10 local bodies across Karnataka go to polls amid covid crisis

coastaldigest.com news network
April 27, 2021

Bengaluru, Apr 27: In spite of chief minister B S Yediyurappa’s assertion that covid-19 situation in Karnataka is beyond control, the State Election Commission went ahead with elections to 266 wards of 10 local bodies in eight districts today as per schedule.

Elections are being held to 10 local bodies with 266 wards spread over eight districts - Ballari City Corporation in Ballari, Vijaypura Municipal Corporation in Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara City Municipal Corporation and Channapattana City Municipal Corporation in Ramanagara district, Gudibande Town Panchayat of Chikkaballapura district, Bhadravati City Municipal Corporation and Teerthahalli Town Panchayat in Shivamogga district, Beluru City Municipal Council of Hassan district, Madikeri City corporation of Kodagu district and Bidar City Corporation in Bidar.

Among these eight districts, Bengaluru Rural, Chikkballapura, and Ramanagara districts share their borders with Bengaluru city which has recorded more than 20,000 cases.

"Along with these 10 local bodies, there is one ward each in Bidar and Haveri district are facing bypolls. These polls are scheduled to be held on Tuesday (tomorrow)," the circular said.

The SEC maintained in its directive that these bodies were going to polls after the High Court had directed them to conduct elections, and Covid safety protocols were in place. 

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News Network
June 8,2021

Bengaluru, June 8: The Karnataka Common Entrance Test for various vocational courses, including engineering, is scheduled to be conducted on August 28 and 29.

"The CET exam will take place on August 28 and 29. Each subject will carry 60 marks," Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Maths and Biology exams will be held on the first day while Physics and Chemistry on the second day. Registration will commence from June 15, he said, adding that the PUC marks will not be taken into account. Narayan further said students will be required to score a minimum mark to clear the entrance test.

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News Network
June 13,2021

Bengaluru, June 13: More than 1.5 lakh employees in shopping malls across Karnataka have become jobless due to lockdowns and restrictions over the past year and owners have incurred losses in crores of rupees. Mall owners have urged the government to allow them to reopen by June 21 to help them stem the tide.

Mukesh Kumar, chairman, Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) & CEO, Infiniti Malls, said for every person directly employed with malls, on an average, three others are indirectly employed, providing logistics and support.

“In such a scenario, at least 1.5 lakh people have lost their jobs in the state,” Kumar said during a press conference in Bengaluru on Friday. “Though around 50,000 of them were reemployed after malls reopened for a brief time, many were laid off during the second lockdown,” he said. He said over 50% of malls, a majority of them standalone ventures, will close down if no support is provided.

Sunil Munshi, AVP operations, Orion Malls, said almost 80% of employees working in malls, shops, restaurants and service sectors come from economically weaker sections.

Kumar said a moratorium extended by RBI last year ended in March and they now have nothing to fall back on. “There has hardly been any revenue for a retailer or the mall. The past few months have been so stressful that we don’t know how to cope,” he said.

He said on average, revenue from retail in malls in the state is Rs 2,000 crore per month. They pay Rs 350 crore GST. Due to lockdowns, retails have incurred losses of Rs 20,000 to 25,000 crore and governments have suffered GST loss of Rs 3,000 crore. “Malls have lost 15% of the revenue generated by retailers,” Kumar said.

Kumar said pre-Covid estimates show that across India, 1,000 malls generate monthly revenue of Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 crore. The whole ecosystem has suffered almost Rs 1 lakh crore losses.

Najeeb Kunil, CEO, PPZ Mall Development & Management Services Co said they have urged the state government to provide waivers around rental / lease, electricity charges, upcoming renewals of existing permits / licenses / NOCs among others. They have also sought waiver of property taxes payment till January 2022 and support around minimum wages rates and guard-board payments until FY 2021-22.

He also feared a downstream effect hitting smallscale industries and small businesses which have no income with shopping malls shut. “The sooner they take a call and heed our requests, the better it will be for everyone in the ecosystem, not just the developers,” he said.

SCAI members said that the solution lies in reopening the shopping malls as soon as possible. Kunil said vaccination is a major solution. “We hope to be back to 90% of footfall by October,” he said.

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News Network
June 12,2021

Mangaluru, June 12: The district administration is likely to impose a total lockdown in 40 villages as well as in Ullal, Someshwar, Kotekar and Belthangady where Covid positivity rate is high.

A meeting in this regard was held at Deputy Commissioner office chaired by district incharge minister Kota Srinivas Poojary.

He said the positivity rate in the district is not reduced and it is important to implement strict measures to bring down the positivity rate of covid, also covid testing must be increased.

BJP State President Nalin Kumar Kateel said, people are not taking covid-19 seriously, despite lockdown , many are roaming unnecessarily, to bring down the positivity rate, people must follow covid guidelines.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Rajendra Kumar said lockdown rules cannot be relaxed now as it will be difficult for us to bring down the positivity rate, also, necessary action has been initiated to supply equipment, lab technicians and vehicles to primary health care centers.

As the lockdown has been extended till June 21, banks are allowed to function from 8 am to 12 noon while shops selling essentials, spectacles shops, garages and vehicle service shops can function from 6 am to 12 noon.

The district administration also warned people of unnecessary movement and asked them to stay home during the lockdown.

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