Bengaluru Buzz: Green crackers for Deepavali | No COVID spike from RR Nagar bypoll | White-topping lags… and more

Catch up on news from the city this week, in our roundup.
Only green crackers are allowed in Bengaluru this Deepavali. Pic: Pxfuel

Green crackers allowed during Deepavali

Though Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had earlier announced a firecracker ban, on November 6, the state government specified that green crackers could be burst. The National Green Tribunal has also said that only green crackers can be allowed in Bengaluru, which is a ‘non-attainment city’ in terms of air quality.

According to the records maintained by the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), Bengaluru is polluted beyond the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards. NGT also said it might have to consider issuing directions to prohibit firecrackers if air quality goes beyond the threshold. Bursting green crackers would be allowed for two hours during Deepavali – from 8 pm to 10 pm.

BBMP has identified playgrounds where retailers can set up temporary stalls to sell green firecrackers. Seven playgrounds with provision for 68 temporary shops have been identified in the South zone, and nine playgrounds with 28 shops in Yelahanka zone. Another 12 playgrounds have been identified in Mahadevapura zone, one each in Bommanahalli and Dasarahalli zones, four in West zone, and 23 in the East zone.

Source: The Hindu

India Love Project website launched

The ‘India Love Project’ (ILP) features stories of love and marriage outside the shackles of faith, caste, ethnicity and gender. Founded by Priya Ramani, Samar Halarnkar and Niloufer Venkatraman, the website was launched around a fortnight ago.

The project’s Instagram and Facebook handles feature 150-word stories and pictures of couples. Couples share the struggles, fights and prejudice they faced to get married.

Source: The Hindu

Inter- and intra-state bus services pick up in festive season

Deepavali has spurred ticket sales in the online ticketing platform RedBus two weeks before November 14. About 60% of bookings are for intra-state travel, and the rest are for interstate travel. The platform is witnessing the most demand from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) has decided to operate 1,000 additional buses. From Bengaluru, buses will be operated to Shivamogga, Hassan, Mangaluru, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Hubballi and other destinations. The additional services will help passengers travelling on November 13 and 14.

After more than seven-and-a-half months, the KSRTC on Wednesday resumed services to Tamil Nadu as well. TN government has issued an order permitting inter-state bus services for six days — from November 11 to 16 — without e-registration.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Hindu

Bypolls did not cause COVID spike: BBMP

BBMP health officials said that the bypolls in Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly constituency did not lead to spike in COVID cases. As per the advice of the COVID TAC (Technical Advisory Committee) of the state government, officials involved in the bypoll process, symptomatic individuals, elderly and those with comorbidities were tested for COVID in two phases. Overall, 86 of the 14,727 people tested were positive. This makes the TPR 0.57%. In comparison, the State’s TPR was much higher – 2.3% as on November 10.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court asked the state government to specify whether it wanted to prosecute politicians who violated rules on wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

Source: The New Indian Express | Deccan Herald

Private medical and dental college fees hiked

The State government will increase the fees in private medical and dental colleges for the 2020-21 academic year. While the fees for government quota seats in private colleges was raised by 15%, those for institutional quota seats has been increased by 25%.

Hence, the fees in private medical colleges this year is Rs 1,28,746 and Rs 9,81,956 for government quota and institutional quota seats respectively. Meanwhile, the fee in private dental colleges stands at Rs 83,356 and Rs 6,66,023 in government quota and institutional quota seats respectively.

There has been no change in the fees in government medical and dental colleges.

Source: The Hindu

BBMP removes 297 illegal hoardings

The BBMP has removed 297 illegal flexes or hoardings from 208 localities. Recently, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad had issued an order to zonal joint commissioners and zonal engineers to conduct a survey of illegal hoardings including the iron structures that are used for advertisements. Officials had to prepare a list of commercial hoardings along with details of tax and penalties, and FIRs registered.

Section 138 (Removal of unauthorised advertisements) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act is being used for the removal of illegal advertisements after issuing a show-cause notice to the concerned persons or agencies.

Source: The Indian Express

Only 7 out of 73 roads white-topped

The BBMP seems to be lagging in completing white-topping projects. Of the 73 roads identified for white-topping, only seven have been completed so far. Many road stretches have been half-done, while work is yet to start on 30 roads. BBMP had taken up new roads for white-topping in Phase II, without completing the roads identified in the first phase.

Source: Bangalore Mirror

93 IISc scientists among global top-rankers

A new list of 2% of the top scientists worldwide has included 93 from the IISc (Indian Institute of Science). These scientists are among 124 identified from Karnataka, and 1,494 from India overall. The list was prepared by a team at Stanford University, and published in the journal PLOS Biology.

The full list contains over one lakh scientists worldwide who are ranked based on the number of research papers published plus their lifetime contribution to specific fields of research.

Source: Deccan Herald

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