e-bus built by the Uttar Pradesh-based JBM Auto Limited. 

This is the first of 90 electric buses to be inducted by BMTC by December. Each bus will cost Rs 90 lakh, of which about Rs 60 lakh is contributed by grants from the Smart Cities Mission. Over the next three years, the fleet might expand to 500.

The first e-bus will undergo trial runs once the Transport Department gives clearance. Passengers will have to wait till November to travel in these buses.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald, The Hindu

60 college students test COVID-positive

A residential college on the outskirts of the city was shut after 60 out of 195 tested students were found to be COVID-positive. Only one student with high fever was admitted to the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, whereas the remaining 59 students were asymptomatic and quarantined. Disinfectants were sprayed in the hostel and classrooms.

But panic ensued as parents came to take their children home. District officials said the college would be closed for 14 days and turned into a containment zone.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Read more: Broken footpath puts students at risk

Prohibitory orders extended

City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant extended prohibitory orders till 6 am of October 11. Night curfew will remain in force from 9 pm to 5 am. Assembly of more than four persons in public places is not permitted. Public places like bus stands, metro stations, railway stations and airports are exempt from the order.

The Technical Advisory Committee for COVID has listed out guidelines on COVID-appropriate behaviour for two major events to be held in October, as Bengaluru registers around 300 cases a day.

To expedite vaccination, civic authorities will set up block and lane-level vaccination centers from October 4 across all 198 wards of the city. The aim is to ensure vaccination of all citizens. Strategies to execute the work have been discussed with ward-level health inspectors, medical officers at primary health centres, doctors, ANMs, and ASHAs.

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

City’s air pollution levels may double in 10 years

Air pollution in Bengaluru is three times above the WHO guidelines, and will double in the next decade if union government expands coal fleet by 28% as planned, as per a report by C40 Cities. This is a network of 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities.

air pollution
As per the C40 Cities report, air pollution in Bengaluru is expected to double in the next decade. Pic: Mayur Channagere

This is because pollution caused by coal plants travels up to 500 km, and 14% of India’s electricity generation from coal happens within 500 km of Bengaluru, the report noted. The expansion could lead to 3,650 premature deaths, 3,410 pre-term births and 4,080 asthma emergency hospital visits over the next decade, the report said.

Source: Deccan Herald

BMTC not increasing trips despite school reopening

Although Classes 6-12 have reopened in full strength from Friday, the BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) is not increasing the number and frequency of buses. It will wait for a few days to assess the demand before deciding on adding schedules. 

Source: The New Indian Express

BBMP to survey dilapidated buildings

After the collapse of two buildings, BBMP has decided to survey dilapidated buildings across the city. In the last survey of 2019, 185 dilapidated buildings were identified, but only 10 were demolished. Zonal joint commissioners and chief engineers have been asked to form a committee, led by the special commissioner of the project department, within just 15 days and conduct the survey.

The fresh survey is supposed to cover government buildings too. This will be followed by a dedicated demolition squad demolishing dilapidated as well as illegal buildings, said BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta.

Source: Indian Express, Deccan Herald

Read More: Documents to check before you buy any property in Bengaluru

Auto-rickshaw fares may rise

Transport Department may increase auto-rickshaw fares, with base fare likely to be raised from Rs 25 to Rs 30. Road Transport Authority sources said that they had a meeting with stakeholders. According to officials, auto fares were last hiked in 2013, and auto-rickshaw unions had requested the increase.

COVID has hit auto-rickshaw drivers hard. At least 30,000 auto-rickshaws were seized by private financiers as the drivers could not pay the EMIs on their vehicles.

Source: Indian Express, Times Now News

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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