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- Self-drive cab service from next month Faryal Rumi | TNN | Oct 23, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The state transport department is to launch self-drive cab service through a private firm in Bihar from mid-November. The service will be launched under sub-section (1) of Section 75 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
State transport secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said the decision was taken at a meeting to allow the rent-a-cab (self-drive cab) facility in Bihar. “A private company has approached us with the proposal as it is already operating such service in other metro cities. It will be the first licence to be issued in the state under the scheme. Anyone having a valid driving licence for four-wheelers can hire and drive a cab,” Agarwal told this newspaper on Monday.
Once the firm gets the licence from the state transport authority, booking of cabs will be done through online as well as offline mode.
“The tourists and residents can hire a cab to move around the city, to other districts and states on their own as per the pre-agreement between the renter and the private company. The cost of booking a cab as well as the other terms and conditions will be decided by the operator,” Agarwal said.
The online booking of cabs will be done through the private firm’s official website. For offline booking, the residents have to visit the firm’s office in Patna. People would get a chance to choose vehicles as per their preference. The cabs will be equipped with the global position system.
“Rent-a-cab service will prove beneficial for those who plan a trip with their families and friends or hire vehicles for some functions and ceremonies,” said Agarwal, adding it is expected to be operational from mid-November.
Raman Kumar, a resident of Boring Canal Road, said the self-drive cab service would be a boon for people who get bored with their old cars and want to ride other models. “Especially for long drive to Rajgir, Nalanda, Bodh Gaya and other tourist places, I don’t want to use my car. For long journey, the service will be beneficial,” he said.
- Escalator inaugurated at Patna Junction Kumod Verma | TNN | Updated: Oct 23, 2018, 06:27 IST
The new escalator at Patna Junction on platform no.1 on Monday.
PATNA: Minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha on Monday inaugurated a pair of escalators on platform number 1 of the Patna Junction. The facility has been installed utilizing an estimated outlay of Rs 2 crore.
Sinha also laid the foundation for extension of the platform length on both down and up lines at Barhiya station under Danapur division of the East Central Railway to accommodate 24 coaches of mail and express trains at a cost of Rs 1.17 crore. He also laid the foundation stone for carrying out platform surfacing work and provision of sheds and lights at each halt between Patna and Jhajha stations of the division. This project is likely to entail an expenditure of about Rs 4.50 crore. Besides, he laid the foundation for constructing foot overbridges (FOB) at Barh and Hathidah stations at a cost of Rs 4.68 crore.
The minister laid the foundation for construction of two FOBs — one each at Bansipur and Mankatha stations — at a cost of Rs 3.64 crore. In Nawada, Sinha inaugurated railway electrification (RE) work on the Kiul-Gaya section. He also flagged off a new MEMU train which will run daily between Kiul and Gaya. According to ECR’s chief public relations officer Rajesh Kumar, the total length of the Kiul-Gaya section is about 129km. The railways completed the electrification work in two years.
Union minister Giriraj Singh, MP Bina Devi, MLA Nitin Naveen, ECR GM L C Trivedi, Danapur DRM Ranjan Prakash Thakur and several others were present on the occasion.
- Lalu Prasad Yadav set to lose prime ‘benami’ properties
The attached properties were purchased by close aides of Lalu Prasad when he was the Railway minister in the UPA government allegedly using shell companies.Pradeep Thakur | TNN | October 23, 2018, 16:00 IST
NEW DELHI: Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad's family members may soon lose possession of their farm houses in Delhi and other properties in posh localities of the national Capital and in Patna as the adjudicating authority under Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act recently confirmed Income Tax’s provisional attachments of 17 properties worth over Rs 128 crore.
The attached properties were purchased by close aides of Lalu Prasad when he was the Railway minister in the UPA government allegedly using shell companies. The beneficial ownership of these companies and properties were later transferred to his family members, including his wife Rabri Devi, son and former Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, daughters Chanda, Misha and Ragini and son-in-law Shailesh Kumar.
With the confirmation of the provisional attachments, the Income Tax department can take possession of these properties and may allow the occupants to stay on rent till the trial of the cases are completed, a source said.
“The market value of these properties, which include a high end under construction mall in Patna, a palatial residence in New Friends Colony, Delhi and a two-and-a-half acre farm near Delhi airport is Rs 127.75 crore,” a senior I-T official said. These properties were attached by the I-T department in September last year and four cases were registered under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.
Four shell companies, floated by close associates of Lalu Prasad, owned these properties. “Initial funds required for purchase of properties were routed through shell entities and subsequently the shares were transferred in the name of family members of Lalu Prasad at highly understated value,” the official said.
If convicted in the Benami Act, an accused can get jail term for up to 7 years and shall be liable to a fine which is 25% of the “fair market value” of the property. A convicted politician is also debarred from contesting elections for six years, in addition to the prison term he or she serves.
The New Friend’s Colony property is worth Rs 40 crore and was purchased in 2007 in the name of AB Exports when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the still the Railway minister. Its declared book value was just Rs 5 crore. The directors of the shell company, as claimed by I-T, transferred all the rights and shareholding of the company to Tejashwi Yadav in 2010-11 for a mere consideration of Rs 4 lakh.
Similarly, a farmhouse in Palam Vihar in Delhi was purchased in the name of Mishail Packers worth Rs 40 crore. Its declared book value was Rs 1.41 crore and was later transferred to Lalu’s daughter Misha and son-in-law Shailesh Kumar.
- You will be fined for littering open spaces TNN | Oct 25, 2018, 08:39 IST
Picture for representational purpose only.
PATNA: Proprietors of commercial establishments will have to pay penalty up to Rs 5,000 if found responsible for littering public spaces.
According to sources, the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to implement this penalty system within a week. The civic body has also decided to collect garbage from the main roads, commercial establishments and shops by auto-trippers in three shifts in the night. The door-to- door garbage collection from households will be done in daytime.
It may be mentioned the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, empowers civic bodies to impose fine on people and organizations for littering public spaces and open premises.
The sources said commercial establishments such as shopping centres, hotels, restaurants and other business organizations would have to pay penalties ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, depending upon the quantity of waste. Households, vendors and shopkeepers will have to pay Rs 100, 200 and 500 respectively for littering.
The sector in-charge of the localities will also collect the contact details of the households handing over and not handing over their waste to garbage collectors.
The PMC has also released a helpline number 1800 3456 644 at which people can register complaints if garbage collectors are not visiting their areas.
Preferring anonymity, a PMC official said business organizations and shops would not be permitted to dump waste during daytime. Garbage collectors will visit them after the sundown.
Beur resident Ankita Kumari hailed the PMC move. “Shopkeepers dump their waste on roads or in open spaces, which creates unhygienic conditions,” she said and hoped the penalty system would deter individuals and organizations from spreading filth in the city.
Bihar State Pollution Control Board’s PRO Virendra Kumar said households and business organizations should be encouraged to hand over their waste to garbage collectors. “We hope the penalty system works,” he said.
- Government: All households electrified in Bihar, announcement soon Piyush Tripathi
The energy department on Thursday claimed that it has provided meter-based electricity connection to all households in the state. “A formal announcement in this regard will be made within a week,” said a senior energy department official.
| TNN | Updated: Oct 26, 2018, 10:53 IST
PATNA: The energy department on Thursday claimed that it has provided meter-based electricity connection to all households in the state. “A formal announcement in this regard will be made within a week,” said a senior energy department official.
Altogether 32.49 lakh households in rural areas were targeted to be electrified under the Centre’s Saubhagya scheme, believed by many a replication of Bihargovernment’s Mukhya Mantri Vidyut Sambandh Yojna, commonly known as Har Ghar Bijli scheme.
The official website of Saubhgya scheme showed 100% household electrification on Thursday evening. It showed all 1,39,63,909 households in rural as well as urban areas in the state have been electrified. Of these households, 32,49,828 were covered under Saubhagya scheme.
Other states which have achieved 100% household electrification target as per the website are Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab.
“We have provided electricity connections to 32.49 lakh households in the state. The focus is now on mop-up exercise in some districts. Officials of these districts have been asked to notify the state government if any household is left uncovered. The mop-up exercise will be completed in a week, following which the state government may formally announce the 100% household electricity connection in the state on November 1,” the energy department official added.
The Centre’s Saubhagya scheme was launched by PM Narendra Modi on September 25 last year. The scheme is aimed at providing electricity connections to over 4 crore families in rural and urban areas in the country by March 31, 2019.
Energy department principal secretary-cum-chief managing director of Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) Pratyaya Amrit told TOI, “We are striving to complete 100% household electrification in the state by October 31, which will be a fresh milestone for energy department and Bihar government.”
The Har Ghar Bijli scheme was launched by CM Nitish Kumar on November 15, 2016. The state government allocated Rs 1,896 crore for providing electricity to around 25 lakh above poverty line (APL) households under the scheme.
In subsequent execution of the scheme, the state government achieved the first milestone of taking electricity to all villages on December 27, 2017 and to all hamlets on April 30 this year.
- Patna’s air quality ‘very poor’ Even though Diwali is nearly a fortnight away, air quality in city slipped to “very poor” category on Thursday following rise in concentration of harmful pollutants in the atmosphere with the gradual plunge in temperature.
TNN | Oct 26, 2018, 08:44 IST
Girls cover their faces with scarves in Patna on Thursday
PATNA: Even though Diwali is nearly a fortnight away, air quality in city slipped to “very poor” category on Thursday following rise in concentration of harmful pollutants in the atmosphere with the gradual plunge in temperature.
The air quality index (AQI) of Patna released by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Thursday was measured at 309, putting it in “very poor” category. Patna was competing with Kanpur, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Delhi, where AQIs were measured at 380, 353, 352, 332, and 331, respectively. Apart from Patna, the AQI of Muzaffarpur dropped to 292 on Thursday, while there was no record available for Gaya.
On Wednesday, the AQIs of Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya were 273, 243 and 153, respectively. The air quality value ranged from 0-50 is categorized as ‘good’, between 51-100 as satisfactory, between 101-200 as moderate, between 201-300 as poor and between 301-400 as very poor. Air quality value above 400 is considered as “severe”.
According to experts, air quality in Patna and some other towns in the state may plunge further in the coming days. “Senior citizens and children are more prone to breathing discomfort, cough and eye rashes after prolonged exposure on the busiest roads in the cities with higher pollution levels,” they said.
Ankita, senior programme officer (air pollution), Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED), said, “With the drop in temperature, the moisture levels decrease leading to trapping of pollutants at ground level. Therefore, the pollutants from different sources, such as vehicular emission and dust particles, reside in the environment for longer hours leading to worsening air quality.”
Ankita said the toxic air menace could be addressed only with long-term measures. “Dust particles and vehicular emission, the major sources of air pollution, have increased drastically in Patna in the recent years due to rapid urbanization. The government should urgently enforce air pollution control plans before the situation goes out of hand,” she said.
Vinita Kumari, a resident of Jagdeopath, said, “As pollution level is very high in Patna, I use face masks. The government should urgently initiate measures to curb air pollution.”
Bailey Road resident Irfan Alam said the government should take strict action against polluting vehicles and industrial units.
- Patna administration removes encroachments after HC wrath Debashish Karmakar | TNN | Oct 27, 2018, 08:18 IST
Picture for representational purpose only.
PATNA: Within 24 hours of facing Patna high court’s wrath, the district administration on Friday removed encroachments from a road at East Indira Nagar in Kankerbagh. Officials of the district administration had failed to make the road encroachment-free for the last several years.
While hearing a writ petition filed by one Umesh Kishore Sharan on Thursday, a division bench of Patna high court comprising Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Madhuresh Prasad had rapped the district administration for failing to remove encroachments from the road. The encroachments included concrete dwellings with tin roofs and a cattle shed. Two decimals of government land were encroached upon by one Harendra Paswan and some others.
On January 10 this year, the then Phulwarisharif circle officer (CO) had ordered removal of encroachments. However, the order was not implemented.
Later, those encroaching upon the road wrote to SC/ST commission on September 17, seeking ten-day time to vacate the land. On the commission’s request, the district magistrate gave ten-day time to illegal dwellers to relocate. However, they failed to vacate the land even after 10 days.
On October 12, the Patna high court summoned the CO and asked him to remain present before court on October 25 to explain behind administration’s failure to remove encroachments from the road.
However, CO Kumar Kundan Lal failed to appear before the bench on Thursday due to his appearance before Supreme Court. Incharge circle inspector (CI) appeared before the bench on behalf of the CO. The bench reprimanded the CI and posted the matter for hearing on Friday in presence of the CO.
Top officials of district administration were immediately informed from the office of government advocate about the high court’s tough stand. The CO, before coming to high court on Friday morning, ensured removal of all encroachments from the road.
The CO produced photographs of demolishment before the court. To this, the court asked him to remove even debris from the road immediately.
- Pollution board issues advisory for ‘green’ Diwali Faryal Rumi | TNN | Updated: Oct 28, 2018, 08:10 IST
PATNA: Amid worsening air quality ahead of Diwali, the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) on Saturday issued an advisory to the district administrations, other officials concerned and educational institutes to go for green and healthy Diwali.
The advisory was issued in pursuance of a recent order of the Supreme Court for restricting the time window for bursting firecrackers.
The district administrations have been asked to curb the sale of multi and serial crackers like ‘chatai’ bombs and ensure that the crackers were burst between 8pm and 10pm. “Crackers should not be sold through online medium, while shops without licence will not be operated in the state,” the advisory states.
The pollution board has asked private and government schools to launch a drive to create awareness among children to celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly way. In a letter to the district education officers, CBSE, Kendriya VidyalayaSangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya and ICSE school principals, the BSPCB has asked them to inform children about the harmful and hazardous effects of bursting firecrackers.
BSPCB chairman Ahok Ghosh said the pollution board could not make residents aware about the deteriorating condition of the environment in such a short time span and, therefore, thought it wise to sensitize the young minds.
“Crackers that create 125 decibels of noise at a distance of four metres from the bursting point are prohibited. Bursting crackers is strictly banned in a radius of 100m of hospitals, courts, religious places, educational institutes and residential areas,” Ghosh said and added the advisory contained such points.
The advisory has also highlighted the harmful effects of cracker bursting on human brains, eyes, ear-drums, skin and respiratoty system. It has asked schools to make students take a pledge to celebrate Diwali in a healthy and environment-friendly manner.
Ghosh appealed to the residents to buy crackers of only certified Indian brands. “Chinese crackers produce more sound and emit injurious smoke. To make crackers more colourful, the Chinese cracker makers use harmful chemicals,” he said.
- Air quality in city remains ‘poor’ TNN | Oct 29, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: It’s not the vehicle emission but dust which contributes the most to the air pollution in the state capital, followed by Muzaffarpur and Gaya in the state.
According to experts, the dust emanating from damaged roads and ongoing construction works are the biggest contributor (38%) to the total PM 2.5 levels (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometre), followed by vehicle pollution (20%) and household emissions (12%) in Patna.
The air quality index (AQI) released by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Sunday shows air pollution levels 1.5 to 2 times more than the normal in the last week of this month. The AQI of Patna was 309, 314, 282 and 283 on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. It was 269 and 155 at Muzaffarpur and Gaya respectively on October 27.
the air value in the range of 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 as satisfactory, 101-200 as moderate and 201-300 as poor. It is considered very poor between 301 and 400 and considered severe above 400.
Ankita, senior programme officer (air pollution) at the Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED), said, “The PM2.5 constitutes dust, very small particles of metals and smoke from vehicles. The biggest contributor to PM2.5 levels is dust particles emanating from bad road conditions and construction materials spread on roads.”
She said there is lack of clear action plan in Bihar about air pollution control. It is good that people are now aware about pollution-related health problems, but still there is a lot to be done from the state government’s side.
“People with breathing problems are advised to wear masks while moving on roads. It is also necessary to protect eyes from dust by wearing sunglasses,” physician Dr Diwakar Tejaswi said.
Earlier, the district administration imposed fine on people leaving construction materials on roads. The residents said the state government should urgently repair roads and take strict action against people for dumping construction materials on roads.
Shefali Kumari of Phulwarisharif said, “Dust emanating from roads are really hazardous for commuters in our area. The roundabout near Phulwari police station is known among the locals as powder roundabout because the road always remains damaged and there is dust all around caused by vehicles passing through the area.
“The dust level at ‘Powder Roundabout’ is dangerous for people’s health. Why the road construction department does not pay attention here,” Shefali said.
Priyanka Singh from Beur locality said, “Air pollution should become an election issue as it is alarming in Patna.”
- Move afoot to upgrade SH-19 as 4-lane NH TNN | Oct 29, 2018, 01:00 IST
BHAGALPUR: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is ready with a detailed project report (DPR) for upgrading the 75.4 km state road highway (SH-19) connecting Bhagalpur with Dumka into four-lane National Highway (NH) at an estimated expenditure of Rs 1,108 crore.
The DPR has been submitted for approval to the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH), Government of India. The estimated cost includes construction of some bridges and conversion of culverts falling between the stretch.
According to NH division officials in Bhagalpur, SH-19 has already been approved as NH by the MoRTH and the road will be assigned a number before the commencement of work. Once upgraded, it will facilitate traffic movement not only to Jharkhand but also to West Bengal and an easy connectivity between north and south Bihar. It will also ease the traffic congestion of Bhagalpur city besides facilitating better roadways to neighbouring states. “It will also help to promote tourism and ease transportation of coal, minerals, petroleum products and others to Bihar,” said NHAI sources.
- Smart city work from December in Patna TNN | Updated: Oct 29, 2018, 08:18 IST
Picture for representational purpose only
PATNA: Work on the first phase of smart city project may start from December this year after the finalization of tender process by Patna Smart City Limited, the special purpose vehicle to implement the Centre’s flagship scheme in the state capital, an official familiar with the project said.
The first phase of the project, with a total plan outlay of Rs 419 crore, will involve several components, such as establishment of one stop utility centres (Jan Suvidha Kendras), open theatre at Gandhi Maidan, installation of CCTV cameras and solar panels on government buildings.
“We have expedited the tendering process. Hopefully, the formalities will be completed by the end of November this year,” the official added.
Patna was included in Centre’s ambitious smart city scheme in June last year. The project entails an expenditure of Rs 2,700 crore. Muzaffarpur, Biharsharif and Bhagalpur are other three towns in the state which will be developed under the smart city mission.
Under the first phase of the project, altogether 3,000 CCTV cameras will be installed throughout the city with an estimated expenditure of Rs 254 crore. These cameras will be linked with the integrated command and control centre for round-the-clock security monitoring in the city.
In a bid to boost electricity generation through solar power, solar panels will be installed on at least 36 government buildings in the city. A sum of Rs 25 crore will be spent on the project.
One stop utility centres will be opened in all 75 wards to facilitate payment of electricity and telephone bills. People can also apply for ration and PAN cards at these centres.
An open theatre will be opened at Gandhi Maidan on the lines of Drive-In Cinema in Ahmedabad to screen movies.
The Patna smart city project also envisages developing model roads. Nala Road, Beerchand Patel Path, Mandiri road and Adalatganj road are proposed to be made model ones. These roads will be equipped with CCTV cameras, benches and street lights.
The Centre had launched its flagship Smart City Mission in 2015. It envisages the development of 100 cities across the country for better urban governance. Union ministry of housing and urban affairs will implement the scheme in collaboration with state governments.
- Bihar air pollution: Doctors advise people to wear masks
Faryal Rumi | TNN | Updated: Oct 30, 2018, 11:54 IST
PATNA: With the air quality in Patna being in the poor category, doctors have advised the residents to use scarves, handkerchief and masks to protect themselves from dust pollution.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) released by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Monday showed higher level of air pollution in major towns in Bihar. The AQI in Patna at 4pm was 236, which is categorized as poor, while Muzaffarpur and Gaya recorded 113 and 157 AQI respectively, which is in the moderate category.
Poor category of AQI can lead to breathing discomfort on prolonged exposure and moderate category can cause breathing discomfort with lungs, asthma and heart diseases.
Accordingly, doctors and medical experts in the city have advised people to cover their nose while travelling. PMCH medical superintendent Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said, The prevailing weather condition and degrading air quality can affect the respiratory system, heart and can stimulate bronchiolitis. Joggers should avoid going out in the morning in such condition, but if they want, they should put up a mask on their faces.
Dr Ranjan said the present environment is more dangerous for school kids as they breathe in more air per kilogram of their body weight than adults.
Physician Dr Rajesh Sinha said masks have been become imperative, especially for morning walkers and school and college-goers. The surgical and simple air purifier masks are partially helpful and definitely lower the impact of pollutants. The sub-micron masks do not allow the dust particles to reach the lungs, he said, and advised the residents to drink boiled water for healthy immune system.
Ashutosh Pandey (32) of Krishnapuri said he stopped jogging as he was feeling uneasy with all the smog. Last week, I realized that I got slow and easily tired. I will continue my exercise as soon as I got the sub-micron filters, he said.
Sathish Suman said walking in Gandhi Maidan has become difficult due to dust particles and smog. Rather than feeling healthy, Ill get sick in this condition. It has become impossible to walk without a mask in dust, said Suman of Bank Road.
Several college-goers and parents of school kids are also taking precautions. Mouni of Kurji, whose daughter studies in Notre Dame Academy, said she covers her daughters face while dropping her to school. Due to construction works around school premises, I put a mask over her face. She recently recovered from cold and Im taking all the precautions to keep her healthy, she said.
A shopkeeper near Patna Market said the demand for even of simple mask has increased in the last one week. We also stocked up surgical masks and anti-pollution masks. The masks range between Rs50 and Rs450, he said.
- Conserve purity of Ganga: Mountaineer TNN | Oct 31, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Students of Litera Valley School on Tuesday interacted with mountaineer Bachendri Pal, the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Pal visited the school under ‘Mission Gange’, a rafting expedition organised by National Mission for Clean Ganga and Tata Adventures Sports Foundation. She spoke about the importance of leadership and asked students to encourage others to reach greater heights.
“There is an Everest in every life and the only tools we need to reach the summit are discipline, focus and determination,” she said. Pal also stressed on the need to conserve the purity and sanctity of the Ganga, which, according to her, gets polluted as it flows through the plain.
Sainik School: Sainik School-Nalanda principal Colonel M E Hussain on Tuesday felicitated the students of Class X who did well in 2017-18 board exam. The school principal had received the merit certificate from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for good performance of its students in Class X board examination.
According to CBSE, the performance of Class X students of Sainik School-Nalanda was better than other Army schools in the country. The certificate was handed over to the school principal by Union minister of state for defence Subhash Ramrao Bhamre.
- CII, realtors’ body seek RERA’s help TNN | Nov 1, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Builders Association of India (BAI) and Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) have sought Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) help for registration of old projects, which were completed before the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 was implemented. The RERA Act came into force on May 1, 2017.
CREDAI Bihar president Narendra Kumar told this newspaper on Tuesday there was no concept of occupancy certificate in Bihar and 99% of the builders, promoters and developers don’t have the completion certificate in state.
“It’s a serious problem for builders as the registration office asks for completion certificate,” he said, adding the builders of ongoing projects or the projects completed after the RERA Act came into force was registered as per the rules.
“We seek the help from RERA Bihar for some alternate measures to solve this problem,” he said.
The RERA (Bihar) officials concerned have submitted a suggestion to the principal secretary of state prohibition and registration department to register the flats and commercial buildings, which had been completed long before the RERA Act came into force, on the basis of affidavit.
Subodh Kumar Sinha, a member of RERA Bihar, said submitting an affidavit was just a suggestion to resolve the issue as the final decision would be taken by the state government.
“According to Section 16 of Bihar’s Building Bylaws, there is a provision for completion certificate for which the owner or empanelled architect concerned or engineer or structural engineer has to submit notice of completion in form XII to the authority, which states that building has been completed in all respect as per approved plan and provision of the bylaws with supporting documents. This process can also help the builders,” he said.
- Nitish to declare 100% household electrification in Bihar on Nov 1 Piyush Tripathi | TNN | Updated: Oct 31, 2018, 08:00 IST
PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar will officially announce 100% household electrification in the state on November 1.
The Centre had on October 25 declared that Bihar government achieved 100% household electrification under Saubhagya scheme by providing meter-based electricity connection to 32.49 lakh households in rural areas. The number of houses under the scheme increased to 32,52,422 on Tuesday. The official website of Saubhgya scheme showed 1,39,66,503 houses in rural as well as urban areas in the state having been electrified.
According to officials in energy department, the state government is now eligible for incentives and award from the Union ministry of power for achieving 100% household electrification before the stipulated deadline.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while launching ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’ or Saubhagya scheme on September 25 last year, had set the target for completing the electrification process across the country by December this year. Bihar government, which had already been working on its parent scheme ‘Mukhya Mantri Vidyut Sambandh Yojna’ or ‘Har Ghar Bijli’ since November last year, had initially set December 2018 target for providing meter-based electricity connection to all houses.
However, the state government claimed to have achieved the target under the scheme two months ahead of its stipulated deadline. Officials said the state government is now eligible for an award of Rs 100 crore from the Centre, which may be used for electrical infrastructure improvement work.
Besides, the power distribution companies in the state are eligible to get Rs 50 lakh for distribution among its employees. The nature of distribution of the award amount among the employees will be decided by the principal secretary of energy department.
“We have sent communication to the Centre regarding the status of household electrification scheme and our eligibility for different awards and incentives for completing the work ahead of the deadline. We will also get a rebate of 15% in the share of the state in household electrification scheme,” a senior official in energy department told TOI wishing anonymity. The Saubhagya scheme stipulates that the Centre and state will share the electricity installation charges to every household in the ratio of 60:40. “Of the 40% share of the state government, it contributes 10% and the remaining 30% is raised through external loan. However, the scheme has a stipulation that 15% of the loan amount will be borne by the Centre and it will be treated as grant if the state meets the target before deadline,” the energy department official said.
The Bihar State Power Holding Company will also be celebrating its foundation day on November 1.