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- Door-to-door trash collection begins TNN | Jun 19, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has started door-to-door garbage collection in five wards of the city under its pilot project, ‘Chalant Kachra Sangrah’ (Mobile garbage collection scheme), from Monday.
After failing to implement the door-to-door garbage collection scheme, the PMC ended the contract of Patna-based firm Nishka Security and Intelligence Services and Delhi-based People's Association for Total Help and Youth Applause on May 18.
Under the mobile garbage collection scheme, which was approved by the empowered standing committee of the civic body on June 11, PMC sanitation workers have been engaged for garbage collection across the city. The move is expected to stabilize the garbage collection mechanism in the city.
“The concept is the same, but instead of relying on outsourced workers, the civic body will engage its own staff for garbage collection. At present, there are 4,000 sanitation workers in the PMC. With the help of a sound system, they will ask the locals to dump garbage as soon as they reach the wards allotted to them,” deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand said. The executive officers of the PMC’s four circle offices in Patna will submit a report on the manpower required for trash collection. A decision in this regard will be taken based on the report.
“The door-to-door garbage collection scheme has been implemented in five wards. Soon, we will try to cover the rest of the wards,” Anand said.
- PMC drive to remove drain hurdles TNN | Jun 19, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has launched a special eviction drive to remove all the structures that have come up on active stormwater drains in the city.
Sources said areas such as Ashok Rajpath, Beur Mor and Sipara had already been covered under this special anti-encroachment drive.
“Encroachment is a major reason for waterlogging during the monsoon,” deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand said on Monday. According to him, the eviction drive began on June 15 with a target to remove all encroachments from the stormwater drains in the city by the end of this month.
PMC’s Bankipore circle executive officer and additional municipal commissioner Abdul Hamid said the drive in his circle began from St Joseph’s Convent High School vicinity and covered areas near Patna College, Arvind Hospital to Biscoman roundabout.
“More than 20 structures identified as encroachments or obstructions have been demolished in the last three days in areas including Beur Mor and Sipara,” New Capital circle executive officer Shailesh Kumar said.
Kankerbagh circle executive officer Vishal Upadhyaya said most of the areas under his jurisdiction had been cleared. “Over 50 encroachments have been removed. On Monday, the drive was launched in the area from Vaishali roundabout to Congress Maidan road,” he said and added hoardings and banners at various locations were also being removed.
- Rs 13 crore car park unused as squatters block way TNN | Jun 19, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Five years after it was readied for use and two years after it was inaugurated by CM Nitish Kumar, the multilevel parking facility, developed at a cost of Rs 13.58 crore in front of the Patna railway station, wears a deserted look these days.
While motorists avoid using the complex as its approach roads remain congested due to encroachments, only autos can be seen parked on the ground floor of the four-floor structure with a capacity to accommodate at least 480 four-wheelers.
Asked about the poor utilisation, parking complex head Ayaaz Ahmed conceded the encroachments on the approach roads made it difficult for motorists to enter and exit the parking lot. “We have written to the Patna DM and the transport department authorities, seeking their intervention to solve the problem,” he said.
Parking complex cashier Rohit recalled quite many vehicles used to come for parking soon after the complex was inaugurated. The numbers started dwindling soon and now there are few takers for the parking facility, he said.
Patna DM Kumar Ravi on Monday told this reporter the district administration was seized of the issue. “We will remove the encroachments on the approach roads to the parking facility during our ongoing anti-encroachment drive,” he said, adding traffic policemen would be tasked with ensuring that the approach roads remained encroachment free for smooth passage of vehicles.
Sources said the semi-automated parking complex was constructed by the Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation. The construction work was completed in early 2013. However, it could not be opened immediately for public use owing to certain issues, including absence of proper approach roads and non-finalisation of parking charges.
The work on the development of its approach roads started in August-September 2015. The parking facility was finally inaugurated by CM Kumar in February 2016.
The complex has a lateral slope entry and circular ramps for exit. The entry is from the western side through the lane adjacent to erstwhile Pearl Cinema on Buddh Marg. The exit leads to the station road just in front of Mahavir Mandir.
Each floor has urinals and toilets and a terrace garden near the peripheral boundary.
- Soon, vertical gardens to be developed on flyover pillars Sandali Sinha| TNN | Jun 19, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL) will soon develop vertical gardens on the pillars of all flyovers in the city. A beginning in this regard has been made with the development of a vertical garden on pillar number 89 of the Jagdeopath-Sheikhpura Mor flyover.
“At least 2,000 varieties of plants, including haze, snake plants, dracaena mahatma, jasmine and song of India, were used in the vertical garden developed on a trial basis on pillar number 89. While the plants were procured from Kolkata, the pots were brought from Pune,” BRPNNL engineer Sunil Kumar told this newspaper.
Vertical gardens are quite common in metropolitan cities like New Delhi and Bengaluru. They absorb carbon dioxide from the environment, clean the polluted air and act as a natural sound proofing barrier.
Plans are afoot to develop vertical gardens on Station Road and Exhibition Road flyovers. “We will issue expression of interest (EoI) for inviting firms interested in developing vertical gardens on all the pillars of the Jagdedopath-Sheikhpura Mor flyover,” Sunil said.
Patna was marked the fifth most polluted city in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentration, according to a global air pollution database released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in May this year. PM 2.5 is the level of ultra-fine particles of less than 2.5 microns which invade human lungs and cause serious health problems, including cancer.
According to experts, walls on which vertical gardens are erected show a drop of 1-2 degrees, proving that the measure is an effective way of combating temperature.
- Municipal body bid to better work culture, civic amenities TNN | Jun 20, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has launched a ‘Project Phoenix’ to resolve the civic issues faced by residents of the state capital.
According to deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand, municipal commissioner Anupam Kumar Suman has as part of the project prioritised certain civic issues that need to be addressed urgently.
“Maintaining civic facilities is a challenge in the city which has been growing haphazardly of sorts. We took up projects to tackle certain issues, but they cropped up again,” Anand told this reporter on Tuesday and added the new project envisages completion of all the projects within a deadline.
In this regard, he said, a weekly meeting of executive officers of all the four circle offices and ward councillors would be held for discussing the progress of the work and other related issues. The project also aims to renovate the PMC headquarters. It will have separate public service counters to deal with issues directly concerning people.
The civic body has also decided to introduce Aadhaar-based biometric attendance for its staff members as well as workers.
“We regularly receive complaints about absence or irregularities of sanitation workers... With the biometric system in place, 100% transparency will be ensured,” Anand said and added the installation work of biometric machines would start by the end of this month.
Besides, the project underlines completion of drainage cleaning work, creation of IT-based ‘Combat Cell’ for crowdsourcing of solid waste management and drainage monitoring, removal of unauthorised posters and banners, green plantation on the roadside to curb pollution, installation of street lights in all the wards, anti-encroachment drives to remove unauthorised constructions and obstructions, creation of specific vending zones and removal of dangerously low overhead cables.
- Buy LED fans from energy department counters TNN | Updated: Jun 20, 2018, 11:09 IST
PATNA: The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has started distribution of energy-efficient Ujala (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) ceiling fans from the billing counters of North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited, South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) and Patna Electric Supply Undertaking (PESU).
An energy department official said fresh stock of cheap and energy-efficient fans reached Patna on Sunday. R Lakshmanan, managing director of SBPDCL, said the price of Ujala ceiling fans was less than market price of other fans in the same category. “The price of Ujala fans is Rs 1,100, while the fans of same category available in the market are sold at around Rs 2,000 per piece. The Ujala fans consume 50W of electricity comparing to 60W consumed by other fans,” he said, adding people need to furnish electricity bill, identity card and address proof to purchase these fans from the counters.
Apart from energy-efficient fans, the sales of LED bulbs and tube lights have also increased. Consumers can purchase energy-saving bulbs and tube lights from the same centres of energy department. The market price of LED bulbs is Rs 150 and the tube lights cost Rs 450. However, the prices of Ujala LED bulbs and tube lights are Rs 70 and Rs 220, respectively.
“So far, 1.81 crore Ujala bulbs and 1.3 lakh units of LED tube lights have been sold by the energy department,” Lakshmanan said. Residents too are looking forward to buying the energy-efficient bulbs, tube lights and fans. Vidya Jha, a state government employee, said, “I have witnessed sharp plunge in my monthly electricity bill as the energy consumption of these LED appliances is comparatively less.”
Shashi Kant Tiwary, who also uses energy-efficient LED bulbs and tube lights, echoed Jha’s tone.
- Civil enclave land wall work to begin next week Faryal Rumi| TNN | Jun 21, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Work on the construction of a boundary wall around the 126 acres of land near the Bihta airbase, where a civil enclave is to be developed for commercial flight operations, is likely to begin next week.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials said on Wednesday the bidding process for selection of a firm to construct the boundary wall would be completed by June 23. The work is expected to begin by June 26.
Jayaprakash Narayan International (JPNI) Airport-Patna director Rajender Singh Lahauria told this reporter on Wednesday the state government has asked the state building construction corporation to execute the work.
The cabinet headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar had on November 15 last year sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs 260.74 crore for acquisition of land near the Bihta airbase.
Of the 126 acres of land, 108 acres will be utilised for development of a civil enclave and the remaining 18 acres for development of amenities, including a VIP lounge, a hotel and a hangar. The AAI has targeted to ready the first block of the civil enclave by mid-2019 at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore.
“The Indian Air Force may hand over 7.5 acres of land, adjacent to the acquired 126 acres, to the state government for development of a terminal building. In return, the IAF wants a plot of land adjacent to their runway,” Lahauria said, adding the exchange of land was not finalised yet because the defence ministry was yet to take a decision on it.
Meanwhile, Lahauria said, the work for extension of Patna airport will begin by July-end. “In the first phase, the entry and exit routes to the airport terminal will be constructed. It will be followed by construction of a colony and shifting of the IMD office temporarily to a building in the residential area on the airport prremises,” he said, adding the work on the new terminal building was expected to begin within three months.
A meeting in this regard was held between chief secretary Deepak Kumar and airport director Lahauria on Tuesday.
- 100% household electrification in 8 districts soon TNN | Jun 21, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: All households in Munger, Sheikhpura and Kishanganj districts have been provided with electricity connection under Har Ghar Bijli Lagatar scheme of the state government. The Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) is now set to cover every household in Nalanda, Bhojpur, Gopalganj, Supaul and Purnia districts under the scheme in the next ten days, energy department’s principal secretary-cum-chief managing director of BSPHCL Pratyaya Amrit said on Wednesday.
“We are focusing on the last phase of providing electricity connection to all households in the state by December. This phase is also broken into specific milestones and the first has eight districts, including Munger, Sheikhpura, Nalanda and Bhojpur of South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) and Gopalganj, Purnia, Kishanganj and Supaul of North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (NBPDCL) to be provided with 100% electrification by June-end. Munger has already become the first district to receive 100% electricity connections,” Pratyaya Amrit told this newspaper.
SBPDCL managing director R Lakshmanan said, “The overall target in the eight selected districts was to provide electricity connections to around 28 lakh households. In Nalanda, the expected connections were around 42,379, out of which 30,432 have been completed. Similarly, in Bhojpur and Gopalganj, out of 62,341 and 46,122, only around 15,000 and 4,000 connections are left, respectively. Various proactive measures are also being taken up to reach the remaining households.”
Lakshmanan further said, “The first phase target to electrify each and every revenue village (39,073) of Bihar by the end of 2017 was achieved well in time. The next phase target to provide electricity to all the tolas (1,06,249) of Bihar by April was again achieved. Now, the last leg of household electrification is being done and weekly camps are being organized at panchayat level to facilitate connections the same day. More than 6 lakh connections have been released in April and May in the state under this mode.”
One of the seven resolutions of chief minister Nitish Kumar is Mukhya Mantri Vidyut Sambandh Nishchay Yojana-Har Ghar Bijli Lagatar to provide electricity connections to all APL households in the state by December this year.
- MoU for rail line land transfer on June 30 TNN | Jun 21, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Only days after the railway ministry’s nod for transfer of its Digha-Patna line land, the Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited (BSRDCL) has initiated the bidding process for roping in firms to prepare a feasibility report for the construction of a six-lane road on the 6-km, 150- year-old track which has altogether 30 metres of land in width on its sides.
State road construction department minister Nand Kishore Yadav said on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) would be signed between the BSRDCL and railway authorities on June 30 regarding the transfer of land. “Before that, we will clear the compensation amount of Rs 221 crore for the railways,” he said.
The minister said a drone survey of the site was conducted a few days ago. Most of the land is encroached. “After the MoU is signed, the district administration will launch a drive for the eviction of squatters, after which the construction work will commence,” he said and added the railway authorities had been asked to remove the track by June 30.
BSRDCL chief general manager Chandra Shekhar said once the feasibility report and project report were prepared by mid-July, work would begin on the design and structure. “The proposed road will not only provide seamless connectivity between north and south Patna but will also reduce the distance between R-Block and Digha by at least 2km,” he said.
- New escalator at Patna Junction to roll from June 30 TNN | Jun 21, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: An escalator with ascending moving stairs will be made functional on platform number 1 of the Patna Junction on June 30. Three more escalators — two near the parcel office and one on platform number 10 — will be ready for use soon.
Railway officials claimed that the escalators would help passengers, especially senior citizens and disabled people. An escalator on platform 10 has been functional since February, 2014.
“Four lifts will also be installed at the station by the end of this year,” Danapur division’s public relations officer Sanjay Kumar Prasad said on Wednesday and added the railways had also sanctioned installation of 34 lifts at Samastipur, Darbhanga, Hajipur, Barauni and Muzaffarpur stations in the current fiscal.
Frequent train passengers have hailed the new facilities. “The escalators will provide major relief to daily passengers, especially senior citizens. More such facilities should be introduced,” said 52-year-old Aalamveer Jamaal.
College student Apoorv, who is a daily commuter, said, “One or two escalators are not enough. They should be installed on all platforms for the convenience of passengers.”
The Patna Junction, one of the busiest railway stations in the country, witnesses an approximate footfall of around 1.5 lakh passengers daily. At least 75 trains also originate from here.
- Power cuts irk Patnaites, but Pesu claims all’s well Anuja Shanker| TNN | Jun 21, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: With power outages becoming the norm, city residents have little option but to grin and bear the trouble. Areas like Boring Road, Sri Krishna Puri, Sri Krishna Nagar, Pataliputra Colony, Nehru Nagar, Nageshwar Colony and Machhua Toli, among others, have been grappling with power pangs for days now.
Wednesday was no better with the erratic electricity supply getting on the nerves of Patnaites. “With the temperature hovering around 40-43°C, we are forced to stay indoors. To make matters worse, there are frequent power cuts that last from 25 minutes to an hour or two every day. Our genset runs out of fuel in no time,” rued Sonali Anand who lives in a plush Nageshwar Colony apartment.
Tricenarian Prem Narayan of North Shastri Nagar, who has had “sleepless nights”, said there was no predictable pattern to the outages and their frequency was as high as four to five times daily. “At night, I spend a harrowing time dealing with my two-year-old who has to be fanned with a newspaper continuously,” he said and added he could not concentrate on his office work these days because of lack of sleep.
The outages have also taken a toll on many people’s health in this scorching heat. Sexagenarian Gopal Saha, who was recently transferred to Patna from Guwahati, had to visit a physician on Tuesday. “My sleep cycle has been disrupted and so has been my morning schedule. I am not keeping well,” he said.
There are some who have been experiencing short-duration interruptions in power supply. According to Anisabad resident Anil Kumar Singh, “Repeated spells of outages, which last for a couple of minutes, are likely to damage sensitive electronic appliances like airconditioners and refrigerators at home.”
The electricity department’s hide-and-seek game has also triggered water woes. “On Monday, power supply was snapped for nearly two hours in the morning. As a result, taps ran dry and I had to fill four buckets with water from a nearby hand-pump before leaving for office,” said Rahul Kaushik of Nehru Nagar.
Brushing it all off, Patna Electric Supply Undertaking’s general manager Dilip Kumar Singh claimed enough electricity was being generated to meet the quantum of demand. “Na load shedding hai, na breakdown… There may be cases of momentary tripping due to an increase in individual consumption,” Singh told TOI on Wednesday.
He pointed out that the overall power demand in the city had surged owing to the heatwave conditions. “On Wednesday, power demand in Patna was 605MW as against around 500MW on normal weather days,” Singh said, adding 48 fuse call centres in the city were getting 500 to 700 complaints regarding power cuts daily and the supply was being restored within minutes.
- 9 real estate firms served notices for violation of RERA TNN | Jun 21, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Bihar Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has issued notices to nine builders and promoters for not registering their 25 ongoing projects with the authority. The deadline for registration of ongoing projects expired on April 30 and it was extended to June 30 with late fine.
Section 3 of RERA Act makes it mandatory for the promoters to register their ongoing or new real estate project (residential, commercial, plotted development/layout, villa or mixed development) with more than 8 units or above 500 square metres of land under RERA.
“Whenever we spot an advertisement violating the RERA Act and state RERA rules, action is initiated against such erring builders and promoter,” RERA (Bihar) chairman Afzal Amanullah told this newspaper on Wednesday.
The companies who got notices include the projects of Ashirvad Engicon Real Estate Pvt Ltd, Patligram Builders Pvt Ltd, Grih Vatika Homes Pvt Ltd, Aastik Buildcon Pvt Ltd, Kamini Dream House Pvt Ltd, Magadh Housing, Sarvodya Group of Companies, Awani Builders and Simanchal Infratech Pvt Ltd.
RERA (Bihar) member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha said: “Many builders are not registered with the state RERA. We have issued notices to companies on the basis of complaints received from the buyers against unregistered incomplete projects.”
RERA (Bihar) has sent over 130 show-cause notices to various real estate developers in the last three months for advertising their projects without registration. Around 410 builders have applied for registration and 60 got RERA number.
“June 30 is the last deadline to register their ongoing projects with late fee of Rs3 lakh or 300% of registration amount, whichever is higher, failing which the builders would be blacklisted,” said Sinha.
- Min: Movement of sand tractors on J P Setu soon TNN | Jun 22, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: State transport minister Santosh Kumar Nirala on Wednesday said the movement of tractors carrying sand would soon be allowed on the Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge or J P Setu. The decision has been taken to resolve the issue of transportation of sand and other construction materials between north and south Bihar across the Ganga.
Addressing a group of traders at a conference organized at the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) on Wednesday, the minister said, “The state road construction department (RCD) is responsible for regulating the movement of vehicles plying over the J P Setu. We will discuss this issue with chief minister Nitish Kumar and RCD minister Nand Kishore Yadav for the ease of traders who are facing losses due to the restriction on vehicular movement on the bridge.”Besides, the movement of buses from Bihar to Delhi and Nepal will also begin soon. “The transport department has witnessed an increment in its annual income from Rs 200 crore in 2006 to Rs 1,800 crore in 2017-18,” Nirala said.
Meanwhile, BCCI president P K Agarwal raised various issues faced by traders during the conference. “There is a lot that the transport department needs to focus on. Almost every tractor across the state is without an indicator. This is one of the major reasons for road accidents. Sleeper seats should be provided in luxury buses for ensuring a comfortable journey.”
Speaking on the occasion, transport secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal claimed efforts were being made to increase the number of mobile app-based radio taxi operators.
“The transport department is planning to set up two driving schools in each district. The Union government will give 50% subsidy on the cost of setting up a driving institute which requires approximately two acres of land. The land can either belong to the agency or be taken on lease. It can also be located outside the town area,” the transport secretary said.
- HC seeks info on disposal of hospital biomedical waste Debashish Karmakar| TNN | Jun 22, 2018, 01:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Thursday directed the Bihar State Pollution Control Board to reply whether or not the biomedical waste generated in the hospitals and medical institutes across the state was disposed of in accordance with prescribed norms.
A division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad directed the pollution body to file a counter affidavit on the issue within four weeks.
The order was passed on a PIL filed by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba who alleged the biomedical waste was either being dumped or burned in open, which is hazardous for humans and environment.
Chandra’s PIL has urged the court to direct the authorities concerned to ensure proper disposal of the biomedical waste.
In a counter affidavit earlier, the pollution control board had replied to the court that the biomedical waste was being disposed of as per the prescribed norms. Chandra in his rejoinder to the pollution board’s counter affidavit attached photographs of several places across Patna, Darbhanga, Bhagalpur and Gaya where the biomedical waste was either being dumped along with garbage or being burned in open.
Chandra also apprised the court that the state health department had entered into an agreement with three private firms running three incinerators in Patna, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur for disposing of the biomedical waste generated across Bihar. However, he said, the authorities were yet to disclose the disposal capacity of the incinerators and the volume of biomedical waste generated across the state.
Encroachments: The division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, while hearing another PIL filed by advocate Y Madhavi, on Thursday directed advocate general Lalit Kishore to clarify within four weeks which department was responsible for removal of encroachments under the overbridges in Patna.
Madhavi’s PIL has sought a court directive to the authorities concerned to remove the squatters. However, the Patna Municipal Corporation and the Bihar State Road Development Corporation have submitted before the court that it was not under their jurisdiction to remove the encroachments under the overbridges.
- Soon, drive against stray animals around airport Faryal Rumi| TNN | Jun 23, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor on Friday directed the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to launch special drive to catch stray animals in the vicinity of Jayaprakash Narayan International (JPNI) Airport here.
The decision was taken in a meeting of airport environment management committee chaired by Kishor in the capacity of its ex- officio chairman. The instruction was given after a stray fox was found near the tarmac area at the airport.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials present in the meeting were also asked to submit a report to the divisional commissioner’s office on the measures to control the growing menace of stray animals in and around the airport.
The PMC has also been directed to place 20 garbage bins at airport to prevent dumping of waste in the open. Garbage and meat shops around the airport attract birds, which at times lead to bird-hit incidents. Two aircraft were hit by birds soon after landing at the airport on Saturday last.
A committee of three members under deputy PMC commissioner Vishal Anand will also be constituted to monitor waste disposal in the airport area.
Pointing out the common causes of bird population around Patna airport, Kishor said: “Random checking of waste disposal will be done by PMC sanitary inspectors. The PMC also needs to check the open drains near the airport and immediately cover the open chambers.”
He asked the AAI officials to regularly trim the grasses and remove objects that could attract birds. “Four cages should be placed at various places to trap foxes and stray animals,” Kishor said.
He also proposed a 60 to 70 metres high fencing around the airport to prevent stray animals from getting inside the premises.
“Patna airport already has 10 bird chasers, two six-shot launchers and seven zone guns to control the bird menace. The AEMC should involve the airlines in preparation of a schedule or a chart on how many times six-shot launchers and zone guns should be used, so that, they won’t find any obstacles while landing or take-off of flights,” said Kishor.
Patna airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria, PMC commissioner Anupam Kumar Suman, district magistrate Kumar Ravi, Patna SP Amarkesh D and city traffic SP P N Mishra were present at the meeting.