Will Bihar be the preferred real estate destination ever?

The real estate in Bihar has lately given some hope of resurgence. People are becoming more aware of their rights (the latest demonstration was their use of voting powers to call for a change of power) and wants to be a part of the developmental boom as in the rest of India. An 'Investment commision' has been formed which will look into facilitating Bihar's development and to promoting it as an investment destination'.

The state is under a process of image building for an investor-friendly state. It promises certain advantages over already developed states in terms of cheap real estate prices, limited labour-related issues and a large educated manpower at nearly one-third the cost compared to Tier I and II cities. However, Bihar is still to go miles before it does some significant improvement in infrastructure, socio-economic backwardness, and law and order.

Will the interests shown by so many of biggies like Tata Group, MaxHealthCare and ICICI translate into actual investment in Bihar?
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  • HC asks state to submit ATR on encroachments TNN | Jun 23, 2018, 02:00 IST
    PATNA: The Patna high court on Friday expressed its displeasure and sought action taken report from the state government within a week on removal of encroachments from footpaths and roads of the city to ease traffic.

    The division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, while hearing a PIL filed by advocate Shashi Bhushan Kumar through Public Interest Litigation Forum, remarked that nothing was available on record even after two months of the court’s order for removing encroachments.

    On April 9, the court had directed different stakeholders of the state government to proceed with the action plan as indicated in a counter affidavit submitted by Patna traffic police and submit a report on its implementation. Following the court order on March 12, the action plan was prepared at a meeting presided over by PMC commissioner on April 4.

    The petitioner had sought court order to the authorities concerned to take action against the vehicles found picking up and unloading passengers in the middle of the road. The petitioner had mentioned Chiraiyatand and Mithapur flyover as being used as a stand for buses and rickshaws and parking of by commercial vehicles on both sides of the road near Patna Junction. He had also highlighted encroachment at Fraser Road, Exhibition Road, Bari Path, Kankarbagh, Rajendra Nagar and Nala Road by the Patna Municipal Corporation by keeping dustbins. Parking of pushcarts and vehicles on roadsides and keeping unused vehicles under city flyovers were the other problems he had mentioned before the court. The petitioner stated that traffic congestion resulted in harrowing time for children retuning from schools and patients coming to Patna from other districts by ambulance.
    In the counter affidavit by traffic police, it was accepted that issues highlighted in the PIL were genuine and PMC and district administration needed joint action to remove encroachments. It was also proposed that traffic and local police would remain vigilant and act against roadside encroachments for easy traffic flow.

  • RERA appoints retired judge to hear complaints of buyers TNN | Jun 23, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Bihar has appointed retired district judge Ved Prakash as the adjudicating officer for listening to complaints and dispute of buyers under Section 71 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016. Prakash will take charge on July 19.

    He will hear and resolve the complaints under Sections 12, 13, 18 and 19. Bihar RERA rules mandate that complaints must be disposed of within 60 days.

    RERA Bihar chairman Afzal Amanullah told this newspaper on Friday that a bench of two RERA members — Rajiva Bhushan Sinha and Subodh Kumar Sinha — will hear out the complaints initially and in some cases the chairman himself hear out the complaints. “The RERA court will give a fair chance to both the complainant and the respondents. Final judgement is passed after a proper scrutiny of the matter,” he said.

    RERA Bihar is also to rope in a private firm to conduct a survey and identify the unregistered ongoing projects in the state.

    Rajiva said there were more than 1000 ongoing unregistered projects as only 415 had applied for registration so far. “The survey will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will cover Patna, Bhojpur, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Vaishali, Rohtas, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Gaya, Samastipur, Saran, Nalanda, Begusarai and Munger districts. The remaining districts will be covered in the second phase,” he said.

    “The survey team is also required to approach the local authorities like municipal corporations, nagar nigams, nagar parishads and panchayats to find out the details of builders and promoters who have got their maps of real estate projects approved by the local authorities in the last five years along with location of the projects. Then these will be linked with physical progress of the project to determine whether it requires registration,” Rajiva said.


  • Work on smart city plan to be visible from October: Patna mayor TNN | Updated: Jun 23, 2018, 07:22 IST
    Patna mayor Sita Sahu

    PATNA: Eighteen of the 75 wards of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) have been declared open defecation free in the last one year, said Patnamayor Sita Sahu while presenting the annual report card of the civic body on Friday.

    Sahu, who completed one year in office as mayor on June 19, said the PMC proposed several proactive schemes in the past one year to improve the overall condition of the city, but least of them were implemented properly. “I am yet not satisfied with my work. There is a lot I am focusing on. There are several schemes we are now prioritizing to work on and one of them is smart city plan. We are working in full swing for the implementation of smart city plan and the work will be visible on the ground from October,” she said.

    Deliberating on prioritized agendas of PMC, Sahu said, “Our main focus is to complete the drainage cleaning work and to establish an IT based combat cell for crowdsourcing of solid waste management. We are also working hard to procure sweeping machines to ensure cleanliness in the city. Moreover, PMC will now have a biometric system of attendance to maintain 100% transparency. Its installation work will start by this month-end.”

    She said the PMC was working according to the population and requirements to make each ward in the city an ideal ward. “During this one year, I have worked a lot for improving sanitation and cleanliness in the city. As soon as I joined the office, three sanitation workers in each ward were increased. To overcome the waterlogging issue, we outsourced desilting machines for drainage cleaning work. The installation work of LED street lights is underway and is targeted to get over by December this year. Soon, we will also forward a proposal for constructing modular toilets in the city,” the report card stated.


  • Hyderabad firm shortlisted to develop new terminal building at Patna airport Piyush Tripathi| TNN | Updated: Jun 24, 2018, 07:16 IST Illustration of airport front view with garden

    PATNA: Hyderabad-based Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd has been shortlisted to be assigned the project to develop a new terminal building at the Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport in Patna.

    Airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria told TOI on Saturday the contract for the project was likely to be awarded to the firm by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) headquarters soon. The work will commence in two months.

    “The new terminal building is targeted to be readied in two years at a cost of Rs 550 crore. The total outlay for the entire airport expansion work has been pegged at around Rs 1,150 crore,” Lahauria said.

    As per the design, the terminal building will be developed over an area of 57,000 square metre against its existing expanse of over 7,200 square metre. The new terminal building will be a two-storey structure equipped with six aerobridges and an apron area to facilitate parking of 14 aircraft at a time against the existing parking capacity of four aircraft.

    Flyers will reach the departure hall of the terminal building located on the first floor through a six-lane elevated approach road originating from Peer Ali Marg, known as the airport toad. A similar six-lane approach road will be rolled out underneath the departure carriageway from the arrival hall to the airport road.

    The airport extension work will start with the construction of temporary entry and exit roads and a six- to seven-floor residential complex for AAI staff in the airport colony. The existing residential houses in the airport colony will be demolished to make space for the airport expansion work, Lahauria said.

    He said the India Meteorological Department’s office would be shifted to a new building near the existing exit of the airport premises.

    Meanwhile, deliberations were also held on the extension of the airport runway at a meeting held earlier this week between chief secretary Deepak Kumar and airport director Lahauria. The chief secretary is learned to have inquired about the possibility of extension of the runway towards the Patna zoo. Sources said it was possible only if Peer Ali Marg was made underground.

    Lahauria, however, said the chief secretary did not issue any directive on the issue of the runway extension.

    The AAI has been for quite some time demanding 7.5 acres of land on the airport’s western side and 45 acres of land on eastern side from the state government for extension of the runway as well as development of facilities like isolation bays for grounded flights.


  • ‘2,000MW solar power by 2022’ TNN | Jun 25, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi (SuMo) said on Sunday the power plants at Pirpainti in Bhagalpur and Kajra in Lakhisarai, which were initially proposed to be coal-based thermal power plants, would now be solar power plants.

    “The two power plants are slated to be commissioned by 2022 and each will produce 350MW of electricity using solar energy. The state government is committed to producing 2000MW of electricity through solar energy by 2022,” SuMo said at the East India Climate Change Conclave here.

    Elaborating on other steps being taken by the state government for the cause of environment protection and averting climate change, he said no brick kilns would be allowed to operate without adopting to clean technologies. “The brick kilns which operate on clean technologies required three tonne less coal in producing one lakh bricks as compared to the conventional kilns,” SuMo said.

    He also said 15 crore saplings would be planted in Bihar over the next five years to increase the green cover in the state.

    Speaking on the impact of climate change in Bihar, SuMo cited the example of damage caused to the maize crop due to excessive low temperature conditions in the last winter. “Sprouting could not happen in the standing maize crops due to extreme winter conditions. Consequently, the total maize production went down by 12 lakh metric tonne in 201718, compared to 2016-17. Around 1 lakh farmers in 14 districts were affected by it,” he said.

    SuMo said the state agriculture department was working on projects entailing an estimated outlay of Rs23 crore sanctioned under National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change. He also said the Centre had given in-principal approval to a state government scheme entailing an outlay of Rs339 crore under Green Climate Fund.

    He also proposed to rename state environment and forests department as department of environment, forest and climate change on the lines of the Union ministry. CM Nitish Kumar, who was also present, gave his consent to the proposal.


  • Garbage collection in 17 more wards of PMC soon TNN | Jun 25, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: After one week of implementation of mobile garbage collection in five of the 75 wards of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC), the civic body has geared up to execute the same in 17 more wards in a couple of days.

    The PMC started trash collection under the ‘chalant kachra sangrah’ (mobile garbage collection) scheme last Monday. The PMC officials on Sunday told this newspaper that door-to-door garbage collection would resume in two wards of New Capital Circle and 15 wards of Patna City circle.

    “Out of the total 16 wards in New Capital circle, we are going to execute door-to-door collection initially in ward number 9 (Old Secretariat area) and 28 (Fraser Road, Exhibition Road and Dak Bungalow area) within two days,” said Shailesh Kumar, the executive officer of New Capital Circle, on Sunday.

    Patna City circle executive officer Ajay Kumar said, “There are total 20 wards in my circle. Initially, we had started trash collection in ward number 52, 53, 54, 66 and 67. These wards include areas such as Patna Sahib and Gai Ghat. Altogether 20 sanitation workers in each ward have been engaged for this work. Now, we will cover ward number 56 to 65 and 68 to 72 in the next two-three days.”

    Initially, the door-to-door garbage collection was being executed in five wards of the city under Bankipore and Kankerbagh circles (ward number 40, 41, 43 and 47 in Bankipore and ward number 31 in Kankerbagh). Gradually, the six more wards were covered, including ward number 44 of Kankerbagh circle and 52, 53, 54, 66 and 67 of Patna City circle.

    Abdul Hamid, executive officer of Bankipore Circle said, “Out of 12 wards in my circle, garbage is being collected in ward number 43 (Rajendra Nagar), 41 (Makhania Kuan), 40 (Sabzibagh) and 47 (Mahavir Nagar). Two small tipper trucks and four tricycles for narrow alleyways are engaged for collecting garbage from households regularly.”

  • Centre plans 25% greenhouse gas emission cut by 2020: Minister Piyush Tripathi| TNN | Jun 25, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: Emission of greenhouse gases that lead to global warming and climate change would be reduced by 20-25% in India by 2020 and 33-35% by 2030, Union minister for environment, forest and climate change Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday. He also claimed that the Centre has targeted to make contribution of clean energy in total energy production in the country up to 40% by 2030.

    “Though India’s average greenhouse gas emission is less than one-third of the corresponding global figures, the Narendra Modi government is committed to reducing it by 20-25% by 2020 and 33-35% by 2030. Besides, green energy (electricity produced from non-fossil fuel sources such as wind, solar power and hydropower) will account for 40% of the total energy production in India,” Harsh Vardhan said at the inaugural session of East India Climate Change Conclave organized by the state environment and forests department in Patna.

    He said India would produce 175 gigawatt electricity through different sources of green energy by 2020, out of which 100 gigawatt would be solar energy.

    He also reiterated India’s commitments at the Paris Agreement and said the country would potentially achieve the target before the deadline. “Vehicles in India will be upgraded to be compatible with BS (Bharat Stage)-VI fuel by 2020 from BS-IV at present,” Harsh Vardhan said. Sources said India was committed to roll out BS-VI norms by 2023, but it revised the deadline to 2020.

    Harsh Vardhan also talked about ‘Green Good Deeds’ initiative of his ministry, which is a small positive action to be performed by individuals to strengthen the cause of environmental protection. The initiative was formally launched by the Union forests minister in January this year. “We observed that despite global conventions and summits and the numerous initiatives being taken by the government, we are unable to tell common people how they can make individual contributions for the cause of environment protection. Accordingly, Green Good Deeds were launched through a mobile app named ‘Dr Harsh Vardhan’. These are over 700 small, positive actions to be performed by individuals or organizations for environment protection,” he said.
    The minister said the Modi government was committed to eliminating single-use plastic in the country by 2022. He also said over 30 crore energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) street lights had been installed by the central government.


  • CM: Waterway project feasible only after desiltation of Ganga Piyush Tripathi| TNN | Jun 25, 2018, 03:51 IST

    Patna: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday asserted that the Centre’s national waterway-1 (NW-1) project from Allahabad to Farakka would not succeed unless the issue of siltation in the Ganga is resolved.

    Urging Union minister for environment, forest & climate change Dr Harsh Vardhan to take up the issue with surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari, Nitish cited the example of two ships, which stuck in the Ganga near Buxar recently due to shallow water in the river.

    “A cargo vessel of Inland Waterways Authority of India has been stuck in the Ganga at Ramrekha Ghat, around 500 metres upstream of Buxar, from January this year as the river water there is mere 1.10 metres deep. Not even that, a tug vessel sent to pull out the cargo ship also got stuck 10km upstream of Buxar. Thus, the NW-1 will not succeed unless the siltation issue is addressed,” Nitish said while addressing the inaugural session of East India Climate Change Conclave organized by the state environment and forests department in Patna.

    Reiterating the state’s demand from the Centre to ensure incessant flow of the Ganga, Nitish said: “A central committee has been formed to look into the issue. The flow of the river has been obstructed with the construction of a number of dams and barrages. I will urge the Centre to take concrete steps and get the silt removed from the river and discharged into oceans.”

    Nitish said the discharge of water in the Ganga when it enters Bihar is 400 cumecs (cubic metre per second), which increases to 1400 cumecs while flowing out of the state. “This means that majority of the contribution in the flow of the Ganga in Bihar is made by its tributaries, which at times lead to floods in the state.”

    Siltation apart, the CM also spoke about sharp plunge in rainfall in Bihar over the past one decade. “The average rainfall for the monsoon season in Bihar, calculated by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) based on the annual rainfall figures of 30 years from 1980 to 2010, was 1027mm. When I asked the IMD to calculate the average rainfall during my regime from 2006 to 2017, they claimed it had come down to 912mm. Moreover, rainfall more than 1000mm was witnessed in only three years during this period. It clearly indicates that the climate change has affected the rainfall pattern as well,” Nitish said.

  • Monsoon likely to expose govt preparedness in Patna TNN | Updated: Jun 24, 2018, 13:26 IST Representative image

    PATNA: With the southwest monsoon expected to make its onset in a couple of days, the city is still not prepared to deal with waterlogging, traffic congestion and various health and other sanitation issues. Though the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) claims to have completed 80% of the preparedness work, residents are waiting for the monsoon test with fingers crossed.

    Drainage cleaning: The slow pace of drainage cleaning work is likely to cause inconvenience to the residents. “About 80% of drainage cleaning work across the 75 wards is done and the rest is estimated to get completed by June 30. Drains in some localities are still to be desilted. Moreover, the work for constructing around 35-40 small drains in the city is also underway. In April-end, a project worth Rs2 crore was sanctioned for this,” Patna mayor Sita Sahu said.

    Healthcare: State health department has taken several proactive measures to control the spread of diseases during monsoon. State health minister Mangal Pandey told this newspaper, “The department has provided the required stock of anti-diarrhoeal medicines and vaccinations, anti-rabies vaccinations, anti-retroviral vaccination (ARVs) and medicines for various skin diseases at all the common health centres (CHCs) and primary health centres (PHCs). The department has also charted out an elaborate programme for spraying bleaching powder in flood-prone areas. Besides, the department is having a good stock of halogen tablets that are used for purifying the sources of drinking water.”

    Power supply: To avoid power breakdown for long hours during rain, Patna Electricity Supply Undertaking (PESU) is replacing bare conductors with the covered ones that can withstand heavy rain and winds to prevent power tripping. “Power disruptions during monsoon are caused due to high-velocity winds. Thus, we are replacing all the bare conductors with aerial-bunched insulated cables and covered conductors. The major focus is on those areas where the gap between the buildings is less and where trees are in abundance and where big hoardings and banners are put up near electricity poles. Currently, the work is going on in Gardanibagh, Danapur, Dak Bungalow, Pataliputra Colony, Mandiri and Boring Road areas,” PESU GM Dilip Kumar Singh told this newspaper. Railway tracks: Railways has also geared up its machinery for ensuring safe operations during monsoon. “Debris littered around is one of the reasons of waterlogging on tracks. The work of removing debris is almost completed. Besides, regular monsoon patrolling of the railway track is being done by two officials twice a day. In each inspection, they cover around 1-2km stretch and submit the report,” said P K Chaudhary, the station master of Patna Junction.
    Fogging and spraying: PMC officials claimed fogging in different localities had commenced in April-end itself. “This drive continues till monsoon,” said mayor Sita Sahu.

  • Kolhua archaeological site to get a facelift TNN | Jun 26, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Kolhua archaeological site in Muzaffarpur district, located around 65km northwest of Patna, will be redeveloped with world-class facilities under the Centre’s Adarsh Smarak scheme. Altogether 27 monuments across the country, including Kolhua, were selected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 2015 for upgradation of tourist-related amenities.

    Broad stone benches, tall signposts, decorative hedges and wooden railings will be some of the amenities for the tourists vising the redeveloped site. If ASI officials are to be believed, the famous Kolhua archaeological site will get a facelift by the end of August this year.

    D N Sinha, superintending archaeologist of ASI’s Patna circle, said the focus was on improving tourist amenities at the site. “The Adarsh Smarak scheme was mooted by the Centre in July 2017 and a comprehensive plan to give a facelift to Kolhua archaeological site was prepared. The work began in February this year,” Sinha added.

    He said the boundary wall of the site has been repainted with brick colour, matching with the interior structure. The railings of the boundary wall, he said, have been repainted with pistachio colour, complementing the greenery around.

    “The debris and heaps of soil and garbage gathered at various spots in and around the site have been removed. A 2.5-feet tall wooden railing and hedges have also been put up to protect the brick structures,” Sinha said.

    He added the existing entrance would be replaced by a newly-designed entry gate on the lines of Ashoka Pillar. “The construction work is underway and it will be completed by August-end. The work to install litterbins is also underway. For the ease of visitors, we have planned to install signposts at different locations in and around the site. Stones have been purchased from Rajasthan and artisans have already started the work,” Sinha said

    An interpretation centre will also come up with a 60-seat audio visual hall where documentaries related to various historical sites of Bihar will be displayed. Besides, there will be an administration block, exhibition area-cum-gallery and cafeteria. The administrative block will have a rest room, locker room and a small guest room.

    Kolhua has an Asokan pillar, an ancient Buddhist stupa, a water tank and an abode where it is believed Lord Buddha had spent several rainy seasons. Two monasteries are also there at the site.


  • Energy dues: Power firm, civic body lock horns Abdul Qadir| TNN | Jun 27, 2018, 01:00 IST

    GAYA: The Gaya Municipal Corporation (GMC) and the India Power, the franchisee for power distribution in Gaya town, Bodh Gaya and Manpur, are engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts on the issue of power bill payment.

    According to sources in the South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL), the GMC owes no less than Rs 50 crore on account of the energy consumed by its pumping stations, street lights and offices.

    The India Power says the civic body owed Rs 25 crore to the SBPDCL prior to June 2014 when the company got the franchise. The GMC accrued dues of another about Rs 25 crore during the last four years.

    As per the terms of the agreement between India Power and SBPDCL, India Power is mandated to recover the dues of the power distribution company.

    Justifying the decision not to clear the electricity bill, however, Gaya mayor Birendra Kumar said India Power also defaulted on the payment of municipal taxes for its offices, power substations and the electric poles installed on the municipal land.

    India Power officials, on the other hand, cited central government regulations to maintain that the GMC was not entitled to realise taxes for the electric poles installed on the municipal land. The company has only to pay taxes for its office premises and the seven power substations located in the municipal area.

    Asked how much municipal tax the power distribution company owed to the GMC, the mayor said he did not have the details. “The details are available with the corporation's engineer,” he said.

    The India Power, it may be recalled, has been suffering heavy losses on account of power theft and institutional defaulters. As against 72 million units supplied by the company to the domestic and non-domestic power users, the company receives payment for only about 36 million units, incurring revenue loss of nearly 50%. Around 10-15% transmission loss is acceptable, as per norms.

  • Danapur-Khagaul stretch to be Bihar’s first 8-lane road TNN | Jun 27, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The state cabinet on Tuesday approved Rs 57.87 crore for converting the two-lane Danapur-Khagaul stretch into an eight-lane road.

    Briefing media persons, cabinet secretariat department’s special secretary Upendra Nath Pandey said the 4km stretch would be the state’s first road to have eight lanes.

    The cabinet also gave administrative nod for seeking transfer of 71.25 acre Digha-Patna rail line land from the Indian Railways after paying Rs 222.19 crore. “It will be developed into a four or six-lane road in future,” Pandey said.

    The official said the cabinet meet also okayed advance sanction of Rs 275 crore from the Bihar Contingency Fund for re-establishment, filling, increasing height and strengthening of embankments, structures and barrages which were damaged in the floods of 2014, 2015 and 2017.

    Pandey said a sum of Rs 33.6 crore would be released as grant- in-aid for 2018-2019 for various skill development schemes in Bihar.

    “In case of irregular monsoon, flood or drought, the cabinet approved Rs 60 lakh as grant for diesel and Rs 15 crore for alternate farming. For one-time irrigation of one acre land for cultivation of paddy, wheat, corn, pulses, oil seeds, seasonal vegetables and medicinal plants, grant on consumption of one litre diesel has been increased to Rs 40 from Rs 35,” he said.

    “Approval for expenditure of Rs 163.32 crore for 2018-2019 and Rs 163.32 crore for 2019-2020 was given for execution of projects in left wing extremism-affected districts under the special assistance scheme of central government. In addition, Rs 30 crore under the special central assistance scheme will be released in advance from the Bihar Contingency Fund for such districts for 2018-2019,” he said.

    Pandey also said a Court Case Management System would be introduced in all revenue courts of the state. He said approval for investment of Rs 33.29 crore at Sherghati in Gaya by a Kolkata-based private bakery firm was also given by the cabinet.


  • Civic body to take LSE help for Patna’s development

    TNN | Jun 27, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to rope in experts from London School of Economics and Political Science, popularly known as LSE, for urban planning in the city.

    “PMC needs a consultant for the systematic implementation of its various schemes in the city. LSE is known for advanced studies in urban development sector. We expect the LSE will chalk out best plans for the city’s development,” said deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand after the PMC empowered standing committee meeting held on Tuesday. “PMC will discuss the issues with LSE experts soon,” he added.

    Incidentally, the new PMC commissioner, Anupam Kumar Suman, has recently completed MSc in Social Policy and Development from the LSE.

    Elaborating on the issues discussed at the meeting, Vishal said, “The sanitation workers will now have GPS-enabled identity cards to monitor their real-time locations. There are around 4,000 sanitation workers in PMC. It has also been decided to install 500 modular toilets in the city, for which Tata Steels will raise the funds under its corporate social responsibility.” He said PMC would conduct a survey and prepare a detailed report about the roads to be repaired. Besides, the committee also discussed door-to-door garbage collection issue. The work for installing GPS in the vehicles carting away garbage would also start by this month-end, he said.

    PMC started trash collection under ‘chalant kachra sangrah’ (mobile garbage collection) scheme in five wards last Monday. Altogether 20 sanitation workers in each ward have been engaged in the work. PMC sources claimed the door-to-door garbage collection is likely to resume in ward number 9 and 28 of New Capital Circle and ward number 56 to 65 and 68 to 72 15 of Patna City circle.

  • Rajgir safari park work stopped on complaint of ASI TNN | Jun 28, 2018, 01:00 IST

    BIHARSHARIF: The Nalanda district police on Wednesday stopped the construction work of Rajgir’s wildlife safari park, a project launched jointly by chief minister Nitish Kumar and then deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav in January last year.

    Rajgir police station SHO Vijendra Kumar Singh said police took the action following an FIR lodged by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), seeking immediate stay on the work as it violated norms.

    Nalanda-based ASI official B N Verma, who lodged the FIR, said the construction work for the proposed safari park between Swarnagiri and Vaibhavgiri hills was going on near the ‘Jarasandh ka Akhara’, which is an ASI-protected site. “For undertaking construction work near an ASI-protected site, one needs to obtain the ASI’s clearance, which the state government hasn’t,” he told this correspondent.

    The safari park is proposed to be developed in two years in an area spread over 480 acres at an estimated cost of Rs 56 crore.

  • Pond pollution: DM summoned TNN | Jun 28, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Patna high court on Wednesday summoned the Gaya DM in connection with the pollution in the ‘Lotus’ pond located inside the revered Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya.

    The summons was issued by a division bench of Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice S Kumar who took suo motu cognizance of a news report published in this regard in a Hindi newspaper.

    The bench ordered the DM to remain present for hearing on the issue on July 9. It also said the matter be placed before Chief Justice Rajendra Menon to decide on its further hearing by an appropriate bench.

    The news report said the pond inside the temple, which is a World Heritage Site, was polluted and its water contaminated with garbage, polythene bags and other plastic items. Visitors bring feed for fishes in plastic bags and throw the empty bags into the pond after feeding the fishes, the news report said and added no steps were taken to clean the pond.

    The court has directed the DM to come with a scheme for resolving the issue. The DM, incidentally, is the ex-officio chairman of the temple committee responsible for the upkeep of the temple.