Bengaluru Buzz: Over 50% fully vaccinated | Durga Puja guidelines revised … and more

This week, Bengaluru achieved a milestone by covering half its population with both doses of COVID vaccine. Read more of this week's news in our roundup.

50% fully vaccinated, over 10,000 refused jabs

The BBMP crossed a milestone on October 5 by covering 50% its population with both doses of COVID vaccine. In Bengaluru Urban district, 58% have been fully vaccinated. But it is among the few districts in Karnataka to have covered half the population with both doses.

Meanwhile, the BBMP learnt through a block-and-lane-level vaccination survey that about 10,000 people from 4,437 households have refused to get jabbed. They were identified from a survey of 76,373 households. Many from lower-income groups seemed to be afraid of side effects. The most number of unvaccinated households (1,128) were in the South zone, followed by West zone (780).

A study by a team of doctors from Bangalore Baptist Hospital revealed a high seroprevalence of 62.7% in Bengaluru Rural district this July, after the second wave, despite the advantages of low population density and well-ventilated rural landscapes.

Source: The Hindu, Deccan Herald

Greens decry CM’s 81-cr lake revival plan

Environmentalists slam as wasteful Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s Rs 81-crore rejuvenation plan for Mallathahalli lake. The plan involves the construction of a walking path and a children’s park.

Ram Prasad, co-founder of the citizens’ group Friends of Lakes, said that more importance should be given to ecology rather than beautification. He said that when several lakes are not even fenced, there is no rationale for spending Rs 81 crore on one lake. He added that the DPR (detailed project report) should be prepared in consultation with hydrologists and the issue of sewage flow into lakes should be examined.

Source: Indian Express

Read more: How commute can be easy, safe during Metro work on ORR

Durga Puja guidelines revised

BBMP has issued revised guidelines for Durga Puja celebrations. It has removed the four-feet height restriction on Durga idols. It has also allowed the use of drums and musical instruments. But, if organisers wish to install more than one idol in a ward, they should take permission from the BBMP Joint Commissioner and Police. During the Pushpanjali and Sandhi puja time, only 50 people can be allowed in each batch.

Other restrictions have to be followed according to previous government orders. Meanwhile, festive sales are brisk as there is demand again for hand-painted dolls, artifacts, etc.

Source: Indian Express, The New Indian Express

Doctors call off strike

Doctors demanding timely and regular payment of stipend and COVID risk allowance called off their strike after Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar assured them of resolving their issues.

Resident doctors had protested at the BMCRI (Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute) and other government-run medical colleges on Thursday. They were demanding their monthly COVID-risk allowance of Rs 10,000 which hadn’t been paid since May 6. Postgraduate medical students and interns protested near the outpatient department of the BMCRI-affiliated Victoria Hospital, and boycotted elective medical services and outpatient consultations.

The students said that while their academic fees saw a 500% rise in 2019 compared to 2018, their monthly stipend had increased by a mere 50%. Hence they demanded restructuring and reduction of academic fee as well.

Source: The New Indian Express | Deccan Herald

Read more: How to make your apartment fire-safe

HC orders BBMP to ensure quality in pothole-filling work

The High Court of Karnataka directed the BBMP to ensure quality in pothole-filling work so that potholes don’t keep re-appearing. BBMP responded that it had entered into an agreement with an agency for the work, but could not complete its target of filling all potholes due to heavy rainfall over the past two weeks.

Potholes have been leading to accidents and deaths in Bengaluru. File pic

Court was hearing a petition filed by Vijayan Menon and others in 2015. The counsel for the petitioner claimed that BBMP had not complied with the court’s previous orders in the PIL as well. The case was adjourned to November 15.

Source: The Hindu

Classes for UG odd semesters to start from 12th

City-based degree colleges have been directed to start classes for first, third and fifth semesters from October 12. The syllabus for first semester students will be as per the NEP (National Education Policy). Yet, one week before classes start, many colleges have not yet got the new syllabus, and lecturers are worried they don’t have enough time to get acquainted with it.

As per the NEP, students of various undergraduate courses in state-run universities will have an updated assessment pattern. The KSHEC (Karnataka State Higher Education Council) approved the revision by increasing the internal assessment share against end-term exam scores for theory subjects to 40:60 ratio as opposed to 30:70 until now. The ratio for practical subjects, however, is fixed at 50:50.

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

Petrol, diesel prices at all-time high

On October 8, fuel prices shot up to an all-time high. In Bengaluru, petrol was priced at Rs 107.14 and diesel at Rs. 97.77. Last year, on the same date, petrol was priced in the city at Rs. 83.69 and diesel at Rs. 74.63.

Source: Indian Express

Tax raids

Income Tax sleuths on Thursday raided more than 50 places in Karnataka, including in Bengaluru, over tax evasion and amassing wealth from unknown sources of income. Sources said that contractors in the irrigation department and some chartered accountants were raided.

Source: Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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