Cabinet gives nod to Bihar Sand Mining Policy 2019

Source: moneycontrol.com

The Bihar Cabinet has approved the revised sand mining policy as per which an applicant can get licence for a maximum of two sand blocks.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on August 13 gave its nod to the draft proposal of Bihar Sand Mining Policy 2019 with a view to regulate sand mining, conserve environment, ensure availability of sand, Cabinet Secretariat Department, principal secretary, Sanjay Kumar told reporters here.

As per the draft policy, now a single person or a registered company, partnership firm or a cooperative society can obtain license for a maximum two sand blocks/ghats or 200 hectares of sand mining area, whichever is lower, the principal secretary said.

Any person now can get maximum of two sand blocks allotted provided such mining area is not spread over 200 hectares of mining area either in one district or any other district, he said adding that now the government has set a limit for getting sand blocks.

The draft policy has also treated rivers in district as a separate unit for allotment of sand blocks, the principal secretary said.

Altogether 19 decisions were taken in the cabinet meeting.

The cabinet also decided to reserve one per cent of quota for people performing well on national and international sporting events in the selection of constables in Bihar Police, he said.It also sanctioned a revised estimate of Rs 108 crore for providing piped drinking water in arsenic affected villages of Maner in Patna district, he said.

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).

Crimes against women on the rise in Bihar, MLA says incidents can’t be brought to zero

Source: zeenews.india.com

Recent weeks have seen a spurt in the rate of crimes against women in the state of Bihar which has put the glaring spotlight on the police and political machinery here. While opposition parties have upped the pressure on the government, BJP MLA Arun Sinha said that such crimes can be reduced but cannot be eliminated completely.

The political uproar in Bihar comes in the backdrop of rise in crimes against women with three incidents in the recent past adding fuel to fire. In a state where the crime graph has been steadily on the rise, incidents against women too have been reported. In one incident, three men allegedly raped a minor girl and then tried to kill her in Chapra. While cops arrested two of the accused, the third managed to flee. The minor is in a critical condition at PMCH Hospital.

In a separate incident, the body of a 16-year-old girl was recovered in a mutilated condition in Nalanda’s Baellor village. Cops say that the head was beaten with bricks in an attempt to conceal the identity of the victim who may have been raped before she was killed.

In the third gruesome incident. a minor girl was kept inside a hotel room for four days and repeatedly raped in Muffasil district of the state.

These three incidents, in particular, have inflamed political tensions with Congress spokesperson Rajesh Rathore saying that girls and women are not safe under the government of CM Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi. “There are Nirbhaya-like incidents happening in Bihar everyday and the government is silent,” he said. RJD’s Mrityunjay Tiwari also echoed similar thoughts and said that the message of good governance is false.

In the government’s defence, JDU’s Rajeev Ranjan admitted that the recent crimes against women have been shocking. BJP’s Sinha, however, courted controversy while mounting a counter. “Such crimes can be brought down but cannot be eliminated completely,” he said. Sinha also appealed to people to come out and report such crimes.

There have been 605 rape cases which have been reported in Bihar between January and May of 2019. The maximum number of these have been in Patna – 41.

In 2018, 1475 cases of rape were reported across Bihar while 1195 cases in 2017 and 1008 cases were reported in 2016.

Bihar CM to hold public meeting in Jharkhand

Source: dailypioneer.com

Bihar Chief Minister and JDU national president Nitish Kumar is to address a public meeting in State Capital on August 25, starting the political campaign of his party in Jharkhand. JDU which is partner of NDA in Bihar and playing the role of big brother in Bihar had already expressed its intention to contest year-end Assembly election alone in Jharkhand.

JDU Jharkhand unit president and former MP, Salkhan Murmu said, “As the party has announced to contest Assembly election alone in State, we have started preparations for the election. In this connection Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is to address a public meeting in Ranchi on August 25.” Murmu further said, “The party has given a slogan, Nitish Lao, Jharkhand Bachao (Bring Nitish, Save Jharkhand).”

The JDU leader claimed that under the leadership of Nitish Kumar, Bihar has witnessed all round development in all sectors. Improvement in law and order, women empowerment, and improving education are some of the sectors on which Bihar has made drastic changes.

The JDU has decided to reach to people in State with the Nitish Kumar’s development model.

The party cadres will reach out to people especially in rural areas how Bihar has witnessed a turnaround after Nitish Kumar came to power in Jharkhand.

The JDU cadre will also go to people highlighting the weak Opposition in State. Murmu said, “After the Lok Sabha election, all Opposition parties are decimated. The JMM’s politics revolves on father and son duo. There is no internal democracy in JMM. While the grand old party, Congress is struggling for survival as the party is pitched in internal struggle.”

Murmu said, “After the Lok Sabha  election, there is two factions in Congress party. One group is lead by State president Ajoy Kumar while the other group is headed by Subodh Kant Sahay and others.” According to JDU leader, in such situation, JDU has huge scope in Jharkhand as people are looking for an alternative party which can counter BJP.

To strengthen party in Jharkhand, the JDU has decided to make at least six members from every village. Murmu, who first became MP in 1998 under the banner of BJP, has always been advocating the cause of the tribals.

“We are dedicated for the progress of the tribals so our focus would be on them. Our party cadres and leaders have started working in the rural belts to make the voters realize their importance and need to safeguard their interests,” he noted.

The leader also said that the party will try to highlight the needs of protecting Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Acts

which are related with tribal sentiments. “The JDU will also work for protecting and safeguarding the tribal interest as the successive Governments has failed to hand over the land rights to the tribals

and ensure their adequate representation in the government jobs,” added Murmu.

Bihar: 12 incidents of mob lynching reported in last 15 days, say Patna Police

Source: scroll.in

There have been 12 incidents of mob lynching across Bihar in the last 15 days, Additional Director General of Patna Police Jitendra Kumar told ANI on Wednesday. “Public shouldn’t take law in their hands,” said Kumar, adding that the Patna Police have organised a special drive across the state to spread awareness among people to not believe in rumours.

Two lynchings were reported from Rupaspur and Dhanarua in Patna district on Saturday night, according to The Times of India. As many as 32 people have been arrested in the Rupaspur case and two in the Dhanarua one.

“Specific instructions were given after Supreme Court had taken up the mob lynching issue and had directed state governments to act accordingly for preventing such violence,” Kumar said. “But after some recent incidents of thrashing over rumours, officials were directed to take steps by roping in public representatives.”

The Patna Police have begun conducting public events from Monday, Kumar said. He added that the police have been asked to pass on a message through village mukhiyas, sarpanches, and other representatives that nobody who indulges in rumour mongering will be spared.

Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Garima Malik said that a police-public meeting was held at Kadamkuan on Monday. Another event was held at Danapur bus stand in Danapur Cantonment.

“The motive to organise the programme at Danapur bus stand was that several people traverse through that point and words of police would reach locations were people would travel.” She said that the police also shared their phone numbers with members of the public.

Apart from Bihar, a spate of mob lynchings has claimed dozens of lives in Maharashtra, Tripura, Assam, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Karnataka since March. In nearly all cases, the mobs seem to have been incited by widely shared WhatsApp videos and messages asking people to beware of child kidnappers. The victims have ranged from innocent people asking for directions; transgendered people; the poor; and the mentally challenged.

PM Modi denied my plea to accord central status to Patna University: Nitish Kumar

Source: moneycontrol.com

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar lamented that his fervent request for grant of central status to Patna University two years ago was dismissed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi denying the institution much needed help.

He said he is hopeful now that the university will get its due as Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu is present at the programme held to observe the centenary of the library of the varsity.

Later in his address, Naidu said he would talk to Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokriyal and find out if measures could be taken to accord central university status to it.

Had his request been accepted two years ago, the glory of the institute which was once considered “the greatest not just in the country, but the whole of Asia”, could have been restored, said Kumar, an alumnus of the university, referring to its centenary celebrations held in October, 2017.

At that programme two years ago, Kumar said, he had repeatedly requested Modi, who shared the dais with him, “with folded hands” to consider the demand for a central status to the university.

“But my plea was turned down,” Kumar said.

The prime minister, who had spoken afterwards, had dismissed the request stating that the idea of granting central status to universities had become obsolete and Patna University would do better to avail of the opportunities at hand given the government’s thrust on making institutes of higher learning world class.

The development had come barely a couple of months after Kumar returned to the NDA and it had led to opposition parties like Lalu Prasad’s RJD launching a barrage of ridicule on the chief minister.

“That was, however, a different occasion. Today we are here to celebrate the centenary of the library of Patna University,” Kumar said recollecting that the vice president was also present at that programme as the chief guest.

Turning towards Naidu, whom Kumar has known since the days they were cabinet colleagues in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Kumar said, “Now that you are among us, I hope something would be done to give this university its due. The state government is doing its bit. But had the Centre agreed to take it over, it would have made a world of difference.”

The chief minister said Bihar is the land of scholars like Aryabhatta and Chanakya ancient seats of learning like Nalanda.

“Patna University is not a run of the mill institution. It was established when there were very few modern universities in the country,” he pointed out.

Kuamr said the university would have centres devoted to ecological studies.He also urged students to take interest in social service and “do not lose sight of the role environment plays in our lives if you are interested in politics”.

After 33% Salary Hike, Bihar Lawmakers to Get Plush Bungalows at Govt Rate Ahead of Assembly Polls

Source: news18.com

Patna: As a pre-poll gift, the Bihar lawmakers will be entitled to purchase residential plots of two kathas each at a rate fixed by the state government. The Bihar State Cooperative Federation and Bihar Land Development Bank will be the nodal bodies to make available the required land in Ashiananagar area of the state capital to the Swablambi Grih Nirman Sahyog Samiti headed by state Parliamentary Affairs minister Shrawan Kumar. Bihar cooperative minister Rana Randhir is its secretary and BJP legislator Sachindra Kumar is its treasurer.

The former and present legislators having no house in Patna will be eligible for becoming members of the new legislators’ cooperative. There is a virtual scramble among the former and present legislators to fill the membership forms. “So far, 100 members have filled their membership forms. The other formalities will begin after registration of the cooperative society,” said Shrawan Kumar.

The rush among the lawmakers to get a house in Patna emanates from the fact that many of them are not sure to return to the state assembly in the changed political scenario after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Many of them may not be repeated as candidates by their respective political parties.

A residential colony of legislators of Bihar already exists near the veterinary college which is home to veteran leaders like Radhanandan Jha, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi, Ram Vilas Paswan, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Abdul Bari SIddiqui, Nand Kishore Yadav and others. But several plots in this cooperative were sold to other legislators, exchanged and put on rent in utter violation of the cooperative society’s rules.

The state government has recently constructed swanky duplex bungalows for sitting legislators with state-of-the-art facilities at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 600 crore. There are, at present, 318 lawmakers, including 243 members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) and 75 members of the legislative council (MLCs) in Bihar.

The plush government bungalows would be allotted according to constituency numbers of the members. Many legislators, who used to stay outside on rent ever since the old residential flats were demolished, would be given possession by December this year.

There was a windfall for legislators in November last year when the Nitish Kumar government had approved 33 per cent hike in their salary and substantial increase in their allowances, making their salary structure no less attractive than the industry’s Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).

At present, the Bihar lawmakers are entitled for a basic salary of Rs 40,000 per month, besides constituency allowance of Rs 50,000, stationary of Rs 10,000 and Rs 30,000 per month for keeping private secretaries. They are also entitled to travel coupons worth Rs 3 lakh per year and vehicle loan up to Rs 15 lakh.

The government had also enhanced the pension amount of former lawmakers. Former legislators with one year tenure in the legislature get monthly pension of Rs 35,000. Their pension amount increases at Rs 3,000 per month for every additional year served as legislators.

The salary and perks of the Bihar legislators were increased before this in 2014 when Jitan Ram Manjhi was the chief minister. The then government had also hiked the monthly salary of the chief minister and all its ministers. The government also decided to provide lifetime facilities of eight private staff to all former chief ministers benefitting all the former chief ministers, including Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi and Jagannath Mishra.

The legislators continue to get monetary benefits despite the fact that quite many of them own huge assets running into several crores. According to a report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), altogether 162 out of 243 MLAs of Bihar are crorepati. Of them, 14 have assets over Rs 10 crore.

Patna Metro project on fast-track! Bihar CM Nitish Kumar asks officials to start work at the earliest

Source: financialexpress.com

Patna Metro: Commuting across Patna to get easier with the upcoming metro project in the city! Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked officials to start the work on Patna Metro project at the earliest and also to ensure adequate action while carrying out the land acquisition for the proposed metro corridor. The Chief Minister directed the officials of the Urban Development and Housing department to start the work, following a presentation given by the Principal Secretary of Urban Development and Housing department on ‘Patna Metro Rail Project’. The Principal Secretary updated Kumar about the progress the Patna Metro project has made so far, according to a PTI report.

According to Nitish Kumar, the upcoming Patna Metro project, which is likely to be developed at a cost of around Rs 13,000 crore, will give “new speed” to Patna city. Last year on October 9, the state cabinet approved its Detailed Project Report (DPR) and sent it for the Centre’s approval. PM Narendra Modi-led Cabinet approved the Patna Metro project in February this year. The foundation stone for the big infrastructure project was laid by PM Modi in the same month.

Patna Metro route, stations

Under the first phase of the project, the Patna Metro will have two corridors. The first metro corridor will be between Saguna Mor-Bailey Road-Patna Junction- Mithapur bus stand. While the second corridor will be from Patna Junction to the proposed bus stand, located at Bairiya on Patna-Gaya road. Some of the major Patna Metro stations will be at Gandhi Maidan, Dakbungalow Chowk, Ashok Rajpath, Saguna More, Bailey More, Danapur.

It is being said that the Patna Metro project will provide an alternative mode of communication to a population of 26.23 lakh. The metro project will also focus on the last-mile connectivity as there will be multi-modal integration with railway stations as well as ISBT. Additionally, Patna Metro is also likely to run feeder network of bus, Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) and Non-Motorised Transport (NMT). The project is expected to be complete in the next five years.

Nitish Kumar Promotes Electric Vehicles, Reaches Bihar Assembly in Tata Tigor EV

Source: news18.com

Seeking to send out a message of environment preservation, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar arrived at the state assembly in an electric car. As his vehicle arrived at the porch of the historic building that houses the bicameral legislature, he was presented with a bouquet by Transport Department Principal Secretary Sanjay Agarwal. While climbing the flight of stairs that lead into the assembly premises, Kumar was heard saying, “It is a pleasure travelling in this car. It is almost soundless and its design feels very comfortable while sitting inside”.

Talking to reporters on the occasion, Agarwal said the car, which has been manufactured by Tata Motors, can cover a distance of 150 km upon being charged for four hours. “Factoring in the cost of electricity it can be said that the car, which is priced at Rs 11 lakh, costs 80 paise per kilometre. Besides economic viability, it also causes zero pollution. “We are in the process of installing charging points at 1, Anney Marg (the CM’s residence which is about a kilometre and a half away) and here at the Vidhan Sabha,” Agrawal added.

All such vehicles would have number plates in green to highlight their eco-friendly nature, the principal secretary said. Replying to queries from journalists who thrust their microphones inside the car as soon as the chief minister alighted, driver Ganesh said, “It is very easy to drive. There is no need to change gears frequently.” In the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month, an additional tax benefit of Rs 1.5 lakh was announced on payment of interest towards loans taken for the purchase of electric cars. It was seen as a measure taken by the Narendra Modi government to promote the use of eco-friendly cars.

Nitish Kumar reaches Bihar assembly by electric car

Source: indiatoday.in

Seeking to send out a message of environment preservation, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday arrived at the state assembly in an electric car.

As his vehicle arrived at the porch of the historic building that houses the bicameral legislature, he was presented with a bouquet by Transport Department Principal Secretary Sanjay Agarwal.

While climbing the flight of stairs that lead into the assembly premises, Kumar was heard saying, “It is a pleasure travelling in this car. It is almost soundless and its design feels very comfortable while sitting inside”.

Talking to reporters on the occasion, Agarwal said the car, which has been manufactured by Tata Motors, can cover a distance of 150 km upon being charged for four hours.

“Factoring in the cost of electricity it can be said that the car, which is priced at Rs 11 lakh, costs 80 paise per kilometer. Besides economic viability, it also causes zero pollution.

“We are in the process of installing charging points at 1, Anney Marg (the CM’s residence which is about a kilometer and a half away) and here at the Vidhan Sabha,” Agrawal added.

All such vehicles would have number plates in green to highlight their eco-friendly nature, the principal secretary said.

Replying to queries from journalists who thrust their microphones inside the car as soon as the chief minister alighted, driver Ganesh said, “It is very easy to drive. There is no need to change gears frequently.”

In the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month, an additional tax benefit of Rs 1.5 lakh was announced on payment of interest towards loans taken for purchase of electric cars.

It was seen as a measure taken by the Narendra Modi government to promote the use of eco-friendly cars.