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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  • Firm selected for widening Punaichak-Rukanpura road Piyush Tripathi| TNN | Jun 30, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The state road construction department (RCD) on Friday approved the selection of a firm for widening the 13.247km road from Punaichak to Rukanpura via Samanpura, which runs broadly parallel to Bailey Road.

    RCD officials said the road will originate from Indira Bhawan at Punaichak. After passing through Rajvanshi Nagar, SBI road, BSEB office, Deep Narayan Cooperative Institute and AG Colony, it will branch out into two parts to end at Ashiana-Digha Road and Bailey Road.

    RCD minister Nand Kishor Yadav said in a statement the firm was approved by a department tender committee. “A sum of Rs 66.54 crore will be spent on widening the road as well as construction of footpath and drains, pruning of trees and development of other utilities on the stretch,” he said.

    “This road will east the vehicular traffic between Dak Bungalow crossing and Saguna Mor as it will be an alternative for Bailey Road,” Yadav said.

    The minister said an agreement would be signed between the firm and the RCD next week. “The entire work will be completed in 21 months,” he said.

    Residents have hailed the move to widen the road. “Bailey Road being one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, several stretches, specially near the zoo, Raj Bazar and Rukanpura, are at times clogged. An alternative road with amenities will not only reduce the load on Bailey Road but also provide connectivity to many colonies,” said Sameer Shamshad of Samanpura.

    The RCD is also working on Lohia Path Chakra, which consists of several underpasses, overpasses and U-turns between Vidyut Bhawan and Lalit Bhawan, to ease vehicular traffic on Bailey Road. It is slated to be completed by 2019.

    Besides, funds to the tune of Rs 18.42 crore have been sanctioned for road construction and related works in Sitamarhi, Darbhanga and Purnia.


  • Rs 65 crore OK’d for devpt of infra at Pataliputra Junction

    Kumod Verma| TNN | Jun 30, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Railway Board has sanctioned Rs 65.65 crore for infrastructure development at newly built Pataliputra Junction in the 2018-2019 fiscal.

    The 15 items to be developed under the sanctioned development project include the creation of an additional island platform at a cost of Rs 5 crore. Pataliputra Junction has at present three platforms.

    Danapur divisional railway manager (DRM) Ranjan Prakash Thakur told this correspondent on Friday the island platform would have the provision for arrival as well as departure of passenger trains from both ends as it would be positioned between two tracks. The island platform is to be built as part of the track-doubling work between Pataliputra Junction and Pahleja Ghat, he said.

    Another item is a Rs 17.17-crore coach complex near Pataliputra Junction, on which work is on. “Also, a dedicated line will be laid at a cost of Rs 12.5 crore between Pataliputra Junction and Jalalpur, where the coach complex is coming up. Two stabling lines for the empty rakes and a separate shunting line are also being laid for movement of train rakes,” Thakur said and added once the Jalalpur coach complex was readied, empty rakes would be maintained at this complex instead of being sent to Danapur station for maintenance.

    The railways will also construct another floor over the single-storey building at Pataliputra Junction with all amenities for passengers at an estimated cost of Rs 2.62 crore. “Funds to the tune of Rs 11.9 crore have been sanctioned for construction of a boundary wall at Pataliputra station,” the DRM said, adding a water hydrant point was being provided at platform number 2 at a cost of Rs 63 lakh for supplying water to the coaches and cleaning the platform.

    A new 20ft wide foot overbridge will be built at the station at a cost of Rs 2.49 crore, linking platform numbers 1, 2 and 3 for the convenience of passengers. The existing foot overbridge is being extended to the other end of platform number 3, the DRM said.

    The Pataliputra station building will also be given a facelift at a cost of Rs 2.47 crore. “The platform surface, circulating area and the station superintendent’s room will be given a new look, while a washable apron will be built on platform number 2,” Thakur said.

  • 460 realtors in state apply for registration with RERA Faryal Rumi| TNN | Jun 30, 2018, 02:00 IST
    PATNA: With only a day left for the registration of ongoing project in the state till June 30, Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Bihar, received around 460 applications till Friday for project registration from builders under Real Estate (Regulation and Development) and ten applications from real estate agents.

    RERA Act was passed in March 2016 to protect the interests of consumers and became operational from May 2017 in India, except Jammu and Kashmir.

    RERA Bihar chairman Afzal Amanullah said 75 builders out of the 460 have got RERA numbers till date. “However, we received very few applications from real estate agents. Since there is no penalty for them, they didn’t bother to register with RERA,” he said and added: “Soon, state RERA would impose penalties under Section 62 (penalty for non-registration and contravention under Section 9 and 10, Section 65 (penalty for failure to comply with orders of Authority by real estate agent) and Section 66 (penalty for failure to comply with orders of appellate by real estate agent).”

    In the last three months, RERA Bihar sent over 130 show-cause notices to various real estate developers for non-compliance and advertising their projects without registration.

    RERA member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha said, “A tender was recently floated by RERA to hire a private agency to conduct survey of unregistered ongoing projects in urban and rural areas in state. After identifying the violators, RERA will blacklist those builders.”

    In the first phase of the survey, districts like Patna, Bhojpur, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Vaishali, Rohtas, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Gaya, Samastipur, Saran, Nalanda, Begusarai and Munger will be covered.

  • Chief secretary reviews flood preparations TNN | Updated: Jun 30, 2018, 16:28 IST Representative image

    SAHARSA: Chief secretary Deepak Kumar visited the eastern Kosi embankment for reviewing the flood safety works going on in Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul districts on Thursday.

    After surveying the various vulnerable points on the embankment, the chief secretary directed the engineers and officials concerned to keep round-the-clock vigil during the rainy season. He also directed the officials to make adequate arrangements for flood protection in all the three districts.

    All officials of Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul district administrations were also asked to be present at the headquarters every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Rest of the working days they will inspect various other schemes, addressing people’s grievances and resolving their issues.

    Kumar also visited the Mahadalit tola of Shahpur village under Nawhatta block where he inspected the ‘pakki street drainage’ scheme and informed the people about the various public welfare measures being executed by the state government.

    The chief secretary also inquired about the flood preparations and discussed the problems faced by each district while implementing flood safety schemes. He was accompanied by disaster management department principal secretary Pratyaya Amrit, chief engineer, water resources department, Saharsa DM and SP along with other senior officials.


  • Roadside eviction drive in Patna to continue till July 14 TNN | Jul 1, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: Hundreds of miscellaneous items have been seized and temporary structures encroaching upon Ashok Rajpath, Anta Ghat, Boring Canal Road, Sudarshan Path and many such areas removed during the anti-encroachment drive launched on June 15, the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) claimed on Saturday. The drive will continue till July 14.

    “More than 100 illegal hoardings and banners have been removed from Tripolia, Sudarshan Path, Sabzibagh, Alambagh Chowki in Gaighat and Begumpura areas. After conducting the eviction drive, we write a letter to the respective police station about the details of anti-encroachment drive. Police stations are supposed to deploy constables to prevent the return of encroachers,” PMC’s Patna City executive officer (EO) Ajay Kumar told this newspaper.

    New Capital Circle’s EO Shailesh Kumar said, “Encroachments have been removed from Beur Mor area, Boring Canal Road, Anta Ghat and from GPO roundabout to Patna Junction. We will continue the drive till the footpaths are cleared for the pedestrians. We have demolished around 40 temporary structures from roadsides till date.”

    Bankipore Circle EO Abdul Hamid said, “Illegal hoardings, unauthorized shop extensions, 10 sewing machines were confiscated from various areas, including Ashok Rajpath, Nala Road and Arya Kumar Road. Two tractors, one truck and a bulldozer razed more than 80 illegal structures in 12 wards of the circle.”

    Likewise, in Kankerbagh, PMC officials have cleared various locations that were illegally occupied for parking in Rajendra Nagar area. “More than 150 encroachers from several areas under Kankerbagh Circle, including Chirayatand bridge, New Bypass and Saidpur areas, have been evicted,” said Vijaya Kumar Upadhyaya, EO of Kankerbagh Circle.


  • Only 90% drains cleaned as PMC’s deadline expires TNN | Updated: Jul 1, 2018, 07:22 IST Representative image

    PATNA: The herculean task of unclogging the drains before June 30 deadline set by Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) could not be completed. The civic body admitted that only 90% of the work was done till Saturday.

    “As per the data available with us, around 90% of the drainage cleaning work in the 75 wards is completed. But we can assure less waterlogging this year,” said Patna mayor Sita Sahu.

    PMC’s Bankipore Circle executive officer (EO) Abdul Hamid said, “We completed the drainage cleaning work before June 30. More than 20 small and big drains along with 150 manholes were cleaned. Desiltation work in Saidpur main drain area, three drains in Rajendra Nagar area, ten in Bakarganj area and small drains in Bari Path area have been unclogged. We have carried out monsoon preparedness work in detail for the first time in our wards.”

    New Capital Circle EO Shailesh Kumar said, “Most of the drainage cleaning work is completed. The desilting work in all the big drains such as Mandiri and Serpentine Nala has also been completed and a report stating the progress of the work will be submitted to the municipal commissioner next week. We are also taking other preventive measures to tackle waterlogging during rainy season.”

    Patna City Circle EO Ajay Kumar said, “We would have finished the work if there were sufficient number of labourers. The work will continue. However, we have paced up the work to clean up every single drain.”


  • Four die of asphyxiation in septic tank TNN | Jul 2, 2018, 01:00 IST
    SAHARSA: Four construction workers died due to asphyxiation after they entered a septic tank on Sunday morning. Another worker who fell unconscious is critical and is undergoing treatment at Saharsa sadar hospital.

    The incident happened at Sonbarsa Raj under Sonbarsa police station area, said Simri Bhaktiarpur sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Mridula Kumari.

    According to eyewitness accounts, the workers had entered a septic tank to remove the scaffolding, constructed in the house of a resident of Sonbarsa Raj, Md Raju Alam. One of the workers climbed down the ladder to reach the bottom of the tank to open the centering. When he did not come back after 15-20 minutes, another worker went down and he too did not come back. In a similar fashion two other daily wage earners who had gone down to check what had happened to other workers were stucked up and died of suffocation.

    According to village sources, later a village youth working in Sonbarsa Raj additional primary health centre wearing a gas mask went entered the tank and pulled out the bodies of four workers. They were rushed to the Sonbarsa Raj hospital where they were declared dead.

    “The workers died of suffocation as the septic tank was filled with carbon dioxide gas,” said a doctor at Sonbarsa PHC Kumar Vivekanand.

    The deceased were identified as Manoj Kumar (26), Rakesh Biswas (28), Sujit Kumar (20) and Mukesh Kumar (22), said police.

  • Wide-body planes can’t operate from Gaya airport Abdul Qadir| TNN | Jul 2, 2018, 01:00 IST

    GAYA: Even though airlines across the world are phasing out narrow-body aircraft to replace them with double-aisle planes with higher passenger capacity, operation of these bigger planes for flyers to and from Gaya remains a dream.

    The Gaya airport runway is 2,286 meters long and 45 metres wide. According to aviation experts, the runway needs to be at least 500 metres lengthier and 15 metres wider if it is to accommodate the wide-body planes.

    Though the Gaya airport spread over an area of 950 acres is nearly four times bigger than the Patna airport, which is spread over about 250 acres, the Gaya airport needs another 100 acres for runway expansion, according to sources.

    The sources said the land issue was hanging fire for nearly two decades. For nearly one decade, the state government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) were engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts over the land price issue. Whereas the AAI wanted free land, the state government insisted on payment-based land acquisition.

    Finally, the AAI yielded ground and deposited Rs 11 crore in the treasury for land acquisition purposes. But on account of the insistence of land owners for compensation at exorbitant rates and jobs, the issue could not be resolved.

    Asked about the status of land acquisition for the extension of runway at Gaya airport, Gaya DM Abhishek Singh said the issue of compensation rate was pending before the Patna high court.

    Moreover, the Gaya airport apron also needs expansion. As of now, there are only three bays available. Two bays are linked with aerobridge while the third is a conventional one.

    According to Gaya airport director Dilip Kumar, the AAI has so far got only 23 acres as against the requirement of 100 acres. In the absence of permission to relocate part of NH-83, this land too cannot be put to proper use, said the director.

    A proposal to construct a subway in place of the highway relocation has also not found favour with National Highways Authority of India, the sources said.

  • Sapling plantation from today TNN | Jul 2, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: State environment and forest department has targeted to plant at least one crore saplings across the state during the monthlong sapling plantation drive from Monday to mark Van Mahotsav.

    Conservator of forest-cum-additional secretary Lalan Prasad Singh said the target was increase the green cover across the state. “The saplings chosen for this initiative include neem, gulmohar, jamun and bel. More than 40% of the saplings have been allocated for plantation on community land, such as roads and railway lines. The remaining saplings will be planted with the help of the district magistrates. Farmers will also be encouraged to plant saplings on agricultural land. Officials of all 38 districts have been asked to identify the spots where saplings can be planted,” Singh said.

    He added planting saplings in urban areas was a challenge due to lack of vacant space. “More number of saplings will be planted in the forest areas, villages and on the outskirts of cities,” he added.

    “The biggest difficulty for the forest department is the high mortality rate of the plants. More than 50% saplings die due to pollution, grazing, intense heat and neglect. To overcome this problem, we are working on modern planting techniques,” Singh said.

    A senior forest official said private and government schools would also be involved in the plantation drive. “Students will be asked to plant saplings on school campuses and take pledge to take care of them,” the official added.


  • Work on new collectorate building to start in August: DM Faryal Rumi| TNN | Jul 2, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The construction work of the new multistorey (B+G+5) collectorate building on its existing premises is likely to start in August. DM Kumar Ravi said its detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared and the bidding process to select the firm for construction would be initiated in the next 15 days.

    “The building will be constructed in 3.5 lakh square feet area. Its design is inspired by the design of the 200-year-old existing building, which is the example of the Dutch and British architecture. A Delhi-based architect company remodelled the same design,” Ravi told this newspaper on Saturday.

    The state government sanctioned Rs186.42 crore in March for the new building. “Several offices have been temporarily shifted to Hindi Bhawan at Chajjubagh. Some offices have also been shifted to Transit Hostel near Income Tax roundabout and social welfare department office near Subhas Park at Chajjubagh,” he said, adding the DM office would also shift to Hindi Bhawan once the tender for the new building was finalized.

    The new building would be divided into three parts with the DM office on the top floor of the central one. One side of the building would have offices for SDO and district development commissioner (DDC) while the district board office, vendors shop, canteen and space for bank would be on the other side.

    Around 39-odd state government offices would run from the new building with three conference halls having the seating capacity for 200, 80 and 40 persons, respectively.

    The DM said the integrated building would be environment friendly. “There will be four gardens spread over an area of 3484 sq mt, including the one on its front side,” he said and added: “The building will have rainwater harvesting system and a modern solar power plant on its rooftop. It will also be equipped with fire alarm system and 225 CCTV cameras inside and outside the building. There will be enough parking space for up to 455 vehicles, including 205 in open parking space and 240 in the basement. The building will be earthquake-resistant, of course.”


  • PMC move to repair neglected Patna roads TNN | Jul 3, 2018, 10:32 IST A view of damaged road at Langartoti in Patna on Monday

    PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has embarked on a project to restore the city roads that have been lying neglected for long after being dug up.

    "The stretches that are owned by the civic body will be repaired and resurfaced under our 'Project Phoenix'. We wanted early repairs in view of the rains, but it was delayed due to the non-completion of survey work," Mayor Sita Sahu told this reporter on Monday.

    The executive engineers of all the four circles had been asked to conduct a survey of the affected roads in their respective circles. These survey reports were on Monday reviewed by the municipal commissioner at a meeting with the executive engineers.

    According to Sahu, the repair work has already begun on certain stretches under the Bankipore circle. "We will utilize the improvement funds allocated for each ward for this project," she said and added the repairs would start in all the other circles before the end of this month.

    PMC's New Capital circle executive engineer Avinash Singh said the affected road stretches under his circle in Boring Road, Rajiv Nagar and Khajpura areas, among others, had been marked. "We are planning to outsource part of the work to expedite the execution which will gain momentum after the monsoon ends," he said.

    Bankipore circle's executive officer Abdul Hamid said the affected areas in his circle included internal lanes of Bakerganj and Saidpur and certain stretches near Gandhi Ghat.

    Patna City circle officer Ajay Kumar said congested and small lanes of localities such as Sabzibagh, Gai Ghat and Malgodam areas would be repaired on a priority basis.

  • Work on R-Block-Digha road to begin from January Debashish Karmakar| TNN | Jul 4, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The state government on Tuesday told the Patna high court that construction work on four-lane road on the existing R-Block-Digha rail line would commence in January next year.

    The division bench of Justices Ravi Ranjan and S Kumar gave eight weeks’ time to principal secretary (road construction department) Amrit Lal Meena and Patna DM Kumar Ravi to file counter affidavits on the progress made in the matter. Meena, Ravi and SSP (incharge) D Amarkesh were present in the court.

    The court in August last year took suo motu cognizance of a train being run by the railways on this section without almost no passenger. The train caused traffic snarls on Bailey Road and other crossings in the city.

    Recently, the railways agreed to transfer the 71.25 acre land to the state government for Rs221 crore to construct a 4-lane road on the existing tracks. The authorities on Tuesday assured the court to take all necessary steps to get rid of encroachments from both sides of the existing railway tracks. They also submitted that the encroachments would be removed and the 11 temples on the encroached land would be relocated.

    The court instructed the district administration to fence the stretch of land with barbed wires once the encroachments were removed.

    Advocate general Lalit Kishore submitted that the detailed project report (DPR) of the proposed road was being prepared and the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with railways would be signed very soon for transferring the land to the state government.

    According to a counter affidavit submitted by the railways, the rail line was constructed during British period for transportation of goods from ships reaching the Ganga banks. However, the rail line was not used for several decades and a passenger train was started only on July 11, 2004.

    Meanwhile, East Central Railway (ECR) chief public relation officer (CPRO) Rajesh Kumar told TOI over the phone that the train service would be stopped once the government paid the money for land.


  • Chief secretary OKs metro rail’s DPR Faryal Rumi| TNN | Jul 4, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: State chief secretary Deepak Kumar on Tuesday approved the proposed Patna Metro Rail’s revised detailed project report (DPR) for putting it up before the state cabinet.
    Urban development and housing department (UDHD)’s principal secretary Chaitanya Prasad said the revised estimated cost of the project would be Rs 19,500 crore, including land acquisition cost.

    The revised DPR was prepared by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) as per the Centre’s new Metro Rail policy. The National Institute of Technology-Patna prepared the comprehensive mobility plan as well as the alternative analysis report for the project.

    UDHD minister Suresh Kumar Sharma said once the DPR got the state cabinet nod, it would be submitted to the central government for approval. He hoped the work on the project would commence in 2018-19.

    As per the revised DPR, the work will begin on the 14km north-south corridor in the first phase, covering the stretch from Patna Junction to Ramachak inter-state bus terminus via Gandhi Maidan and Rajendra Nagar.

    The work on the east-west corridor will begin in the second phase soon after the foundation for the first phase will be laid. The 17km east-west corridor covers the stretch from Mithapur bus stand to Danapur via Bailey Road and Patna Junction.

    UDHD special secretary Sanjay Dayal said the north-south corridor line would run on an elevated stretch, while the plan was to make it partly underground from Rajendra Nagar to PMCH. The east-west corridor will be elevated from Danapur to RPS Mor and an underground line will be developed from Saguna Mor to Patna Junction, he said.

  • 12 vending zones in city soon: PMC TNN | Jul 4, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to set up 12 vending zones in different localities of the city. The move is aimed at de-congesting the city roads and providing business security to street vendors.

    Sources said once these vending zones were created and vendors settled in them, the civic body might look for creation of more such zones. The PMC last month hired a private agency to conduct a survey and prepare a list of vendors across the city.

    “The vendors listed under the survey will be shifted to the 12 vending zones,” Mayor Sita Sahu told this reporter on Tuesday.

    Sahu said one of the major concerns was the ever-increasing number of vendors. “The distribution of vending zones will not be made on the basis of wards or circles... There will be limited number of vending zones,” she said.

    The Mayor said the bidding process had been initiated for roping in firms for the construction of vending zones. “The proposed vending zones will have concrete pavements, parking space, dustbins, benches and proper lights. The registered vendors will be given clean spaces for selling their wares. They will also be sensitized for maintaining cleanliness in the surrounding,” she said.

    Asked about the encroachments by vendors in areas like Kankerbagh, Kankerbagh circle executive officer Vijay Kumar Upadhyaya said encroachment drives were undertaken from time to time, but the vendors returned after a few days.

    “The PMC at its last board meeting decided that one of the 12 proposed vending zones would be created opposite the electricity office in Kankerbagh,” said Upadhyaya.


  • Technical cell to execute devpt projects in towns Faryal Rumi| TNN | Jul 4, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The state urban development and housing department (UDHD) will soon set up a separate integrated technical cell to look after the development projects of local bodies. The step has been taken to tackle the shortage of engineers in urban local bodies (ULBs).

    The cell will have 577 posts, including those of chief engineers and junior engineers. UDHD minister Suresh Kumar Sharma said the cell would be set up at state level with its branches in divisions and ULBs.

    “The cell will provide strategic coordination and support to local bodies and execute various projects in towns. With the incorporation of technical cell, the department will have optimum number of experts to handle various projects,” Sharma told this newspaper on Tuesday, adding the cell would start functioning from August this year.

    Sources said the decision to establish the technical cell got the state government’s nod in May this year in view of different development projects being undertaken in towns.

    “We engage engineers of other departments to execute development projects in different towns. In doing so, many of our projects get delayed,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the UDHD is also planning to form a flying squad at the state level to act against those violating municipal norms. “The flying squad team will also redress the grievances of citizens,” principal secretary of the department Chaitanya Prasad said, adding the activities of the technical cell will also be monitored by the flying squad.