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- HC slams Kaimur officials over forest land encroachments Debashish Karmakar | TNN | Aug 29, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Tuesday asked the district administration and divisional forest officer (DFO) of Kaimur to remove massive encroachments on 135 acres of forest land of Kaimur wildlife sanctuary.
The division bench of Chief Justice M R Shah and Justice Ravi Ranjan passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba, urging the court to direct the authorities concerned to remove encroachments from forest land in Kaimur and Nalanda.
“How did you allow encroachments in such an important forest area which falls under the reserved forest category? Bihar has only one such area and you allowed encroachment there,” the Chief Justice remarked.
Advocate general Lalit Kishore informed the court that Kaimur wildlife sanctuary is spread over an area of 1,134 square kilometres. “The administration has already removed encroachments from 270 acres of land. Notices have been served on encroachers to vacate the remaining land soon,” he told the court.
- ‘Remove encroachments from Exhibition Road by August 30’ TNN | Aug 29, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Divisional commissioner Anand Kishor on Tuesday asked the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to prepare an action plan for expansion of the road on the western and eastern flanks of Exhibition Road. Kishor also called for construction of a pavement of 1.5 metre width on the western side of Exhibition Road.
While inspecting the multi-department drive against encroachments and illegal parking from Beena Cinema to Exhibition Road, Kishor asked the executive engineer of PMC’s New Capital circle, Umesh Kumar, to measure the road after removing encroachments.
Kishor asked the officials of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited to demolish the illegal houses, grills and other structures under the flyover on Exhibition Road by August 30. “The space under the flyover will be developed as a parking zone for two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Around 100 vehicles can be parked there at a time,” he said.
The PMC officials engaged in anti-encroachment drive seized several machines and vehicles laden with construction materials and electronic gadgets from Exhibition Road. Similar drives were also conducted at Dak Bungalow roundabout, Rajendra Nagar, Mithapur bus stand, Dinkar Chowk roundabout, Hathwa Market, Machchuatoli and Bal Leela Gurdwara in Patna City.
Kishor said special flying squads would be deployed in major areas of the city to prevent squatters from re-encroaching the roads and footpaths. The anti-encroachment drive, which started on August 16, will continue till September 5.
- Metro rail: State to send DPR to Centre next month Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Aug 30, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The urban development and housing department (UDHD) has targeted to send the final detailed project report (DPR) for Patna metro rail project to the Centre in September.
The UDHD, which had earlier planned to submit the DPR by July 31, extended the deadline in light of Lohia Path Chakra project, which envisages construction of four underpasses on the stretch of Bailey Road between Lalit Bhawan and Patna high court.
As Saguna Mor-Bailey Road-Patna Junction-Mithapur alignment is proposed to pass through Bailey Road, consultants of RITES, the agency preparing DPR for metro rail project and those of Lohia Path Chakra project, were asked to study each other’s project to make necessary changes in the metro rail alignment.
“We are planning to shift the proposed metro rail tracks slightly north of the central alignment of Bailey Road between Hanuman Mandir and HC. This will avoid overlapping of the metro tracks with the underpasses proposed under Lohia Path chakra project as the Saguna Mor-Bailey Road-Patna Junction-Mithapur alignment is proposed to be underground,” said Sanjay Dayal, special secretary in urban development and housing department, the nodal agency of the metro rail project.
Dayal added the DPR was almost finalized after making necessary changes in the wake of the new metro rail policy of the Centre. A preliminary DPR for metro rail project was approved by the state cabinet on February 9 last year, but it was required to be revised after the Centre came up with a new metro policy.
The revised comprehensive mobility plan – a document envisaging guidelines for setting up other modes of rapid transit – for Patna has also been prepared by National Institute of Technology (NIT), Patna and it forms a part of the revised DPR for the project.
The metro rail proposal envisages two corridors in the first phase, covering a total distance of 31km. The first corridor will be developed on Saguna Mor-Bailey Road- Patna Junction-Mithapur bus stand route, covering a distance of 14.5km from the east to west. The second corridor will be a north-south corridor, which will run from Patna Junction to proposed bus stand at Bairiya on Patna-Gaya Road via Ashok Rajpath, Gandhi Maidan and Rajendra Nagar Terminal, covering a distance of 16.5km.
Dayal said the estimated expenditure for the metro rail project has been pegged at Rs 20,000 crore. According to sources, the Centre and state governments will contribute 20% of the project cost and the remaining 60% will be met by taking aid from financial agencies at a low interest rate.
- Cops asked to keep watch on builders Faryal Rumi | TNN | Aug 31, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Real Estate Regulatory Authority-Bihar (RERA) chairman Afzal Amanullah has asked the SHOs of different police stations across the state to ensure that information like RERA number, project name, name of the company and date of commencement of the project are displayed on notice boards at the construction sites under their respective jurisdictions.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Amanullah said the Authority was taking all necessary action to safeguard the interest of the real estate buyers. “The list of such constructions along with the builders’ names should be forwarded to the Authority quarterly by the police officers,” he said.
Amanullah announced that a transparent and robust grievance redressal portal will soon be established for hearing the grievances of the real estate buyers in time-bound period.
“The state government is planning to create a single window system for ensuring timely approvals and clearances of real estate projects. All the projects sanctioning authorities, including registration department, PRDA and municipalities will have to give the completion certificates after due verification and within a period of three months after completion of real estate projects, as prescribed under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016,” Amanullah said.
RERA Bihar member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha said the state government should ensure that unscrupulous promoters and developers of real estate projects are arrested for criminal offences like cheque bounce, unauthorized and forced occupation of land and wrong information.
“During the scrutiny and physical verification at construction sites, the Authority found out that around 12 builders provided wrong information about their real estate projects. In application form, they showed the projects as new. However, the projects were found to be ongoing ones,” Sinha said, adding many builders have given incomplete information about their projects.
The RERA Bihar has received 631 applications for registration of real estate projects since April this year. Of them, 151 projects have got the RERA registration number while 32 applications were received by the brokers and agents.
Another member of RERA Bihar, Subodh Kumar Sinha, said the websites of real estate developers would now be monitored by the economic offences wing of the police. “This will prevent builders from duping buyers by misinterpreting facts and promising utopian facilities,” he added.
- ‘Gaya anti-encroachment drive to continue even after Pitrapaksha’ Abdul Qadir | TNN | Sep 1, 2018, 01:00 IST
GAYA: The anti-encroachment drive at Gaya launched ahead of Pitrapaksha Mela, will continue in the days to come and temporary as well as permanent encroachments from the main roads of the city are being removed.
“Launched on August 25, the drive will continue. A permanent anti-encroachment cell has also been created to deal with encroachment related issues,” says Gaya sadar SDO Suraj Kumar Sinha.
Listing the achievements of the last six days, the SDO said about 500 temporary and 30 permanent encroachments have been removed. About 100 partially built structures have also been demolished from public land. Pay loaders and JCB machines have been pressed into service for quick demolition and debris removal.
In the first phase, the anti-encroachment drive began in areas where important vedis (altars) for ritual salvation are located. Vishnupad temple area, the most important ritual site too has been covered. The areas from where temporary as well as permanent encroachments have been removed include Ghughari Tand, Chand Chauraha and Narain Chuan among others.
The areas from where encroachments would be removed in the days to come include GB Road, KP Road, Swarajpuri Road, Dighi Mor and Station road.
According to activist Brajnandan Pathak, “Encroachment removal has become an annual ritual undertaken every year before the start of Pitrapaksh Mela and encroachments reappear with greater vengeance once the event was over.”
“Things will not be the same this year,” said district magistrate Abhishek Singh. Asked how he will ensure that the encroachers do not stage a comeback, the DM said that two special measures have been introduced to prevent recurrence of encroachment at the same point.
“The SHO concerned is being given details about the encroachment removed everyday and it will be the personal responsibility of the SHOs to ensure that the same place is not re-encroached. Besides, the Gaya Municipal Corporation has been asked to mark the area from where the encroachment has been removed.” the DM said.
According to Reeta Ambastha, a resident of the Ghugadi Tand area of the town, “Anti-encroachment 2018 is the most effective drive undertaken in recent years.” She hoped that the tempo is maintained in the days to come.
- Mahabodhi shrine area development work outsourced to BRPNNL Abdul Qadir | TNN | Sep 1, 2018, 01:00 IST
GAYA: The development work of the Mahabodhi temple and the adjoining areas has now been outsourced and the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) has handed over development programmes to Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited (BRPNNL).
District magistrate-cum-committee chairman Abhishek Singh signed an MOU with the BRPNNL for undertaking the development projects. BRPNNL managing director Umesh Kumar signed the documents on behalf of the corporation.
Executing development projects in and around the shrine is a tricky job as agencies like Unesco and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have to be taken on board. At the time of notifying Mahabodhi Mahavihara as a world heritage site in June 2002, the Unesco issued a set of guidelines on the maintenance and conservation of the shrine.
As per the guidelines, no new construction or repair work has to be undertaken in an area of half-km radius from the shrine outer walls. The world cultural body even favoured relocation of all non-religious structures from the area to make it serene and in sync with its status as the abode of peace.
The world cultural body also wanted the height of buildings to be fixed at three meters within a radius of one km from the shrine and 10 meters in the area falling between 1-2 km from the shrine’s outer wall.
A second MoU has been signed with the ‘Happy Hands Project’. As per the terms and conditions of the second MoU, the agency will collect all flowers offered in the shrine. Such flowers will be processed and subsequently used for making organic dye to be used by the khadi and the handloom sector. Besides flowers offered at the shrine, the flowers used for shrine decoration will also be collected and processed for dye making. Output of such flowers was significantly high in the tourist season when several Buddhist organisations hold peace congregations and prayers. According to a rough estimate, on an average 50 kg of flower is offered everyday at the shrine.
The development work, according to sources, has been entrusted to the BRPNNL for two reasons. First the shrine committee does not have the expertise required for the purpose. Secondly and more importantly, the committee will concentrate on shrine maintenance and fund management in a more effective manner.
- Expressway project awaits Centre’s nod TNN | Sep 1, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The state government has once again urged the Centre to extend Delhi-Lucknow Expressway up to Patna. Deliberations in this regard were held between CM Nitish Kumar and Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The proposed road will be part of the Purvanchal Expressway, which is providing connectivity from Delhi to Lucknow through Delhi-Agra and Agra-Lucknow Expressway. The Agra-Lucknow Expressway is proposed to be extended to Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh.
“The survey for extension of Delhi-Lucknow Expressway is being done by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). While a proposal is already in the pipeline for extending the expressway from Lucknow to Ghazipur, the Bihar government has requested the Centre to extend it further to Buxar. As works are already underway for construction of a four-lane road between Patna and Buxar, Patna will ultimately have expressway connectivity up to Delhi,” state road construction minister Nand Kishor Yadav, who also attended Wednesday’s meeting in New Delhi, told TOI on Friday.
The minister said the state government was expecting commencement of work on several road and bridge projects in Bihar following an approval from Gadkari to reduce the land acquisition requirement from 90% to 70%.
A meeting in this regard will be held in New Delhi on September 8 between officials of the state government and the Centre.
“The contractor has been selected for several NHAI projects, but the appointment dates are not being issued as 90% of land has not been acquired yet. CM Nitish has requested Gadkari to reduce the condition of minimum 90% land acquisition requirement to 70%, which was agreed upon by the latter. Accordingly, deliberations will be held project-wise in a meeting of officials from the Centre and state on September 8,” Nand Kishor said.
The road construction minister added that a decision was also taken to commence work on a four-lane bridge parallel to Mahatma Gandhi Setu, which is part of the Ring Road project for Patna before the commencement of construction of road sections of the project.
“The four-lane bridge parallel to Gandhi Setu has already been sanctioned by the Project Investment Board and the proposal is now awaiting the nod of central cabinet. The bridge will be constructed first as land requirement is not an issue for it,” Yadav said.
- Administration collects Rs 78 lakh fine Faryal Rumi | TNN | Sep 6, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: As part of the multi-department drive against encroachments and illegal parking in Patna, the district administration has collected Rs 23 lakh from vehicle drivers and Rs 55 lakh from encroachers on footpaths and roads between August 16 and September 5.
According to officials, at least 1,675 hutments were removed, 425 extended shops demolished and FIRs lodged against 125 encroachers during the eviction drive.
“We have extended the drive till September 10 as few areas like Bailey Road, Kankerbagh and Digha have not been covered. Officials of the road construction department have been asked to increase the width of Exhibition Road, Fraser Road, Arya Kumar Road, Bari Path, Rajendra Path to Lohanipur, Kankerbagh main road, Boring Canal Road, Rajbanshi Nagar, Shiekhpura Mor and Mithapur bus stand road, among others, from 3m to 5m,” said Patna DM Kumar Ravi.
On Wednesday, the eviction drive was carried out at Digha, Patna Sahib Gurdwara, Bypass Road and Shahganj.
- Mokama six-lane bridge work to commence soon TNN | Sep 6, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: State road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav on Wednesday said work on the six-lane bridge over the Ganga at Mokama would start soon as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had already assigned the date to the contractor roped in for the project.
Welspun Enterprises Ltd (WEL) was assigned to start work on August 30 to construct the 1.86km-long bridge between Aunta Ghat at Mokama and Simaria over a period of three years utilizing funds to the tune of Rs1,161 crore.
Yadav said the foundation stone of the bridge was laid by PM Narendra Modi in July 2017. “The bridge will start from the junction of NH-31 and 80 and will join the Simaria-Khagaria four-lane road before Barauni thermal power plant. This bridge will significantly reduce the travel time between Patna and Purnia,” he said.
Sources said the bridge would be the first in Bihar to be built using hybrid technology. RCD sources said though the firm was selected more than a year ago, the work could not commence owing to the stipulation of NHAI mandating minimum 90% of land acquisition before assigning the date for commissioning the project.
“Deliberations on the project were held in the meeting between CM Nitish Kumar and Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari at New Delhi on August 29. Accordingly, the date for commissioning of the project has been issued following consultation with NHAI,” Nand Kishore told TOI on Wednesday.
The minister also said the state government was expecting the commencement of works on a number of big road and bridge projects in Bihar following an approval from Gadkari to reduce the land acquisition requirement from 90% to 70%. It was also decided that another meeting between the state and central government officials would be held on September 8 at New Delhi to discuss various other projects, which are stuck due to stipulation of 90% land requirement.
- US firm to be roped in for solid waste management TNN | Sep 7, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: AG Dauters Waste Processing Private Limited, a US-based firm, has been shortlisted to develop an integrated solid waste management plant at Bairiya, Sampatchak in Patna.
PMC chief engineer Suresh Tiwary said six waste transfer stations would come up in in all four circles – Kankerbagh, Patna City, Bankipore and New Capital. “The selected company will convert the solid waste into electricity, fuel and water,” Tiwary said. “According to the agreement, the US firm will generate 280 megawatt electricity per day and give 1% of profit to the PMC. Accordingly, 1,770 tonnes of solid waste will be processed per day,” said the chief engineer.
Patna mayor Sita Sahu said the integrated solid waste management plant would be developed on 7 acres of land at Bariya with an estimated expenditure of Rs 2,000 crore. “The door-to-door garbage collection will restart from October 2. Altogether 4,000 PMC sanitation workers will be pressed into service to maintain cleanliness in the city,” she said, adding the civic body needed 700 temporary staff who will work as garbage collectors and drivers of twin garbage tippers.
She said mechanised road sweeping machines, trash bins of 120 litre capacity for solid and wet garbage, 375 twin garbage tippers and other equipment have already been purchased to keep the city clean.
- HC to civic body: Remove squatters before September 20 TNN | Sep 7, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Thursday pulled up the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) for “partial” anti-encroachment drive in the city and asked it to remove all encroachments between Patna Junction and GPO roundabout before September 20.
The division bench of Chief Justice M R Shah and Justice Ashutosh Kumar passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation filed by New Market Dukandar Kalyan Samiti, urging the court to stop the PMC from pulling down signboards attached with the walls of shops as they are not encroachments. However, the Chief Justice asked the counsel of the petitioner to read provisions of laws in which even a board displayed on road is considered as encroachment.
The Samiti, through its counsel, also submitted a counter affidavit before the high court with photographs of the market area as annexure, claiming that PMC officials were not taking action against roadside vendors selling items on pushcarts.
To this, the Chief Justice asked the PMC to explain as to why they have failed to remove the encroachers. The court asked the PMC to file a counter affidavit before September 20 when the case will be taken up for further hearing.
- Remove every single encroachment between Patna junction and GPO: HC Debashish Karmakar | TNN | Sep 6, 2018, 17:57 IST
PATNA: Irked with the partial action of Patna municipal corporation (PMC), the Patna high court on Thursday ordered its authorities to remove every single encroachment on road between Patna railway junction and GPO roundabout before September 20 at any cost.
The division bench of chief justice MR Shah and Justice Ashutosh Kumar was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by New Market Dukaandar Kalyan Samiti in which it has urged the court for stopping the PMC officials from pulling down sign boards as they are not encroachments on road.
The shopkeepers had also prayed that they were running the shop in the area for at least two decades and their sign boards were along with the wall of their shops.
However, the chief justice pointed out the samiti’s counsel to read provisions of laws against encroachment in which even a board projected on road is considered as an encroachment.
The samiti, through it counsel, also submitted a counter affidavit before the high court with photographs of the market area as annexure, displaying that PMC officials were not taking action against road side encroachers selling items on push carts and stands to remove them even though they are eminently visible, but instead were going behind the shopkeepers for their sign boards. The chief justice asked the PMC the reason that why they have not removed the encroachers. He also made verbal remark that he has got to know that encroachment was resurfacing in several areas where PMC has taken up anti-encroachment drive.
The court ordered the PMC to file a counter affidavit before September 20, on which next hearing on the issue would take place again.
- Plastic bags to be banned soon in rural areas of Bihar too Debashish Karmakar
Acting on directions of Patna high court, state government on Friday took decision to soon ban all types of plastic carry bags, irrespective of size and thickness in rural areas of Bihar too.
| TNN | Sep 7, 2018, 21:54 IST
PATNA: Acting on the directions of the Patna high court, the state government on Friday took a decision to soon ban all types of plastic carry bags, irrespective of size and thickness in rural areas of Bihar too.
Earlier, the state government had uploaded draft notification banning manufacture, import, store transport, sale and use of every type of plastic carry bags only in urban areas of the state on the website of Bihar State Pollution Control Board on August 12 but the high court had directed authorities to extend the ban in rural areas too on August 27.
Chief secretary Deepak Kumar held a meeting on Friday in which the decision was taken.
“We have decided that draft notification for banning plastic bags in rural areas would be uploaded in public domain within the next few days. On the basis of the notification, views would be invited before finally banning plastic carry bags across rural areas too,” he said while talking to TOI over phone.
According to the notification for ban in urban area, it would be effective in all municipal corporations, municipal councils and nagar panchayats in Bihar. The ban would be on all types of plastic carry bags irrespective of size and thickness.
“The decision was taken in light of high court’s direction which had directed state government to ban plastic carry bags in rural areas as well,” chief secretary said.
“While the 30 days’ time frame of draft notification for ban in urban area would end on September 12, a similar notification indicating ban in rural areas too would be uploaded within next few days,” he said. The issue of banning plastic carry bags arose during hearing in high court after it took suo-motu cognizance over a news report of a Hindi vernacular published on June 23 this year highlighting pollution of Lotus pond inside sacred Mahabodhi Temple due to plastic bags brought by visitors.
Gaya district magistrate had submitted an action plan to ban plastics inside the temple. Following the plan, the high court had asked government that why plastic bags can’t be banned across state.
- Eviction drive along Digha rail line from Sept 11 TNN | Sep 8, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The district administration would launch anti-encroachment drive along the R-Block-Digha rail line from September 11 to 17, Patna divisional commissioner Robert L Chongthu said on Friday. He asked the Patna Sadar circle officer to make public announcement in advance so that people should vacate the encroached land before September 9.
At a meeting with the officials concerned, Chongthu asked the police officers to constitute four teams for the drive. “Each team will comprise the officials of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC), traffic police and 50 police personnel and 25 women constables. Bihar State Road Development Corporation will provide JCB machines and the PMC 16 tractors to lift the debris,” he said.
The 6.7km-long rail line is spread over 71.25 acre land. “Of the total, 8 acre land is encroached. The state government has bought the land from the railways for the proposed four-lane road from R-Block to Digha,” he said.
The state government paid Rs220 crore to the railways for that land to construct a 6km-long four-lane road. The work is likely to commence in January next year.
Chongthu has divided the entire stretch into five zones — R-Block to Hartali Mor to Pani Tanki crossing to Rajiv Nagar crossing to Digha crossing. “Those who do not move out of the encroached land will have to face the consequences. Their articles will be seized besides removing the hutments. They will also be fined and an FIR will be lodged against them,” he said.
- Dam water poses flood threat to Patna Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Updated: Sep 9, 2018, 08:12 IST
A view of flood affected near Kurji Ghat in Patna.
PATNA: Patna and its neighbouring areas are facing flood threat following discharge of 3.5 lakh cusecs of water from Bansagar dam in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. The Ganga, however, showed a receding trend at Gandhi ghat and Digha ghat here on Saturday.
Water discharged from Bansagar, a reservoir in the Sone in Madhya Pradesh, reaches Indrapuri barrage in Rohtas district before falling into the Ganga near Maner in rural Patna.
Senior officials at Dehri circle of water resources department said the impact of fresh discharge of water from Bansagar dam would be felt after 48 hours. “The water level in the Ganga in Patna and further downstream may rise due to fresh discharge from Bansagar dam,” said a senior engineer at Sone barrage circle in Dehri.
He added the discharge of water from Bansagar may increase up to 7.5 lakh cusecs. However, the fresh discharge, if required, will be made only after 48 hours.
The daily flood bulletin issued by Central Water Commission (CWC) on Saturday stated that the Ganga was flowing 85cm above the danger level at Gandhi ghat, showing a decline of 3cm over the last 24 hours. The CWC bulletin further stated that the water level at Gandhi ghat may fall further by 13cm by 8am on Sunday.
Similarly, the Ganga was flowing 19cm above the danger level at Digha ghat, showing a decline of 6cm in the last 24 hours. The CWC bulletin said the water level at Digha ghat would fall further by 14cm on Sunday.
At Hathidah, however, the Ganga showed a rising trend as the water level increased from 51cm above the danger level on Friday to 67cm above danger level on Saturday. The CWC bulletin stated that the water level at Hathidah would rise by another 4cm over the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the swollen Ganga has snapped road connectivity in around nine panchayats in the riverine areas of Maner and Danapur. Riverine and low-lying areas located close to the riverbank in Vaishali, Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Khagaria, Munger, Bhagalpur and Katihar districts have also been affected by floodwaters.