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- Union minister Giriraj Singh booked in land-grab case PATNA: Union minister Giriraj Singh has been booked in a land-grab case, lodged in the Danapur police station in Patna district on the orders of a SC/ST court.
The additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM)-cum-special SC/ST court of Danapur sub-division ordered the FIR on February 2. However, the matter came to light on Wednesday night.
The firebrand BJP MP, who represents the Nawada Lok Sabha constituency, is the Union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises.
Police said 32 others have also been booked in the case for allegedly grabbing 2.56-acre land said to be owned by one Ram Narayan Prasad at Lekhanagar in Danapur. Prasad, 68, retired as the deputy collector (land reform) of the Bihargovernment.
Three former circle officers — Shiv Ranjan, Madan Kumar and Kumar Kundan Lal, former circle inspector Anuj Kumar and three former revenue employees Suresh Prasad, Chandrika Prasad and Manoj Kumar have also been made accused for ploting and helping the land grab.
According to complainant Ram Narayan Prasad, the plot was gifted to him by his maternal uncle Bipat Ram in 1948 as the latter did not have any issue.
The complainant's grandson, Vikas Kumar, told TOI over the phone on Thursday that his grandfather had hired a man to do farming on the plot. He instead connived with officials and sold the plot by forging documents.
"According to the records of revenue office, part of the plot was also purchased by Giriraj," he said.
Vikas said his family was constantly being threatened to withdraw the case. "We fear worse as we belong to a scheduled caste," he added.
Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj said City SP (west) Ravindra Kumar would supervise the case. Kumar said investigations were on.
- CM opens flood alert centre in city Abhay Singh| TNN | Feb 11, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday inaugurated a Mathematical Modelling Centre of the water resource department (WRD) at Aneesabad in Patna, which will issue alerts regarding floods in the Kosi and Bagmati 72 hours in advance.
Speaking on the occasion, the CM regretted the Centre had not yet paid required attention to the government's plea for de-siltation of the Ganga.
"Despite submission of reports and favourable opinion of experts, the Centre has not paid attention to the problem of siltation along the 140km upstream Ganga from Farakka barrage in West Bengal," Nitish said.
He said the Centre formed a committee to assess the problem of siltation and Union minister of inland waterways Nitin Gadakri also spoke with him recently. A central team made a presentation on the feasibility of inland waterways through the Ganga at a meeting recently held at Patna, the CM said.
"However, they used old data. The new data shows that siltation has occurred on a large scale between Buxar and Bhagalpur due to the Farakka barrage. The volume of water coming into the Ganga from upstream has also reduced," the CM said.
He said the newly opened mathematical centre would also collect and compare old and new data on siltation of the Ganga. "Such centres will also be established for other rivers like the Gandak and Mahananda," he said.
The centre at Aneesabad, established with loan from the World Bank, is equipped with sophisticated gadgets for isuing flood alerts.
Speaking on the occasion, WRD minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh said a Physical Modelling Centre, another component of high-tech flood management system, would be established at Birpur in Supaul by the end of November this year. Energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav and WRD principal secretary Arun Kumar Singh also spoke.
- Plan to set up new effluent treatment plant at PMCH Ayesha Hassan| TNN | Feb 11, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) may get an effluent treatment plant (ETP) for liquid waste management. The plant will be set up through Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Limited (BMSICL).
A decision to submit a corresponding proposal to the state government was taken in a meeting between Rogi Kalyan Samiti and PMCH administration headed by Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor on February 2.
"A detailed project report will be prepared by April. It will then be sent to the state government for its approval. Although PMCH already has an incinerator for solid waste management, hospitals generally generate lots of liquid waste and discharge it in the open, which can fester infection and diseases. Hence, the requirement of another ETP was felt," said Kishor, who is also the chairperson of the samiti.
PMCH superintendent Dr Deepak Tandon said the hospital does not have a proper drainage system. "The drain overflows quite frequently. That is the reason a drain is being reconstructed near the gynaecology department," he said.
Though PMCH has an ETP with the capacity to treat more than 100 litres of liquid waste, the hospital administration has assessed the need for a larger ETP owing to redevelopment plan for the hospital. A field visit in this regard was conducted a month ago by BMSICL.
As of now, the liquid waste being produced in the two laboratories — one in the hospital and another in the college — besides the hospital's emergency and operation theatres is being treated with sodium hydrochloride before being discharged in the municipal drainage.
Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) scientist Navin Kumar said not all liquid waste produced in the hospital is biomedical waste. "As per Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2016, hospitals are required to dispose of their biomedical waste in a scientific manner," he said.
- Rs230 crore for road projects TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Road construction department minister Nand Kishore Yadav said on Monday funds to the tune of Rs230 crore have been sanctioned for road construction projects in seven districts.
The minister said Rs117 crore has been sanctioned for upgradation of Biharsharif bypass road in order to provide smooth connectivity between Patna and Ranchi while Rs63.74 crore has been given for construction of RCC bridge and maintenance of roads in Gaya district.
- Nod for upgradation of 12 roads to national highways Piyush Tripathi| TNN | Feb 14, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The central government has given its nod to upgrade 12 state highways and major district roads in Bihar to national highways (NHs) under the special package announced by PM Narendra Modi before 2015 state assembly elections.
State road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav said on Tuesday funds to the tune of Rs3000 crore would be spent on upgrading the 12 roads. He said the detailed project reports (DPRs) have already been approved by the Centre and construction work is likely to start by this year end.
“Though PM’s special package for Bihar specifically mentioned a few new roads, but the state government was asked to select the roads which were to be upgraded to NH,” Yadav told TOI.
He said the ministry of road transport and highways has already given in-principal approval to upgrade 52 roads in Bihar to NH. “We have selected 12 roads in the first phase and the remaining roads will also be shortlisted soon,” Yadav said.
PM Modi had announced the special financial package of Rs1,25,003 crore for Bihar while addressing an election meeting in Ara on August 18, 2015. Out of that, Rs54,000 crore was proposed to be spent on construction of roads.
RCD officials said out of the 68 schemes under the special package, work has been awarded in 36 and 10 are in the tender approval stages while DPR for the remaining 22 schemes are being prepared.
The minister said work on a new four-lane bridge parallel to Mahatma Gandhi Setu over river Ganga would also start by this year end. Besides, another bridge is proposed parallel to Jayaprakash Setu between Digha and Sonepur as a part of the proposed Patna ring road. Both these projects are covered under the PM’s special package.
As per the preliminary alignment of the ring road, which has been approved by the Centre as well as the state government, it would pass through Bihta, Daniyawan, Fatuha, the six-lane Kachchi Dargah-Bidupur bridge under construction, Hajipur, Pahleja Ghat, Digha and up to Bihta.
- Rs 1cr allocated for survey on Mughalsarai-Kiul route Kumod Verma| TNN | Feb 15, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: Technical experts in railways have welcomed the allocation of Rs1 crore for preliminary engineering-cum-traffic survey for the third line on the 335km-long Mughalsarai-Patna-Kiul mainline under Danapur division of the East Central Railway (ECR).
Experts also lauded the Railway Board efforts for approving a reconnaissance engineering-cum-traffic survey for about 45km-long new line between Jehanabad and Arwal in the current fiscal. The track doubling proposal between Gaya and Kiul would give a boost to traffic movement on the route, they said.
Sources said the merged Union budget for 2016-2017 fiscal had also allocated Rs1.5 crore to assess the feasibility and submit a survey report to railway ministry for building a third line between Mughalsarai and Kiul on the mainline section of Danapur division, but no progress was made on this front. Consequently, scepticism prevails over completion of the survey work for the third line this time too.
The Mughalsarai-Jhajha mainline route has reached about 160% saturation point, leading to unnecessary detention of passenger trains at outer signals and roadside stations. Both Down and Up lines have been existing in the division since pre-independence era. “It is ironical that passenger and goods trains are running on the same tracks, throwing safety rules to the wind. Thus, a third line between Mughalsarai and Kiul is badly needed to decongest traffic on this line,” an ECR official said.
According to sources, railway ministry had allocated Rs61 lakh in 2016 as well to carry out a survey between Buxar and Mokama for a third line. Though a corresponding survey report was submitted to the Railway Board in time, it failed to make much progress except sanctioning survey work.
According to sources, the initial report had mentioned a few hiccups likely to arise between Gulzarbagh and Patna Sahib stations due to congestion near the tracks. The report had, however, suggested a third line near the congested area by adopting elevated track technology, sources said.
Danapur division has, of late, witnessed an astronomical increase in the number of passenger trains. As many as 280 passenger trains and 40 goods trains pass through this division every day.
- SSB allotted land for HQ buildings Debashish Karmakar| TNN | Feb 15, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: After almost spending 16 years in different rented accommodations, the Patna frontier of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) is likely to get its own land for constructing its headquarters building in Patna.
After several rounds of talks with the state government, the SSB has been allotted 2.5 acre land worth at least Rs76 crore from the 400 acre plot of Bihar State Housing Board (BSHB) at Rajeev Nagar for construction of its frontier headquarters. The SSB is awaiting a nod from Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) in this regard.
A senior SSB officer said the Patna frontier has forwarded the proposal to the MHA for its approval before initiating the process of acquiring the land and floating tenders for architectural design of the building followed by its construction.
“The Patna frontier headquarters will have multistoried administrative building and at least 250 quarters for its officers, personnel and their family members. That apart, it will have barracks for at least 300 personnel, medical unit, parks, mess, armoury and several other facilities,” the officer said, adding that the target would be to complete the construction work within three years after the grant of approval.
“The process to identify land was going on since 2009. In 2010, we had finalized a plot, but it was rejected after litigation started over it,” the officer said.
With more than 15,000 personnel, the SSB Patna frontier headquarters commands 12 static battalions deployed on Indo-Nepal international border while three battalions in Bihar and two more in Jharkhand are involved in anti-Maoist operations.
BSHB sources said the land has been earmarked for SSB and as soon as they initiate the process for payment, steps to transfer the ownership of land would begin. “The land has been allotted to SSB on market value rate (MVR) which is almost Rs96 lakh for one kattha of land,” BSHB sources said, adding once purchased, it would be a permanent asset of SSB.
They also said additional 20 acre has also been earmarked in the same area for SSB for static battalion headquarters in Patna. “However, SSB has shown priority for the 2.5 acre plot for building the frontier headquarters,” BSHB sources said.
- Muzaffarpur civic body apathy worsens Langat Singh College sewage problem Faryal Rumi| TNN | Updated: Feb 15, 2018, 12:31 IST Representative image
PATNA: Hundreds of students of Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur, under BR Ambedkar Bihar University(BRABU) are facing sewageproblem on the campus.
The situation aggravated after a sewage pipe cracked and students of science block could not attend their classes on Wednesday. Principal Anil Kumar Singh told TOI over phone that the varsity administration has already written a letter to the municipal corporation and ward councillor for the repair work. “We have been requesting them for months. The last letter written to the corporation was sent in November 2017,” he said.
“Despite our repeated requests, nobody came to help us. Now when the situation has been aggravated, the college administration has decided to start the repair work on its own. Not only students, but both teaching and non-teaching staff are also facing the problem,” said the principal.
Head of the department of botany PCS Verma said, “There are two pipes installed near the buildings of physics and biology department. All the activities and classes have been hampered due to the continuous leakage. The college administration will now make an approach road to the respective departments.” Verma said, “Two weeks ago, ward councillor Rajeev Kumar visited the premises and assured us get the leakage problem solved. It’s been two weeks now and we are still waiting for their help.”
Students also said that the stagnant water and the slush deposited near the sewage pipes is
- Kidnapped Kolkata-based real estate broker rescued in Patna Debashish Karmakar| TNN | Feb 15, 2018, 22:28 IST
PATNA: A Kolkata-based real estate broker Madan Prasad (56) who was kidnapped after reaching Patna on February 10, was rescued from a house at Ramjichak under Digha police station in Patna on Thursday.
Police came to know about the kidnapping on Thursday only after Prasad’s son Manish Kumar and his wife Jaishree Kumari reached the city from Kolkata and directly went to Patna SSP Lalan Mohan Prasad. At least Rs 60 lakh ransom was demanded by kidnappers to release Prasad.
The SSP said a team under leadership of City SP (East) Vishal Sharma and Sadar DSP Sushant Kumar Saroj who rescued Prasad on Thursday evening. He said that a trap was laid and kidnappers reached near Patna railway junction for collecting ransom from where Santosh Kumar, Om Prakash Sharma, Hareram Rai and Lalbabu Rai were arrested. Later another kidnapper Shambhu Prasad was arrested from Ramjichak where Prasad was held captive.
“Prasad had reached Patna to sell his land in Parsa Bazaar to repay Rs 10 lakh to Santosh. Santosh had given the money to Prasad’s son Manish on interest. Santosh later kidnapped the broker from Parsa Bazaar and kept him hostage at Ramjichak,” he said adding that the kidnappers had planned to shift Prasad diara area on Friday night.
Prasad said it was Santosh who had made ransom calls to Manish and had asked him to reach Patna with property documents.
“The victim owns property in Ashiana-Digha Road, Boring Canal Road, Parsa Bazaar and at some other locations. He also owns property in Kolkata and Delhi,” the SSP said adding property at Boring Canal Road alone is valued above Rs 2.5 crore.
“Though the victim was originally a resident of Purnendupur under Jakkanpur police station area but he had shifted his business to Kolkata couple of years back. Presently he along with family was living at Mongolia Apartment at Choto Chandpur in Rajarhat area of Kolkata,” he added.
- Move to convert wet waste into compost TNN | Feb 24, 2018, 01:00 IST
ARA: In its attempt to make Ara a clean and green city, the Ara Municipal Corporation (AMC) has decided to adopt the latest solid waste management technologies and make compost out of wet waste, such as fruit and vegetable peels and leftover cooked food.
The AMC has also proposed to recycle inorganic waste, such as plastic, metal or paper and earn handsome profit in the process. AMC officials said Ara would be the second town in Bihar after Muzaffarpur to generate compost from wet waste.
AMC has entered into an agreement with a solid waste management company – Harit Recyclers’ Association – for the purpose of making compost out of wet waste and recycling inorganic waste. The firm will provide its technical support for the project besides doing monitoring, supporting and designing work.
AMC city manager Shekhar Kumar Prasad said more than six municipal wards have been selected in the first phase, where wet waste will be used to generate compost, which will be rich in plant nutrients and help the farmers in getting the top soil of the plant healthy.
“The detailed project report (DPR) has been prepared and the work will begin from second week of March. The space for making compost pits is being identified in different wards,” Shekhar said, adding residents in the municipal area will also be made aware about segregation of dry and wet waste in their home, before handing it over to the garbage collectors.
Shekhar said 120 tonnes of waste is generated daily in AMC area, out of which 60 tonnes are wet waste, which will be used for generating compost.
Calling trash “black gold”, Harit Recyclers’ Association secretary Shashi Bhushan Pandit said, “When properly segregated, trash can fetch handsome profit for municipal corporation. The municipal corporation can in fact earn Rs7.5 per kg by selling manure made from the wet waste. As far as inorganic or dry waste is concerned, sky is the limit if properly recycled or segregated at the source. For instance, human hair is sold at Rs 3,000 per kg and animal bones at Rs 50 per kg.”
- Vacate bungalows in a fortnight, ex-mins told TNN | Mar 1, 2018, 02:00 IST PATNA: The Patna high court on Wednesday ordered eight former ministers to vacate within a fortnight the ministerial bungalows allotted to them during the Grand Alliance government in the state.
The eight former ministers are Chandrika Rai, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Abdul Ghafoor, Shiv Chandra Ram, Anita Devi, Chandrashekhar Singh, Alok Mehta and Vijay Prakash Yadav. They had moved the high court against the NDA government’s notices to vacate their ministerial bungalows.
Justice Sudhir Singh, after hearing all parties, had reserved the order on February 5. While pronouncing the judgement on Wednesday, Justice Singh ordered the competent authorities of the state assembly to consider the representations of the former ministers and allot them new quarters according to their entitlement within 60 days. The court simultaneously disposed of the writ petition.
Advocate general Lalit Kishore, who represented the state government in the case, said the court also stated that all petitioners were allotted ministerial bungalows in their capacity in the earlier government and they would have to vacate the quarters as they ceased to be ministers.
The petitioners were allotted category-E quarters, meant only for ministers, under the Bihar Legislative Assembly Quarter Allotment Rule, 2000.
P K Shahi, Chandra Mauli Chaurasia, Kaushal Kumar Singh, Kaushal Kumar Jha, MK Ambastha and Subodh Kumar also represented the state government, Bihar legislative assembly and state building construction department while Abhinav Srivastava, Bindhyachal Singh, Raushan Kumar, Apurva Roy, Ujjwal Bhushan and Smriti Singh represented the petitioners.
- 421 anti-erosion flood projects nearing completion: Rajiv Ranjan Singh TNN | Updated: Mar 9, 2018, 13:40 IST
PATNA: State water resources department (WRD) minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh said in the state assembly on Thursday that the department would complete 421 anti-erosion and flood fighting schemes by June 5, after which the flying squads will conduct intensive on-the-spot inspections to assess the quality of work performed.
“If the quality of work is found to be sub-standard, action will be taken against the engineers and executing agencies concerned. The flying squads will complete the inspection work before the onset of monsoon,” Singh said.
He added a Rs 90.97 crore project has been prepared to save Sitabdiara village in Saran district, the birthplace of Jayaprakash Narayan, from floods. Singh said this while giving reply to the House debate on the WRD budget of Rs 3,497.38 crore, which was passed. RJD member Bhola Yadav had moved the cut motion to initiate the debate, while RJD, Congress and CPI(ML) members walked out of the House during Singh’s reply.
The minister said the WRD would soon start implementing the phase-III of Bagmati embankment construction project, whose completion will go a long way in saving Begusarai, Khagaria, Darbhanga and Samastipur districts from annual flood menace.
He said the World Bank-aided Mathematical Modelling Centre of Excellence would come up near the Birpur Kosi barrage in Supaul district by November this year. “The centre will help in giving advance warning or alert regarding the flow of water in the downstream of the Kosi during flood season,” the minister added.
- Patna DM summoned over illegal industrial units Debashish Karmakar| TNN | Mar 10, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Friday pulled up the district administration for failing to execute its earlier order of removing iron chest and almirah manufacturing units operating illegally from Alamganj and Sultanganj localities of Patna City.
A Patna high court division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Salimullah and Saroj Kumar, asked the Patna DM to appear before it on March 13 and give an explanation as to why the district administration failed to close down these illegal units.
In its counter affidavit submitted in the court on December 19 last year, the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) had stated that the illegal industrial units in Patna City are creating massive pollution in the area. According to the ambient air monitoring report submitted by the BSPCB, particulate matter (PM10) at five out of six places in Patna City between November 28 and December 2 was found to be much higher than the standard limit of 100.
In Alamganj, PM10 level was 453 between 10am and 2pm on December 2. PM10 levels at Nawgarhwa Road, Lala Ka Maidan, Pallavi Nagar and Alabapur were also much higher than the prescribed limit. The BSPCB had provided names and locations of 94 illegal iron chest and almirah manufacturing units which are running in Alamganj and Sultanganj localities.
The court had given six weeks’ time to the Patna DM to take action in this regard. Later, the deadline was extended to February 2 this year. However, the district administration has so far not taken any action against these units.
Advocates Hansa Jha and Deepak Kumar appeared on behalf of the petitioners during the hearing on Friday. HC summons Bhojpur DM for contempt of court: The division bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi and Justice Nilu Agrawal has summoned Bhojpur DM on March 23 in a contempt of court petition filed for failure to remove encroachment from a water body in Tarari circle of the district.
The contempt petition was filed by one Ram Awadesh Singh of Sadeha village of Tarari block on June 29, 2017. Singh had filed a PIL on January 20, 2014 for removal of encroachment from 3.62 acre of government land with a water body. The court on March 6, 2014 had ordered for removal of the encroachment and restoring the water body. However, the district administration failed to remove the encroachment.
- Metro rail project DPR next month, work to start this year TNN | Mar 14, 2018, 02:00 IST
PATNA: The detailed project report (DPR) for Patna metro rail project would be ready next month and construction work is likely to begin this year itself, state urban development and housing department minister Suresh Sharma said in the assembly on Tuesday.
National Institute of Technology (NIT), Patna and Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) are preparing the DPR in the backdrop of the Centre’s new guidelines. NIT-Patna has been asked to prepare the comprehensive mobility plan and alternative analysis report as well.
“The DPR will be submitted to the Centre for clearance in April and work will begin this year itself,” Sharma said while replying to the House debate on his department’s Rs4,413 crore budget. The opposition staged walkout.
Regarding the four ‘Smart Cities’ (Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Patna and Biharsharif), Sharma said special purpose vehicle (SPV) has already been constituted and Rs382 crore has been allotted for carrying out work in Bhagalpur, which was the first city in Bihar selected by the Centre under the plan. Projects and schemes worth Rs1,000 crore would be implemented in each of the four Smart Cities over five years, he added.
The minister said work on the inter-state bus terminus at Patna was going on at the cost of Rs302.34 crore. Besides, the government has sanctioned bus stands in 39 urban areas and the construction of 18 bus stands had been completed with expenditure of Rs60.33 crore. Work on 13 other bus stands has been going on with plan expenditure of Rs42.31 crore.
Sharma said a team of engineers has been sent to Gorakhpur to study the use of traditional crematorium there as its device generates less pollution. The Gorakhpur model would be installed from the next fiscal in the cities having more than 5 lakh population and the other cities would be covered in the second phase.
Besides, the government has sanctioned one multipurpose Samrat Ashok Bhawan (SAB) in each of the 55 urban centres identified and construction would begin this fiscal in 17 of them. One model SAB is to cost Rs1.39 crore.
In his reply to another House debate on the public health and engineering department (PHED) budget of Rs3,032 crore, its minister Vinod Narayan Jha said the villages identified as having arsenic and fluoride contamination in groundwater would be provided pure and safe drinking water by the end of 2018-19, and those having iron contamination would have it by 2020 end.
- Rs100cr for Patna smart city project TNN | Mar 14, 2018, 03:42 IST
Patna: The state cabinet on Tuesday sanctioned Rs100 crore for Patna smart city project.
Patna was included in the list of 100 cities under the Centre’s Smart City mission in June last year. Schemes under the Patna smart city project involve an estimated expenditure of over Rs2700 crore. Spanish firm Eptisa Servicios de Ingenieria SL has been selected by the Patna Municipal Corporation as the management consultant for the smart city project.
In another major decision, the cabinet approved the proposal to pay 13 months’ salary in a year to home guard jawans on the lines of salary to Bihar police personnel.
The cabinet also sanctioned Rs57 crore for Gopalganj police centre and approved 272 more beds in the Bihar State Institute of Mental Health and Allied Sciences at Koelwar in Bhojpur district.
The state government also decided to extend the service of 103 junior engineers in PHED by one year. All these engineers are working on contract.
In another decision, the cabinet sanctioned 192 educational and 138 non-educational posts in engineering colleges in Nalanda, Sitamarhi and Madhepura.
The cabinet approved total 25 proposals received from different departments.