Coronavirus patients in Karnataka will be allowed to cast their votes in the upcoming gram panchayat elections using postal ballots, the State Election Commission (KSEC) announced Thursday.
In a 10-page standard operating procedure (SOP) issued prior to the elections to 5,800 gram panchayats in the state, KSEC stated: “Separate guidelines will be issued to enable Covid-19 positive patients to use postal ballots to cast their votes as they will be unable to exercise their rights for being under home quarantine or in a hospital.”
Further, the SOP clarifies that candidates are not allowed to organise public gatherings but are permitted to hold door-to-door campaigns with the “least number of people” accompanying them. Candidates have been told to refrain from using loudspeakers during campaigning. “All those who take part in door-to-door campaigning should wear facemasks, gloves and use sanitisers,” the guidelines stated.
As per the SOP, all voters will undergo thermal scanning and will be asked to wear face masks and sanitise their hands at the polling stations on the voting day. People will be asked to maintain social distancing while queuing up outside the polling station.
It has also been clarified that all kinds of processions or gatherings of people to celebrate a candidate’s victory are banned on the day of result declaration owing to the prevailing Covid-19 situation.
While the elections to 3000 Gram Panchayats — where the current term was to end in July — were initially postponed, 2800 more GPs were added to the list (term ending in August) after which an administrator was appointed to each of the panchayats, as a temporary measure.
SWR to operate 6 pairs of intrastate special trains
The South Western Railway (SWR) Thursday announced that it will operate six pairs of special trains within Karnataka to aid passengers travel between key cities. As per the notification, the trains will operate to and fro in the following routes:
Hubballi-Mysuru, Mysuru-Bijapur, Yeshwantpur-Karwar, Belagavi-Shedbal, Bengaluru-Mangaluru (two pairs).
The train on the Hubballi-Mysuru route will follow the same timings of Train 165691 on its onward journey and that of Train 165692 for its return journey, beginning September 4 and 5, respectively, and shall continue “until further advice”.
#Karnataka| @SWRRLY to operate 6 pairs (to and fro) of intrastate special trains in the following routes: Hubballi-Mysuru, Mysuru-Bijapur, Yeshwantpur-Karwar, Belagavi-Shedbal, Bengaluru-Mangaluru (2 pairs). @IndianExpress
More details below: pic.twitter.com/nWBPxojY4L
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) September 3, 2020
Meanwhile, the service on the Mysuru-Bijapur route will begin on the same dates following the timetable of Train 16535 (upto Bijapur) and 16536 (from Bijapur) till September 8 and 9, respectively.
The special train on the Yeshwantpur-Karwar route will begin services on September 4 on its onward route and the next day for its return journey and will follow the same timetable as that of Trains 16595 and 16596 respectively. SWR officials confirmed that the train will operate “until further advice”.
At the same time, the special service on the Belagavi-Shedbal route will operate from September 5 to 9 comprising 18 coaches.
Further, while one pair of trains will operate on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru route four days per week until further advice from
September 4 (onward journey) and September 6 (return journey), another pair along the same route will be a tri-weekly service.
As per the notification, the latter will begin operations from Mangaluru to Bengaluru on September 5 following the same timetable of Train 16518, the same service from Bengaluru to Mangaluru will begin on September 6, following the same schedule of Train 16517.
“All express trains shall be fully-reserved including general seating (GS) class,” an SWR official confirmed.
Special KSRTC Onam services to Kerala extended till Sept 8
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Thursday announced an extension of the special services scheduled to various destinations in Kerala to facilitate passengers travelling on the occasion of the Onam season.
“For the convenience of travelling public, the operation of special services is extended till September 8,” KSRTC said in a statement.
These special services, which began operations on August 24, will be operated between Bengaluru and Kannur, Ernakulam, Kanhangad, Kasaragod, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Vadakara.
Passengers travelling to Kerala should register themselves on the destination state’s COVID-19 Jagratha portal to get the required travel pass prior to the journey.
Bengaluru: BBMP sanctions 1,322 new posts for ASHA workers
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Thursday announced the addition of 1322 new posts of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers in the city.
According to BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, 1229 ASHA workers have been sanctioned under the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) at present. “Now, there will be one ASHA worker for every 5000 population. The population projection has been taken as 1,27,56,029 for 2020-21 with a total of 2551 ASHA workers,” he said.
Bengaluru: 3189 fresh cases, 13,645 active containment zones
As the number of fresh Covid-19 cases and fatalities linked to the pandemic surge in Bengaluru, the capital city alone reported 3189 new cases while the same was 8865 across Karnataka on Thursday. Meanwhile, the number of active containment zones in the city comprising 198 wards rose to 13,645.
The health department also attributed 29 more deaths that took place over the last few days to Bengaluru’s coronavirus death toll on September 3. With this, 2066 deaths have been reported cumulatively from the city.
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