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- Work on 48 road, bridge projects in progress: Minister
PATNA: Road constructiondepartment (RCD) minister Nand Kishore Yadav on Friday said work on 48 of 82 major road and bridge projects as part of Centre’s special package for Bihar is in progress. Work on remaining 34 schemes, he said, would begin by the end of the current fiscal.
“The projects, aimed at improving road communication and giving a big boost to economic activities in the state, especially in north and south Bihar, will be completed in the next four years,” Yadav said while elaborating on various road, bridge and flyover projects initiated in the state in the last four years with the funds provided by the Centre.
The minister said apart from the special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore announced by the then prime ministerial candidate of BJP Narendra Modi prior to the Lok Sabha elections in 2015, another chunk of Rs 54,700 crore had been allotted for the improvement of NH network in the state.
The mega bridge projects include construction of six new bridges over the Ganga, like the Buxar-Baliabridge, Digha-Sonepur four-lane bridge, four-lane bridge parallel to the existing Mahatma Gandhi Setu, bridge near Mokama and the four-lane bridge parallel to Vikramshila bridge near Bhagalpur.
“Overall, there will be 16 bridges over the Ganga after four years. Work on two mega bridges each over the Kosi and the Sone rivers has also been taken up,” he added.
- GAIL: Piped cooking gas supply from October
PATNA: Patna resident will get piped cooking gas supply from October this year under the first phase of Jagdishpur–Haldia & Bokaro–Dhamra Pipeline project, popularly known
as Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Yojana.
Of the proposed 490km Allahabad-Barauni-Patna pipeline, work has been completed on 410km. The remaining work will be completed by October this year.
Giving this information at the eighth roadshow for 9th city gas distribution (CGD) bidding round organized by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board(PNGRB) in Patna on Friday, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) executive director Partha Jana said, “Around 80km of pipeline-laying work on the stretch between Varanasi and Dhobhi in Gaya district is left. A target of one km is being achieved daily and we hope we will complete it by October. Besides, the city gas pipeline-laying work in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Varanasi has been completed and currently the work to connect the main pipelines with the city gas stations is underway.”
Speaking on the occasion, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said the state government was expediting its bit of work for achieving the PM’s dream of providing natural gas through pipelines across the eastern and north-eastern parts of country by the year 2020. “We will make it mandatory for all upcoming multi-storey buildings to have gas pipelines,” he said.
GAIL’s chief manager (corporate communications) Jyoti Kumar said a city gas station would come up at Phulwarisharif to monitor and regulate the pressure of gas. Pipeline-laying work has been completed in several city areas, including Jagdeo Path, BIT-Mesra (Patna campus) and Saguna Mor, he said.
The 9th CGD bidding round invited investors for working in 86 geographical areas (GAs) spread over 22 states, including six Bihar districts — Aurangabad, Kaimur, Rohtas, Begusarai, Gaya and Nalanda. The bid submissions will be completed by July 10 and the final authorisation of GAs would be done by October this year, said PNGRB chairperson D K Sarraf.
- Fake cement firm unearthed, owner arrested
PATNA: The Patna police on Friday unearthed a spurious cement manufacturing factory in Lanka Kachuara village under the Gaurichak police station area.
Gaurichak police station SHO Sanjay Kumar said the factory was located in a secluded area. Factory owner Manish Kumar (34) was arrested.
“More than 5,000 bags of poor quality cement, 2,000 bags of expired cement and at least 2,000 empty cement bags besides two tractors and several machines were seized from the factory,” the SHO said, adding new bags of at least five cement brands were also found in the factory.
“Manish used to procure cement and let it solidify in the bag. He would later crush it and mix it with new cement and other materials and sell it,” the SHO said.
He said Manish told police he had links with certain contractors in Patna and other districts to whom he used to supply spurious cement at lower than market prices. “Manish had been running the factory for at least three years. He used to shift the factory to different locations to evade detection,” the SHO said, adding further investigations were on.
- ‘No-parking zones’ to be announced in a fortnight TNN | Jun 3, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna traffic police will declare several locations in the city as no-parking zones within a fortnight.
“The idea is to streamline afresh vehicular parking following suspension of the services of a private agency which was engaged in towing away vehicles from no-parking zones,” Patna SP (traffic) P N Mishra said on Saturday.
According to him, a survey is being conducted to identify the no-parking zones. Also, vehicular parking will be prohibited in the 50-metre perimeter of major roundabouts in the city.
“The survey will be completed in seven to 10 days following which a formal announcement about the no-parking zones will be made. Vehicles found parked at those spots will be fined Rs 100 for parking in a prohibited area and another Rs 500 for violating the government order in this regard,” Mishra said.
The violators unwilling to pay the fine will be issued a red- colour ‘challan’ along with copy of an identification proof to trace them. Three towing vehicles will also be on the move to remove the vehicles parked in no-parking zones, the SP (traffic) said.
He said the roundabouts around which parking would not be allowed would include the Dak Bungalow crossing, I-T roundabout and R-Block. “This is being implemented in pursuance of a recent order of the state DGP,” Mishra said.
Meanwhile, haphazardly parked vehicles and the resultant traffic snarls continue to adversely affect traffic flow on the streets of Patna. Most parts of the city, including the narrow lanes in and around Boring Road, Raja Bazar, Exhibition Road, Ashok Rajpath, Gandhi Maidan, Patna Junction, Fraser Road and Kankerbagh areas, lack adequate parking spaces.
“There are few parking zones in the city... I am forced to park my vehicle on the roadside even though I know it creates hardship for others,” said Ram Surat who runs a shop at Raja Bazar.
Shivam Dwivedi, who rides a bike, regretted that lack of parking lots was an age-old issue neglected by the authorities.
Manoranjan Singh, another commuter TOI met near Gandhi Maidan, said, “I am ready to pay for parking my vehicle, but rarely do I find a parking lot in the city.”
SP (traffic) Mishra, meanwhile, said commercial establishments in the city were also being asked to prevent irregular vehicular parking in front of their establishments.
- Waste management firm’s contract terminated Faryal Rumi| TNN | Jun 3, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCO) has slapped a termination notice on the company tasked with the job of solid waste management in Patna and neighbouring areas. The decision was taken at a project monitoring committee meeting convened by BUIDCO’s managing director on May 31.
Mumbai-based company Sunil HiTech Engineers Limited (SHEL) has been accused of improper handling of solid waste management. The firm was hired on public-private partnership (PPP) mode by the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the BUIDCO in 2014.
State urban development minister Suresh Kumar Sharma on Saturday said SHEL failed to work properly, despite several ultimatums. “Around 700 to 1,000 metric tonnes of garbage is collected from the city and its neighbouring areas each day. However, the company failed to process the garbage properly, as a result of which we continuously performed poorly in different cleanliness surveys.”
The department is now in talks with US-based company AG Dauters Waste Processing Private Limited to look after solid waste management. “It will take nearly three months to finalize the agreement. In the first stage, the firm will begin its work in two districts of Bihar — Patna and Muzaffarpur. If it is found to be satisfactory, we will hire the company in other cities like Biharsharif and Bhagalpur,” Sharma said.
According to BUIDCO’s senior engineer Ayaz Ahmad, the termination letter was sent via post as well as e-mail to SHEL on Thursday. The urban local bodies were also asked to look for alternate arrangements for the next three months till a new company is hired.
PMC sources said any firm tasked with the job of solid waste management has to generate 12MW of electricity per day by processing the wastes into energy. “SHEL, however, only managed to collect garbage and transported it to the dumping yard,” claimed the official.
- DM initiates move to curb traffic snarls in Chhapra H K Verma| TNN | Jun 4, 2018, 01:00 IST
CHHAPRA: Keeping the ordeals of the local residents in view due to frequent traffic snarls from the Bhikhari Thakur roundabout in Chhapra to Doriganj on NH-19 which connects the town with the state capital, Saran DM Subrat Kumar Sen on Saturday directed the officials to patrol twice during the day hours to help the vehicle owners and other commuters.
Presiding over the meeting of the district mining task force on Saturday, the DM expressed concern over the performance of the department and directed the officials to work with transparency.
Chhapra residents were stuck in a massive jam on Friday due to haphazard parking of trucks on both flanks of NH -19 from Bhikhari Thakur roundabout to Chrand bridge connecting Chhapra with Ara. The weekly cattle fair at Gheghta also aggravated the situation.
The DM also directed the officials to get the bullock carts properly parked which comes to the cattle fair at Gheghta every Friday. “There should not be traffic disruption on the NH under any circumstances,” adding that even if some vehicles are found breaking the rules, they must be taken to task for which the Task Force has been provided with sufficient force.
According to local residents, trucks parked on the road come from neighbouring UP and other districts of Bihar for collecting red sand from Koilwar. Saran SP Har Kishore Rai said, “The delay in providing chalan to truck owners on Bhojpur side causes long queue of trucks. Cops do make an effort to break the queue by stopping the vehicles at different places like Maker, Sahajitpur, Mashrakh, Rasulpur etc to avoid traffic snarls.”
- Patna zoo to ban plastic from June 5 TNN | Jun 4, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, better known as Patna zoo, will ban plastic with less than 50 microns of thickness from June 5.
The zoo, which is spread in 152.95 acre area, is home to nearly 800 animals and trees of around 300 species. “The major theme this year will be to discourage the use of plastic and make the visitors aware about the harmful effects of plastic. Plastic with less than 50 microns of thickness will be prohibited on the premises. A notice has been issued by Union ministry of environment and forests to make all zoos, national parks and sanctuaries free from plastic litter by the World Environment Day, which is celebrated on June 5,” a zoo official told this newspaper on Sunday.
“Plastic materials have turned into one of the biggest environmental hazards. Discarded after usage of just a few seconds, they clog our landfills, drains and rivers before making their way into oceans which then is consumed by sea birds, fishes and mammals. The use of non-degradable plastic product is dangerous to the human health and life. Burning plastic emits dangerous gases which may cause fatal diseases,” he added.
Besides, an exhibition will be put up by the zoo authorities in which various alternative materials of plastic products will be on sale. “We will sensitize the visitors about the harmful effects of using plastic. They will be encouraged to use jute and paper bags. A mini marathon will also be organized on the zoo premises on June 5. Around 200 students will run for 2-3km and stage a street play (nukkad natak) on the same theme,” he added.
- Bihar rich in culture, legacy: Governor TNN | Jun 4, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday said the history of Bihar is India’s golden era.
Speaking at Bihar Niwas in New Delhi after releasing ‘The First Address’, the first coffee-table book on Raj Bhavan of Bihar, he said the state had shown the world the right path of religion, culture and education.
He said much like the state, the Bihar Raj Bhavan encompassed a wealth of history, culture and legacy. Raj Bhavan in Patna was built in pursuance of the momentous announcements made by King George V at Delhi Darbar in 1911. These proclamations set in motion the transfer of the country’s capital to Delhi and separation of Bihar and Orissa from Greater Bengal. The then Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge laid the foundation of the Raj Bhavan in 1913 and the building was completed by 1916.
The governor said the coffee-table book was not just the celebration of Raj Bhavan’s heritage, but a journey through its illustrious history and dynamic present. One can find the details of architecture and design, overview of paintings, artefacts and sculpture and other antiquities preserved in the Raj Bhavan, apart from innovation and description of activities inside it.
Vivek Kumar Singh, principal Secretary to the governor said this first coffee-table book had an international significance. That’s why it has been released in Delhi. He said this book was an endeavour to satiate the curiosity of the inquisitive reader about this architectural symbol of the republic.
Chief administration officers of Bihar Niwas, Shailendra Kumar, conducted the function. Assistant director, Bihar Information Centre, New Delhi, Lokesh Kumar Jha, proposed a vote of thanks. Major Himanshu Tewari, ADC to the governor, and Virender Rana, private secretary to the governor were also present.
- Clean air programme: SuMo to bat for inclusion of three cities TNN | Jun 4, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday said he would press for the inclusion of three Bihar cities – Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya – under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) of the Centre that covers 96 cities in the country. The three Bihar cities had been left out despite having poor air quality.
Modi said he would raise the issue at the one-day conference of the environment and forest ministers of all states to be held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Monday. The conference is part of the national conference to be held to mark the World Environment Day on Tuesday.
Modi said Union environment and forest minister Dr Harshvardhan and UN programme officer on environment Arik Solhein would address the conference of the states’ environment and forest ministers on Monday, while PM Narendra Modi would address the participants at the national conference on Tuesday.
“The World Health Organisation report on air quality had put Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya under the category of worst air quality. The air quality of these cities had deviated hugely on the PM10 air pollution levels. However, the NCAP announced by the Centre had excluded the three Bihar cities,” Modi said.
He added the NCAP would be implemented with an investment of Rs 637 crore and cover 96 cities of the country. “The programme proposes to take measures to control air pollution, increase the number of centres to measure air quality, conduct studies on the impact of poor environment on health and find the causes responsible for air pollution in the cities concerned,” Modi said.
- Drive from June 15 to check hygiene at roadside eateries TNN | Updated: Jun 4, 2018, 07:25 IST Venders sell street food in Patna on Sunday
PATNA: The state food safety department is going to launch a special monsoon food safety drive from June 15 to keep a check on hygiene at different food joints, roadside eateries, hotels and restaurants across the city.
“From June 15 onwards, a drive will be conducted at roadside stalls to check waterborne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal ailments caused by contaminated water, food and unhygienic surroundings at these places,” principal secretary (health) Sanjay Kumar, who is also the food safety commissioner, told this newspaper on Sunday.
“All the food stalls in the city with annual turnover of more than Rs12 lakh will have to get themselves registered with food safety department. Moreover, licence will be made mandatory for all such food joints in the wake of increasing adulteration and hygiene-related threats,” he said.
Elaborating about the drive, Kumar said, “Food samples will be collected from various shops. In case of violation of safety norms, licence of shops will be temporarily suspended. Besides, fines will be imposed in accordance with the gravity of offence. Our major focus will be to trace down the busiest localities where the number of roadside stalls is quite large, such as Maurya Lok and outside Patna Junction.”
However, he added, “The task of conducting this drive is enormous as the city has thousands of roadside stalls and eateries and the department has very few staff.”
Talking about the harm of eating roadside food during monsoon, Dr Ravi Kirti of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Patna said, “The growth of bacteria is very fast during monsoon. Some of the commonly found pathogens in street foods are Staphylococcus aureus, which causes vomiting, mild fever and appetite loss, a species of salmonella that causes food poisoning and inflammation of gastrointestinal tract and bacillus cereus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.”
He further said, “Water contamination is one of the major causes of sickness during monsoon. People gorge on roadside food and various summer drinks, keeping aside the harmful effects of consuming roadside food prepared with contaminated water and in unhygienic condition.”
Karuna Saini, who was spotted at a food stall near Boring Road intersection, said, “I enjoy eating street food, but I am very specific about the places where I eat. I make sure that the stall or ‘thela’ has hygienic surrounding and cleanliness.”
- RERA to blacklist builders for not registering projects TNN | Jun 5, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The building projects not registered under Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 till June 30 deadline will be blacklisted, said Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Bihar, chairman Afzal Amanullah on Monday.
Addressing a conference, Amanullah said the builders and promoters have been given the last opportunity to register their projects under the Act by June 30 with late fee of Rs3 lakh or 300% of the registration amount, whichever is higher.
“We are planning to involve a professional private company to conduct a survey of the ongoing projects in Bihar. After the survey, we will blacklist all those firms and companies which failed to register their ongoing projects by June 30 and report about them to RERA of other states and ministry of corporate affairs as well. We will also inform the registrar of societies for taking necessary action against them. Thereafter, they will also be barred from forming a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860,” he said.
“To further safeguard the interest of buyers, RERA Bihar is taking several measures to stop the blacklisted firms from getting back into the business. We will ask the registry offices not to register flats, buildings and lands of any builders, developers and agents unless they are registered with RERA Bihar. Bank and financial institutions will be advised not to give loans to any builder or developer without showing RERA registration numbers,” Amanullah said, adding that RERA Bihar would send the list of blacklisted firms to panchayats, municipalities and local bodies not to pass the blueprint of their new projects.
RERA member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha said the list of blacklisted firm would be circulated to all RERAs in India so that they would not be able to form a company in any part of the country. “People are advised not to invest in any project not registered in RERA and also not to buy property from real estate agent and property dealers if they are not registered with it,” he said.
Sinha added: “Though it is also compulsory for property dealers and agents also to register themselves under RERA Act, hardly any property dealer has registered so far.”
RERA Bihar estimates that there are around 1,500 unregistered projects across the state, out of which only 390 applied for registration. Sinha said, “We have issued 100 show-cause notices to builders and promoters for not complying with the RERA norms. Many of them have not started the projects even after five years. Around 1,000 complaints have been received against unscrupulous builders. Builders have to register every project with the authority and comply with numerous regulations, including starting a project only after all permissions are obtained, meeting project deadlines, payment of stiff penalties if projects are delayed and providing more clarity on the exact amount of floor space a buyer will get.”
- Deputy CM for ban on plastic below 50 microns TNN | Jun 5, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday requested Union minister of environment and forests Dr Harsh Vardhan to ban production of plastic below 50 microns throughout the country.
Addressing the conference of state environment ministers at New Delhi on the eve of World Environment Day, SuMo also requested Vardhan to include Patna, Gaya and Muzaffarpur of Bihar in the list of 99 non-attainment cities included in the ministry of environment and forests’ Rs637-crore National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
The deputy CM expressed anguish that no cities from Bihar had been listed for NCAP, even though the three cities mentioned by him have been included in the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recent report on poor air quality with Patna being fifth and Gaya fourth. He also requested the central government to waive off the 75km distance rule from common biomedical waste treatment facility (CBMWTF) and allow captive treatment facilities to be developed within big hospitals and medical colleges.
As per Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016, all the public healthcare facilities within reach of 75 kilometres of CBWTF needs to dispose of the biomedical waste through such CBWTF only and are not allowed to establish its own treatment and disposal facility.
To curb the increase in e-waste, SuMo said extended producer responsibility should be strictly imposed where producers take back the electronic items once they are not functional. He also put forth the idea that solid waste management and disposal facilities should be developed in major cities.
Talking about the initiatives to curb air pollution in Bihar, he said all brick kilns in the state without green technology would not be allowed to function from September 1. The brick kilns which do not have ‘zigzag technology’ would be banned, he said. “For making one lakh bricks, 12 tonne coal is used by traditional brick kilns. The zigzag technology enables them make the same number of bricks by using only 9.9 tonne coal,” he said and suggested the use of fly ash in brick production.
He also stressed on expediting the process of formation of State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) and State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) by vesting the power for formation of the same with the state governments. At present, these bodies are formed by the central government.
Raising the issue of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), he said the related rules should be notified at the earliest so that the Rs50,000 crore available under it could be utilized by the states. He also demanded that states be empowered to sanction funds from the corpus. He said only 10% of the funds have been utilized till date.
CAMPA funds collected from industries that have used forest land for projects were meant to be used by states to implement agroforestry in the non-forest land to compensate for the felled forest. Modi also suggested that land on roadsides should be declared forest land where extensive tree plantation could be carried out.
He also requested the ministry to make the official site of the Union ministry of environment and forest more user-friendly and all documents related to forest clearance should be submitted online instead of in hard copies.
- Now, aircraft maintenance facility available at Patna airport TNN | Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 06:14 IST
An Aircraft taking off from Patna Airport (File Photo)
PATNA: With the commencement of second night flight, the facility of aircraft maintenance was started at the Patna airport on Monday.
Late night flight of IndiGo (6E-239) between Bengaluru and Patna received good response from flyers on its maiden journey on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. The flight has a four hours halt at Patna airport. Bengaluru-Patna-Bengaluru flight landed at Patna airport at 12.40am and took off for Bangalore at 4.10am.
Around 148 out of 180 seats had been booked for arrival and 165 for departure. Patna airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria said the aircraft was given welcome water salute by Airports Authority of India (AAI).
“With this new flight, Patna airport commenced night base for airlines. Accordingly, a dump pit for disposal of toilet wastage has been constructed. Provision has also been made for dumping of other wastage like grease and oil among others, which may come out during maintenance,” he said.
“Engineers have also been deputed for the maintenance of the aircraft. Earlier, the airport had no such facility. The aprons will remain illuminated during the night hours,” said Lahauria. Now, 42 pairs of flights operate from Patna airport.
Jet Airways’ 9W-2540 on Pune-Patna-Pune route was the first night flight from the Patna airport. It was flagged off on March 26.
Two more night flights of IndiGo will soon start operation on the Kolkata-Patna-Kolkata and Hyderabad-Patna-Hyderabad routes. A Jet Airways flight (9W-3557) is also likely to begin operations between Patna and Allahabad thrice a week from June 14. The flight will reach Patna at 9.40am and leave for Allahabad at 10.10am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. tnn
- Bus service in more city areas soon: Transport secretary TNN | Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 06:40 IST Patna Bus stand (File Photo)
PATNA: Buoyed by the response of commuters, the Bihar State Road TransportCorporation (BSRTC) is soon going to connect several more residential areas in the city, including Kankerbagh, Rajendra Nagar and Patna Sahib, among others, with the city bus service.
Sources claimed that the new buses are likely to follow the Gandhi Maidan-Patna Junction-Kankerbagh-Rajendra Nagar-Patna City route. Besides, more buses will be operated on the Gandhi Maidan-Patna University route on which four buses are already running at an interval of 15 minutes.
State transport secretary Sanjay Kumar Agrawal said the decision was taken based on the good response to the buses already plying on city roads. The buses run on the Gandhi Maidan-Danapur, Gandhi Maidan-AIIMS-Patna and Gandhi Maidan-Patna University routes.
“The number of passengers travelling in 44 buses running on the three routes is around 20,000 to 24,000 daily. The buses take around 30 trips in a day,” Agarwal told this newspaper on Monday and added the number of passengers every month was about 5 lakh and the total revenue collected by the department was around Rs 40 lakh.
Monthly concessional passes will also be issued for the students travelling on buses running on the PU route.
Vijay Kumar, a local commuter at Kargil Chowk, said, “It’s good that the government has come up with this bus service which is cheaper, convenient and comfortable unlike other modes of transport available in the city.”
The availability of local government buses has also enabled commuters to shun autorickshaws that are mostly crowded and are rarely on time.
Naveen Kumar, another commuter from Anisabad said, “The auto drivers don’t care about passengers, whereas the government buses are less crowded and are timely as well.”
At present, 44 buses are available on the Gandhi Maidan-Danapur bus stand, Gandhi Maidan-Danapur railway station, Phulwarisarif-AIIMS and Gandhi Maidan-NIT routes.
- Brick kilns in Bihar without green technology to be banned from Sept 1: Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the forest and environment portfolio, said brick kilns which do not have 'zig-zag technology' will be bannedPTI | June 05, 2018, 14:00 IST
NEW DELHI: To tackle air pollution, brick kilns in Biharwithout green technology will not be allowed to function from September 1, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said here on Monday.
Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the forest and environment portfolio, said brick kilns which do not have 'zig-zag technology' will be banned.
At a state environment ministers' conference here, he said, "For making one lakh bricks, 12 tonne coal is used by traditional brick kilns. The zig-zag technology enables making the same number of bricks by using only 9.9 tonne coal."
Hot air coming out of zig-zag kilns following a three times longer path than the straight line in traditional ones, improving heat transfer, enhanced mixing of fuel and air, thereby leading to improved combustion and less consumption of coal.
At the conference attended by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, Sushil Kumar Modi batted for introducing an online procedure for diversion of forest lands, thus doing away with submitting a hard copy of such proposals to the Centre.
The states should also be empowered to constitute the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority and State Impact Authorisation Committee without any requiring permission from the Centre, he said.
Raising the issue of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), the Bihar minister said related rules should be notified at the earliest so that the Rs 50,000 crore available under it could be utilised by the states.
He also demanded that states be empowered to sanction funds from the corpus.
The website of the Environment Ministry should be made more user-friendly and a compendium of its circulars should be brought out in a booklet form, he said.
Sushil Kumar Modi sought to know from Vardhan if manufacture of plastic with less than 50 micron thickness could be banned.
He also sought changes in rules and regulations concerned to allow setting up of captive biomedical waste plants by big hospitals and medical colleges, and giving states the power to ban use of motor vehicles older than 15 years.