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Land transfer policy delays key project

Lack of clarity on the transfer of government lands among departments has thrown a spanner in the progress of the Patna water supply scheme started last year.

The centrally sponsored scheme — the silver lining to water crisis in summer — is likely to be delayed because of administrative bottlenecks. At present, government land is transferred among departments according to a circular of the revenue and land reforms departments issued in 1983.

The ambitious water supply scheme is aimed at serving around 1.2 lakh domestic connections across 72 wards. A year after the project was started in March 2012, land for only 16 of 72 overhead tanks in as many wards proposed under the project is available with Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo), the nodal agency.

A senior government officer said: “The process laid down in the circular has become stale and requires a cumbersome procedure for the transfer of land between different departments. This issue was recently discussed in a meeting headed by chief secretary Ashok Kumar Sinha. It was decided to revise the policy to avoid delays in the execution of projects in the future.”

Work on the project is on in the 16 wards right now.

A senior BUIDCo officer said: “Progress on the project has been very slow because of land transfer issues. Plots of 40mx40m (around 0.40 acre) are required for each overhead tank. The Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given clearance for 11 such plots, while no objection certificates for 19 more are pending with it. The Bihar State Housing Board has transferred five plots. The remaining requests are pending.”

Mayor Afzal Imam, however, claimed that the NoCs on all plots owned by the civic body have been issued.

“We have given the NoCs to the agency for all 30 locations. If BUIDCo is claiming that it has not received them, I would look into the matter and ensure that they reach BUIDCo at the earliest,” he said.

In the present network, water supply is based on the extraction of groundwater. The water is stored in four among 23 overhead tanks.

The new scheme, under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, will split Patna into two zones — north and south.

The north zone would be supplied water from the Ganga, while the southern zone would be supplied ground water through tube wells and reservoirs constructed for the project.

For the northern zone, a 220MLD water treatment plant is to be installed over 25 acres (yet to be transferred) at the Digha diara.

The BUIDCo officer said: “We are in talks with the district administration for transferring land for the water treatment plant but the matter is pending for over a year.”


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