Bengaluru Buzz: Audit of city roads | First e-bus to arrive soon … and more

State government is planning a road audit in Bengaluru so as to hold officials accountable. Read more of this week's news in our roundup

City roads to be audited: Govt

State government has decided to conduct a road maintenance audit in Bengaluru to fix responsibility on officials for poor road conditions. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday informed the State Legislative Council that a detailed audit of main, arterial and sub-arterial roads will be undertaken. Bommai added that administrative approval had been given in 2015-16 for spending Rs 20,060 crore on Bengaluru roads, but not a single road is free of potholes or cracks.

Meanwhile, B R Ravikanthe Gowda, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said that traffic-calming measures like rumblers and surface markers were more difficult to introduce in BBMP’s new concrete roads. He added that inadequate lighting, lack of proper direction boards and road markings, were the reasons for a large number of road accidents in the city. After a gap of almost 19 months, Bengaluru Traffic Police has now decided to use alcometers to check drunk-driving.

Source: The New Indian Express, The Times of India, Deccan Herald, Bangalore Mirror

Warehouse explosion killed two

An explosion in the warehouse of the Sri Pathrakali Ammani Lorry Service in New Tharagupet area of central Bengaluru killed two and wounded four on Thursday. The explosion is suspected to have been triggered by firecrackers stored in the warehouse.

The explosion shattered buildings within 200 m. While the scale of damage was severe, total strangers helped panicking children and elders in the neighbourhood. The locality is part of old Bengaluru’s Pete area, which has just been returning to normalcy after months of COVID restrictions.

The police have ruled out LPG leaks or electrical short circuits as reason for the explosion. The proprietor of the godown was arrested under the Explosive Substances Act and Explosives Act.

Source: Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express, The Times of India

Read more: A guide to fire safety in hospitals

Reduce gap between Covishield doses: Advisory committee

Karnataka’s technical advisory committee on COVID has asked the state government to write to the Centre requesting that the gap between Covishield doses be reduced from 84 days to a month, just as in January when the vaccine was introduced. The committee says this would broaden the spread of vaccination, to prepare for a possible third wave caused by virus variants. In Bengaluru Urban district, 82% have taken the first dose of vaccine, and around 40% have taken both doses.

The government has readied 25,870 oxygen-supported beds and 502 paediatric ventilators as the TAC had suggested that children would be more at risk in case of a third wave.

Hospital beds
State government has been readying hospital infrastructure in anticipation of third COVID wave. Representational image:

Meanwhile, as many healthcare workers are getting re-infected and their antibodies waning, approval for the booster or third shot for them is likely to come in a week’s time.

Source: Indian Express, The Times of India, The New Indian Express

Action against tax defaulters: BBMP

BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, on Thursday, instructed officials to issue notices to property tax defaulters in every zone of BBMP and collect tax immediately.

About 69 property owners owe more than Rs 25 lakh each as property tax to the BBMP. The Palike has been unable to recover the arrears despite sending multiple notices to them. The defaulters include educational institutions, real estate developers, restaurants and even BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation) depots.

Source: The New Indian Express, Bangalore Mirror

Read more: BBMP’s plan to fix property tax gaps and loopholes

Private schools’ association to support Bharat Bandh

KAMS (Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka), the largest association of private schools in the state, will show solidarity with farmers’ call for a Bharat Bandh on September 27. The staff will wear green clothes and/or green badges, to support the demand for repealing Centre’s three farm laws. However, schools will remain open.

Source: Indian Express

City’s first e-bus to arrive on Sunday

Bengaluru’s first electric bus under Smart City funds is expected to arrive on Sunday. NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) and JBM Auto had received the contract in February, to provide 90 non-AC midi (9-metre long) e-buses under the Bengaluru Smart City project. These vehicles, with a passenger capacity of 30 to 35, will be deployed for feeder services at Kengeri Metro station.

Source: The Times of India

Petrol and diesel prices steady

Petrol and diesel prices remained steady in the country for the 18th successive day on September 23. The last revision was on 5th September. In Bengaluru, petrol now costs Rs 104.70 per litre and diesel costs Rs 94.04 per litre.

Source: Indian Express

Bengaluru student designs vegan food logo

Kruti Manish Rathore, a 22-year-old MSc student in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Mount Carmel College, designed a logo for vegan food, which has been adopted by the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). The logo will now appear on all vegan food products.

Source: Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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