Government to revoke non-performing licences on silo concession


Minister Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has threatened to revoke the licence of any concessionaire that failed to meet the terms of agreement, nine months after the Federal Government concession 20 silo complexes to private sector operators. 

The Government had projected to generate about N6billion from concession fees over a period of 10 years, to which the concessionaires were expected to compensate government through a fee structure broken down into three components, including the upfront one-off payment, an annual fixed value; inflation linked concession fee and an annual share of profit from operations. 

To this extent, the “Government retains ownership of the silo complexes and at the end of the concession term, has the option to decide to manage them directly, negotiate extended contracts with the concessionaires, or procure new contracts depending on the performance of the concessionaires.”

Nanono during an inspection tour of facility at the 250,000-metric tonne capacity silos in Jahun area of Jigawa State, disclosed plans by the Federal Government to review the concession of its silos leased to private firms in Nigeria, threatening to revoke the licence of any concessionaire who failed to meet the terms of its agreement.

A statement from the Ministry, quoted Nanono as saying: “I am here to see some of the silos leased to the companies, and see whether they are doing the job in accordance with the concession agreement.”He further said, “We will review all the concessions to see if they met the necessary conditions. If they do; we allow them to continue, and revoke those who did not comply.”

The Minister noted that the silos were provided in different parts of the country for strategic reserves, and enhance the Government’s food security programme, which is in line with Mr. President’s agenda for the Agricultural sector.

According to him, the facilities were also designed to mop up excess grains during the harvest season for preservation and price stability. 

In his remarks, the Governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Abubakar, represented by the Secretary to the Government, Adamu Fanini, who accompanied Nanono on the tour, said the state would key into the Federal Government’s policies and programmes in the agricultural sector, assuring that Jigawa would leverage these to create jobs and grow the state economy.

In his brief on the facility to the Minister, the Regional Director, North West, Olusegun Owolabi, said all the activities at the site were being handled by the concessionaire, Martrix Ville Company, from staffing, maintenance, to and purchasing of grains for storage under the supervision of the Ministry.The Minister also inspected the 25,000MT Gaya Silo Complex in Gaya Local Government Area of Kano State.

Farmers burning stubble in fields will be deprived of government facilities: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar


PATNA: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday expressed concern over the rising trend of farmers in Bihar setting agricultural residue on fire and warned the cultivators burning stubble in fields will be deprived of the facilities provided by the state government.

Underscoring the adverse impact of stubble burning on the environment, he instructed agriculture department officials to launch a campaign to end the practise.

“Farmers burning stubble (crop residue) in their fields will be deprived of facilities being given by the state government,” Kumar said while inuagurating a two-day international conference on “Crop Residue Management” here.

The event was organised jointly by the state’s agriculture department and Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour (Bhagalpur).

The state government is providing every possible help to the farmers in the state, he said adding power is supplied to them at a rate of 75 paise per unit.

In addition, the state is giving Rs 60 as subsidy on every litre of diesel.

Earlier, the practice of stubble burning was prevalent in Delhi and Punjab causing bad impact on Delhi’s environment, he said while adding that the custom has now gained prevalence in some parts of the state.

“Farmers need to be convinced that stubble burning not only has its adverse impact on productivity but also has its effect on environment. Farmers need to be convinced that the proper use of stubble will increase their income too,” the CM said.

Kisan Salahkars (agriculture advisors) and representatives from agricultural institutions should convince the farmers about the ill-effects of burning stubble/crop residue and create awareness among them against it, he said.

Kumar cited the rainfall figures to highlight the impact of the climate change Bihar has witnessed in past few years.

Earlier, the state used to witness an average rainfall between 1200-1500 mm which has came down to 750 mm last year, he said.

The average rainfall of the past 30 years, barring this year, is 1027 mm out of which 900 mm was recorded in the past 13 years.

He asked officials to show “short film” to the farmers incorporating valuable suggestions given by the agriculture scientists and experts at the conference.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, state Agriculture minister Prem Kumar, farm scientist Dr Mangla Rai, Dr Eric Hutner of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACAIR) and Bihar agriculture department secretary N Sarvan Kumar also addressed the conference.

Prominent among those who participated in the event included- Dr Rajendra Prasad Central Agriculture University, Pusa (Samastipur) Vice Chancellor Dr R C Srivastava, his counterpart in Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour (Bhagalpur) Ajay Kumar Singh, CM’s Principal Secretary Chanchal Kumar and Bihar State Pollution Control Board Chairman Dr Ashok Ghosh.

Ranchi diary: Ban on single-use plastic at Jharkhand government offices


Ban on single-use plastic at govt offices

Single-use plastic items will be banned at Jharkhand government offices from October 2. The rule will be implemented at all such offices, which are either directly or indirectly under control of the state government. Chief Secretary DK Tiwari, on the proposal of Forest department, directed to ensure that ban is implemented in every government office all over the state. According to the directions issued by the state government, the offices will have to make arrangements for collecting plastic waste separately so that it could be disposed of in a proper way. 

Pamphlets to check child-lifting rumours

To check mob-violence following rumours of child-lifting, the Ranchi Police has decided to distribute pamphlets in both rural and urban areas as well to spread awareness among the people. A team of police personnel and members of a peace committee will paste posters in some of the strategic locations, appealing the people not to pay heed to such rumours. The people will also be told about the provisions of law under which they could be punished, if found involved in any kind of mob-violence.  Earlier, Jharkhand DGP K N Chaubey had told the media that the police were holding meetings with the people and cautioning them against mob violence, but added that law enforcers need the society’s contribution and help to control the menace.

Authority to protect witnesses

To ensure security to court witnesses, an authority will be set up in each of the districts headed by a principal district judge. The authority will identify such witnesses who are vulnerable to pressure. The witnesses may also request to the authority to provide security if they feel that their life or property is in danger. It will encourage witnesses to appear in the court boldly without fear as it will provide them a sense of security inside and outside the court campus.  The suggestions for forming such an authority came after several witnesses were intimidated by moneyed people.

Feat for Sadar Hospital

Adding one more feather in its cap, Ranchi’s Sadar Hospital has come second in the country for treatment of patients under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. According to officials in the Ranchi administration, 6,840 patients were treated under the Ayushman Bharat in the last one year. Officials claimed that more than 45,000 patients were treated free of cost in the district, providing benefits worth more than `62 crore to them. Sadar Hospital has provided five times more benefits than the state’s premiere health institute, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.

Separate medical university to be set up in Bihar


Bihar will have a separate full-fledged medical university to cater to all medical, nursing and paramedical courses.

Announcing this, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday said the government was working in this direction and had constituted a four-member committee to explore possibilities to have an independent medical university.

He said the idea was to carve out medical education from the Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU), which currently mentors all technical and medical institutions, and to create a separate medical university, which will have under its ambit all medical, ayurvedic, unani, paramedical and nursing colleges. The AKU will then cater to only technical institutes like engineering colleges, added Modi.

Speaking at a function to mark the completion of first year of the Ayushman Bharat universal health scheme, he said Bihar should strive to improve its coverage, both in terms of treatment and issuance of e-golden cards to its beneficiaries.

He said Bihar would open 11 new medical colleges, which would wipe out the shortage of doctors in the next four-five years. At the same time, Modi was critical of the Congress, for opening only four medical colleges in undivided Bihar since independence during the nearly-65-years period it governed the country.

The deputy CM said the Centre was committed to opening 75 new medical colleges in India this year and asked the health minister to avail of the opportunity by giving 20 acre land and making a formal request on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Expressing concern over booming population, he also urged the health department to study the total fertility rate (TFR – child bearing capacity of a woman) pattern in West Bengal, where it was as low as 1.6, whereas the same was 3.2 in Bihar.

The TFR in other southern and western states like Tamil Nadu (1.6), Maharashtra and Karnataka (1.6 each) was also less, while those in Uttar Pradesh (3), Madhya Pradesh (2.7), Rajasthan (2.6), Jharkhand (2.5) and Assam (2.3) was higher.

Earlier, state health minister Mangal Pandey said the state had to achieve much more than what it had achieved in the first year under Ayushman Bharat. He expressed concern at the fact that only 147 private health facilities were empanelled under the scheme in Bihar against 18,000 private centres in the country.

Highlighting efforts to improve health services in the state, Pandey said the government would issue the tender this week for the ₹5,500-crore project to convert the existing 2,500-bed Patna Medical College Hospital into 5,400 beds over the next seven-eight years. He also said nine district hospitals would be upgraded and 22 others would get CT scan facility.

Earlier, state principal secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar said this would be a year of recruitment for the health department as it would recruit 2,425 doctors in addition to 4,000 general duty medical officers as also 9,130 grade A nurses to tide over the shortage of doctors and nurses.

Health secretary and chief executive officer of Bihar health authority, Lokesh Kumar Singh, gave a brief overview of the Ayushman Bharat scheme in the state.

Bihar government reshuffle: 22 IAS and IPS officers transferred


The Bihar government has transferred four IPS and 18 IAS officers. The officers are of District Magistrate (DM) and Superintendent of Police ranks. One IPS officer who was awaiting posting has been given charge while an IAS officer has been given additional charge.

Arshad Aziz, 2006-Batch, currently Collector and DM, Sheohar, has been appointed as the new Gopalganj DM replacing Animesh Kumar Parashar, 2010-batch, who will now be managing director of state food corporation along with an additional charge of additional secretary of food and consumer protection department.

General administration department (GAD) additional secretary Avaneesh Kumar, 2010-batch is the new Sheohar DM along with an additional charge of settlement officer of Sheohar.

Vaishali SP Manavjeet Singh Dhillon is now posted as SP of Special Task Force (STF). Dhillon got replaced by J Jalaraddy who earlier was posted as Jamui SP.

Gopalganj SP Rashid Jaman will be posted as commandant of home guards in Patna along with an additional charge of assistant state fire officer in Bihar fire services. He will be replacing Manoj Kumar Tiwary who was Gopalganj SP. Also, Inamul Haq Mengnu, who was awaiting posting, is the new Jamui SP.

Health Department Special Secretary Radheshayam Sah, 2005-Batch will now be the Special Secretary in Revenue and Land reforms Department.

General administration department (GAD) Special Secretary Dayanidhan Pandey, 2006-Batch will be working in the same capacity along with the additional charge of director of social security in the Social Welfare Department.

Tourism Department Additional Secretary Uday Kumar, 2007-Batch will work in the same capacity in the General Administration Department (GAD) along with the additional charge of cane commission in sugarcane industries department.

Raj Kumar, 2010-Batch who was the Director of Social Security in the Social Welfare Department, has been designated as director of social welfare in the Social welfare department. Kumar will continue to hold the additional charge of the Director (disability) in the same department.

Planning and Development Department Joint Secretary Sunil Kumar Yadav is now the finance department joint secretary. While GAD additional secretary Himanshu Kumar Rai, 2010-Batch will continue to work in the same capacity in cabinet secretariat department.

Planning and Development Department Joint Secretary Anand Sharma, 2011-Batch has been moved to the Cooperative Department in the same capacity. Meanwhile, Rural Development department additional secretary Kanwal Tanuj, 2010-Batch will take up Additional charge of managing director of Bihar state tourism development corporation.

Jhanjharpur SDO (Madhubani) Anshul Agarwal, 2016-Batch is now deputy development commissioner (DDC) cum chief executive officer (CEO) of district board in Bhojpur and Mahua SDO (Vaishali) Richi Pandey, 2016-Batch is now DDC cum CEO of district board in Begusarai.

Sadar SDO (Gopalganj) Varsha Singh, 2016-Batch is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board at Katihar while Sadar SDO (Sitamarhi) Mukul Kumar Gupta, 2016-Batch is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board Jehanabad. Forbesganj SDO Ravi Prakash is now DDC-cum-CEO of District board of Banka.

Hilsa SDO (Nalanda) Vaibhav Kumar is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board at Nawada. Danapur SDO (Patna) Anshul Kumar, 2016-batch is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board in Aurangabad while Bagha SDO (West Champaran) Vijay Prakash Meena, 2016-Batch is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board at Vaishali.

US couple alleges adopted child assaulted at Gaya centre, 5 held


PATNA: The Bihar government on Saturday closed an adoption centre in Gaya after a US-based couple complained that a child adopted by them from there in August this year was physically abused.

A case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has also been lodged and five persons have been arrested, officials said on Sunday. They said all 13 children from the centre have been shifted to other centres.

“Following the allegations made by the US couple, we have been asked by the CARA [Central Adoption Resource Authority] to get the medical examinations done of all other children at the Gaya adoption centre and submit a report by end of September,” said Rajkumar, the director of Bihar’s social welfare department.

CARA works under the Union women and child welfare ministry and deals with inter-country adoption.

The US-based couple had adopted the five-year-old girl on August 17 from the social welfare department centre being run by a non-government organisation in Gaya. All the 13 children who lived there are all below six.

“After completing the formalities in Gaya, the couple left for Patna to get the passport of the adopted girl. They returned to the US on August 30,” said another social welfare department official, who is aware to the adoption case but not authorised to speak to the media.

CARA, in the first week of September, received a letter from the couple alleging that the child may have been mistreated at the Centre on basis of “discomfort in walking” and her “uneasiness” in seeing the pictures of the adoption centre in Gaya.

The official said that the allegations made by the couple were surprising as the girl underwent a medical test at a leading hospital in Delhi and was issued a fitness certificate before leaving for the US.

“Soon after the receiving the letter, the matter was reported to Mufassil police station, Gaya, by assistant director, child protection unit, and an FIR for offences under various sections of POCSO Act was lodged against the adoption centre. Five persons were arrested on Saturday,” the official said and added that the centre has been sealed.

Rupesh Kumar Sinha, station house officer of Mufassil police station, Gaya, said the case was registered on the basis of the complaint by assistant director, child protection unit, Gaya. “It was alleged in the letter that the baby girl might have gone through some physical abuse at the [adoption] centre. Five persons from the NGO, which used to run this Centre, have been arrested in this connection. The accused have been sent to the jail and adoption centre has been closed,” he said.

Non-teaching varsity staff in Jharkhand to gherao CM residence next week


Rattled by the ‘indifferent attitude’ of the state government in fixing 5th and 6th pay commission salary, non-teaching employees of all seven universities and 65 constituent colleges in the state have decided to gherao Chief Minister’s residence on Tuesday.

Jharkhand State Universities, Colleges Non- Teaching Federation (JSUCNTEF), the frontal organisation of non-teaching staff, on Saturday announced that since government did not respond on directive of chancellor (governor) and has been procrastinating, the organisation has been left with no option but to hit the streets.

Over 50,000 non- teaching staff of all seven state universities, Ranchi, Kolhan, Sido Kanhu Murmu, Vinoba Bhave, Koylanchal, Shymaprasad Mukerjee and Nilamber Pitamber University, would assemble at Ranchi University campus on September 24 (Tuesday) and takeout a procession for the gherao.

JSUCNTEF president Anil Kumar said that non- teaching staff have been working for 30-35 years but still are drawing 4th pay benefit. Education department has held up their 5th and 6th pay scale. Though governor had ordered to appoint nodal officer in each university and fix the pay by holding special camp. However, in the last three months no step has been initiated till date.

Anil Kumar said, after gherao of chief minister’s residence, the federation would wait for one week for government’s response and would proceed on indefinite fast at Ranchi.

“Government and its officers of higher education department have become insensitive. Teaching staff of university/colleges are being paid 7th pay scale but at the same time non-teaching staff has been denied the same. Actions of government is prompting employees on agitation path,” he said.

Chief Minister said his government wants ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikash’ but his action looks only for selected class, said JSUCNTEF.

However, a senior official of human resources development (HRD) said that since posts of several non-teaching staff were not sanctioned, they can’t be given benefit of 5th and 6th pay commissions.

Jharkhand Government to appoint 110 senior residents in 5 medical colleges in 4 days


In order to fulfil its undertaking to Medical Council of India (MCI), state government would appoint 110 senior residents (SR)/tutors on vacant posts of different departments in all five medical colleges through walk-in interviews within four days.

Deputy secretary health, medical education and family welfare department of government Abhishek Srivastava on Saturday issued a vacancy notice for appointment of senior residents and tutors in all five medical colleges including Patliputra Medical College Hospital (PMCH) Dhanbad and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital (MGMMCH) Jamshedpur.

Last month (August) on directive of Supreme Court, Jharkhand government had given undertaking to MCI to compliance faculty deficiencies in three months in newly set up its three medical colleges, Hazaribagh, Palamu and Dumka to start teaching from current session.

State’s all medical colleges including PMCH and MGMMCH are reeling under shortage of senior residents and Tutors. At PMCH, only 36 are working against sanctioned posts of 70 while at MGMMCH only 44 are deployed against sanctioned posts of 97.

“Since classes have been started, 110 senior residents/tutors would be appointed this month to cater the requirements. A two-day walk-in interview has been called at IPH Institute, RCH campus Ranchi on September 25 and 26”, said deputy secretary Srivastava.

On first day (September 25) they would be appointed in faculties of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, medicine, TB and Chest, pediatrics, surgery, orthopedic, ENT, eye, gynecology. On second day (September 26) doctors for microbiology, FMT, Pharmacology, PSM, radiology, radiotherapy, anesthesia, skin, Psychiatric and physical medicine and rehabilitation would be selected.

Highest number of doctors (11) would be selected for biochemistry department followed by 10 each in physiology and anatomy. Besides this, eight doctors would be selected for radiology department and 7 in anesthesia.

“Senior residents are being appointed for three years on a fixed honorarium of Rs 60,000 per month and their job would be spontaneously terminated after completion of tenure as per the health service rules of Jharkhand government”, said deputy secretary.

Das for Double Engine Govt in Jharkhand again


Chief Minister Raghubar Das today held seven back to back public meetings at various locations in Santhal Pargana on day one of Johar Jan Ashirwad Yatra. The CM gave message of development to people appealing them to tread the road of development by supporting the BJP in upcoming polls. “Political parties using the name of Jharkhand consider the naive public of Santhal only as vote bank. Our government has worked for the all round development of Santhal Pargana. You have the right to know from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Congress why till 2014 only 38 lakh families out of 68 lakh families had access to electricity.

Why children in schools were forced to sit on jute sacks? Why the mother and sisters of the State could not get freedom from the life of smoke? Why could the poor not get their own houses? Why they did not build toilets in honour of women? Why there was no health insurance for the poor? Why did they not become the carrier of economic prosperity of farmers? Why did they not remove the stigma of corruption from Jharkhand? They do not have the answers to these questions because they do politics of rumor and propaganda. But, now it will not work. The days of false and deceitful promises are gone,” said the CM. Das said that now the people of Santhal want a working government, Bharatiya Janata Party government. “For 14 years JMM, RJD, Congress continued to do politics of manipulation. Their purpose was only to gain power. By filling their pockets, they have deceived the people of the State. This time you have to take them out,” he said while addressing various public meetings in Santhalpargana on Thursday.

The CM said that in the last five years, there has been an effort to bring a ray of development to the people of Jharkhand, who are waiting for development since independence. “We do not say that we have changed things completely, but have started development work. We still have a long way to go. I have come to you for giving account of the last five years of development work. I hope you get your blessings for the next five years and Jharkhand will get a strong government,” he said. “Our Government is committed to the development of the entire Santhalpargana including Mihizam. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ruled in Santhal Pargana for years but Santhal went backward. The Soren family stalled the development of Santhal.

 This time Santhal Pargana has to be made Congress and JMM free. Our government gave the right of sand to the gram panchayats, but the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha government gave the contract of sand to a contractor in Mumbai. The first right on the resources of the State belongs to the people of Jharkhand and not to anyone outside,” he added.

At Khaira of Nala Assembly seat, the CM held discussion with locals over tea. “Our government has given top priority to dialogue with the people since the beginning.

100-bed cancer centre in each division


The executive committee of the National Economic Council on Tuesday approved a project involving Tk 2,388.40 crore to set up a 100-bed full-fledged cancer centre in each government medical college hospital in every divisional city.

The ECNEC cleared a total of eight projects with an estimated cost of Tk 8,968.08 crore.

The approval came from an Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room with ECNEC chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

‘Today, the meeting approved eight projects and the estimated cost of the project is Tk 8,968.08,’ said planning minister MA Mannan while briefing reporters after the meeting.

Of the cost, Tk 8,952.59 crore will come from the national exchequer, while the rest 15.49 crore from the funds of the agencies concerned, he said.

Of the approved projects, five are new and the remaining three are revised ones.

The planning minister said the Directorate General of Health Services will implement ‘Establishment of 100-bed Full-fledged Cancer Centre in Government Medical College Hospital in Divisional City’ project.

The project will be implemented from October 2019 to September 2022.

The remaining four new projects are ‘Mymensingh (Raghurampur)-Fulpur-Nakla-Sherpur (R-371) Regional Highway Development’ project involving Tk 855.49 crore, ‘ Upgrading pavement of the Bindur Mor-Biman Bandar-Naohata Bridge portion of Rajshahi-Naohata-Choumasia Road into four-lane’ with Tk 326.87 crore, ‘Construction of Rahonpur-Monakasha 400-KV Transmission Line in Chapainawabganj for importing electricity from Jharkhand of India to Bangladesh’ with Tk 225.49 crore, and ‘Research on Prevention and Control of Zoonosis and Transboundary Animal Diseases’ with Tk 150.42 crore.

The three revised projects are ‘Ashrayan-2 Project’ (3rd revised) involving with the cost of Tk 4,826.16 crore, ‘Widening Upashahor Mor-Sonadighi and Malopara Mor-Sagorpara Mor roads in Rajshahi city’ (2nd revised) project with Tk 126.40 crore, and ‘Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation Capabilities of IMED (SMECI)’ (3rd revised) project with Tk 65.85 crore.

The minister said the implementation rate of Annual Development Programme was 4.48 per cent in the first two months (July-August) of the current fiscal year, which is higher than 3.49 per cent in the same period of the last fiscal year.

He said the ADP expenditure is Tk 9,626 crore till August in 2019-20 fiscal year, which was Tk 6,318 crore in the same two months of 2018-19 fiscal year.