Bangalore Buzz: new COVID rules | Pourakarmikas on strike | Parents denounce private schools… and more

File Photo: BBMP Commissioner/Facebook

Revised COVID Guidelines

Due to the increase in COVID cases, the state Department of Health and Family Welfare has released revised guidelines for apartment complexes, educational institutions and offices, based on recommendations from the COVID Technical Advisory Committee.

Apartment complexes with three to five cases on a floor are now considered small clusters, and symptomatic individuals on the floor should be tested. If more than five cases are detected, all symptomatic individuals in the block/tower should be tested. And if more than 15 cases are reported, all symptomatic individuals in the complex should be tested. Swimming pools and other recreational areas should be closed until the last patient recovers, after which sites should be disinfected for use. However, towers or floors do not need to be sealed.

Healthy, asymptomatic domestic workers under the age of 60 can enter the compounds, but must wear N-95 masks.

Masks are mandatory in offices and educational institutions. People who are symptomatic should take the RAT test and, if positive, should self-isolate and follow protocols. If RAT is negative, they should take an RT-PCR test, isolate and wait for the results.

Number of COVID hospitalizations more than doubled in the city in 10 days. There were 31 hospitalizations through June 16, which rose to 72 by June 27, a BBMP bulletin said. Although there are 600 to 700 cases a day in the city, most are asymptomatic and isolated at home. BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) Dr KV Trilok Chandra said occupancy of the hospital was limited to general services.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Pourakarmikas on indefinite strike

BBMP pourakarmikas are indefinite strike, demanding the abolition of contractual work and the regularization of all employees. Although the state government ordered the regularization of cleaning worker services in 2017-2018, only 10,755 out of 54,512 workers have been permanent so far.

The strike partially affected solid waste management in the city. Most of the 16,000 pourakarmikas contracted by the BBMP for street sweeping have stopped working. Door-to-door household waste collection has also been partially affected. Some garbage truck drivers also joined the protest.

Source: The Hindu

Parents rant about fees charged by private schools

A Twitter Storm by parents of private school students, many of whom are members of the collective VOPK (Voice of Parents Karnataka), criticized schools for pressuring parents to buy books, uniforms and other items in schools and charging “excess” fees. Asking the government to take action, parents said schools were setting prices 50% higher than market rates. They also objected to the high level transport costs schools charge.

VOPK said the practices of the schools violate the Amended Rules of Educational Institutions of Karnataka (Classification, Regulation and Prescription of Curriculum), 2018. They have filed complaints with the Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights and District Education Regulatory Authority.

Meanwhile, Dr Shashi Kumar of KAMS (Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka), said schools should not sell above the MRP or insist that parents only buy from them.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu

Read more: Private schools have come up with very different plans to close the learning gap

Fines to enforce single-use plastic ban

As of Friday, users and manufacturers of single-use plastic items (SUP) would be a fine by KSPCB (Karnataka State Pollution Control Board) and BBMP. This is a strict application of the national SUP ban announced by the Central Pollution Control Board.

Single-use plastic items
Single-use plastic items are prohibited. Photo credit : Trosmisiek/Commons.Wikimedia

Many items such as carrier bags, cutlery, banners and packaging films, except items in the medical sector, are included in the ban. Retailers and street vendors, manufacturers and producers will be fined under the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021.

Source: The Hindu

Increase in electricity tariffs

From July 1, a consumer in Bangalore using 100 units of electricity per month would Pay an extra fee Rs 31. The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has approved a proposal submitted by electricity supply companies to revise electricity tariffs. Customers of Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) have to pay an additional 31 paises/unit, followed by Hescom (27 paises/unit), Gescom (26), Mescom (21) and CESC (19). The new tariff would apply until December of this year.

Opposition leaders criticized the government for the hike at a time of high inflation and rising fuel prices, adding that electricity tariffs were increased just three months ago in April.

Source: Indian Express

BMTC can buy diesel from private gas stations

Given the disparity in diesel price Paid by retail customers and wholesale buyers, the BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation) may soon start buying diesel from private filling stations. Currently, the diesel is available at Rs 88 per liter at retail outlets, but its wholesale purchase rate is Rs 119 per litre.

As there are 6,803 BMTC buses in the city, it is feared that these buses may cause traffic jams when queuing at retail stations. BMTC Managing Director G Sathyavathi said he informed the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry and the state government about the issue.

Source: Indian Express

The government’s initiative to close the learning gap has stalled

Almost a month and a half since Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai launched the Kalika Chetarike Program to address COVID-induced learning gaps among students in grades I-IX, the curriculum is stalled due to lack of worksheets.

The state project director for the Department of Public Education said in an order that the printing of the worksheets was in its final stages, but that schools should seek donor assistance to print photocopies of the worksheets. first month worksheets. However, teachers complained that obtaining donors was not a viable option. The government has promised to deliver the worksheets within the next 10 to 15 days.

Source: Indian Express

Pre-College Department Orders Fee Reimbursement for Girls

The DPU (Directorate of Pre-University Education) ordered on Wednesday that the girls be refunded Rs 456, which is the reimbursement of fees that had been promised when they were admitted in 2019-20. The government usually grants this exemption to girls upon admission to UP.

The ministry also announced that reimbursement for 2022-23 would be made directly to the girls. For the past two years, refunds had been made to the accounts of UP directors.

Source: Indian Express

Read more: These girls want to study, but they will drop out

Rs 200-cr for 67 lakes

The state government has announced Rs 200 crore to restore 67 lakes under the Amruth Nagarothana program. These include lakes where work had been halted due to lack of funds. In 2018, the BBMP requested Rs 200 crore from the government to revive the lakes.

Source: Indian Express

Electric Vehicle Show

A Expo EV organized by the state government began on Friday at Chamara Vajra, on the grounds of the palace. The expo, which will run until July 3, aims to promote green energy and create a mood for electric vehicles.

Karnataka had announced its EV policy in 2017 and Bescom was appointed nodal agency to facilitate EV infrastructure. Bescom announced that it has developed a Mitra app for electric vehicles that will provide users with information on electric vehicle charging stations, prices and advance reservations for charging.

Source: Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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