Bengaluru Buzz: Hijab row | COVID restrictions extended … and more

Two educational institutions in Malleswaram saw arguments over students wearing hijab. Read more in our weekly news roundup.

Hijab row

On Wednesday, the police resolved arguments related to hijab in a government college and a private PUC in Malleswaram. In some sensitive parts of the city, police told students to follow the interim court order banning all religious attire including hijab in educational institutions. Advocates for the petitioners questioning the hijab ban, told the court on Tuesday that the interim order has been “grossly misused” and amounts to the suspension of fundamental rights.

On Thursday, Karnataka government ordered that students in schools managed by the minority welfare department, including the Maulana Azad Model English Medium schools should also not wear hijab or saffron scarfs. In degree colleges that opened on Wednesday, students are free to wear the dress of their choice, as they have no dress code.

Meanwhile, the state government collected data on Muslim students from private and government educational institutions, especially from 1st to 10th standard.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

Prohibitory orders till Feb 28, COVID cases fall

Prohibitory orders to contain COVID have been extended till February 28, as per the order of the state executive committee, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority. All rallies and congregations are restricted. Marriage functions with more than 300 people in open spaces and 200 people in closed places are not allowed. Sports complexes and stadiums shall operate with 50% of capacity.

Bengaluru’s active caseload has now fallen below the 10,000-mark, standing at 9,955 cases on Wednesday. The city’s share of the active caseload was a massive part of the State’s active case numbers throughout the third wave — even more than what it recorded in the previous two waves of the pandemic.

On Thursday, 769 fresh cases and seven deaths were reported from Bengaluru Urban. Passengers from Kerala and Goa entering the State via any mode of transport, no longer need to carry a negative RT-PCR report.

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

Read more: What wastewater surveillance in Bengaluru reveals about COVID-19 trend

Hearing on BBMP polls likely

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would look into submissions for urgent hearing on the BBMP Council elections. The Council’s term had ended in September 2020, but the election was stayed by an order of the SC. In December 2020, the then-SC Chief Justice S A Bobde had stayed a High Court order to hold the election within six weeks.

Meanwhile, the BBMP is considering taking disciplinary action against nodal officers who fail to hold regular ward committee meetings.

Source: Indian Express, The News Minute, Deccan Herald

Chunchaghatta lake restored

Upstream of the Sarakki Lake at JP Nagar, the 18-acre Chunchaghatta Lake was rejuvenated by the BBMP for Rs 2.7 crore recently, under the Bengaluru Mission 2022 programme. Twenty four more water bodies will be developed under the project.

The lake bed had previously been encroached and also used for garbage dumping. Though the lake has been fenced, locals point to the broken fence along the residential premises nearby. A graveyard, a temple and a few apartments had been built close to the lake boundary.

Source: Indian Express

Read more: Recklessness choking pretty Chunchaghatta lake

Garbage contractors may strike work

The daily garbage collection in the city might be hit, as garbage contractors with the BBMP have called for an indefinite stir due to delay in payment for seven months in a row. S N Balasubramanian, president of the BBMP Garbage Contractors’ Association, said that over Rs 248 crore is overdue from the BBMP.

BBMP's garbage collection vehicles
Door-to-door collection might get hit. File Pic

Balasubramanian said that the contractors employ over 10,000 workers for door-to-door garbage collection, and have been struggling to pay them.

Source: Deccan Herald

Opposition to BDA preparing Master Plan 2041

The NGO Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) questioned the authority of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to prepare the city’s Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2041. BDA had recently floated tenders to select consultants for preparing RMP 2041. After consulting urban planners, resident welfare associations and citizen activists, NBF emphasised that the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee (BMPC) should prepare the master plan, as per the 74th Constitutional Amendment.

Meanwhile, Vijayan Menon of the Citizens’ Action Forum said the BDA and Government of Karnataka are only wasting taxpayers’ resources on masterplan exercises which are doomed for failure, due to structural, constitutional and legal issues.

Source: Indian Express

Donation for medical college at IISc

Philanthropist couples Susmita and Subroto Bagchi (co-founder of Mindtree) as well as Radha and N S Parthasarathy have collectively donated Rs 425 crore to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), to set up a postgraduate medical college and an 800-bed multi-speciality hospital on its Bengaluru campus. This is considered to be the largest single private donation received by IISc.

The hospital will be named the Bagchi-Parthasarathy Hospital. The academic centrepiece would be an integrated MD-PhD programme aimed at creating a new breed of physician-scientists, who will pursue clinical research for new treatments and healthcare solutions. They will be trained simultaneously in the hospital as well as in the science and engineering laboratories at IISc.

Source: Indian Express, The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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