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More buses for BMTC

Good morning, Bengaluru!

🌦️ Today’s weather: Nothing much has changed since yesterday. High chances of precipitation and expected thunderstorms.

🧐 Did you know? Every two years, Bengaluru hosts Aero India, an air show and aviation exhibition organized by the Ministry of Defence. It is held at the Yelahanka Air Force Station usually during the month of February. The next show will happen in 2023.

🧑‍⚕️ Shortage of staff in Victoria Hospital

Although a surprise visit by the Upa Lokayukta to Victoria Hospital in April revealed shocking shortcomings, these problems still persist. 

Story so far: The government-run facility is experiencing problems such as irregularities in pharmacies, shortage of staff, and other such issues. While hospital authorities have requested the health department for fresh appointments, no new recruitments have been made. Dr Ramesh Krishna K, the Medical Superintendent at the hospital submitted a report to the Lokayukta post the surprise inspection stating that more manpower is required as there is an increase in patient inflow. 

  • Pharmacists at the hospital claim they are being overburdened as around 1,000 patients visit the hospital daily. 
  • An administrative official reported that while the hospital is adding more beds, wards, and OPDs, it has only 322 nursing staff which is affecting the quality of care. 

Budget constraints: An official from the hospital stated that one of the biggest reasons for freezing hiring was a severe budget constraint. The current staff was allotted 25 years ago and has not been revised since. 

  • The Director-cum-Dean of BMCRI, Dr Ravi K said that although the health department was informed of the staff shortage in the hospital in April, no action was taken.

🚌 BMTC likely to induct 2,300 buses

Over the next few months, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is planning to induct around 2,300 buses; however, they are unlikely to meet the 2025 target. 

Story so far: Ashok Leyland’s subsidiary Switch Mobility Ltd will provide 300 non-AC e-buses while Tata Motors will contribute 921 non-AC e-buses under Convergence Energy Services Ltd’s Grand Challenge Plan. Apart from this, BMTC is planning to buy 238 diesel buses and 840 diesel or electric buses with the help of state government funds.

  • The e-buses are being inducted under the gross cost contract (GCC) under the Bengaluru Smart City scheme. The lease model dictates that BMTC will pay private firms on a per-km basis. 
  • The firms will provide a driver in addition to taking care of the fleet’s maintenance while BMTC will deploy conductors, with the fare being the same as current diesel non-AC buses.

No increase in size: Although the Comprehensive Mobility Plan aimed to increase BMTC’s fleet size to 13,000 by 2025, the corporation is currently operating with 6,800 buses with plans for scraping 989 aged ones. This means that BMTC is unlikely to meet its 2025 target as there will be no increase in the fleet. 

  • Nonetheless, the addition of the new fleet will increase the count to 7,000 which will prove to be a relief for passengers during peak hours.

🖥️ Computer education for public schools

Volunteers of NGO Shikshan have been dedicated to imparting knowledge in the field of computer sciences to students of public schools in Bengaluru. 

Story so far: Co-founder of Shikshan, Vinod Kartavya discovered that while computer education is easily accessible in private schools, government schools lack the proper infrastructure to provide the same. Volunteers at the NGO pooled some money to purchase two second-hand computers in addition to conducting classes in computer science. 

  • After the introduction of the computer systems in classrooms, the attendance of 10th standard students jumped from 50% to 90% on Saturdays. 
  • Huawei, after observing the growth in these schools, contributed 24 computers that are being installed in public schools around the city, in areas such as Shantinagar, Kaggadaspura, Vasanth Nagar and Shivajinagar among others. 

Digital India: The future of the country is digital, and while most young children have no problem operating modern technology, Shikshan brought to light the few students who struggle to carry out basic functions on a computer. 

  • Kartavya identified that the primary obstacle is the lack of infrastructure in government schools in the form of teaching staff and computer systems. However, with the contribution of the NGO, students’ interest in computer science has been piqued.

☔ Heavy rains lead to suffering

The unrelenting downpour in Bengaluru over the past few days has left many residents in a compromising position due to waterlogging in areas around the city. 

Story so far: In addition to the heavy rains over the past two days, the Met Department’s prediction of rainfall for the next few days has left residents worried. Many households have experienced flooding, with water rising up to knee-level. A housewarming programme at Kanakpura was disrupted on Sunday, forcing guests to find refuge in nearby houses. A mother was forced to tie her saree to the roof in order to put her baby to sleep. 

  • The Met Department has predicted thundershowers, lightning activity, and cloudy skies for the next two days over BBMP areas. 
  • Officials stated that the southwest monsoon was normal over north interior Karnataka and active over south interior Karnataka. 

Poor drainage facilities: A resident of Kumaraswamy Layout claimed that waterlogging was a problem for over 70 households in the area and this problem has persisted for over five years. The resident went on to say that the people’s representatives offered empty assurances while their homes continue to get flooded. 

  • Additionally, the poor drainage system in the city led to the accumulation of water on the roads, making it difficult for vehicles to commute.

📊 Today’s Poll

(Only subscribers can participate in the polls)

Have you ever experienced the prestigious Aero India Show at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru?

  • Yes, I attended the Aero India Show.
  • No, I did not attend the Aero India Show.

(Yesterday’s poll results in the Local Lounge below)

❓ Today’s Question

(Only subscribers can submit their answers)

What is something that you think schools should teach students that they currently do not?

Reply to this email with your answers.

🗞️ In other news…

  • The Karnataka High Court provides relief to a drug addict under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), 1985, enabling him to undergo treatment
  • BBMP gets a green flag to build an elevated rotary flyover for easier access to the newly opened Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal at Baiyappanahalli. 
  • Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari revealed in Parliament that the Bengaluru-Mysuru national highway will be completed in September.  
  • Bengaluru Traffic Police has started using wheel clamps to bring cases of unauthorized parking violations under control in the city. 
  • Citizens of Bengaluru question the Animal Husbandry Minister’s statement on moving 3 lakh stray dogs to shelters.

🛋️ Local Lounge

Yesterday’s Poll Results:

  • Bengaluru is a safe city: 77.8% 🏆
  • Bengaluru is not a safe city: 22.2%

That’s it for today. Have a great day!

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