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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  • I-T officials question Rabri, kin in benami property case According to department officials, the development was kept a closely guarded secret in view of security threat involvedIANS | August 29, 2017, 17:35 IST

    PATNA: RJD chief Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi, younger son Tejashwi Yadav and elder daughter Misa Bharti were on Tuesday questioned in connection with an alleged "benami" (proxy) properties case by Income Tax Department personnel here, officials said.

    "Soon after the three reached the Income Tax office here around 10 a.m., they were questioned for over five hours."

    According to department officials, the development was kept a closely guarded secret in view of security threat involved.

    Rabri Devi is former Bihar Chief Minister while Tejashwi is a former Deputy Chief Minister and currently Leader of Opposition in the state assembly. Misa Bharti is a Rajya Sabha member of the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

    A senior RJD leader told IANS that two days after the party organised a successful anti-BJP rally attended by leaders of 16 opposition parties in Patna, the Centre was again misusing the Income Tax Department to "harass Lalu-ji's family members".

    In May, the department had raided 22 places in and around Delhi in connection with the case after senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Kumar Modi claimed Lalu Prasad was connected to hundreds of "benami" properties.


  • I-T attaches Lalu son's Rs 40-crore Delhi house A senior I-T officer confirmed that house no. D-1088 in New Friends Colony was attached under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) ActTNN | September 12, 2017, 07:57 IST

    NEW DELHI: Just a week after the Enforcement Directorateattached a Delhi farmhouse belonging to Misha Bharti, Rajya Sabha MP and daughter of former Bihar CM Laloo Yadav, the income tax department on Monday attached another property in the national capital belonging to Lalu’s son and former Bihar deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav.

    A senior I-T officer confirmed that house no. D-1088 in New Friends Colony was attached under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act. Earlier in June this year, the department had issued a provisional attachment order against the property which was registered in the name of AB Exports. The I-T department has claimed that the beneficial owners of the property are three children of Lalu Yadav, including Tejashwi, Ragini and Chanda Yadav.

    The estimated market value of the New Friends Colony property is more than Rs 40 crore while the declared book value is just Rs 5 crore. The department is in the process of confirming attachment of other properties allegedly owned by Lalu’s family members in Delhi and in Patna.

    In June this year, the I-T department had identified several benami properties of the family and had issued provisional attachment orders against them under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act. The provisional attachment order had named Lalu’s wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi and her three daughters--Misha Bharti, Chanda Yadav and Ragini Yadav—besides son Tejashwi Yadav and son-in-law Shailesh as beneficial owners of these properties. The combined market value of all these properties were estimated at over Rs 170 crore.

    The I-T is in the process of issuing more attachment orders, confirming its provisional orders issued earlier. Among the properties identified and provisional attachment orders issued against them in June are land parcels at Danapur and Patna in Bihar and farmlands and buildings in Delhi.

    The land in Danapur, registered in the name of Delight Marketing Pvt Ltd, has been estimated at Rs 60 crore. The beneficial owners of the property, according to the I-T, are Tejashwi and Rabri Devi. Again, the book value of the property was declared at Rs 1.9 crore.

    Another land at Phulwari Sharif in Patna, registered in the name of AK Infosystem Pvt Ltd, has Tejashwi Yadav and Rabri Devi as its beneficial owners.


  • SPV company formed for Patna smart city Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor will be its chairmanFaryal Rumi | TNN | November 11, 2017, 12:00 IST

    PATNA: Taking a step forward towards implementation of major projects under the Centre-sponsored Smart CityMission, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) company named the Patna Smart City Limited (PSCL) has been formed. Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor will be its chairman.

    Chairing its first meeting on Friday, Kishor said as per preliminary plans, 837 acre covering Gandhi Maidan, Exhibition Road, Patna Junction, R-Block, Beerchand Patel Path, Mandiri, Vidyapati Marg and Fraser Road has been earmarked under Smart City. “The proposed Smart City covers major commercial areas. With the formation of the company, the projects will pick up pace. All the proposals and plans will be cleared with the consent of the company’s board members,” he said.

    Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner Abhishek Singh is the managing director while finance department’s deputy secretary Vinod Kumar Tiwari and urban development and housing department’s deputy secretary KD Prajwal are directors. The company will function from the fifth floor of Biscomaun Bhawan (6,000 sq feet area).

    The estimate of total project cost is Rs2,776.16 crore in which Rs2,542.54 crore is for area-based development (ABD) and Rs243.62 crore for Pan City. Now, Rs982.31 crore has come from convergence from other schemes in smart city, Rs800.37 crore from public-private partnership and Rs930 crore from central and state governments in 50:50 ratio.

    Talking about the various projects, Kishor said ABD is categorized in seven parts covering infrastructure, roadways, sewage, river front and transportation.

    The first part is Operation Aadhaar. It will cover sewage and toilet at the estimated cost of Rs135.7 crore. Operation Visankulan will upgrade Patna Junction (Rs433 crore), Bankipore Bus Terminal (Rs175 crore) and immediate public transport stand (Rs9 crore). The total estimated cost is Rs617 crore. E-rickshaw, e-bus and upgradation of Beerchand Patel Marg as a model road will come under Operation Gatisheel, which will cost Rs342.45 crore. Operation Janchetra, Operation Samagra Vikas, Operation Vaishvik and Operation Smart Solutions are to cost Rs297.25 crore, Rs151.42 crore, Rs500 crore and Rs244.6 crore respectively.

    Kishor said smart road network and road construction on Mandiri nullah will be first project in the Smart City. “Widening of road is its top priority while we also aim to make the roads free from all overhead cables and electricity lines,” he said.


  • Budget contains nothing for Bihar: Tejashwi Yadav PATNA: Leader of Oppositionin legislative assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Thursday said the Union Budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley had nothing for Bihar.
    Tejashwi also took potshot at CM Nitish Kumar over the much-hyped idiom of "double- engine" used by his party JD (U) and ally BJP in making claims of rapid development in Bihar as a result of the same NDA government at the Centre and state.

    "Nitish should tell that is this the double engine he talks about. It is because of him that the Centre is meting out step- motherly treatment to Bihar," Tejashwi told reporters.

    Accusing Narendra Modi- government of being "pro- rich", "The BJP has neither done anything at the ground so far, nor it would do so in the future. It only tries to sell shallow dreams and mostly serves to the interest of the rich," Tejashwi said.

    Tejashwi, who is RJD chief Lalu Prasad's younger son, termed the announcement of hike in minimum support price (MSP) for crop- procurement a farce claiming that market rate of the same is much lower.

    "Budget is an illusory for farmers. The MSP for paddy is Rs 1600 per quintal but no one purchases it at that cost in the market. Consequently, the farmers are forced to sell it at Rs 1300 per quintal. How can the Modi- government think of farmers getting buyers at even higher MSP?" Tejashwi said.

    The former Bihar deputy CM also challenged the announcement of creation of 75 lakh jobs for youths made in the Budget speech of Jaitley. "They have claimed in the Budget that they would create 75 lakhs new jobs but first they should tell the country how many jobs they created in the last four years," Tejashwi said.

    Tejashwi criticised the Budget on various other fronts including alleged ignorance of primary health care, education, health and railways among others.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/budget-contains-nothing-for-bihar-tejashwi-yadav/articleshow/62745105.cms
  • Bihar CM Nitish Kumar hails Union Budget on agriculture, health counts

    PATNA: Bihar CM Nitish Kumarwelcomed the schemes related to agriculture, healthcare and education sectors announced in the Union Budget 2018 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday.

    "I would like to congratulate the government for the Budget provisions for agriculture and healthcare sectors. A National Health Protection Schemeproviding health insurance cover of Rs5 lakh a family per annum and covering 10 crore families is a huge initiative," Nitish said.

    Today''s budget of BJP is host of promises which are usual made but hope that these are fulfilled, keeping their track records it is unlikely.Mithilesh Kumar

    Sharing his views on announcement of hike in minimum support price (MSP) in agriculture sector, Nitish said, "I welcome the decision of central government to calculate the MSP for procurement of Kharif (monsoon) crops by adding 50 per cent to the production cost, which would make the MSP 1.5 times of the input cost. I congratulate the finance minister for announcing implementation of the hike in MSP from this year."

    Nitish also hailed the Union Budget for the provisions made in the education sector, adding that he could not listen to the entire Budget speech. "It has happened after decades that I could not listen to the full budget speech as I had to participate in an official programme at Patna followed by another programme at Bodhgaya. However, based on hearing the parts of the speech relating to agriculture, health and education, I can say that the finance minister deserves applause on those counts," the CM said.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/62746302.cms
  • Union Budget: Nitish, SuMo hail initiatives
    PATNA: Bihar CM Nitish Kumarhas welcomed the schemes related to agriculture, healthcare and education sectors announced in the Union Budget on Thursday.
    "I would like to congratulate the government for the Budget provisions for agriculture and healthcare sectors. A National Health Protection Scheme providing health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh a family per annum and covering 10 crore families is a huge initiative," Nitish said.

    On the proposal for hike in minimum support price (MSP) for farmers, Nitish said, "I welcome the decision to calculate the MSP for procurement of Kharif (monsoon) crops by adding 50% to the production cost, which would make the MSP 1.5 times of the input cost. I congratulate the finance minister for announcing the implementation of the MSP hike from this year."

    Nitish said he, after decades, could not listen to the full Budget speech as he had to attend an official event at Patna and another programme at Bodh Gaya. "However, based on what I heard in the speech about the agriculture, health and education initiatives, I can say that the finance minister deserves applause on these counts," the CM said.

    Meanwhile, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said several policies announced by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget would help Bihar in a big way.

    "The budget has addressed the needs of villages, farmers, senior citizens, women and salaried people, as well as those representing small and medium enterprises. The Rs 5 lakh per family per year health insurance will help 50 crore people in the country," he said, adding Bihar will also benefit from Rs 10,000 crore allotted by the Centre for the infrastructure development in the fishery sector.

    He said the policy to issue Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) to the farmers engaged in the fishery and animal husbandry sectors was yet another new prescription that would benefit the state. In "The Budget announcement to fix the minimum support price of foodgrain at one and half times of the cost of production is also aimed at addressing the concerns raised by the farmers," he said.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/union-budget-nitish-sumo-hail-initiatives/articleshow/62747144.cms
  • No big-ticket announcement for Bihar in Union Budget PATNA: Contrary to high expectations from the "double engine" NDA governments at the Centre and in state, no big-ticket announcement was made for Bihar in the general Budget for fiscal 2018-19 presented by Union finance minister Arun Jaitleyon Thursday. The state had to console itself with only a few "smaller" schemes of various central ministries.
    Piped gas supply in Patna, two new rail lines (Biharsharif-Barbigha and Biharsharif-Daniawan), development of Indo-Nepal border road, setting up of a science city and funds for construction of new terminal building at Patna airport were some of the takeaways for the state from the Union Budget.

    Experts said Bihar would also benefit from announcements like raising the minimum support price in agriculture sector up to 1.5 times of the input cost and expansion of free cooking gas programme to 8 crore poor families from 5 crore earlier. Nearly 65% of the population of Bihar lives below poverty line (BPL) and around 70% people are dependent on agriculture.

    Nonetheless, the Budget has iterated the commitment of Narendra Modi government to commence supply of piped natural gas (PNG) in Bihar from Jagdishpur-Haldia/Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline of state- run Gail India Ltd in 2018.

    The Budget provisions related to ministry of petroleum and natural gas include construction of gas trunk or main pipelines measuring 400 km connecting Patna, Varanasi, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan had said on October 6 last year that work on 204km of main town gas supply network in Bihar under Gail's Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline would be completed by October this year.

    In terms of railways, Budget provisions have been made for construction of Biharsharif-Barbigha (25.8km) and Biharsharif-Daniawan (38km) new rail lines out of 1,000km rail lines to be constructed across the country in 2018-19 utilising funds to the tune of Rs 28,490 crore.

    In road sector, the Budget has talked about construction of 378.11km road along Indo- Nepal border. State road construction minister Nand Kishor Yadav told TOI that Bihar forms a major chunk of the Indo-Nepal border road. Union minister of road, transport and highways Nitin Gadkari had also said in Patna on Monday that National Highways Authority of India has been asked to prepare the detailed project report for construction of 512km of road along Indo-Nepal border under Bharatmala project.

    Bihar figures in new science city scheme of ministry of culture as well. The Budget has also proposed development of consumer counselling centres in Bihar and several other states by ministry of consumer affairs. The state government has already started work on Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Science City project near Moinul Haque stadium in Patna utilising funds to the tune of Rs 397 crore.

    Bihar is also likely to witness flow of funds from the Centre for developments in the aviation sector. The Union Budget has allocated significant funds for development of terminal at several full-fledged airports and revival of 50 airstrips under regional air- connectivity scheme. A sum of Rs 4,086 crore has been allocated for upgradation of facilities at various airports, including new terminal buildings and Rs 890 crore for revival of 50 airstrips under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme of ministry of civil aviation.

    While work on construction of new terminal building at Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport, Patna, is slated to commence from April utilising funds to the tune of Rs 800 crore, IndiGo has been selected to operate flights from airbase of Indian Airforce at Darbhanga, where a new terminal is to be developed.


    "The Budget, it seems, has been presented with an eye on upcoming elections. The government has announced several measures for agriculture sector, but they are not likely to double farmers' income by 2022 as promised by the government earlier. Bihar seems to be almost out of the scope of this Budget as no big-ticket announcement, like special category status for the state, has been made. The small schemes covering Bihar are mere peanuts as compared to the expectations"

    -- Shaibal Gupta, member-secretary, Asian Development Research Institute, Patna


    Construction of 400km of gas trunk pipeline connecting Patna, Varanasi, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar

    Biharsharif-Barbigha (25.8km) and Biharsharif-Daniawan (38km) new rail lines

    New science centre/city

    Consumer counselling centre

    Rs 4,086 crore to be spent on upgradation of facilities at various airports, including construction of new terminal buildings

    Revival of 50 airports or airstrips under regional air connectivity scheme

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/no-big-ticket-announcement-for-bihar-in-union-budget/articleshow/62747130.cms
  • Bouquets & brickbats for FM Jaitley
    PATNA: The Union Budget2018-19 presented by finance minister Arun Jaitleydisappointed many in the trade and industry bodies, while others lauded the Centre for proposing strengthening of airports, establishment of skill centres, introduction of health protection scheme for the poor and conversion of all metre gauge tracks into broad gauge ones.
    However, with the government not announcing any special scheme for a backward state like Bihar, there are some who are disappointed. "The Budget does not have any special economic package for Bihar. People of the state, especially those associated with trade and industries, were looking forward for such provisions in the Budget," said Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) president P K Agrawal.

    Bihar Industries Association president K P S Keshri said they had suggested a 'development fund' for Bihar to boost industries in the state. "We are upset as no such allotment has been announced," Keshri added. He, however, said the Budget was a balanced one, and not populist, as anticipated by many. "Some of the measures proposed in the Budget will strengthen the country's economy. The government's move to boost agriculture is a welcome step. Being an agriculture-driven state, Bihar will benefit from it if the state government takes concrete steps to implement the schemes," Keshri said.
    BCCI president Agrawal said they were expecting announcement of special measures in the Budget to neutralise the effects of demonetisation, but the government did nothing to address the concerns raised by trade and industry bodies of the state. Agrawal, however, appreciated the government for putting emphasis on agriculture, health and infrastructure sectors.

    PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PHDCCI) welcomed the government's move to extend benefit of reduced corporate tax rate of 25% to companies which have reported turnover of up to Rs 250 crore in financial year 2016-17.

    However, common people did not find much relief from the Budget. City-based chartered accountant Subodh Goel said the middle class and salaried people were expecting relaxation in tax slab, which had not been announced. "Increase of education cess from 3% to 4% is a burden on common people. Sale of equity after one year was exempted from tax earlier, but now 10% tax will be charged on it," he said.

    Executive director of centre for health policy, Asian Development Research Institute, Basudeb Guha Khasnobis, welcomed the provision of insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family per annum for indoor hospitalisation of the poor. He, however, said middle class people should also have been included in the scheme.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/bouquets-brickbats-for-fm-jaitley/articleshow/62747203.cms
  • Bidupur bridge to be ready by 2021, says minister Piyush Tripathi| TNN | Feb 3, 2018, 02:00 IST
    PATNA: Patna will soon have its own avatar of Bandra-Worli Sea Link with the government setting the deadline of 2021 for readying the Kachchi Dargah- Bidupur bridge over the Ganga.

    Touted as the longest river bridge in India, the six-lane stretch connecting Patna and Vaishali will be of 22.76km, including the main bridge length of 9.76km. It will connect the Patna- Bakhtiarpur NH-30 on the south and the NH-103 at Gazipur Chowk in Vaishali.

    Work on 30 of the bridge's 87 pillars are currently going on. Sources said on Friday the construction of segments or spans would begin in June. The cable-laying work on the superstructure of this suspended-cable bridge will start by the year-end.

    The Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited (BSRDCL) is the executing agency of the road construction department. The corporation officials told TOI the construction work of approach road from Patna end was likely to commence within a couple of months. The length of the approach road on Patna end will be 1.5km and that on Vaishali end 8.5km.

    State road construction minister Nand Kishor Yadav, who inspected the under-construction bridge on Thursday, said vehicular movement would start on the bridge by 2021.

    Chief minister Nitish Kumar commissioned the bridge construction work on January 31, 2016. The project is estimated to cost Rs 4,988.4 crore, including Rs 3,000-crore loan from the Asian Development Bank.

    The minister said one lane of the bridge would go to the riverine area in Vaishali, where people currently use country boats to come to Patna.

    The bridge is being constructed by Korean firm Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company as a joint venture with L&T India. The salient features of the bridge include a highway museum, intelligent traffic system and automated toll plazas.


    * Six-lane, 22.76km suspension cable bridge

    * To connect Patna and Vaishali

    * Estimated cost Rs 4,988.4 crore

    * Bridge will have a highway museum, automated toll plazas


  • Railway quarters to get a facelift soon PATNA: The Danapur division of East Central Railway (ECR) has worked out a comprehensive plan for maintenance and repairs of railway quarters with an estimated expenditure of Rs 100 crore. Railways will spend Rs 40 crore in the first phase this year and the remaining Rs 60 crore in the second and last phase next year, said Danapur DRM Ranjan Prakash Thakur.

    Thakur said a decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting convened by officials of the Danapur division of ECR. "There are 6,400 railway quarters in Danapur (Khagaul), Patna, Kiul, Jhajha, Buxar and other places in the division. Khagaul alone accounts for 2,200 quarters," Thakur said.

    Under the plan, railways will provide same amenities in the railway quarters as they are being provided in the bungalows of railway officials. "We will provide floor tiles in each quarter of the railway employee living in type II and type III quarters. The walls of the quarters will be distempered instead of white washing to give a cosy look to the interiors of the quarters," he said.

    The DRM added railways will spend sizeable money in construction and repair of drains in the railway colonies. "Waterlogging is a major problem in the railway colonies in Khagaul, especially during monsoon. Thus, railways has decided to get the main drains cleaned on priority basis and link it to sub drains of the colony areas," he said.

    "Railways will complete repair of the roads in Khagaul within a month. All damaged doors in the railway quarters will be replaced by new ones. Thick bushes will be cut and railway colonies will be maintained properly to make them habitable," the DRM said, adding railways will outsource manpower to get the quarters and colonies maintained in the division.

    Meanwhile, railways has also approved a plan to build new boundary walls all around railway colonies in Khagaul from safety point of view. Worn out electrical fittings in the railway quarters will also be replaced soon, the DRM said, adding steps will also be taken to provide safe drinking water to occupants of railway quarters.

    The DRM said the engineering wing of the division has identified about 300 railway quarters as "unfit to live". "All these quarters will be demolished soon and new quarters will be built," the DRM added.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/railway-quarters-to-get-a-facelift-soon/articleshow/62810028.cms
  • Bihar RERA issues notices to 10 realtors of Patna PATNA: The state urban development and housing department (UDHD) has warned the developers and promoters of ten upcoming projects in and around Patna against against advertising and marketing their projects without getting them registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).

    “Certain promoters have been found to be advertising and marketing their new projects without giving the RERA registration number in the advertisement... This is a brazen violation of the RERA norms,” department’s principal secretary Chaintanya Prasad Prasad told TOI on Wednesday.

    The RERA, Bihar has been established under Section 22(1) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 of the government of India. As per Section 3 of this Act, it is mandatory for the promoters to register their plot, apartments (flats) or buildings where the area to be developed exceeds 500sqm or the number of apartments (flats) to be developed exceeds eight.

    Non-registration of the projects with RERA, according to Section 59 of the central Act, may invite imprisonment up to three years. As per the state law, the violator can also be fined 10% of the estimated cost of the real estate project.

    The projects that have been issued notices by the department include the Future City-Bihta, Dream City-Bihta, Om Shiv Complex-Bihta, Moti Mahal City-Bihta, Dream Valley- Babhanpura (Patna), Modern City-Fatehpur (Ganjpur, Patna), RN City-Saguna Mor and the PM City-Bihta Road.

    The department has also issued notices to a project being developed on the Danapur-Bihta road by Ashirvad Engicon Real Estate Pvt Ltd and the H2O City-Shivala being developed by Anshul Home.

    Prasad said the notices sent to these ten projects should be considered as a warning for others too. He also urged buyers not to invest in the properties that have not been registered under RERA.

    Till date, only one project has been registered with the RERA- Bihar, and the registration of five others is under process. Prasad attributed the poor number of registrations to lack of proper documents.

    To get the registration number, developers have to apply online to the RERA and submit offline the approved map of the project, land document, type of agreement with buyers, details of plan of each floor, carpet area to be handed over to the buyers and a declaration of the developer.

    Source: https://realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/regulatory/bihar-rera-issues-notices-to-10-realtors-of-patna/62829880
  • Patna airport slips 15 places in global rankings Piyush Tripathi| TNN | Feb 8, 2018, 12:56 IST Representative image

    PATNA: Despite registering a bumper growth in passenger traffic, Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport (JPNI), Patna, dropped 15 places from 58th to 73rd position in the global ranking of airports handling 2-5 million passengers in the fourth quarter of 2017. The deciding factor was the quality of services provided to the passengers.

    The rating for overall satisfaction of passengers at Patna airport, based on Airports Service Quality (ASQ) survey done by the Airports Council International (ACI), however, dropped by mere 0.05 points in the fourth quarter of 2017 (October-December).

    Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials said Patna airport's performance was still good as it was ranked 73rd among 300 airports across the world that fall in the 2-5 million passenger-traffic category. ASQ ratings are benchmarks for airport services globally.

    ACI-ASQ Survey is only worldwide programme to survey passengers at airports on their day of travel. Every year, it measures passengers' views on 33 key services parameters and identified services.

    Of the 33 parameters, which are used to rate the airports, Patna airport's performance declined in 24 in the fourth quarter. The parameters include parking facilities, waiting time in queues, the efficiency of the check-in staff, courtesy and helpfulness of the airline staff and waiting time at the security check area, among others. Patna airport has, however, scored well in areas like internet access and Wi-Fi, restaurant and eating facilities, cleanliness of bathrooms and toilets, cleanliness of airport terminal and availability of trolleys.

    JPNI director Rajendra Singh Lahauria attributed the plunge in ratings in the fourth quarter of the last year to disruption in flight services due to foggy weather in peak winter season.

    The existing seating capacity of terminal building at the city airport is around 600 people, including 250 in the visitor area and 350 in the security hold area. However, around 8,000 people used to come to the airport on daily basis, when flights were getting delayed or cancelled due to foggy weather from mid-November to mid-January.

    "Heavy rush of passengers at the airport during foggy days led to adverse impact on the service quality provided to passengers. Most parameters on which the ratings have come down are based on behaviour related services of staff of different airlines. We will take corrective measures to ensure improved services to passengers," Lahauria told TOI. He added, "As far as ranking is concerned, it is a comparative figure and rating of service quality at Patna airport dropped by only 0.05 points in the last quarter. We believe that ranking of several other airports may have improved, which led to drop in Patna airport's ranking. Nonetheless, we are still at 73rd position among 300 airports, which is not that bad, considering the acute space crunch here."
    Frequent flyers, however, complained about poor services owing to overcrowding in the terminal building. "The terminal building is jam-packed even when flights operate smoothly. One feels like playing musical chair game, while trying to get a chair in the security hold area. Besides, there are very few check-in counters and gate number is mostly not mentioned in the boarding pass," said Samir Sinha, a native of Patna.


  • Lake, park to be developed TNN | Feb 9, 2018, 02:00 IST
    PATNA: The Adalatganj lake and Hardinge Park in Patna will be developed under the Smart City project.

    A decision to this effect was taken at a review meeting convened by Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor, who is also the chairman of Patna Smart City Limited, the company formed to execute the Smart City-related work.

    Kishor said the Adalatganj lake area would be re-developed at a cost of Rs 17 crore. He directed the officials concerned to get the detailed project report (DPR) ready in 15 days.

    Similarly, the Hardinge Park will be developed at a cost of Rs 55 crore. Kishor told the officials to prepare its DPR by May 5.

    The commissioner also set deadlines for various other projects to be undertaken under the 'Smart City' project, which included expression of interest for an open air theatre at Gandhi Maidan by February 18 and preparation of DPR for Mandiri Nala re-development by February 25.

    He said altogether 1,000 CCTV cameras would be installed and 30 electric buses introduced in Patna. A sum of Rs 20 crore has been allocated for e-buses., he said.

  • Groundwater resources to be recharged in 17 districts: Minister Abhay Singh| TNN | Feb 9, 2018, 02:00 IST

    PATNA: The state agriculture department has prepared a Rs 2,950 crore integrated watershed project comprising 332 schemes for recharge of groundwaterresources in 17 south Bihar districts, apart from income generation of the beneficiaries through the financing of the self-help groups of women.

    "It is an integrated watershed project aimed at conservation of rainwater," said state agriculture minister Prem Kumar on Thursday, adding, "Water so conserved can also be used for irrigation purposes by the beneficiaries."

    The project, which is expected to be completed in five years, will provide irrigation facility in 22 lakh hectare (or 55 lakh acres) of land spread over 17 south Bihar districts. The area covered stretches from Buxar to Bhagalpur districts, and the work involves creation of micro watersheds - 'nullahs' - along roadsides, brick and cement structures across the 'nullahs' for holding flowing water and digging of ponds on both government and private land.

    The minister said the project envisages formation of women's self-help groups (SHGs) in the watershed area. The financing of the SHGs for income generation activities is a part of the mega watershed project.

    "The money involved will be raised through central assistance and from the state's own income as well as through loan from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The NABARD has agreed in principle to finance the project by way of loan," the minister said.

    He said of the total estimated expenditure of Rs 2,950 crore, Rs 550 crore is for the ongoing projects already under implementation. The remaining Rs 2,400 crore, with the money provided by the Centre, NABARD and the state government, will be spent on the new projects, the minister added. As to the ongoing schemes, the Centre and the state government will provide Rs 100 crore each, and the remaining sum of Rs 350 crore will be provided by the NABARD.

    The 17 south Bihar districts where the project will be implemented are Buxar, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Kaimur, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nawada, Nalanda, Patna, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Jamui, Munger, Banka and Bhagalpur.


  • Smart City proposals to be cleared soon: Minister TNN | Feb 9, 2018, 02:00 IST
    PATNA: State urban development and housing minister Suresh Sharma said the Smart City proposals submitted by companies concerned for the four selected cities of the state, including Patna, would be cleared in a week.

    Four cities from state - Patna, Biharsharif, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur - were included in the Centre's Smart City project. Bhagalpur was the first city selected for the project, followed by Patna, Muzaffarpur and Biharsharif.

    The proposals include improvement of transport infrastructure, mechanism to give quick solution to problems of citizens and facilities based on information technology. "At least 12 companies from the country and abroad have submitted their proposals for consideration," the minister said, adding a dedicated 'smart control room' will be established in the state capital to monitor implementation of the projects.

    "The smart control room will be linked with the CM's office as well as the offices of state DGP and heads of other departments," Sharma said.

    A Spanish company, active in management work in two other proposed smart cities in the country, has already been selected by the state government to manage the projects worth Rs 2,700 crore in Patna.