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Blanket, bonfire aid for the poor

Hazaribagh deputy commissioner Manish Ranjan on Friday asked officials of the municipal authorities to distribute blankets and light bonfires to protect the poor from the biting cold.

The directive came even as the cloud of fog in the district has become less dense than on Wednesday when the town recorded its lowest temperature (2.2°C) and witnessed three deaths in road accidents. The mercury rose to a minimum of 3.3°C on Thursday and further up to 4°C on Friday.

Ranjan, who called a meeting of block development officers in his chamber, asked them to visit rural areas in their domain and distribute blankets and arrange bonfires at various points.

Ranjan told The Telegraph he had asked officials of Hazaribagh Municipality to light bonfires at all roundabouts of the town. Sources in the municipal board said that officials would take the measures at Indrapuri Chowk, Jhanda Chowk, Bara Bazaar Chowk, Kani Bazaar, Boddom Bazaar, District More Chowk, the government and private bus stands, Korrah,

Matwari and near St Columba’s College.

The residents of Hazaribagh have preferred to remain indoors with the minimum temperature sliding below 5° Celsius. Many have also demanded bonfires at different points in town to save the poor, including pavement dwellers and rickshaw pullers, from the chill.

Ranjan, who had called a review meeting on Friday, also asked officials not to keep any file pending and regularly monitor works under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. He directed them to speed up incomplete projects and asked block officials and employees to remain present at their offices to ensure maximum benefits to people.

Ranjan also gave his nod to set up 224 polling booths for the upcoming municipal election next year in 32 wards in town. Election will take place for the post of ward commissioners, vice-chairman and chairman.