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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  • 3,000 defunct tubewells: HC summons dept boss TNN | Sep 12, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Patna high court on Tuesday summoned the minor irrigation department’s principal secretary on September 18 to explain when the department would repair the 3,000 and odd tubewells that have been lying non-functional for several years.

    A division bench of Chief Justice M R Shah and Justice Ashutosh Kumar issued the summons while hearing a PIL filed by Vikash Chandra alias Guddu Baba in this connection.

    The PIL, filed in April 2015, has sought the court’s directive to the authorities concerned to make all these tubewells functional.

    According to the data submitted before the court by the department, the state has 10,242 tubewells across its 38 districts. Of these, 1,050 tubewells have been abandoned while the remaining are workable.

    Of these workable tubewells, 4,354 were non-functional. The department made 1,044 of them functional after the PIL was filed.

    On Tuesday, the department officials told the court that many tubewells could not be made functional before 2021. This infuriated the court as the department’s counter affidavit says that more than 1,500 tubewells are scheduled to be made functional in the financial year 2018-2019.

    The court said it was left with no other option but to call the highest official of the department. It said the principal secretary must file a counter affidavit giving details of the locations of the non-functional tubewells and a deadline by which they would be repaired.

  • HC to PMC: Don’t take orders for granted

    TNN | Sep 12, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Patna high court on Tuesday rapped the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) authorities for their ‘callous’ behaviour and not complying with its repeated orders to submit details of fire safety features at every cinema hall in Patna. The court warned the authorities not to take its direction for granted.

    The division bench of Chief Justice M R Shah and Justice Ashutosh Kumar ordered the PMC authorities to submit a detailed counter affidavit over fire safety measures available at all the cinema halls in Patna and whether they were following the related norms or not.

    The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Rakesh Kumar Singh, who has urged the court to direct the authorities concerned to ensure the required fire safety features in all the cinema halls across Bihar. He has also urged the court to direct the officials concerned to inspect the safety features at the halls and if fire tenders could easily reach the spot or not.

    “Don’t take high court’s direction for granted. You are bound to do it (visit every hall). Don’t you get time to visit one hall? What if tomorrow something tragic happens? Citizens’ life is at risk,” the court told counsel Prasoon Sinha who was representing the PMC before the court. Counsel Ajit Kumar Ojha and Pranjal Kumar represented the petitioners.

    Terming the failure to submit inspection report as unfortunate, the court ordered the PMC to inspect every cinema hall in Patna and submit a report before September 18 with details of fire safety features and their functioning.

    The high court, in its order on August 14, had directed the Patna district magistrate (DM) and PMC commissioner to submit a detailed report on the issue. They had also been directed to tell what type of fire safety features were provided by the cinema hall owners and whether they were functioning or not.

    The court had directed the DM and the PMC commissioner to prepare a report after visiting each and every hall. However, the said report was not submitted even on Tuesday.

  • Bihar to up green cover to 17% by 2022 TNN | Sep 12, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Bihar environment and forest department has targeted to up the state’s green cover to 17% by 2022. For the purpose, the department has embarked on a tree plantation drive in forest areas and along the highways, canals and rivers.

    Disclosing this at a press conference in Patna on Monday, principal secretary (environment and forest) Tripurari Sharan Singh said 15% green cover had been targeted by 2017 under an agriculture road map.

    “It was a challenging job to expand the green cover from 9.79% in 2012 to 15%. The department had fixed a target of planting 23.95 crore saplings during 2012-17, against which 18.47 crore saplings were planted on government lands and raiyat land of farmers,” he said.

    Singh said under the agriculture road map 2017-22, the department was assigned the task to expand the green cover further by 2% outside the forest areas.

    “Certain tree plantation schemes have been launched under the Krishi Vaniki Yojana,” Sharan said and added the central government’s Bamboo Development Mission, currently under the agriculture department, would be given to the environment and forest department.


  • Stray dogs, rash drivers frighten residents of North Sri Krishna Puri TNN | Updated: Sep 11, 2018, 07:23 IST

    Cars parked on A N Path near Boring Road in Patna on Monday

    PATNA: Residents of North S K Puri off Boring Road are sore over poor civic amenities as well as traffic snarls in their narrow bylanes, including Anugrah Narayan Path, Late Laxmi Narayan Path and Vivekanand Marg.

    Known as a posh area, the localities had earlier single or double-floor dwellings. In recent years, however, many residents gave their properties to realtors who dismantled the houses and built multi-floor apartments on their lands.

    State Environment Impact Assessment Authority chairman B N Jha of A N Path said the biggest problem of the area was frequent snarls. “There has been an astronomical surge in the number of vehicles due to the rise in the number of apartments,” he said on Sunday.

    The 64-year-old also complained against opening of private schools in the bylanes. The school vans as well as the private vehicles coming to drop and fetch students add to the jam. “The road in our lane was redeveloped last year... Now even autos plying on the Pataliputra-Boring Road stretch take a turn from Alpana Market and rashly use our road so as to skip the traffic lights at Pani Tanki Mor,” Jha fumed and added it had become quite unsafe for the elderly and children to come out in the lane alone.

    The sexagenarian pleaded for one-way traffic arrangement immediately before and after school hours and deployment of traffic policemen to regulate movement of vehicles, especially public transport vehicles.

    State energy department’s retired engineer R N Mishra echoed Jha’s views. “Senior citizens are scared to come out on the streets due to the fear of being hit by speeding vehicles. It is a residential area and these many vehicles should not be allowed in,” said the 74-year-old resident of Mahesh Nagar.

    Mishra said footpaths should be constructed at least on one of the flanks for safe movement of pedestrians. Also, he demanded installation of street lights in the area.

    Vandana Roy of A N Path complained against stray dogs and lack of door- to-door garbage collection facility. “We can’t go for morning walk or evening stroll for fear of being bitten by the stray canines. Since the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) does not carry out door- to- door waste collection in the area, we have hired a private agency for Rs 100 per house per month for the purpose,” the 45-year-old said and added the roads were not even swept.

    International School (CBSE) vice-principal Vandana Singh underlined the need for regular anti-mosquito fogging in the area.

    PMC officials, on the other hand, assured that steps were being taken for redressal of the grievances of the residents. “We recently placed orders for machinery worth Rs 100 crore for carrying out various civic works. Door- to-door waste collection work will start from October,” PMC deputy commissioner Vishal Anand told TOI. He also said the civic body recently entered into an agreement with EESL Ltd for installation of LED street lights and that 30,000 of the 75,000 such lights had already been installed in different parts of the city.
    SP (Traffic) P N Mishra said they did not have any specific plan for regulating vehicular movement on any particular road. “But we are at work to draw such a plan for the entire city so as to rid the city of snarls,” he said.

  • Patna Junction gets Rs 5 crore for fresh look Kumod Verma | TNN | Sep 14, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: Railway Board has sanctioned Rs5 crore to give a fresh look to the Patna Junction main building with Buddhism design and structure by December end.

    Talking to this reporter on Wednesday, Danapur divisional railway manager (DRM) Ranjan Prakash Thakur said National Institute of Technology Patna (NIT-P) was asked to design the new structure. He said the NIT-P experts have selected the Buddhism design with ‘peace through strength’ as its theme. However, the new design is a mixed look of the Buddhist temples in Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Vaishali and Pawapuri, he said, adding that one common wall would be constructed from the SBI ATM end to the east of the parcel office building from the Mahavir temple side.

    Besides, the railways has planned computerized LED lighting arrangements at Patna Junction during evening hours. This new lighting arrangements will be the first of its kind for Patna Junction from where more than one lakh passengers travel through this station every day. “The railways has already adorned the platform walls of Patna Junction with Madhubani paintings. Thus, Patna Junction will give a mixed look of Buddhism design and Madhubani paintings,” he said. Similarly, the railways is also giving a new touch to the station building at Dumraon. The new look is based on the lifetime achievements of shehnai wizard and Bharat Ratna awardee Bismillah Khan, who was born in this small town on March 21, 1916. The railways would adorn the Dumraon station walls with Bismillah’s portraits,” the DRM said.
    Trains short terminated: The railways has decided to short terminate Saharsa-Amritsar Jansewa Express (15209/15210) and Darbhanga-Amritsar Jannayak Express (15211/15212) at Jallandhar City due to the construction work going on at Amritsar station under Ferozpur division till September 30, sources said.

  • Firm to generate power from solid waste in Patna Faryal Rumi | TNN | Updated: Sep 14, 2018, 07:35 IST

    Representative image

    PATNA: The empowered standing committee of Patna Municipal Corporation(PMC) on Thursday approved a proposal to hire a Delhi-based firm to set up a solid waste management plant at Ramachak Bairiya on Patna-Gaya road. The company, AG Dauters Waste Processing Private Limited, will set up an integrated plant based on German technology to process the solid waste generated in the city and produce energy, biodiesel and water as well.

    Patna mayor Sita Sahu, who chaired the meeting of the empowered standing committee, said door-to-door waste collection would also resume from October 2. “The ward councillors will make announcements in their respective wards about the door-to-door waste collection,” she said.

    The Delhi-based company’s managing director, Ajay Girotra, had told this newspaper on Tuesday that the plant would be set up with an expenditure of Rs 3,200 crore. “Our engineers will prepare a detailed report project of the plant. The company will collect garbage from the transplant centres in the city free of cost. As per the plan, almost 700 metric tonnes of fresh garbage and 300 metric tonnes of stale garbage will be collected and processed daily,” he said.

    “The plant will generate electricity, water and biodiesel per day. Solid waste contains 40-50% moisture, which is extracted and converted into oxygen and hydrogen. Fresh water is produced by mixing the molecules of oxygen and hydrogen. After removing moisture, the solid waste is processed through plasma gasification system to produce gas. Biodiesel is produced after mixing additives with the gas,” Girotra explained.

    “The DPR will be prepared by the German engineers as soon as the company signs concession agreement deal with the PMC. It will take 12-15 months to set up the plant once the DPR is ready. The company has also agreed to pay 1% of the profit to PMC,” Girotra said.

    “Only 70 persons are required at the proposed plant to operate the machines as everything will be done through computerized machines,” Girotra said.

    Civic body to hire consultants: The empowered standing committee of PMC on Thursday gave its nod to a proposal regarding appointment of project management consultants for implementation of different projects. “The PMC will rope in 20 consultants from a private firm on contract basis,” mayor Sita Sahu said.

    The committee also approved a proposal regarding lifelong pension to PMC workers from next month. “Earlier, the PMC workers used to get family pension up to five years. They will now get lifelong pension. Pension for lifetime will be availed only by such workers who will retire from next month onwards,” the mayor added.

    The meeting was attended by PMC commissioner Anupam Kumar Suman, deputy commissioner Vishal Anand, deputy mayor Vinay Kumar Pappu and other members of the empowered standing committee.

  • Govt tells RITES to submit metro rail DPR by September 20 TNN | Sep 15, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: State urban development and housing department (UDHD) has asked the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), an executing agency of the Indian Railways, to submit the final detailed project report (DPR) for Patna metro rail project by September 20.

    The UDHD has also sent a final proposal for formation of Patna Metro Rail Corporation, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for executing metro rail project in the city, to the Centre. Sources said it is only after the formation of the corporation or authority that the final DPR for metro rail project would be tabled before the Centre.

    It has also been decided that the Saguna Mor-Bailey Road-Patna Junction-Mithapur alignment be shifted north of the central alignment of Bailey Road between Hanuman Mandir and Patna high court. This will avoid overlapping of the metro rail tracks with the underpasses proposed under Lohia Path chakra project, which envisages construction of four underpasses on Bailey Road between Lalit Bhawan and high court.

    Deliberations on the “much-delayed” metro rail project were held at a review meeting on Thursday, which was chaired by UDHD minister Suresh Kumar Sharma. The minister said the foundation stone of metro rail project would be laid in November.

    Senior UDHD officials said following submission of the final DPR by RITES, it would be sent to the Public Finance Committee (PFC) chaired by development commissioner.

    “After PFC’s nod, the DPR will be tabled before the state cabinet. It will finally be sent to the Centre for its approval,” said Sanjay Dayal, special secretary in UDHD. The state cabinet headed by CM Nitish Kumar had given its nod to the preliminary DPR for metro rail project on February 9 last year. However, the DPR had to be revised after the Centre came up with a new metro policy.
    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.


  • Refund Rs 33 lakh to flat buyer, builder told Faryal Rumi | TNN | Updated: Sep 15, 2018, 08:00 IST

    Representative image

    PATNA: The Bihar Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) on Friday asked a city-based builder to refund the Rs33.01 lakh to a buyer in three instalments within two months for not completing the apartment flat within the time frame promised. The builder has been asked to pay the interest at the rate of marginal cost of lending rate (MCLR) of State Bank of India.

    The bench of RERA Bihar members Rajiva Bhushan Sinha and Subodh Kumar passed the order on a complaint lodged by Kundan Kumar and Jyoti Kumari on May 15 against the managing director of Nesh India Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. The complainants stated they had booked a flat in AG Enclave at Khagaul on August 24, 2016 and paid Rs30.01 lakh after signing the agreement with the builder.

    The complainants further stated that at the time of booking, the super structure of the block was complete and almost 90% brick partition work of the flat was done. For the plaster inside the flat, they paid Rs3 lakh on April 2, 2017 as per schedule-C of the agreement. They had to pay Rs8 lakh by July the same year as the flat was to complete by then.

    The complainants said they wrote a letter to the builder in June and another in August 2017 making it clear that further payment would be withheld before completing the flat. The builder wrote a letter on September 4, 2017 asking for full payment with GST before September 20, 2017. Later, in February this year, the builder asked for full payment within 15 days failing which they would cancel the booking and forfeit the advance amount paid without any further notice to the buyer.

    According to the complaint, when the complainants met the company’s managing director in March and asked to complete the flat or return the amount paid by them with 11% interest as per the Clause 12 of the agreement, he refused to refund the money.

    “The RERA is to safeguard the interest of the buyers,” Rajiva said.

  • Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sushil Modi take on broom as part of swachhata campaign PTI | Updated: Sep 16, 2018, 08:45 IST

    Bihar Dy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi clean the garbage during function of 'Swachhta hi Seva' in Patna Saturday.

    PATNA: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday shoveled away heaps of garbage at separate places as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modis Swachhata hi seva campaign.

    Prasad, who was flanked by a number of BJP leaders including local MLA Nitin Nabin and city Mayor Sita Sahu, took part in Shram Daan at Mithapur locality where they picked up mounds of trash from the roadside and dumped these into a garbage bin nearby.

    The Union minister, who is also a resident of the city, was joined by locals who got inspired by the drive. He later made them take a pledge for cleanliness.

    Prasad later also tweeted pictures of his participation in the Shramdaan which took place across the country with the Prime Minister himself leading from the front in the national campaign.

    Sushil Kumar Modi took part in a similar drive in Musallahpur Haat, a crowded part of the old city area, where he wielded the shovel wearing a mask and gloves. He also tweeted pictures of himself, flanked by party leaders and local citizens, listening with rapt attention to the Prime Ministers public interaction via video conferencing earlier in the day.

  • Door-to-door trash collection from October Faryal Rumi | TNN | Sep 21, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) is preparing a draft action plan to carry out door-to-door waste collection in the city, which is likely to begin from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2. Residents can dispose of their garbage by paying just Rs 30 per month.

    The PMC has 72 wards under it and all the 72 ward councillors have been asked to prepare a chart dividing their respective ward into five parts for garbage collection. The details in the chart will include the number of households.

    According to Mayor Sita Sahu, some of the equipment and vehicles purchased from the central government’s e-marketplace for the purpose have arrived. “For now, we will charge only Re 1 a day for garbage collection,” she told this reporter on Thursday.

    Earlier, the PMC had hired a private firm for trash collection work. It used to charge Rs 60/month from every household.

    Sahu said the PMC would recruit around 750 people on contract to carry out the garbage collection work. “We have 4,000 sanitation workers who have been assigned the task to sweep the lanes and streets in all the wards,” she said.

    Deputy Mayor Vinay Kumar Pappu said each ward would be allotted five twin-garbage tippers along with a driver and a garbage collector each for deployment in each one of the five parts of the ward.

    “The ward councillors and workers are already making public announcements about the door-to-door waste collection. The twin-garbage tippers will collect the trash from homes and unload the same at the nearest of the two secondary dumping points at Agamkuan and near the stadium at Gardanibagh. From there, the garbage will be transported to the Ramachak Bairiya dumping point on the Patna-Gaya road,” Pappu said.

    The city civic body has also submitted a proposal to the state government to impose fine on the people who throw garbage on the roads and in the lanes. “For the first-time offender, we have proposed a fine the amount of which will be decided after the proposal is approved by the government,” Pappu said and added the proposal also talked about legal action under the Municipal Act against the repeat offenders.


  • RERA deadline extended again Faryal Rumi | TNN | Sep 21, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of Bihar on Wednesday decided to extend the date of ongoing real estate projects registration with fine till October 31.

    The builders have been asked to register their residential projects (up to 1000 square metres) with RERA along with a late fee of Rs4 lakh or 4 times the registration amount, whichever is higher. The late registration fee for all other residential, mixed and commercial projects will be extended to Rs5 lakh or 5 times the registration fees, whichever is higher, from October 1. The earlier deadline for registration was September 30.

    This is the seventh deadline extension given under Section 59(1) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016.

    According to the RERA Bihar order, the decision was taken in view of government notification amending the Registration Act, 1908, making registration with RERA Bihar compulsory for any document related to transfer of property in any real estate project in state.

    Under Section 3 of the RERA Act, 2016, the promoters have to register their projects (residential as well as commercial) with the regulatory authority before booking, selling or offering apartment, plot or building for sale.

    RERA Bihar member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha said failure to register the purchase agreement of a property could put one at a huge risk as he wouldn’t be able to mortgage or sell the property.

    He said the ongoing projects, whether commercial, mixed and residential, should be registered with the authority if they are built on a plot of land exceeding 500 square metres or exceeds 8 apartments. “The real estate projects completed after the RERA Act came into force also need to be registered,” he said.


  • City to get 400 modular, 100 e-toilets by Dec-end Faryal Rumi | TNN | Sep 23, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has selected two private agencies to install 400 modular toilets and 100 e-toilets across the city by the end of December this year as part of the Centre’s ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.

    Initially, these toilets will be installed at strategic locations, such as Frazer Road, Beerchand Patel Marg, near Gandhi Maidan, Bailey Road, Boring Road, Kankerbagh, Eco Park, Station Road, Patna airport and Exhibition Road. There will be separate toilets for men and women.

    The first modular toilet was set up on Magadh Mahila College campus on Friday while the first e-toilet, which is being constructed on the high court premises, is likely to be ready in a week. Modular toilets will be installed near gate number 1 of Patna zoo and also near gate number 1 of Eco Park by next week.

    PMC deputy commissioner Vishal Anand said such toilets would improve public amenities in the city and help the civic body in maintaining sanitation and hygiene. “Private firms will design, install and maintain the toilets at different locations in the city as part of their corporate social responsibilities. One toilet will have two units — one for men and another for women. Although the locations are not yet finalized, parks, theatres and supermarkets will be preferred,” Anand added.

    The PMC has asked the private firms to complete the project within three months. “It takes 2-3 days to install a modular toilet. The installation of an e-toilet, on the other hand, takes almost a week,” Anand said.

    The private firms have contributed Rs 25 crore for installation of modular and e-toilets. While the cost of constructing a modular toilet is around Rs 5 lakh, an e-toilet is constructed with an expenditure of Rs 10 lakh.

    The design and construction of modular toilets are very flexible. These toilets are made of stainless steel.

    The e-toilets flush the floor automatically and ensure zero or no contamination by organisms that cause urinary tract infection.

  • Patna Municipal Corporation sets up 6 vending zones Faryal Rumi | TNN | Updated: Sep 22, 2018, 14:17 IST

    One of the vending zones near Rajapur Pul in Patna

    PATNA: Two permanent and four temporary vending zones, set up by the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC), have started functioning in the city. The permanent vending zones have come up at Rajapur Pul near Boring Canal Road and at Bind Toli, Sheikhpura, thereby giving space to local vendors to sell their products.

    Additional municipal commissioner Devendra Prasad Tiwari said the temporary vending zones at Kadam Kuan, Boring Canal Road, near J D Women’s College and near Patna GPO on Budh Marg would be utilised by vendors till permanent vending areas are developed for them. “We have put up the PMC board and started utilising these areas as temporary vending zones to prevent encroachments,” he added.

    The PMC official said few vendors have already shifted to the permanent and temporary vending zones. “Around 1,000 sellers have applied for the vendor ID through Town Vendor Committee. They will receive the permit by September 24,” Tiwari said.

    Patna mayor Sita Sahu said work on development of vending zones would start soon. “The street vendors will be provided space to sell their products. This will not only provide business security to the vendors, but also ease traffic in the city,” she said. According to PMC, the other identified locations for vending zones are Punaichak Devisthan Mandir, the stretch between Anugrah Narayan College and Panitanki on Boring Road, Daroga Rai Path near Hartali Mor, vacant spots below Begumpur flyover in Patna City, the area near Kankerbagh power sub-station, housing board land at Bahadurpur and Anta Ghat. The three locations at Rajendra Nagar are Vaishali roundabout to McDowell roundabout, McDowell roundabout to Premchandra roundabout and under Rajendra Nagar bridge.
    The proposed vending zones will have drinking water facilities, street lights, concrete pavements, parking space, dustbins and seating arrangements for people.


  • Plastic ban: Paper bags back in markets B K Mishra | TNN | Updated: Sep 24, 2018, 02:20 IST

    (Representative image)

    PATNA: Thanks to the state government’s move to ban polythene carry bags anytime this month, thongas (paper bags) of different shapes and sizes have resurfaced in the city markets after a gap of nearly four decades. Most general stores and vegetable vendors have already started keeping thongas and discouraging the use of polythene ba gs.Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) chairman Ashok Kumar Ghosh told this newspaper on Sunday that the state government is to ban polythene in both urban and rural areas. Earlier, the government had planned plastic ban in urban areas only, but on the Patna high court’s directive, a draft for ban in rural areas has also been prepared. Besides, a draft for penalty for violators is also ready.

    Both these drafts would be placed before the high court on Monday and if it is okayed, the same would be placed before the cabinet for its approval, Ghosh said.

    Old-timers recall that up to 1970s, kirana shops would put tea, flour, masala powders and other commodities into paper bags fashioned out of old newspapers. Moreover, people also used to visit the markets with their own bags made of cloth and jute. But, the advent of polythene carry bags gradually eliminated the use of cloth or jute bags and people made it a habit to go to the markets without any carry bag. Even commodities weighing 10 to 15kg were easily packed in polythene bags, said Ram Nandan Prasad, a retired government servant of Chiraiyatand locality.

    The people then hardly visualized the worldwide menace likely to be caused by the rampant use of polythene and plastic in our daily lives. The indiscriminate use of undegradable plastic bottles and polythene carry bags has endangered the very survival of all living creatures and, hence, its use is being banned all over the world. Several states, including neighbouring Jharkhand, have already banned it and steps are underway to ban its use in Bihar, too.

    Talking about the alternative to polythene bags for small vendors and shopkeepers, Ghosh said the BSPCB is propagating the use of bags made of cloth, jute and even biodegradable polythene as alternatives. They may be a bit costlier, but they are eco-friendly. Moreover, the use of jute bags may be popularized in Bihar which is rich in its cultivation. This will greatly benefit the jute growers as well as the entrepreneurs engaged in manufacturing bags, said Ghosh.

    However, some environmentalists expressed concern over the use of paper bags. They maintain that it takes four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag, as compared to plastic, and the raw materials have to come from trees, a natural resource that is otherwise carbon-fixing. Making paper bags not only adds waste to the world, it kills one of our greatest tools for fighting pollution. Paper bags generate 70% more air pollutants than plastic and they generate 50 times more water pollutants, they said.

    The best thing would be to carry our own bags made of cloth or jute for shopping for keeping our environment safe and clean, they added.


  • Eviction drive set to resume in city today TNN | Sep 24, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The district administration and Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) will resume anti-encroachment drive in the city from Monday. The drive will be conducted for the next ten days in such localities which were not covered in the first phase. The multi-agency anti-encroachment drive had started on August 16 and lasted for 26 days in the first phase.

    “The fresh drive will cover all four circles in Patna – Bankipore, Kankerbagh, Patna City and New Capital,” PMC deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand said. He, however, did not specify the names of the areas where the drive will be conducted from Monday.

    “This time, we will also inspect the localities which were covered in the first phase in a bid to prevent vendors from re-encroaching the spots. Additionally, encroachments will be removed from the left out areas,” Vishal said, adding the localities where people face traffic congestion will be given priority.

    During the first phase of the drive, several roads were freed from squatters to ease traffic. However, many squatters returned to their places on Station Road, Boring Canal Road and Ashok Rajpath.