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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  • HC dismisses plea, Tejashwi will have to vacate bungalow Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Updated: Oct 7, 2018, 07:29 IST

    Tejashwi Prasad Yadav

    PATNA: Leader of opposition in state assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav may have to vacate the 5, Deshratna Marg bungalow here as the Patna high court on Saturday quashed a writ petition filed by him challenging an order of Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the state which had asked him to vacate the premises.

    The 5, Deshratna Marg bungalow was allotted to RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s younger son Tejashwi when he was the deputy chief minister in Grand Alliance (GA) government of JD (U), RJD and Congress. After the collapse of the GA government in July last year, Tejashwi was asked to vacate the bungalow as it was allotted to present deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi.

    Modi was allotted 5, Deshratna Marg bungalow based on a notification issued by the state government on August 29 last year for allotment of government bungalows to 15 ministers in the newly-formed NDA government.

    Tejashwi was, in turn, allotted Modi’s 1, Polo Road bungalow. He, however, urged the state government to allow him to retain the 5, Deshratna Marg bungalow. Tejashwi wrote a letter to building construction department minister Maheshwar Hazari and chief minister’s secretariat on August 31 last year, citing the exception given to Modi to retain 1, Polo Road bungalow in 2013 when the Bihar CM ended his 17-year-old alliance with the BJP.

    The state government, however, turned down his request with minister Hazari stating that 5, Deshratna Marg bungalow was officially earmarked for deputy CM and 1, Polo Road for the leader of opposition.

    Tejashwi later moved Patna HC challenging the state government’s order. The court of Justice Jyoti Saran, however, quashed his writ petition on Thursday. Tejashwi’s counsel Abhinav Srivastva said they pleaded before the court that the building allotment committee of state government, responsible for allotment of government bungalows, never made recommendation for shifting Tejashwi from 5, Deshratna Marg bungalow to 1, Polo Road. “I will make further comment on the issue after going through the high court’s order,” Srivastava added.

    According to sources in building construction department, former state ministers are allowed maximum one-month time to vacate the bungalows. However, in Tejashwi’s case, the matter has been lingering for over a year now.

  • Realtor shot at in Muzaffarpur village TNN | Oct 7, 2018, 01:00 IST

    MUZAFFARPUR: Unidentified criminals shot at and injured an RJD functionary near his Vasudeo Chhapra village under the Meenapur police station area, 40km from Muzaffarpur town, on Saturday morning.

    Dinesh Sah, who is also a realtor, was rushed to Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), where doctors operated the bullet out of his body.

    Police said the incident took place around 5am when Sah, a block-level secretary of RJD, was on his usual morning walk along Muzaffarpur-Sheohar road.

    Muzaffarpur SSP Manoj Kumar said the assailants were riding two motorbikes. “They fired at him from close range. One bullet hit him in head, and he fell down. Passersby informed police,” he said.

    The reason for the attack was yet to be ascertained. The SSP, however, did not rule out the possibility of business rivalry leading to the crime. “We will know once we record his statement after he regains consciousness,” the SSP said.

    This is second incident of a politician being attacked in Muzaffarpur within a fortnight. Former Muzaffarpur mayor Samir Kumar and his driver were shot dead in Muzaffarpur town on September 24.

  • Rooftop solar panels on govt buildings from November TNN | Oct 8, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The state has selected an agency to install solar panels on the rooftops of government buildings from November this year.

    Under the grid connected rooftop scheme, the Centre and state equally share the burden of subsidy for installing rooftop solar panels by individual households, organizations and government buildings. Bihar Renewable Energy Agency (BREDA) is the nodal agency for implementing the project in the state.

    “The selection procedure for hiring an agency to undertake the installation work in government offices has been completed. We hope the work will start next month,”said a BREDA official familiar with the project. “We had received applications from offices under state government with a combined demand of 40MW of power through installing rooftop solar panels on government offices,” he said.

    Under the scheme, the individual households would get half the cost as subsidy to be equally shared by the Centre and the state. A total Rs75,000 is required for installing 1kW capacity rooftop solar panel by an individual.

    Government buildings and social sector organizations are entitled to a subsidy of 25% of the cost incurred on the project. While commercial or industrial units would not be entitled for any subsidy.

    Ashwini Ashok, solar power analyst at Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED), said, “Patna can generate around 300MW solar power by using roof space. The residential buildings account for 80% of the city’s solar potential. The installation of rooftop solar panels at hospitals and offices under state government can generate huge amount of power. It will also contribute towards greater reliance on greener energy sources rather than traditional coal-based electricity.”

    Bihar government in May last year had approved the Bihar Policy for Promotion of New and Renewable Energy Sources 2017 to build a capacity to generate 2,969MW solar power, 244MW biofuel energy and 220MW hydel power in the state by 2022.

    The official said the state government has already earmarked Rs241 crore for this project and the Centre would release funds after the project is sanctioned.

    “After the rooftop solar panels installation on government buildings, which is likely to take four months, the power distribution companies will install two-way electricity meters for solar facilities in their areas concerned to connect them with the local grid,” the official said.

    Grid connectivity will ensure that surplus solar power generated is fed to the power grid and the consumer can sell surplus solar power to the grid on current tariffs. He also said the two-way meter allows two-way flow of electricity — from distribution company to consumer and vice versa. The meter will supply unused power generated from rooftop solar panels to power distribution companies. It will also ensure that power from the distribution company is supplied to the consumer only if the daily quota of power generated by the rooftop plant is consumed.

    “As far as the individual household is concern, we have received applications with a combined demand of 20MW power,” the official said.

  • Bhagalpur civic body gears up for smart & clean city TNN | Oct 11, 2018, 01:00 IST

    BHAGALPUR: With the commencement of Navratra, the Bhagalpur Municipal Corporation (BMC) has geared up its machinery for cleaning the city areas.

    A meeting was held on the BMC premises on Tuesday for preparing the roster of the cleaning staff and their supervisors. Steps are also being taken to collect garbage from every household besides creating awareness about keeping the streets clean. Residents have been urged to deposit garbage in the bins.

    The civic body has also launched awareness campaigns to make people aware about the restrictions on use of polythene as it is one of the biggest source of choking drains and litter that causes pollution. The Patna high court had recently directed the state government to impose a ban on polythene and plastic bags. Subsequently, the state government informed the court that it will ban polythene and plastic bags from October 25 in urban areas and from November 24 in rural areas. Deputy mayor Rajesh Verma said efforts are being made to keep the city clean not only during the festivals but also throughout the year. “Fine and legal action against individuals or households will be taken if one is found to throw garbage on the streets,” added Verma saying inventory of the garbage bins that has been put up in the municipal wards is being prepared and if necessary more bins would be fixed.
    Meanwhile, mayor Seema Saha has urged the BMC commissioner to expedite fixing of street lights (LED bulbs) on the poles in view of the Durga Puja besides forthcoming festivals like Diwali and Chhath.

  • Nitish Kumar lays foundation stone of sports academy at Rajgir

    BIHAR SHARIF: Chief minister Nitish Kumar laid the foundation stone for a world-class sports academy-cum-cricket stadium at a function organised at Rajgir’s international convention centre on Friday.

    Speaking on the occasion Nitish said, “Having a sports and international cricket academy at Rajgir was my long time dream which will now come true. The fully residential sports academy- cum- cricket stadium would be the only facility in the country where games and training would go together. The facility proposed to be built over a sprawling 90 acre area with an estimated outlay of Rs 633 crore will add to the value of the place which already assumes great significance.”

    The CM also inspected the model of the proposed facility at its construction site at Pilkhi near Rajgir. He said Rajgir will now be known for sports as well besides being an educational hub.

    “Rajgir has a unique climate and beauty. There are numerous historical sites which attract thousands of domestic and overseas visitors every year. Development of Ghora Katora Lake, Pandu Pokhar park and Vaitarni lake among other sites have added to the tourists value of the place. He said the installation of the statue of Buddha at Ghora Katora lake is a unique thing,” said the CM. He also praised the upcoming wildlife safari park at Rajgir.

    Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, ministers Shrawan Kumar, Shailesh Kumar, Krishna Kumar Rishi and host of officials and signatories were present on the occasion.

    After the function was over, the CM left for Gulnichak village under Nagarnausha block to attend the shraddh ceremony of the late mother of his cabinet colleague Rajiv Ranjan alias Lallan Singh. He will stay at Rajgir on Friday night.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/nitish-lays-foundation-stone-of-sports-academy-at-rajgir/articleshow/66187651.cms
  • State awaits Centre’s nod to start work on metro rail project

    PATNA: The state government has put the ball in Centre’s court with regard to execution of the ambitious Patna metro rail project. The Centre has received the final proposal for the project, which was approved by the state cabinet headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar on October 2.

    According to a senior official in state urban development and housing department (UDHD), the Centre will share 20% of the project cost, excluding the land acquisition charges.

    The UDHD official said the state government is also working on appointment of members in Patna Metro Rail Corporation, the special purpose vehicle which will look after the execution of the project.

    “We had sent the final detailed project report (DPR) for metro rail project to the Centre a couple of days after it was approved by the state cabinet last week. We have been informed that the Union urban development ministry received the proposal on Wednesday. The state government will now wait for the Centre to give its nod to the project so that we may move ahead with executing the bidding process for construction works,” UDHD special secretary Sanjay Dayal told TOI on Friday.

    The DPR sent to the Centre has pegged the estimated project cost for Patna metro rail at Rs 17,887.56 crore. “While the state government will bear 20% of the total project cost, Centre will contribute 20% after deducting land acquisition charges, which is estimated to be around Rs 3,525 crore. The remaining 60% of the project cost will be met by taking financial loans from external funding agencies,” Dayal said.

    The DPR for metro rail project envisages two corridors in the first phase, covering a distance of 31km. The first corridor will be an east-west corridor to be developed on Saguna Mor-Bailey Road-Patna Junction-Mithapur bus stand route, covering a distance of 14.5km. The second corridor will be a north-south corridor, which would 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 total distance of 16.5kms.

    “The alignment of east- west corridor has been slightly modified in the final DPR in light of Lohia Path Chakra project on Bailey Road. The alignment from Hanuman Mandir to Hartali Mor, which was earlier proposed to run through the central median of the road, has been shifted slightly northwards in order to keep it separate from Lohia Path Chakra project,” Dayal said.

    He added there will be 12 metro stations in both corridors and east-west corridor will be mostly underground, while north-south corridor will be elevated.

    On the constitution of Patna Metro Rail Corporation, Dayal said, “The principal secretary of UDHD has been nominated as the chairman of the corporation, while it will have one official each from UDHD, finance, road construction, transport and energy departments as its directors. The process of nominating the officers as directors of the corporation is underway.”

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/state-awaits-centres-nod-to-start-work-on-metro-rail-project/articleshow/66187494.cms
  • PMC eyes top 25 ranks in ‘Swachh Survekshan’

    PATNA: the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to take several measures in the coming months to improve its rankings in Swachh Survekshan (cleanliness drive) being conducted by Union ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) till December-end.

    “If the officials, consultants, sanitation workers and other officers strictly follow the directives over the next three months, there are good chances that we will rank among the top 25 cities,” PMC commissioner Anupam Kumar Suman said at a meeting on Friday.

    He also explained the ranking criteria of Swachh Sarvekshan to the officials. The review of cleanliness of cities across the country under Swachh Sarvekshan will take place by December-end.

    The PMC commissioner discussed various measures to help the city get more score in the cleanliness drive. He asked the officials to make the wards open defecation free by October 31. “All dustbins from major roads should be removed at the earliest and fine should be imposed on people found throwing waste in public places,” Suman said.

    He said 400 modular toilets and 100 e-toilets would be set up by private companies across the city over the next three months. Works for that are underway, he said.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/pmc-eyes-top-25-ranks-in-swachh-survekshan/articleshow/66187601.cms
  • Air quality deteriorates as mercury drops in Patna TNN | Oct 17, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: Air quality in city has started deteriorating with the gradual plunge in mercury column.

    The air quality index (AQI) of Patna, released by Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) on Monday, was recorded at 227, which is categorized as “poor”. Patna’s AQI was quite close to New Delhi’s 246 (poor).

    AQI is an assessment of air quality which shows the presence of harmful pollutants, such as PM 2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 microns), PM 10, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, ammonia and lead.

    The toxic air in festive season has prompted experts to suggest people to avoid prolonged exposure which may cause breathing discomfort.

    Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) public relations officer Ravindra Kumar said after mid-October, the temperature drops and the air becomes heavier, leading to trapping of pollutants in lower level of atmosphere, which, in turn, worsen air quality.

    He added with the beginning of festive season, the level of pollutants will further increase. “Prolonged exposure to toxic air may lead to breathing discomfort for children and senior citizens,” Ravindra said.

    Apart from Patna, the AQIs of Muzaffarpur and Gaya were recorded at 220 (poor) and 192 (moderate), respectively. The air quality is categorized as “poor” when the value ranges between 201 and 300 and “moderate” between 101 and 200. The air quality is considered good when it ranges between 0-50.

    The National Green Tribunal had on Monday directed all states and Union territories (UTs) to submit their “appropriate” action plans to CPCB by December 31 this year. The tribunal also asked the chief secretaries of states and administrators of UTs to suggest measures to be taken to control air pollution in a time-bound manner.

    Earlier, the WHO had categorized Patna as the fifth most polluted cities in the world based on annual concentration of PM 2.5 levels. Gaya and Muzaffarpur were given fourth and ninth places, respectively, on the list of world’s most polluted cities. Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh had topped the list.

    “The worsening air quality in Patna is a major factor behind rising number of premature deaths of people. Vehicular emissions and disastrous levels of construction dust are primarily responsible for the toxic air menace,” said Ankita, senior programme officer (air pollution) at Centre for Environment and Energy Development.


  • CM Nitish Kumar move on transfer of railway land to state for road

    Kumod Verma
    Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday visited the Patna Ghat railway station and discussed the issue of transfer of Patna Ghat land with Danapur DRM Ranjan Prakash Thakur.
    | TNN | Oct 18, 2018, 07:59 IST

    CM Nitish Kumar and officials at Patna Ghat railway station on Wednesday

    PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday visited the Patna Ghat railway station and discussed the issue of transfer of Patna Ghat land with Danapur DRM Ranjan Prakash Thakur.

    State road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav, principal secretary (urban development and housing) Amrit Lal Meena and Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi were also present.

    According to the DRM, the railways has agreed in principle to hand over about 22 acres of Patna Ghat land, including 1.5km-long rail track from Patna Sahib to Patna Ghat, to the government in lieu of the old bus stand land opposite Hardinge Park near Patna Junction.

    Thakur told TOI the Patna Ghat land could be used for building an elevated roadway linking Patna Ghat to Digha Ghat. "Our officials will hold another meeting with state officials to finalise this proposal," the DRM said, adding the state government wanted to build a four-lane road from Patna Sahib to Patna Ghat after dismantling of the railway tracks. According to sources, the railways has been demanding the old bus stand land for long to build two pairs of double-discharge (DD) platform. A DD platform has platforms on its both flanks.

    The railways proposes to terminate and originate all its local passenger trains from the DD platforms. This would de-congest traffic load on Patna Junction, said a railway official.

  • RERA notices to 15 projects of MLA’s firm Faryal Rumi | TNN | Oct 21, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA)-Bihar has issued notices to 15 projects being executed by a private firm owned by RJD MLA Syed Abu Dojana and others in Patna and Muzaffarpur. These projects were not registered under Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016.

    The matter came to light when one of the directors of the company, Meridian Construction India Limited, approached RERA-Bihar for registration of one of its new projects – Meridian Enclave – in Rukanpura locality of Patna. The documents submitted by the company showed the expenditure details of other 15 projects in the balance sheet. Some of these projects have already been completed.

    The RERA Act, which came into effect in May last year, makes it mandatory for builders to get permanent approval before advertising projects, entering into agreements with customers and accepting advance money from them.

    RERA-Bihar has asked the promoters of the company to provide the full details of the ongoing projects. “Our internal investigations have unearthed 15 unregistered projects of Meridian Construction India Limited. We have also received several complaints against the company from customers,” RERA-Bihar member Rajiva Bhushan Sinha told this reporter on Saturday.

    Dojana, Abu Murtaza Gazali, Anu Talha and Musharraf Ali are the directors of the company.

    Dojana told this newspaper on Saturday that all 15 projects under RERA-Bihar lens were completed between 2000 and 2005. “It is a political conspiracy against me. I will submit my reply soon,” he added.

    Dojana’s firm was also developing a mall on a land at Saguna Mor, which was owned by a shell firm allegedly run by RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s family. The land, allegedly transferred to the Lalu family as quid pro quo in 2005 when Lalu was railways minister, has been attached by the Income-Tax department and Enforcement Directorate.

  • Administration to identify dangerous Ganga ghats by Oct 25: Patna DM TNN | Oct 22, 2018, 01:00 IST

    PATNA: After Dussehra, the district administration and Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) have started making preparations for the four-day Chhath festival to be held from November 11 to 14. Devotees would offer arghya (obeisance) to Sun God on November 13 and 14.

    DM Kumar Ravi will convene a meeting of officials on October 23 to take stock of the preparations on the various Ganga ghats in the city and give directives regarding security and deployment of forces during the festival.

    Lakhs of people visit various ghats in the city to offer arghya to setting and rising Sun during Chhath. “Officials have been asked to submit reports on the condition of ghats in the meeting on October 23. As per initial reports, Chhath rituals are likely to be performed on 101 ghats on the bank of the Ganga in the city,” the DM told this newspaper on Sunday.

    He said the district administration would identify the dangerous ghats by October 25 and ask people not to visit there to perform Chhath rituals. He also said the PMC has been asked to properly sanitize the ghats in a few days. “Following foolproof arrangements for Durga Puja, the administrative brass is set to hold another massive arrangements for Chhath. Magistrates and policemen will keep a vigil on every ghat to prevent any untoward incident. The district administration will leave no stone unturned to ensure safety and security of devotees,” Ravi said.

    The DM also said apart from sanitation, lighting, barricading, parking and traffic arrangements will be made on the ghats.

    Deputy municipal commissioner Vishal Anand said around 200 workers have been deployed for removing the garbage and puja residues accumulated at the ghats during idols immersion.

    “We have deployed skimmer machines to remove trash floating in the Ganga near ghats. As per estimate, 500 tonnes of garbage will have to be removed from various ghats in the city before Chhath,” Vishal said.

  • Third round of eviction drive in Patna from today TNN | Oct 22, 2018, 01:30 IST

    PATNA: The district administration and Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) will kick-start the third round of anti-encroachment drive in the city from Monday.

    During the six-day drive till October 27, commercial establishments and shopping centres without any parking facility will be fined. Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi said: “The lack of parking facility in commercial complexes has led to frequent traffic snarls on city roads. Apart from shopping complexes, the garages encroaching roads will also be removed during the drive.”

    The drive will be conducted from 6am to 12 noon in New Capital, Bankipore, Kankarbagh and Patna City circles. Officials will give priority to those areas where encroachers reappeared after the eviction drive. “Their belongings will be seized if they are caught on their previous locations,” the DM said.

    The first spell of the drive was conducted from August 16 to September 10 whereas the second round was carried out from September 24 till October 4.

    As per the estimates, over 3,000 temporary and permanent structures were razed on roadsides in several areas during the two rounds of anti-encroachment drive.

    Incidentally, the squatters have returned to their original places in several areas such as Station Road, Ashok Rajpath, Anta Ghat, Exhibition Road and Raja Bazar.

    “The electric and telephone poles on the roadside will also be removed during the drive as they obstruct the free flow of traffic,” Ravi said.

  • Smart meters in urban areas from December TNN | Oct 22, 2018, 02:17 IST

    PATNA: The installation of prepaid smart electricity meters in urban areas of Bihar will begin from December. “The bidding process has been completed and meters’ delivery will start in two months,” South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) managing director R Lakshmanan said recently.

    The Rs800-crore project is being executed by state energy department through Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). Smart meters will be linked with a mobile app to facilitate their recharging under the proposed new electricity metering regime, an energy department official said.

    The meters will have an inbuilt feature of detecting power theft without visiting the premises of the consumer concerned. Around 20 lakh smart meters will be installed in urban areas, including five lakh in Patna. “The aimed is to increase awareness among consumers about electricity consumption and save time and reduce hassles in paying power bills. Under the new system, consumers will be able to recharge their smart meters through a mobile app with a minimum amount of Rs50,” the official said.

    Lakshmanan said the new meters would be convenient to consumers with flexibility. “Many people complain about delay in getting their electricity bills and inconvenience in making payments on counters of the distribution companies. The mobile-like recharge facility will end such problems,” he said.

    “The entire investment will be done by EESL, which is the nodal agency to implement the project. It will also maintain the smart meters for eight years. The target is to complete the project in 18 months after the installation work begins,” he said.

    Sources said French company Electricite de France (EDF) would provide technology to integrate smart meters with mobile application. Genus Power is one of the main agencies to supply prepaid smart meters.

    Earlier, 10,000 smart meters were installed in Gaya and Hajipur urban areas under the pilot project in May this year. However, they were older versions in terms of technology, sources said. Asked about electricity charges, Lakshmanan said, “The power tariff will remain the same. Besides, those who are not familiar with app-based system can recharge their meters by visiting the state energy department offices.”
    The smart meters will record a consumer’s usage pattern and send live updates to the distribution company. The Discoms will then be able to apply differential charging on consumers.


  • Piped cooking gas supply in Patna likely from December TNN | Updated: Oct 22, 2018, 06:24 IST

    Logo of GAIL

    PATNA: The supply of piped cooking gas to 50,000 households in the city is expected to start from December. As part of the Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipeline project, the Centre had initially claimed to commence the piped gas supply in the state capital from Diwali.

    Officials said out of the 490km-long Allahabad-Barauni-Patna pipeline, the pipe laying works on 50km stretch is still incomplete and is expected to be done by December.

    K B Singh, executive director of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), eastern region, said the work to connect the main pipeline with city gas stations is underway. “The supply of piped cooking gas in the state capital will start from December following completion of the work on the remaining 50km stretch,” Singh said.

    He added: “The gas pipeline laying work slowed down due to monsoon season and festivals.”

    Union minister of petroleum, natural gas and skill development Dharmendra Pradhan had said last year that works on the 204km town gas supply network in Bihar under the Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra gas pipeline project will be completed by October 2018.

    Deliberating on the constraints in executing the project, Singh said: “The pipeline laying work on Varanasi-Chandauli stretch in Uttar Pradesh and Aurangabad-Sherghati stretch in Bihar was stalled during monsoon season. Similarly, approval is still awaited from Patna district administration for setting up gas filling stations at a few of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) petrol pumps in the city.”

    Asked about setting up of city gas station for the monitoring of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) supply at Phulwarisharif, Singh said: “Negotiations are underway between GAIL and Bihar government to purchase land at Phulwarisharif to establish a city gas station. The state government has fixed Rs100 crore as land acquisition cost for the plot, which seems too high.”

    He said the construction of a city gate station at Naubatpur for distributing PNG is in the completing stage.

    “The infrastructure for supplying PNG to households is being created in areas such as Jagdeo Path, Saguna Mor, Gandhi Maidan and Kankarbagh,” Singh said. Officials said the estimated cost of gas pipeline network in Patna is around Rs2,500 crore and it will provide piped cooking gas to 50,000 households.
    “The supply of piped cooking gas has been started in cities such as Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in Odisha and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. It is expected to be started at Patna by December and at Ranchi and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand by March, 2019,” Singh said.

  • 16 villages in Bhagalpur to adopt smart agricultural practices Kumar Rajesh | TNN | Oct 23, 2018, 01:00 IST

    BHAGALPUR: In order to tackle the ill-effects of climatic changes, Bhagalpur district agriculture department has decided to initiate ‘smart agricultural practices’ as pilot project in 16 villages of the district. Eight of the villages are in Sultanganj block while remaining eight are in Kahalgaon block.

    Christened as ‘Climate Smart Village Project’ (CSVP), the agriculture practices will be adopted on the basis of analysis of ‘climate risk profile’ (CRP) of the area in order to save the crops and other agriculture produce from adverse climatic variations and its ill-effects on not only the agricultural yield but also on socio-economic condition of the region.

    Agriculture department sources said agriculture scientists and experts would monitor the CSVP, which will take into consideration weather conditions and forecast, environmental pollution, tolerant (drought and waterlogged soil) variety of crop besides soil and water conservation, rise in temperature and other factors before embarking on cultivation, so that the vagaries of nature have minimal effect.

    The sources said nearly 100 farmers from each of the selected village would be imparted training in how to adopt ‘smart agricultural practices’.

    Weather scientist at Bihar Agriculture University, Dr Birendra Kumar said variation in temperature and climatic changes affect agriculture production. “One degree of variation in climatic temperature can result in changing the agriculture pattern and fall in yields. We have to adjust to the farming pattern accordingly to optimize the yield and reduce the cost with the help of scientific knowledge,” he said.

    District agriculture officer (DAO) Sanjay Kumar said capacity building programme for 100 farmers from each of the selected 16 villages will be undertaken initially with the help of agriculture scientists and experts. “It is likely that we will be able to start agricultural practices in accordance with the CSVP in this Rabi season (October-March), the DAO said.