Jharkhand school lessons on bolt safety

Source: telegraphindia.com

ightning, which kills over 130 people in Jharkhand on an average every year, will be a part of the academic curriculum in over 2,000 government schools from the next session.

A proposal by the disaster management department to include lightning and related safety parameters in the syllabus has been accepted by the state executive committee, which, led by chief secretary D.K. Tiwari, coordinates and monitoring its many initiatives.

“The executive committee will hold a final discussion, primarily the nitty-gritty, at its meeting soon. After that the chief secretary will issue formal guidelines,” said Manish Kumar Tiwari, joint secretary, home, prisons and disaster management.

Sources said the executive committee meeting would have senior bureaucrats of various departments, including principal secretary of school education and literacy A. P. Singh, who will be a special invitee since the proposal deals with his domain.

“The meeting is scheduled to discuss threadbare details like contents of the proposed chapter on lightning and the subject under which the chapter would be included for teaching in classes 8, 9 and 10. The subject will be introduced from the 2020-21 academic session,” said an official.

The state disaster management department will also be sending directives to deputy commissioners of all 24 districts, asking them to disseminate information on lightning safety during assembly in schools.

“Deputy commissioners of Bokaro and Hazaribagh have already started talking about the dos and don’ts on lightning safety during assembly at state-owned primary, middle and high schools. We would like other districts to do the same,” said Tiwari.

The state disaster management authority, which functions under the department, is planning to launch its own GPS-based software project to prevent casualties arising out of lightning strikes.

Officials said the software, designed by Jharkhand Agency for Promotion of Information Technology (JAPIT), aims to issue alerts to people in lightning-prone areas based on inputs from Ranchi Met office.

“The software will automatically send text messages to smart phones in the area (the phones need to switch on their location service) asking users to take precautionary measures. Our motto is to curb casualties. We are planning to roll it out on Independence Day,” Tiwari said.

Ranchi to host 6km promotional on cycling

Source: telegraphindia.com

This Independence Day residents of the capital are being urged to be a part of “Cyclothon”, a rally to promote the use of the cycle given its credentials as a pollution-free, noise-free and environment friendly mode of commute.

“This is a promotional effort to increase awareness on the app-based public bicycle sharing system that has been introduced in the capital as a part of the Ranchi Smart City project. Cyclists will use promotional banners painted in the colours of the Indian flag, sporting slogans in Hindi to encourage people to opt for cycling,” said state urban development department spokesperson Amit Kumar.

According to a 2014 survey by the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), use of shared autos (diesel and battery operated) in Ranchi was at 28 per cent, while operation of buses constitutes a meagre 5 per cent of the share of public transport.

On an average, 800 people are using the app-based public bicycle sharing platform a day, said Shashi Ranjan, manager of Chartered Bike, the Ahmedabad-based firm that launched the initiative in Ranchi.

“Earlier, 1,500 people would use the bicycles a day. But due to the monsoon, usage has slipped to 800 per day. However, with more awareness people’s interest will increase,” he said, explaining the rational behind an event like Cyclothon.

At the event, cyclists will display Hindi slogans like, “Azadi pradushan se, azadi traffic jam se, sankalp le cycle chalane ka, desh ko swachh evam pradyushan mukt banana ka (Freedom from pollution, freedom from traffic jams, take the pledge to opt for cycle and make the country clean and pollution free).”

Ranjan said they were organising such an event for the first time. “So far, we have got confirmation from 15 cyclists. They will be provided with T-shirts and the banners. Since it is a promotional event, the rides will be free,” he said.

The Cyclothon, of 6km, will commence at 7am from Albert Ekka Square (on Main Road) and traverse through major intersections like Lalpur, Dangratoli, St Xavier’s College square, Iqra Masjid and culminate at Big Bazaar (opposite Ranchi Club).

The first phase of the app-based initiative was launched in March with 600 German-made cycles. As many as 60 docking stations were set up along two routes, namely, Kanke Road-Chandni Chowk-Suchana Bhawan-Main Road and Kokar-Lalpur-Circular Road-Kutchery Chowk-Morabadi.

Chartered Bike is ready to launch the second phase with 600 more bicycles and is currently carrying out a survey to set up more docking stations.

“The second phase will have cycles on routes between Karamtoli Chowk to Kokar via Booty More, Ratu Road to Project Bhawan via Shahjanand Chowk, Argora Chowk and Birsa Chowk, Birsa Chowk to Main Road and Shahjanand Chowk to Main Road via Kadru. We are ready with the bicycles and will soon start construction of docking stations after completing the survey,” said a company official.

Ranjan referred to the initial hiccups they faced when people began parked their motorbikes at docking stations, thereby defeating the very purpose of the cycle-sharing initiative.

“Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) had deputed guards to ensure that people do not park their bikes at our docking stations. But we would like more stringent measures to prevent illegal parking at our docking stations,” Ranjan noted.

The Chartered Bike app is available on both Android and iOS platforms. There is a subscription fee, Rs 35.40 a day, Rs 236 a month and Rs 1,180 a year. There is a nominal user charge of Rs 5, but the first 30 minutes are free.

Those who do not have access to smartphones can buy tickets and use the cycles.

PM Modi fulfilled Vallabhai Patel, Atal Behari Vajpayee’s dream: Goa CM Pramod Sawant

Source: newindianexpress.com

PANAJI: Efforts made by Deendayal Upadhyay, Vallabhbhai Patel, Atal Behari Vajyapee to fulfil the “Ek vidhan, Ek nishan, Ek pradhan” – one country, one constitution, one flag, one head – slogan have now come to fruition during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reign, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Thursday.

“There should be no issue in saying that the attempts of Deendayal Upadhyay, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Atal Bihari Vajyapee to fulfil ‘ek vidhan, ek nishan and ek pradhan’ have now been fulfilled,” Sawant said.

The slogan of “Ek desh, ek Vidhan, ek nishan and ek pradhan” – one country, one constitution, one flag, one head – was coined by the BJP ideologue Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who died in 1953 in a Kashmir jail.

“In this country, if we have ever had ‘ek vidhan, ek nishan and ek pradhan’, it is on August 5, 2019, we have never had this privilege,” Sawant also said, while congratulating Modi for the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A.

“Since 2014, we have a Prime Minister who has given us a better present, and a future in the form of Narendra Modi. The country has achieved its rightful place in the world under his leadership. As a result of this, we have seen that he was once again elected with a full majority,” he said.

“And to pay back that faith, he has abrogated Article 370 and 35A, and for the first time India has received complete Independence. Kashmir has been fully integrated with India now. With the passing of the Triple Talak Bill, he has fulfilled and ensured that everyone has their rights,” Sawant also said.

Centre issues Ebola advisory, asks Bihar to remain alert

Source: hindustantimes.com

The Bihar health department has readied guidelines to issue an advisory asking medical colleges and district hospitals to identify isolation facility for Ebola virus disease (EVD).

This follows an advisory by the Centre on July 18 urging states to keep vigil for EVD after its cases were reported from Congo. On July 17, the World Health Organisation declared the situation of Ebola in Congo as public health emergency of international concern.

The letter from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), ministry of health and family welfare (MoH&FW), New Delhi, advised state surveillance officer to keep constant vigil and raise awareness level and knowledge of surveillance officers and healthcare providers on basic standard precautions to be followed during the care and treatment of the suspected patients.

It also asked states and union territories to identify an isolation facility in each district and medical college.

“While asking our healthcare officials to stay alert and also ready isolation wards in their respective facilities, we will ask all districts and medical colleges to immediately notify us if they come across any case of Ebola. We will urge our health officials to keep themselves abreast with the Centre’s instructions on safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients, hospital infection control guidelines, guidelines for sample collection, storage and transportation, guidelines for healthcare provider and guidelines for clinical case management, available on the MoH&FW website,” said executive director of Bihar’s State Health Society, Manoj Kumar.

He said though hospitals did not have separate beds for different diseases, it did have a limited number of beds in isolation ward to cater to infectious diseases.

“We will reiterate the need to keep in readiness isolation wards in district hospitals and medical colleges that can also be used to treat Ebola cases,” added Kumar.

Director, NCDC, Dr Sujeet K Singh, in his letter, said, “If any suspect is admitted to their health facility or seen by health provider, (they should) include the basic level of infection control — hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment to avoid direct contact with blood and body fluids, prevention of needle stick and injuries from other sharp instruments, and a set of environmental control.”

Cases of Ebola are being reported from Congo since 2018. So far, 2,522 cases (2,428 confirmed and 94 probable) and 1,698 (1,604 confirmed and 94 probable) deaths have been reported since August 2018 till July 16, this year from Congo with case fatality rate of 70%. 

Raghubar Das vows to make New Jharkhand

Source: telegraphindia.com

Chief minister Raghubar Das stressed his commitment to “New Jharkhand” after unfurling the Indian Tricolour at Morabadi grounds here on Thursday, the 73rd Independence Day.

Addressing around 5,000 people, including dignitaries, Das said: “Naya Jharkhand banana hai, yeh mera sankalp hai, yeh meri akansha hai (We have to make a New Jharkhand, that’s my promise and my dream).”

He urged people from all strata — farmers, workers, professionals, youths, craftspersons, mothers and sisters — to work for a happy and prosperous Jharkhand.

Das praised the Centre for removing Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution, and recalled late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s doctrine of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat (humanity, democracy and Kashmir’s legacy of amity).

But the bulk of his 30-minute speech was centred around the achievements of his government. This is the last Independence Day before Assembly polls later this year.

Das reeled off statistics to highlight how Jharkhand had grown under his governance. He said: “Growth rate in the last three years is 14.2 per cent and rate of increasing per capita income is 9.1 per cent. During the last five years growth in forestry has been 31.2 per cent, fisheries 15.9 per cent, and agriculture 19 per cent.”

He added: “Jharkhand is the first state to give Rs 5,000 per acre as grant to farmers and Rs 3,000 per month as pension to labourers of the unorganised sector. From next month, the government will start a pension for journalists.”

“So far, 2 lakh people have been helped by the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (Ayushman Bharat) in the state under which 57 lakh of 68 lakh families are covered. The government aims to give gold cards to all beneficiaries of this scheme by September 25. This apart, 100 mohalla clinics will be opened by September 25 for the urban poor.”

He spoke about big strides made in higher education, including new medical colleges in Dumka, Palamau and Hazaribagh, women’s colleges in 12 district, model colleges in 13 districts and 27 degree colleges and 13 polytechnic colleges.

Das also inspected the Independence Day parade in which platoons of the CRPF, CISF, Jharkhand Jaguar, JAP, NCC, Jharkhand Home Guard and Raksha Shakti Vishawvidyalaya participated.

Cops felicitated

In Jamshedpur, food minister Saryu Roy, who hoisted the national flag at Gopal Maidan, also felicitated Parsudih OC Animesh Gupta and Azadnagar OC Vishnu Rout for their good work. In Ranchi, SSP Anish Gupta gave a cash award of Rs 15,000 to Chutia OC Ravi Thakur for nabbing three snatchers wanted in 30 cases.

Ranchi Metro a must but where’s the will

Source: telegraphindia.com

The proposed monorail/metro project for Ranchi, which chief minister Raghubar Das had announced in November 2015, has been struck off from the priority list of the government ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections.

Ministers and members of the BJP tasked with the job to highlight the achievements of the government ahead of the crucial polls no longer broach the sensitive topic of “Metro Rail”.

The central government, which was supposed to provide funds for the project, has also rejected the state’s proposal on technical grounds but residents feel that monorail or metro railway is the need of the hour for better public transport in the state capital.

“In the next three decades Ranchi is bound to expand because of the growing population but the government has not taken any step for planned development of the capital. The main city is spread over a few square kilometres but people are gradually settling down in the fringes of the city. In such a situation, metro rail would have served future purposes. Now, the Jharkhand High Court and the Assembly are being shifted outside the city limits and people will require a rapid transport system,” said city-based contractor Arun Kumar Mishra.

Ranchi entrepreneur Chandra Bhushan Jha, however, feels metro is not feasible for a city like Ranchi that is growing vertically.

“Patna will soon have metro railway but we don’t even have proper city bus services. A bus fleet was purchased under JNNURM to improve urban transportation but most of these buses are in bad shape because of lack of maintenance. Metro is indeed required since Ranchi has the worst traffic system but the big question is whether we have enough space within the city to execute the project,” said Jha.

Sidharth Tiwary, a business consultant, however, feels otherwise.

“Three cities of Jharkhand — Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad — have been categorised as tier-II cities. Trade, commerce and industry in Ranchi is expanding. Inter-connectivity of districts should be priority for the government now. Urban development remained pivotal for the government and a number of good works were done by Das but I am surprised why the government did not take up the metro railway project,” said Tiwary.

State urban development minister C.P. Singh, who also holds the additional charge of transport, said the project had been aborted on technical grounds.

“We had submitted a proposal to the Centre but it was rejected on technical grounds. In future I don’t think neither monorail nor metro railway would be taken up for Ranchi. We don’t have sufficient land in the city to start the project. People want facilities but they won’t part with land. Even in executing small projects we face problems and protests. To commission a project the government is forced to use force and then attract criticism. Without public cooperation it is impossible to start a mega project like this,” minister Singh said.

He added that the urban development department had identified government land at Dubalia to set up the Transport Nagar but people had started protesting against the project.

“Like at Bajara, the department had identified government land to execute a housing project for the poor, but we have been facing protests. In fact, the government drags its foot from any project fearing people’s protest,” said Singh.

OPINION | Amid Soaring Crime Graph, Bihar Police Officers Lock Horns Over State Govt’s Decision to Split Force in Two

Source: news18.com

Patna: Amid growing incidents of lynching and deteriorating law and order situation in the state, Bihar police officers are locked in a bitter war of words, reflecting the rot that has set in the state police force over the years.

The state police force has mainly two groups that are at loggerheads.

The reason for the ongoing tug of war is Bihar government’s decision to bifurcate the state police force into two separate wings — the law and order wing and crime investigation wing — down to the police station level from August 15. The Supreme Court had issued an order in 2006 for separating the law and order duty and crime investigation down to the police station level.

Now there have been allegations that a concerted attempt is on to post the patrons of sand and liquor mafia within the police force in the law and order wing, but they want to control the crime investigation wing so that they can run the cartel without any hindrance.

Recently, the state police headquarters had directed to remove at least 386 Station House Officers (SHOs) and Circle Inspectors (CIs) from their posts as they were facing different charges, including moral turpitude, and were accused in cases involving sand and liquor smuggling. Most of them want to get posted in the lucrative crime investigation wing.

A few of them, however, claimed that the charges against them were fabricated and the senior officers did not do justice with them before blacklisting them. In response to the Facebook posts of Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey, an SHO had observed that he had been punished due to personal vendetta of his seniors even though he performed his duty with full sincerity.

The DGP, however, said that the grievances of such officers would be heard and taken care of if found to be correct. But the decision to shift them has been taken at the instance of chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has ‘zero tolerance’ on crime and corruption, the DGP said.

The Bihar Policemen’s Association has also taken up the matter contending that some of the officers have been wrongly put in the tainted list. “We will talk to the top officers for rescinding the decision or the working committee will meet on August 25 to chalk out future course of action,” said association president Mrityunjay Kumar Singh.

Against the backdrop of deteriorating crime situation, the DGP had recently revealed on his Facebook that he is not being allowed to work the way he wants to as some of his colleagues are spreading all kind of canard against him, thereby demoralising the morale of the police force.

The anguish expressed by DGP Pandey is a tell-tale story of how policing system in Bihar has been afflicted with deep-rooted casteism, lobbies patronised by senior officers and overall corruption even though some officers stand out in terms of integrity and dutifulness.

Insiders in the police headquarters claimed that the incumbent DGP is opposed by a coterie of senior police officers. His orders on improving infrastructure in police stations and controlling crime were either not obeyed or buried in official files on one pretext or the other.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has reviewed the law and order situation twice last month in view of rising incidents of contract and political killings, rapes, abductions for ransom and bank loot in the recent past in Bihar. The leader of opposition, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, had shot off a letter to the chief minister listing government’s alleged failure on the law and order front.

After coming to power in 2005, Nitish had demystified the myth that crime could not be kept on tight leash in Bihar. Within the framework of law, he focused on quick disposal of cases registered under the Arms Act since the witnesses in all such cases were primarily the policemen. This proved very effective in bringing down the number of pending cases under the Arms Act as scores of accused were convicted at the end of the trials.

Nitish appeared much aggrieved to know that nearly 1.4 lakh criminal cases are pending in the police stations across the state. The chief minister directed the DGP to dispose off pending cases at priority, upgrade the police stations and release the contingency funds.

The Bihar Police have been facing problems ever since the state government decided to introduce total prohibition and to regulate sand mining in the state. Most of the policemen have found smuggling of liquor and sand as lucrative trade and source of easy money.

Prior to his elevation to the post of DGP, Pandey had launched a personal campaign for implementing the liquor ban policy of the state government. He had addressed altogether 160 meetings in 35 districts in five months to make people aware about the liquor ban.

Policing in Bihar also grapples with the problem of poor police-public ratio as the state has one policeman for every 840 persons. According to the data of Bureau of Police Research and Development, a central agency keeping track of the state and central police forces, Bihar ranked 33rd among states and union territories in terms of police-public ratio as there is a huge shortage of manpower.

Having created investigation and law and order wings, the Bihar government has decided to recruit 24,000 constables, 4500 sub-inspectors and 2000 drivers to fill vacancies in the understaffed police force.

No compromise on corruption, communalism: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Independence Day

Source: indiatoday.in

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday asserted that there would be no compromise on “crime, corruption and communalism” under his rule, which has been characterized by “nyay ke saath vikas” (development with justice) and “sampradayik sauhardra” (communal harmony).

In his hour-long address at Gandhi Maidan here on the occasion of Independence Day, Kumar said a new system of policing was being introduced in the state for effective maintenance of law and order.

“We are never going to compromise on crime, corruption and communalism. ‘Nyay ke saath vikas and sampradayik sauhardra’ have been and will always remain our priority.

“From today, we have introduced a new system of policing wherein maintenance of law and order and investigation shall stand separated so that personnel engaged in either are not distracted by other demands of duty,” Kumar said after unfurling the tricolour.

The chief minister also inspected the tableaux depicting the various schemes launched and the measures taken during his 14-year-long rule in the state.

“Our crackdown on corruption will continue. Bribery, amassing of wealth disproportionate to assets and through misuse of public office will be severely dealt with. None of those who are involved in earning money through illegal and immoral means will be spared,” the chief minister said.

Kumar pointed out that a Public Service Grievances Redressal Act is in place which guarantees resolution of complaints in a transparent manner and a mechanism has been devised for deciding service-related issues of government servants in a time-bound manner.

“People must be made aware that ill-gotten wealth may bring momentary pleasure, but its long-term impact is perilous. We must always keep in mind the words of Mahatma Gandhi that we must consume only as much as we need, giving up greed in any form,” he maintained.

Recalling that he had ordered a complete ban on sale and consumption of alcohol three years ago, in line with the demand of women in the state, Kumar said it had evoked enthusiasm, with people forming a massive human chain on the theme of prohibition, though “many who think it is their right to drink, seem to be unhappy over this move.”

People must realize that consumption of alcohol cannot be a matter of rights, he asserted.

“I would also like to draw the attention of youth towards a report of World Health Organization which has done a study on the ill effects of consuming liquor,” he added.

The CM also spoke at length about the measures taken by his government to improve education scenario in the state, including the proposed launch of “Unnayan Bihar” programme next month which aims to emulate across the state a successful e-learning experiment carried out in Banka district.

He said that his government was committed to providing people with better health care facilities and that the expansion and upgrading of premier hospitals at Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya have been approved.

Kumar mentioned that his government was taking steps to boost agriculture, including the setting up of a separate power feeder for farmers.

He lamented that the effects of climate change are being felt in Bihar, where there has been a decline in average rainfall over the years, while untimely showers have caused flash floods.

“We are doing our bit to reverse the damage. Our Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali drive, launched recently, is a step in this direction”, he added.

The CM, after attending the Independence Day ceremony, visited the Rajdhani Vatika adventure park in the city where he tied a thread around a tree in presence of cabinet colleagues, including his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi.

The state government is observing the festival of “Rakshabandhan”, which falls on this date, as “Vriksh Suraksha Diwas” (Day for protection of trees).

Ranchi Metro a must but where’s the will

Source: telegraphindia.com

The proposed monorail/metro project for Ranchi, which chief minister Raghubar Das had announced in November 2015, has been struck off from the priority list of the government ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections.

Ministers and members of the BJP tasked with the job to highlight the achievements of the government ahead of the crucial polls no longer broach the sensitive topic of “Metro Rail”.

The central government, which was supposed to provide funds for the project, has also rejected the state’s proposal on technical grounds but residents feel that monorail or metro railway is the need of the hour for better public transport in the state capital.

“In the next three decades Ranchi is bound to expand because of the growing population but the government has not taken any step for planned development of the capital. The main city is spread over a few square kilometres but people are gradually settling down in the fringes of the city. In such a situation, metro rail would have served future purposes. Now, the Jharkhand High Court and the Assembly are being shifted outside the city limits and people will require a rapid transport system,” said city-based contractor Arun Kumar Mishra.

Ranchi entrepreneur Chandra Bhushan Jha, however, feels metro is not feasible for a city like Ranchi that is growing vertically.

“Patna will soon have metro railway but we don’t even have proper city bus services. A bus fleet was purchased under JNNURM to improve urban transportation but most of these buses are in bad shape because of lack of maintenance. Metro is indeed required since Ranchi has the worst traffic system but the big question is whether we have enough space within the city to execute the project,” said Jha.

Sidharth Tiwary, a business consultant, however, feels otherwise.

“Three cities of Jharkhand — Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad — have been categorised as tier-II cities. Trade, commerce and industry in Ranchi is expanding. Inter-connectivity of districts should be priority for the government now. Urban development remained pivotal for the government and a number of good works were done by Das but I am surprised why the government did not take up the metro railway project,” said Tiwary.

State urban development minister C.P. Singh, who also holds the additional charge of transport, said the project had been aborted on technical grounds.

“We had submitted a proposal to the Centre but it was rejected on technical grounds. In future I don’t think neither monorail nor metro railway would be taken up for Ranchi. We don’t have sufficient land in the city to start the project. People want facilities but they won’t part with land. Even in executing small projects we face problems and protests. To commission a project the government is forced to use force and then attract criticism. Without public cooperation it is impossible to start a mega project like this,” minister Singh said.

He added that the urban development department had identified government land at Dubalia to set up the Transport Nagar but people had started protesting against the project.

“Like at Bajara, the department had identified government land to execute a housing project for the poor, but we have been facing protests. In fact, the government drags its foot from any project fearing people’s protest,” said Singh.