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- Pollution board to Patna HC: Bio-medical wastes not being disposed properly in state Debashish Karmakar | TNN | Aug 3, 2018, 16:55 IST
PATNA: The Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) on Friday accepted before Patna high court that bio-medical wastes generated from hospitals across state are not getting disposed in regulated manner they should have been.
BSPCB, in a counter affidavit submitted before division bench of chief justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, also accepted that district level monitoring committee (DLMC), which is headed by respective district magistrates, are not functioning due to which such a situation has arose.
BSPCB appraised high court that National Green Tribunal (NGT) had held DLMCs responsible for proper disposal of bio-medical waste.
The court ordered the state government to reply within three weeks’ time that DLMC were not functioning properly and what steps are being taken to resolve the issue.
BSPCB conducted a sample study of 181 health care facility with more than ten beds and found that most of them were flouting rules and regulations for disposing bio-medical waste.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba in 2016 alleging that bio-medical wastes are only being shown to be disposed completely on papers while in the reality, they are being dumped in open areas along with garbage in almost all districts of Bihar.
According to counter affidavit submitted by Chandra before high court, Bihar has mere three common bio-medical waste treatment facilities (CBWTF) located at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) in Patna, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JLNMCH) at Bhagalpur and at industrial area in Bela of Muzaffarpur district. All these three are run by private agencies. These CBWTF are paid for disposing the wastes.
Chandra had apprised court that incinerator at IGIMS is responsible for disposal of waste generated in Patna, Bhojpur, Buxar, Nalanda, Rohtas and Kaimur, the one at Bhagalpur disposes bio-waste generated in 17 district while wastes generated in rest 15 districts are handled by one at Muzaffarpur.
“Such is the situation that waste generated in Aurangabad is shown to be disposed at Bhagalpur which is at least 340 kilometres away. All these are only being shown on papers for several years while in reality, bio-medical wastes are thrown on roadside in every district including Patna which results pollution of environment and health problems,” Chandra had submitted before court. The BSPCB, represented by counsels Shivendra Kishore and Abhimanyu Singh, accepted in their affidavits that a CBWTF is allowed to dispose waste generated maximum within 150 kilometres radial distance if 10,000 beds area not available in 75 kilometres radial distance according to Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016. According to the rules, biomedical waste must be collected, treated and disposed within 48 hours.
BSPCB counsels also submitted that letter was written to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to grant permission setting-up three more CBWTFs in Bihar as present capacity is not enough to dispose wastes generated following which CPCB was also made a respondent in the matter.
- 2 compost plants to come up near Vishnupad temple Abdul Qadir | TNN | Aug 6, 2018, 02:00 IST
GAYA: To make productive use of the municipal waste generated in the Vishnupad temple area, two plants for manufacturing vermi compost are being set up.
Each plant will have the capacity to use 500 kg of perishable municipal waste and convert it into compost. “Though ‘pindadaan’ rituals are conducted throughout the area, many prefer the fortnightlong Pitrapaksh Mela period concluding just before the installation of the Durga Puja kalash,” says Arun Kumar Prasad, an expert of religious philosophy.
The pilgrims visiting Vishnupad temple for the performance of pindadaan rituals offer rice balls for salvation of ancestral souls. Other grains and perishable items too are used. Such items are strewn here and there causing health hazard. The items would be productively used once the compost plants are installed.
According to district magistrate Abhishekh Singh, “Gaya Municipal Corporation will manage the compost plants. Funding for installation of the compost plants will be done by the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL). The corporation has provided Rs five crore for the development of civic amenities in the Vishnupad area. Besides the two compost plants, the fund provided by the IOC under the ‘Iconic City Development Plan’ would also be used for purchase of two sweeping machines and 50 decorated dust bins.”
The DM also said that water ATMs too would be installed in the temple area for the benefit of pilgrims and other visitors. About the proposal to install an electric crematorium near the Vishnupad temple, the DM said that any such proposal has not come before him for consideration.
Efforts will be made to reduce the impact of air pollution at the Vishnupad burning ghat, he said. No charge will be levied for drinking water supplied through the water ATMs. “Regular quality test of the water and servicing of the water ATMs as per the operation protocol of the system would be ensured,” said Singh.
“On the point of black listing of the vulnerable private buildings in the Vishnupad area on account of such buildings not being safe to accommodate pilgrims,” the DM said that officials associated with the housing of the pilgrims have been directed to inspect the private houses before granting lodging licences during the forthcoming Pitrapaksha Mela. Government school buildings too would be requisitioned for housing the pilgrims.
There was a proposal to construct a 10,000 capacity multi-storeyed dharamshala by relocating the Infectious Diseases Hospital. The ID hospital is located on a 3.5 acre plot near the Vishnupad temple.
- Smart meters in 130 towns, villages soon TNN | Aug 7, 2018, 14:39 IST
PATNA: The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) on Sunday signed two MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) with the North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (NBPDCL) and the South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) to install smart meters in 130 towns and rural areas of the state, covering nearly 18 lakh consumers.
The MoUs were signed in the presence of Union minister of state for power and renewable energy R K Singh, EESL managing director (MD) Saurabh Kumar, SBPDCL MD R Lakshmanan and energy department officials. Latest Comment Hope this is not a just an announcement before 2019 election but a real things to happen.Mithilesh Kumar
The smart electricity meters will be supplied and installed in a phased manner within 1.5 years from the date of signing the agreement. “These meters will enable consumers to monitor their consumption pattern and the corresponding cost,” Saurabh Kumar told this newspaper on Monday.
Smart meters help control power theft, ensure faster outage detection and quick restoration of service. According to EESL’s regional manager Rakesh Pratap Singh, “They help in monitoring round-the-clock power supply leading to greater efficiency.”
- Railway minister may hand over Digha tracks land on August 12 Kumod Verma | TNN | Aug 9, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Railway minister Piyush Goel is likely to hand over the Patna-Digha rail line land formally to the state government during his Patna visit on August 12 to kick off a slew of projects in Bihar. The state government is to construct a four-lane expressway on the existing rail tracks land.
According to sources, Goel will inaugurate through remote system the broad gauge (BG) between Raxaul and Narkatiaganj under Samastipur division of the East Central Railway (ECR). He will also flag off a new passenger train on that section besides laying the foundation of a 92km-long rail line between Supaul and Araria.
Goel will also inaugurate the BG line between Biraul and Harnagar in the Sakri-Harnagar section of Samastipur division and flag off the extended run of at least five pairs of passenger trains on that route. He will felicitate RPF’s ‘Durga Vahni’ wing of the ECR for curbing crime against women passengers either on trains or at different places, sources said, adding the minister will proceed to Ara by chopper the same day after meeting the Bihar Chamber of Commerce members.
At Ara, Goel is likely to lay foundation to commence railway electrification (RE) work on the Ara-Sasaram route as well as construction of a foot overbridge at Ara station.
Meanwhile, railways has installed a state-of-the-art ‘namma’ toilets for physically challenged people at Rajendra Nagar Terminal with all modern facilities at a cost of Rs2.5 lakh each.
According to Danapur DRM Ranjan Prakash Thakur, the Railway Board is personally monitoring this project under the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign across the country. Railways intends to complete this project before October 2. The ‘namma’ toilets have also been constructed at Patna Junction and Pataliputra station, he said, adding the board has sanctioned 16 more ‘namma’ toilets in the division.
Thakur said railways would install ‘namma’ toilets at eight class ‘A’ category stations, including Buxar, Ara, Danapur, Patna Sahib, Mokama, Kiul and Jamui and eight more at class ‘B’ category Dildarnagar, Dumraon, Barh, Hathidah, Lakhisarai, Jhajha, Biharsharif and Rajgir stations, he said.
- Rs 99 crore sanctioned for PMC projects TNN | Aug 11, 2018, 01:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) board on Friday sanctioned Rs 99.09 crore for the purchase of equipment for garbage collection, fogging and other related works to be carried out in the city. Patna mayor Sita Sahu, who chaired the 10th general meeting of the PMC board, said the equipment would be purchased from the central government’s e-marketplace portal.
The equipment include 300 dumper placers, 405 handcarts, 375 twin garbage tippers, 75 twin bin dumper placers, 10 self-propelled or vacuum sweeping machines, four super sucker machines, 2,000 twin bins (120 litre capacity), 750 RC bins, five flood control pumping machines, four backhoe loaders and 75 fogging machines.
The board also approved Rs 50 lakh for implementation of water supply projects in all wards.
Other projects which got the nod of the PMC board included digitization of birth and death certificates, construction of children’s park between McDowell roundabout and Ramavtar Shastri roundabout at Rajendra Nagar, a cafeteria and library near National Institute of Technology-Patna, commercial complex on the land of the erstwhile Patna Regional Development Authority at Saidpur and a supermarket near Maharana Pratap Bhawan. All these proposals were earlier approved by the empowered standing committee of PMC on July 31.
- Pollution control board to get Rs 11 crore for research TNN | Aug 11, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) will soon receive a grant of Rs 11 crore under the Centre’s Namami Gange programme to conduct research on water pollution. “We have received the grant letter. The board’s lab will be upgraded under the programme. Four additional scientists will also be appointed to conduct the research,” BSPCB chairman Dr Ashok Kumar Ghosh said.
A research advisory committee headed by Dr Ghosh has also been formed to oversee researches being conducted by the BSPCB on all types of water pollution. The committee has seven members, including two from the United Kingdom.
“The committee will meet once in every six months. The research work will be handed over to the department of science and industrial research (DSIR) that functions under the central government,” Dr Ghosh said. He added Bihar has been affected by groundwater pollution also as arsenic and chlorine permeate the soil, polluting groundwater.
The BSPCB officials also held a meeting with sugar mill owners on Friday to discuss measures to curb waste production by the mills. Dr Ghosh asked mill owners to properly implement the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board to curb pollution of water bodies around the mill.
“Under the new provisions of CPCB, it is mandatory for all sugar mills to set up effluent treatment plants (ETPs) for waste management. They are also required to keep the ETP functional round the clock,” Dr Ghosh said.
- Bihar govt plans ban on single-use plastic items
Ayesha Hassan | TNN | Aug 11, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The state government is planning to ban production, distribution and use of plastic carry bags thinner than 50 microns in city areas besides seeking feedback from people on one-time use of other plastic products.
Addressing a function organised by BIT-Patna on Friday, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the state government has asked the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) to form a three-member committee to study the challenges faced by Maharashtra in banning all single-use plastic products. The committee members will be from the BSPCB as well as the urban development and housing department.
For effective implementation of the ban, it is necessary to provide an alternative to plastic bags, BSPCB chairman Dr Ashok Kumar Ghosh said.
The central government has decided to limit the use of plastic products, such as carry bags, water bottles and straws in the country by 2022.
- Govt proposes ban on plastic in urban areas from Sept 10 Ayesha Hassan | TNN | Aug 12, 2018, 03:56 IST
Patna: The state government has proposed a ban on the manufacture, import, store, transport, sale and use of plastic carry bags of all sizes and thickness in municipal corporation/council and nagar panchayat areas in the state from September 10.
A draft notification was uploaded on Saturday to the official websites of Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) and the state’s environment and forest department for seeking public opinion on the issue. People can send in their views on email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org over the next 30 days. The proposal has been made under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
As per the notification, “no person, including a shopkeeper, vendor, wholesaler, retailer, trader, hawker, feriwala or sabjiwala shall sell or store or distribute or use any kind of plastic carry bags for storing or dispensing of any eatable or non-eatable goods or materials,” in the municipal corporations and nagar panchayat areas in the state.
However, plastic carry bags above 50 microns used for the disposal of biomedical waste have been exempted under the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016. The plastic containers used for packaging food materials, milk and milk products and raising plants in the nurseries have not been deemed as carry bags and hence are exempted.
The state government has also reserved the right to provide for any exceptions in the notification as deemed necessary after assessment. Legal action would be taken against those found in violation of the present directives under the notification after 30 days.
Plastic bags are non-biodegradable and produce toxic gases on burning. “The present notification has been issued after assessing the adverse effects of plastic carry bags on the environment and ecology as well as human health,” a BSPCB official said.
- Patna third to last among 111 cities in ‘Ease of Living Index’ Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Aug 14, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The state capital scored 18.67 out of 100 and stood third to last among the 111 cities across the country in the ‘Ease of Living Index 2018’ released by the ministry of housing and urban affairs on Monday. The report is based on various parameters, including governance, education, heath, housing, power supply and transport, among others.
Patna was, in fact, left behind some other cities in the state, including Biharsharif (108) and Bhagalpur (107). Pune topped the chart, followed by Navi Mumbai, Greater Mumbai, Tirupati and Chandigarh.
The livability index was measured on total 78 parameters and Patna performed worse on most of them. For instance, it scored 4.05 out of 15 in governance against the highest 16.7 scored by Navi Mumbai. In education, Patna scored 1.35 out of 6.25 whereas Faridabad had the highest 6.01.
Similarly, Patna scored 0.95 in terms of safety and security of residents whereas Sagar in Madhya Pradesh scored 4.54. In terms of public open spaces, Patna scored 0.13 out of 5 whereas Gandhinagar in Gujarat had a perfect 5. On assured water supply, Patna scored 1.23 out of 5 whereas Erode in Tamil Nadu scored 4.7 in the same category.
It is not for the first time that Patna has fared “utterly miserable” in any city rankings scheme. It stood 312th out of 485 cities on cleanliness parameters under the Swachh Survekshan 2018.
The city residents also expressed their anguish over the “pitiable” living conditions. “Barring construction of a few flyovers, Patna has remained the same during the past couple of decades. The lifestyle is much worse than in many smaller cities in other states, especially in the south. For instance, it is due to poor water supply network here that majority of the people are dependent on personal dug-wells,” said Shreenidhi Pandeya of Patna, who presently stays at New Delhi.
Pratyush Kumar from Ashiana Nagar, who is pursuing an undergraduate course at Noida, also had similar views. “The city still lacks basic civic amenities, including wide roads, street lights, good parks, recreational centres and even urinals. Patna seems to have an urban face only because it is the state capital; otherwise, it is more like a small town,” he said.
Deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand said the livability index covered functions of a number of departments and Patna Municipal Corporation alone could not be blamed. “There were many things not in our hands, but we will still look into a number of issues in our ambit,” Anand said.
- Patna most unsafe city: Government’s survey TNN | Aug 14, 2018, 08:13 IST
NEW DELHI: Sagar in Madhya Pradesh is the safest city while Patna is the most unsafe among the 111 cities which have been ranked on “ease of living” parameters. Safety and security was one of the indicators for ranking of the cities, which was released on Monday.
In this ranking, number of CCTV cameras installed in the city per unit of road length, number of recorded crimes per lakh population and the extent of crimes recorded against women were included as indicators to arrive at how safe the cities are. It also included crimes against children and the elderly per year. According to the report, Ranchi, Faridabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Vadodara and Varanasi ranked above 100 in the safety and security parameters. Interestingly, Delhi ended at 66 and all the cities in the NCR ranked badly. Even Pune and Greater Mumbai were ranked at 25 and 35 among all the cities covered under this category.
- 15-day drive to remove squatters TNN | Updated: Aug 17, 2018, 07:52 IST
Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor with police officers inspecting special anti-encroachment drive at ... Read More
PATNA: A fortnight-long anti-encroachment drive was launched amid heavy police deployment on Thursday to remove illegal structures from the roads and footpaths in the state capital.
On Day 1, the drive was carried out on the stretches between Boring Canal Road to Rajapur Pul, Ashok Rajpath to Patna College, Hartali Mor to Pataliputra Mor, Patna City to bypass and Kankerbagh main road to bypass.
Several teams were involved in the drive which led to the removal and demolition of around 90 illegal structures and realisation of Rs 79,000 as fine. FIRs were lodged against 30 squatters.
Ten tractors and four vans loaded with sand and stone chips were also seized. Altogether 13 vehicles parked in no-parking zones were towed away by the traffic police.
Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor along with Patna IG Nayyar Hasnain Khan, DM Kumar Ravi and other officials inspected the progress of the drive on Boring Canal Road. The encroachment drive will continue till August 31, sources said.
- Bihar awaits land for four-lane road Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Updated: Aug 18, 2018, 09:17 IST
PATNA: The state road construction department (RCD) is awaiting the railway ministry’s nod for transfer of its land near Danapur railway station for construction of a four-lane semi-elevated road between the proposed Bihta airbase and Danapur railway station.
The 18.5km four-lane road is proposed to be developed to provide expressway connectivity to a civil enclave being developed at the airbase of the Indian Air Force at Bihta for commercial flight operations.
While National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is proposed to construct the 13.5km elevated four-lane road from Bihta to Shivala, the remaining 5km stretch from Shivala to Danapur station will be constructed by the RCD. According to a senior RCD official, it is for the purpose of construction of the road from Shivala that the state government is seeking land from the railways.
“Except near Danapur station, sufficient land is available for construction of four-lane road. The government has urged the railways to hand over its land inside the railway colony and to the north of Danapur station to the state,” the official said on Thursday.
Earlier, CM Nitish Kumar, while speaking at an event here on Sunday in the presence of railway minister Piyush Goyal, had raised the demand for the same land. The CM had said the state government required land measuring 15m wide and 1.6km long in the railway colony located on the west of Danapur station and 20m wide and 350m long land on the north of the station for construction of Danapur-Bihta four-lane road.
Sources said a detailed project report for construction of Shivala-Bihta stretch was being prepared by the NHAI. The elevated road is proposed to be developed with an estimated expenditure of Rs 1, 400 crore. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has targeted to start construction of first block of the proposed civil enclave at Bihta airbase in 2019. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 500 crore. The Patna district administration has acquired 108 acres of land near Bihta airbase for the purpose of construction of civil enclave. The land is likely to be handed over to the AAI soon.
Apart from Danapur-Shivala-Bihta road, Bihta is set to get two more four-lane roads – Patna-Buxar NH-30 and Bihta-Sarmera SH-78.
- HC summons DM, SSP over encroachments TNN | Aug 19, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Saturday expressed its annoyance over the massive roadside encroachments in several areas of the state capital and summoned the Patna DM, SSP, SP (traffic) and Patna municipal commissioner on Monday to apprise it of the action they intended to take for removing the squatters.
A division bench of Chief Justice M R Shah and Justice Ravi Ranjan passed the order while hearing three different PILs filed by the Zila Footpath Dukandar Sangh, Krishna Kumar Singh and Vikas Chandra alias Guddu Baba.
The petitioners have also demanded marking of vending zones across the state capital, from where roadside vendors can run their businesses.
Chandra has through his PIL specifically drawn the court’s attention towards the encroachments at Hathua Market and surrounding areas, from Patna junction to GPO roundabout, from Gandhi Maidan to PMCH and around Loyla High School in Pataliputra Colony. The PIL has said these encroachments take a toll on the students, patients and passengers passing through these areas.
The state government, during the hearing on Saturday, informed the court that vending zones were being marked in the state capital and action was being taken for removal of encroachments. The court, however, was not satisfied.
Illegal cattle trade: The division bench, while hearing another PIL filed by Gau Gyan Foundation, directed the state government to file a counter affidavit within four weeks on the action taken to curb illegal trade of cattle, especially camel, from Purnia and neighbouring districts to West Bengal.
The Foundation, through its PIL, has sought court orders to the authorities concerned for creating checkposts on the roads leading to West Bengal to curb the cattle trade which intensifies before Bakrid. The court has also been apprised of the representations given to the Madhubani DM about the alleged illegal slaughtering of cattle in the district.
AIIMS-Patna appointments: The central government was on Saturday granted eight days’ time by the division bench to file a counter affidavit on the action taken against officials in connection with irregularities in the appointments made at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Patna.
The court passed the order while hearing a PIL filed by Janahit Abhiyan which was represented by counsel Talib Mustafa.
The PIL has sought action on the basis of the reports of Ashok Parmar and Vikash Arya committees, formed by the Union ministry of health and family welfare. The two committees are learned to have found that rules were violated while making appointments against various posts between 2011 and 2014. The matter will come up for hearing again on August 28.
- RERA freezes bank accounts of realtor Faryal Rumi | TNN | Aug 19, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of Bihar on Saturday ordered freezing of the bank accounts of a Patna-based real estate company for allegedly making misleading statements in its replies to show-causes notices for not registering an ongoing project.
The Authority has also barred the company from booking any plot, house or bungalow in the project at Shivala Mor on Danapur-Bihta road. The action was initiated by RERA-Bihar chairman Afzal Amanullah under Section 36 (power to issue interim orders) of the RERA Act.
Amanullah said the Patna Green Housing Private Limited took tens of lakhs of money from buyers for construction on its ‘Metro Green City’ project at Shivala Mor since July 2017. He said an investigating team would inquire into the affairs of the company, including financial irregularities.
RERA-Bihar member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha told this reporter that the promoter had been advertising its project without getting it registered with the Authority in flagrant violation of the RERA Act. The promoter has also not prepared its balance sheet or profit and loss account since creation of the company three years ago, Sinha said. “Many people have invested their money in this project which has not taken off so far,” Sinha said and added the company’s bank accounts were frozen to protect the interests of the investors.
It is for the first time that the Bihar-RERA has virtually blacklisted a company since the RERA Act came into force in the state in May 2017. So far, it had issued show-cause notices to more than 200 builders for not complying with the provision to get projects registered before issuing advertisements about them and accepting advance money from buyers.
- ‘Eviction drive for four-lane Digha to R-Block road soon’ TNN | Aug 20, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: State transport secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, who is also managing director of Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited (BSRDCL), on Sunday said work for removing track from the 11.59km stretch of Digha-R-Block railway line will commence from December 1. He, however, said the anti-encroachment drive would start only in the last week of August.
“Four-laning of Digha-R Block railway line for better connectivity with city’s north-west side has gained momentum after the formal handover of land to the state government on August 12. The railway authorities will start removing the rail line from December 1, as it requires less amount of time. We have received confirmation from the district administration with regards to eviction drive from August-end. Engineers of the department are working to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) regarding overall structure and cost of the four-lane road project. However, it has been decided that the construction work will commence from January next year,” Agarwal told this newspaper on Sunday.
He added, “A concrete plan is being made for avoiding conflicts in future. For this, we are working in collaboration with state urban development department that will look after the drainage and sewage treatment plants to be constructed on this stretch. As per the recent discussions, there will be flyovers at Hartali Mor and Rajiv Nagar for which we have also talked to urban development and housing department for avoiding clashes that may surface in future due to metro rail project.”
Disclosing other details of the project, Agarwal said, “Around eight acres of land has been encroached by people, who have made huts and other temporary structures there. Our primary focus is to evict the squatters from the land. The district administration has already issued notices to the encroachers to vacate the land. As per the survey, there are 15 temples, 500 permanent hutments and some temporary encroachments that are to 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 designated land.”