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Capital pads up for Chhath
Clean street surprise before rituals

Chhath devotees can expect clean streets on their way to the Ganga ghats this year with the launch of the much-awaited Patna Integrated Solid Waste Management Project on Thursday.

The four-day festival begins on November 17 with Nahay Khay. Thousands of devotees throng the ghats to perform rituals.

On Thursday, Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) delivered 120 dustbins of 1.1 cubic metres to Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC). These bins were placed near Patna Junction station, Exhibition Road, Bailey Road and other thoroughfares.

A senior BUIDCo officer said: “The first consignment of trash bins arrived on Thursday and it was delivered to the PMC. The corporation acquired them urgently because of Chhath.” The civic body already has 150 bins. But it is yet to get the long list of equipment (see graphics) under the Centre-sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Residents of the city are upbeat over the clean-up efforts. “Most of the city streets are littered in the absence of adequate number of bins. Now, things might change,” said Kurji resident Rohit Raj.

The employee of a private company added that the delivery of the bins before Chhath was a good sign. “At least, there would be no garbage on the streets during the festival.”

According to official figures, Patna will have a population of 1.8 million by 2015 and produce around 900-1,000 tonnes of solid waste every day.

The civic body is getting ready to deal with the Herculean task ahead of it. It would have around 225 vehicles to collect and transport the garbage at an integrated solid waste management facility at Ramachak in Bairia village, on the outskirts of Patna.

The facility would have a capacity to treat 800-1,500 tonne garbage every day. It would also get other equipment, including fogging machines, by the end of this month.

Citizens like Raj would, however, have to loosen their purse strings for the spick-and-span city, once the project picks up pace.

Sources said private residences would have to pay Rs 30 every month for garbage collection. Shops, hotels, private schools, cinemas and hospitals would also have to shell out a small fee for the civic services.

BUIDCo is in the final stages of forming Bihar Urban Services Corporation Limited — an autonomous organisation to ensure the smooth functioning of Patna Integrated Solid Waste Management Project.