Chief minister Raghubar Das launches Atal clinic in Ranchi

Source :

Chief minister Raghubar Das on Friday inaugurated an Atal clinic at Edalhatu in Morabadi that will offer free treatment and medicines to local residents.

The clinic was part of the 25 Atal clinics launched in 17 districts of Jharkhand on Friday, to mark the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Ranchi mayor Asha Lakra, Ranchi MP Sanjay Seth, state urban development minister C.P. Singh, deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya, state health secretary Nitin Madan Kulkrani and urban development secretary Ajoy Kumar Singh were present at the inauguration of the Edalhatu clinic.

“This clinic is dedicated to our beloved former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We have set a target to open as many as 100 Atal clinics across Jharkhand by September 25. In the 2019-20 budget, the government had promised to start clinics at the colony level,” the chief minister said in his address.

The CM directed civil surgeons of the districts to visit Atal clinics daily to ensure their proper functioning.

The clinic will operate from the RMC ward office. The government will appoint a doctor who will be available at the clinic from 6-10 in the morning and 6-8 in the evening.

The Atal clinic, which will function as a normal outdoor patients’ department, will offer free treatment and medicines for normal health problems.

The facility of vaccination will be available twice a week.

Pregnant women can seek free medical consultation at the clinic, which can also conduct tests for anaemia, tuberculosis and malaria.

State health secretary Kulkarni said Atal clinic would be opened in urban areas having a minimum population of 15,000 to 20,000 people who don’t have easy access to sadar and government hospitals and health centres.

“Local urban bodies will have to provide space for these clinics, which will be opened in accordance with the requirement. It is not necessary that every ward under the civic body will have a clinic,” Kulkarni said.

On the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the flagship scheme of the central government that was launched from Ranchi on September 23 last year, the CM said: “We had set a target to include 2.85 crore people belonging to 57 lakh families of Jharkhand under this scheme. So far, golden card has been issued to 40 lakh individuals. We have set a target to issue golden cards to the remaining 2.45 crore people by the end of September 23. The government has launched the drive from today (Friday).”

On the sidelines of the clinic launch, the chief minister handed over golden cards to some of the local residents.

Rain takes a 48-hour break in Jharkhand


Most parts of Jharkhand won’t have rain for the next 48 hours due to a weak monsoon trough, weathermen said on Thursday.

The axis of the monsoon trough at mean sea level was passing through Sri Ganganagar (Rajasthan), Narnaul (Haryana), northwest Madhya Pradesh and south Uttar Pradesh, stretching to Bankura (Bengal), Mizoram till Bangladesh.

Director of Ranchi Met Centre S.D. Kotal said rainfall had reduced due to the weakening of monsoon currents over Jharkhand. “The currents are expected to regain strength after the next 48 hours,” he said.

A bulletin issued by the Ranchi Met on Thursday afternoon indicated thunderstorm with lightning at a few places over Jharkhand on Sunday, August 18.

Met data revealed districts in northeastern parts including Pakur, Sahebganj, Godda and Deoghar had rain in the past 24 hours. Pakuria in Pakur recorded 85mm and Rajmahal in Sahebganj recorded 25mm. Pockets of Dhanbad and Bokaro districts and Jamshedpur recorded 10mm.

Against a normal of 676.1mm, Jharkhand has so far received 455.4 mm, a deficit of 33 per cent. Sahebganj is the only district with 11 per cent surplus. 

Ranchi to host 6km promotional on cycling


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.

Ranchi Metro a must but where’s the will


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.

RMC, cops fight for footpath


pring posts with iron and plastic chains will be used along the footpath area on the Ranchi Main Road to prevent illegal parking and give pedestrians space to walk.

Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and city traffic police have jointly decided to install spring posts — road safety products that bend when hit and bounce back, preventing vehicles from damage — fitted with iron and plastic chains along the footpath area.

“We have procured most of the spring posts along with iron and plastic chains and their installation would be done in a couple of months. This, we hope, will prevent illegal parking of bikes and other vehicles on spaces reserved for pedestrians,” said Ranchi traffic SP Ajit Peter Dungdung.

A dedicated footpath is sorely needed along the capital’s artery. According to a survey by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (an NGO focusing on rapid mass transit system in cities), Ranchi Main Road during peak hours has over 3,300 pedestrians walking and 572 vehicles crossing it every hour.

RMC had last week demarcated a 4-metre wide area along the 400-metre stretch between Albert Ekka Chowk and Sarjana Chowk on Main Road for pedestrians on a trial basis, marking the area with white line. The RMC installed sliding road barriers. But the two-wheelers managed to squeeze into the gaps of the sliding barriers and parked their vehicles on the dedicated footpath causing inconvenience to pedestrians.

“The road has been divided into two, with 6 metres left for vehicles and 4 metres for walkers. By and large, vehicle-owners have cooperated but at some points manual rickshaws and bikes do cross (the white line) and tend to park illegally, admitted RMC city manager (transport), Saurav Verma. “However, the police have completed tender for the spring posts and chains and we will soon start installing them. After that, it would be very difficult to park vehicles on the dedicated footpath,” Verma added.

The spring posts would be placed at a gap of every metre and chain links tied on the top of the posts along the entire stretch of the nearly 3km Main Road.

“Vehicles should be parked on the 12 dedicated parking bays and not along the footpath at any cost. Violators will be prosecuted by the RMC and police,” Saurav added.

In July, the flanks of the Main Road were cleared of vendors who were allotted shops at Atal Smriti vendor market in Kutchery Road. But, the place left vacant by them immediately started being used as illegal parking spots. That’s when RMC and police decided to make them into dedicated footpaths.

6 held for pelting stones at BJP lawmaker’s car in Ranchi


Police in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi have arrested six men for allegedly attacking the BJP’s Rajya Sabha lawmaker Samir Oraon’s vehicle with stones on the outskirts of the city on Monday, officials said on Tuesday.

The arrests on Tuesday morning came after Oraon lodged the first information at the Itki police station after the incident near Gadgaon area.

“Six persons – Gulam Sarvar, Arman Mansoori, Sohrab Mansoori, Aryan Mansoori, Irfan Mansoori and Umesh Lakra – have been arrested in this connection,” said Itki police station in-charge Prithvi Sender.

“All the accused used to smoke marijuana at their fixed base on the road flank. They have confessed that one of their friends pelted stone on the vehicle but he is absconding,” Sender said.

He added, “We are investigating the case further to ascertain if it was a coincidence or a planned activity.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader was coming back from Lohardaga district after attending the Budhu Bhagat Football Tournament when he was attacked. On his way back at around 8.30pm, some men started pelting stones on his Scorpio SUV. The parliamentarian and other passengers escaped unhurt.

“It appeared that bullets were being fired from all sides. We speeded up the vehicle to escape and finally took a halt at a petrol station. We then informed the police,” Oraon said.

He added, “We were six people sitting in the vehicle, including Binod Kumar Bhagat, the leader of Jharkhand movement, and my brother Alok Oraon. But we all escaped unhurt.”

The member of Parliament said they were escorted by a police team to Ranchi. He also said he doesn’t know why he was targeted and who the attackers were.

“It can’t be deduced for sure that I was the target. It may be a coincidence but it’s a serious issue and ought to be investigated thoroughly, “ he said.

9-yr-old girl drugged, packed in sack by kidnapper in Ranchi


A nine-year-old homeless girl, who was bundled into a plastic sack after being sedated, was rescued by the police from her kidnapper early on Sunday, officials said on Monday.

Police have arrested the accused and sent him to judicial custody, according to officials. The accused was identified as 22-year-old Sajan Ansari, a resident of Hindpiri locality, police said.

“The accused seemed to be a thief. He could have engaged her in illegal trade,” Kotwali police station in-charge SN Mandal said.

Mandal said a team was on a regular patrolling duty late on Saturday when they found the girl.

“Around 12.45am, the patrolling team reached the Albert Ekka Chowk. Local rickshaw pullers informed the police that a man was carrying a sack on his back in a suspicious manner,” Mandal said.

As the patrolling team chased the man and caught him, they heard a muffled sound of a child crying and found the girl inside the sack as they opened it. Locals, including rickshaw pullers, jumped at the accused and started beating him. However, police saved him from the crowd and took him to the Kotwali police station.

The girl told the police she slept under a shed near Albert Ekka Chowk, the city’s main square, after collecting waste with her grandmother. “I do not know when I was put in the sack,” she said.

Police suspect the girl could have been sedated by Ansari before packing her in the sack. “The girl might have lost her sense and the man filled her in the sack,” Mandal said.

Police have lodged a first information report (FIR) against Ansari under section 363 (kidnapping) and section 370 (trafficking) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sent to jail, Mandal said.

Ranchi to turn herbal health city


The capital will be developed as a herbal healthy city with focus on planting over 1,000 medicinal plants at parks and community centres, an ambitious initiative of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) that is relying on experts for guidance.

“We have taken a decision to this effect at a board meeting held recently to develop the capital as a herbal healthy city. Ayurveda expert Dr Suresh Agarwal has agreed to provide us with the required number of medicinal/herbal plants,” said RMC deputy director Sanjeev Vijayvargiya, adding that that RMC had zeroed in on Amrita or giloy (Tinospora cordifolia), Vasaka (Justicia adhatoda), Sendwar (Vitex negundo) and Harsingar (name Parijat) across all wards.

According to RMC sources, a decision has been taken to plant five saplings of each of the four types of medicinal plants in all each ward.

“We have decided to plant at least five saplings of each of the four medicinal plants. The number can go higher (a total of 20 saplings in each of the 53 wards which means a total of 1,060 saplings),” said the deputy mayor.

Once all saplings were planted, Ranchi, he added, would be the first city of India to have undertaken such an initiative. “We hope to complete plantation in the next few months with the help of various ward members in the first phase,” said Vijayvargiya.

According to Agarwal, they have decided on four medicinal plants as these were helpful in fighting common ailments.

“We have selected plants keeping in mind common diseases like cold and cough infection, stomach ailments, arthritis etc. Few saplings have already been planted. I have suggested to RMC officials to ensure that herbal plants are planted near temples, mosques, churches, sarna sthals (tribal worship), parks, schools and community halls and open spaces so that there is a sense of ownership among people who will then prevent their damage,” said Agarwal, who had given a 10 minute presentation before RMC officials last month.

“I am glad RMC has accepted the idea,” said Agarwal who has done extensive research in herbal medicines for over two decades.



The weather over the eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand was running consistently warm and humid with a cloudy sky. Though, scattered places have received light to moderate rains in the last 24 hours.

As on August 10, the state of Bihar is running rain deficit by 7%, while Jharkhand is rain deficient by 36%. Presently, a Cyclonic Circulation lies over northern parts of Bay of Bengal. An upper air Trough is extending from North Bihar to this system across Jharkhand. While, the eastern end of Axis of Monsoon Trough is also running across Central parts of Jharkhand.

This Cyclonic Circulation over North Bay of Bengal will be intensifying into a Low-Pressure Area during the next 24 to 36 hours and will be moving Northwestwards.

Under all these weather conditions, the rainfall over the states of Bihar and Jharkhand will increase during the next two to three days.

Hence, light to moderate rains are likely at many places over these states. Places like Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Jamui, etc may receive heavy showers. Though, Northeast parts of Bihar will experience light rains at scattered places.

There will be relief from the ongoing warm weather in the states as temperatures will be decreasing in the upcoming days as soon as the rains take over. Also, these rains will turn out useful for the ongoing paddy crops.

Ranchi cops rescue 10-year-old girl from sack


10-year-old homeless girl was dramatically rescued from a sack by Ranchi police near Albert Ekka Chowk on Sunday afternoon, with the youth carrying the gunny bag later confessing that he had kidnapped her with the intention to rape her.

Officer in-charge of Kotwali police station S.N. Mandal, under whom the area falls, said accused Sajan Ansari, of Nizam Nagar near Hindpiri, had drugged and kidnapped the girl in order to rape her.

Speaking to this paper, he said the girl was sitting on the roadside near Albert Ekka Chowk around 12.30pm with her maternal grandmother. The accused went up to them and offered them food mixed with intoxicants.

“Both the girl and the elderly woman fell unconscious. Ansari then put the girl in a big gunny bag and started walking away from the place. Some bystanders suspected he was carrying an animal in the sack. They raised an alarm and informed the police. We found the girl inside the sack,” said Mandal.

He added that the accused was booked under Sections 363 (kidnapping any person from lawful guardianship) and 370 (trafficking) of the IPC. The man was also forwarded to Birsa Munda Central Jail.

“During questioning, he confessed that he wanted to rape her and so he kidnapped her. He admitted he could have murdered her also after the rape,” said Mandal.

Mandal added Ansari’s criminal background, if any, was being investigated.

That a girl could be bundled into a sack in broad daylight from Albert Ekka Chowk could be an indicator of how vulnerable children are in the capital. Albert Ekka Chowk in the heart of the capital always remains crowded. But being a rainy Sunday, this afternoon happened to be a tad deserted.

Later, the girl was taken to the police station and given food and water. She said she was the eldest of the two daughters of her widowed mother and they used to live near Sujata Chowk in a slum. But, after their makeshift home collapsed, the family is homeless. She said she studied only up to Class I.

Asked about Ansari, she said she didn’t know who he was. “He came to us and gave us food. We were hungry so we had it. I want to go to my mother and sister. I don’t know where they are,” the little girl said.