BENGALURU: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said a specially-constituted committee is looking into the bed allocation system and listing out suggestions on Wednesday.Speaking to the media, he said a software was created last year on the move but right now, it needs to be upgraded since anomalies have been pointed out by people deployed in the war room. “The agency which BBMP had deployed is also being questioned, we are thinking of changing the agency,” he said.
Gupta added that people should trust the software and agency. He admitted there are a few cases of mischief, which are being investigated, and explained that every day, 800-1,000 patients are admitted to hospitals and beds are blocked. On the issue of rising positivity rate, which is 33-55 per cent, Gupta said that demand for RAT test kits have been placed so that the pace of testing can be scaled up. He added that they have also started working on increasing the number of oxygen and ventilator beds in the city.
“Already, 10 maternity homes in Bengaluru have been converted into transit oxygen centres, more such will be created. These centres will also be capable of handling and referring patients. Oxygen facilities in step-down hospitals are also being upgraded so that patients do not rush to hospitals. It is also proposed to convert general beds in hospitals to oxygen beds, so that demand is met,” Gupta informed.
Directions have been issued to all officials to collate and assess information ward-wise of the number of hospitals, beds available, oxygen facility, storage capacity, stocks, hospital facilities, how many times cylinders are procured, refilled and from where. The data should be submitted to the head office and made public on a daily basis. On the bed allocation ‘scam’ pointed out by MP Tejasvi Surya, Gupta said there is nothing communal in the issue.
Submit status report on probe: HC to state
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the State Government to submit the status report of the investigation into the FIRs registered over the alleged scam in the allocation of beds by the BBMP. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar directed the government to submit the report in a sealed cover next week. The court also sought response from the government on the statement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the establishment of functional oxygen plants.
Lokayukta orders independent investigation
Initiating suo moto proceedings based on media reports into the alleged bed blocking scam in city, the Karnataka Lokayukta on Wednesday directed the Lokayukta police to conduct an independent investigation into the matter and submit a report. Extracting the media reports, including one published in The New Indian Express titled ‘Covid war room operators give beds to those who pay’, on Wednesday, Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty directed the Lokayukta ADGP to conduct an investigation and submit a report within three weeks.
Surya listed only Muslim staffers: Congress
Rajya Sabha MP Syed Nasir Hussain and AICC spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa on Wednesday challenged the statement made by MP Tejasvi Surya at a press conference on Tuesday, where he had named 17 persons who he said were responsible for bed allotment. Speaking to the media, Kalappa presented a list of 205 persons who were employed to man the BBMP South Zone war room. He pointed out that of 205 employees, 17 were Muslim, and Surya had made a list of only Muslim employees without material proof, and made allegations against them.
Worse, BBMP had sacked all 17 employees, he said. He stated that three of the four persons who had spoken on Tuesday -- Surya, MLA Ravi Subramanya and MLA Uday Garudachar -- belonged to the same caste, and questioned if Surya wanted BBMP to accommodate only members of his own caste on the list of bed allottees. Hussain pointed out various deficiencies in the BJP government and alleged that Surya was acting on behalf of BJP National General Secretary BL Santosh, to target CM BS Yediyurappa.