Bengaluru Buzz: Farmers protest | Daily COVID cases cross 4000 | App to track garbage vehicles…and more

As COVID cases rise further, oxygen supply falls short, health workers strike, and BBMP lags in hospital inspections. Read more in our weekly roundup.

Farmers protest, call for bandh on Sept 28

Hundreds of farmers blocked major highways and state highways in and around Bengaluru on Friday morning to protest the amendment to Land Revenue Act and the APMC Act passed in Parliament.

The protest and blocking of roads was called by Ryot, Dalit, Labourers Aikya Horata Samithi – a collective of 35 farmers’ groups, Dalit and trade unions. It affected the movement of regular traffic at Nayandahalli and Goragunte Palya junction. Police personnel were deployed at many places to prevent complete blockade of key routes. Hundreds of farmers courted arrest and were taken away in buses.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Aikya Horata Samithi called for a Karnataka bandh on September 28. Dalit organisations, labour unions, private taxi owners’ association, lorry owners’ association and auto unions in Bengaluru have backed the bandh call. 

Source: Deccan Herald | The Times of India | Indian Express

COVID cases cross 4000, health workers protest

With 4,192 fresh infections reported on Thursday, Bengaluru crossed the 4,000-mark for the first time. This was the highest number of COVID cases among all Indian cities on the day. Bengaluru was followed by Delhi which reported 3,832 cases.

However, the indefinite strike by the Karnataka State Health and Medical Education Department Contractual Employees’ Forum and the Karnataka AIDS Prevention Society Contract Workers’ Association has partially hit COVID surveillance, testing and reporting. Over 30,000 employees affiliated to these associations abstained from work starting Thursday, demanding pay parity and incentives. While the government had announced COVID incentives for doctors and paramedical staff working under the NHM (National Health Mission), it had excluded a majority of staffers on COVID duty.

Meanwhile, ASHA workers called off their protest on Wednesday after Health minister B Sriramulu met the protesters at Vidhana Soudha and promised to look into their demand for a fixed salary.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu | Indian Express

BBMP lags in inspection of COVID hospitals

BBMP is way behind authorities in other districts in inspecting COVID care facilities as mandated by the Supreme Court and the state expert committee. There have been non-compliances by hospitals, such as delay in handling the bodies of COVID patients, not following COVID management protocols, dearth of medical staff, absence of Remdesivir injections, absence of dormitories with toilets for staff and patient attendants, etc.

A 11-member BBMP expert committee formed on August 1 has not yet made any headway. A member said they only got to know about the committee 10 days ago. Whereas, expert committees in other districts have inspected half a dozen government and private hospitals, and have submitted their reports to the state expert committee.

Meanwhile, the demand for medical oxygen has shot up by over 150 metric tonnes in the last one month. The current demand is nearly 600 metric tonnes per day, while availability is only 375 metric tonnes per day.

The High Court on Friday sought the state government’s assistance to conduct RAT (Rapid Antigen Tests) outside courts, so that witnesses and accused (on bail) can be allowed to enter courts. The bench asked the state government to explore the possibility of deputing mobile testing units outside courts as hearings are to resume soon.

Source: Deccan Herald | The Hindu

BBMP to take action against four private hospitals

The BBMP is all set to file FIRs against four private hospitals for allegedly failing to comply with the state government’s directions to reserve 50% of their beds for COVID patients. BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, on Thursday, announced that he has written to the jurisdictional police to file cases under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act.

The hospitals are Republic Hospital, Langford Gardens; Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road; Nu Hospital, Padmanabhanagar; and Vikram Hospital, Millers Road.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

App to track garbage collection vehicles

Garbage collection vehicles can be tracked with a new mobile app. BBMP Commissioner Manjunatha Prasad said citizens can use it to track the location and time of arrival of the garbage auto-tipper. If the vehicles miss some houses, residents can register a complaint.

The ‘Our Garbage, Our Responsibility’ project also envisions opening new compost units in every ward to turn wet waste into compost. The civic body will release manuals on citizens’ responsibility. Households that do not segregate waste even after repeated counselling will be levied a fine amounting to Rs 1000 per day, while individuals found littering in public places may be arrested.

Source: Deccan Herald | Indian Express

‘Key conspirator’ in riots arrested

The NIA (National Investigation Agency) on Thursday conducted searches at 30 locations and arrested a “key conspirator” in the violence at DJ Halli and KG Halli. The accused, identified as Sayed Saddiq Ali, 44, allegedly attacked the KG Halli police station on August 11, after violence broke out due to a social media post. A recovery agent in a bank, he has been absconding since then.

The NIA took up the investigation according to the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The CCB (Central Crime Branch) was investigating the case earlier and had invoked the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act), 1967, based on evidence.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Document verification for CET counselling

For the first time, candidates who have completed uploading documents online for the CET (Common Entrance Test) counselling will have to download the verification slip after their documents are verified by the KEA (Karnataka Examinations Authority).

Some of the documents that need to be verified include marks cards, study certificate, and caste and income certificates for those claiming reservation. Around 50,000 students have already uploaded their documents, the process for which began on September 7. KEA will allow a second option from September 24 to September 27.

Meanwhile, Bangalore University has rescheduled the undergraduate exams to be held on September 25 and 28 to October 6 and 4 respectively, due to the bandh call given by farmers’ organisations.

Source: The Hindu | Indian Express | Deccan Herald

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]


  1. MN Rao says:

    How rich the farmer leaders have become for organising protests against amendment of land revenue act and the new bill permitting farmers to sell their goods freely anywhere bypassing APMC ?

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