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- Civic body launches IT-combat cell for grievance redressal TNN | Jul 23, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has upgraded its control room at its headquarters to IT-combat cell where as many as 20 people are working. PMC commissioner Anupam Kumar Suman said the cell started functioning on Friday and a mobile application, ‘City of Patna’, would also be launched soon for the resident to lodge their complaints.
The control room has a new mechanism for quick redressal of grievances and at the same time provides information to the complainants through SMS on their cellphone numbers from which they call.
“We will have a separate toll-free number (18003456644) of combat cell on which citizens can register their complaints and grievances regarding all services provided by the corporation. It will work more or less like a helpline that will be functional 24X7 from the PMC headquarters where dedicated operators work in two shifts. After receiving the complaints, calls will be transferred to the officials concerned,” Suman said.
“A weekly analysis of these calls will be done so as to know the nature of complaints being registered. This will bridge the gap between corporation and the people. This unified helpline number will provide an easy mechanism for citizens to register their complaints, issues, grievances, enquiries and suggestions while it will simultaneously monitor the progress on the action taken by the authorities,” he said.
This IT-combat cell will also handle the social media platforms of PMC. “The corporation has decided to come up with a new mobile application, ‘City of Patna’. We are expecting its launch by August-end,” mayor Sita Sahu said.
- ‘Power connection to households in 7 districts by next week’ TNN | Updated: Jul 24, 2018, 13:24 IST
Picture used for representational purpose
PATNA: Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) officials on Monday claimed that household electricity connections in seven more districts — Jamui, Gaya, Aurangabad, Nawada, Araria, Begusarai and Katihar — would be provided by next week.
They said all households in Khagaria, Munger, Sheikhpura, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Kishanganj, Supaul, Purnia and Gopalganj had already been provided electricity connections, as envisaged under the seven resolves of the state government.
“More than 80% of the work has been completed in these districts. However, in some of the larger districts such as Gaya, the work deadline will be extended to August 5. Once the target is achieved, we will take up the work in rest of the districts,” an official said.
Sharing the data of household electricity connections, a senior South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) official said, “In Katihar, more than 2.7 lakh out of 3.2 lakh households have received electricity connections. Similarly, 4.9 lakh out of the 5.3 lakh houses in Gaya, 4.3 lakh out of 4.4 lakh households in Begusarai, 2.9 lakh out of 3.1 lakh houses in Aurangabad and 3.1 lakh out of 3.4 lakh households in Araria have been provided electricity connections.”
He further said, “In Khagaria, the target was to provide electricity to 2,03,687 households and we achieved 100% target.”
Earlier, the state energy department set the deadline for providing electricity connection to all households in Bihar under Har Ghar Bijli scheme to December 2018. With seven more districts to be covered soon, the department is now aiming to achieve 100% household electrification in the entire state two months before the scheduled deadline of October-end.
- 4-lane road: Administration to start eviction drive by August-end TNN | Updated: Jul 24, 2018, 12:50 IST
While 11 big temples will be relocated, the remaining four will be demolished.
PATNA: As part of the anti-encroachment drive at the R-Block-Digha rail line, which is expected to begin by August-end, more than 500 hutments will be demolished and 11 big temples relocated.
“We have completed a survey of the 6km stretch and identified the structures that will be demolished. There are 15 temples, 500 permanent hutments and some temporary encroachments that will be removed. While 11 big temples will be relocated, the remaining four will be demolished. A separate anti-encroachment task force will be engaged for evicting the encroachers from the location,” district magistrate (DM) Kumar Ravi said on Monday.
Notices have been served to the land grabbers for vacating the area before August 15. “We will start removing the temporary encroachments by August-end and then focus on relocation of the permanent structures,” the DM said. Meanwhile, state transport secretary and Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited’s (BSRDCL) managing director Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said the railway authorities would begin removing the existing tracks from the 6km stretch from August 15.
“We have already received a survey report which deals with the encroachments to be removed from the site. A concept report for the four-lane road project has been prepared and will be presented at a meeting of senior officials of the department later this week. We are also finalizing the detailed project report which will be submitted to the cabinet for its nod,” Agarwal told this newspaper.
- Govt urged not to register properties sans RERA number TNN | Updated: Jul 24, 2018, 13:25 IST
Picture used for representational purpose
PATNA: Bihar Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has asked the state registration department not to register the property of builders and promoters without their enrolment under Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016.
“The registration of incomplete flats or apartments put the real estate buyers in a very disadvantaged position as the developers refuse to complete their obligations once the registration was done. Therefore, we have requested the registration department not to register incomplete projects and the projects which don’t have RERA number,” Bihar RERA chairman Afzal Amanullah said on Monday while referring to his letter to registration department principal secretary Amir Subhani.
“There are many ongoing projects pending for more than five years. The buyers have put their money and such projects have got registered by the registration department,” he said.
The builders have been asked to register their projects with RERA by July 31 with a late fee of Rs4 lakh or 400% of the registration fee, whichever is higher. Under its Section 3(1), the builders and promoters have been prohibited from selling properties sans RERA registration.
Bihar RERA member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha said, “By registering the incomplete projects with the registration department, the builders try to pass on the ownership to the buyers. To stop such practices, the department has assured to take necessary action.”
Sinha also said RERA would issue more show-cause notices to builders and promoters found flouting the RERA Act. Earlier, RERA Bihar had sent over 130 show-cause notices to various real estate developers for non-compliance and advertising their projects without registration.
- Patna HC orders education secretary to reply on encroachment in government school Debashish Karmakar | TNN | Jul 24, 2018, 21:41 IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Tuesday ordered the education department principal secretary and concerned district level authority of the department to file counter affidavits within three weeks’ time that premises of how many state government and nationalised school in entire Patna district is encroached.
The division bench of Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice S Kumar was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba had alleged that government land of several government school were being grabbed and permanent structures were coming up inside premises.
The court ordered the authorities to state in ‘clear terms’ that if there is any encroachment inside the premises of governments schools in Patna district or not.
“”Weather there is any encroachment even by government or school officials inside the premises and what action government intends to take in case of any encroachment inside premises of government schools in the district,” the court ordered. It also ordered to indicate that who may government and nationalised schools were there in Patna.
Referring to an earlier order, Justice Ranjan said the court had rightly made an observation that the state government doesn’t has the political will to remove the encroachments in Patna.
During the hearing, it also surfaced that police personnel were kept at some school premises to which the court said that their stay must be authorised, if kept on name of security, else even they can’t be allowed to reside there.
Patna PP resigns: The Patna public prosecutor Gajendra Prasad, after getting Patna high court’s judgement in his favour on July 13, resigned on Tuesday from his position. Prasad said he gave his resignation letter to Patna district magistrate. Prasad was removed from his position last year by state government on charges that he was unable to represent state in cases especially those related to illegal sand mining resulting granting of bail to accused persons. A single bench as well as a division bench of the high court comprising of chief Justice Rajendra Menon had delivered judgement in Prasad’s favour in which he had challenged his removal. Prasad said that there was no use to continue on the position when the state government does not lays trust on his work.
- Do we need paramilitary to remove squatters: HC TNN | Jul 25, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Tuesday rapped the state government, asking it if paramilitary forces were required to remove squatters from the premises of Bihar Veterinary College in Patna.
The oral observation was made by a bench of Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice S Kumar after college counsel K N Singh admitted that certain pockets on the campus had been encroached.
A PIL in this regard has been filed by Vikas Chandra alias Guddu Baba. Counsel Singh made the admission only after Justice Ranjan asked his secretary to bring a laptop so that the court could see the video of the encroached premises recorded by Chandra, designated as a court officer for the purpose during an earlier hearing.
The petitioner submitted two CDs and a pen drive which contained footage showing encroachments on the college premises.
The petitioner has alleged that permanent structures have been made by squatters who have also captured the residential quarters and that the college administration never dared evict them.
“The scenrio is grave,” the court said and summoned the Patna DM on Wednesday. “The squatters must be removed in the same merciless way in which they have encroached the premises,” Justice Ranjan said in an oral observation.
Schools’ encroachment: The Patna high court on Tuesday asked education department principal secretary and district officials concerned to file counter affidavits within three weeks on how many state government and nationalized schools in Patna district were encroached upon.
The division bench of Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice S Kumar was hearing a PIL filed by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba, who alleged that the land of several government schools had been grabbed by outsiders.
“”Weather there is any encroachment even by government or school officials on the premises and what action the government intends to take in that case in the district,” the court asked.
Justice Ranjan also referred to the court’s observation earlier that the state government did not have the political will to remove encroachments in Patna. When the petitioner pointed out that even police personnel were occupying some school premises, the court said their stay must be authorized in the name of security or else they can’t reside there.
PP resigns: Patna public prosecutor Gajendra Prasad resigned on Tuesday after getting a favourable judgment from the high court on July 13 against his removal by the state government. Prasad was removed last year on the charge of being unable to represent the state properly in cases related to illegal sand mining resulting in granting of bail to the accused persons. Prasad had challenged the government’s decision in the high court.
- ‘Waterways best option to reduce air pollution’ TNN | Jul 25, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: A guest lecture on ‘Proposed inland waterways of Bihar: Issues and challenges’ was organised by the department of geography of Patna Women’s College on Tuesday.
The guest speaker was Shripad Dharmadhikary, coordinator of Pune-based Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, a research centre which focuses on water and energy. Addressing the students, he talked about role of waterways in combating air pollution.
“River transport had kept air pollution at bay prior to the development of modern means of land transport. Risks of accidents in waterways are minimum as compared to any other form of transport,” Dharmadhikary said. He also interacted with the students after the completion of the lecture session.
College of Arts, Commerce and Science: College of Arts, Commerce and Science has extended the last date for submission of online admission forms for postgraduate courses like MCA, MBA, MSc, MLIS and MJMC to August 20.
The college has also extended the last date to apply for diploma in journalism and mass communication to August 10. Earlier, the last date to apply for both courses was July 20.
College principal Tapan Kumar Shandaliya said the dates have been extended as many students failed to fill forms. “If an applicant is interested in applying for more than one course, s/he will have to fill separate online application forms,” he said.
- PMC IT cell: 200 register complaints TNN | Jul 25, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: At least 200 people have lodged complaints with the IT combat cell of the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) that was launched on July 20. The civic body claims to have addressed the issues within 24 hours of their registration.
The toll-free number (1800-345-6644) has enabled Patnaites to register complaints regarding lack of civic amenities, including poor drainage system, garbage clearance, water supply, unchecked movement of stray animals, mosquito menace, non-functional street lights and dirty sewage system.
“The move has turned out to be successful with at least 200 complaints registered during the first four days. We are now able to connect better with people. We are making sure that the issues are resolved within a stipulated time,” mayor Sita Sahu told this newspaper on Tuesday.
Once a complaint is received, it is forwarded to the officials concerned and they communicate with the higher authorities. “In case of non-redressal of grievances, the officials concerned will be held responsible. We are trying to create awareness about the toll-free number through newspapers and online advertisements,” the mayor said.
Maximum number of complaints are related to the lack of proper waste management in different areas. “We have directed the circle officers to divide their respective areas into four categories — good, average, bad and poor. Areas will further be categorized into A, B, C and D groups. While category A will be marked as the cleanest area, D will be the dirtiest,” a PMC official told this reporter.
- HC to NHAI: Shift toll plaza from Deedarganj Debashish Karmakar | TNN | Updated: Jul 26, 2018, 07:54 IST
The toll plaza at Didarganj in Patna.
PATNA: A division bench of the Patna high court on Wednesday rejected the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) appeal against a single bench order to shift the toll plaza on Patna-Bakhtiyarpur four-lane road (NH-30) from Karmalichak near Deedarganj as even local people had to pay toll due to its location.
Justices Jyoti Saran and Chakradhari Sharan Singh upheld the order of Justice Hemant Kumar Srivastava dated December 16, 2014. The court had ruled that the toll plaza at milestone kilometre 194 on NH-30 was the violation of fundamental rights of the aggrieved persons.
After the toll plaza’s construction started in 2012, the residents of Deedarganj and other areas moved the high court as they also had to pay toll even for local movement on the four-lane road. The single bench ordered the NHAI to shift the toll plaza. “The respondents cannot take the defence that the toll plaza has already been constructed,” the single bench had ruled.
The NHAI and other respondents had submitted affidavits before the court that the location for toll plaza was selected after a detailed report to stop leakage of vehicles from toll road. The court also found that the location of toll plaza was in ward number 72, a municipal area under the Patna Municipal Corporation.
The court also ruled that the toll plaza location was violation of Rule 8 of National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 which cites that a toll plaza must be constructed beyond 10 kilometres of a municipal or town area and, in no condition, should be within five-kilometre limits.
“It was the duty and obligation of the NHAI to look into the aforesaid detailed report and decide whether the DPR was prepared in accordance with rules or not,” the court had observed.
The respondents had also suggested that locals could take alternate route if they did not intend to pay toll, but the court found it neither advisable nor practical as one would have to travel more than 35 kilometres in that situation. The court had ordered not to collect toll from those who intended to move through toll plaza for local movement till its shifting from the place.
- HC seeks details of 640 acre land TNN | Jul 26, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Wednesday ordered revenue and land reforms department’s principal secretary to submit a counter affidavit within four weeks with the records of 640 acre land acquired for the Bihar Veterinary College in 1926.
The division bench of Justices Ravi Ranjan and S Kumar also ordered the Patna DM and the college administration to form a joint team and submit a detailed report on encroachments and the number of quarters inside the college premises and those allotted to the employees.
Patna DM Kumar Ravi was present during the hearing on a PIL filed by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba, who alleged massive encroachments and illegal occupants on the college premises.
College counsel K N Singh submitted that 640 acre land was acquired for the college in 1926, but only around 300 acres were in the college possession.
The court rapped the authorities over large-scale encroachments on the campus, as shown in a video which was played during the hearing.
When quizzed by Justice Ranjan, college registrar S Samantray said he had no records regarding the quarters allotment and whether the allotted persons were still associated with the college or not.
On the plea by college counsel Singh, Justice Ranjan directed the authorities to reconstruct the college boundary wall within six months to stop trespassing. “Court will not entertain plea about funds as we will think that the state doesn’t have the political will to remove encroachments,” Justice Ranjan made an oral observation.
- Fate of Khagaria town protection embankment hangs in balance N P Thakur | TNN | Jul 26, 2018, 01:00 IST
KHAGARIA: As monsoon sets in, fear grips Khagaria town residents once again as the construction of an ambitious town protection embankment is yet to be completed even after a lapse of about 10 years .
It may be mentioned here that a large number of localities of northern part of Khagaria town were flooded in 1987,1998, 2002, 2004 and 2007. After 1987 floods, a proposal for construction of town protection embankment was sent to the state WRD in 1988 .
The construction, however, started in 2009. A 27.8 km long embankment was to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 29.35 crore from Bugras in Begusarai district to Santosh in Khagaria district. However, a stretch of 3.85 km is yet to be completed as state WRD has failed to acquire land for the same.
Meanwhile, the local JD(U) MLA Poonam Devi Yadav in a statement to the press has urged the chief minister as well as the state WRD minister for early completion of the embankment.
- Centre wants sewage plant works in Patna over by December TNN | Jul 27, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (Buidco) MD Amrendra Prasad Singh has said the detailed project report of proposed sewage treatment plants (STP) at 14 places across the state will be finalized by August 30. The construction of certain other STPs under the Namami Gange project will be completed by December.
Sources said Union water resources minister Nitin Gadkari held a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday to review the progress of Namami Gange project in UP, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The Buidco MD also attended the meeting.
Gadkari is learned to have directed the Bihar officials attending the meet to complete the ongoing Namami Gange projects in the state by December this year. “Our aim is to clean the Ganga by 2019,” he was quoted as having told the meeting.
The Cabinet minister also directed his deputy in the ministry, Satya Pal Singh, to visit the project sites in Patna and inspect the progress of the work.
“Work on three STP projects in Patna is nearing completion, and they include the ones at Beur and Saidpur,” the Buidco MD said on Thursday and added work was going on in full swing at the other STPs in Patna.
He said the DPRs of the proposed STPs at Supaul, Darbhanga, Jamui, Madhepura, Lakhisarai, Munger, Bagaha, Gopalganj, Samastipur, Saharsa, Muzaffarpur, Motihari, Daudnagar and Kishanganj would be finalized by August 30.
- Anti-encroachment drive in city from August 16 TNN | Jul 27, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor on Thursday said a multi-agency campaign would be conducted from August 16 to August 31 to regulate traffic flow in the city and remove encroachments from roads and footpaths. He asked DM Kumar Ravi and officials of home department to prepare an effective action plan to tackle congestion and encroachment.
Addressing a meeting here, Kishor said priority should be given to major roads like Boring Canal Road, Ashok Rajpath, Rajapur Pul to Hartali Mor, Station Road, Bypass, Bailey Road and Kankerbagh main road. “The officials will fix vending zones, parking slots and no parking areas,” he said. Kishor asked the officials of Patna Municipal Corporation to grant licences to vending zones by August 12.
“A team will be formed to monitor the special drive. The PMC officials will also confiscate trucks and vans carrying construction materials, such as sand and stone chips,” Kishor added.
- PMC to develop park at Rajendra Nagar dumping yard Faryal Rumi | TNN | Jul 27, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) is planning to develop a children’s park at the dumping stretch from Pt Ramavatar Shastri roundabout to McDowell roundabout in Rajendra Nagar.
According to PMC’s empowered standing council member Indradeep Kumar Chandravanshi, he along with PMC commissioner Anupam Kumar Suman has identified three vacant spaces which can be developed into hangout spots. “The PMC has decided to develop a park at the stretch between Pandit Ramavatar Shastri roundabout and McDowell roundabout in Rajendra Nagar, a supermarket near Maharana Pratap Bhawan and a multiplex on the PRD land near Saidpur sump house,” he told this reporter on Thursday.
“These proposals will be tabled in the PMC general meeting on July 31. We have also identified 20,505 sqft empty land near the National Institute of Technology-Patna to develop a cafeteria attached with a mini public library on it. It will be a attraction for students of the educational institutes located on Ashok Rajpath,” said Indradeep, who is also the councillor of ward number 48.
“The ward councillors have been assigned to identify PRD lands to develop more hangout spaces,” Mayor Sita Sahu said.
Sources said the the PMC general meeting could also discuss decentralisation of department of birth and death, beautification near Badi Patan Devi Mandir and affordable housing on 10-acre land near Patna City station.
- RERA asks realtors to display project details Faryal Rumi | TNN | Jul 27, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Bihar Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has asked all builders and promoters to put up a display board containing their identity details as well as their RERA or registration number at their project sites.
A notice to the effect was uploaded to the RERA website on Thursday. It says promoters, developers and builders of real estate projects — be it residential, commercial and mixed — shall display certain details at the site prominently. These details should include the names of project and promoter, RERA or registration number, date of commencement of the project work and proposed date of its completion.
According to Bihar RERA chairman Afzal Amanullah, the builders who have applied for RERA number, should display their registration number until they get the RERA number. “The builders need to display the information at the construction site as well as their corporate office. The display board should have a minimum size of 6’X6’,” Amanullah said on Friday, adding the move was aimed at safeguarding the interests of buyers.
The Bihar RERA has also asked the builders of all registered real estate projects to provide updates on the physical and financial status of the ongoing projects to it by August 10.
Bihar RERA member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha said the notice for the display board was issued with a view to bringing transparency in the real estate sector. “It will make it convenient for the buyers to purchase real estate property from honest builders,” he said.
According to sources, only 542 applications for the registration of ongoing projects have been received by the Authority so far. Others have been asked to register their projects with RERA by July 31 with a late fee of Rs 4 lakh or 400% of the registration fee, whichever is higher. Under Section 3(1) of the RERA Act, builders and promoters cannot sell properties without RERA registration.