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Karnataka Bengaluru Coronavirus September 23 Highlights: Congress demands judicial probe on ‘misappropriation’ of Covid funds

Karnataka Bengaluru Coronavirus (Covid-19) Latest News September 23 Highlights: Siddaramaiah said the government procured items including personal protection kits, masks, surgical gloves, oxygen cylinders, ventilators, hand sanitisers and other essentials spending Rs. 4,147 crore when the same could have been procured for Rs. 2,100.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru | Updated: September 24, 2020 8:13:35 am
siddaramaiah, Karnataka leader of opposition, karanataka assembly session, no confidence motion, Karnataka govt, indian expressAccording to Siddaramaiah, relief and rehabilitation works have not been completed.

Karnataka Bengaluru Coronavirus News September 23 Highlights: Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shivakumar Tuesday demanded a judicial probe against the alleged “misappropriation of funds” by the BJP-led state government.

Siddaramaiah said the government procured items including personal protection kits, masks, surgical gloves, oxygen cylinders, ventilators, hand sanitisers and other essentials spending Rs. 4,147 crore when the same could have been procured for Rs. 2,100 crore. He cited information provided by the Health Secretary to substantiate his claim.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru’s local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Tuesday appointed nodal officers to 198 wards to replace corporators after the Council’s tenure ended last week.

Confirming the appointment in an order, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said in an order that nodal officers will head the ward-level committees and handle public grievances.

Follow Karnataka Bengaluru Coronavirus September 24 Live Updates

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Catch the latest news in Bengaluru and Karnataka as we bring you live updates on COVID-19, lockdown 5.0 and phase 4 of the unlock across the state and more through the day. Also read Tamil Nadu, Chennai news

17:55 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Pre-commissioning works: Operations on Namma Metro's Green Line to be partially closed

Bengaluru's Namma Metro services will be partially affected on the Green Line for two days in the upcoming week due to developmental work being carried out in the route, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) officials informed.

Due to the same, metro services between R V Road and Yelachenahalli stations on the Green Line will be closed on September 27 (Sunday) and 28 (Monday). "Consequently, metro train services will be available only between Nagasandra and R V Road stations from 7 am to 9 pm on these days," the release added.

However, BMRCL officials clarified that the services on the Purple Line — between Baiyappanahalli and Mysuru Road — will not be affected and will run as per the schedule.

16:44 (IST)23 Sep 2020
No corruption in medical equipment procurement, says Medical Education Minister Dr.K Sudhakar

There is no instance of corruption in procurement of equipment for Covid-19 in the state. Not even a single deviation has taken place and therefore there is no need for an investigation said Medical Education Minister Dr.K Sudhakar.

While answering the allegations made by the opposition members in the assembly on Wednesday, Dr.Sudhakar said that market price varies according to the demand. "We have procured PPE kits at Rs. 575 in the month of July. During the initial stages, when there was a huge demand and there was no domestic production, we have procured 3 lakh PPE kits from China. Later, locally manufactured and ICMR approved kits were procured. Similar procedures have been followed by other states as well. Earlier we were short of sanitizers, but after talks with distillery owners, the demand has been met thereby reducing the scarcity", Minister added. "The baseless allegations by opposition parties have demoralised officials. We must fight this pandemic together and everyone should cooperate in this fight against Covid-19", the Minister said.

Speaking on the preparedness and ramping up of infrastructure by the Government to tackle Covid crisis, Dr.Sudhakar said that by April 9, there were 31 hospitals with 5,665 beds reserved for Covid patients. "In the Government hospitals under Health Department, there were 3,215 oxygen beds to which we have added 15,380 beds increasing the number of beds to 19,045 beds. So there has been a 6 times increase of oxygen beds in government hospitals."

Hopsitals under Medical Education Department earlier had 4,360 oxygen beds to which we have added 4,735 beds taking it to 9,095 beds. So the oxygen beds under Medical Education Department has been doubled. Both the departments put together we now have 28,140 oxygen beds which is 4 times more than what we have had before covid.

Clarifying the issue on Covid management, the Minister said, "For the last 7 months we are tirelessly working, medicos are working round the clock without availing leave even for a single day. Karnataka was a model state during the lockdown period. Considering the difficulties of poor and daily wagers we have lifted lockdown, Covid cases increased due to migrant workers from Maharashtra and other states."

16:36 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Sandalwood drug case: All the actors under the scanner

Over the last few weeks, the Karnataka Police have arrested a bunch of people, including some Kannada actors, and summoned others from the film industry, also known as ‘Sandalwood’, in connection with a drug peddling case. So far, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bengaluru police has arrested actors Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa Galrani and questioned Diganth Manchale and wife Aindrita Ray, Akul Balaji and Santosh Kumar. The CCB have also named Aditya Alva, son of late minister Jeevaraj Alva and brother-in-law of Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, as well as film producer Shiva Prakash in its FIR.

The CCB intensified its investigations after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested three persons allegedly supplying drugs to singers and actors in the film industry on August 28. The Bureau claimed the racket, running since 2015, was helmed by Bengaluru-based Anikha Dinesh who was assisted by Anoop Mohammed and Rijesh Ravichandran from Kerala. Large quantities of Ecstasy pills and LSD blots worth Rs 20 lakh were recovered from an apartment in Bengaluru.

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16:02 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Covid-19: MLA Narayan Rao in 'very critical state' at Bengaluru hospital

Congress legislator B Narayan Rao, who was admitted to a private hospital in Bengaluru with severe coronavirus infection is in a critical state of health, doctors confirmed on Wednesday.

The 66-year-old MLA representing Basavakalyan constituency in Bidar district was admitted to the hospital on September 1 after he tested positive for the infection.

'Currently, he is in a very critical state with multiorgan failure on multiple supports including ventilator, Blood pressure supports and Dialysis. A multi-disciplinary team of expert doctors are involved in his treatment and are monitoring the situation closely,' Dr Manish Rai, Hospital Director, Manipal Hospitals said.

15:30 (IST)23 Sep 2020
India coronavirus numbers explained: Bengaluru crosses 2 lakh Covid-19 cases

Bengaluru, on Tuesday, became the third city in the country to have more than two lakh people infected with novel coronavirus. The city reported a little over 3,000 new cases on Tuesday to go past the two lakh-mark. Only Pune and Delhi have more people infected with the virus.

But Bengaluru has far greater number of active cases than even Delhi. The number of active cases is now touching 40,000 in the city. Only Pune has more, about 60,000. Bengaluru has been reporting between two and three thousand cases every day since the start of August, but in the last ten days, this number has been around the mid-3,000s. The city accounts for more than 37 per cent of all the confirmed infections in Karnataka.

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15:01 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Sandalwood drug case: CCB summons Kannada actor Diganth for further questioning

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bengaluru which is probing the drug menace in the Kannada film industry on Wednesday summoned actor Diganth Manchale for further questioning in connection with the Sandalwood drug case.

Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police(Crime) said, “We have called only Diganth, on basis of his statement given in previous hearing, certain field level enquiry was done and few people were enquired, now he is called again for further enquiry in the case.”

As per the summons, Diganth appeared before the CCB police on Wednesday morning. On September 26, Diganth and his wife Aindrita Ray were questioned for hours and their mobile phones were confiscated by the CCB police for further investigation.

Diganth made his acting debut in a Kannada movie ‘Miss California’ in 2006 and acted in movies such as Gaalipata, Pancharangi, Lifeu Ishtene and Parijatha. Aindrita made her acting debut in 2007, starring in Meravanige. The couple got married in December 2018 after 10 years of courtship.

15:01 (IST)23 Sep 2020
IN PICS | BBMP Commissioner meets nodal officers across Bengaluru wards

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad and other top officers of Bengaluru's local civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Wednesday met nodal officers appointed to 198 wards via video conference.

The nodal officers will replace corporators to address public grievances and to oversee civic activities at their respective areas after the Council's tenure ended last week.

During the conference, Prasad urged the officers to perform their duties responsibly.

13:40 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Stalled pilot project could be lodestar for Karnataka nutrition drive

Though the Karnataka government stopped a nutrition supplement programme in two backward locations of the state almost two years ago despite its promising results, it now appears the state has not yet taken a final call on shutting down the project. The Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Project had been launched in 2015 on a pilot basis in Chincholi, Kalaburagi district and Devadurga in Raichur district, and has been paused since late 2018.

The project, funded by the World Bank and Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF), aimed at reducing malnutrition among pregnant women, children, and adolescents and break the vicious cycle of malnutrition. The government provided Shakti Vita, a fortified mix consisting of locally grown Raggi, corn, soya, wheat, green gram, and groundnut to pregnant women.

An official who was closely involved with the project told indianexpress.com the pilot had shown positive results. “The pilot project was discontinued in September 2018. There were discussions to take the programme to other parts of the state, but later that idea was dropped too,” he added.

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13:09 (IST)23 Sep 2020
61 drug peddlers, 121 consumers held in Bengaluru

In a big crackdown in Bengaluru, the West division police have arrested 61 people in the last two weeks for allegedly being involved in drug peddling in the city.

The police have seized 51.5 kgs of ganja, 600 grams of opium, 900 grams of brown sugar and 70 grams of MDMA from the drug peddlers. Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Sanjeev Patil, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), West Division, Bengaluru City, said, “ In the month of September till yesterday we have taken the drive against drug sales and consumptions very seriously and till yesterday we have registered 42 cases and arrested 61 people.”

The police have also arrested 121 consumers and registered cases against them. A case under NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act has been registered and the further investigation continues, Patil added.

11:24 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Bengaluru: Traffic police collect Rs. 2.14 crore in a week from violators

The Bengaluru Traffic Police collected Rs. 2,14,38,000 from violators for not following traffic rules in the city last week.

According to statistics shared by B R Ravikanthe Gowda, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) these fines were collected by personnel on duty between September 13 and 19.

While Rs. 66.01 lakh was collected as fine from two-wheeler riders for not wearing a helmet, another Rs. Rs 41.76 lakh penalty was levied from pillion riders for not doing so. Meanwhile, as many as 4,804 people were caught jumping traffic signals as well. A total of 48,141 cases were filed at the same time for 72 different violations.

Last year, the BTP had collected Rs. 98.27 lakh in two weeks of August followed by Rs. 72.49 lakh in six days of September.

09:42 (IST)23 Sep 2020
IPL 2020: Bengaluru Crime branch busts betting racket

The Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) police, after receiving a tip-off, busted a betting racket and arrested six people allegedly involved in betting on the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches on Wednesday.

The crime branch has seized cash worth rupees six lakh and also confiscated six mobile phones.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said, “Two cases have been registered in Banaswadi and Malleswaram police station against six accused on the charge of involvement in betting on the ongoing IPL cricket matches and further investigation is on."

08:59 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Karnataka rains: More water released from Karnataka dams after heavy rain in catchment areas

Krishna Raja Sagar dam in Mandya released excess water of 43,475 cusecs to the river on Tuesday after good rains in Cauvery catchment area including Kodagu district.

The reservoirs in the Cauvery basin continued to receive heavy inflow from the past few days. Kodagu received 48.05mm rainfall between 8.30am on Monday and 8.30am on Tuesday. And Kodagu has received 2314.87mm of rainfall so far since January this year, while it received 2509.84mm of rainfall during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department has issued a yellow alert to Kodagu district, which indicates heavy rainfall between 64.5mm and 115.5mm from 8.30am on Tuesday from 8.30am on Wednesday.

Karnataka also released 30,208 cusecs of water from Kabini Dam in HD Kote on Tuesday after heavy rains at Wayanad in Kerala. Harangi reservoir at Kodagu released 5010 cusecs of water. Hemavathi reservoir in Hassan district released 4750 cusecs.

08:31 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Sandalwood drug case: Kannada TV actors appears in front of ISD police

The Internal Security Division (ISD) of Karnataka police, which is investigating a separate narcotics case, questioned two Kannada serial actors on Tuesday. The actors Abhishek Das and Geetha Bharathi Bhat were questioned by the ISD officials.

According to police, they have already questioned Sandalwood actor Yogesh, cricketer N C Aiyappa and serial actress Rashmi Changappa in connection with the case.

Abhishek, after his inquiry for nearly six hours, said, "They called us to check if we knew certain people and if we have heard about them earlier. I have shared all the information and I will cooperate in future for enquiry. "

Abhishek Das, features in Gattimela TV serial and has also acted in movies like Ambi Ning Vayyasaytho. Geetha acted in the TV serial Bramhagantu.

08:17 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Congress demands judicial probe on 'misappropriation' of Covid funds

Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shivakumar Tuesday demanded a judicial probe against the alleged "misappropriation of funds" by the BJP-led state government.

Siddaramaiah said the government procured items including personal protection kits, masks, surgical gloves, oxygen cylinders, ventilators, hand sanitisers and other essentials spending Rs. 4,147 crore when the same could have been procured for Rs. 2,100 crore. He cited information provided by the Health Secretary to substantiate his claim.

"Three lakh PPE kits were imported as the government paid Rs. 2,117 for each of these kits. That is almost seven times more than a Maharashtra-based company's bid for Rs. 330 per kit. When there are companies selling it within the country at cheaper rates, why didn't the government buy those," he questioned.

Meanwhile, Shivakumar said, "From distributing food kits to compensation to families of the dead, there are scams everywhere. Why is the government not launching a judicial probe into the misappropriation of funds."

08:16 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Bengaluru: Now, nodal officers to fill in corporators' shoes

Bengaluru's local civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Tuesday appointed nodal officers to 198 wards to replace corporators after the Council's tenure ended last week.

Confirming the appointment in an order, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said in an order that nodal officers will head the ward-level committees and handle public grievances.

"These officers will step in to fill the vacuum created by the end of the corporators' terms. They will be responsible to respond to the citizens' problems and help solve civic issues," Prasad explained.

The newly assigned nodal officers include special commissioners, joint commissioners, zonal chief engineers and other chief engineers, executive engineers, assistant executive engineers and deputy commissioners and are mostly placed at wards at their place of residence in the city.

08:15 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Covid-19 impact: Salaries, allowances of legislature members slashed by 30%, Assembly passes bill

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly Tuesday passed a bill reducing salaries and allowances of members of the state legislature by 30 per cent for a year, in the wake of the financial crisis faced by the state to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy, an amount between Rs. 16 crore and 18 crore is expected to be saved by this decision. "In the wake of Covid-19, we discussed with leaders of our party and also the opposition that as a gesture, ministers, MLAs and MLCs, heads of authorities, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker should agree to a 30 per cent salary cut," Madhuswamy told the Assembly.

He was moving the 'Karnataka Legislature Salaries, Pensions and Allowances and Certain Other Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020' to effect the changes.

08:14 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Karnataka BJP strongly refutes reports about changing BS Yediyurappa as CM

The BJP in Karnataka on Tuesday termed as baseless and misleading, reports about leadership change in the state by replacing Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

State BJP spokesperson Captain Ganesh Karnik said a few TV channels have repeatedly reported that there is going to be a change in the leadership of Chief Minister Yediyurappa.

“BJP strongly refutes this report,” he clarified in an official statement.

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08:13 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Karnataka Dy CM Karjol contracts Covid-19

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind M Karjol Tuesday tested positive for coronavirus. The BJP leader had attended the ongoing legislative session at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru.

"Even though I am asymptomatic, I have been admitted to a hospital on the advice of doctors. I urge all those who have come in contact with me to get tested for #coronavirus and to take necessary precautions," Karjol confirmed in a tweet.

Several leaders including CM B S Yediyurappa wished him a speedy recovery.

08:12 (IST)23 Sep 2020
Welcome to today's live blog

Good morning!
Welcome to the live blog from Bengaluru where we bring to you the latest updates on COVID-19, lockdown 5.0, unlock phase 4, Karnataka rains, moonsoon assembly session, Sandalwood drug case, Bengaluru violence and more across Bengaluru and Karnataka. Follow the blog to stay up to date with the state in real time.

Bangalore, Bangalore news, Bangalore police, Bangalore violence, Islam, Congress, Indian Express Earlier, an investigating team set up by the Bengaluru City Police was probing the role of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in the violence. (PTI Photo)

Meanwhile, taking over the probe in the Bengaluru violence case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Tuesday named SDPI leader Muzamil Pasha for “instigating the mob” that triggered violence in areas of east Bengaluru and an attack on Devarajeevanahalli (DJ Halli) police station.

READ | Bengaluru violence: NIA takes over investigation, names SDPI leader for ‘instigating mob’

At the same time, the BJP in Karnataka on Tuesday termed as baseless and misleading reports about leadership change in the state by replacing Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.

READ | Karnataka BJP strongly refutes reports about changing BS Yediyurappa as CM

COVID-19 related queries / emergencies / clarifications: 104 (toll free); +91-80-4684-8600/6669-2000 | Home Quarantine-related queries: Telegram messenger/WhatsApp - +91 97777 77684, Voice call - 080 45451111 | BBMP control room: 080-22221188 | In case of power disruptions, contact BESCOM: 1912. If the water supply is hit in your area, contact BWSSB: 1916

Karnataka Bengaluru Coronavirus September 22 Highlights