Bengaluru Buzz: Riots in east B’luru | Public consultation on PRR | Film city in Hessarghatta…and more

Riots in east Bengaluru, government attempts to push through controversial projects, new plans for COVID management - read more in our weekly news roundup.

Riots, curfew in East Bengaluru

Violence broke out in DJ Halli and adjoining areas in east Bengaluru on Tuesday night after an inflammatory post about Islam on Facebook. Three were killed and three others injured in police firing. Rioting by as many as 2,000 on the streets was brought under control. Section 144 and curfew was imposed in DJ Halli, KG Halli and Kaval Byrasandra.

The inflammatory Facebook post was put up by P Naveen, nephew of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. The police is interrogating Naveen. About 146 people, including a few local leaders of the SDPI (Social Democratic Party of India) were arrested. Around 30 cases have been filed by local residents whose vehicles and houses were damaged.

Residents of two adjacent apartment complexes on Shampur Main Road accused the police of arbitrarily picking up youth over the violence on Tuesday night. Residents said around 200 policemen barged into the apartment complexes, broke open the doors and randomly picked up about 20 men. Police sources said they were picked up on suspicion and were being questioned.

Naveen’s mother said she was saved by local Muslim residents. A group of Muslim youth had also formed a human chain around a local temple to save it from arsonists.

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

Ambulance services integrated with COVID bed allocation

Ambulance services for COVID-19 has now been integrated with BBMP’s hospital bed management system. Once the zonal control room has allocated a bed to the patient, it can also reserve an ambulance.

The ambulance driver will then get an SMS on where to pick up the patient. After dropping the patient at the hospital, the driver updates the control room and this information gets updated in the system. This process would help BBMP understand if the hospital has admitted the patient yet or not. The city has 665 ambulances catering to COVID patients.

BBMP, with the help of a few community organisations, has launched the ‘Bengaluru Local COVID-19 Awareness, Response and Emergency Sahaya’ (BL-CARES) website. The new system will have volunteers at the booth level to monitor residents’ heath, and to help in contact tracing and quarantine management. Citizens can register to volunteer, through the website. Bengaluru is still struggling with contact tracing of COVID patients though there’s been some improvement over the previous weeks, officials at the State COVID War Room said.

Meanwhile, state government ordered that Remdesivir, a drug used in all government hospitals for COVID treatment, can now be used in private hospitals too.

Source: Indian Express | Deccan Herald | The Hindu

Protest against public consultation on PRR

The BDA (Bengaluru Development Authority) will hold a public consultation on the PRR (Peripheral Ring Road) project on August 18. However, the civic group CfB (Citizens for Bengaluru) wants the State Pollution Control Board to cancel the public consultation and scrap the project’s current EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) report. A new EIA needs to be prepared since the proposed road alignment has been changed, they said.

CfB said PRR has been proposed without due process and proper public consultation. It would cost Rs 15,000 crore, and require felling of 33,000 trees. The road would be 65 kms long, covering water bodies, catchment areas and reserved forests, they said.

Meanwhile, nearly 500 trees, many over 30 to 50 years old, have been felled to widen a road to the airport from Nelamangala, via Madure. The State Forest Department had given the green signal for the project in May. This stretch is part of the 10-road widening and development project proposed by the KRDCL (Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited).

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Low-key Independence Day celebrations

The 74th Independence Day celebrations on August 15 are low key at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground. There are no cultural programmes or aerial flower showers, but 75 corona warriors and 25 citizens who recovered from COVID are special invitees. The guest list is limited to 500 invitees, including senior officials, defence personnel and elected representatives.

Many schools are celebrating virtually. Some are even conducting drawing, singing, quiz and speech competitions.

Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald

Plan for film city in Hessarghatta

Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan on Thursday said that a film city would be established on 150 acres of land at Hessarghatta. He said that the Animal Husbandry Department has 450 acres of land at Hessarghatta, of which 150 acres would be earmarked for the project.

Conservationists slammed the move, saying it would mean disaster for the area’s ecosystem. They pointed out that the area has 140 species of birds such as the greater spotted eagle, along with the lilac silverline butterfly and the slender loris. It is also Arkavati river’s catchment area. Activists plan to approach the courts against the government move.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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