Bengaluru Buzz: H1N1 virus scare | Elevated corridor plan revived | Vacuum cleaner for roads…and more

With state government seeming to revive the elevated corridors proposal, activists are threatening to restart protests. Read more on this, and other news from the city this week, in our roundup.

SAP offices closed after H1N1 cases 

After a couple of employees in the German software group SAP were tested positive for the H1N1 virus in Bengaluru, sources in the Indian arm of the company said Thursday that they had shut down all national offices for sanitisation. SAP India offices in Bengaluru, Gurgaon and Mumbai have been temporarily closed and employees have been asked to work from home.

As per WHO (World Health Organisation), H1N1 symptoms include fever, chills and sore throat, like seasonal influenza. However, it is characterised by higher fatality rates among healthy young adults, as well as greater incidence of viral pneumonia.

SAP is sanitising contact areas such as lift surfaces, knobs and taps, is placing hand sanitisers and sterilising the food court. RMZ, which operates the business park, issued a circular to all its tenants on the measures they could take to prevent the spread of the virus. Sources from the health department indicated that the fear is an overreaction due to the coronavirus dread, and that there was no need to panic.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

BBMP mulls vacuum cleaners for streets

BBMP is planning to use vacuum cleaners to keep streets clean. Trial runs will begin at Mayor Goutham Kumar’s ward Jogupalya, and at BJP corporator Padmanabha Reddy’s ward Kacharakanahalli. The machine does not run on motor; pourakarmikas will have to push it manually.

BBMP will have to spend Rs 48 crore to equip 16,000 pourakarmikas with the machines, priced at Rs 30,000 each. BBMP claims the machines would make pourakarmikas’ job easier.

Meanwhile, garbage burning remains rampant in the city, although the practice was banned in 2017 based on Section 19(5) of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. Some residents say they are forced to burn the waste, because in spite of their complaints, BBMP does not collect garbage that has become the source of diseases like dengue.

Source: Deccan Herald | Bangalore Mirror

Government slammed for elevated corridors plan

MLAs and ministers from the city are lobbying for initiating Phase I of the elevated corridors project – the East-West corridor between K R Puram and Yeshwantpur, at the cost of over Rs 5,000 crore. The idea is championed mainly by the newly-inducted ministers B A Basavaraja and S T Somashekhar, who had defected from the Congress.

The ruling BJP had opposed the project earlier, when Kumaraswamy government was in power. BJP had joined citizens in protests against the proposed steel flyover in 2016 as well as the elevated corridors in 2019.

Now citizen activists are threatening to protest if the government goes ahead with the elevated corridors project. They plan to meet Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to voice their opposition before he presents the state budget on March 5.

Meanwhile, BJP MLAs  met Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan on Thursday to discuss the project. They are also likely to meet the CM to explore budget allocation for the project. Earlier, they had held discussions with KRDCL (Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited) officials at Vikasa Soudha.

Source: The Hindu | Indian Express

101 families to be shifted temporarily to make way for Metro work

To clear the way for Metro construction, 101 families at Lakkasandra will be relocated to temporary shelters. The BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) needs six acres to construct makeshift structures, so that it can build a casting yard for the underground line from Dairy Circle to Nagawara under Phase II.

The families will be shifted to Kurubarahalli in Thavereke Hobli on Magadi Road. The cost of rehabilitation, including the setting up of temporary shelters and other facilities like drinking water, electricity and sanitary facilities, will be borne by the BMRCL.

One resident, V C K Murthy, said that the residents are mostly construction labourers who’ve lived here for over 15 years and that they hail from other parts of Karnataka. The residents claim that 120 families will be affected, not 101.

Source: The Hindu

Policewoman mannequins to be deployed

The Bengaluru City Police now plans to deploy 50 life-sized policewoman mannequins at places frequented by women. This move follows the installation of 200 mannequins by the Traffic Police to curb traffic violations.

The policewomen mannequins will be installed in crowded spaces like shopping malls, movie theatres and shopping streets. They will be outfitted with police uniforms, reflector jackets, boots, hats and masks to make them resemble real-life policewomen.

City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said this would “help women feel safe in public places”. Everyday the mannequins will be replaced by real police, so that people would not ignore them.

Source: The Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]


  1. Brahmanyan says:

    I do not understand what more expensive experiments are planned by BBMP. Cleaning of Bangalore is handed over to Contractors, who depute their staff and three wheelers which are inadequate for the job. I have not seen any supervisory staff or elected Councillors inspect the job, at least in my Road !

  2. Jeremy King says:

    Its always better to take precautions and be safe than sorry. Considering that most of the workforce being young also tend to have very young children and sometimes aged parents living with them whose immune systems may not be able to withstand highly virulent and deadly Influenza strains.
    If there is an outbreak of something like COVID-19 in a place like Bengaluru, people living there are totally screwed. There is zero hope of the Govt. being able to do what China has done for containment.

  3. Srini says:

    Vacuum cleaners at 30k each – what a scam. Wonder if it will be effective.

  4. NA says:

    Ref: As per prajavani Metro edition of Feb24 2020:
    If small electric shuttles are provided between metro station to destination then it can reduce 17 lack vehicles.
    There are 2 lack auto’s, if they are converted to electric then it can reduce 7.4 lack ton co2.
    Last mile connectivity can be explored by BMTC – this will reduce traffic bottleneck in so many places.
    Investing on such preventive steps can help better than investing on Vacuum cleaners.

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